Day 5 - not enough time

So much I want to share but find it hard to find the time. Walk, sleeping and eating taking most of it. 
Here a few photos from today. I’m off to bed. 

Day 3 - Zubiri to Pamplona

Strangely I am feeling stronger today. I thought day three would be bad but it’s ok. Stomach muck better today. Weather good, to good really, going to be 30+ so we start early at dawn again. Walking for 2-3 hours early get half the distance done before break fast. 

A couple of photos now and I’ll put more up later. Not sure if I need to sleep or explore. Both are very tempting.....

Day 2 - Roncesvalles to Zubiri

Well day two started with all the aches and pains caused by day one and also my stomach was not happy so praying to find a loo in the next village was how we started. Well God provides and there was a loo and a bench for Jim to sort out his blisters. 

We managed to do 22k into Zubiri. No Hostel booked this time. The first one we walked into had no beds just a twin room in an apartment. We jumped st it and had a really good quiet nights sleep. 

We ate at the bar below. Pilgrim menus are good and cheap. We ate with other pilgrims we had been meeting through the day. Patrick, Mary, John, Collett and others. 

Not do many photos today. But I was concentrating on where the next toilet was for half the day. 

Day 1 - St Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles

I’ll add some words later but here is the beauty we saw walking over the mountains. 

And here are those words....
We started before dawn walking through St Jean in the near dark. From then on we were walking up hill. 25km of uphill and steep up hill. But wow what scenery! Getting above the mist/cloud that filled the valleys was thrilling. 
Second breakfast at 10am was a bassk cake and coffee at Orisson, which was lovely. Then more up and up. 
As with any mountain every turn brought more views and more path heading up. We stopped for lunch almost at the top and looked down on the Griffon Vultures circling below. 
The final 10k heading down really hurt but there was a beer, good and a bed in the monetary awaiting. Wonderful day. 

It’ll take 3-4 mins to watch but here’s a selection of photos from day 1. 

First night in St Jean Pied De Port

We arrived around 7pm. Visited the Pilgrim office checked into the hostel. Walked round the town and ate a steak. Great start! Tomorrow we start walking and it’s a tough walk. 

Go in peace glorifying the lord by your life

The final words of the Mass are the deacons. I get to send the congregation out to do God’s work. Today as Jim and I leave the church we are off on a big adventure for God and our faith and the words of the sending stay in my head “Go in peace glorifying the lord by your life”

Thanks to everyone at OLOL and all the parishes for your prayers and best wishes. 

So we have started - St Jean Pied de Port

The day started with a Good Samaritan story I won’t write here. Then a short conversation with the police. Late to Mass. Then it calmed down. Said goodbye to Gail. An easy flight. A lovely drive. And by 7:30pm we walk into St Jean Pied de Port. The start of our Camino. 

My foot next to Jim foot. The furst step of many. 

After a good meal we head for bed. 30k and 1500m climb await us tomorrow. Bein Camino!

Packing - here what’s in the rucksack

It not easy to finish packing. I find myself second guessing about what take take and what to take out. Do I really need a fleece? What about my kindle? And should I take that lovely umbrella hat Craig got me. 

Well near enough this is what made it to the rucksack. 

Final training for the Camino

Last day at work finished. Feels very odd saying goodbye for 8 weeks. Rucksack packed. Time to practice my siesta skills. An hour in the sunshine in my hammock before heading to church tonight. 

We will be in Spain this time Sunday. 

Camino de Santiago

Starting at the August bank holiday I have been allowed to take a two month sabbatical to walk the Camino de Santiago in Spain. The Camino is an old pilgrimage route that leads to the tomb of the apostle St James. In the 1980’s this pilgrimage/walk started to become popular again and now thousands of people walk it each year. The walk starts in St Jean Pied de Port in France and proceeds westward for 800km to Santiago De Compostela. The route is marked with clam shells to show pilgrims the way, the clam shell has been the sign of the pilgrim since the middle ages. I’ll be walking 20-30km a day for 6 weeks, carrying everything I need for the journey.
There are plenty of ‘Albergues’ (hostels) along the way so I won’t have to carry a tent, there are also plenty of place to find food so wont be carrying to much of that but it’ll still be close to a 10kg pack, some of you may have seen me practicing with it while walking in most days now.

This is a wonderful opportunity and I am very grateful to Applicable (the company I work for) for allowing me the time. How often in our modern lives do we get the chance to just do one thing for a prolonged period of time. Six weeks of putting one foot in front of another, a chance to relax, think and pray. I am really not sure what to expect apart from sore feet and that experience of doing something so different is really exciting. I intend to keep this blog going while I am away in case any of you want to know where I am or what I am doing.

If you want to see where I am you can also follow my progress at