Hola from Larassoana on the Camino Frances!

Published on Behalf of Donna Blackstock  

I arrived in St Jean Pied de Port which is the starting point at about noon on Monday. I spent the previous night in Biarritz (France) and when I went out to see the sights it was slashing rain. I am sure I have the only photo of the famous Biarritz beach in the summer with no one on it!

 

St Jean was a fabulous little town and it was market day so I enjoyed walking around on the narrow cobblestone streets, looking at various albergues and the pilgrim office. Our host, Joseph, was fantastic. He was very welcoming, helpful to everyone and had a knack for getting people to interact comfortably. He also had an incredible memory for names. We had Portugal, France, Mexico, El Salvador, NZ, Denmark, Brazil, and Australia all at the dinner table, as well as US and Canada. There was even someone named John from Victoria!

 

Day one – 7:30 start, barely light and 23k through the Pyrenees. It was very steep to start and then misty, breezy and muddy to finally get to Roncesvalles. My walking buddy was a young woman from NZ and because of weather we only made one quick stop in Orisson. This was fine as we had minimal wait time for check in and shower. Let’s just say the masses slept here, as it is a converted convent and there is very little choice here.

Day two – 7:15 start, it was still a bit dark and I am not into walking with my miner’s light on my head…..but many are! Breakfast was bread, OJ and coffee so that didn’t take long so that is why I was out on the road early. The weather is much better and the route to start was quite easy, with very nice small towns along the way. Then it was muddy again with some climbs and then lots of downhill. It was a tougher day than I expected. I am now in Albergue San Nicolas and it is very nice. They also have a great outdoor hand laundry system so I have taken advantage of that! All is well.

 

Donna