2014 Camino Francés

Day 2 on the Camino Francés: Orisson to Roncesvalles

June 21, 2014

This had to be one of the best days of my life. Walking for hours with new friends through beautiful mountain scenery. Laughing, crying, debating with these pilgrims I had met the afternoon before. It was pure magic.

Facebook Post from 6AM this day:

Hola amigos! Facebook will have to fill in as a blog for the moment; although I couldn’t imagine it, there REaLLY isn’t time to do anything besides walk, eat (can’t imagine how anyone loses weight), sleep, and socialize (can you believe it?)

For those of you who’ve been following the sleep system stuff (lol), what I ended up with turned out great (silk liner, 40F down sleeping bag, and just as important when it comes to sleeping, earplugs, white noise on iPod, and noise reducing Bose headphones).

So far my “nuclear family”, so-to-speak, consists of Olalla, a 28-year-old from Galicia, and three childhood friends from Valencia: Felix, a 58-year-old Marine archaeologist; Adolfo, a 58-year-old landscaping business owner; and Pepe a 58-year-old heart surgeon (and former torero, singer, guitarist, and ranch owner). Last night Felix said during after dinner coffee, “can you believe we’ve only known each other, this little family , for 24 hours?” And Adolfo replied, “And how we are all different ages but it doesn’t matter?” (It sounds different in Spanish). It reminds me of summer camp when I was a kid.

Our “extended family” includes sisters Ana and Yeni from Monterrey, Mexico, Francois and Francoise from France, Geno and Andrea from Brazil, Lillian and Jean Bernard from Frace, Noel from SF, two young Korean men whose names I can’t remember, a Korean couple and a few others. We are all different ages and nationalities, from different socio-economic backgrounds, etc. but here on the Camino, it doesn’t seem to matter.

It’s after 6am now and pilgrims all around me including Geno, Andrea, and Francois, who are in the same cubicle are preparing for day 3, to Zubiri, where my main family has a reservation in an albergue tonight.

I want to write more but Olalla and I are meeting the guys at 7 for breakfast from vending machines…

Love you !

Two men and a woman outside a stone building with a sign that says Refuge Auberge Orisson

A photo before saying goodbye to Adolfo and Félix, whom I met the afternoon before relaxing at Orisson, although it turned out not to be goodbye at all as we spent the next three days walking together.

Following other pilgrims departing Orisson.

Following other pilgrims headed from Orisson to Roncesvalles.

Something made me stop and wait for Olalla, Félix, Adolfo and Pepe.

Although I had decided to leave a few minutes earlier and walk on my own, something made me stop and wait for Olalla, Félix, Adolfo, and Pepe. It turned out to be a perfect choice!

Olalla between Félix and Adolfo. I ended up spending the next several happy days with them, my first Camino family.

Olalla between Félix and Adolfo. I ended up spending the next several days with them.

Looking back at Orisson nestled against the green mountain, the Basque country of France in the background.

Looking back at Orisson nestled against the green mountain.

day 2 morning light

The view of the mountains was amazing.


day 2 morning light

Like a painting…


More pictures of the second day’s walk:


Dinner and after dinner at Roncesvalles:


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