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The Camino

Tastylia for sale In August and September 2017 I went on a little walk.  It was 890km, give or take.  The walk is an ancient pilgrimage route called the Camino Frances or the French Way.

Along the way I raised money for the Australian Conservation Foundation and wrote a blog, which I have copied below.  It might be useful for anyone thinking of walking the Camino and it might just be interesting to see what goes on on a seven week walk (hint: not much – things get pared back to the basic necessities of life :-) )

Day 1: St Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles

Day 1: St Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles

http://thesportsinjuryclinic.org/shop/?mc_cid=f919c4e446 Spectacular views the whole day long

http://www.hinckleybid.co.uk/?xcenksa=opzioni-binarie-scadenza-settimanale&46f=43 After months of planning  and waiting we’ve started The Camino and successfully  completed our first day.

goptions erfahrung I think I’m quite glad this is the toughest day, because it was pretty tough! I was fine up until about 18km or so and then the tiredness set in… and the worry about knees in the steep descent.

http://ithu.se/de/e-moten The scenery was stunning and got more so the higher we climbed, from 200m above sea level at St Jean Pied de Port to 1400m at Col de Lepoeder. As a nature lover I have to mention the many Griffon Vultures riding the thermals, kite, the black faced black faced sheep (Manech), and the wild horses, who were quite tame and looking for food from the peregrinos.  See Instagram for photos.

binäre optionen raiffeisenbank The climb up was tough, and long, and hot (did I mention hot?). When we reached the highest point, the other side of the Pyrenees presented itself quite dramatically over the rise.

After this point the steep descent started. I was fairly worried about this but for those who know me, you’ll be pleased to know the knees held out.

accounting software for options trading At 26km or so, depending on which map or book you read, we reached Roncevalles. There is one very large refugio here and it is amazing. New, clean, and large enough to fit most(?) of the peregrino. (There are a LOT of people walking at this time of the year and we were always within sight of our fellow pilgrims). No bed bugs here… or at least I think not.

Already we have met some really great people and the feeling along The Way is one of camaraderie, openness and friendship. We ate with eight of our fellow pilgrims tonight ranging from 22-56 years in age. We had a tasty soup, extra tasty pasta and trout of a white fleshed variety. Oh, and I mustn’t forget the more than acceptable local Tempranillo. All in all a really very fabulous way to start the journey.

I feel like I should add something reflective at this point but I don’t have anything, so until mañana, adios mi amigos

Day 2: Roncesvalles to Larrasoaña

Day 2: Roncesvalles to Larrasoana

Good company for the Peregrino meal at the taberna

Today we all woke up with an average sleep (only one snorer) and feeling fairly fit considering the big day yesterday. We started with the pilgrims breakfast while discussing our various destinations. Some are completing the whole Camino but with varying timeframes and some are only able to take a couple of weeks off and will complete as much as they can.

It was a less strenuous day today and nice to walk through a lot of beech forest, but a fair bit of road waking too. We passed quickly though some small and pretty villages of stone construction and potted flowers on balconies. The hills were not necessarily small today but we did descend about 900m over the 27km to Larrasoana, 5km further than the recommended town of Zubiri. This means we have a ‘short’ walk of 16km tomorrow to Pamplona, which will allow us more time to explore the city.

Many of the people we met yesterday also made it here and we enjoyed a very good peregrino three course meal with wine for €12. I was pleased to be able to sample garlic soup, a local specialty. At the table we had me (the kiwi), Australians, Germans, a South Korean and a Slovenian.

I’m experiencing a full day so far with not much time for blogging and thinking. There is a routine developing already of organising gear, breakfasting, walking, showering, washing clothes, eating, and hitting the sack… in that order. I’m expecting more cultural experiences to come tomorrow.

Day 3: Larrasoaña to Pamplona

Puente la Magdalena

Puente la Magdalena

Today was only 16km but I found it the hardest to date. I’m not sure if there is a cumulative tiredness effect or if it’s the small cold I’ve picked up.

Regardless, today was the most interesting to date in terms of culture. We stopped at Arre for lunch and happened across a festival, of what origin we have no idea. I thought about asking but realised I probably wouldn’t understand the answer. The festival comprised about 50 or so gigantic 3m high effigies of what looked like various cultures. The wooden framed structures were manned by volunteers and paraded in time to music with flutes and drums. An impressive sight. We couldn’t wait for all of them to pass though and moved on to Pamplona.

Puente la Magdalena (pictured) is one of four bridges that cross over the river Arga into Pamplona. It leads to the impressive walled old town of Pamplona. Luckily the drawbridge was down so we could enter… amazing to think of the history and the sheer manpower that went into building the city.

Pamplona is beautiful. Cobbled roads and a compact centre with a large Plaza where we met up with our friends. Most of them will move on and we will meet new people.

We visited the famous Cafe Iruna and samples their famous G&T served in large bowls! This was followed by tasty tapas. The city is buzzing with people eating at 9pm – standard for the Spaniards apparently.

I am starting to notice the different attitudes and experiences of people walking The Way. I’m pretty tired and hoping for a good night’s sleep.

Buenos noches

Day 4: Pamplona

Day 4: Pamplona

Plaza del Castillo

After building up some a deficit, we decided to stay in Pamplona for an extra night. We were pretty much the last to leave the refugio and waited until 9am for Cafe Iruna to open. I couldn’t believe the piles of rubbish being swept up from under the tables after Saturday night festivities.

We have our own room for the night, with an ensuite. It’s such a pleasure to have space to sort out our packs, even though it’s only been three nights in communal accommodation. The place is basic and clean and the hosts are very nice.

We used our time this morning to take stock of supplies and get a few things. We lunched at an Italian restaurant where the menu was in Italian but the description in Spanish. Quite confusing. For those of you interested, I had a salad with semi dried tomatoes, burrata cheese, and bresaola. Nice. And very nice to get some vegetables in me!

Then we took a walk around the old town, since we like walking, and found many of the old buildings without actually looking for them. The museum and the cathedral closed at 2pm so we didn’t have time to visit. We walked the wall of the town, which is huge and very high. We saw the modern city past the fortress walls and it looked very uniform and monotonous compared to the old town. It’s interesting how the cultural aspects of a place can be simultaneously preserved and transformed in the modern world.

Dinner was a very sensible choice; a double scoop of gelato in a cone, yum! (I refused the offer of a plastic spoon and successfully navigated it with my mouth).

Much of the activity in town seems to be around the Central Plaza de Castillo and the streets that radiate off it as evidenced by the Sunday hubbub floating up to our room. We’re getting ready for bed at 8pm but the Spanish are just getting ready to eat. We’re hoping our plan to catch up on some sleep won’t go awry!

We are getting up early to try and beat the heat tomorrow. It’s expected to be 35C and this may continue for a few days… eeek

 

More to be posted soon…

2 Responses

  • Louise Hargreaves says:

    Hey PP
    I will look forward to news of your adventures and remember – live life with all the enthusiasm of a kid!
    TMWyer

    • Rochelle says:

      Hey TMWyer
      Thanks for coming along on the ride, woops, walk. Does that child-like enthusiasm include tantrums when all the albergues are full and we have to walk to the next town?! Ba ha ha… but I am very enthused right now and getting a teensy bit over excited too!
      PP :)



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