So now the countdown has officially begun! Since last Tuesday, I have been counting down the days until I board a plane for New Jersey. I will spend a few days with my son, Paul, daughter-in-law, Heather and my grandchildren, Kayla and Nate before I board the plane to begin my Camino. I’m hoping during my short stay in NJ I also will be able to see my older son, Mike and daughter-in-law, Jocelyn. Then I’m off.
I board a plane to Dublin; change flights to Biarritz, France; catch the shuttle van to St. Jean Pied de Port and after a day of resting up after the long flight and any recovering from any jet lag, I will be on the Camino.
My first day is the one I am most fearful of. The climb up the Pyrenees is (I am told) a steady climb from an elevation of 795’ to the peak which crests at 4,757’ at Col de Lepoeder and then descends to 3,117’ at the end of the first stage of the Camino in the town of Roncesvalles.
I will be stopping at the albergue in Orisson (http://www.refuge-orisson.com/) which is at an elevation of 2,608’ and approximately 5 miles from the little town of St. Jean Pied de Port, France. The second day will take me from Orisson to Col de Lepoeder which is another 5 miles uphill – then the trail goes downhill for another 5 or so miles into Roncesvalles, Spain.
That is all the planning I have done so far. I have no intentions of making my Camino a race to the finish. My thoughts right now are to walk about 10 miles per day and to possibly take one day off from walking each week. I’d like to include a hotel stay with a private bath and bed on that day off, but I’m very flexible on that account. There may not be any hotel rooms available on the day I choose to as my off day, or there may not be any hotels in that place at all.
I am going to try to practice walking in a relaxed manner, both inwardly and outwardly as suggested in Joyce Rupp’s book “Walk In A Relaxed Manner” (http://www.joycerupp.com/WalkRelaxed.htm ). I love this quote the author references in her book made by Thich Nhat Hanh —–
“I am not running anymore; I have run all my life; now I am determined to stop and really live my life.”
And that for me sums it up nicely – this is what my Camino is about, the beginning of really living my life!