I am resisting the urge to stomp on ahead and disciplining myself to SLOW THE FUCK DOWN.
My right foot tends to scream at me after a few miles so, in order to do any sort of semblance of mileage, I sent pack ahead of me the last 2 days. The first day of like 10km just straight up hill, made both feet super mad at me and I intend on finishing this. I’m learning quickly that long distance hiking (PCT, AT, etc) are much more about getting to the destination within a certain time frame. I have the luxury to not do that here and everyone I’ve bonded with are also the kind who just want to enjoy this and not make it a race.
Since I didn’t have much time to prep for this walk/hike/pilgrimage, I’m kind of doing it now so taking it maybe too easy the first week and then plan on pushing myself after building up some strength.
The first day, I came across a lady who was hiking solo and we talked about if we were doing all 25km to next city or staying at the albergue (hostel) in the Pyrenees that usually books up ahead of time. I told her I had just called and got a reservation and gave her my phone to call. Long story short, we started talking and I just fell in love with her. I call her my Camino mama. She is empathetic, hilarious and has a fuckin killer Kiwi accent. We’ve hiked last 3 days together and I haven’t laughed so much in a long time back to back.
I haven’t slept all that well in the albergues since have had some night terror type nightmares and tons of snoring people (I started recording it. New album coming out is “Snoring Symphonies” 😂).
Having to figure out logistics of where to sleep every night since outside camping is basically prohibited (extremely restricted) makes me quite anxious. I enjoyed the PCT more in the sense that I could night hike if I wanted to and know I could just pull over anywhere and camp.
But learning as I go. The people are terrific and I feel like that bonding and sense of community I wanted on the PCT that I didn’t truly feel, I am getting here. This is more of a spiritual journey as opposed to an endurance feat (not digging on long distance thru hikers. They’re incredible) and it’s what I needed.
Found myself crying walking amongst beautiful trees. Come to find out, some witches were burned there. There is history soaked into every single step of this journey and the beautiful views, sheep, cows and horses roaming free just add to the whole experience.
I have so many other thoughts – from what I wish I hadn’t packed to people I’ve met – that I want to talk about but too tired. Only got 2 hours of sleep last night.
But here are some pics:
Old monastery that’s turned into an albergue. Stayed there for the night (pics of the beds is somewhere in this batch).👇🏻
Drinking coffee out of a bowl at the albergue. Lol. Apparently that’s a thing? 👇🏻
Dinner at albergue Orisson in the Pyrenees. We all had to stand up and say our name and where we were from. Everyone clapped for each other and it was actually really a bonding moment. Loved it! 👇🏻
Coming into town at night. So many pilgrims descended upon St Jean Pied de Port.👇🏻