Camino Francés 2015
Mom and me were sitting having breakfast on the stairs to Sacré-Cœur in Paris. It was a wonderful morning and the start of another adventure. We spent two days here in Paris before taking the night train to Bayonne and a connecting bus to Saint Jean Pied de Port. Mom had never been away on an adventure as long as this, she did more than great. She was awesome and I had the pleasure to share the adventure with her! The Pyrenees made a big impression on us and ultimately so did the eucalyptus forests. I did the pilgrimage for the scenery, the social meetings and because I love to travel, and I know mom did it for the same reasons. As many others have also stated I would say that you have three different sections on the Camino. The first is where the pilgrims are facing the physical challenge presented by the trail. The second stage is the one that includes the trek across the dreaded peseta. This stage is hot, arid, monotonous and relentless. The final stage is the one that feeds the soul. It took us 34 days and 800km to reach our goal, Santiago de Compostela. When I asked mom about the best moments along the trail she simply answered.
– The overall adventure of being out with my son and in a different country, all the different people we met, the changing landscapes we walked though, all the love and camaraderie.
Notes from my field journal
“A 34 day long pilgrimage with mom. Not bad <3”
“I would recommend you to only walk 8km the first day and stay in Refuge Orisson. During the dinner they usually invite people to stand up and talk about their Camino and their expectations. You have a big chance to meet and connect with pilgrims here. The day after you walk to Roncesvalles and Spain.”
“You will see and walk with people every day and in the evening you will meet a lot of them at the square. If they don’t want to talk or be social they will tell you in one way or another. Most of them want to say hi and chat for a while, others want your company for a day or two.”
“I would recommend John Brierley’s guidebook. I had a Swedish one too but I didn’t like it as much. Brierley’s book is more detailed and you can read about the area as well. I would say that you should walk a little bit further than Brierley’s daily suggestion to easily find a bunkbed and loose the bigger group of pilgrims.”
“I had the privilege of meeting Daniel in June of this year while walking the Camino Frances. We became part of a group of pilgrims who chose to walk together during the day and to eat, drink and be merry during the evening. It was magical. The interesting thing about Daniel, though, is that he didn’t just walk, eat, and drink with the rest of us; he was also provided leadership in his calm, gentle way. He was always looking out for us; herding the straggler back into the group; making sure everyone was okay without making a big deal of it. I always felt confident when I was walking with Daniel and always felt that laughter was about to break out! I highly recommend him and his leadership skills for any outdoor venture that he undertakes.”
Nancy Brown, Canada