St Jean Pied-de-Port to Espinal
Day 2, Sunday 25 August 2013
Distance to Santiago 807 km
By the afternoon we had climbed 1 450 metre.
On our way we saw Griffon vultures, wingspan 2,5 m, and other smaller hawks and falcons. We also saw the Pyrenean wild horse, running wild and free.
We also saw sheep with long hair, apparently Manech breed. High on the hill there was a mobile Camino office where we stamped our Camino passports and bought fresh bread, boiled eggs and sheep cheese.
Statue of the Virgin Vierge d’Orisson (also Vierge de Biakorri 1 095 m above sea level). The statue symbolizes devotion on the Camino. Doing the Camino could be part of completing a circle. People brought things of value from home and left it at the feet of this statue, photographs of loved ones, flowers, etc. I brought soil from Raymond’s grave and left some there. There are a difference between the taste of sweat and the taste of tears.
Downhill to Roncesvalles. Since we changed our plans to start at St Jean, we were 60 km behind schedule and decided to catch up by walking 5 or 6 km more per day. For the pilgrims, Roncesvalles was the resting place after the walk over the Pyrenees. Maar omdat die Voortrekkers kaalvoet oor die Drakensberge getrek het en ons darem skoene aangehad het met ons tog oor die Pyrenees is daar besluit om 6 km verder as Roncesvalles te stap na Espinal.
Outside Roncesvalles 6 km from Espinal
The fact that we were behind schedule resulted in doing more in a situation where one was already pressed physically and mentally to the extreme. I felt that we were running the Camino and not walking. But we had a problem to be solved catching up.