Day One

Arrived at the cathedral of notre-dame in le Puy for 7am mass and pilgrims blessings. I would estimate there were at least 30 people ready to set off, some just doing a section whilst others like myself would be attempting the whole distance. Turns out I was the only one (at least to admit it) who could not speak French?!
After a quick coffee with the old folks, I donned my gear and set off following the guide book’s directions, it wasn’t long until I no longer needed it as the way is very well waymarked.
Although the day had started off fairly chilly it soon warmed up and I got into my stride….for at least 5km until I realised my new (and expensive) walking boots that every friggin’ expert said I needed, were not being kind to my feet! After 15km I stopped in a village by the name of Montbonnet. After waiting aimlessly outside the gite d’etape for almost an hour, I, being in a strop by now, walked up the road and found a bar, aptly called bar St. Jaques. The owners were very hospitable and I booked myself into one of their rooms. Quickly getting my boots off I found not one but three blisters… Balls!!!
I can’t blame Euan at Ellis Brigham in Bristol as he only suggested I consider proper boots, I can however name & blame Barkers of Ringwood, who supposedly hold the largest stock of outdoor boots in the UK and who claim they won’t sell you boots unless they themselves are happy with the fit…! Well guys, it may take me a few months to get back to you, but be warned, after all you’re measuring and spiel about proper boots. I’m coming back to you to complain!
(at this point I’d like to make a quick note to anyone considering this pilgrim route or any other. Stick with your gut instincts, if you want to wear boots that you’ve worn every day for years, knowing that when they’re about to fall apart you can go to the shop, or order online, without the need to try them on, then wear them. Do not listen to so called experts a) that work in shops, because they don’t know jack, or b) that write in magazines, because 90% of the time they’re biased as to who is giving them the most freebies or money for advertising).
Aahhh rant over.
So anyway, I washed my socks & pants (and myself), read a little and then after a brief hello from the folks who came to my rescue with my old boots (thank you thank you thank you). I briefly spoke to my beautiful girl back at home and then by, ooh, I don’t know, 7.30pm, I was in bed!
These blisters need to heal fast!!!



About waytosantiago

The way of St. James is one of the three largest Christian pilgrimages of the world. I intend to walk one of the many routes which begins in le Puy en Velay, France. The route has been trodden by many weary souls, looking for answers, looking for adventure, for the obvious religious reasons, or just walked for the sake of it. I first came across the route about 6 years ago whilst reading Paulo Coelho’s ‘The Pilgrimage’, I decided maybe something could be learnt from spending so much time on the road in solitude. Being the kind of person that lives to work, these ideas were put on hold whilst my life moved steadily forward. Recently I’ve found myself longing for adventure and decided it was time to begin planning. Another thing I decided was if I was going to do this, I may as well try and raise money for charity along the way. So the story begins...
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s