|Riding up the French side toward the Spanish border across the Pyranees|
Wow, what a ride so far....
The weather in Bayonne was not great but as one can see from the photo the weather has improved.
Once in San Jean I began to meet many more pilgrims as is to be expected. Many people begin their journey there. Of course I´ve met folks from all over.
The first part of this section was unbelievably steep. I pushed my bike for about half. The next day was even longer and more gruelling. But here I am at the pass being greeted and cheered by the French contingent.
From here it was up and down but not like the first part...The rest of the ride to Roncessvalles was beautiful.
This is a hospitelero dedicated to Pilgrims. It´s a hostel run by volunteers and has been in continuous service since the 1200s or earlier. It sleeps about 180 people. The dorms and facilities have been renovated recently and is very clean and bright. I don´t sleep well in a room with 100 other people so I have been doing some camping.
That night after dinner there was a Pilgrim´s mass and blessing in the adjoining church. It was funny because my friend Alexander and I heard 2 completely different things. My Spanish is pretty good but there was a terrible echo in the church so it was unclear. But I thought I heard the priest say that, "Normally, communion is reserved just for Catholics but since you are all Pilgrims on the journey something, something....." My freind Alexander said he heard, "Communion is reserved for Catholics only"... In any case, I like to believe that what I heard was correct because I took communion. I was not struck dead on the spot by lightening. Besides WWJD What would Jesus do? He´d say, "Cut the crap, you are all welcome at the table. I did not invent religious differences or even religion"...Was he not the first true revolutionary?
If anyone is offended then good, I am following well.
Thanks for reading this. More photos: