So far I haven’t taken one step and will be leaving in 2 days. I am still researching and reading everything available….. My Sweetheart pointed out any information I receive at this late date will undoubtedly unhinge me in some way. Why not just let it go and say “enough is enough”.
Ingesting new information at this point will cause more disruption than benefit. Truer words can’t be said…..especially in light of my character.
September 18, 2013
I find it hard to believe I am doing this. The flight from Toronto is the first small step to JFK in New York followed by a plane change and then it is off to Paris. I’m sitting in the departure lounge waiting for the flight to board. The SIM card is out of the phone and, like any well planned (make than over-planned) trip I managed to pack my ear buds in my backpack. The backpack is most likely being loaded as I write this. Looks like the New York economy will grow just a little bit. It should be a relatively straight forward purchase in JFK.
OK, so that I’ve said it, I can be very cheap. When I saw the price of earbuds in the airport I think I may have shrieked like a little girl. (embarrassing, but thankfully not something I do very often) It just seems $35 for something the airlines sell for $5 is extreme. I decided to buy the same headphones from American Airlines.
The flight out of JFK was uneventful. 6 1/2 hours…. and wouldn’t you know it….American Airlines GIVES you earbuds. Ha ha ha ha.
The bus from Charles de Gaulle airport to Montparnasse Station is absolutely dead easy take and delivers you to the side of a rather industrial building. Enter the building and climb the stairs to the track level. Throughout this large complex you will find many shops and conveniences for travellers, but most notable are the number of pastry and shops selling sandwiches made on baguettes.
A young man is paying a piano in the middle of the main hall, quite a haunting tune, very, very interesting. I wish I had the presence of mind to record his music…….but such is the case with jet lag….this didn’t happen.
Finally I board the TGV (high-speed train) to Bayonne and as luck would have it my travelling neighbour for the next 5 hours is Tim from Darwin. Tim is walking the Camino as well and works in the IT industry and shares a ton of information about Darwin with me. In retrospect I should have recorded Tom’s stories too…..my jetlag memory is sure to fail me in a day or two.
If you have thee opportunity to take the TGV it will immediately be apparent how quiet and comfortable train travel is. Virtually silent and smooth.
At Bayonne so many people get off the train and line up for the next train to St. Jean Pied de Port (SJPdP). Backpacks are a sure give away as to who are Pilgrim and who is a local. I met:
Ian from Auckland
Lotus from Oakville
Donal from Ireland
Hugh from St. John
Vigdis from Norway
Frank from Portland
Mary from Ireland
…and three young girls from Germany.
My sincere apologies for missing your name on this list, if this is in fact the case.
The train to SJPdP is about an hour and a half and is through beautiful scenery. The tracks run beside a river and the mountains start to show themselves within 30 minutes after leaving the station. Do you think my pudding brain would have the where with all to take a picture of any this? Ha
Finally we arrive in SJPdP and take the short walk to to the Auberge de Pelerine. It turns out the two German girls, one Australian girl, Hugh and myself will be sharing a bunk room. (Crap..I am assigned an upper bunk) As soon as arrive we must eat…the train was a bit late and dinner is part of the package. Get a load of this…. dinner is a chickpea soup, duck, quail, puree lentils with curry, and mashed potatoes. This is followed by a custard desert…… the desert having much the same consistency of my brain this point. All accompanied by a small bottle of wine shared between Ian, Mary and myself.
Finally it‘s off to the shower, wash myself and my clothes, and crash….big time. My ‘puddin’ is done.
Tomorrow is day one.