Getting to the Camino de Santiago

Sitting on the plane for 7 hours from Denver to Iceland required lots of stretching to survive. My compression socks helped. Alas, the flight over Greenland was obscured by clouds. The ride to Paris for a mere 3.5 hours proved less taxing. After landing at Charles de Gaulle airport we taxied for about 15 minutes to a gate. The airport seemed inordinately spread out.

Out of the plane, we walked a ways to baggage claim to get our backpacks, Mine arrived in about 30 minutes but not Betsy’s. After some searching she found it at the oversized luggage place. Getting to the train to Orly airport required multiple inquiries from various people most of whom didn’t speak English. Getting off the train at the correct station then getting on the correct shuttle required more hand waving and gesturing but we finally arrived at Orley.

Helpful folks showed us where to go to get on the plane to Biarritz. We hoped to get on an earlier flight but that didn’t happen. We enjoyed the flight to Biarritz with no cloud cover. The French countryside shone bright green. At Biarritz we got on a bus with some help and got dropped off at a hostel in Bayonne a few miles away. We got a room and crashed. The next morning we walked 2 blocks to the train station and loved the slow curvy ride to St. Jean Pied du Port with about 20 other hikers. In town, hiker Alex from Moldova showed us into the old part of town (see photo) and the pilgrim office where we got our credentials. After some futzing around, we decided to start hiking on the low route over the Pyrenees. Seamen miles if mostly road walking past farms took us to Valcarlos and a hostel. Betsy and celebrated at dinner- we were on the Camino de Santiago.

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