Day 0: In Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port

After nine months of thinking about the movie “The Way” and four months of planning, we’re finally here in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, France about to begin our own Camino tomorrow. I’ve seen so many pictures and videos of this historic little town that I’m getting a huge sense of déjà vu now that I’m actually here.

I thought that after the flights to Paris and Biarritz without much sleep, we’d be zombies by the time we made it here to SJPdP, but the adrenaline kicked in just in time and we managed to stop by the official Pilgrim’s Office, get checked in at the very comfortable Errecaldia Bed & Breakfast, and even have our first “pilgrim’s meals” (I had the regular one and Kathey had the vegetarian version — perfect!).

The Pilgrim’s Office said the higher Napolean route is closed at the moment because of a late snow, but we’d already planned to take the lower route tomorrow and stay the night in Valcarlos, so it’s not a problem for us. After breakfast in the morning, we’ll check out of this B&B, walk out the front door, and just keep walking.

I’ve had various little pains in both knees over the past few days, but I’m convinced that they’re just stupid random pains that won’t turn into real problems. All of our training has been great the past few months, and these pains come and go without any real reason for them, so I’m choosing to ignore them. That being said, I brought a knee brace just in case I need it for the first couple of days as we cross over the Pyrenees mountains. Then my knees just better get with the program and shut up.


Checking in at the Pilgrim’s Office. We got our scallop shells here, which will go on the back of our packs to show we’re peregrinos (pilgrims). :-)

Tomorrow we start following these route markers.

Off to bed!