The day has arrived and after 2 years of planning I’m ready to start walking the famous Spanish Camino and pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela called the Camino Frances, or the French Way.
We have arrived in S Jean Pied de Port and are ready to go.
Arrival Day Overview
- Starting City – London
- Connection – Paris
- Arrival City – Bayonne
I’ve been walking and training for over 20 months in readiness for this amazing walk and I feel ready to go, whilst feeling nervous about the 28 days ahead of me and thinking the following thought, a lot.
Will we get to Santiago de Compostela in 28 days ?
After an early 4am start this morning we took the Eurostar fast train to Paris and then had a connecting train to Bayonne which was really quite nice.
We had a few beers and played cards the whole way.
We are finally on our way to St Jean Pied de Port which is the traditional starting point of the Camino Frances.
There is a sense of excitement that is growing although we are feel tired already.
We arrived in St Jean Pied de Port around 4.30 and visited the Camino passport office and registered to get our Camino de Santiago passport which we need to have stamped at each albergue or hostel we stay in along the way.
We then decided to start early and had a short 5km walk to an albergue we had booked in Ferme Ithurburia in Huntto, which is about 3km short of the refuge at Orisson.
This 5km short walk took about and hour and a half and felt like it was up a sheer slope. What an introduction to the Camino Frances.
We arrived in Huntto in a massive thunderstorm just as dinner was being served and had to do a quick change to get some food.
Our dinner consisted of salad, road chicken and a desert and was washed down with red wine.
We enjoyed this with 22 other people from all over the world and turned out to be a great introduction to our first night on the Camino de Santiago.
What does the rest of the Camino Frances hold for us ? Can’t wait to find out.
WHAT CERTIFICATE CAN I GET WHEN I FINISH MY CAMINO ?
Once you have completed the Camino de Santiago you can obtain your official certificate of completion, which is known as the ‘credencial’.
As long as you have walked at least 100km and got stamps for every day on the Camino you are eligible for your credencial.
These stamps can be found in cafes, bars, albergues, churches and just about anywhere pilgrims stop.
The rule of thumb is to get at least 2 stamps per day. I had some days with only 1 stamp and some with over 4. Stick to the 2 stamps a day and you will be ok.
The passport office in Santiago is the place all finishing Pilgrims go to get their documentation and this can be found at the following address:
Pilgrim’s Reception Office
Rúa Carretas, nº33 (accessed from García Sabell)
15705 Santiago de Compostela
A Coruña – ESPAÑA
Tel.: +34 981 568 846
The office is open from 10am to 6pm with the exception of Christmas Day & New Years Day when your credencial can be obtained in the cathedral.
Our main day on the Camino Frances starts tomorrow and were really looking forward to what our pilgrimage brings.