Here I am! In St Jean Piet de Port the beginning of my Camino into Santiago de Compostela. It has taken me two days to find my way here and I couldn’t be more pleased.
I’ve journeyed via Brussels and Bayonne, caught buses, trains and a plane. I’ve eaten from a French cave and dried my socks in all sorts of weird and wonderful places. My backpack has the 8kgs I’ll live with for the next 5 weeks. The simplicity of that is quite honesty one of my favourite layers of this adventure.
Days on the Camino – 0 (Tomorrow!)
Kms – 0
Starting point today – Bayonne, France
End of the day – St Jean Pied de Port
Number of girls in Africa educated – 14
Total funds raised so far – $4,395.00 If you’d like to contribute you can do so here. Frances Antonia – Do it in a dress.
Thanks for the help Kimmy from the Women Who Hike team.
Today was dedicated to – From tomorrow I’ll be dedicating each leg to someone who has or becomes a part of this journey.
Accommodation – Bed and breakfast €30 pn – traditional basque house.
Food highlight – Home-made preserved from the family ‘cave’ duck spread on French baguettes. Apéro – The French good life!
In a word(s) – Bursting with good feels
A lot of people ask about how my children feel about my adventure. They’ve sent me off adventure ready adorned with flowers from the garden, lovingly plaited wrist bands, hugs and kisses and a ‘have a good time mum’! They think I’m off to do a One Girl hike.
One Girl is a part of our family and a mum who hikes is their ‘norm’ so I like to think they feel proud. I’m proud of my mum for working hard, standing for what mattered to her and achieving her dreams.
After checking into our B&B we (my sister and I) made our way to the official pilgrim’s office to have our credential’s signed. It’s official!
The pilgrim’s office was more exciting than I anticipated. We were given a map to Roncesvalles and a list of all the towns on the way and what facilities they offered. Handy for planning food stops, cash withdrawals etc. I wanted to hug that gentleman who stamped my passport! Being on the cusp of an epic adventure is bloody euphoric.
It’s happening – it hit me there in that moment. I get to hike everyday through France to Spain and across an entire country meeting fellow hikers and travel types. I will be amongst landscapes and history my two great passions. I am lucky.
This medieval village and ancient capital of the Basque-Nevarre region is one of those delightfully charming European experiences. It serves a melting pot of nationalities and today it seemed mostly the walking types. Over dinner we chatted with an Irish couple and a Canadian lady who are here with their own stories and Camino dream.
Of course my story isn’t only about the hike it’s about One Girl. A few of my dearest have begun sharing my adventure on their SM feeds and my husband (man of few words) wrote the most beautiful call to support on his page too. I thought I could cruise now that I’d exceeded my goal of $3,000 – but where’s the challenge in that?!
In honour of this new wave of support I can’t help but want to stand a little taller for One Girl. So … I’ve come up with a new goal. It’s a 769km walk so how about $10 a km? That’s just 2 coffees right. It’s also scholarships for 25 girls, less than the average class size.
YEP! I’m dreaming larger – I’m already halfway there to $7,690 and I’m only at day one of his Camino. So spread the word – ask around see if anyone’s keen to give up a coffee or two.
Buen Camino friends I’m heading into the Pyrenees tomorrow.