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

French and American Co-pilgrims

Day 2: French and American Co-pilgirms

I’ve walked for two days now, only covering twenty two kilometers (total journey to Conques is 210km) , but it has been up and down hill and wet and foggy. The landscape is Green and lush with beautiful stone farms and villages. I’ve met some folks from Santa Fe, so I’m not totally helpless in communicating alone. The accommodations and food is really nice. Last nights host made us salad nicoise , rice, fish, cheese, bread, fruit and an ample amount of wine. In the morning we had coffee and banquettes with jam and set off for a day of walking. This life suits me.

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Walking The Way of St. James: Le Puy-en-Valey, Day 1

My favorite moment was arriving here late last night in the rain and seeing the all night front desk receptionist. Two planes and three trains to get here.

A cobble stone street and alley way in Le Puy en-Velay, France

A cobblestone street in Le Puy

Greetings from the Land of lentils and lace. I’ve sorted out the phone situation and am ready to do some walking. Wishing I had studied my Rosetta Stone French 1! I have my creanciale (passport) from the cathedral, which makes me officially a pilgrim. A sleepy Pilgrim still not acclimated to the time change.

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What to leave, what to take?

What to leave, what to take?

I’m packing my backpack for a long walk across France on an ancient pilgrimage trail, The Way of Saint James, Chemin de Jacques Compostelle or Camino de Santiago Compostella. I’m returning to the camino after two years of dreaming about it. I walked across Spain in 2010 with my dear friend , Dana. It was a beautiful enriching experience full of friendship , laughter, adventure and contemplation. My thoughts often have returned to the camino. It has a mysterious draw to those who have walked to return. Many writers, poets, painters and musicians have been inspired to capture the camino. This time I’m walking as an earth guardian/pilgrim. I’ll be picking up garbage along the way.

My pack is four pounds over what I’d like it to be. I have a few hours to lighten my load until take off. I want everything in it. Letting go, is lesson number one. I go forth into the unknown with a  mixture of trepidation , a false sense if bravado and a little happiness about a new adventure about to begin. Buen Camino, Tess

Eco artist Tess Felix journeys over The Way of St. James to raise awareness of the plight of our oceans.

I leave Sept. 25th for a month long trek…

I am an artist and live at Stinson Beach, California; just north of San Francisco and the Golden Gate bridge. My artistic passion is collecting bits and pieces of flotsam washed up on the sandy beach brought in by the evening tide, turning the debris into an art form. The child portrait is of me as a child and a small example of my work.

I grew up in a wild, free and beautiful environment. Now those same beaches are littered with plastics, medications, syringes and all manner of things you don’t want to think about as your child goes for a swim. Debris is a worldwide problem and has given me the theme for my art, which hopefully, will bring a spotlight to the impact plastics has on our world and our lives. We all share in giving a world of beauty and wonder to each child who comes after us. Our governments are slow to act and take steps to save our world for all of the tomorrows. We are each of us, our best hope, and by making better choices in how we live our daily lives we will have unbelievable impact. Stay with me on this trek. I will enjoy and look forward to your company in the days ahead. And let’s join together in a pact to heal our world. ~Tess