Our second day on the Camino would take us through the Pyrenees from Orisson to Roncesvalles. We had a late start that day, waking up around 7 am. By the time we made it down for breakfast, most of the people were already on their way out. The path started as a slow consistent uphill path by the road. We had another beautiful day of sunshine and no rain. The walk in the morning was cool and breezy and the panoramic views of the mountains were breathtaking.
Slowly but surely, we hiked onwards it was a 16km hike from Orisson To Roncesvalles. We would reach the highest point of the Pyrenees today at 1,400 metres. There were no small towns to take breaks. However, out of nowhere, we spotted a food truck that served fruits, boiled eggs and beverages. We took a little break and shortly after we found ourselves at the Fountain of Rolande. This marks the border between France and Spain on the Pyrenees. Once we crossed the border, we came into some trees, which was different from the flat pastures of the French side.
The afternoon sun soon started to take a toll on us and we found ourselves slowing down as we reached the highest elevation of our time in the Pyrenees. From the highest peak, we could see our destination, Roncesvalles, down the mountain.
We took another short break airing out our tired feet, before the climb down. We had two choices down the mountain, a trail through a wooded path or the road. We took the wooded path, which was extremely steep. The downhill seemed to last forever and we were exhausted by the time we finally hit the bottom.
We reached Roncesvalles around 3 pm. It’s a small town where you could literally stand in the middle of the road and see the beginning and end of town. There are two popular choices for accommodation – La Posada and the Monastery Albergue. We stayed in a private room in La Posada and also had dinner there. The room was nice but the dinner wasn’t that great. The Monastery doesn’t offer dinner so most of the pilgrims staying there had dinner at La Posada.
We ate with our fellow pilgrims around the table and though the meal was terrible, the company was great. Afterwards, we passed out in our beds, knowing the next day would be our first real long walk, approx. 27 km to Larassoana.
Camino Tips – Orisson to Roncesvalles:
- Have enough water. There are not many opportunities to fill up. There is a food truck just before the Fountain of Rolande and another food truck just before the long downhill to Roncesvalles
- Bring snacks and lunch (Orisson offers sandwiches to go for 5 euros each)
- There are no bathrooms from Orisson to Roncesvalles
- Private Room for 4 in La Posada costed us 95 euros and breakfast + dinner was 15 euros per person. Their website doesn’t seem to be working right now but they can be booked through booking.com