Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Now we are down to three of the original VF Five. Linda has had to withdraw for personal reasons. Val can only join us for two out of the 3.5 weeks.

It was my turn to have a luncheon get-together on Saturday. We discussed air flights, transport to Lourdes, where to stay etc.
We three will walk from Lourdes to Oloron Ste Marie, turn south to the Sompost Pass and walk the Aragones Route to Puente La Reina. We will have a rest day when we take a taxi from Jaca to San Juan de la Péna with it's massive over- hanging rock (that gives it its name). Here is a legend about San Jaun.

"One day in about 732 a noble Mozarabic youth from Saragossa went hunting deer in these mountains and he chased a steer until it fell over the cliff. The young man almost fell over as well but he was able to rein in his animal. Looking over the edge he saw the dead steer lying next to the entrance of a deep cave. Inside the cave was a tiny shrine and on the ground, lying dead with his head on a stone was the venerable hermit Juan de Atarés. The youth buried the hermit, sold all his own wordly goods and with his brother came to live in the cave. Before they diedm, they handed over the hermitage to two disciples and thus the fame of this saintly place reached the outer world. In this tiny sanctuary was born the Kingdom of Sobarbe which gave birth to the Kingdom of Aragon." (Walter Starkie - The Road to Santiago)
Val will return home from Pamplona and Marion and I will be continuing on to walk the camino Ingles from Ferrol.

We had a great working lunch. I did a tapas platter and variation on the Coquille St Jacques using artichoke hearts instead of scallops. I also made polenta slices with leek and rocket, and did Caprichos (meringues) with a special almond cream. Mmm...mmm.. it was all very delicious!
I even found a bottle of white wine called Muchas Gracias.

We have all booked our flights on Iberia. We leave for Toulouse on the 4th June and get a train to Lourdes on the 5th June. Whilst in Lourdes we plan on taking part in the torchlight procession. Joy and I visited Lourdes in 2004 when we were walking the Via Turonensis but we didn't stay there. We start walking on Saturday 6th June. Can't wait!!
Yesterday the 1Time newsletter arrived in my email inbox. They have a special on until the end of June - limited number of seats at R278! That is half the price of a normal one way ticket. So, M and I booked our tickets to Johannesburg from Durban. I haven't booked my return flight yet - will wait until another special comes up in a few weeks time. We have 4 months and 16 days to go.
Val will book her flights this week. She and M have British passports - I have to apply for a Schengen Visa from the Spanish Consulate in Pretoria.

Here begins the journey .........

1 comment:

Virginia ("Ginn") said...

You will have a wonderful sad the others had to bow out...

Committing to life seems to be quite a challenge for many people..they find ways to avoid the final commitment...they miss the best parts.

You will begin, about the time I return to USA and am adjusting to jetlag and face up to the next chapter of my life, post Camino...

Well I will follow and relive my adventure...

Keep posting! 8-)

In Sunny Santa Fe