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SJPdP to Pamplona... a brief overview

Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#1
Thick fingers and small iPhone keyboards

East Wenatchee to Seattle to Frankfurt to Madrid To Biarritz: it makes me chuckle that all three flying legs in the trip were each delayed 2 hours.

I kid you not.. it was wondrous synchronicity that made me double check the times and keep a mental note. One of the announcements seemed to blame the delays on Frankfurt and Lufthansa/Condor not being able to turn flights around in a timely fashion.

I didn’t really care too much... I had access to each airlines terminal lounges, so free food, juices and soda, sandwiches and big comfy seats away from the insane airport hubbub. I was more felt more rested waiting than the day before departure.

I arrived in SJPdP on Express Bourricot with 5 others. During the ride, I started to become acquainted with Clovis, an American from Massachusetts and an Acupuncturist.

I don’t know what an Acupuncturist dress and grooming code is, but I was guessing from his dress and style that he was from a law practice or the business world. I was gently surprised when he told me his occupation.

For some reason, we began clicking together. After we stopped at the Pilgrim Office, we parted ways thinking we might see each other on the Way to Roncesvalles.

Because Clovis was staying at Beilari, which includes some mandatory tribal ritual dinner (oh calm down Beilarians, I’m gently joshing) I ended up eating dinner with other pilgrims at the same place Caleb and I did last September.

Gite Makila was very nice and restful, for as much as one can rest and relax. Super clean and updated. I did stay in one of their private rooms because...well... I could and I knew I’d need a bit of space to decompress after so much travel hubbub. Ya gots to know your limits .

Departure from St Jean was at 0730. Not real early, as the beginning rhubarb at 0500 will testify. I did enjoy a quick breakfast of yogurt, hard boiled egg, juice, and pastry.

I had talked John Sikora into letting me record a continuous video in 4K of the entire walk from SJPdP to Roncesvalles. However many hours that would take me. John, who many of you know as a Forum member, has a wonderful YouTube video series in which he basically recorded most every step of each stage of Camino Frances. It is unique in that the Camino walk is virtually the personality focus, not an individual. In Hyperlapsed timelapse fast forwarding, you view a smooth step-by-step walk of Camino from the walkers point of view. One can virtually walk most of the Frances via this series of John’s

So, John graciously spent a few months time via email and video samples from my new GoPro Hero 6, schooling me in reproducing the look of his videos.

John went to Roncesvalles via Valcarlos. I had the idea to include Napoléon since this is a popular route. Because people researching Camino turn to YouTube to view what the Way is like, I asked John to consider having me film Napoléon and do the post production on my footage to give viewers the ability to see each alternative as it looks to the pilgrim en route.

Anyway, with three 128gb micro SD cards full of video of the continuous walk, the hardest parts are 1: keeping the data safe until I get home... 2: waiting until John is able to work his magic and get it published to YouTube.

And, despite a years worth of surgery, illness and just my body seeming to rebel and try to degrade my fitness, getting to Roncesvalles seemed to find me in better condition than last year.

It took me about 90 minutes longer, overall, but my concerns and anxiety over being less fit were for naught.

The Colegiate Albergue was still wonderful. Although even at 4:45 they were having to turn pilgrims away. But I motced at least two of those wonderful hospitaleros arranging for taxis to the nearby towns.

I am glad I had reservations.

The pilgrim Mass was nice; I was joined by Deim from the Netherlands (180 degree opposite of Joost), who was my table mate at the pilgrim dinner.

The stay was similar to last year: comfortable and quiet even prior to the 10;00 curfew. EXCEPTION: at 0230am one of the cubicle mates, a young guy, put on a billion lumen output headlamp with a blazing white light that would stand up to any Light House beam, and switched it on.

I was startled out of my sleep as what I thought was a supernova exploded through my eyelids Then, and I swear I’m not making this up, he farted a storm as he climbed down from his bunk and then proceeded to rustle the crinkliest of organizer bags as he packed up his pack.

I started laughing into my quilt so hard that I joined the gas expulsion club . Which made me laugh even harder as I tried to muffle my laughter.

About ten minutes later, the twenty something left. After 5 more minutes, I decided I neede to visit the bathroom and, yup, twenty something was in there grooming. With the headlamp supernova unit sitting on the sink.

I asked if he had done any Camino or dorm living of any kind before ( he was Belgian but spoke English well). When he answered no, I smiled and pointed to the supernova and explained a bit about pilgrim etiquette.

The look on twenty somethings face almost made me laugh again. He appeared genuinely mortified, and apologized so many times it was cute. His parents did a good job of teaching politeness and manners, he just spaced out about the effects of supernovas on sleeping pilgrims.

Yesterday I left for Burgette at 0730, where I ate breakfast at the same little bar that Caleb and I ate at last year. It’s the place on the left right next to the church.

This is where I caught my bus (5 Euros) to Pamplona). As mentioned in previous posts, there a a couple of stages and one or two parts of others that I wasn’t going to repeat in order to meet Caleb in Leon on time. In Pamplona’s case, I wanted an extra day to rip through my backpack’s contents in order to offload 6 extra pounds of gear that I no longer needed after the first stage, and mail back home.

My pack feels a whole lot nicer, weight wise, now.

So today was spent sightseeing, eating gelato, replacing a damaged pair of running shorts (rant: given the ridiculous shallow rise and crotch space in Decathlon’s running shorts inventory, how can Euro men put up with the attempted Huevos homicide foisted on them by said store. Thank the family jewels that I finally found a pair of Addidas shorts in US sizes; obviously metric wasn’t working

Tomorrow I will end up somewhere west of Maneru. Lorca, maybe??

Anyway, it’s been warm, not really hot so far. No rain. . . Yet. But the ponchos nearby. No major nothing going wrong. Oh, and Mr. Left Foot hisself seems to grudgingly tolerate the Hoka One One Bondi 6. I don’t even feel the need to get out of them and into something else after a shower and clean socks.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
2012 SJPP-Burgos, 2014 Burgos-Leon, 2018 Leon-Santiago
#2
Yay for gentle good humor and for not acting one’s age. With you all the way.
Have a good walk and keep posting.
 

Iriebabel

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April (2018)
? route TBD for April (2019)
#3
@davebugg your airplane woes reminds me of the too familiar “hurry up and wait” military mantra which I know you are well familiar with. I was giggling like a school girl while reading your post. Happy to see you are already in the rhythm of the camino. Hope your Huevos are now nestled safely and Mr leftfoot is behaving himself. Stay safe and hope you continue to keep your sense of humor readily available. Buen Camino. Look forward to your updates.
 

Anamiri

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
#4
Thick fingers and small iPhone keyboards

East Wenatchee to Seattle to Frankfurt to Madrid To Biarritz: it makes me chuckle that all three flying legs in the trip were each delayed 2 hours.

I kid you not.. it was wondrous synchronicity that made me double check the times and keep a mental note. One of the announcements seemed to blame the delays on Frankfurt and Lufthansa/Condor not being able to turn flights around in a timely fashion.

I didn’t really care too much... I had access to each airlines terminal lounges, so free food, juices and soda, sandwiches and big comfy seats away from the insane airport hubbub. I was more felt more rested waiting than the day before departure.

I arrived in SJPdP on Express Bourricot with 5 others. During the ride, I started to become acquainted with Clovis, an American from Massachusetts and an Acupuncturist.

I don’t know what an Acupuncturist dress and grooming code is, but I was guessing from his dress and style that he was from a law practice or the business world. I was gently surprised when he told me his occupation.

For some reason, we began clicking together. After we stopped at the Pilgrim Office, we parted ways thinking we might see each other on the Way to Roncesvalles.

Because Clovis was staying at Beilari, which includes some mandatory tribal ritual dinner (oh calm down Beilarians, I’m gently joshing) I ended up eating dinner with other pilgrims at the same place Caleb and I did last September.

Gite Makila was very nice and restful, for as much as one can rest and relax. Super clean and updated. I did stay in one of their private rooms because...well... I could and I knew I’d need a bit of space to decompress after so much travel hubbub. Ya gots to know your limits .

Departure from St Jean was at 0730. Not real early, as the beginning rhubarb at 0500 will testify. I did enjoy a quick breakfast of yogurt, hard boiled egg, juice, and pastry.

I had talked John Sikora into letting me record a continuous video in 4K of the entire walk from SJPdP to Roncesvalles. However many hours that would take me. John, who many of you know as a Forum member, has a wonderful YouTube video series in which he basically recorded most every step of each stage of Camino Frances. It is unique in that the Camino walk is virtually the personality focus, not an individual. In Hyperlapsed timelapse fast forwarding, you view a smooth step-by-step walk of Camino from the walkers point of view. One can virtually walk most of the Frances via this series of John’s

So, John graciously spent a few months time via email and video samples from my new GoPro Hero 6, schooling me in reproducing the look of his videos.

John went to Roncesvalles via Valcarlos. I had the idea to include Napoléon since this is a popular route. Because people researching Camino turn to YouTube to view what the Way is like, I asked John to consider having me film Napoléon and do the post production on my footage to give viewers the ability to see each alternative as it looks to the pilgrim en route.

Anyway, with three 128gb micro SD cards full of video of the continuous walk, the hardest parts are 1: keeping the data safe until I get home... 2: waiting until John is able to work his magic and get it published to YouTube.

And, despite a years worth of surgery, illness and just my body seeming to rebel and try to degrade my fitness, getting to Roncesvalles seemed to find me in better condition than last year.

It took me about 90 minutes longer, overall, but my concerns and anxiety over being less fit were for naught.

The Colegiate Albergue was still wonderful. Although even at 4:45 they were having to turn pilgrims away. But I motced at least two of those wonderful hospitaleros arranging for taxis to the nearby towns.

I am glad I had reservations.

The pilgrim Mass was nice; I was joined by Deim from the Netherlands (180 degree opposite of Joost), who was my table mate at the pilgrim dinner.

The stay was similar to last year: comfortable and quiet even prior to the 10;00 curfew. EXCEPTION: at 0230am one of the cubicle mates, a young guy, put on a billion lumen output headlamp with a blazing white light that would stand up to any Light House beam, and switched it on.

I was startled out of my sleep as what I thought was a supernova exploded through my eyelids Then, and I swear I’m not making this up, he farted a storm as he climbed down from his bunk and then proceeded to rustle the crinkliest of organizer bags as he packed up his pack.

I started laughing into my quilt so hard that I joined the gas expulsion club . Which made me laugh even harder as I tried to muffle my laughter.

About ten minutes later, the twenty something left. After 5 more minutes, I decided I neede to visit the bathroom and, yup, twenty something was in there grooming. With the headlamp supernova unit sitting on the sink.

I asked if he had done any Camino or dorm living of any kind before ( he was Belgian but spoke English well). When he answered no, I smiled and pointed to the supernova and explained a bit about pilgrim etiquette.

The look on twenty somethings face almost made me laugh again. He appeared genuinely mortified, and apologized so many times it was cute. His parents did a good job of teaching politeness and manners, he just spaced out about the effects of supernovas on sleeping pilgrims.

Yesterday I left for Burgette at 0730, where I ate breakfast at the same little bar that Caleb and I ate at last year. It’s the place on the left right next to the church.

This is where I caught my bus (5 Euros) to Pamplona). As mentioned in previous posts, there a a couple of stages and one or two parts of others that I wasn’t going to repeat in order to meet Caleb in Leon on time. In Pamplona’s case, I wanted an extra day to rip through my backpack’s contents in order to offload 6 extra pounds of gear that I no longer needed after the first stage, and mail back home.

My pack feels a whole lot nicer, weight wise, now.

So today was spent sightseeing, eating gelato, replacing a damaged pair of running shorts (rant: given the ridiculous shallow rise and crotch space in Decathlon’s running shorts inventory, how can Euro men put up with the attempted Huevos homicide foisted on them by said store. Thank the family jewels that I finally found a pair of Addidas shorts in US sizes; obviously metric wasn’t working

Tomorrow I will end up somewhere west of Maneru. Lorca, maybe??

Anyway, it’s been warm, not really hot so far. No rain. . . Yet. But the ponchos nearby. No major nothing going wrong. Oh, and Mr. Left Foot hisself seems to grudgingly tolerate the Hoka One One Bondi 6. I don’t even feel the need to get out of them and into something else after a shower and clean socks.
Looking forward to hearing all about your journey

Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#8
Beilari, which includes some mandatory tribal ritual dinner (oh calm down Beilarians, I’m gently joshing)
:p:p I am normally very awkward with rituals like that, but tolerating them gracefully at Beilari is part of my camino training. They do it so genuinely!
 
Camino(s) past & future
'Portuguese' ' Frances' ' Norte' 'Salvador_prim' ‘le puy’ ‘Inglés’ ‘CDM’ ‘Invierno’ ‘Fin_Mux’
#9
(i) I had access to each airlines terminal lounges. —
—- NO NO - you’re not terminal yet Dave!!

(ii) Gite Makila was very nice and restful ——-
—- Good to get other recommendations

(iii) __ I started laughing into my quilt so hard that I joined the gas expulsion club ———-
—- Ha ha ha. The whole room was more than likely having a good muffled ‘laugh!’

(iv) I smiled and pointed to the supernova and explained a bit about pilgrim etiquette.

—- - a lot of unknown pilgrims on the Francés have you to thank Dave. Job well done.

(v) ——sightseeing, eating gelato, —-
——- well deserved. Yum

(vi). Thank the family jewels —
—— Ha ha. Road testing running shorts too.

(vii) ) the Hoka One One Bondi 6.
- —- I’m also watching your thoughts on this test., with interest. Sounds good so far, Thankyou.

.

Excellent post Dave. A lot of great info as well as a lot of laughs reading it. I’ve added a few comments inside your msg to parts I’ve highlighted!

Buen Camino
Annie
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
#14
LOL...no......LOLOL.....no....ROTFLOL....

Ditto to all the humorous comments made so far!

I really like John Sikora’s series and have viewed the entire CF via his extensive and comprehensive videos. And, before I go out on the CF. despite being somewhat familiar with the CF route, save the Napoleon section, each night I take a few minutes to review the next days walk. This cuts down on the likelihood that I will make an error-should we walk in the dark, or possibly follow an arrow that someone changed out of jest or for nefarious reasons.

However, I lamented that he did not have the Napoleon route in Sikora’s Series. I rejoice that this section will be added!! Thank you Dave...this will be so valuable and is a necessary contribution to the completion of Sikora’s CF. IMO Sikora’s series is the best I have viewed and would highly recommend it as a resource to anyone who wants to do the CF!

Glad you made it over the mountain without any difficulties. I think you were very wise to make reservations for St. Jean and Roncevalles. Personally, I would not want to be walking into Roncevalles in September after a rather strenuous day on the trail and be waiting around or scrambling to find a place to stay. That makes for an exhausting day. David, who is out ministering to the feet of many along the first sections of the CF, is also describing the lack of beds in Roncevalles now as well.

As one novice pilgrim said, she realized that the Camino now “provides” by allowing her to electronically make reservations ahead!

I am also reminded of Sr. Joyce Rupp, a prolific spiritual writer, who wrote Walk in a relaxed Manner. She described her experience of her Camino in a September prior to 2005 (when the booked was published). Initially she intended to go with the flow for accommodations but soon decided to make reservations as they were walking about 30Km per day and were having difficulty finding places by the time they arrived. So they began making reservations. It is from her decision to book ahead that I took my cue.

When we planned our 2015 camino, we planned to start out from St. Jean on a weekday, via the lower route in mid September. In July, two months earlier we attempted to make reservations in various private accommodations along the route. Most of the private accommodations were already full! I even tried contacting them directly with little success. Even the so called smaller towns, not major stops on the Brierley route were full!

I know and completely understand that many prefer to go without reservations for various reasons. New folks need to know themselves and whether they have the tolerance after a long days walk to search in town for accommodations, or be willing to take a taxi to a different location, or may even wind up in a less than desirable place, or may need to resort to sleeping on a floor or camping out on a porch somewhere.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#15
great to see you in jovial mood. a lot of tech stuff goes over my head, but the main thing is: you are stepping it out, one foot after the other. Given all the advice you give upon request, it is now your time to trip the light fantastic, and whistle away as you make your way once more... to Santiago. Buen Camino.
 

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