...I love travelling, and my wife, consequently, should love travelling also.
— Oscar Wilde, "The Happy Prince", 1888


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OneMore Journey - El Camino de Santiago 2018

Apr 2018 - Jun 2018











Why the Camino?


Although I had heard about the Camino for years, I really didn't know much about it until it was hiked by my friends, Bill and Margaret Riecke, several years ago. After hearing about their experience, I decided it was something I really wanted to try.It sounds like an adventure that will push me, but in a very different way than I experienced on the Appalachian Trail.I'm also excited about meeting new friends from all over the world as less than 10 % of pilgrims (peregrinos) hail from the USA.


  1. El Camino intro

Getting Ready


Over the past year, I've done several things to ready myself for the Camino:-Read just about everything I could find on the internet and several guide books. (Bill and Margaret Riecke were nice enough to share with me.) The one I personally liked best and will be carrying with me is The Village to Village Guide for the El Camino de Santiago Route Frances, by Anna Dintaman and David Landis. It is available in print and as an e-book. -Attended several presentations by American Pilgrims on the Camino at the REI in Asheville. -Picked the brains of everyone I know who has walked it. -Gotten a feel for the trail by watching a movie, The Way, which features Martin Sheen as a man who walks the Camino in honor of his son. I also watched a documentary on El Camino following the journey of three pilgrims. Both are available for streaming. -Prepared my gear. -Tried to stay in reasonable shape.

Gearing Up


As I won't be camping and will have ready access to food, drink and lodging, I will need to bring much less than when I did the Appalachian Trail. I also want to avoid overpacking as I did when beginning the AT (52 lb. at start; 25-30 at end). My pack weighs 17-18 lb. before water and snacks. I'll be bringing:-Gossamer Gear lightweight backpack with waist belt, rain cover and waterproof liner (which converts to duffle for shipping backpack and trekking poles as checked air baggage)-Several changes of light weight clothes (no cotton) and wool socks in compression case-Rain jacket and pants-Wide-brimmed hat-Fleece pullover-Light-weight down jacket-Silk travel sheet and fleece throw blanket(in lieu of sleeping bag)-Stuff sack to be used as a pillow-Headlamp w/spare batteries-Toiletries-Medications-10 Ft of paracord and bag clips (for clothes line and clothespins)-Earplugs-Smart phone, charger, cords and external battery-Small first aid kit-Trail running shoes-Sandals-Several spare zip-lock plastic bags in various sizes-Trekking poles-Guidebook-Pilgrim's credential-Money-belt-Travel wallet-ATM and credit cards (which do not have foreign currency transfer fees)-Nylon bag to be used as carry-on on plane and as grocery bag for shopping along the way-Water bottle-Back-up paper copy of credit cards-Kindle-pocket knife

D (Departure) Day



After a very short night chasing last minute details, Chris dropped me off at the Asheville airport at 9 this morning. I flew to Atlanta and am now somewhere over the Atlantic enroute to Paris. With any luck, I’ll catch an EasyJet flight from there to Biarritz and then a shared van to St Jean Pied de Port. Should be there by late afternoon Tuesday.Hoping for a change in weather forecast. Currently calling for rain for the next 6 days.

Cnajim24 said:
Posted: 25 Apr 18, 03:20am

Mick- just wanted to wish you a buen Camino! Looking forward to following along via your travel journal. Please let Chris know to call us if she needs anything at anytime when you are away. Enjoy the journey!

Claire, Matt, and the girls

Atlanta to St Jean Pied du Port

Made it

St Jean Pied Du Port

Made it to the start


I flew from Atlanta to Paris and then on to Biarritz France. From Biarritz I took a shared van to St. Jean. I’m glad I didn’t t decide to take the train as there is a rail strike across France starting today. St. Jean Is a beautiful mountain town. The van dropped me off at my B&B. Checked in and then headed to town to get an orientation at the Pilgrim Office. After which I bought a wide-brimmed hat to replace the one hanging out n my garage.Returning to my room I cleaned myself and my clothes, then headed to dinner. The picture in the last post shows the plat du noir I selected. I wasn’t t sure what I had ordered but it ended up being a delicious stew. I almost fell asleep while finishing it so I meandered back to my room and crashed since tomorrow I have to hike up and over the Pyrenees mountains.

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