My Camino de Santiago began on September 10th. First thing, I had to build up my bike, which was delivered in Speedy Gonzalez time: picked up at 6pm the day before, it was in Saint Jean Pied de Port already when I got there at 7:30pm, bravo Seur!
Building it was fun and I could chat again with the Canadian bike pilgrims I met the night before. But the best thing was that I got the chance to start my Camino Photo Project. I'm taking 3 distinctive portraits of Pilgrims and Locals that live on the Camino. Once finished, it will show the amazing strength of Cliff and his wife, to whom that same day the Camino took a completely different meaning: be strong you two, I'm sure you will get through it, "ánimo"!
On the Camino, everyone has a different story. Roby's for instance, who works at the Auberge we stayed, is one of a 6 month pilgrimage from Strasbourg and back to fight brain tumour together with the ARTC Alsace association.
If that itself wasn't already quite a moving morning, I still had to leave Saint Jean Pied de Port. I did it on a really sunny moment: 1 pm. Ok, yes, I admit it, it was quite a stupid moment to start. The sun was hotter than where I came from, Nice (southern France), and I simply couldn't choose a path worse than this: the Route of Cize. It is only 26 km but it goes up to 1480 m and the steepness never ends. Having a bike and the luggage, this was almost an impossible challenge, the best demonstration of this is that even walking pilgrims overtook me.
Second recommendation for the Camino: get up earlier!
However, I cheated! But stay with me. I only reached the Croix de Thibaut, some 1300 m high and 15 km from Saint Jean Pied de Port. The reason was that I found there Vicente, probably the most...
To be continued in Part 2.