Up and Over the Pyrenees on September 4th

I am posting this on September 7th.

The Refuge Orisson is an alburgue.  It has about 25 bunk beds in several
rooms.  We shared our room with Linda and Ian from Australia who had booked a tour.  The tour operators arranges the accommodations and transport of their luggage.  They only carry a very light dayback.  Linda and Duford are from Oregon.  They are doing the Camino just like us.  A typical breakfast of bread, butter, jam and coffee. 

We left Orisson at about 8:30 on September 4th and started the climb.  The weather was clear and chilly.  Halfway up we came upon a couple who had been at dinner the night before.  They were travelling with friend who was not in site after they had gone behind rocks to pee.  The rocks were 100 feet from the track.  His backpack was gone and they couldn’t remember if he had it on when he left to pee.  They thought he had gone on but weren’t sure. They were Sally was frantic.  Well, it all turned out fine, he had gone on and when he didn’t see them behind them he stopped and waited.  Sally gave Fred the heck and all was well.

All was so well with Fred but I was having a bad time after we crested the pass.  The descent is very steep and I was getting fatigued.  I got jelly legs and lost my balance and fell.  I could not get up.   I did not have the strength to get up with my pack on. This happened twice more.  I was only halfway down and we had two more hours to Roncevalles.  I was thinking I wouldn’t be able to climb down or I would fall again and sprain or break something and the show would be over.  I rested after the third fall and we walked to the monastery in Roncevalles at about 4:30, just in time to get one of the last bungalows.  The bungalows held four bunk beds and since we were first in got two lower bunks.  We shared with six young men.  Phillip, a young engineer from Germany.  Nicola, a young man from Belgium and four bicyclists from Russia (we think).  We shared a pilgrims meal of pasta, fish, salad, wine and bread with Catherine a doctor from Chicago who had been with us in Orisson.  Mass was at 7:30 followed by a Pilgrims Blessing. Sleep was easy.

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