They say you are what you eat-I don’t remember eating a frigging legend!                                         Today I walked nearly 18 kms through rain, hail, SNOW and fog so thick there was only 10 meters visibility!!! At times it was really scary as the path is so close to the edges. I thought someone was joking when he warned me to be careful not to fall over the edge along the ridge. Probably not normally a problem but the fog was so thick it was difficult to see the path. The snow was hard going and quite deep in places and I actually thought I was getting frostbite on my fingers from the icy wind. To conquer the mountains are a feat, but the conditions today were quite challenging. I was really glad to be walking with someone else because it gave us extra courage. So chuffed that the worst two days are over, but it was strangely exhilarating. Having been told many stories of the hungry birds  and pilgrims, I  saw some really huge vultures (the size of a small pterodactyl) circling above, so I was a little worried about slipping and injuring myself! Strangely enough, I absolutely loved today -everything about it. It was so exciting. (Sorry about the random flower picture -nothing to do with the mountain but I can’t get rid of it!            The walk down was difficult because of the snow, the mud and the rocks, and it was very steep, but I MADE IT, walked through lots of birch forests but they were a bit spooky as they are still barren from the winter. Spring was more evident  on the descent and leaves and little wild flowers were appearing. Now at Roncesvalles, in the Albergue. Went to the pilgrim mass and had a blessing, the trotted over to the restaurant for the pilgrim meal (pasta in tomato sauce with chorizo, trout chips and salad, and rice pudding with free red wine-really nice by the way) food and lodging $10!Bron – you HAVE to do this! You would absolutely love it! Although you might like to do it a bit later than April. 

                    

ORISSONAPRIL 20,                                                                                     I sat on a stone 1/2 way up into the Pyranees and watched a snail slither past my foot, and I thought, ‘C’est moi! L’escargot’  that’s how I felt, and probably looked with my pack on my back, moving my temporary home,but I am here for the experience, not the race. Woken by the birds this morning and my new friend Kay came to my hotel to wave goodbye as she is having a days rest first. Camino hug and off I went. Everything is so green and the wild flowers are beautiful.  Walked for a while with some Canadians who just wanted me to keep talking so they could listen to my accent.      We were distracted for a while by a male donkey who ran off to his mate heehawing at the top of his voice and mounted her.When he had finished she peed and turned away as if to say ‘Have you finished yet? Heavy mist cleared quite quickly and dauntingly unveiled the huge task ahead. There were many times that I said out loud “what the hell are you doing? And what were you thinking? But I just took my time, stopping regularly, and so often, pinching myself to remind me to savour the moment. The mountains are huge, awesome, beautiful and so STEEP!  At times it was almost vertical. Yes Terri Clemens, I have climbed the mountain and it is just like in the photo I showed you.  Now sitting in the Albergue drinking beer with some Aussies and Texans. Looking forward to my first pilgrim dinner tonight.…just back from pilgrim communal dinner. Veggie soup, lamb shanks, pasta and some sort of almond pie. I was expecting crappy wine but it was actually really nice.  Having a ball even though I’m exhausted. Took 3 and a half hours to walk 8kms because it is almost vertical. I believe it will be the same tomorrow. The view makes it all worthwhile and I keep turning around to see how far I’ve come.  I’m up amongst the clouds! Just as I walked in the door, it began to hail and we had a massive thunderstorm. Great timing. My two Brazilian room mates were caught in it and really scared. They were completely on their own and couldn’t see anything for a while.   Scene from my room. To my family, I changed my mind! Decided to go over the mountains so I would not be left wondering if I could have done it! No turning back. No wifi here so this will have to wait.

Weird…

 Words cannot describe the sensation of drinking a French cappuccino! When one drinks through a straw, one's mind expects cold, but this is hot coffee -that is freshly whipped cream on top!!! My mind and taste buds are very confused. It was strangely very yummy  though 

A day in Bordeaux

Such a beautiful place. People are so friendly, the streets are so clean and I was going to say that the air is so fresh but everyone smokes here! They even smoke in the restaurants and I had forgotten how awful that was. Oh, and the shopping is amazing!