Day 1 10.53km 653m elevation gain max 34C
Buen Camino me amigos! Day one done and dusted! (Photos delayed due to internet issues!)
The night cooled down, and after going to sleep with fan on and a very light sarong as a sheet I pulled my blanket on sometime through the night. One of our room mates from the US turned the fan off as the night cooled and we all slept quite well.
Whether it was enthusiasm or jet lag I will never know but my beloved was up and ready before me. We were supposed to be awoken by soft music at 6:15 remember? But we were just flowers in the attic so no wake up call for us – it didn’t matter we were in peak condition and raring to go. We made a couple of last minute changes to husbands pack which meant I had to bid farewell to the crocs that had travelled with me for quite a few years. I have teva sandals now that I can also walk in if needed so the crocs were unnecessary weight but I will miss them so…
We joined some others for the continental breakfast which was basically cereal or bread. I was planning on avoiding bread (and cereal) but I was starving. Our accomplice from Transylvania had thought ahead and carried her own bread (she became addicted two years ago and is back for her third camino) (addicted to the Camino that is not the bread). She also had some cheese and offered to share. I was pleased to accept the offer. So cheese and bread, how very camino! A glass of juice each and tea or coffee. It seems I have bid farewell to my last cappuccino for some time. I will miss thee but will try and replace you with a cafe con leche sin azugar – milk coffee without sugar – its strong coffee to me so I may end up adding sugar!
Anyway we left Beilari just before 8 and I pulled in to Orisson just after 11. My Garmin said just over 10km although all the guidebooks and signs suggest somewhere between 7.7 and 9km. Ill take the Garmin distance as I like to walk a little extra you know.
The day started at quite a pleasant temperature but the heat kicked in oh I guess somewhere around the 4 minute mark! I’m not kidding. The shade was beautiful but the sun just kept rising! And it kept getting hotter and hotter. I have been training in the cool mornings of the Brisbane winter. Woe woe woe is me! The further we went up, the hotter it got. And it was humid.
Hunto arrived at just the right time as one of our American room mates agreed. It’s a small albergue about three quarters of the distance up to Orisson and you can have a drink and use the facilities – tomorrow there is no such luxury. Once leaving the comfort of the plastic chairs it felt like we had transformed into mountain goats – and not very good ones at that. Indeed we were meant to be tropical mountain goats at this point but desafortunatemente we were from winter in Brisbane!
Feeling hot hot hot!
I was feeling good on the incline up from Hunto but then the heat took its toll. I think I stopped every 100metres to catch my breath in the end. My beloved took off at great pace after one of my breathing stops. I had thought I was going to beat him in for once but off he went and once he was out of site I plodded on metre by metre, sun blaring down, sweat dripping off my face.
Finally I turned a corner and miraculously a tap sat idle in the sun. I immediately wet my entire head and cooled my limbs with a wet buff! It was only a couple of hundred metres around the corner that I located a tree with a magnificent spread of shade. Needless to say I threw down my pack and pulled out my $2 eBay fan and stuck it my phone. Oh what joy ! Friends walked by and marvelled at the ingenious invention that had found its way into my life. I can thank my friends daughter for that one! As I said the temperature was up to 34 degrees Celsius and combined with extreme humidity it was damned hot! Most of our friends from last night were either in front or hot on our tails. In fact I was having déjà vu as everyone was passing me. (Well not everyone but a lot !)
Finally I found the energy to turn off my $2 Chinese fan and throw my back pack back on. Funnily enough I probably wasn’t 300metres from Orisson! As I turned the corner and wandered in with a spring in my step my beloved took the opportunity to offer to take my pack the 7 metres from where we met! What a guy! “I’ll take it myself I said – you can carry it tomorrow!”
Dinner was another chance to get to know some new pilgrims although beforehand the afternoon provided an opportunity to have a beer or two (or more if you’re someone I know!) Staying hydrated is a priority when hiking in the heat. It also helps your brain function! We started to remember peoples names and because we now had a number of Irish friends we also started speaking in accents! Sadly I missed saying goodbye to our Romanian Ted expert! But the Irish spy was still investigating the same digs as us and we had additional accomplices from Italy, America, Spain and even Australia!
I will try and update this post in a day or two when the internet works! The photos are not playing fair!