Day 1. St Jean to Valcarlos. 12km/7.5m

No wonder it’s so green around here.

It felt just like home when I arrived at Bayonne to find a bus replacement to St Jean, but it was fast and comfortable. My Auberge was welcoming and clean (and I got a bottom bunk-yay) and 12 of us sat down to dinner. One Australian at the other end of the table and I and one of the German ladies were the only English speakers. My neighbours and subsequent roommates were German but they also spoke French. We mangled their language but communicated essentials like where we were from and where off to tomorrow and crucially, how much our packs weigh.

We woke this morning to a deluge. The outfitters shop across from the Auberge was doing a roaring trade in Altus ponchos. The advice from the pilgrim’s office (and my kind hospitalero) was to walk the Valcarlos route as thunderstorms were expected. I was happy to be a careful pilgrim and set off on my gentle introduction to the Camino. It rained for most of the morning but it was great to be walking at last. The route has some dodgy parts where you walk at the side of a main road but other sections were on country tracks and were quite beautiful. Perhaps because of first day nerves or the chickpea soup from last night, I had to have an unexpected al fresco experience (when I spoke to G on Skype later he asked if I’d taken a selfie).
The Valcarlos Albergue is warm, clean and I’ve got a bottom bunk again. The only other pilgrims here at the moment are an Italian couple. Needless to say we are communicating via French again. Just now an Australian lady and her two children have arrived (Annie, Morgan,11 and Lilly, 9).

View from the window next to my bunk. Drying clothes draped everywhere.

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11 thoughts on “Day 1. St Jean to Valcarlos. 12km/7.5m”

  1. Did Orisson to Roncesvalles today. Rained all day. Sleet at times, and the track was frozen at the top. The beech forest was beautiful. People without gloves suffered. Lovely in Roncesvalles. 🙂

  2. Well done dear, and a wise decision to avoid the upper route, I feel.

    Hope you have a good dinner and a rest, ready for tomorrow. xxx

  3. Shared pasta dinner with Italian couple and tomorrow I’m walking to Roncesvalles with Aussie Annie and her two children. Morgan has already sorted the clock on my iphone and put an app link to their three blogs on my ipad.

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