Friday, June 1, 2012

790 kilometers to go

 It is official! We are underway. We left Pamplona at 3 pm this afternoon and arrived in Roncesvalles around an hour later. After getting luggage into our rooms and changing into cycling gear, we got our bikes fitted out, and then went for a test ride. We were free to ride as we chose, subject to getting back in time for our team meeting, but we chose to take a short climb (about 2km) to a point where we could look across to France. (We could have ridden to France, but would have had a climb of about 3000 feet to get back up.) The bike seems great and I am looking forward to a day of serious riding tomorrow.

After our short ride, we went to the pilgrim office and picked up our pilgrim credentials or passports, as well as our "conchas," the scallop shells that identity the pilgrims. Technically, we are stretching things since we are supported by a van and are not carrying everything that we will need on the journey, but ....

This week we have only five riders, along with our three guides. We will be very well supported! The other four riders are two couples from Ft. Collins, CO, who frequently vacation together.

We will be having our first meeting at 7pm (in about 20 minutes) where we will go over logistics and the details of tomorrows ride. Then we will attend the traditional mass that commences the pilgrimage (very short, we are told) and then dinner.

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