Probably not! Just stop thinking about it right now – it’s a ridiculous idea. Only joking, but frankly, the first day of the most commonly traveled section of the Camino is a bitch. There are basically two ways to do it: Saint Jean Pied de Port to Orisson, France or Saint Jean Pied de Port to Roncevalles, Spain. The first way is easiest by 5 1/2 miles and a lot of elevation. So, of course, we chose the first way, and regardless, it was very difficult.
Saint Jean Pied de Port is a lovely place to start. It is full of quaint cafes & restaurants & well-rested, enthusiastic pilgrims. The Way (aka the Camino) starts right outside of town and goes straight up. We left town at 7:30 and arrived at Orisson at 10:30 – only 3 hours and 5 miles – but arrived a tired, wet mess (not due to rain). It seems as if, for large sections of the trail, we had to stop every few yards. There were spectacular views along the way – a good thing as we spent lots of time standing, hoping to get some oxygen as we gasped for breath.
Day two was longer (10 1/2 miles) and higher but easier and the views continued to be as breathtaking as the climb. There were lots of sheep, cows, and horses and some shepherds with their herding dogs but no fences. The sounds were of bells, wind, and water.
And so it goes. Old people on the road. All muscles sore but alive and in awe.