Day 1. 10 miles, 16 kilometers.
As we walked uphill farther and farther from Le Puy the view became more and more beautiful. We walked through farmland and up and down many hills. Each hill offering a beautiful scene. At one point it hailed but not long enough to put on our ponchos. This was a good first day out. We found a wonderful Gite, (hostel) in Montbonnet and will post about it tomorrow.
The photo shown is one of my first views of Montbonnet.
This is the beautiful Romanesque Cathedral of Norte-Dame in Le Puy-en-Velay. This morning Vern and I made our way through the streets, up (I mean UP), the many cobblestone streets to the immense staircase in front of the Cathedral and up the staircase inside the Cathedral. We attended a Pilgrim Mass. The Monsignor spoke in French and English. Anyone choosing to receive a blessing, regardless of religious affiliation was able to do so. It was great to meet other Pilgrims. Some were leaving today, and some were leaving tomorrow like we are.
This a cluster of buildings at the base/entrance to the Saint Michel d’Aiguilhe Chapel perched on top of a volcanic chimney. To the right is a small chapel. The walk to Saint Michel is up 267 steps. Every climb in this town is more than worth the effort! We have spent some time today preparing a package to mail to a pension in Santiago, Spain to pick up in July. We received a lot of help from a postal worker who actually seemed to enjoy helping us 2 days in a row:) The second photo did not transfer….I’m learning as I go.
Last month Vern and I spent a few days visiting family and friends. We spent time together to celebrate Jason’s birthday and to visit before Vern and I set off on our walking tour from Le Puy, France to Muxia, Spain. When I thought about being gone for 3 months I realized that we will be gone for a season. As we are experiencing color and weather changes so will our friends and family. While we planned, researched, and prepared one truth appeared time and time again: support is priceless!! Many months ago I had chosen the date that I was “drawn” to for the day that we would begin our journey from Le Puy. One of the factors in choosing a date was when would it be optimal to start our ascent into the Pyrenees. As I hovered over a calendar as large as my desk April 20, 2012 kept grabbing my attention….soon the date almost became neon in color on a black and white calendar. First step accomplished! Now that I have the date in which we will start walking I can now go back from that date to choose the date to leave home. Ok, so the process began to decide where we would want to stop along the way and for how long. Support early on came from Chris McMullin. Chris was recommended to me several years ago and described as a good travel agent. After working with her in preparation for our 2009 Camino walk it was a no brainier to call her again. Travel arrangements: just one foundational component in a long series of steps. When the decision to walk was made the Camino for me began.