Saturday, May 31, 2008

Crossing the Pyrenees -Wow

I have just had two magical days. Left SJPP yesterday morning for the uphill climb to Orisson, the first stage of crossing the Pyrenees. After days of rainy walking, this day dawned sunny. The climb passed through beautiful mountain countryside, reminding me very much of home. The first grunt out of SJPP was very steep, but then it became less steep until a sign saying there was 4km to Orisson, when the gradient increased. I was pleased to find that after weeks of walking I was able to take it in my stride, just kept going at my rhythm, and before morning tea time I had arrived at Orisson. That was after stopping to enjoy the view of eagles swooping about in the sky, alongside a young Spaniard. How absolutely magnificent. I tried not to feel guilty as others kept going past Orisson the whole way over the mountains. A lemonade on the terrace enjoying the view in the sunshine certainly helped with getting over the guilt feelings!

In the evening after dinner the most amazing rainbow I have ever seen crossed the sky over the mountains, with a faint double also visible. There was a Canadian father and his daughter nearby enjoying their first evening on the Camino: what a special moment to share. Lyne and I sang a little towards the mountains.

Today for the main part of the climb and the Pyrenees crossing, the weather could not have been more ideal. It was sunny but not too hot. And the views were just spectacular. We were all just so lucky to walk in such conditions. It clouded over a little as we reached the highest point, about 1400m, but stayed calm and warm enough. Then as I descended the Abbey appeared in the valley below, below a hillside covered in trees.

Tonight I am staying in the big dormitory here at the Abbey, that can take 120! So I am not sure how much sleep will be had, but I have seen a photo of inside the building itself and it is magnificent, with stone walls and a high rounded ceiling. Have booked for the pilgrim´s meal at 7pm and there is a Mass and pilgrim´s blessing at 8pm. So I am in Spain... a new part of the adventure begins.

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