I’d estimate this morning that about 300 people left Saint Jean on the walk over the Pyrenees to Roncesvalles. Because I split the journey in two, I was effectively able to start halfway where I’d left off the day before, which put me ahead of the other walkers, which was really awesome.
I felt like I was almost walking alone over the Pyrenees, with just the occasional glance of another pilgrim in the distance way behind me. Of course, they tend to catch up and pass me as I’m walking so slowly.
What is really interesting is that I’m finding that I’m enjoying the solitude of the whole experience which I kind of thought I would.
Earlier on today, coming up over the Pyrenees, a young German guy joined me and we talked for a while. Really nice guy to chat with. But I found that I actually resented the company. It broke my rhythm and my thoughts. In the end, I asked him politely if I could walk alone.
Walking alone in this environment is just so awesome. You’re at peace, you have the sounds of the animals. It’s just so tranquil, and I found that walking with someone else who wanted to chitchat was actually quite invasive. I really do enjoy just walking on my own. And catching up with people at lunchtimes and dinnertimes, that’s fine, but I think I’m enjoying walking on my own.
For now anyway….
I’ve now crossed into Navarra in Spain and about another 8 kilometers to go, with a lot of which is downhill into Roncesvalles.
The day is absolutely perfect. There’s a few clouds, the sun is shining. There’s no wind, it’s really cool. In fact, there’s even some snow on the ground. Day 2 is looking just as awesome as Day 1.