Saturday, August 05, 2023

The Journey Begins


Day 1 -  Le Puey to Tallode

Let the journey begin!!  After a bit of a harrowing trip from Seattle to France, we are finally embarking on our long awaited walking adventure. We left the hostel Friday morning to catch the 7am Pilgrim’s Mass at the Cathedral.  A couple of hundred pilgrims gathered to celebrate mass and receive a blessing on their trip.  It was frustrating not understanding the words, but we thoroughly appreciated the awesome surroundings and mood.  After getting our credentials stamped, we descended the iconic stairs in the center of the cathedral and were ushered into our new world.  Stopping back at the hostel to pack up the last of our belongings brought an unfortunate start to our day.  Other pilgrims were warning about the need to book lodging ahead of time, so I frantically booked a cheap hotel in what I thought was a town on the Camino.  After booking it, I realized it was actually a town in the opposite direction. This sent me into a panic of trying to cancel the reservation, which was proving very frustrating due to my lack French language skills. Fortunately, a fellow bilingual pilgrim was able to help.  It was only fitting that a couple of Washingtonians start their Camino in a drizzle.  Our rain parkas got broken in as we climbed our way through city streets to the surrounding plateau. The scenery was amazing and we quickly entered the pastoral French countryside.  Because of our late start, our lack of sleep and our apprehension of our evening lodging, we decided to get room at a nearby village.  Though the owner of a farmhouse gite appeared to be unwilling to rent us beds, we were eventually given a private room.  After a nice jet lag nap, we enjoyed a good dinner in the company of Bruno and Lionel who kindly
introduced us to French culture and politics.

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