The first day is the longest day

Sept 17

The first day of any walk is always the hardest. If you have spent the night before in an alberge it could be even harder. On one end there are excited people who talk far into the night and on the other there are people who get up very early  to get a jump on the race for a bed at the next alberge. Add to this the rule that everyone is out by 8 am. Our hospitaler does a yeoman job fixing breakfast for all of us and we are off.

The forecast is for rain but the morning is clear. The first steps are brisk.? We are happy and up to the days walk which is given a 5 ( hardest ) rating for “terrain. Read that hills, steep hills. 

We are always the slowest on the trail. We average about two miles an hour so we are already planning to stay in a hotel tonight as the next alberge only has 14 beds.

After four hours of up up up the pack has doubled its weight, we are twice as old and half as strong, we are only half way and it is raining lightly so the path has become muddy and slipperyand of course, steep. The views are the Bay of Bisque are shrouded by clouds and usual slow pace gets even slower.After seven hours and a very steep road down and a ferry ride across the harbor it’s time for google to find us a hotel. 

We spend an hour following the dots to our hotel and go round and round and finally realize the pile of rubble on the corner is what is left of our hotel.

More google.  Another mile to a hotel which is full.  We give up. A taxi takes us to a hotel and we go to bed.

7 thoughts on “The first day is the longest day”

  1. Go, Nancy! Willem Brans shared this with me. The scenery looks gorgeous and, Lord knows, this is good for your spirit and health. Enjoy! You are an inspiration to us all. – Betsy


    1. Well don’t be too impressed. It died get easier every day and today I gave away one pound of foot care first aid to a guy from Omaha Nebraska whose feet are a wreck. Just back from wine and delicious tapas. Bath. Long soak and bed by 8: 30 xn Sent from my iPhone



  2. Dear Nancy,

    Goodness, I hope that’s your most difficult day- it sounds grueling. I’m so glad you’ve started a blog and, as always, your photos are spectacular.

    Bruce and I took a five day hiking trip in Austria and Bavaria this August which we felt was strenuous but yours looks much more difficult.

    Happy Trails,


  3. Dear Nancy: I walked that same terrain last summer. There’s a wonderful albergue in Pasaia, which is as far as I got on that rainy wet day. It’s an enchanting town where Victor Hugo spent a month and where the Marquis de Lafayette set sail to fight alongside George Washington. Buen Camino! Marek


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