Today is a short 8k but steep hike from SJPDP to Orisson Refuge. The short day was planned as a way of easing into the Camino without overdoing it.
I walked down the hill from the Alburgue, through the gates of St Jean Pied de Port, crossed the iconic bridge and I was soon off to start crossing the Pyrenees.
The uphill starts as soon as you leave SJPDP and you follow a small country road into the mountains. Today I gain 944 meters of elevation in the 8 k to Orisson.
The Camino arrows turn left for a shortcut through pastures on a steep dirt farm track. I needed to stop quite often for short breaks to catch my breath. This did provide more opportunities to just soak in the magnificent scenery of the Pyrenees.
After climbing about 7 kilometres we were passing Gite Kayola and noticed it was open. Just too hard to resist the chairs and take a break for morning tea.
After the last climb you can see the road ahead but then the concealed Orisson Refuge seems to magically appear as you round the last bend.
Time to shower and do the washing before heading across the road to the deck for a beer and enjoy the view before dinner.