While most of you are sleeping soundly tonight, I’ll be 30,000 feet in the air trying to do the same. At 10pm, I leave JFK and head to Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. From there, it’s a bit an adventure to get to my starting point for the Camino: St. Jean Pied-de-Port.
- Thursday, May 10, 11:10 AM: Touch down at Charles de Gaulle. Get my bags. Go through customs. Hop a bus for the 45 minute ride to Paris’ other airport – Orly.
- 3:00PM: Depart Orly for Biarritz, France – on the same flight as two fellow pilgrims from South Africa with whom I’ll travel the rest of the way to St. Jean. (More on that below.)
- 4:15PM: Arrive Biarritz. Take a half-hour bus ride to the Bayonne train station.
- 6:10 PM: Take the train from Bayonne to St. Jean Pied-de-Port.
- 7:36PM: Arrive in St. Jean. Make my way to the hostel I reserved. Eat something. Hopefully get some sleep.
- May 11, sometime after 6AM: Wake up, write three pages, eat, don my pack and head out for my first day on the Camino. Walk 5 miles up and up and up and up into the Pyrenees to Orisson. Note the snow in the pictures on their web site. Let’s hope I don’t see any of that.
I posted my start date and location on a Camino Forum a couple months ago. Thanks to that, I know of seven people starting with me. Brad is originally from Nebraska, now going to school in DC. You can follow his blog here. Next I heard from Daniel who informed me he and his two friends (all from Switzerland) would also be starting from St. Jean on May 11. Next Christina from Germany asked about car pooling. I gave her the name of a web site for that as I’m aiming to take public transit from the airport. Then there’s Charmaine and Chrisi – the two girls from South Africa who are actually on my very same flight from Orly to Biarritz. So for those of you that said, “You’re doing this alone?!” rest assured I’ll have some company along The Way.
And if you’re still picturing me walking something akin to the Appalachian trail, go on Netflix and watch The Way with Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez. You’ll have a much better picture.
Note that I’ll also be blogging for bustedhalo.com along the Camino. I will link to those posts from this site (so subscribers – you’ll still get an e-mail notification), but you’ll find those posts on bustedhalo.com first. The first post is due to go up on Friday, the second possibly on Monday.
Any words of support or encouragement are welcomed – ideally via the comments section on these posts or via e-mail. Thanks to everyone who helped me get this far:) Next post will be from Spain!