El Camino de Santiago

Trip Start Aug 25, 2008
Trip End Oct 02, 2008

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Where I stayed
Refuge de Pèlerins

Flag of France  ,
Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Pilgrims have walked this route for almost a thousand years. The place reeks of history. The traditional starting point for many pilgrims, St. Jean - or Donibane Garazi in Basque - has conserved its medieval atmosphere. It is surveyed by a monastery on a hill which offers a truly magnificent view of the town and its outskirts. Obviously, this is a place not only famous to pilgrims, but to common tourists as well. Today, they fill up the streets and make it difficult to focus on the journey on which I am about to embark. I try to evade them as much as possible.

Sunset. I walk up to the monastery to enjoy the scenery. The tourists return to their hotels and the buzz in the main street, la rue de citadel, ebbs and fades away. Finally some tranquillity. The municipal refuge at which I am staying closes at ten, so I still have time. Sitting on the hill, I watch the scenery as the sun goes down. Reflections on the past and visions of the future turn up.

Everyday life is far away. Tomorrow is yet to come, and lost in thoughts I sit there and let my mind and eyes wander. What is it that brought me here? What is it that lies ahead of me?

I pack my things and head down to the refuge. Ten minutes to ten. Ten minutes before they lock the doors. Time to get a good cap of sleep to be ready for tomorrow's adventures.
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