Posts tagged #Roncesvalles

antique furniture shopping.

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with t1 presetYesterday my friend Natasha (who's becoming a frequent model here on the blog) and I made use of the sunny day and did some serious antique store browsing in pursuit of a coffee table for my otherwise quasi-sparce livingroom. There were some great finds, like the sweet race car uniforms pictured above which I personally think would make killer Halloween costumes, and a picture of what we established Natasha's children will undoubtedly turn out to look like. Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

Ultimately I decided against the lovely-but-expensive wood coffee tables, and went for an industrial metal frame with a glass top. A little daring for how much I spill on a daily basis, but I'm happy to finally have a home for my beloved acorn jars!


Posted on October 21, 2013 and filed under from jess-.

Roncesvalles to Larrosoana, to Pamplona, and a list of ailments.

So it turns out that the fancy face sunscreen I brought with me expired at the end of 2011, resulting in a slight sunburn from being out for 7+ hours a day.It also turns out that, despite popular belief, walking downhill is way worse than uphill. My knees are really hurting today, resulting in cutting my walk short and only doing 14k today. Roncesvalles was lovely and refreshing after such a trek through the mountain pass. I attended mass for the pilgrims, which was in Spanish, but still a really lovely way to start out the trip, and had dinner with a sweet crew. We were served potato soup and fried trout. (Served whole) and a bottle of wine to share. Early Sunday morning we were all woken up by Spanish minstrel music, which seemed oddly fitting, being such an ancient pilgrimage. My little walking troupe stopped about an hour in at a little cafe for cortados and piping hot croissants, and some sort of pastry that was stuffed with prosciutto (which I've had with every meal since) and cheese. We walked through a lot of farm land yesterday, with rolling hills and a lot more downhill than up leaving the Pyrenees. We went on a little further than most of the group and stayed in Larrosoana, and after a glass of wine, joined a group that were unlucky on the quest for a bed who were camping out in a racket ball court. We had a picnic and shared a few bottles of wine and played guitar, and it was one of the best ways to spend an evening. It has been beautiful and very inspiring to talk to different pilgrims about their motivation for walking the camino. There is one absolutely lovely man from France who is in the military, and found his life to be negative and pessimistic, so he has already been walking for a month from central France to "surround himself with beautiful people and refresh his faith in the beauty of life." There is also the colorful Maurice who's life is a mess (his words not mine) and is trying to "rediscover what love means." I'm excited to see their journey and what they learn! We were in a more "rustic" hostel last night, close quarters to the snorers of the group and one couple who unfortunately were using rustling medical blankets (those tinfoil-like blankets they hand out at the end of marathons) that were quite noisy. Ear plugs and a sleeping mask are proving to be the best utilities I have with me! This morning was a little chilly and had some ominous clouds in the distance as we made our way to Pamplona. I walked for about an hour beside a river. It was so beautiful and refreshing. I was planning to walk about 27-30 k today but once I got to the very ancient and lovely city of Pamplona I decided to stay the night and rest my knees before they get to a point of no return. I am feeling renewed and encouraged every day and feeling like I'm worrying less about the technical aspects of the walk (despite the various aches that keep popping up) and feeling my mind shift more to deeper things. Tomorrow holds at least one huge hill, 800 meters up, and 30k of walking, but my pack is stocked with nuts and cured meat and I've already caved and bought a Milka bar for my sweet tooth. Many lovely thoughts and thankfulness sent your way. xo

breakfast in paris, trains, and the beginning.

Greetings from Roncesvalles! After about nineteen hours of travelling, I made it St Jean Pied au Port last night at 8pm and at 7, started the 27kilometre walk here (which was mostly uphill). I´m feeling tired but happy, and encouraged that my feet aren´t blistering (yet). I don´t have wifi here, just the albergue computers so I can´t upload photos just yet but I will show you this beautiful place as soon as I can. I had a lovely morning yesterday in Paris, where I met my dear friend Noemie for coffee and croissants near Notre Dame. Noemie was one of my campers when I worked at Muskoka Woods and I haven´t seen her in four years! It was so lovely to catch up after so long and she was a life saver, getting me on my train to Bayonne on time.

I sat next to a lovely girl on the train who advised me to pursue a relationship with my feet, talk to them, enourage them, rub them every day, and they will be happy. It is a bit of an odd approach but I´m willing to give anything a try!

I was relieved to take the train into St Jean with about 20 other pilgrims. I think I had the vision that it was going to be really sparce and confusing, but I just followed the herd right into the pilgrim´s office where I picked up my credential (a document that you get stamped in each city to show that you have walked the camino). I stayed in a tiny rickety hostel and started the journey at six am.

I am already thrilled at the amount of carbs on this trip. YUM. Baguette for breakfast, protein bar and a full loaf of bread on the walk. Croissants and baguettes galore yesterday. I guess that´s my reward for walking a half marathon everyday!

The walk this morning was quite challenging, steep mountain trails the whole way, but I have heard that this is the hardest day and I´m still alive (though who knows how I´ll feel tomorrow?). it was also a bit snowy at the top of the mountain pass so there was a lot of throwing on layers and taking them off, a welcome song and dance to give my back a break! I am however really pleasantly surprised at how a hiking backpack forces excellent posture.  The only part of me that´s sore right now is my shoulder blades from being forced to stand up straight.

I am already feeling my heart swell from this experience. The landscape is stunning and the people are wonderful. I am learning the necessity to speak kindly to myself, and using the opportunity to practice telling myself that I am proud of what I am doing here every day. I think this is going to be a huge lesson in learning to listen to my body no matter what the group is doing, and to show to myself that I can do much more than I ever thought I could.

I´m going to go wash my clothes, get a really good stretch in, eat a huge plate of whatever I feel like and then there is a mass at six here in the town square for a commissioning ceremony, and then I can only assume I am going to have the deepest sleep of my life.

Thank you to everyone for sending their continuous love and care each day. I need the cheerleaders!