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Stage 1: Saint Jean to Roncesvalles

MakennaPamplonaMakenna and I stepped foot onto the Camino early this morning. We weren’t prepared. I’d slept fitfully and Makenna told me as she was rolling out of bed, “I didn’t sleep a wink. I guess I’m just so nervous.”
We stuffed our sleeping bags into our backpacks and then started prepping our feet for the 25 kilometers that lied in front of us.
“Dad, I have a blister.”
“What! When did that happen?”
“I don’t know. My toe was hurting a little yesterday but I didn’t realize I was getting a blister.”
We’d done a lot of walking yesterday in Pamplona and St. Jean Pied de Port but I had no idea it was taking a toll on Makenna’s feet. I bandaged her blister and spread a liberal dose of Vaseline over her feet. That’s really all I could do at this point. We walked out the door of the albergue at 6:30 and headed up into the mountains. Elaine and I had taken this same route in September, two years ago. It’s now June and although I wouldn’t call it hot, it was certainly a lot warmer, with very high humidity. The climb up was hard on us. The first day is always hard. I was actually surprised at how strong Makenna was, she kept pace with me, kept putting one foot in front of the other. She had endurance.
First stop is Orrison. It’s about a third of the way up the Pyrenees Mountains, 8 km into the trip. We took our time, stopped to rest and drank plenty of water. Two hours later we reached a downhill stretch that led to the Orrison Albergue. I was in the lead and stretched out my pace, anxious for a cafe con leche and pastry. Glancing behind me I noticed Makenna falling behind, she seemed to actually slow down. I thought to myself, ‘That’s strange, she should of sped up.’
I walked into the albergue, ordered a couple coffees and waitied.
Makenna joined me a few minutes later. She sat down and pulled off her shoes.
“My feet are hurting.”
“Let me see.”
I lifted her feet up to the chair and took a look. My stomach sank. She now had four large blisters.




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