Archive for August, 2012

First few days walking

Monday, August 6th, 2012


On my first day I walked from St. Jean Pied-De-Port France up over the Pyrenees mountains  and back down a little into Roncesvalles Spain. Wow, I just thought about this I walked in two different countries in the same day. I never did that before! It took just over thirteen hours and I covered over 15 miles(24 kilometers.) After walking up over the mountains that was a little hard for the first day. I suggest if you are out of shape and plan one walking the Camino you might think about starting in Roncesvalles. There was a place I could have stopped in the late morning and stay for the night to break the day into two days but I knew I could make it all the way to Roncesvalles.

I met Marvin a retired priest from North Dakota before my morning break we walked together from time to time during the whole day. The last part of the day we walked into the albergue just before lights out for the night. All the albergues have quite time at the end of the day. This one even turns out the lights.
We arrives just earlier enough to eat and go to bed. Both of started out around eight in the morning so it was a very, very long day for both of us.

The second day Marvin was have problems with his back pack to the point it started to give him trouble with his back. The first day and today it didn’t help that we encountered rain, snow hail, sleet, thunder and lightning off and on during the day. While sitting on a bench waiting to see if the rain would let up Daniel from Idaho join us. After a while we decided to head to a nearby village and sit out the rain in a bar drinking coffee.

We walked together and as time passed Marvin start to have more and more trouble because his backpack. Daniel suggested we that Marvin backpack to the road and stop a car to give Marvin a ride into town. I grabbed the pack and Daniel and I head down the trail. After a while caring 2 backpacks I was struggling. I dropped my pack and just had one. Daniel sad I was starting to walk funny with just Marvin’s pack I was. Daniel took the pack and head to the road and I headed back to help Marvin.  I was having trouble helping Marvin and carrying my pack so I left my backpack cover with my umbrella and helped Marvin walk.

Funny Marvin was doing very well with his arm around my neck. He kept telling me to go back and get my back pack until I told hi to “Shut up!” He turned to me smiling and says;”I bet you never told a priest ‘Shut up!’ before”. I smiled and said;”I tell you again if you don’t stop nagging me! I get my backpack after I get you back to the town.” We both laughed and soon we were back to the road.

At the road Daniel got Marvin in the car and headed into town and then he and I headed back don the trail to get my backpack. We just started walking and again Daniel said we don’t both need to go get your pack. He wouldn’t let me go saying I must be tired. I was. He took off running and was back in twenty minutes. It would take me two hours!

So while we walked back to the road I asked how he did that! He had told us he was 57 and was a farmer and climbed some mountains. Well it seems he also was fire rescue for the forest preserve or something and was use to carrying 200 pound men out on his back. That explained the 1/2″ climbing rope he carried. He said it he fell of the trail he could get backup. He meant it!

So we stopped another car and got a ride into Zubiri and checked on Marvin who was doing well. After a good night sleep the three of us to the next day off then walked to Arre and took another day off then walked about 3 miles (5 km) into Pamplona. in Pamplona Marvin caught a bus to start going home and the Daniel was heading out because of a job he had lined up in Norway I think.

As for me I had plans to meet up with my brother Mike in Obanos in a couple of days.