Early morning, Saint Jean Pied de Port, France, April 20,2016.
From the Prologue of Into the Thin, A Pilgrimage Walk Across Northern Spain...
I wanted to leave in the pre-dawn light, the vague, gray light that speaks of beginnings and new things, a light that invites but promises nothing, a light seemingly intended for the relatively few - my kind of light.
After leaving my room key at the empty desk in the lobby, I stepped out into the street, swung on my pack, and made my way to Rue de Citadelle in the cool, dark, lonely morning. I walked down the hill and across the canal bridge, able to see almost the entire narrow street before me as it faded to a point. The tapping of my sticks on the street echoed on stone walls and shop windows as I moved through the silent sleeping town of Saint Jean Pied de Port toward le Porte d’Espagne (the Spanish Gate) on the western side of the Old City. Beyond were the first steps of the Camino de Santiago.