Day 1 – Camino

I’m not quite sure how to begin describing my emotions, the scenery, the physical challenges. So I’m not even going to try at this point. Today’s walk was about 10 miles from Lourdes To the village of Lestelle-Betharram. The day was beautiful and the scenery gorgeous.  Some of the paths brought me back to childhood and memories of walking similar trails with my brother and in the scouts.

I’ve kept a eye on the weather for a few weeks before coming and realized that it’s just like home, unpredictable. So I’m grateful that today was perfect for hiking, cool, crisp, and dry. We will just see what tomorrow brings.

Shorty after leaving behind the Cathedral I found myself on a wooded pathway all alone but discovering signs that I was on the same path as the mounted pilgrim. I soon came upon a French woman on her 10th Camino.

Later in the morning I was overtaken by a Frenchman, Denni, who is an experienced hiker on his first Camino. I am very grateful for the time we walked together as he pointed out various tricks for spotting and following the red and white stripes which mark the GR routes. However after an hour or so of trying to keep up with his pace I had to part company for my knee was beginning to act up a tiny bit.

I arrived and checked into my first pilgrimage lodging. A dormitory room adjacent to the church and Monastery Norte Dame de Betharram. Being the first to check in today I had my choice of beds. It was now about 1:30 so I went in search of food. I discovered a nice little place with offers a 4-course meal which was delicious for only 17 euros. It was so good I returned for dinner too which was equally delicious. I’m afraid I may become like Yost from Holland in the movie The Way. He was walking the Camino to lose weight. Of course he ate his way across Spain without dropping a pound.

Back at the dorm for a nap and to clean up. I was greeted by the woman I’d met earlier walking her 10th Camino, and she was joined by two of her friends. So this is a menage a trois plus one, proving the old adage that more is less!  

My learning curve has many aspects. Learning how to best pack my backpack so I can remember where I put things so I don’t have to rifle through the entire bag just to find my Aleve. I’m still working on the best way to use my new camera and to move pictures to my phone.

Bonne nuit

2 thoughts on “Day 1 – Camino

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