Yesterday (the first day) is what I and most other pilgrims believe to be the most difficult day of the entire Camino, even when the 15.3 miles walked makes it the shortest of the stages I will attempt. The hike from St-Jean-Peid-de-Port, France to Roncesvalles, Spain is the day you cross the Pyrenees. It is by far the steepest stage of the walk, the elevation chance is significant and fast. Your complete exhaustion and pain (knees) is rewarded by magnificent views and good company. This year I was blessed with a sighting of a Pyrenees Condor, a rare and amazing bird. I will say when you are totally exposed in gale force winds on the open high pastures and one of the world larges scavengers is flying overhead It will cause you to question the choices you have made that have brought you to this point.
The day ended with a good meal share with 8 folks from all over the world. At that dinner the countries represented were: Spain, Germany, France, Canada, China and the US. As is so often the case they all spoke English which left me feeling both grateful and a little sad that I am not multi-lingual, I can barely speak English.