Map of Steve's 2005 walk from Reims, France to Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Longwalk route, 2005 – Reims, France to Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

so I marched April into May…

At last, I reached another crossroad in my life. I’d passed plenty of milestones, to be sure, but had also made my share of false starts and missteps along the way… so I gathered together what still remained in my control, and conspired to spend the Spring walking in France.

I’d made a few wilderness camping trips over the years, and tramped much of South America after college, but it was years since I’d hoisted more than a day pack to my shoulders. I soon discovered that long-distance hiking in Europe, walking village to village, day after day, on the GR sentiers, provided many different pleasures, including those of solitude deep in the woods. This is the route of my first long walk, from Reims, in northeast France, southwest to St-Jean-Pied-de-Port, over the Pyrenees, and along the French Route of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, to Galicia, in northwest Spain. It took 89 days to cover some 2,000 kilometers – an average (including rest days) of 18 miles a day.

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