Denoument: Pamplona to Paris

I left Pamplona on a night bus and arrived in Paris Saturday morning. I had no lodging arranged, and although my tent was useless in all this civilization, this situation didn’t worry me one bit. I got on the metro and went straight to Shakespeare & Company, the international literary haven. The symbolic bookends were just…

The Living Road

I’ll put my foot / On the living road / And be carried from here / To the heart of the world     -Lhasa de Sela I’m in intense post-Camino headspace. Incredible things just keep happening, a nonstop flow that has me blissful in gratitude. From walking into Pamplona to a night bus to…

Walking Away From

Leaving St.-Jean-Pied-de-Port was emotional for me. I was excited to walk again, eager to take on the challenge of the Cize Pass mountain, restless for more Camino. But I was very sad to leave this little town and all the blessings it had given me so generously. I did linger in front of a “for…

A Foot in Each World

Here I am at the threshold: Working at the pilgrim office in St.-Jean-Pied-de-Port has been nearly life-changing. Every day among the pilgrims there are smiles, anxieties, pride, comfort, challenge, and tears. Simultaneous languages swirl as a constant soundtrack, punctuated by the frequent “Buen Camino!” Yes, I have considered staying. For another week, a month, a…

Working at the SJPDP Pilgrim Office

I arrived in St.-Jean-Pied-de-Port and knew I must stay to await mail. So I asked at the Pilgrim Office if I could volunteer. They instantly welcomed me and I agreed to return first thing in the morning. As a job application, I was to write the boss lady a casual email explaining my interest, my…

Way Off the Grid in Basque Country

A man arrived at the door just as I was falling asleep at Arudy, alone in a real bed in a big bedroom at the parochial house. It was a refuge for pilgrims operating on donations only, and its mascot was a now-adult cat that rode in on a pilgrim’s shoulder years ago.  It was…

Perfectly in Place

This is a completely ideal Camino. Instantly, this most famous trail justifies its place as the greatest Western pilgrimage. The path is a nice little continual puzzle, but not too difficult. I keep finding the trail with equal applications of navigational skill and intuition. Or call it faith. (Sign below basically says “yield,” but translates:…