Saint-Michel, Orisson, France
Stayed in: Kayola Alb (website is the same as the Orisson alb)
Wow is the only word for the 2 hour plus walk (8km) uphill! And when I say uphill, that is an understatement. Each step and each bend in the road you thought might yield a level area… But no! Someone advised running stadium steps and that more realistically demonstrated the uphill incline… Except there were no levels .. Just hairpin turns that went up about 90 degrees!
We arrived at Kayola Albergue about noon .. It was closed but a nice French lady came and opened the place which is just lovely. All alone it sits in the middle of the incline so the view is spectacular! Best idea to stop here to enjoy our first night. Kayola and Orisson are the only two albergue on the mountain.
Since we were the only ones here we were able to wash all of our clothes and shower and pick beds with no competition. Soon another pilgrim came and another… Making 6, but easily we could move about the place … Eventually their were 12 in all. Stew was the only male!
Spent the afternoon relaxing in the breezy mountain sunshine. This is truly the start I had envisioned. Let’s hope legs hold up for tomorrow!
The evening dinner at Orisson Albergue was so nice. Just a mile up the road from Kayola. Everyone stood up and introduced themselves. A father and son are here from Penn State! Go figure! There were about 50-60 I’d say at dinner. We sat with a 68 year old woman that only spoke German (Heidi) and two other women that only spoke French! Everyone worked so hard to communicate… Could not have been more fun! We even drew pictures on place mats to make our points clear!
After dinner we all walked back to Kayola Alb and got ready for bed and tomorrow’s departure. The girls hung out with a resident monk outside the albergue waiting to see the blood moon. Our plan is to wake early so we can walk slowly! Everyone is so nice in our albergue and they cannot believe we plan to leave at 5:00am!
We shall see…