Camino, Gratitude, Retirement

Post Cards from the Camino Trail 2017 – Week One

Our days on the Camino have been incredibly full, with reliable internet being rare and illusive. Once a week, whenever the internet gods are with me, I will attempt to post quick postcards of highlights for that week. Here’s a sneak peek from Week One.

Getting There – July 19 & 20:

We had a direct flight to Paris and a second flight to San Sebastián, Spain so that we could have a two-night recovery from jet lag before beginning the trail. This literally involved over thirty hours of travel by car, ferry, multiple buses, skytrain, international plane, domestic plane, more buses and taxi! Also, as modeled by Richard (above), our travels involved much waiting (as well as a 9 hour time change).

Pre-Walk Rest-Up Days – July 20 & 21:

San Sebastián was stunning with amazing food everywhere (there are more Michelin Star restaurants there than anywhere else in the world)! Since their annual Jazz Festival was taking place while we were there we were able to see a free Chrissie Hynde and The Pretenders concert with standing spots near the stage. Very cool!

Starting Point – Najera – July 22:

Last year we ended our eight-day Camino Trail walk in Najera, so that is where we decided to start from this year. Don’t we look fresh, energetic and ready to go?

Day One – Najera to Granon (29.5 km):

If you know me personally, you already know that for four solid weeks before our departure I had an ongoing sciatic nerve injury, dreaded ear-infection, plague-like virus and bronchitis. I was worried that I had not done enough prior training for this trek. Knock on iPhone, the first day was surprisingly okay! (Yes, these sunflowers are for you, Dee!)

Day Two – Granon to Espinosa del Camino (24.1 km)

One of my favorite things about the Camino is the fascinating people that you meet, and hearing their stories about why they are walking. Tonight we had dinner with a man, Johan, who began walking from the Netherlands on April 1 and plans to continue walking to Santiago de Compostela, Spain (over 3000 km in total). That made our 700 km goal seem like a piece of cake. Johan was walking to raise money for a friend’s son who had been diagnosed with leukemia. He had taken off time from work to do this. Very impressive!

Day Three – Espinosa Del Camino to Atapeurca (21.9 km).

Today was the most challenging so far. We spent much time climbing straight up (ascending over 200 meters). Although I usually walk at a faster pace than Richard, I was almost crawling and cursing (just a bit, Mom!) as Richard strode effortlessly straight up. Seriously, how does he do that?

Day Four – Atapeurca to Burgos (20 km)

After a relatively easy five hour walk today, we are now safe and sound in Burgos. As the day is not yet over, you can catch that write-up next week. Please stay tuned!

32 thoughts on “Post Cards from the Camino Trail 2017 – Week One”

  1. I hope you are taking advantage of those 5 star Parador Hotels in the major cities. Loving following your walk.


    1. Hi, Mads – The auberges have been wonderful. And only 5 euros a night has been the real bonus! Thanks for following!


    1. Thanks, Jill – Finding reliable internet has been challenging. I will try this keep everyone posted when I can. Thanks for following!


  2. Looks like you’re off to a good start, even after a taxing 30-hour journey to get there. Great idea to take a couple of days off to get used to the time zone and new surroundings! Staying tuned and sending you lots of energy, especially for the ascends. (I hate it when Mark charges ahead, usually going up as well!).


    1. Thanks, Liesbet – I greatly appreciate you following along. I’m glad to know that it is not just me who hates ascents!


  3. It looks like an awesome start! Great pictures! I read about the man you met Jonah who is walking to raise money for his friend’s son. If you have his contact, can you please share with me and we can probably help him out.


    1. Hi, Huiman – Thank you so much for commenting. Johan’s FB page is: viacamino Seas2seas. His donate button is I know that he is thrilled with any support he can get.


    1. Thanks, Terri – Our energy levels deplete by the end of each day. But so far we have been eager to go each morning!


  4. So glad to hear that the virus has not prevented you from enjoying the walking, Donna. How ever did you both get over the jet lag before starting the walk? Wonderful photography. Enjoy the rest of the trip (oh, and the lovely food).


  5. I’m finally able to read and comment on all the posts I missed while we were traveling, and I’m thrilled with this one. Not only did you overcome some challenging health issues, you are able to share your journey with us even though you don’t always have great internet. One foot in front of the other… and take lots of pictures!


    1. “One foot in front of the other” is a great motto. Quite often, blogging on the trail has been more difficult than the climbs! Thanks so much for commenting!


  6. I have been caught up in moving and am just catching up on reading my favourite blogs now. Wow, your travels to get there sound gruelling! Good that you planned two rest days before starting out on the trail. I loved San Sebastián when I was there in the ’70’s, but haven’t been back since then. Such beautiful photos from the first few days of your trek!



    1. Hi, Jude – Thanks for stopping by to read this post despite your busy moving schedule. I look forward to catching up with you mid-September if you have the time!


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