Day ONE 1 May 2015
SAINT JEAN PIED DE PORT started @ 7.00am arrived at 10.00am~ 7.9 kilometres
Woke up at 5.00am ready to go! So I showered, got dressed and went downstairs! Needless to say it was all for nothing! The doors were locked until seven o’clock! We were forced to have breakfast and stay in until Alain opened the front door! I walked the seven kilometres up the hill, at a leisurely pace. The scenery is stunningly beautiful, I so want to enjoy myself on a minute to minute basis.While sitting down enjoying the scenery, a very tired man walked up. I offered him my flat stone as a great seat “no, no, no, “he said, I am too stressed! I don’t have time to sit down! I am too stressed!” I was amazed, this is day one! Leave the stress behind! My gosh! Obviously people walk the Camino their own way, THE way doesn’t exist! I was glad to reach Orisson, as I had booked a bed here. The beginning was steep, I managed only two kilometres per hour, very disappointing, but hey, who am I competing with? The landscape is absolutely stunning. I am not sure why, but I expected the Pyrennees to be brown, rugged, dry and sort of like the blue mountains without any green growth. May be it is like that at the end of summer, right now the slow rolling hills are green, gorgeous and glorious. I stopped to smell the heavy scent of the purple lilacs in flower, reminding me of the lilacs which flowered every birthday of my mother. I want this journey to be about enjoying myself, enjoying the scenery and the people I meet.
Right now as I am writing this I am sitting in the dinning room of the Auberge Orisson, where a birthday party is in full swing. The fourth bottle of cognac has been just opened, and is nearly empty within ten minutes! The local people are singing, drinking and the cooks of our dinner are slightly pissed! Hm! Wondering who will cook our dinner? Life is lived to the full. Shame my French is nearly non existent, beyond I have no money, I don’t want a guide, and do you have hot water please? Non of which is sufficient for this afternoons conversation. I just love the ambience, the camaraderie, amongst the perigrinos and all the different nationalities. There is a real feeling of community on this Path, this Camino. may be that is the boon that will be given to us at the end?
Although the drunken Spaniard I. Pamplona, the one who slobbered, stumbled and slurred “what happens on the Camino, stays on the Camino”! At the time he sounded, looked and felt like an utter sleeze bag, and may be he is that, but the sentiment of the thought is , I think a good one. may be there is no way we can carry this sense of community into our daily lives after this experience, or may be this is the intention of walking the pilgrimage? Interesting concept.