Wednesday 09. 04. 2014
Palais – St. Jean-Pied-de-Port - Roncesvalles 61 kms 1112m
Poor old Mr. Grumpy had a fright of a night of fighting with his sleeping bag which does its level best to throttle him and bind is legs. And apparently the bed was very unforgiving. I, on the hand had a very pleasant night. Our little hostess was anxious that we should eat our breakfast pdq as the hostel was supposed to be empty by 09.00. As breakfast consisted of a few slices of bread and jam and a coffee, we did indeed make short work of it.
Our first pause of the day was at St.Jean etc which was positively bustling with pilgrims! Obviously the place to be seen and from which to start you journey. We just found it all a bit pretentious and difficult to search out those things we wanted – like maps! We have a habit of suddenly finding ourselves bereft of navigational aids. However, lovely hostess of the morning had provided an address for the Pelegrins Boutique!, where I not only found the appropriate maps but we had more passport stamping! I mumbled something to the man in the shop about having to cross the Pyrenees and with a knowledgeable smile he assured me that “yes, it was a long climb but gradual and only ever about 5%.” What a load of cobblers! It was long, that much was accurate, and except for the ever increasing 10% gradients, so was the gradual climb! Suffice to say we finally reached the top! With your undoubted intelligence, dear reader, I am sure I need not expound on our sense of relief.
|Our start is beyond the far horizon|
A couple of kilometres downhill and we reached our hostel and a very welcome beer and a bed with sheets!
(I can’t believe she hasn’t mentioned the 1112 metre of ascent! I think that’s close to our record in 1 day –Ed.)