Days 1 and 2 in the books
Day 1 of the Camino is widely accepted as the toughest day of all, as you must cross the Pyrenees mountains to get to Spain. There are 2 paths you can take for Stage 1, the Napoleon route or summer route which is steeper but shorter and offers stunning views and the winter route whose name I can't remember but is less step but longer. Our intention was to take the Napoleon route as most pilgrims do if the weather is good, but we inadvertently took a wrong turn and ended up on the longer route which we did not find out until we thought we were halfway to our destination and then found out we had an extra 3-4 miles to go. The route we were on was quite steep so I can only imagine how hard the other one was! We were very disappointed, but when we talked to other pilgrims today they all said it was brutal. Our hike was hard enough, and we got a later start than planned due to a hiking pole snafu, so we were a little concerned when we were still in the woods at 4:30. We started to worry that we would still be hiking in the woods in the dark. Luckily we weren't, and arrived at our hotel at 6:00 along with a bus load of 80-year olds.
Today was a shorter hike but still with some incline. It was much cooler and the trail today had a lot of shade but not the "numerous water fountains" that were promised in the Camino guidebook. Lesson learned.... always start the day with plenty of water and don't believe everything you read!!!
I've had many moments of doubt as to whether or not I'm up for the challenge of walking 13-20 miles a day for 30+ days (with a few rest
days). I am bruised, sore, exhausted, exhilarated, nervous, joyful and every other emotion you can think of,. I think I will just have to take it one day at a time.