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Easy French Practice

Hiking The Saint James Way – French Practice Story

By Myriam on June 2, 2014

Myriam embarked on quite an adventure as she walked the Saint James way to Santiago de Compostella. She’ll share with us pictures and tips about this fantastic journey.

Je voudrais vous parler du chemin de Compostelle parce que je viens de le faire, dans sa derniùre partie, en Espagne. Je ferai donc plusieurs articles pour vous raconter l’essentiel.

I would like to tell you about the Camino de Santiago, or the St James Way because I’ve recently completed the last part, in Spain. So I will write several articles to document the highlights.

What is The Saint James Way To Compostella?

Au dĂ©part, Ă  partir du moyen Ăąge, les pĂšlerins Ă©taient des croyants catholiques venus de toute l’Europe qui allaient Ă  pied jusqu’au tombeau de Saint Jacques, Ă  St Jacques de Compostelle (Santiago de Compostela), au nord-ouest de l’Espagne.Pendant des siĂšcles, ils ont pris des chemins traversant les pays par plusieurs routes.

In the beginning, starting in the Middle Ages, it was the pilgrims who were Catholic believers from all over Europe who went walking to Saint Jacques’s grave, in St Jacques de Compostela ( Santiago de Compostela) in the northwest of Spain. For centuries, they have made trails crossing countries by several routes.

Aujourd’hui, on rencontre sur les chemins des personnes de tous horizons et nationalitĂ©s. Ces pĂšlerins modernes marchent pour diverses raisons, souvent autres qu’un pĂšlerinage religieux.

Nowadays, on the trails, you meet people of every backgrounds and nationalities . These modern pilgrims walk for various reasons, often other than a religious pilgrimage.

Il y a par exemple le dĂ©fi sportif, le besoin de sortir de la vie quotidienne, le besoin de vaincre des peurs, le besoin de faire le point sur sa vie, aprĂšs certains accidents ou changements dans la vie personnelle ou professionnelle, le goĂ»t de l’aventure, des rencontres, l’envie de prendre le temps de voyager diffĂ©remment et encore bien d’autres motivations.

One of these reasons is the physical challenge , the need to leave daily life behind, the need to overcome fears, the need to review one’s life, after some accidents or changes in personal or professional life , the taste for adventure, meeting people, the desire to take time to travel differently and many other motivations.

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My reasons to walk the Saint James Way To Compostella?

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Il y a longtemps que le chemin m’attirait. Toute mon enfance, je suis allĂ©e en vacances d’étĂ© Ă  Roncevaux et Burguete, petits villages dans la rĂ©gion de Navarre en Espagne se trouvant au dĂ©part du chemin cĂŽtĂ© espagnol. Alors, le passage quotidien des pĂšlerins me fascinait, me donnait envie de les suivre et de vivre cette expĂ©rience.

I have been attracted to this hike for a long time. Throughout my childhood , I went on summer vacations in Roncesvalles and Burguete, small villages in the region of Navarra in Spain located at the beginning of the Spanish side trail . And so, the daily passage of pilgrims fascinated me and made me want to follow them and live this experience.

My hike?

J’ai terminĂ© cette belle aventure en mai 2013, aprĂšs avoir marchĂ© environ 800 km sur le Chemin Français, nom donnĂ© Ă  la partie qui va de Saint Jean Pied de Port Ă  Santiago de Compostela.( en rouge sur la carte) J’ai fait ce parcours en 3 fois, selon ma disponibilitĂ© et celle des amis marchant avec moi.

I finished this beautiful adventure in May 2013 , having walked about 800 kms of the “Chemin Français” (French hike), the name given to the part trail that goes from Saint Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostela. (In red on the map) I completed this trail in 3 chunks, according to my availability and the availability of friends walking with me.

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What Should You Bring on the Saint James Way To Compostella?

Je ne suis pas spĂ©cialement sportive. J’aime beaucoup les activitĂ©s de plein air et les randonnĂ©es. « Faire le chemin », comme on dit, c’est faire chaque jour une assez longue randonnĂ©e, entre 20 et 30 km, chargĂ©e d’un sac Ă  dos.

I’m not particularly into sports. but I love outdoors activities and hiking. “Making the trail”, as we say, is to do every day a long  20 to 30 km hike, with a backpack. This backpack is vital, it is like my home that I carry on my back, but it can’t weigh more than 7kg (~14lb).

Ce sac est vital, il est comme ma maison que je porte sur mon dos, mais il ne doit pas peser plus de 7kg. Pour le prĂ©parer, je me suis renseignĂ©e en interrogeant des anciens pĂšlerins. J’ai vraiment pesĂ© chaque chose que j’ai emportĂ©e, en choisissant toujours la plus lĂ©gĂšre quand j’avais le choix.

To prepare it, I inquired by speaking with former pilgrims. I really weighed everything that I took , always choosing the lightest items when I had the choice .
How do you live 12 days ( my first trip ) with all the necessities, practical and comfortable, contained in a size limited bag? …

Comment vivre 12 jours (ma premiĂšre Ă©tape) avec le nĂ©cessaire, pratique et confortable contenu dans un sac limité ?
 Qu’est-ce qui est vraiment nĂ©cessaire ? RĂ©pondre Ă  ces questions est dĂ©jĂ  une bonne maniĂšre de se prĂ©parer au « voyage » que je vous raconterai dans un prochain article.

What is really necessary? Answering these questions is a good start to get ready for the “journey” which I will narrate to you in a future article…

Read part 2 here – Lire la suite du Chemin de Compostelle ici

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