Planes, Trains and Automobiles (and vans)

It’s Easter Sunday and I find myself tonight in Saint Jean Pied de Port, France, soon to depart on the Camino.  I planned a day of rest here to let me get over jet lag and be fresh & ready to go on Tuesday.  In a sense, the adventure has already started – I flew from Philadelphia, so just getting to the flight involved getting a ride to the subway, taking an Amtrak train to Philly, then a local commuter train to the airport, then the flight to Paris, a second flight to Biarritz, France, then a van ride to the hotel.  Whew.

So many things that could have gone wrong, but went just right.  I was actually so concerned about the strikes in Paris and across France that I had mentally prepared a couple of alternatives had things messed up.  Had things gone south before I left the States, i would have flown to Madrid and take the train to start the Camino in Pamplona.  Yes, it would have cost some money… but I still would have been able to walk most of the Camino Frances.  Had there been a disruption once I got to CDG, I could have take a different airline or waited a night and taken the train to Bayonne & St. Jean.

But as the saying says, “the Camino will provide” and things ended up going very smoothly.

It’s easy to complain about the indignities of modern travel… and all the things that have changed during my decades of travel.  But in the spirit of the Camino, I prefer to reflect on the gratitude I have for the experiences and ability to do that travel.  I’ve seen some wonderful places and sights – from the Pyramids in Egypt to Switzerland to Hawaii to the Great Wall…. All things that modern travel has made possible to sooth my wanderlust.

The day after tomorrow, I set out on another great adventure, something totally different than my past travels: I get to see a swath of Spain on-foot and close-up and meet new people. And I’m looking forward to it. A lot.

And with that, I’ll call it a night.  It’s been a busy couple of days with little sleep, and tomorrow will be busy exploring SJPP and acquiring the last few items for my trek.  Good night, all.