“There are but two ways to go. Like a lamb in one’s sleep. Or like a bull, in Pamplona.”
We’re gonna be bulls……….not sheep.
Ten weeks from today, our pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago will begin in Ernest’s old stomping grounds, Pamplona.
In fact, we will actually begin only one block from the bull ring from where Papa Hemingway based important parts of “The Sun Also Rises,” and “Death in the Afternoon.”
“Pamplona is not the place to come to with your wife.”
The city certainly changed Hemingway’s life, and we are sure it will mark the starting point for improvements in our lives, too. Importantly, we’re hoping, though, that our trek will emphasize the beautiful walks in the rising sun and not the death marches through Spain’s afternoon heat.
Our plan calls for arrival in Pamplona on August 21, after stops in Paris and Madrid. Our flights start 19 hours earlier in Detroit.
“There are only three sports: bullfighting, motor racing, and mountaineering; all the rest are merely games.”
We’ll probably be pooped from that traveling, (very pooped) and will take two days in Pamplona, recovering in Papa’s favorite town. Then on Sunday, August 24 we will begin our journey from this beautiful classic city.
On Our Way, Plans for the Road
Pilgrims traveling the Camino de Santiago travel through many cities, towns, villages and one-horse towns.
And, pilgrims need to sleep.
Actually, there are lots of sleeping options. There are public and private albergues, hostels, private homes, and hotels–ranging from the fleabag variety to luxurious castles.
After deep soul searching that took……………uhhh, about ten seconds……….we decided this:
Albergues: The thought of sleeping with 100 strangers may have been a fun idea in our 20’s and maybe one at a time. Today, the idea just doesn’t excite us. There are too many rumors of bedbugs and theft. No thanks.
Hostels: When we were young we hated sharing a bathroom with brothers and sisters each morning. The thoughts of elbowing octogenarians for bathroom rights don’t appeal to us today. We’ll pass.
Private Homes: Jim hates staying overnight at his best friend’s house during invitational golf weeks. He isn’t gonna love this either. Nope!
Fleabag Hotels: We’ve stayed in our share in our lives. And while there is something charming about rust stained bathtubs and sticky bed comforters, we will avoid them.
Classic Historical Hotels: Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Yes.
Descriptions for our overnights include:
Former Sixteenth Century Mansion
Twelfth Century Tower located in a medieval walled town
Seventeenth Century Palace
Former pilgrim hospital that dates from 1377
Located in a former monastery
And that is just the first week.
We’ve posted a few photos from those hotels, and we can’t wait to visit them.
Preparing for a Long Walk
Four weeks ago we were in pretty good shape. We were walking 20 to 25 miles each week. We were getting comfortable with our backpacks. We were learning the proper use of walking sticks.
Oh…how the mighty have fallen.
Over the past month, our walks have been confined to strolls to the refrigerator as we’ve been busy……..with “life.”
Jackie’s granddaughter, Rachel, was our most recent visitor.
And Rachel has no time for long walks, when there are books to read, “Frozen” to watch, Chuck E Cheese to visit and toys to be played with. Heck, she has six-year-old priorities.
We had intended to get Rachel a bike so that she could exercise with us when we took walks on the Saginaw County Rail Trail.
We looked at bikes, and Rachel certainly liked them. But in the end, there was very little walking, and a few visits to Mr. Cheese’s restaurant.
It was a great time.
Ultimately, Jackie and Rachel did manage a hike in Colorado over the weekend with Jackie’s son, Todd.
Jim, meanwhile, went back to carrying his golf bag.
We are back at it this week.