Thursday, February 3, 2011

Greetings from Team John in Cirauqui!

View towards the village of Cirauqui, Team John's
destination as it rushed ahead in the race against
the calmer and more dignified Team Charles -- SB
Hello there, it's Jackie!  I was able to get a hold of our Pilgrimage Leader's blogging address and wanted to catch you all up on how the other group is doing.  Well, it looks like the secret is out, the groups have split.  Now, we can reveal our plans on how this all came about.

It all started a few days ago when we arrived in St. Jean Pied-de-Port.  A few of us; Alison, Bart, Catherine, Dawn, Elissa, Lisa and myself decided to stop at a local establishment to catch a few ice cold beverages.  After all, we needed some carbohydrates for our big walk, right?  As we were enjoying our drinks, we decided it might be fun to add a little competitive edge to our pilgrimage.  The question – how could we split away from the group unnoticed?  We got word of our plan to Connie, Erin Elaine, Gwynne, and Jeanne who were all up for a little competition with us.  They agreed to fly out and meet the group in Pamplona, all while keeping our secret plan under wrap.

The next day was rough, perhaps we should have heeded Rock Star Sandy's advice (as we've all become accustomed to calling him now – Thanks, Covey!) and gone to bed early.  Elissa and Bart seemed to do fine as I heard they were up with Rock Star at 5:30 am for a pre-pilgrimage warm-up jog.  Perhaps that was why they were the first ones to the top.  Me on the other hand, I was wondering why someone would even consider turning on the lights at 7:00 am.  I guess I had no choice at that point; it was get up, grab a quick bite, pack the bag, and then we were off on our walk up the mountain.

It was quite magnificent that first day when we got to the top of the mountain.  I was last of course, but got a great view of our pilgrims marching single file down the other side; Bart, Elissa, Rock Star, Greta, Dana, John, Susan, Dawn, Catherine, Lisa, and Alison.  Even though the view was grand, I couldn't help thinking there must be an easier way down this mountain.  What if there were metal disks at the top, we could just slide down, attach them to a pulley at the bottom and raise them back to the top for the next group...?  Well, we learned our lesson from the previous evening and all went to sleep early that night.  The next few days we were focused on absorbing the beauty, community, and oh the pain of the Camino.  We do wish you were here, Dr. Gail, to prescribe us something for this pain!

Blisters, typical for Team John, as it dashed headlong
toward Cirauqui. -- SB
When we started on our journey the other day to reach Pamplona, Team John saw our opportunity to put our plan in motion.  Rock Star was giving directions that morning, and as he later thought we had misheard him about which albergue to meet at, we actually were not mistaken.  We had great fun in Pamplona that evening; touring the city, eating good food, drinking excellent Sangria, and devising ways to egg-on Team Charles.  I have to say, if I didn't know Bart, I might have thought he had gone a little crazy with all this Hemingway stuff.

Anyway, we got some good rest that night, got up early and set out on our journey, with our special notes in hand.  Since our study this week is on Temperance and Self-Control, I had to go without my coffee this morning (yes, even Pilgrims get homework when they are on a spiritual journey with the Rock Star).  One quick stop by the Cizur Menor albergue to tack on the first of many notes, and we were off.  We walked quickly to Eunate, and made sure we circled the chapel of the Knights Templar eight times.  Our sins have been forgiven!  We had to move fast, so we received many odd stares as our circling was done in quite a quick pace.  We were then on to Cirauqui where we stayed that night.  We were quite excited to hear that the other group found our notes!  Keep your eyes open, we might just leave you a few more clues along the way.  Don't worry, we do miss you and we will meet up with you again soon I'm sure.  We have plenty of time.  But, might as well have a little fun in the meantime, right Charles Wesley group?  That's enough of an update for now; Team John will try to check-in again soon!


  1. Metal disks? Only an engineer would think of something like that? Temperance on the Camino? Hey, I'm proud of you! Look out, TJ, we're in second but we try harder.

  2. Way to take pictures of your own blisters, TC, and try to pass them off as ours. Our feet are tough, they've been through a lot, but are going strong! - JNP