Camino Frances in 20 days

The book ‘Jack’s Path’ is set on the Camino Frances, starting in San Jean Pied de Port at the foot of the Pyrenees. Jack accomplishes the journey in about 20 days, and the places where Jack stops were the same places where I had the pleasure of stopping on the route as well. Hence the journey is broken down into these sections. I am not at all sure that I would recommend trying to do the walk in 20 stages, though some will do this since that will accord with their own spirituality and their schedule and fitness levels. I prefer doing my Caminos in one event, and my time was limited to three weeks.

Like Jack, I was compelled to take the Valcarlos route, where Jack discovers the history of the route of Charlemagne’s army. This part of the journey is probably the toughest of the days on a Camino that I had done given the distance to Viskaretta, and given the inclement weather on that day along with the steep climbs. The snow came down very suddenly and with force, so that it was impossible to find one’s direction. In the story, Jack learns of a couple of pilgrims who had not returned, and as I myself came into Roncesvalles, there was a general panic amidst the conversations that I had that day. Two pilgrims had not arrived at Roncesvalles.

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