Adventures beyond time

Adventures beyond time

Saturday, May 10, 2008

It is Almost Time

Soon we leave for the Way of Saint James. We have friends to house sit and, especially important, take care of Jake-the-World's-Best-Golden-Retriever. Yesterday, I got my trekking haircut.

Looking back, it has been quite a preparation! I had not heard of this trail until last spring. Now I know many, many details about its history, geography, and services for hikers. Since several people have just started looking at the blog, here’s a short overview.

The primary part of the trail is about 1000-miles long and about 1000-years old. Pilgrims started hiking it in the middle ages to arrive at the church in Santiago Spain where Saint James is thought to be buried.

In France it is Le Chemin de Saint-Jacques. We’ll walk about 100 miles there, in about 11 days, between Figeac and Moissac. In our backpacks, we’ll carry clothes, water, maps, shampoo, soap, toothpaste and brush, comb, sunscreen, aspirin, laundry soap, crocs, a camping towel, a sleeping bag, a jacket, rain pants, rain cape, hat, gloves, trekking poles…in all about 17-20 pounds each. We’ll stay in pensions and gites d’etape (sort of boarding houses, I think.) We’ll eat whatever they feed us, which we hope is serious amounts of cheese and wine! We’ll sleep usually in private rooms, with bath down-the-hall, but sometimes in dorms with bunk beds.

When we get to Moissac, we’ll take three trains to get to Saint-Jean Pied de Port in the foothills of the Pyrenees, which we’ll cross on foot and proceed about 40 miles into Spain along what is called there El Camino de Santiago de Compostela. We won’t get anywhere close to least not on this trip!

Training, getting all our gear and reservations, making plans and changing them a gazillion times have been a big part of the adventure. We hope to post “Reports from the Field” in real time.

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