Dear Christine and Renee’.

We were up and out of the refuge at Orisson by 8:00 AM. 7 AM breakfast was disappointingly thin and consisted only of French bread, butter, and jelly. There was hot coffee and orange juice.

Britton on the road, first steps 
There were moments when the fog cleared. 

I had purchased sandwiches for us to carry along the way, ham and cheese on baguette. They were a lifesaver and did a great job of staving off hunger when we ate them around noon.

Much of the time today was like walking in the middle of a ping-pong ball. White out conditions. We could barely see 100 feet in any direction. It was cold, wet, with alternating rain and drizzle… and it was also wonderful!

A French gentleman walked with us much of the day. He speaks very little English. Britton and he conversed in French and Britton provided translation for me. He really cast his shyness aside.

The elevation increase (2100 feet) was greater than what we experienced yesterday, but spread over a much longer distance. Britton felt today was the more difficult of the two days and I felt yesterday was more challenging.

Today was a day to make friends and spend the hike with new companions. I will identify some of the pilgrims in the photographs.

Britton and I with a Saya (sp) from Romania and Jell (sp) from France.
Our group here includes Pierre from Sweden, Lana, Abbey, and Erica, from the States. we are at the border between France and Spain. 

One surprise was a food truck in the middle of “nowhere”. Sodas, sandwiches, candy bars, and best of all homemade cheese made for a delightful pause in the hike.

Food truck!
Our host, a true Camino angel. 
Our group enjoying snacks at the food truck. 

Britton has frequently vocalized how much he is enjoying this experience. He is blown away by the beauty and the variety of people that we are meeting. He is already planning to walk another Camino and take his friends along, him as their guide!

There were places where the mud was ankle deep and given the area livestock, of questionable composition. One of our companions, Lana from Washington, was wearing Crocs!

Arrival at the monastery. 

We will eat dinner at the monastery tonight at 7 with mass following at 8 PM. I have also arranged to take breakfast here before we “hit the road“ early in the morning.

Britton gets top bunk (again).
I looked down the hall on our side of the first floor dormitory. 

I am sorry if this post seems a little “scattered“, but I am trying to get it uploaded before dinner, Mass, and lights out.

Love to you both. Peace, Dad.

Written at the Monastery at Roncesvalles, Spain, June 11, 2024.

The Long And Winding Road. 
Britton finds a small friend. 
More “friends”, but the bull did not look so friendly. We did our best to walk around him. 
There were moments when the vistas were spectacular. 
The border between France and Spain. 
This is an emergency shelter, which has a fireplace, two beds, and emergency phone. 

20 thoughts on “The Monastery at Roncesvalles

  1. YAY!! One of the hardest days – in the books! We did not stay at Orrison – but we DID get jamon y queso baguettes to take with us on our journey. THANK HEAVENS – because of the chill and the sleet/snow we needed the fuel. I can bring back the joy of such a simple sandwich in such a beautiful setting. Ah – collecting new best friends already!! Excellent. I love that Britton is already talking about coming back and bringing his friends. One of my kids that we took in 2016 (who vowed never to go back honestly) recently asked to return to the Camino – which makes my heart sing! Thank you – thank you for allowing us to come along on your adventure! Buen Camino my friend … little by slow, we achieve big things!


    ❤️ Perhaps my favorite part of this post was that Britton is walking and conversing in French — and providing translation for you. Marvelous.

  3. Loving the beautiful country your (we) are venturing through. Of course my feet are dry and not muddy. So you can pass across country boundaries without some sort of inspection. How does that work? Britton looks like he is in good spirits.
    Good luck and happiness.

  4. The hardest day of the walk is in the books and you are warm and dry tonight. Love that Britton was translating for you. And love that he loves it! Be sure to get pics tomorrow at the 790 sign!! HYOH!!

  5. Another great post! Yay, Britton and not being shy to use his French knowledge! And wanting to come back with friends (of course, it is still early on this adventure!) Stay well!

  6. Peter Tremain says:

    Wow!! It must bring you great joy to experience with him Britton’s excitement and wonder as he discovers the world of the Camino, the vistas and the spontaneous relationships.

What Do You Think?