Travel with Tess Felix’s as she walks from France to Spain, beginning in Le Puy-en-Velay, along The Way of St. James

 

First day in Spain

Jeff Koons Dog, Bilbao, Spain

Jeff Koons Dog, Bilbao, Spain

I stopped in Biarritz, Spain for the night and visited a very interesting museum that focused on the science of the oceans, Cite de la Ocean. The kind docent was a member of the Surfrider Foundation of Europe and sent me to the headquarters. I was given a personal tour  of their brand new facility. This building is used as a center to educate the public and school children about ocean pollution. It feels good to by the sea again and to meet people who are making a difference.

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Jeff Koons Dog, Bilbao, Spain
Surfrider Foundation of Europe
La Cité de la Mer

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Next, The Meseta

Est-ce mon chemin?

Est-ce mon chemin?

I have reached Figeac, the end of my 250 km walk. I celebrated with my fellow pilgrim friends that I met along the way last night with a nice dinner in the city. My next stop is the Guggenheim Bilbao, before meeting my friend , Dana in Burgos to complete 180 more kilometers across the Meseta.

[The Meseta is a high central plateau in Spain that forms the heart of Castile in more ways than one.]
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<h3>Conques, France is a Fairy Tale city</h3>
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Every morning we’re taking the way,
Every morning we are going farther
Day after day, we are called by the road,
This is the voice of [Santiago de] Compostela.
—From the French pilgrimage song Ultreïa

Conques, France is a magical city. I feel I have just walked, like Alice, into the rabbit hole. Use the links below to learn about this magical place and view photographs that can only hint at its fairy tale like beauty.

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Conques Office of tourism video/images
Personal blog by Adrian Fletcher with information and a great many photos 

And a chance meeting sets the seeds of change?

Long day walking in travel through France

Long day walking in my journey along The Way of St. James

The day started out so beautiful and sunny. It set the energy of the day and I enjoyed a long day of walking. As I walked through the woods I came across Yannick, rising from his tent. We exchanged pleasantries.

“Bonjour. Ce va?”
“Oui, ce va?”
“Oui. Bonne walk” .

A few bends down the path , under the Spruce trees dappled morning light, I hear music through the trees. It’s a clarinet playing Les Brubeck’s, Take Five. What a gift! A few kilometers on I stopped at a pilgrim rest stop for some refreshment. Yannick showed up a little while later. He spoke about his clarinet being cold in the night on the Aurbrac. He played me a romantic French song. I then shared with him my artwork, viewing the portfolio on my iPhone. I spoke to him about the great Pacific garbage patch and the evils of single use plastic. Not an easy conversation when speaking with someone and we don’t share a native tongue. We parted ways and as I continued Down Gods Highway (The Way of St. James) I felt strong and happy that I was able to share my gospel about reuse, recycle, while rediscovering myself.

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A Gift from Yannick

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This is Yannick playing in Saint Come d’Olt. I believe it’s “It Ain’t Necessarily So” from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. Any other ideas? Leave it in the comments and help me solve the mystery. 🙂 Unfortunately I could only capture a small bit with my phone’s video.

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