September 4: Orisson – Espinal

Camino Frances de Santiago: a horse in the Pyrenees, near Orisson

What beautiful landscapes on this second day. Through the Pyrenees, you walk from France into Spain. It’s not an easy route and many pilgrims barely make it into Roncesvalles. For me and the others who had stayed in Orisson, it was much easier. This gave us the opportunity to fully enjoy the views.

Camino Frances de Santiago: Virgin of Orisson in the Pyrenees

Another advantage of sleeping in Orisson is that you walk the difficult part, to Roncesvalles, in the morning, when it’s relatively cool. The people who start in SJPP don’t reach this part until the afternoon and most of the time, there is no shade.

Close to the border, you pass the Cruz de Roldán: a cross and a fountain in remembrance of Roland of the famous Chanson de Roland.

Camino Frances de Santiago: a pilgrim in the Pyrenees, near Roncesvalles

As many pilgrims sleep in Roncesvalles, and it was a busy period, after vising the church and having lunch I decided to continue along the route, through Burguete to Espinal. Burguete is a very charming village which features in one of Hemingway’s books.

Camino Frances de Santiago: Collegiate Church of Santa María de Roncesvalles

In Espinal, the albergue was full, but there was a casa rural which had a vacancy: a three person room. I was walking with Claudia from Germany, and we both got a bed there. It was possible that a third person would show up, but this didn’t happen. We had dinner at a very nice outside bar at the end of the main street (actually the only street in Espinal, if I remember correctly). Great place to hang out.

Camino Frances de Santiago: pilgrim in a bar in Espinal

-> September 5: Espinal to Zubiri

<- September 3: Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Orisson