May - June 2017
  • Day1

    First day of travel in the bag

    May 3, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C

    Overnighting south of London after a 10-hour flight, 2 movies and no sleep. Got through customs and to hotel with no problems, and quick stops at airport Costa and Boots for caffeine and a travel adaptor.

    Walked into town to stretch my legs and grab dinner. Spotted a pub and stopped in for a pint. Neat chat with someone who was shooting pool with friends. Lee's shed 40+ pounds over past few years, and he couldn't have been more encouraging when I told him about my upcoming walk. Look forward buying him a pint on my way back!

    Grabbed takeout curry, watched local news, washed clothes in sink, and hit the sack early. Tomorrow it's planes, trains and automobiles on my way to St. Jean.
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  • Day2

    Planes, trains, automobiles, and feet

    May 4, 2017 in France ⋅ ☁️ 19 °C

    Well, it took all of the above-- and a buses too-- but I've made it to my starting point, St. Jean Pied de Port, France.

    Picked up my pilgrim's "passport," found a room for the night, hit an ATM, and enjoyed dinner-- the best pizza I've ever had in France!

    My day started at 1AM (thank you, jet lag) so I'm feeling loopy, and having a rough time keeping my eyes open. I'll be a *really* early night. Tomorrow I start walking toward Santiago.
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  • Day3

    First day walking

    May 5, 2017 in Spain ⋅ 🌧 13 °C

    Day One of the walk. I took the lower route through the Pyrenees, through Valcarlos. It may be lower, but it's sure no picnic.

    Today was the "easy" day-- 9 miles through a lovely green valley. It was a real challenge-- and tomorrow promises to be much harder, climbing over 2000 feet. Just gonna take it as it comes-- maybe that's one of my camino lessons.

    Great to have crossed into Spain! May still have the whole width of the country ahead, but being able to speak with the locals again is huge.
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  • Day4

    Up and over

    May 6, 2017 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 10 °C

    It was almost 8:30 before I staggered into my hotel, but today I dragged 300 lbs of Joe and pack over the Pyrenees, knocking down a challenge that had given me fits for months.

    Feeling gratitude for perfect weather, for my gear, my legs, and people I met along the way. I'm also feeling •completely• wiped out, as in "took 5 minutes of concentration just to get my body off bed and into shower."

    Now to bed, and a deep, deep sleep.
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  • Day6

    Taking it easy

    May 8, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    After the Pyrenees, I've decided to walk shorter distances the past couple days-- 15km yesterday, and about 5km today. That's less than many folks do in one day, but so what? It's not a race, I'm enjoying the ride-- and getting stronger!

    No major mountains, but days filled with constant climbs working my lungs and heart, and descents beating up legs and feet. No complaints though-- this is beautiful countryside, and I couldn't have asked for better weather.

    Tonight I'm staying in a cute pensión run by a young Italian and Polish couple (who met in Denmark and moved to Spain!) Tomorrow I head into Pamplona, about 15km away. I'll miss running with the bulls, but will enjoy seeing the city-- maybe even stay an extra day.
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  • Day8

    Larrasoaña

    May 10, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C
  • Day8

    To Pamplona

    May 10, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Great walk yesterday-- a mix of hills and flat ground, country and suburb, grand vistas and quiet creek pathway. Had plenty of time to think, and met many neat people-- including a woman who started in Belgium and has been walking since Feb!

    Got to Pamplona early enough to explore the city, run errands, and people watch. Enjoyed a glass of wine on the street where the bulls run.

    Today the weather's turned to rain. I'll get out into it soon enough...but for now, I'm lingering over my coffee.
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  • Day9

    Alta del Perdón

    May 11, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

    I was dreading today. Not the climb, but the prospect of a six-hour hike in the rain. I woke at 3AM to a raging storm, and thought about staying indoors today.

    So glad I didn't! The reward for dragging myself out the door was a stunning morning, and a terrific hike past one of the Camino's best known icons. Early tomorrow I'll pass yet another.Read more

  • Day10

    Stretching out

    May 12, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    It's the top of my second week, and I turned it up a bit. Got out the door early, and notched almost 30km by evening. (In all of week one I did 90km)

    I walked under threatening skies much of the day, and through a few brief showers. Crossed the famous bridge at Puente la Reina, met some interesting cats, and drank from a clown fountain.

    Though my feet are a bit sore, I can tell I'm getting stronger. The next few days are fairly flat, so I should be able to cover a good bit of ground toward Santiago.
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