“We could go for a walk, I suppose.”
I replied, raising yet another toast to Terry, whose funeral I was to attend the following morning.
So was set in motion our pilgrimage. Stuart and Stuart (you think you are confused? Try being us.) are going for a walk.
For any that don’t know, the Camino de Santiago, or Way of St James is, technically, a walk. What I hadn’t quite appreciated was how much of a walk.
I daresay that we shall get into some of the detail of that later.
“Ah yes les gars. El camino. Eeeeets tough, you know?”
Laurent’s accent has to be heard to be believed.
“I’ll come with you. It’s normal in France.”
Below is a picture of us taken last year in Bayonne. Stu and Stu had gone to see Laurent to talk about maturity and moderation. No, really. We did.
It’s a front-row thing.
Left, Stuart Smith (SS). Tight-head prop, resident of Dublin. Middle, Laurent Gauduchau (LG). Hooker. Bayonne. Right, me, Stuart Lennon (SL). Loose-head prop (in 2 minute bursts), Hampshire, England.
Naturally, a glass of wine was taken before any serious talk.
So now there are three on pilgrimage.
The day after this photograph was taken, SS felt a bit peaky, SL swore never to eat another bavette and LG had a heart attack.
So that went well.
On October the 9th (in less than one month’s time) we three Prague Barbarians are taking on stage 1 of our camino. We will set off from St Jean Pied de Port in France at first light. By dusk we will be on the other side of the Pyrenees in Roncesvalles, Spain. A 25 km walk, most of it uphill.
How bad could it be?
If you have managed to get this far, thank you. Now, click on the Just Giving link, and donate what you can to an amazing place that does an incredibly tough job. If you don’t, we might just send Laurent to live with you…
On this blog, we will keep an account of our adventure. I daresay the odd Terry anecdote may crop up too. Please comment and join the craic.
Stage 1 is a week. Stu and I have flights out of Bilbao on Saturday the 15th. Stage 2 will begin where we left off.
I plan to complete the 500 mile walk at one week per year, finishing in April of 2020. The rest of the front row? Who knows. The rest of the Prague Barbarians? Well, boys and girls, we know you are out there. Fancy a wee walk in the next few years in memory of Tez?
Bring sensible shoes.