Day 31 – Larceveau

Best day so far? If not, it was close.

The day started with a pleasant light rain for about an hour. After that, the low clouds made the views look spectacular. Temperature was around 70. Perfect for hiking. I only had to walk 10.5 miles, so the day went quickly. I couldn’t ask for much more.

Tomorrow is my last day hiking in France.

Bill, when do you book your rooms?

Believe it or not, this is a controversial question among pilgrims.

Traditionally, pilgrims don’t book ahead. They just walk to the next town and find a spot.

COVID has changed things though. There is pent up demand to hike and some places went out of business during the pandemic, so things are filling up more than in the past. As a result, many more people are booking ahead.

That said, if you’re willing to stay in dorm-style housing, then booking ahead more than a day or so isn’t mandatory. I really want a private room though, so I’ve been booking way ahead. Originally, my plan was to book one week ahead, but then I realized things were filling up, so I ended up booking one month ahead.

This approach has reduced stress on me, but some purists think that I’m ruining the experience. For them, living day-to-day is foundational to the pilgrim experience. I disagree. I think booking ahead has improved my experience immensely. Different strokes for different folks.

The biggest problem with booking ahead is when something goes wrong. When I hurt my leg, I had two choices… 1) rebook everything so I could rest a couple days, and miss no stages; or 2) skip a few stages for rest and only rebook a few days. I chose the latter.

So, it’s a trade-off. So far, I’m pleased with my approach.

Wonderful views like this much of the day.
Tracy from SF was near me much of today’s hike. Here’s a photo looking back toward her. This is a long steep climb, but photo doesn’t fully show that.
The cows are back.
The town of Ostabat. This was s few miles before the finish.
Entering Ostabat.
Restaurant at my hotel last night.
Great dinner last night. Cod cooked in a Spanish style.
More bells for you bell lovers.

12 thoughts on “Day 31 – Larceveau

  1. Hi Bill! Your blog is great and I’m enjoying following you on this wonderful adventure! Quick question, I like how you are carrying your water bottle on the front of your back pack. Did your pack come with that feature? Or is that an extra add on? All the best, Susan T.

    1. Add on. Saw it on a camino forum. Ordered it online. Some people have water bladders in their pack, put I find those hard to fill and clean. Having a bottle so easily accessible works great for me.

  2. Hey COW!! Did you get any points? The hills with the low clouds are lovely. Thanks for the bonus bell video. More cow bell!

  3. Gorgeous magical photos! Who knew you had such talent? And I agree the cows are tres magnifique! Happy one month on the road anniversary!

  4. Bill. Christine and I just finished 5 miles along the Hudson River. I don’t know how you are doing consistently 10+ miles per day. Clearly you are a stronger man than me. 👍🇺🇸
    I took a selfie but see that I can’t post it here. Will text you because I know you want to see our smiling faces. Praying for safety, health and Joy my friend. Be good.

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