Camino de Santiago: Napoleon Route
After more than 24 hours of non-stop traveling, I finally started my Camino today. Walking out of Saint Jean Pied de Port I felt an incredible sense of freedom as I started my trek towards Roncevalles. To make things even better, the Napoleon route finally opened after a very cold and snowy winter.
Starting at the bottom towards Orrison I could not help but pause every now and again just to take in the breathtaking views. The winding road making it’s way up the mountain gives one a very false expectation of what lies ahead.
Once I got to Orrison and stopped for a quick coffee, I thought to myself that this route is definitely not as tough as I was told. The very deceiving winding road then takes one even further up the mountain.
At one point I stopped to remove my jacket as it was becoming too hot. I was so happy with the amazing sunny Spring day that made the views even more spectacular. About 45 minutes later, as I was starting to walk up to what I thought was the mountain peak, I was suddenly hit with the iciest wind. From there I slowly started realizing that this route was not showing me all there is to know.
This is where the fun really started! I felt like a true adventurer as I struggled to find my way through the snow.
From here on the climb just did not stop and ultimately I found myself sinking into the snow at a height level of 1300 meter. Many people decided to take the Valcarlos route as it is much easier, however even though this route was really tough, I loved every second of it.
As I made my way down the mountain into Roncesvalles, already stiff from the walk, I had only one thing in mind: Ice cold beer!