michael van ert

2016

My 2016 camino was hard and different in several ways. The most telling was I was on my own. I began in St Jean Pied de Port and ended in Estella. The first day on my way to Orrison, which I had pre-booked, was very hard, physically on me. The incline was steep and long. It took me four hours to get to Orrison, a total of 8km. I was never so happy to stop as I was that day. I walked from June 3 to June 11th, nine days and a total of 115km, about 13km per day. I met some great people, I stayed at some excellent albergues. I had planned on walking for two months to Finesterra and Muxia. I met some really good people, a young man from North Carolina, two ladies from Sweden who are life-long friends who walk together for two weeks every year for the past 30 some years. I had great hopes.

 

It wasn't to be.

 

By the ninth day I was emotionally and physically spent. I missed my wife and home. I didn't want to be there any more. It all started when on the first day I had no internet contact so no contact with my wife. I tried to reach her but was unable to. I found out a couple of days later when I reached Roncevalis that she was extremely worried, so mch so she had called my son and daughter. She was worried to death and that upset me when I found out. So I left, I went to Paris by bus and spent five days at an air bnb in the 5th adronisment of Paris. That did not work out well either as the hostess and host were great, their son was not and kept long hours early into the night keeping me awake. I did make it to the Louvre and I loved it. I liked the small town I was staying at and was very impressed with the Paris transit system.

 

I was home by the end of three weeks and was happy to be there. I did not think then i would want to return.