Pilar, Adri and I have just started the Camino Francés! By just started, I mean a week ago. If you take a look at this map (that I stole from the internet), you can see where we are headed! The bold red line is more or less our route, ours is actually one step earlier than Roncesvalles! We started in St. Jean Pied de Port, France on a Monday afternoon! 
One of the difficult things about starting the Camino is getting to St. Jean! We came from Madrid and I think took the best route possible! 

On Monday morning Adri’s mom dropped us off at Atocha and at 7:35 we caught a train from Madrid to Pamplona and then took a taxi to the bus station in Pamplona…(well, we stopped at a sporting goods store quick to get sleeping bags for Pilar and I)…and then took a bus from Pamplona to St. Jean! The bus from Pamplona to St. Jean was enough to make anyone feel car sick so if you do get car sick, make sure to take some sort of anti nausea medicine if you decide to start your hike from there!  

   
Please take note of our backpacks, don’t worry, within the first couple days we definitely realized they were too heavy and sent about 4 kilos worth of stuff to Adris house by snail mail! 

Honestly, what I did before the Camino was read packing list after packing list! I seriously don’t know how I had (still have) so much stuff! 

Day 1 (Madrid-Pamplona) St. Jean-Orisson:

7,5 km (difficult at mid-day with sun!)

We got from Madrid to St. Jean and went to get our pilgrims credentials! 

 
Thanks, Anne! From there it was about 2:30 in the afternoon and we started walking to Orisson. If you know anything about weather in Spain, you know that their “hottest part of the day” is from about 2 to 5 pm. So, we had the great luck of walking through 100 degree temperatures! It definitely felt like it! 

       

St. Jean
 
So, Orisson maybe halfway to Roncesvalles but we wanted to get ahead and we heard the hike from St. Jean to Roncesvalles was brutal! So this was our time to give ourselves an “easy” hike! It wasn’t easy at mid day by any means but I am so glad we did it! I couldn’t imagine having to go all the way from St. Jean to Roncesvalles on that first day. Not to mention the Albergue in Orisson is great! It’s expensive but it comes with dinner and breakfast included so the price balances out, the price per person was €35! At dinner in Orisson we got introduced to everyone and then went to bed around 9! 

Also, another plus about Orisson is that there is an AMAZING sunrise in the morning!  


Day 2 Orisson-Roncesvalles:

18,2 km (Wind and Pyrenees, be warned!)

Here we go, our first full day, through the Pyrenees! Wind. Wind. Wind. Oh, wind. I was pretty sure I would get blown off the mountain. As we walked, it was breathtakingly beautiful with lots and lots of hills. 

Pyrenees
    
Highest point before Roncesvalles
  In Roncesvalles we stayed at the Albergue municipal de Roncesvalles, I don’t think there’s another option, but I wouldn’t choose anything else! It wasn’t so bad!  
Albergue in Roncesvalles
 
Day 3 Roncesvalles-Larrasoaña 

27 km (Hills! So. Many. Hills. So. Hot)

We left Roncesvalles pretty early and saw our first sign for Santiago…only 790 km to go!

   

We left early, but who knows what happened and got in late, this was our longest day of the week! This day I sent Adri’s bag by messenger service which is why you will see Adri with my bag! We put the heavy stuff in his bag and sent it away, we were too tired to bother with all that weight! 

   
    
    
    
 It was a long day and I am so grateful we stayed at the Albergue San Nicolas instead of the Albergue municipal. Our Albergue was new and reformed and had a kitchen so we could cook! 

Day 4 Larrasoaña-Zariquiegui 

25.9 km 

This day we passed by Pamplona and sent a few things because our bags weighed so much! We stayed at the Albergue San Andrés in Zariquiegui, it was ok but not much space to dry clothes! 

Day 5 Zariquiegui-Cirauqui

20.8 km. 

Day 6 Cirauqui-Villamayor de Monjardín

23.4 km 

Day 7 Villamayor de Monjardín-Viana


That finishes our first week on the Camino, how many

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