That guy with the beard above is Webster Bull, a pilgrim along the Way of St. James, also known as El Camino de Santiago de Compostela. Webster is the founder of this blog, as long time readers will recall. With him in the photograph is his daughter Marian. They up and decided to take a few months off and hit the trail blazed by countless pilgrims since olden times, and Martin Sheen since the film “The Way” opened in theaters last year.
Below is a recap of Day One of their trek from Webster’s blog Witness. They have seven days, and about 170 kilometers (or so), under their feet so far. Webster is writing about the trek (and Marian is too), and for those of you thinking about walking the Camino, consider these two as your own personal reconnaissance team. Follow along with them for the next few weeks as they wind their way over the landscape (geographical, as well as spiritual) of their own personal Caminos, as they make their way to where St. James is buried.
They are doing all the hard work for us. All we have to do is read. On that note, I’ll turn it over to Webster…
St. Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles: Short Takes from Day 1
The good news is that Marian and I successfully completed the first stage of the so-called Camino Francés today, starting in St. Jean Pied de Port, France, at 7:30 this morning and ending late this afternoon in Roncesvalles, Spain, after crossing the Pyrenees. The bad news is, we do it again tomorrow.
I have walked 20 miles before, but on the flat with no pack on my back. Today, we walked over 20 miles, climbed 4,000 net feet, descended 2,000 net feet — all the while carrying 10-kilo backpacks. Before the 9-euro pilgrim supper across the street, I wandered around the halls of the new, state-of-the-art pilgrim refuge here (opened since the filming of “The Way,” which showed Martin Sheen’s character staying in a dismal barracks-like place during his first night on the Camino) like a zombie with blisters. [Read more…]