Sunday, April 24, 2022

Day 2 - 24 April - Orisson to Burguete

As the famous Tina Turner song goes: 

I can’t stand the rain, on my poncho…..

It’s now 8.30 pm in Spain as I gaze out of our hotel bedroom window to admire a clear blue sky framing the lush fields and mountains of the Pyrenees. Earlier today, we walked a hard twelve miles along the Ruta Napoleon, a stretch of the Camino many believe to be the most picturesque of the entire five hundred mile route. But you’ll have to take their word for it because we saw next to nothing of it. To be fair, the wet mist that enveloped us throughout was better than the forecast of day-long rain but we did eventually have to resort to ponchos. No one looks good in a poncho (with the possible exception of Quasimodo), not even the nice young German ladies who powered past us, presumably on zer veigh to anuzzer feefty five kilometers in vun day. They did look very nice though when I bade them guten morgen in the communal washroom facilities, first thing this morning.

Anyway, after breakfast at the refuge we set off at 8.00 a.m. heading slowly but surely to the 1,450m high point of the Ruta Napoleon before dropping down fairly steeply towards Roncesvalles and then a welcome level stretch of path in to our destination for the day at Burguete. “Dropping down” is a good description for the descent because the steep, uneven path works your knees hard, leaving them feeling very wibbly wobbly and increasing the likelihood of taking a stumble. It was only four days since this stretch was covered in snow but that had now dissipated leaving soggy, boggy conditions underfoot. But we made it.

The writer Ernest Hemingway was apparently a regular visitor to Burguete. I know that's not desperately exciting and neither is this picture but it’s the most scenic thing we saw today.

I can’t tell you anything about the wonderful scenery for obvious reasons but, after yesterday’s poor showing on the beer front, I can tell you that today’s first beer was taken at La Posada de Roncesvalles with three more at the hotel in Burguete prior to dinner. 

A nice bit of privacy tonight for Mrs C and I, plus a warm room in which to dry out our ponchos and plan for tomorrow’s adventure. And the blue sky I can see out of the window bodes very nicely for tomorrow, thank you very much.

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