Walking the Camino
Louis Boyle, veteran of several trips along the world renowned pilgrimage route through France and on to Santiago in Spain, was the speaker for our December talk. We learned early on that others too had walked various stages and there was an interesting exchange of tips and suggestions for those who might be considering following in their footsteps.
Louis began with a brief history of the pilgrimage route and then took us to St Jean Pied de Port on the French side of the Pyrenees. Using a series of photos he conveyed both the sense of challenge and the camaraderie experienced by the walkers. In the photos it was clear that Louis was travelling light while others seemed to be very heavily burdened.
He explained the importance of documentation for those taking part as well as the need to be organised. Finding someplace to stay was a priority and Louis noted that some of his French fellow-travellers booked ahead. He on the other hand found that if he set out early enough in the morning, around 7am, he could arrive in time for lunch, find lodgings, get laundry done and settle in for the evening in time for curfew at 10pm. He had some amusing albergue anecdotes of staying in the pilgrim only hostels.
Louis displayed items associated with his camino walk. He drew particular attention to his camino passport, needed for food and lodging en route, his compostella - authentication that he had completed the journey to Santiago and the iconic scallop shell worn as a badge by pilgrims and named after Saint Iago/James/Jacques.
Louis told us that he's off again next year to follow a feeder route starting at the medieval town of Le-Puy-En-Velay in the Auvergne.
We'll follow his journey with interest.
Merci Louis !