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Monday, August 29, 2011

As I Walked Out

As I walked out . . . . and left the dishes washed, the bills all paid and the beds made, the Way lay there already at my feet, the wanting to be walked.

Yesterday’s storm has abated but the white geese still dance on the crest of those rolling waves as they crash and foam into the harbour walls. The migrant birds in their thousands, floating, clinging together, awaiting that one signal from the leader to lift for other lands “It’s time to go. The sun is low. The fields are bare and we have food to seek in other hemispheres.”

As I walked out . . . . that signal came, “The time is right, the backpack’s ready, the boots are dancing, the poles can’t wait to expand on the slopes.”

As I walked out . . . . car, ferry, car, convent, car, hotel, plane, bus, train, legs.

As I walked out . . . . as a pilgrim.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Viva España !!

I checked the long range weather forecast today for Pamplona, St Jean Pied de Port and Zubiri.  It looks as though we will have perfect weather for a walk in (up?) the mountain!  Pilgrims often report on high winds, lashing rain or thick mist with no views when they walk from St Jean to Roncesvalles. 
We start walking on Friday 2nd September and it looks like it will be a beautiful day!

31 August:  Pamplona - 16/24°C Rain and possible thunder during the day. Partly cloudy skies during the night. 

1st September:  We travel to St Jean Pied de Port - 13/22°C - Few morning clouds, light rain with clear spells during the day. Few clouds during the night.

2nd September: We walk from St Jean to Orisson - 18/26°C - Sunny! 

3rd September:  Orisson to Burguete - 13/24°C - Sunny with some clouds.

4th September:  Zubiri - 17/31°C - Sunny with some clouds.  (Wow - 31°C???  Perhaps it is an error?)

5th September:  Pamplona - 16/22°C - Cloudy.

6th September:  Puente la Reina - 14/25°C - sunny with some clouds.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

amaWalkers September Camino

This will be the second amaWalkers Camino trek this year.  The first amaWalkers Camino walk was in June when I lead 13 people on three sections of the Camino Frances.  It was a wonderful walk, with wonderful people and I am looking forward to leading this next group from St Jean Pied de Port to Santiago.
Just eleven more sleeps and we will be in Pamplona.  There I will meet up with Judith (Canada), Bell (Johannesburg), Alan (US) and Tricia (South Africa).  The next day (1st September) we will travel to St Jean Pied de Port.  Brian (flying in from the UK) and Christine (from Sweden) will meet us there.  I've booked a table at a typical Basque restaurant on Thursday night and we hope to be joined by Tim Proctor who has a B&B in St Jean. 
On the 2nd September we will start our walk.  Depending on the weather we will either walk the Route Napoleon to Orisson or the Cross.  The Auberge Orisson was full and Jean-Claude offered us tents behind the cabin.  Having walked in torrential rain in September 2007 I decided against it and booked us into a Gite in St Jean for two nights instead.  If the weather is bad we will walk on the road route to Val Carlos.  Caroline will collect us at 3pm to take us back to our Gite in St Jean.  This means that we don't have to carry our backpacks and we don't have to sleep in tents.  The following day, Caroline will take us back to where we left off the day before and we will continue walking to Roncesvalles and on to Burguete.