Mountains exist only for a challenge. Humans only exist to accept the challenge.
-Paulo Cohelho, The Pilgrimage
We got into town last night about 11:30 pm by bus. The train got cancelled and we had to take a bus from Bayonne to St Jean Pied de Porte. I climbed onto the bus and sat down next to South Africa’s real life Don Draper, Jack Michael. He was about 60. He asked if I was doing the Camino. I said, “yes, and you?”He said everyone on this bus is doing it. Wow! This is 20x’s the people I saw last time. I asked him what made him want to do it. He said, “I read Paulo Cohelho, The Pilgrimage and I saw The Way.” He proceed to tell me he just sold his stake in his advertising agency; sent his last kid off to college; and wanted to see if this strange road to Santiago could help him with what’s next.” The guy next to me, the meteor dealer, said, “what book are you talking about?” Manwella and Enrique from São Paulo spoke up and said, “the name of de book is de Pilgrimage. Paulo is Brazilian from our country.” We all talked the entire hour and a half up the winding, narrow road to St Jean. We talked about anything and everything. Mostly we were fascinated by the meteorite business. Quite a niche market. 100’s of questions came out of our perplexed mouths!
Once we got to St Jean, the entire bus descended on the town in search of a bed. We looked like a bunch of mice scurrying for their are looking for our mouse hole when the light comes on! After a very bad nights sleep, Jack, Meteor man and myself started to climb! It was a straight hike up for 13 miles into the Pyrenees. Jack couldn’t keep pace so we left him. Once we got to Orrison, meteor man and I ran into Team Brasil. I had a beer and we climbed together into the clouds for the rest of the day. All day literally in the clouds, up. We couldn’t see 10 feet in front of us. This was by far the hardest day of the Camino. The beat writers are definitely right!
We stopped at the top of the mountain at what looked like a food truck in the middle of no where. I bought a block of sheep cheese, two hard boiled eggs and a hot coke. This was the last stop before gladly crossing from France to Spain on the decline down the back of the Pyrenees. Played with the big ear’d dog tied to the truck and then we started walking again.
We are now in Roncesvalles about to have a big dinner before I find my campsite for the night.
Great dinner. Meet two girls from The Faroe Islands and we talked Whale Wars. The last episode of that show was in their hometown and it didn’t shed too good of a light on them. They said it was comical to see American sensationalism and the tape that got cut up on the cutting room floor.
My devotional today from Jesus Calling (gift by way of Amber) was from June 30th. I am a day behind but so fitting.
– I am the Way the Truth and the Life. As you follow me, I lead you along paths of newness: ways you have never imagined. Don’t worry about what is on the road ahead. I want you to find your security in knowing Me, the one who died for you.
I am slowly starting to lose my fear of the future. Lindy and I had so many plans and dreams and now that she is gone, I can’t find inspiration or enthusiasm about anything. It is slowly coming back to me: how to live again.
Ciao for now,