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Camino de Santiago, Day 2: Orisson to Roncesvalles

Camino de Santiago

Lots of fog!

Today we started early with breakfast at the refuge which again included coffee in bowls and bread with butter.  Jamie went ahead because I needed to bandage my feet and truth be told I was procrastinating.  We agreed to meet in Roncesvalles which is a 16 kilometer (10 mile) walk.

A Hard Day

The walk took a little over seven hours and was intense with no let-up or break time.  Fog was settled into every valley.  I know I passed some spectacular scenery because I was often walking along cliffs, but I saw none of it because of the fog.  Most of the time I could not see more than ten feet ahead.  In fact, this added a dreamy quality to the walk.

Several times I was alone for long stretches.   And the silence was incredible.  Not even a bird chirping – nothing but the sound of my own breath and my feet hitting the road.  At the top, there was freezing fog and rain and bitter cold. Two days ago this pass was closed due to snow (apparently a Brazilian man died on this stretch that day after falling into a crevasse) and there was still plenty of it.  It was so cold that I felt I could not stop or else I might become a statistic.  My body is like a stubborn burro – it wants to stop all the time and I must push it to go.  In any case, I hobbled my way to the hostel, which houses hundreds of pilgrims, and was delighted to see Jamie.  It was physically a very hard day for me.

We have already met so many people from all over the world.  It feels like summer camp.  We had dinner in the tiny town with a German doctor and his wife.   And I attended part of the Pilgrim’s Mass in Roncesvalles which started at 8 pm.   I like the spectacle of Mass.  Tomorrow we go on to Zubiri.


  1. lol stubborn burro that’s how my body felt on my second camino going up O’Cebreiro. Still an amazing experience. Thank you for sharing your experience on the pyrenees, you’re writing is very entertaining 🙂

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