Train travel #1

Im starting to think that I write too much. So, today I will include a long story and a short story (they’re the same, so read one or the other):
Short story: today I missed my first train, even though I left early! It turns out when you buy a ticket online it makes you select ‘e-ticket’ that you have to print out at the station. But the machines at the station don’t accept foreign credit cards! Finally found someone who spoke enough English to rebook me on the later train. And then I caught a …

I’m off!

I’m getting on a train this morning to Agen, France and then I’ll catch a bus to Auch where I am meeting a woman from England that I’ll be walking with for the first couple of weeks. I don’t expect to have Internet for a while once I start walking on Sunday, but I wanted to leave you with something.
Here is a portrait that my good friend Robin did for a class; the assignment was to capture people ‘in their element.’ (She has a blog too! Click on to have a look. She’s …


Well it was a pretty good day today. I started it the right way, with some yoga and stretches, and then went out and found a chocolate croissant and expresso. First things first! The croissant lived up to my high expectations, flaky in the outside, chewy on the inside, not too airy, not to dense. Just right. Then I basically wandered around the city for the last 4 hours (I’m guessing I walked about 15 k, or 9ish miles). I found the Notre Dame (not the super famous one) and the botanical gardens. The gardens …

Safe arrival in France!

Phew. After some 30 hours of traveling I’m safely here in Bordeaux. I’m pretty tired so I’m not sure I’ll get much done tonight except sleep, but I wanted to let everyone know I’m here.
Mom insisted on waiting on the train platform yesterday morning in Syracuse until the train pulled away, which of course made it more emotional for both of us! But it was a sweet send-off. I’m very much surprising myself that there is no fear. Not even much nervous excitement. I’m very at peace and just doing it. So far the bus …

Packing for the Pilgrimage

Packing is nearly finished. I’ve been planning this for so long that I have everything I need, I’m just pulling it all together from all corners of the bathroom and closet. But here it is, the comprehensive list of everything I will bring on my pilgrimage for 6 weeks:


Merrell Moab Boot
1 lb. 13 oz.

Eddie Bauer fleece
1 lb.

Icebreaker GT Bike Grace short sleeve
5 oz.

Ibex Woolies 150 Bottom
6.7 oz.

Prana Pants
5 oz.

Kakadu Cape York Hat
5 oz.

TOTAL (lbs)


Osprey Kestrel 48L pack (straps trimmed)
3 lbs. 5 oz.

Mountain Hardwear Women’s UltraLamina Sleeping Bag 32
1 lb. 15 oz.

Red Ledge Raincoat
1 lb.

Eddie Bauer …