“Did I mention the rain.”

This morning we took the train to St. Jean Pied dePort (SJPP), checked in at the pilgrim office (June is pictured outside the office) and picked up our pilgrim passport with it’s first stamp (sello). After a cup of coffee at a cafe, which allowed June to finish a book so she would not need to carry it, we started our walk…in the rain. It wasn’t a heavy rain but it did add to the “experience.”

The first time I heard our friend Mark LeBlanc talk about his Camino experience he talked about the challenge the rain added to an otherwise very challenging first day. He talked about the steep upward climb out of SJPP, needing to stop and rest, reflecting on how he was only at mile 2, exhausted, with 498 more miles to go, “And did I mention the rain?” It’s a fitting title for today’s blog. You start out going up and you think, “Golly this up thing is tiring!” Then it gets really steep and you don’t think about much except “Does it look a little flatter way up there?” (It isn’t.) We planned to stop and had booked a place (a tent was all they had left) at Orrison. Orrison is about 1/3 of the way to Roncesvalles which is a common first day stop (8 of the 24km), and is about 1/2 of the altitude climbed on the way there (700 of the 1400 meters). We had decided that with the late train arrival into SJPP and our jet lag that we would take it easy the first day and stop at Orrison. We are very glad we did. I don’t know how people make it all the way to Roncesvalle that first day. Mark explains it as following wise advice he received, “You can always take another step.” I’d like to know what the evidence for that is. The view along this part of the Camino is stunning. We looked down into lush valleys, some forested and other covered with grass with sheep grazing. The clouds and broken sections of mist lent a pleasant softness to the countryside. The Refugio at Orrison is nice and includes dinner and breakfast. The tents are smallish but dry and have mattresses, sheets and blankets. It felt good to shower, put on dry clothes, have a glass of wine and reflect on the day. Tomorrow’s path has less total elevation increase but starts with a more rapid assent. But we will be rested and…

Photo

Sent from my iPhone

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4 thoughts on ““Did I mention the rain.”

  1. I thought of you whenever I found myself awake last night, knowing that you were beginning your climb, and wondering how it was going. I am so glad to be able to read of your experience. Rain. The passage that kept coming to mind was….”I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” (Psalm121) May you know that help as you set out again in the morning.

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