I climbed the mountain!

Orisson to Roncesvalles – 17.4kms

Surprisingly, apart from a little overnight mishap, I slept amazingly well. At some unknown hour, I woke up needing to go to the toilet and carefully climbed down my bunk to try and avoid waking my bunk mate or anyone else in the room.

That consideration disappeared completely when I smashed my face into the door and made the loudest sound possible and shook the whole door.

When I spoke to everyone in the morning, no one had heard a thing! If it wasn’t for the bruised cheekbone I am now sporting, I would have been convinced I had dreamt the whole thing!

Now, it is well established that I am not a morning person, but I knew I had to see the sunrise. Needn’t have worried though as sunrise wasn’t until 7:45am and breakfast was served between 7am and 7:30am and if you missed this half an hour, it was tough luck. With nothing but the possible chance of some man in a van being on the side of the road, missing brekkie wasn’t an option.

The sun was starting to make the glorious colours, but seeing it over the Pyrenees was just breathtaking.

Breakfast was nothing more than a baguette with jam and juice and cafe con leche. I knew juice wasn’t going to cut it and I don’t drink coffee, but I thought, I’m going to have to drink it.

OMG! That stuff is amazing!

It was served in a bowl, so I half filled it with hot milk, added some sugar and I was sold.

It was time to start climbing. Walking over the Pyrenees had been terrifying me from the beginning and I could feel the nerves fluttering. That was very quickly replaced with huffing and puffing!

It was hard to walk though simply due to looking back at the incredible view below.

Every time I thought, this has got to be the peak, it just continued up.

This is still not the peak…

After a couple of hours, the body was starting to drag when the oasis of the potential man in a van appeared. This little stall with fruits, boiled eggs, drinks was heaven. The wind was blowing a gale and freezing, but that 10 min stop sitting on a log was pure heaven.

It turns out I kinda missed the Virgin Mary statue. Firstly, I was expecting it to be bigger and secondly, we were getting an amazing show of vultures flying overhead.


Not long after this, we finally descended into the forest. This is what I was wanting on the Camino. The sheer beauty and stillness here had me pausing constantly. It’s going to take me forever to get anywhere if this continues.

What thrilled me though was the blackberries. I love blackberries and even though these were small, they were warm from the sun and delicious. BC and I were munching our way through blackberries for probably the last 3kms into Roncesvalles.

And finally, there it was. I had made it over. What an incredible feeling it was to slay this dragron.

Tomorrow, it’s on to Zubiri, but I’m feeling really good.

10 thoughts on “I climbed the mountain!

  1. Omg blackberries on a hike… yummy, I hate that in Australia while hiking you see a Blackberry bush but you can not eat them just in case they have been sprayed 🙄😁
    Oh and l loved your photos on this post, I always thought it was only road walking on the Camino, so glad to see its not.

    1. The further west we get, the less blackberries there are and I miss them! I know they need to spray them in Aus, but it was such a joy here to eat them freely.
      It’s been a lot of road walking lately, but soon it disappears again.

  2. So proud of you Karen! I knew you could do it. 😍 Glad you had great weather across the Pyrenees. I wasn’t so lucky as it was very foggy 3 years ago. Really enjoying your blog and the photos. I can actually visualize where you are each time you post. Enjoy the amazing journey. I know Bree is very proud of you as we all are here in Melbourne. Buen Camino. Sheryl xxoo

    1. Thanks Sheryl. It turned out, I loved this part. The views were just incredible and I couldn’t get over where I was. xx

  3. Isn’t it amazing. I remember lying on my back and watching the Gibbon vultures soar in the wind currents for what seemed ages. How good is the man with the Van . Going good girl

  4. See! That third hill at Goldfields prepared you for the Pyrenees! You’re welcome. 🤣🤣🤣

    But seriously, how amazing are you feeling now that the part you feared most is behind you and you slayed it? Congrats! 💪🏼

    1. 🤣
      Felt unbelievably good. I could have gone the following 6kms to the next town! Need a bit more of that power for the next part.

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