I had a great experience walking the Camino Frances in the fall of 2021. When I returned home I kept thinking that I wanted to do it again. The Camino calls for you.
I now walk again with my neighbor and fellow Camino Walker from 2021, Rick Boyd. Unfortunately, David Schuster who was with us in 2021 was unable to join us.
Like the last trip, we flew into Paris and then a train to Saint Jean Pied de Port, a wonderful French village at the foot of the Pyrenees Mountains. We stayed a couple nights in SJPDP to adjust after nearly twenty hours of travel.
We began our trek Friday April 21, 2023. This time though, we will break the passage over the Pyrenees into two parts and stay in the Refuge Orrison, about an 8 kilometer journey. The next day, we would continue with 16 kilometers to Roncesville.
As will happen with the best laid plans for life, circumstances bring a reality that forces a change. The climb is steep and difficult. On the way up, I started getting muscles spasms in my right thigh. Stop it, it said to this flat land resident of Florida.
We both made it to Refuge Orrison, but not without some pain. Rick had hurt his back and my thigh and groin were screaming at me. "Don't be stupid," it said. "You are turning 69 years old in a few months and not a spring chicken." I decided to listen to my body, as did Rick. We discussed the options and decided to take a taxi back to SJPDP, then a bus to Pamplona for a few days rest, giving our bodies a chance to recover.
Although, I missed seeing the beautiful landscape and the horses, sheep, and cattle that roamed the mountainside, (and hearing the music of cow bells echoing through the mountains) this was the best option. It would allow us to continue the rest of the way, baring any further problems. It also gives us a chance to explore Pamplona, a city that is vibrant and layered with history. We will discover why Ernest Hemingway loved this town. His experiences with Pamplona became the basis of his novel "The Sun Also Rises."
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