now begins the day
with one step upon the path
my soul is on its way!
© JS Selfe
Chemin du Piemont Pyreneen
el camino calls and we dream about returning but we are like curious, sentient beings searching, trying different paths, different routes, all to the same destination - ourselves?? I couldn't resit the call and am planning to walk the Chemin du Piemont Pyreneen from Narbonne - on the Mediterranean coast - to Pamplona in Spain via Lourdes and St Jean Pied de Port. Well, maybe that route - maybe not!
Perhaps I will walk the first half of the Piemont and then swing left at Oloron St Marie to the Somport Pass and over the Pyrenees onto the Aragones route which joins the camino frances at Puente la Reina.
This is, by all accounts, a stunningly beautiful route and it would be a pity to miss it. After the Somport Pass and Jaca, we will visit the monastery of San Juan de la Péna with it's massive overhanging rock (that gives it its name). Here is a legend about San Jaun.
"One day in about 732 a noble Mozarabic youth from Saragossa went hunting deer in these mountains and he chased a steer until it fell over the cliff. The young man almost fell over as well but he was able to rein in his animal. Looking over the edge he saw the dead steer lying next to the entrance of a deep cave. Inside the cave was a tiny shrine and on the ground, lying dead with his head on a stone was the venerable hermit Juan de Atarés. The youth buried the hermit, sold all his own wordly goods and with his brother came to live in the cave. Before they diedm, they handed over the hermitage to two disciples and thus the fame of this saintly place reached the outer world. In this tiny sanctuary was born the Kingdom of Sobarbe which gave birth to the Kingdom of Aragon." (Walter Starkie - The Road to Santiago)
As there are no English guide books for the Piemont section, I have bought the French Guide - Le Chemin du Piemont Pyreneen: de la Mediterranee a Roncevaux.
I have also downloaded about 32 Google Maps as well as a couple of profile and stage maps. I have received the brochures I sent off for the Languedoc Roussillo region and also for the Midi-Pyrenees.
EARLY STAGES OF PLANNING
For now, it is my two old walking buddies Val and Marion who will be joining me and perhaps Linda, who hasn't done any long distance walks but is a good walker and who we have known for many years.
In 2001 Val, Marion and I walked the Wainwright's Coast to Coast in England. In 2006 we walked the Via Francigena from Switzerland to Rome.. Marion and I walked the Camino Frances from Roncesvalles to Santiago in 2007.