It’s taken 10 days of riding to get to the start. Yes, we’ve cycled for 10 days and still we have not yet started. In fact we are in desperate need of a rest. What’s all that about then?
That was just a warm up
So 10 days riding and we’ve almost reached the start. And in those 10 blistering days we’ve cycled 296km. We’ve climbed 3300m of hills, and descended them all too. What’s the point of that? And we are finally just 4km short of St Jean Pied de Port where our pilgrim journey begins in earnest.
For 10 days we’ve been heading in the wrong direction. On purpose. Going east instead of west. Going up to go down along the coast before heading inland to get to St Jean Pied de Port. Why? Because that’s where we can pick up the Camino Frances, our chosen pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostela. There are lots of different routes to Santiago but the Camino Frances is said to be a classic. An inland route across a slice of Northern Spain, taking in hamlets, villages, towns and great cities like Pamplona, Burgos and Leon.
Stoked by Coke
The boys have been amazing in the heat and the hills, powered by the occassional bottle of coke which provides half an hours entertainment as the drink is shuttled back and forth between bottle and glass. Small pleasures. Speaking of which, tomorrow will be a day of rest, our only task to register as pilgrims at The Pilgrim Office in St Jean Pied de Port and figure out some of the basics of pilgrim etiquette.
We’ve been told we need to find some scallop shells, an apparently essential pilgrim accessory. Which doesn’t sound like it will be easy now that we are in the mountains. I wish someone could have told us that when we were back down by the sea.