Spain
Real Colegiata de Santa María de Roncesvalles

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    • Day 26

      Demasiado corazon

      June 6 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

      Na ontbijtje ri...... Pamplona, de stad met temperament, 'too much heart'. Ook de stad met de vreemde traditie om met een groep jonge dwazen, voor een kudde stieren uit te rennen. Rare jongens die Spanjaarden. De stad is de moeite waard om in rond te dolen, en een broodje Ibericoham te scoren met een koude cerveza. 51 km op de teller met 1 klimmetje..... (3 km-7 %) Nog even aan de tapas, geweldig en druk! Te warm om al te gaan slapen. Nu nog....30 graden, morgen nog en daarna keldert de temp tot 18 graden. We zullen zien. Fijn slapen straks🫶Read more

    • Day 5–6

      Roncesvalles to Zubiri

      May 25 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 50 °F

      Today was not the day I expected it to be. I thought the hard days were behind me crossing the mountain. Today was mentally and physically exhausting. Yes it’s beautiful but I wanted to quit a lot today. 13 miles, 1800 calories burned over 30,000 steps. I’m still happy I came to do this but it is challenging in ways you can’t know till you experience it. Soaked our feet in a beautiful river had a good cry and feel like I may live again. Buen CaminoRead more

    • Day 17

      Pyrenees conquered, downhill from now!

      April 13, 2023 in Spain ⋅ 🌧 5 °C

      We have made it to Roncesvalles - even though we didn’t go the hard way over the top, we had a day with a lot of climbing and feel proud of ourselves. It was cold, but not freezing - I actually took off a layer before the final climb - and there was snow around, on the top of the mountains and around our path but nothing that impeded the walking…in fact for me it is rather magic to be amongst snow! It rained a little, but never pouring, just drops in the air, and sometimes it was snow showers - droplets of flakes!

      We are now in the very lovely hotel here that we remember from last time 10 years ago…it looks like a wing of the monastery and similar to the albergue, except with all the refinements of a hotel! It is warm and I have no intention of stepping outside till we leave tomorrow morning! We were expected, our bags were waiting, we are booked in for dinner and all is very good.

      Set off at about 9, or exactly as we heard the church bells bong the hour. We wore ponchos all day and I am very happy with my new voluminous blue one - it fits well over the backpack and didn’t let any drips in! Also very happy with my new sticks…We walked only about 14 kms, but it was strenuous and even Amr feels quite worn out! I had to plod on the LONG uphill but once finished I was very happy going downhill to Roncesvalles, and now don’t feel at all worn out, just happy that we are here!! It was such a different walk from 10 years ago. Then the trees were in full leaf and it was just like walking through a forest. Today the trees were bare enough that we were aware of the enormous rocks and mountains surrounding us, and the valleys…such a different scene, and magnificent scenery.

      Now the bar where we are having a wine (it was empty when we came) has filled with walkers all swapping stories of today…this is such fun. Some people walked all the way over the top, some walked our route, some were warned it was too snowy and difficult over the top and got a taxi!! Everyone is happy…mainly Americans, Aussies and Canadians right now…but many more…all good.

      Dinner was good…though it took ages as they were also serving a room full of pilgrims from the albergue and I think we got forgotten…but food yummy…Amr had the bean soup and I had a mixed salad to start (mixed means lettuce, tomato, tuna, egg, asparagus ) and Amr had grilled bass for main and I had a deer stew…so delicious…comfort food! Off to sleep now…
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    • Day 98

      Jakobsweg Tag 2

      March 10, 2020 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 7 °C

      Heute Morgen tat mir immer noch einiges weh, aber es war halbwegs erträglich...also weiter!
      Nach dem Frühstück wurden wir gefragt ob wir an einer Dokumentation über den Camino teilnehmen wollen.
      Diese wäre für Amazon Prime und wir würden zusätzlich noch einen Restaurant Besuch in Santiago de Compostella bekommen.
      Na klar wollten wir!!! 😉
      Dafür mussten wir erzählen wer wir sind, woher, wohin wir wollen und warum wir den Camino laufen.

      Danach machten wir uns auf den Weg zur nächsten Etappe, auf nach Zubiri!
      20 Km standen also heute auf dem Programm.

      Wir liefen in einer kleinen 5er Gruppe, Mal zusammen Mal zu zweit und manchmal jeder für sich.

      Das Wetter war viel besser als gestern und so wechselten wir unterwegs unsere Kleidung und liefen in Short und Shirt weiter.

      Unterwegs legten wir gemeinsam zwei kleine Pausen ein, tranken Kaffee und aßen Baguettes.

      Die letzten 5 Km allerdings wurden für mich wieder sehr hart! Mittlerweile hatte ich mir drei fette Blasen gelaufen!
      Und so schaffte ich es mit Müh und Not so eben in unsere Unterkunft!

      ALLES ab Po abwärts tut mir sowas von weh!!!!!!!!

      In unserem Zimmer war noch ein anderer Pilger.... haltet euch fest: ein gelernter Akkupunkteur!!!!!!
      Und so wurden wir von ihm "verarztet"! 😁👍

      Aber eins kann ich euch sagen: Nocheinmal brauche ich keine Nadel in meinem Zeh!!!! 😂🙈
      Das tat vielleicht weh!!!
      Aber ich musste so lachen! Denn als er mir die Nadel in den Zeh steckte, schrie ich wie ein Mädchen (gut das sich Frauen das erlauben dürfen 😁) und dann musste ich darüber so lachen, ich bekam mich kaum noch ein! 😂
      So sehr das die anderen mit lachen mussten.
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    • Day 7

      Roncesvalles (16.8km / 24.3km)

      April 19, 2023 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

      We started off with stunning conditions. The sunrise over the Pyrenees was breathtaking. We had a communal breakfast - very simple but nice to be seated with everyone. Coffee was served in a soup bowl! Had lovely Face Time calls with Theresa and Shannon and then - We rounded a corner and the wind hit us and it pretty much stayed with us the whole day. Gusts of gale force winds , piercingly cold. A head wind while climbing, climbing, climbing. The scenery did a good job at distracting the difficult conditions. A good break at a van who had parked out of the wind, and served delicious and much needed coffee. We continued to climb. We crossed over a cow grid and entered Spain just like that. More climbing and a bit of a relief while walking through a muddy forest. We found a good spot to eat our baguettes which we ordered at last nights accommodation. We eventually caught sight of the Albergue (Historical Pilgrim Hospital) which was our destination, far down below. So now for the climb down, down, down. The Pilgrim Hostel is huge and sleeps hundreds. We are in a bunk room of 4. A much needed beer or two, and reminiscing on the difficult day with other pilgrims before another communal dinner followed by Mass. An unexpected surprise after mass. The priest gave a Pilgrim Blessing and then invited us to stay for a tour of the church. He enthusiastically told us about the history of the church in 3 languages and then took us down to the crypt where he orchestrated an impromptu “Amazing Grace”. Time for these weary legs to head off to bed!Read more

    • Day 6

      End Day 1/Beginning Day 2

      May 19, 2023 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 50 °F

      Yesterday’s walk ended with a wait for the shuttle bus back to Saint Jean. I was very cold as it was a bit windy and cold, plus I had sweated and then stopped moving. I was huddled up with my rain poncho on for warmth when another pilgrim joined me to wait. I commented on how cold it was, and she laughed at me. Turns out that Caroline is from Quebec, so she no doubt thought it was balmy! We had another good laugh on the shuttle; the drivers whip up and down the one-lane road, which is next to a sheer drop for much of the route we were on. Caroline muttered, “Please don’t kill me!” I said, “Man, wouldn’t it be something to die after all of that?!” And then we laughed and laughed. Maybe you had to be there! This morning’s commute was even scarier, with a passing situation that had me pretty worried! I guess I’m pretty thoroughly a flat-lander at this point.

      Obviously we didn’t die, and I made it to my gite (hostel), which was really nice. The volunteer host was Oili, a very kind Finnish yoga teacher. I was just exhausted after 3 hours sleep the night before and then the long climb, so I was asleep by 7:00. I did awaken a few times, but I’m pretty sure I got in 10 hours before 6:00 this morning. I feel so much better!

      I shared a dormitory with six other people. Only one of them snored, and he wasn’t too close to me, so it wasn’t too bad. Very cozy. Oili served breakfast and coffee and then led a “Pilgrim Ceremony.” (It was most people’s first day.) This was a mindfulness exercise mixed with a benediction of sorts and ended with a recording of John Denver singing “Sweet, Sweet Surrender.” It was nice. The best part of the morning was cake for breakfast! One of the offerings was a cake I saw in the bakeries, too. Not sure if it was a Basque thing or the tarte de Santiago, but it was delicious.

      1. The view of Saint Jean from the gite’s patio.
      2. My little bunk for the night. I was happy to get to choose a lower bunk.
      3. A house in Saint Jean. No, I wasn’t drunk - the street really is that steep! I appreciated the commitment to flowers.
      4. Even the weeds are pretty in this part of France! I also saw this flower in the mountains today.
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    • Day 4

      Initiation in rain

      August 3, 2023 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

      One question I had coming into the Camino was how it would feel to walk in the rain. I found out today! Today was my second day going up the Pyrenees, and it was rainy, windy, and cold. A friend I met at the hostel last night and I exchanged numbers in the morning to make sure we both made it to the next town safely. There were a few different spots on the trail where you had to turn one way and not another or you’d be in trouble. As the hostel owner put it, “Right is life, left is death.” Since going off the trail in the Pyrenees in bad weather is basically the setup for the movie, The Way, I was a bit nervous. Thankfully my way-finding skills are good and I was able to either follow other pilgrims or look out for the intermittent yellow arrows along the trail.

      Todays distance was 10.5 miles and I definitely felt it in my feet by the time I got to town. I went through all 4 pairs of my socks trying to keep my feet dry in the rain. I changed my socks a second time and put Vaseline on my feet to keep my wet feet from getting blisters. My toes were pruny by the time I got to my room, but thankfully no blisters!

      Now I’m settling into my room to rest my feet and wait for a pilgrim dinner later tonight and a service at the church that they do every night as a pilgrim’s blessing. Hoping for dry weather tomorrow!
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    • Day 5

      Walking in the Clouds

      August 17, 2023 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

      Today was huge!! I am so grateful and lucky to be here but it was hard, hot and windy! I don't think I have ever seen any scenery as beautiful. Got to the monastery and have been given a top bunk- might still be up here in 5 weeks!!Read more

    • Day 2 - Orrison to Roncesvalles - 18km

      August 31, 2023 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

      18km today - done and done!

      I started out around 7:30am after breakfast. I had a reservation in Roncesvalles so I didn’t need to worry about my pace, I just had to arrive by 7pm or I lose my bed and dinner.

      It was a steady climb up again, but was blessed with seeing the sun rise over the mountains. While walking, it was just as important to occasionally look behind as the scenery was breathtaking every step of the way.

      Physically today was a challenge. It was 13km with a 700m gain plus a 4.5 km decent. On the climb, I took a break about every 4km to make sure I would last. I took my boots off at that point as well. The muscles were holding out pretty well, for awhile. I think about the 11km mark I was really starting to feel my glutes and hamstrings. About 1km into my 4.5 km decent they were screaming! They were so tired. I would stop every so often and stretch them. About 3 km from the end, I could feel some hot spots on my feet forming for blisters, different places than usual because of going downhill, so I sat down and put tape on them right away. I was tempted to wait as it was only 3km but I knew better not to wait if I wanted to keep going the next day.

      I arrived in Roncesvalles by 4pm. It was good I had a reservation as by 3:30pm they were all full. They have a system where they give you a coloured card when you arrive and then call out the colour to check you in. I wasn’t to my bed until 5pm. I then showered, stretched, rolled my muscles and relaxed. Then it was time for the pilgrims dinner. Dinner was pasta, pork and potatoes. They had the option of fish, but I remember from last time that they give you the whole fish, head and all, so didn’t want to deal with that again.

      I wasn’t planning to go to the mass at the church but just as I was leaving dinner, the bells were ringing and the church was right there, so I took it as a sign. I went in and all the standing was killing me (as I am sure it was with the other pilgrims). The mass is all in Spanish, except for a pilgrims blessing at the end where they say a couple sentences in english and other languages. I only caught a few words of it and all I remember is the word “journey.”

      After mass, it was back to the room. This new hostel is awesome. When Jörg and I were hospitaleros in 2014, we drove here and asked to look around as we stayed in the old monastery last time. Because I made a reservation early, I got a bed on the 3rd floor, which was all single beds, it was absolute luxury (in pilgrim terms) The wifi was very strong so I could upload the blogs I had already written but I had no energy left to compile the videos.

      Ok it’s 10pm and the lights are out, so time for bed.

      TTYL
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    • Day 5

      Over the Pyrenees to Roncesvalles

      September 4, 2023 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 73 °F

      After watching Candi start walking from Saint Jean, we started from the Croix Thibault and walked up and over the Pyrenees. ⛰️🙂 Alan’s foot did ok (yay) so tomorrow he will see if he can do the whole 13 miles to Zubiri. 🤞🏻🤞🏻

      It wasn’t a blue sky day, but we had much better views than the thick fog we had in 2018. We kept commenting on the views we had today that were non-existent back then. We could actually see the beautiful, strong, stocky horses 🐴 (and a lot of 🐑 ) on the hillsides, instead of just hearing the bells around their necks.

      It was extremely windy, but the sound of it blowing through the trees was soothing - plus it felt so nice and cool on my hot face (because it takes hardly anything to turn me into a sweat ball).🥵 The descent down to Roncesvalles is steep and tough on the body. We were glad to finally finish, get our packs off, take showers, and put on our sandals. I know for sure we will be sore tomorrow, unless the cold beer 🍻 cures it. 😂

      Tonight, we are staying at Hotel Roncesvalles and our stomachs are full from an amazing pilgrim dinner…scallops, cod, steak, mushroom risotto, apple pie and a brownie with ice cream. YUM! It will be hard to top. 😋😋

      So far we have met some really nice people already at the beginning of this journey, but a few really stand out.

      Pierre - He’s from Australia and is doing this walk because his wife, who passed away two years ago, told him to take a little time once she died to mourn, but then she wanted him to spend some time doing something for himself. 🥹 So, he told himself he would do something his younger self would have done, and the Camino is it. We hope to run into him more in these next few days and maybe help him celebrate his birthday in Pamplona.

      Gunnar: He’s from Belgium. He’s working on a Camino video and asked us if he could ask us some questions. In talking with him more today he shared his wife passed away in 2019 from a brain aneurysm. He decided right then to not wait until retirement to do things in life.

      Australian Couple:

      We met a really sweet couple who are walking the Camino with there 9 month old son. 😳 The mom was carrying him in front for three hours while we was sleeping and then, once he woke up, his dad carried him in child carrier backpack. The couple said the little guy enjoyed all the people talking to him. It kept him busy and happy. Maybe he will be one of the youngest Camino pilgrims to make it to Santiago. 🙂👶

      Fun fact learned today: When stung by stinging nettles, grab some dandelion leaves, smoosh the leaves up and rub them on your skin. It takes the sting away! Thank you to the Dutch woman for that. :)

      Tomorrow, our plan is to walk 13 miles to Zubiri - slowly, with lots of breaks. 🙂
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Real Colegiata de Santa María de Roncesvalles, Real Colegiata de Santa Maria de Roncesvalles

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