10 July 2015

And He saw that it was good.







Some times we find the technology a bit too difficult for us bears. Some of the above photos were transfered from the camera to the phone and then to the iPad. So none of them are in the order they  were taken. Dawn on the second day is at the bottom. The bridge is in St Jean Pied du Port and we crossed it to get on the Camino outside of town.

The first picture shows the weather as we climbed up the mountain on the first day. It was cold and cloudy but thankfully it did not rain.
It was a steep climb to our first hostel in Orisson. The second picture shows the view of the hostel and the view of the mountains.
We slept  in a room with three sets of bunk beds, so six humans, two were from Australia and three from the USA.
Alan showered and washed his clothes then sat and waited for the evening meal, talking to the two nice young Aussies.
The humans all sat at long tables for the evening meal which was served at 18:30hrs. It was a three course meal with much red wine and water as they wanted to drink. Then after the meal they all had to introduce themselves and say why they were there. Alan enjoyed it and it was a great introduction to the camaraderie of the Camino.
In the night Alan got up once to look at the stars which were very bright, and of course we were all a whole lot closer to them.
The next morning the dawn was fabulous as you can see from the last photo.
After a light breakfast of coffee and toast we set off at 08:00hrs to climb the rest of the mountain. Though it was sunny it was quite cold as there was a stiff North wind. But the views were terrific.
Alan took a number of panorama pictures as we got higher and he was so taken with the views he was reminded of a passage from Genises Chapter 1 verse 31, and God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.
The world certainly looked good from up high. There was snow on the mountain in places and after the picture of us all at the cross, we crossed the ridge and went down the other side into Spain.
There were many large piles of snow along the way.
The climb Alan, says was much like the Miner's Track on Snowdon and he was thankful of his walking poles, particularly on the down hill side into Roncesvalles. The silly bugger took the really steep path which they had said we should not use! It would have been impossible without the poles.
In the monastery of Roncesvalles we were pleasantly surprised at how modern the accommodation was. Again we had the lower bunk, but this time there were cubicles of four along one side of a long corridor which led to the ablutions. We shared ours, with a German, a young woman from Maine and an English Chaplin! Alan enjoyed talking to him.
They went together on a guided tour of the monastery at 18:00hrs were late for the meal at 19:00hrs, but punctual for the mass in the medieval church at 20:00hrs. Alan said he did not understand a word of it as it was all in Spanish, with three very ancient monks/priests who officiated. Alan was, however, easily able to follow the ritual as it is the same everywhere. He took communion and then all the pilgrims were asked to come to the alter to receive the blessing. As he stood there deep in prayer and thought, his mind was centered on Hanna and he said when the blessing came he felt a tremendous sense of joy which almost made him cry!
It as off to bed then and he slept through till 05:30hrs when most people stirred. Today, Saturday 25 April we walked a more leisurely walk through the hills to Zubiri. It was up hill and down dale, but not anything as steep or as hard as the first two days.
We now have another bunk bed in a larger room with about 14 bed spaces and it is all unisex including the ablutions. There is a Brazilian couple in the next bunk bed to us. We have not met the person who is occupying the top bunk, but that's because we are sitting in the reading room writing to you lot.
Our meal will be at 19:00hrs and breakfast is at 07:00hrs. We shall be a early to bed tonight too. 
Buen Camino!