Monday, June 4, 2012
Ready, Steady, Go!
And...she is off! I started the Camino de Santiago! On Friday I took a bus to Madrid, a train to Pamplona, and another bus over the mountains into France, to Saint Jean de Pied de Port. I registered with the Pilgrim office, picked out my shell and ¨passport¨ and nestled into a hostel for the evening. Bright and early Saturday morning I set off for the first leg, which is also (hopefully) the most difficult of the journey. I literally climed the Pyrenees from France into Spain. I was off to a difficult start. I eventually found a good pace for me (I sent the marathoner I started with ahead-and he ended up finishing 2 hours ahead of me!), and settled into a rhythm. I tell you, it was rough, but the views were worth it 100%. I started day two with some angry feet, and by the end of the day I had my first blister. Day two had less of an intense climb, but was more difficult because I had sore muscles. Each time I started to think (complain to myself) about the pain, I offered it up for someone. Needless to say, a lot of people were prayed for...I am quite a whiner, even when I am my own-and only-audience! Here I am at the end of day three. Still achy as all get out, and with a sore knee to boot. I am hoping the knee pain will cease soon. The scenery is just beautiful, but I pass through small villages, too. Sometimes the path winds through the woods (which always reminds me of home) and sometimes it follows a busy street. Today I went through Pamplona, Hemingway´s stomping grounds and home to the famous running of the bulls. I took a turn through the Cathedral before buying ibuprofen and blister pads at the pharmacy. And now I am settled into a lovely little hostel just outside of Pamplona for the evening. I have met people from all over the world (though a proportionally large number of Australians), both young and old. Yesterday I spent much of the day with two Australian friends, both 65. If they can walk (and pass me!) this trek, so can I! I will update again as soon as I am able. Un abrazo muy fuerte.