A Travellerspoint blog

March 2018

Day 1 and 2, Orrison and Espinal

View Deb's Camino de Santiago de Compostela on Deb Godley's travel map.

Day 1 was a short walk (2 hr 15 min) for the 8 km straight up to my first stop - Orisson Albergue.

It was a very nice communal dinner with about 25 new friends. I sat chatting with gals from Germany, Hungary, Italy, and England. It was a great start to the Camino. No internet, though.

On day 2 leaving Orisson it was very misty and foggy most of the way this morning and didn't clear until almost the top. I could hear the cowbells in the mist all around me but could only see 20 m or so. It turned out the cows are great impressionists because they started baaing. After it cleared I could see sheep and horses but no cows.

It was like walking through water; the mist was so wet. I was happy to be on a paved road because I would have worried about wandering off the path.

I walked with Esther from Hungary who I'd met yesterday and later with Claudio from Italy who was on his first ever trip out of Italy.

A very nice group of gentlemen just bought me a beer. My clothes are hopefully drying on the rack. And I am freshly showered. We are all trying to communicate in broken English - OK mine's less broken, but my Italian and Spanish are not so good.

I'm going to walk to the store and buy some snacks for tomorrow and for breakfast.

I am doing very well. There have been several great moments where I am so happy to be here. Quite a few of them have included beer, mind you. It's wonderful at the end of the day to have a shower and a beer and sit around the albergue with the other pilgrims, talking about all manner of things.

The beds are comfortable so far and tonight I have a big bed that's not a bunk. I had first dibs and the men, including Claudio, called it a princess bed for me. I was a little cold last night so I used the silk liner and sleeping bag and was very comfy. So far everywhere (sample size = 2) has had pillows.

My feet have been fine - no issues so far. I take off the shoes at lunch and wiggle my toes. Feels great.

Today I walked from 7:30 to 3:30 with a short stop for a picnic lunch with Esther and then another stop for beer with Esther & Claudio in Roncesvalles (the French say Roncesvaux). I stopped in Espinal and Esther continued another 5 km to a Hungarian albergue. I hope to see her again, but she is a fast walker and is now ahead of me. She has my email so I hope to hear from her.

So far no issues with charging the phone and I've stayed at smaller albergues so it's not seeming too busy.

I am a faster walker than most so I passed lots (10-15) of people and was passed a few times. I found it too short a day on the first day just walking 8k to Orisson. Today was just right walking about 23k. Hot, though, especially this afternoon when we were at a lower elevation.

I would say it is not as busy as I feared, but busy enough to have lots of opportunities to meet people. Mostly Italians at this point. Apparently, there are usually many Italians at the beginning, but fewer later. One of the Spaniards said it was because they give up easily like their football team. There was a lot of laughter at that and agreement from the Italians so it must be a friendly (or not) football rivalry.

My only small frustration has been with syncing the fitbit. It often says that fitbit is down for maintenance. Must be the time difference.

1/2 hour to dinner. I can't wait. And I bought breakfast from the store so I will be able to leave early tomorrow, unless I sleep in again.

One of the pilgrims, Samuel, is playing a keyboard with mouthpiece - not sure what it's called. He is very good and everyone is loving it! He's just played When you Wish Upon a Star and is now taking requests. This one is apparently from Frozen to the delight of the parents in the crowd, who are singing along in sort of English.

Now we're moving onto Stand By Me or Country Roads - it's still under discussion. He's first setting up his video camera to film the singing crowd. I'm enjoying, out of camera range. Based on the singing it appears that Stand by Me won, but they only know the chorus. Moved on to an Irish jig.

By the way, note to Eric - j'ai eu l'occasion de pratiquer la langue pendant le super ce soir.

That's it for now. I am enjoying the adventure.
Impressionist sheep

Impressionist sheep

Breakfast in Orisson

Breakfast in Orisson

Esther and Claudio

Esther and Claudio

Samuel playing a keyboard

Samuel playing a keyboard

Beautiful Pyrenees

Beautiful Pyrenees

Posted by Deb Godley 14:16 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Arrived in Bayonne, France

View Deb's Camino de Santiago de Compostela on Deb Godley's travel map.

I have a room on the 4th floor adjacent to a bathroom which doesn't lock and has no sink. So after consultation with the front desk I will use the bathroom and shower on the 3rd floor. He suggested washing my hands in the shower, but I couldn't get any water from it.

The room will likely be the last private room until Burgos (about 11 days or so away).

The festival is everywhere. I opened the window and the sounds of the festival are everywhere. Lots of music and cheering, clapping, whistling, shouting - in a word festive.

I'm putting on my white shirt and red neck buff and heading out to join in.

Here I am dancing with a very large group. I was right in there totally out of step with everyone else. But it was fun.

The jazz band played Get Your Kicks on Route 66, Caravale and others. After the first two, a 20-25 piece marching band paraded through; then both were playing, competing as the parade never moved quite far enough away. A cacophony of sound.

Back in the room, my earplugs are in as the festival will go to the wee hours, and I have a 7am train to catch.

Fete de Bayonne

Fete de Bayonne



Fitting in to the Fete de  Bayonne. Gotta wear red and white, so Canada gear was a perfect match.

Fitting in to the Fete de Bayonne. Gotta wear red and white, so Canada gear was a perfect match.

Posted by Deb Godley 14:14 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

On my way! (not THE way)

View Deb's Camino de Santiago de Compostela on Deb Godley's travel map.

I really lucked out on the flight. I had the window seat and the two other women in the row didn't seem happy about it. Anyway, I put in my earplugs and covered my eyes and went to sleep. A couple of hours later the smell of food woke me and I noticed the row-mates had left (maybe I was snoring or worse in my sleep). For the rest of the flight I was able to stretch out across the three seats. The jealous guy across the aisle snapped the picture for me.

Arriving in Paris, there were no border police and they announced that the security was all detained on another matter. They showed up 20 minutes later, but not before everyone was googling to see if there was a terrorist attack.

My pack arrived safe & sound and I'm now sitting in CDG waiting for my train to Bayonne which hasn't shown up on the monitors yet.

Looking forward to the 1st class seat.

I can see a few others with backpacks and can't help wondering if I'll see them along the Way. Looking forward to the jazz, samba & grande bal advertised for the Fete de Bayonne tonight.

Saw sunflowers!

I have high hopes for getting pictures of sunflowers in bloom as I saw fields of them not quite fully bloomed from the train. Lovely.

It's odd waiting for my next train and smelling smoke in the lounge!

I'll be in Bayonne in a couple of hours or so.

Sleeping on the flight to paris - Lucky to have the extra room

Sleeping on the flight to paris - Lucky to have the extra room

Posted by Deb Godley 18:33 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Yikes & Yuck

Heat & Feet

First, YIKES - the temperature hit 39 degrees (that's over 102 for those who are celsius-challenged) in Pamplona, Larrasoana and Los Arcos, a few of the towns I'll go through in my first few days. You'all know I love the heat, but that's a bit much even for me.

It's supposed to be 10 degrees cooler next week and beyond, though, which will be more manageable with my 16.3 lb pack.

Yes, Annick, I will use sunblock!

Second, YUCK - I was looking at some ugly feet pictures from other people's caminos - big blisters and missing toenails and thought I should record the "before" condition of my feet so there'd be some basis for comparison later on.

Alternatively, if I show a good picture of my feet later, you might say "what horrible feet" and then I'd have to admit those oddly shaped toes were normal!

1 week till I fly out.


PS. My pristine feet, July 20, 2016
I figured I'd post a picture of my feet now, for comparison, since they will probably be a mess a few weeks from now.My pristine feet July 20, 2016

My pristine feet July 20, 2016

Posted by Deb Godley 18:27 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Pack organization

Here's a part of my plan for organizing my gear in my pack, as well as what I need on the plane, when I'll need items (e.g. sleeping vs. walking), where the stuff will be inside my pack, and when I expect to need each item (e.g. morning or night).

Those of you who know me well, are not surprised that I have a spreadsheet for this.Part of my organization spreadsheet

Part of my organization spreadsheet

Posted by Deb Godley 18:21 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

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