Camino Frances 2016

On my way
Camino is about simplicity and walking on a straight but beautiful path is just about as simple as can be.

Pyrenees
This view was worth the difficult climb.

Friendly Local
The horses on the Pyrenees are beautiful and friendly. Here's one that greeted me by the fence as I start my climb up to Refugio Orisson

The "Climb"
This photo gives you an idea of just how steep some of the sections were climbing up to Refugio Orisson

Pilgrims Office
Pilgrims line up outside of the Pilgrims Office in St. Jean Pied de Port to pick up their pilgrims Crendential

The most popular route to Santiago de Compostela is the Camino Frances, made famous by the move, "The Way", by Emilio Esteves and starring his father Martin Sheen.  The Camino Frances is 790 km and starts in the small town of St. Jean Pied de Port located on the France side of the Pyrenees.  Ever since watching the movie I have dreamed of walking the Camino Frances Route for my first Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage.

I waited until I retired in July 2016 to do my Camino de Santiago pilgrimage so I would not have any time restrictions to complete my journey.  It was a wise decision as it literally took me nearly 6 weeks to reach Santiago de Compostela and that includes skipping the Meseeta.

Since I was about to enter a new chapter in my life with my long awaited retirement status, I felt it appropriate that my Camino de Santiago pilgrimage was to be a "Journey for Reflections and Gratitude".

 
Arrival in St. Jean Pied de Port. I flew into Paris, then took the train to SJPdP (changing once in the town of Bayonne). I booked two nights in SJPDP in a hotel just outside of the Old City Center walls. I got my credentials the next day and then started my Camino on Sept. 21, 2016.

Day 1: SJPdP to Orisson - 4.78 Miles / 200 to 900 Meters Incline On September 21, 2016 I started out on my Camino de Santiago. It was short on distance but steep on the (Elevation) climb. I left around 8:30 am, and arrived probably around 1:00 pm (4.5 hours).

Day 2: Orisson to Roncesvalles - 9.949 Miles / 1400 Meters Highest Point The stay at Orisson broke up this long stage. I started out late again, around 8:30 am or 9:00 am. The day was clear and beautiful, but the climb was steep and challenging. I arrived in Roncesvalles around 4:00 pm (approximately 7 hours).

Day 3: Roncesvalles to Zubiri - 13.856 Miles Point

Day 4: Zubiri to Pamplona - 11.930 Miles

Day 4: Logroño to Navarrete - 7.395 miles