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Day 64: St Jean Pied-de-Port to Roncesvalles

Hey Ho, let's go! Naught to be done, we need to go up and running again 😬! Thought about staying here a day but I actually already saw quite a bit of the Town Yesterday.

I think I'm ready to cross to Spain. I'm SO over France, it's not even funny! Yesterday we suffered some rude ass grumpy and incompetent waiters in a Restaurant (where we completely overpayed for our Drinks) and I saw that as a sign that this part of my Trail is now really done and behind me!

The energy of the other Pilgrims here is contatious! Everyone is so excited and happy! They're all on the start of what is their adventure of a Lifetime, not knowing what's ahead of them. Afraid, excited, curious... quite the opposite of the many sad and tired faces on the Podiensis. Or the Dayhikers and middleaged groups complaining about their lackluster Breakfast... I didn't feel an oince of Pilgrim spirit in these people but here? Pure Joy!

Also right now I'm laying awake in bed because I experience my first "snorefest" in which everyone around me farts and snores and turning in their beds like Rotisseriechickens. Aaaaah, the Pilger life 😬!

I have such a great old time here! On my way with cool new People and even the rudeness and general assholeness of the French don't get me down just now :)!

There's so much to tell now, I don't even know where to begin! Weather was cool but (mostly) dry. Perfect!

We saw the first of the famous yellow Arrows, had a Beer in a beautiful Albergue whose Owners were of course rude and awful and later we walked trough literally a cloud.

We checked out the famous Roland pass and of course I had to try the holy Roland water.

That’s the third time now I got holy water in my canteen. Maybe it turns my Canteen holy in turn?

And then, just like that, BAM we were in Spain! Finally this darn France is behind us! I really REALLY am over it!! I was in such good Spirits today. I’m walking with Antoine from Holland, Justin from Australia and Julia from Germany and we really just clicked! It’s SO cool having a bubble around!

We expected all day to reach the highest point which came almost at the very end. So I again climbed to 1400m+ after the Hagenegg at the very beginning. The walk was tough but doable, especially with my experience and training. For others tough who have their first day?! HARD stuff!

We arrived in Roncesvales very late at like 18:00 or so. It is very well organised but they got on my nerves with their rigorous processes and the unnecessary bureaucracy. Also you can just feel how they are tired of the same Pilgrim crap all day every day and they let you know that you‘re just one of literally thousands doing this thing.

The whole spiel repeated itself when we went to Dinner and we were served like in the cantena of a military camp. Sit HERE, do THAT! Pay NOW! Eat FAST!

Like.. okay I GET it! You have a LOT of Pilgrims and no patience thank you!

That‘s all part of the experience tough, just like the snoring and farting at night. And I‘m just happy to be here

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12 jun 2023

Glad you're feeling better! Enjoy this part and the good Spanish food (and wine!) – You'll be back before you know it and miss this adventure you're on. - JJ

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