Distance to Santiago, Our First Day Walking


On Saturday May 3 we started our walk from Roncesvalles. It was rainy and cold but the walk was beautiful, through forests and meadows. Our rain suits did their job and kept us dry and warm. Everything was bright green except the trail which was mud. We loved the baby horses and sheep. The adult horses had bells and one of the meadows had so many horses that it was a chorus of tinkling chimes. It was the loveliest music for the scenery.

Alexandra and I wanted to go easy for a few days to keep us from injury so we only went 8 miles and stayed in a lovely hostel/hotel in Gerendiain. With just five very basic rooms we were very happy to have privacy for one more night to get over jet lag before getting to the bigger hostels.


The Hungarian couple who run the hostel were friendly and the food was lovely. The others staying the night were Australian, Danish, and American. The communal supper is perfect for getting to know the other pilgrims and their stories.

On Sunday May 4 the owner of the hostel was shuttling a man to St Jean Pied-a-Port . to start his trail so Alexandra and I tagged along so we could see the traditional start and she could check off France on her country list.


The very curvy roads made the the other passengers sick but the town was worth the misery—-so charming and French, like a set for Beauty and the Beast.

Back from our detour around 10:30, it was time to walk. I might as well been hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains. The trees were slightly different but the vistas and the trail were so similar but without bears and turkeys. We only went 6 miles before Alexandra felt she needed to rest her legs. So we checked into a hostel in Zubiri. The bunk rooms were clean and comfortable with lots of hot water and laundry service. I sat outside in the sun and made new friends and Alexandra napped. The supper was again family style and we visited with a man from Minnesota. There seems to be lots of Australians, Americans and Canadians making communication easy . After supper Alexandra was able to get some ice to get her shins ready for tomorrow and a longer walk. My ankle is holding up fine so far. After supper there was quiet time to read and plan the next day. So far my mind has been on logistics and getting use to a different way of being. Now I hope to be able to move into a different space in my mind.




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