Let us say from the outset that this leg of crossing the Pyranees was the most difficult hiking thus far.

Our stay at the Orisson refuge was quite the experience as the pictures below testify to.

Front entrance to the refuge at Orisson.

Meeting our fellow ‘peregrinos’.

Ed unwinding and relaxing with a cold brew

We began the next day with a very early rise and a start to our day with a gorgeous sunrise.

The sunrise that began our 2nd day on the Camino. Breathtaking.

The climb from Orisson (still on the French side of the Pyranees) up and over the peak and down the backside into Spain was brutal. A big shout out to our good friend Philippe Daniel who advised us to do the crossing of the Pyranees in two days and not the one day we had originally planned on. Philippe’s advice was full of wisdom gleaned from his verrrry long hike from Switzerland through France and then the French route of the Camino we are doing to Santiago. Merci Philippe!

The pictures of this leg of the Camino in no way reflect how rugged and treacherous the terrain was. The hike down the backside of the Pyranees was extremely steep and very rocky. There was, however, beautiful scenery, shrines and ‘notre amis animaux’ to be seen and befriend.

Marc starting out.

One of Ed’s favorite group shots.

Marc making new friends.

A shrine to the Blessed Virgin we trekked across a field to to chant the Salve in honor of all our friends and family, especially our brother monks and friends at St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer.

Ed making and greeting his new friends.

Fountain of Roland at the French/Spanish border.

An ancient beech forest lining the. Camino path.

Ed as we began a rocky and treacherous descent down the Spanish side of the Pyranees.

After this long, treacherous descent and much hiking we finally make it to Roncesvalles.

Roncesvalles, finally, our next night’s stay.