And We’re Off!

(Photo by Leon at the Pilgrim’s Office)

Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Day 1
St. Jean-Pied-de-Port, France, to Valcarlos, Spain

In James Michener’s Iberia, he says that all Medieval pilgrims had four essential items: a warm cloak that could also be used as a blanket or pillow; an eight-foot staff for walking and for keeping off aggressive dogs, spangled with gourds used to hold drinking water; sturdy sandals; and a wide brimmed floppy hat. As we set off on our journey from St. Jean-Pied-de-Port, we are not that different from those earlier pilgrims. We have our impermeable jackets on or strapped to our backpacks. Our walking sticks, while not eight feet long, are fairly tall. Instead of gourds, we have fancy new hydration (water) packs, but they serve the same purpose as the gourds. Back in Houston we spent a lot of time trying to locate the right, sturdy but comfortable, hiking boots. And we both have our hats. Mine is wide brimmed. James’s can more correctly be deemed “jaunty.” You’ll see it in a future post. And of course we both carry our cockle shells, mine affixed to my backpack.

This was a very rough day for me. More steps than ever, many of them uphill. I was ready to quit 2/3rds of the way to Valcarlos, but James urged me on and I finally straggled in quite late.

Steps Today: 28,164

Author: Camino for Boomers

I am the owner and editor of Bayou City Press in Houston, Texas. As a Foreign Service Officer, I lived and traveled all over the world for 33 years. My new book is "Savoring the Camino de Santiago: It's the Pilgrimage, Not the Hike."

3 thoughts on “And We’re Off!”

  1. Hi guys what a lovely surprise
    You both look happy and healthy
    Glad you have this blog so now I can keep in contact
    Miss you both terribly
    We are in Singapore kids are home in Perth
    Waiting for you reply eagerly
    Carol xx


    1. Hey guys
      So what are your plans ?
      Hope your health is good Julie?
      Are you heading our way?
      Gordon is at the stage where he needs knee replacements for both knees but trying to keep healthy long story
      He’s fighting prostate cancer still not clear but not sure where it will go as its so microscopic .
      Where is your next stop
      Looking forward to hearing from you guys
      Carol and Gordon xx


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