Alas, the rumours are true, I am back in Canada. Arrived yesterday afternoon via Air Transat from Paris to Montreal.
Decided to pull the plug on
my Camino when I got to Burgos, Spain. Why? Got my feet looked at by another medic, who told me once again that I needed at least a few days of rest for my feet to improve. Tatyana pressed on (sent her with my iPod as to help her stay connected with her family), and I made my way back to Bordeaux, France.
My train pass still had a few trips left on it, thank goodness, so my mission from Burgos was to get to the French border as economically as possible, then hop a TER (regional train) to Bordeaux. This little adventure brought me to San Sebastian, Spain for an afternoon/night, and I wish I could have stayed longer! If I could compare San Sebastian to anywhere I went in the past month, it would be like a larger, more affordable version of Monaco... and it has some of the most beautiful in-city beaches in Europe! Spent a good portion of my aftern
oon, with my feet wrapped up, laying on the beach. *Sigh*
Tuesday morning I left San Sebastian on a PESA (similar to Greyhound) bus to Bayonne, France. On the bus, PILGRIMS! Tons of them. Everyone was making their way to St. Jean Pied de Port to start their Camino. It was really neat to be around all of them... Most of them were German, and the girl next to me was from Hungary. Her name is Laura, and she is an automotive engineer who decided to unplug herself from her cell phone, internet, and a decent shower for a month and a half to do the Way. Go girl!
Bordeaux is amazing; the whole town has been deemed a UNESCO world heritage site. I was happy to be back at Laurene's, but pretty bummed that I couldn't finish the Camino this trip... but not to worry! This has motivated me to plan out my next attempt. I say this now, I will not be doing the Pyrenees again (although it was absolutely STUNNING, but killer). My family has been ultra supportive of me during my Euro-trip, and my dad is convinced (as am I) that I will be back on the Camino in the not-so-distant future; perhaps in a few
years :) The thing about the Camino is, you do it once and you are hooked for life. Many of the pilgrims I met along the Way had done the Camino previously... like 3-7 times! One man, met in Los Arcos, always starts from a different route. This year he began from St. Jean PP to do the French route, but he's done it from Madrid, Lisbon, and the Camino Norte. AND he always does a return trip... on foot! Wow.
Anyhow, Saturday morning I took a train to Paris, settled in and then met up with Laurene for our last day together in Europe. We strolled by the Palais Royal, into the gardens to see the Colones de Buraines, went to the Galleries Vivienne and found an amazing second hand store on Montmarte street. That night we met up with Noémie, we know each other from Laurentian University when she was an exchange student at the same time as Laurene. Good ol' Sudbury! We attempted to do museum night in Paris, but so did everyone else! The
line-up for the Louvre was easily 2 hours long at 9 p.m. ... and the museum was only open until 11:30 p.m. Bummer! They don't call it the City of Lights for nothing! We strolled around La Place Concorde, by the banks of the Seine, and by the Musée D'Orsay. Even saw the Eiffel tower all light up!
Anyhow, now I am home. Bentley, my wild bichon frise, doesn't really know what to do with himself... since I arrived he just looks at me as if to say "wait, I think I know you from somewhere..."
Oh, and I haven't worn shoes for a few weeks! It's rainy and cold here... is it poor form to wear wool socks and crocs?
The adventure continues!