Camino Trip Day 5: Camino Day 1:

Published: May 13th 2022
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**Let me apologize for the delays in posting. Its been hectic and often there isn't a good connection. I will post more photos when I have a better connection

Last night I slept well, but in spurts, waking up every few hours. At about 6:30am, Manoli woke me up and we started packing. We had to be out of our room by 8am, but the host said we could leave our backpacks by the door as long as we wanted. We were all packed and ready to go soon after 7am. We stuffed our lightweight backpack with the heavier, less needed stuff, put 8 Euros in the envelope, and left it by the door. We'd decided to leave casually around 8:30, so we walked into town, looking for a cafe. We'd about given up, when we spotted a place that served unusual treats, made of cheese or some kind of fruit, and coffee! I had a tres formages (3 cheeses), along with 2 cups of cafe au lait. We decided it was time to get going, so we headed back to the Gite to pick up our backpacks.

We grabbed our backpacks and headed out. First, we had to get to the Spanish Portal. We got there, and found a gentleman standing around, so we asked him to take a photograph of us, and we were off! I guess I didn't remember the early part of the walk well, because it was almost all up hill, and I mean up! I struggled quite a bit, as did Manoli, although not quite as much as I did. I guess I'm not as young as I used to be. We didn't get passed much, so that's a good thing. Besides taking breathers a few times, we stopped a Gite that had a drink machine, so I could get an orange soda and sit down a few minutes. There were a number of times I wasn't sure I could keep going, but I did. By the second part of the walk, I was noticeably dragging more than Manoli. We knew that we were close to Refuge Orisson, but seeing it was a surprise, and a welcome one at that. I don't know if I'd mentioned it, but there seemed to be a problem with my reservation, way back in February when I made it. I used there website, and didn't realize I could reserve two spaces at the same time, just by clicking the down arrow, so I'd made two separate reservations, and somehow the date changed itself. After I made the reservations, I received an email asking if I was reserving 1 or 2 spaces, and was it for the 8th or 9th of May. Well, I know I responded with 2 spaces for the 9th of May, but I never got an answer. I had sent a follow-on email, 3 times, but still no response, so I was worried about the reservation. Well, we got there and there was good news and bad news. Apparently my reservation had not been accepted or completed, but the good news is that they had 2 spots for us. What a relief! If we couldn't stay there, we would have to find a place in St. Jean or Roncevalles, and get a taxi there, then return to Refuge Orisson the next day to continue our walk.

We grabbed our mini backpack that we'd sent ahead, and headed inside. We got two bunks, in the upper section of the Refuge, . The lady gave us and a couple of others a brief tour of the facilities. We got two bunks together and two lockers. We stowed our stuff and went out to the terrace for a cafe au lait, and to relax, after replacing our shoes with sandals. I went back in to try take a nap while Manoli did the laundry, but I just couldn't sleep. We spent the next four hours or so sitting on the terrace. I worked on my blog and photos, and Manoli checked on the laundry. At 7pm they served our dinner. First it was a delicious vegetable soup, then a chicken that was oh so tender. They topped it off with some fairly good cheesecake. After the meal, everyone introduced themselves, giving their name, where they were from, and why they were doing the Camino. There was a pretty wide variety of people from all over, and with all sorts of reasons for doing the Camino, some of which were sad, like they were doing this for the dead child, wife that had cancer, etc.

After dinner, we took a shower, organized our backpacks, and hit the sack. Tomorrow would be another long, hard day, even though we'd be sending our backpacks ahead this time. We would carry the smaller backpack with water and the necessities.

Additional photos below
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15th May 2022

And it begins
Refuge Orisson looks lovely. How luck y that you remembered that the first day was hard and booked this stop. I'm enjoying following along. Cheers, Ren

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