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Live - Camino Francés The First of Three Caminos

Camino(s) past & future
Autumn (2015) and Spring (2019)
😀👣💥 I am finally here at the sweet, picture-perfect, village of St. Jean-Pied-de-Port, exhausted after the 43-hour journey but happy to be back. The whole Camino Françes is ahead of me and for that I am grateful. When Dave and I were approaching Santiago on our first Camino in the Autumn of 2015, I slowed my pace because I didn't want it to end. Now I am back at the beginning again. Hooray!

Of course St. Jean hasn't changed a bit since Dave and I fell in love with it on our first Camino, but why would it? The buildings lining the cobblestoned Main Street, Rue de la Citadelle, have been here for centuries as shown by the construction dates inscribed over the doorways. Even the hostel where I am staying they say was built at the end of the Middle Ages!

The village is bustling with fresh faced pilgrims excited at the prospect of beginning their journey to Santiago de Compostela. They are sporting clean boots, have no blisters and brand new guidebooks not yet dog-eared.

Actually, I haven't seen guidebooks in such perfect shape since the end of October, 2015, when Dave and I were in the "home stretch" within 100 km of our arrival in Santiago. The guidebooks belonging to pilgrims who walk just that final section of the Camino Frances don't have a chance to suffer much wear and tear.

To tell you the truth, even though my Camino Françes and Primitivo guidebooks are new, they don't look so great. I put my Exacto knife to work cutting out only the pages I need to get from St. Jean to Leon and from Oviedo to Santiago. All else is just extra weight! Authors John Brierley and Dave Whitson would be appalled!

Day 1 begins tomorrow for me, but the transformation could be beginning here at the start. The “traveller” who has been planning for weeks where to go, how to get there, and what to take, is transforming into a “pilgrim” to whom the journey IS the destination. I’m not sure how easy it will be to shrug off expectations and fears, to take it all as it comes, to stay present to the experience, and never stop moving forward, but that’s the plan.

Even though I will write a blog post every day, I know it isn't always possible to publish them every day because of slow or non-existent wi-fi. Just hang in there. One, two, or even several will eventually show up all at once.

For details of the ups and downs of just getting here to St. Jean, click here:

 

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Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Seven Compostelas in Three years and counting......
So you are walking St. Jean to Leon, then San Salvador to Oviedo, then Primitivo?

That is a wonderful route!

Buen Camino to you both!

Davey
 
Camino(s) past & future
Autumn (2015) and Spring (2019)
So now I have to tell you about the bad days as well as the good ones. Right? All days are not perfect. This was one.

I didn’t take my own advice to find your own pace; don’t rush; be in the moment; be open to what happens; and don’t worry about keeping to the schedule. I like to make a schedule and stick with it – typical of a Virgo. Now I am going to allow myself to forget about the schedule if it is the only way to stay happy. Why walk the Camino if you are not having a good time? Right?

I envied a woman I saw yesterday. She had shrugged off her pack and found a mossy nest for herself under towering deciduous trees with their bright green new leaves providing a beautiful canopy. The birds were chattering and singing above. Sun dappled the forest floor. She was taking the time to enjoy herself right then and there. She shrugged aside any inward chatter that might have been going on – the kind I had going on in my own head today: “Get to your albergue so you can get a bed, shower, wash your clothes while there is still hot water. THEN you can enjoy yourself.” For her that wasn’t the priority; she chose to enjoy herself right then and there.

This is all about the "down day" here on the Camino on Easter:
 

jpes

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to
Hi Judy - I really enjoy reading your blog. I just went back and read 2015 and I can't wait to hear how you compare the routes, time of year and travelling alone vs with your husband.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Autumn (2015) and Spring (2019)
Hi Judy - I really enjoy reading your blog. I just went back and read 2015 and I can't wait to hear how you compare the routes, time of year and travelling alone vs with your husband.
Hi! I 'm glad you enjoyed the blog. So far it has been quite different from the journey we took in 2015. It is so much greener and I love all the wild flowers now. In the fall there were droopy sunflowers and plowed fields.
 

jpes

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to
I have been following eagerly. I really like the stops on the northern route and would love to visit them, just not necessarily walk between them. But definitely some locations to visit after the Frances or or their own.
 

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