The Journey Begins

Bonjour! This blog post is brought to you from a market square in a very hot and sunny le-Puy-en-Velay, France!

Tomorrow I begin my 1,000 mile walk, following the historic pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. I learned today that the first foreign pilgrim to arrive in Santiago was the bishop of Le Puy, who completed this very journey in 951. It therefore feels very appropriate for me to start here (despite having already walked the second 500 miles...)

My dad and I spent the day today exploring this incredible city (well worth a visit) and checking off some pre-Camino tasks. I got myself a new, blank créanciale (or Pilgrim Passport), which identifies me as a pilgrim and allows me to stay in the Camino accommodation en route! These are generally pretty basic hostels where I'll be in a dorm, but this also enables me to meet other pilgrims so I'm happy with that (I've brought ear plugs so the snoring around me shouldn't be an issue).

Filling in my créanciale at the cathedral.

Tomorrow morning I will be attending the 7am Pilgrims' Mass at the cathedral, where my camino will be blessed by the bishop. Then, onwards and upwards! And I say this in the literal sense, as my first day is predominantly uphill... Good luck legs!!

We climbed 450 steps up to the very top of this statue of Mary holding Jesus, we were rewarded with breathtaking views!