May 29th..

Not long now..

Not long before I throw on my backpack and travel back to Spain. May 28th to be precise. You should see my phone..it has a countdown on it showing how many days I have left. But at the same time, I am also dreading the return flight home. I so wish this was a longer trip but it is what it is.

I fly off on the 28th of May and start off on the morning of the 29th. I have a spot booked in Esprit de Chemin which is an albergue in St Jean Pied de Port and over the course of 11 days, I will make my way westwards. I hope to reach Belorado, which is about 240km from St Jean and 40km east of Burgos. I have in fact given myself an extra day but that is just the way my return flight worked out. Hey! If I am healthy enough I may make it to Burgos! I have a hotel booked in Bilbao when I finish up and fly back to Dublin the next day, on the 1oth of June.

Last year was great fun, and I returned home with very few aches and pains (no blisters! yay!). I met some amazing people and I still keep in contact with them today. People from all over the world. If I meet more people like them, I will be honoured. However, like 2012, I tended to stick to the same 8-10 people and “could” have got to know more people. I don’t know but I just felt safe with the people I met and if I lost them, I would be back to square one. So I tended to stick with them during the course of the 12 or so days. I would certainly hope to be my own person this time, and if I lose some people, so be it.

Apart from booking Esprit de Chemin and my hotel in Bilbao, I have no plans to book ahead. It was heart-breaking last year to have walked 30km in the sun, only to find the next town’s private albergues to be booked.  But these are the things can come with the modern age Camino. I “hope” to stay in Municipal or Donotivo albergues. I live in relative comfort at home so a few days without it is fine by me. Trust me if I was able to carry a tent, I would sleep under the stars. We are all meant to be pilgrims but there are some people who have forgotten what the word means! Ahem..ok..I digress!

I am also bringing along my trusting iPhone 4 for blogging and taking photos. This is the phone that was badly damaged in a rain deluge and was put beyond use. I had it repaired and now use it as a back up. One day I will leave the phone at home but one piece of tech is fine in my books. Besides, some of the views in the Pyrenees need to be captured. I also have my instagram account to upload photos as I go along.

The highlight of my Camino last year was witnessing the Corpus Christi procession in Carrion de los Condes. Amazing. That was on June 6th and I have my fingers crossed that I will see the same this year.

And finally…También me gustaría hablar español cuando y donde puedo. Es España, después de todo!!

I will most certainly write before I go, but if I don’t “Buen Camino a todos”!!

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2 thoughts on “May 29th..

  1. Hi David

    I have just started researching the Camino and anticipate doing the St Jean Pied de Port to Santiago in February of 2016. This is obviously quite a bit away but I have lots off stuff to do before then and I surmise that 2 years notice is plenty in order for my employer to give me extended leave to complete the adventure. I have read some of your 2012 posts and I was very interested to see that you can join at later stages and this has me thinking that I could perhaps to do something similar later this year, just to get a feel for it.

    Reading other peoples experiences conjures up a flow of excitement through me, so I know that this is something I must do. I really can’t wait!

    I am also in the process of learning Spanish, albeit the very early stages. I am planning a trip to either Madrid or Malaga in September to complete a two week intensive language course to further my learning and try to immerse myself in the language.

    Your blog is really interesting and I am enjoying working my way through your posts. Keep up the good work as it’s very inspiring for me!

    Thanks and best wishes.

  2. Hi James
    Thanks very much for your comment. It’s always good to know people get something from my posts. Feel free to browse through and if you have any questions let me know. There are a number of blogs I follow also that may interest you. Check them out if you have time.
    The good thing about the Camino is you can start anywhere you wish. There is no rule that you must start in St Jean but if you want to receive a compostela, the minimum distance you must walk is the last 100km, ie from Sarria.
    If you are looking for a taster, you could do what I did for my last Camino and start in Logrono, which is very close to Bilbao airport. You can walk for 4/5 days into Burgos and spend a day or two there. There is so much to see in Burgos.
    Even after my 3 visits, I still get a buzz talking about the Camino and I can’t see that going away.
    The best way to learn Spanish is by immersing yourself in it. I started in 2012 and have been learning slowly since then. I try to speak it when I can but being in Ireland, there aren’t many Spanish people 🙂 I am hoping to go to Santiago next year for a weekend..no walking 🙂 as I have friends there.
    Take care and feel free to send a message with any questions
    Buen Camino!!

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