I did it my way… which was tailgating an American friar and his group from Sarria to Santiago de Compostella, the last 100km of the French Way which begins in St Jean Pied de Port.
But there is no one definitive way of doing the Camino, thank Heavens. You may prefer to follow the route from Lourdes.
I did the first stretch the easy way this time, by coach, with Lourdes rugby player Andre who is 56 but looks 36 doing the heavy lifting of the bus up the Pyrenees, and miraculously avoiding cyclists coming the other way down the middle of the road.
We visited the beguiling Cirque de Gavarnie with its crashing 434m waterfalls and 16 summits and scaled the Col du Tourmalet, the most climbed route for Tour de France cyclists where I took a breather…. sitting in the back of a coach sure takes it out of you!
And we let the cable car take the strain guiding us up the Pic du Midi to Le 2877 restaurant, the highest in Europe, where we looked out (or down) onto the peaks.
Je digresse! And you can too, off your Camino route, to take all this in before you get back on the road, over the Pyrenees and into Spain and onto Santiago.
Caminoways.com will map it all out for you. It’s basically a case of criss-crossing ways from your starting point at Lourdes, 40kms from the international airport served in the summer season by Ryanair. http://www.ryanair.com. And you’ll see the de rigeuer bar stops that so mark the Camino.
Look out for my Lourdes Prayer and Pyrenees peregrinations in future blogs.
I have recapped my Camino from a couple of years ago here… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/camino-a-pilgrims-prayer/(opens in a new tab). And look out too for what happened to me when I got to the end of the world. Coming soon.
MEET YOU ON THE WAY
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