You know a while ago I was saying how I’d like to do the Pilgrimage from St Jean Pied du Port to Santiago de Compostella (the 600 km trek across north Spain)?
And you know I said that I don’t really have any money to do so?
Well I may have come up with a solution to this problem! I could fall flat on it’s face but it may work really well.
I could get a new case for my flute that allows me to sling it over my shoulder instead of having it in my bag. The average age of a Pilgrim is about 50; they will probably be wealthy enough to feel generous; I would be going during the summer so the route will be busy.
I was told 15€ a day should be all I need for food, accomodation and other costs, so if 15 people pass me per day who are willing to give me 1€ then I’m set. I mean, literally I will have to pay for flights to St Jean and back from Santiago and that would be it!
I’m thinking this: if I factor in enough money for flights plus 1 week’s worth of living; then if I all goes balls up I’ve got enough money to walk to get to Pamplona - if I only make it that far, then at least I tried! If not, I carry on walking.
It would probably extend the trip by a week or so. Instead of walking all day I would have to find time to busk - but that’s not really a big deal, I think!
Or at least I hope!
Many of you are probably out there thinking “He’s crazy - he’s actually crazy!” and you’d probably be right.
Undoubtedly, you will not be the first to consider Busking. You must first ensure, you will not be one amongst thousands. Also you must check out the attitude of Policía Español, to the, Wandering Minstrel.
If all is well then,
Buena Suerte y un Viaje Seguro
Sebbi, there are many routes through the Pyrenees, and I don’t know which way most of the people following the pilgrimage route take. But the route I know … not from the point of view of walking to Santiago, but from spending a couple of periods in the area … runs up the Ossau Valley through the charming town of Laruns. I can’t off the top of my head remember the name of the col where you cross into Spain, but as you head up from Laruns you take the road that leads up towards the Parc National des Pyrénées. It takes you through a delightful village called Gabas perched on the face of the mountains. There’s a lovely little 13th century pilgrim chapel there … tiny. From there, rather than following the main road over the col, you can cut off just after Gabas and go up to Bious Artigues and then through the national park, coming out on the main road again a little way before the Spanish border. That walk would bring you up this valley in the photo … you’d pass out of the right hand side of the photo without climbing up to the point from which this photo was taken.
That area is one of my favourite places in the whole world!
I knew he went to Spain, I didn’t know he busked it.
The reason why this is scary, is that I played Laurie Lee for 3 months. I was him. I had to dig deep to discover my inner Laurie Lee and I did it and I was so proud of that. Initially I was like “I’m playing a character loads older than me, and much warmer.” and really didn’t feel I could relate.
Then I changed my mind.
On top of this, I’m going to be moving to the South West soon! I’m very much going to have to thank Claire Nevers (my director at the time) for this one.
I’m aware that these parts of Spain aren’t that cheap food and accomadition wise IF YOU’RE NOT A PILGRIM!
Pilgrims get a special rate for things and get to stay in refuges and things.
And I think I’m required to get some Scallop Shells. Without them they don’t actually give you a Pilgrims passport (the thing that allows you to stay in refuges).