July 28, 2017 St. Jean Pied de Porte and Orisson
I never actually stop in the pilgrim’s office in St. Jean Pied de Porte. I already had my passport – I’d ordered it on-line as soon as I’d decided to take the journey – and I’d already checked in with others and decided on the Napoleon Route (the more challenging but more scenic route).
I start out with my Canadian friend across the French countryside. I am thrilled beyond words to discover her rose tattoo, and I explain that I was named for St. Therese (“The Little Flower”) and that my grandmother was praying the novenas for me, telling me to look for signs of roses. What’s amazing is that I ended up seeing roses EVERY SINGLE DAY.
The climb becomes a bit steep as we entered the Pyrenees. We take brief stops to catch our breath, and at one point, my friend waves me on, and so I continue. As I continue the trek up the mountains, sometimes I pass others; sometimes I am passed by others.
Independence is an underlying theme of my Camino. From the very beginning I knew that I was doing the walk for myself, potentially by myself. I intentionally arrived alone, and I was prepared to walk alone. This was my Camino. I would walk it my way.
Part way up the mountains I come upon Orisson, a cute little hamlet, and the last chance to stop before the next closest town many miles away: Roncesvalle. I’d been hearing others talk about staying the night in Orisson, but this is not something I’m even considering. I plan on making it all the way to Roncesvalle tonight. However, I’m very grateful for the chance to take a badly needed bathroom break and to quickly fill up my water bottle. I purchase a small snack (throughout the trip I’m conscientious about purchasing at least one thing at each bathroom stops), I rest only briefly, and then I’m on my way again. I’ve learned from bike trips that if I stop too long, it’s much harder to continue!
Much love and many blessings. ❤
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Check out the whole journey in video on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIPG4YhRf_rk5-59R3jT2yQ
or the whole journey in pictures on Instagram: