Sunday, April 28, 2013

Off to a Rough Start

Off to a rough start.
Flying from Madrid, Spain to Toulouse, France, we were met by friends from Bolivia days. We drove to see their 300+ year old house and enjoyed a restful time as we relived our past and caught up on our present lives. The extra days gave Ann a little more time to deal with her shingles symptoms which are slow to go away. Our hosts drove us to the beginning of our Pilgrim hike as we explored beautiful southern France.

Arriving in our starting point of St Jean Pied de Port (name of town at the foot of mountain), we were disappointed to find rain, thick fog and a forecast of snow the next day for the mountain crossing. The path was closed to hikers as it was too dangerous. Our friends offered to take us to the next town, Roncesvalles which is in Spain, about 10 miles away to  avoid the snow. We decided that was the best course so we drove there, ate lunch and picked up our Pilgrim Certificate (Credencial del Peregrino) and started walking in the rain. Our first night is in a hostel run by a nice Basque lady named Anna. Tomorrow snow is forecast along with cold weather. We will take it day by day.

Day 2.       Started the day with a few snow flakes which turned into a sideways blowing snow storm. At noon it was almost over except for a cold wind. We grabbed a bite to eat in a small village and got to our albergue in Larrasoana around 4 pm. We are in a dorm type room on upper bunks with about 30 other people. After washing some clothes and a shower we bought some food for dinner, breakfast, lunch. Hopefully we will sleep well as the 12 miles we walked should be a good sedative. Tomorrow we will walk through Pamplona (famous for the running of the bulls).

1. Day 3.   Just walked through Pamplona today and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. Have settled in an Albergue Sanjuanista run by the Knights of St. John of Malta.  Cold and windy but no rain or snow.


  1. Good thing you are true Northwesterners... A little rain never hurt anyone, right? Looking forward to hearing about your travels as the days go by. Thanks for the update.

  2. Thanks for sharing, Testermans!
    Glad you didn't get caught in any mountain storms on the first day, because I've heard(*) that it can actually be fatal.
    (* - from a fictional movie).

    What are your Spanish trail names?

    Looking forward to more updates and pictures! Will you finish on your knees?

    Vaya en paz!

  3. Thanks for your blog. Makes us feel like we're there, Butbwe're not cold and wet, so it must be a dream,. Hope Ann feels better soon. You take care of each other. Love, John and Ellen.