Monday, March 24, 2008


Here begins the journey
now begins the day
with one step upon the path
my soul is on its way!
© JS Selfe

Chemin du Piemont Pyreneen

Decisions, decisions.
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.

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.


  1. Hi, I just signed up for this web ring too and your blog is great. I am starting to walk again after not being well this winter. In general I only walk about one mile a day and your efforts are amazing. I read an interesting book about a woman called Granny D who walked across the U.S. for political reasons, who is inspiring. And not to mention Isabelle Eberhardt. I will link you and stop back every now and then to see where you are walking. Sounds like your journal would make a great book. I know of three people who have had their blogs tapped for books. One is a young hermit named Zofo who climbs mountains in Tibet. Now that is walking with an edge. Good luck with your blogging.

  2. A wonderful Japanese Haiku Poet did the camino a few years ago. She was included in a beautiful DVD and the title was one of her poems.
    the Way


  3. Anonymous7:30 pm


    I just wanted to thank you for your comment on my site It was spot on and very applicable to me and many of the prayers I have lifted to God. Thanks again!

    OH and keep up the good work...I'm humbled by the walking you've done!!

  4. Anonymous7:41 pm

    me again. After I left that comment, I looked at all the pictures you had on your page (I guess it was the last few posts). They are AMAZING! I think I just added a few more things to my Life's to do/to see list. :-)

  5. Thank you for your comment on my blog. I hope you have enjoyed reading it, and I am glad of the opportunity to read yours - it is so alive and full of wonderful interesting information. Thank you for sharing it with us.