Cloister in Los Arcos on the Camino de Santiago

Cloister in Los Arcos on the Camino de Santiago

Monday, May 30, 2011

Day Two - St Jean to Orisson

DAY TWO - 17TH May – Early Morning in St Jean Pied to Port

Day two - Stage one of eight - only 8km through pleasant countryside - but rising over 2,000 ft - it may be less when measured in metres but we were walking with our feet...

St. Jean Pied de Port in the early morning. The dawn mist slumbers beyond the river Nive.

I rose early – around 6.00 pm and crept out of the hostel. I needn’t have bothered creeping. There were pilgrims already washing, rolling up sleeping bags and packing rucksacks. I walked down the Rue de la Citadelle to find pilgrims already on the march in the early light. St Jean had a magical, almost mystical feel to it. Full of suspense and pious romance.

We had a modest breakfast of coffee au lait and croissants. We left our ruck sacks in the entrance of the hostel at the tender mercies of Jacotrans, the taxi service that would bring our rucksacks ahead every day to our evening destination.

We spent the morning visiting the charming town of St. Jean. People killed time in different ways. Fraser bought a pair of shorts and others bought other essentials – sun cream and toothpaste.

We tried to spread our custom as wide as possible...

We had a simple lunch in a bar across from the Hotel de Ville. People were getting anxious at this stage to be started so we headed off through the Porte D’Espagne and into the foothills of the Pyrenees.

Porte D'Espagne leading out of town and into the Pyrenees, the real start of the Camino Frances. Left at the top of the street and just keep going straight for 800km.

The Murrays arrive at Orisson - eventually!

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