About ToodalooKatie

I’m Katie and I am a curvy Canadian living in London who blogs all about plus size fashion and everything that goes along with it

Welcome to Margate: Land of Dreams…

 

Sometimes the best things in life show up when you least expect them to, and I have been witness to this in the last couple of months. Although London feels like home now and I have found a kind of comfortable routine, everyday still feels in someway like an adventure. London has afforded me some amazing opportunities and now more than ever, I feel like I have complete control over what I can do with my life. I can choose everyday whether I get out of bed or not – and yes it is ok to stay in once in a while, to appreciate what it is to do nothing.

For some of you who don’t know, I recently left the job I started when I first arrived in London. I have kept my small part time job which I work online each week and was fully expecting time off to explore and hopefully be creative. My plans were thrown into the air when I was lucky enough to snag a small contract at the High Commission of Canada doing similar work to my previous contract in Paris. I have put my creative plans on hold to work at the HCC for a few months and come summer I will see what happens next.

 

In the midst of all these ever changing plans in my life, there is someone who has shown me a million and one beautiful things in the last couple of months who I want to tell you all about. Meet my boyfriend Steven. He drives a bad-ass car, is smart as a whip, has impeccable taste in music and movies and knows how to make me smile. For the last couple of months we have been swapping time in London and Margate adventuring, laughing and learning to roller blade(for him) and skate (for me).

We are both becoming pro skaters, as you can clearly see by the photos above, and Steve is hoping his newly formed soon to be ice hockey team will be up and running full steam soon . Here they are, the Margate Skulls, having a late night practice: (Go Habs Go!)

Margate is an adorable sea side town which I think should be turned into the new Brighton – to be fair, I’ve never been to Brighton but I know enough about to it to make this call.  With an old downtown full of funky retro vintage shops and handmade markets, a cup cake shop, England’s best fish and chip shop and plenty of little galleries and studios all next to a long beautiful beach, it has all it needs to thrive – now if only people would come.

Even after several weekends of walking through Margate, I’m not tired of it, and perhaps it’s because of who I am walking through it with but I still think there is something about this little place that deserves more. The tired main strip of old shut arcades makes me think that everything is just waiting to be awoken from its slumber. How could you resist this?:

I love hanging out by the water, and the first day that I spent in Margate, we walked along the beach collecting shells and Steven knew the names of absolutely everything. What I know as a shell, there being many versions, is known to him as the proper name. I’ve decided knowing things like this is important, and is what makes a person worldly and fascinating, so I think I will start reading more. I want to know things.

It was only a short while ago that weekends came and went, cold and rainy in London and now they feel like a vacation. The countdown is no longer for the weekend but rather for the dream to resume again.

I have lots of photos from Canada to show you all so I’ll be back tracking soon with those.

xx Spec

An Arm With A Little Charm

I’m back and so much has happened! I’ve been from London to Toronto, Toronto to Halifax, Halifax back to Toronto and then Toronto back to London all in the span of three weeks. It has been a grand adventure and it was so nice to see all my family and friends who I have left back in the Great White North while I am off living in the UK. I did so many things while I was back home and will have to do more than one post to show you all, but this post is dedicated to my new tattoo, which I am absolutely crazy about!

I had decided that I wanted to get a Shel Silverstein illustration a while back but had not settled on one in particular. I waited until I got back to Toronto, where I have his entire book collection nestled on my bookshelf to crack each book open and mark off which illustrations I like most. I decided on the poem ‘Invention’ which shows a little girl/boy trying to plug a light bulb into the sun (see the poem at the top of this post). I am so lucky to know a fantastic tattoo artist in Toronto who you should definitely pay a visit to if you are looking for some new ink, her name is Emma James and she can be found on Facebook or pop me a message and I can pass along contact details to you. Emma is so lovely and super cool and the entire experience was wicked! I can’t say enough good things about it all.

 Here are a few pictures of how it all went down:

First, the stencil…

Then, Emma worked her magic:

How I felt throughout the tattoo:

And Tada!!!

And now, a couple of weeks later, it’s mostly all healed and looking amazing. Now I wake up smiling even bigger than usual.

Thanks Emma for jazzing up my visit back home with this new tattoo and thanks to my darling friend Andrew for hanging out and taking photos of it all!!!

See you all soon!

xx Spec

“If you are a dreamer come in…” – Shel Silverstein

Down on the corner, Out in the street…

Oh Hi There – Thanks For Coming Back!!!

It’s not very often that I have so many requests for me to blog, so I am pulling this one out  for all my lovely friends who so kindly follow and read – you guys are the best. The last month has gone by faster than I ever could have imagined and so much has changed since I last wrote to you all. I am now working two jobs – which for everyone back home, will not be a surprise because you know I am always too busy for my own good. I’m also planning Christmas at my humble little London abode for all my foreign friends who can’t make it back to their native lands for the holidays. I am super excited for Christmas day, despite the fact that I am very very behind on everything to do with Christmas at the moment. Anyways, I didn’t make you come on here to read my to do list, did I now?

 Today I did something special… I explored my own neighbourhood!!! I know this probably sounds unexciting to you, but I have only really ever walked in one direction from my house which always takes me  to the weird and sometimes wonderful place that is Shoreditch.

Today, Carmel (my Kiwi friend seen above looking all California 1980s chic), and I took a little stroll down the other way. All of this was prompted by the fact that Carmel has just recently moved up into the area and has become curious about what fun stuff there is to do around her house. We started down on Roman Road by the London Buddhist Centre (because this exists! So Cool!) and walked towards Stratford. To start, if you look right down, you get a glimpse of the ridiculous statue they are spending insane amounts of cash on to build for the Olympics – which my dear friend Marie has so correctly named “The Iron Fart”. I’m generally pretty open when it comes to art and interpretation etc. but I’m just not feeling this one and can’t help but laugh every time I think of Marie describing it as a fart. (If you haven’t seen it and would like to – CLICK HERE!)

I have to say that this side of the hood is a lot cleaner than what I am used to , and quieter too, but they also don’t have a mad sidewalk market everyday, so I suppose that’s normal. We also came across this statue of a man walking his dog (or as I later learned – is actually a blind beggar with a seeing eye dog) which I kind of love. This entire neighbourhood is a strange mix of huge old estates (like the green building behind in the picture) and clusters of houses, with little pound and knick knack shops strewn about and this statue is just another random thing thrown in to the mix.

We spent about an hour and half (because I was limited for time for my work lunch break) walking up and down Roman Road until we came to a park and a section of Regent’s Canal which was really lovely! I had no idea or had never even considered the possibility of there being a bit of water near us. Across from the water, is this amazing exercise park built by Adiddas. All the equipment is neon pink, yellow and blue and is all quite fun. Despite not being dressed for the occasion, we still tried everything out and for the record, no one got hurt. Now imagine Carmel saying something tough like “OOOSHE!” as she does this leg press with her arms in the air!

I re-confirmed that my legs are strong, and that my arms are less strong but that I can in fact shimmy up a wall when necessary. I was tempted to tell you all that I was running along this wall below, but I think it’s pretty clear that I am holding on for dear life. This is not nothing.

Before hitting up the pound shops to buy stuff we didn’t need but bought anyway because it was 69p, we frolicked by the shores of the canal and made friends with a couple of ducks.  Carmel insists that they were under the impression that I had food, but I’m sure that somewhere in their ducky brains they just wanted to come up and say hi. Also, I was sure I would forget about this one thing I saw not too long ago about ducks, but sadly, as soon as I saw them coming, this hilarious image appeared back in my head. If you haven’t already seen this, I’m about to ruin ducks for you.

RUINED! ALL I SEE ARE MASKS!

So there you have it, my exciting day of weird statues, pound shop adventures and ducks wearing masks – I don’t think I could ask for much more really! I guess I was more surprised about how much I discovered in such a short time right outside my front door. There are quite a few neat things to take in not far from home and I’m definitely going to be going back to all of these places again! To end, I would just like to clarify that I’m not writing this to encourage you to get down to Roman Road right away, because yes, we did have fun and it’s nice to know where you live, but the actual place itself is not terribly exciting on it’s own.

On that cheerful note my lovelies, I will leave you. I hope you all have a smashing good time over the holidays no matter where you are!

I promise I will be thinking about you!!!

xo Spec.

I Planned For An Hour, Stayed For The Day: Deptford, London

Hi everyone!

I know you are probably shocked to find an update here as it very well looked like I would never write again. I had completely lost my desire to write when I got to London and was really struggling to find the excitement and creativity to write about things you would actually want to read about. I want to assure you that I have been very busy doing fun things all over London, but just couldn’t find the drive to write it all down in the right way. Today, however, I had a spontaneous day of exploring that reminded me how it felt to want to tell lots of people about something amazing, and I thought that this would be the best way to launch myself back into blogging, by making a new project for myself. I want to really explore London with no boundaries and visit areas that perhaps I wouldn’t go to had I not searched them out or stumbled upon them. I want to know many parts of London and not just my area.  Let me tell you about my day!

This morning when I woke up, I popped onto Facebook, as I usually do, being the addict that I am, and the top post came from Handpicked London, with a picture of a tube car turned cafe. With a little research, I found that it was The Deptford Project Cafe. The Deptford Project is a sort of artist collective, including Jail Make, a group of creatives who do amazing revolutionary projects,  Crafty Bitches, who run workshops for sewing, upholstery and many other wonderful things. Last of all, there is the Union Cycle Works which is a wicked organization that works with disadvantaged people, teaching them bike building and repair skills to get them involved in the community and other great projects.  On the weekends, next to the cafe, they hold a handmade craft sale as well – bonus!!!

My new bag skull who I will call Mo – can you guess why? (made by Little-Rose Designs)

Just based on my own poking around on the websites, I decided I would go check out the cafe and see what the Union Cycle Works was all about, as I am on the hunt for a bike to get me around this huge city more efficiently.

It didn’t take too long to get there by bus, and I was greeted by a huge street market full of clothing, house stuff  and fresh fruits and veggies. I walked up and down first checking out what there was, until I stumbled on the cafe in the old train car. It’s a really neat set up as it is hoisted quite high up, with a beautiful deck built around it, complete with a ramp for accessibility. The car has been painted a fresh coat of white and has refurbished furniture and crafty handmade chairs from old pallets set up both inside and out. I ordered a hot chocolate and sat outside, thanking the weather gods for letting us have such a warm day in November.

For the record, the hot chocolate was out of this world.

While I was sitting enjoying my chocolate heaven, I flipped through a pile of flyers sitting on the table and came across one for  a hair salon called Miou Miou that really caught my eye. I have been needing a haircut for a while now, and this flyer felt for some reason like a calling. I decided to take a chance and book in for today. They booked me in at 3, which gave me about another 2 hours to explore this new area. After walking around for a good while I stumbled down a charming half block long street with a cafe called Blossoming Together. Naturally, since the words arts and craft cafe appeared outside, I felt obligated to enter.  Once inside, I felt like I was stepping into someone’s cozy kitchen with comfortable chairs and home baked goods. It was lunch time.

I had a delicious soy cappuccino and a homemade pizza bread.

After eating my most delightful lunch, the woman serving me said I absolutely had to go downstairs to meet Francisco who was a shiatsu massage therapist doing free 15 minute trials. Now normally in my book of rules, meeting a guy names Francisco in a shop basement is a no no, but this time I made an exception. He talked over a couple of exercises to help me relax me Camino calves as I have started calling them, and then gave me a 20 minute massage which felt amazing. What a treat!

My new hair!

After the fantabulous relaxation lunch stop, I headed over to my appointment at Miou Miou where I had my hair cut by Keiko, who is from Tokyo, so of course I rambled on about how in love I am with Japan after my trip there 3 years ago. I love my new hair and Keiko brought back my fringe! How I missed you fringe!! I can’t say enough nice things about this salon, as it’s a lovely funky little place with style and charm and the cut is great!  They are new, so be sure to check them out and their prices are very reasonable and refreshing for London.

Thanks Miou Miou for completing my Deptford adventure today!

I’ll be back as soon as I can with a new adventure to tell you all about! London here I come!

Spec.

I’m back after a major hiatus!

Hi everyone! (Francais en rose italics)

So I know I took a somewhat longer break than what I had originally said, but my mind just wasn’t focused enough to write for you when I came back from the Camino. I want to start by thanking everyone for the kind words and encouragement that you sent during the entire time that I was gone. It really helped me through the hard times and made me appreciate how lucky I am to have such a wonderful network of family and friends. See me above on the day I came back, fresh off the bus seeing my friends in Paris.

I want to tell you all about the experience so for the next couple of days, while I am doing boring things like job hunting and getting my life sorted out in my new city, London, I am going to tell you stories about the Camino. I hope they will inspire you all to do something grand with your life, big or small, just something fresh and new.

Donc, je sais que j’ai fait une pause un peu plus long que ce que j’avais d’abord dit, mais mon esprit n’était tout simplement pas assez concentré pour écrire pour vous quand je suis revenue du Camino. Je veux d’abord remercier vous tous pour vos gentis mots et les encouragements que vous avez envoyés pendant tout le temps que je n’étais pas là. Ca m’a vraiment aidé dans les moments difficiles et m’a fait apprécier la chance que j’ai d’avoir un formidable réseau de  famille et amis. Ci-dessus c’est une photo du  jour que je suis revenue, fraîchement débarqué de l’autobus pour voir mes amis à Paris. 

Je tiens à vous dire tout sur l’expérience alors pour les prochaines jours, tandis que je fais des choses ennuyeuses comme la recherche d’emploi  dans ma nouvelle ville, Londres, je vais vous raconter des histoires sur le Camino. J’espère qu’ils vont vous inspirer tout à faire quelque chose de magnifique avec votre vie, petits ou grands, juste quelque chose de frais et nouveaux. 

Where to begin….

I think I can start by telling you that the camino restored my faith in the goodness of people. It reminded me and reinforced that stereotypes and assumptions that we have about people from certain places are not always true and that pre-judging people is a dangerous game. The simple fact that everyone on the camino is doing the same thing yet at the same time creating their own experience  brings everyone together and makes for a melting pot of amazing stories and shared moments.

Par où commencer …. 

Je pense que je peux commencer par vous dire que le camino a remis ma confiance dans les gens. Ca m’a rappelé et renforcé que les stéréotypes que nous avons sur les gens de certains lieux ne sont pas toujours vrai et que de pré-juger les gens est un jeu dangereux. Le simple fait que tout le monde sur le Camino fait la même chose mais en même temps crée leur propre expérience rassemble tout le monde et  aident a creer des histoires étonnantes et des moments partagés. 

I made friends with people that I share no common languages with, just hand gestures and smiles, and I made friends who are 1,2 and 3 generations apart from me in age. It just goes to show that everyone no matter who they are, age, race etc. has something to offer.

Throughout the Camino, I felt like I was being tested by the Camino Gods, as I was calling them, as I had several days where my feet hurt so much that the prospect of walking was hard to face. I walked with one foot out at a 90 degree angle to try and move the pain elsewhere. This was during what most people say is the longest part of the Camino, called the Mesetta, where you walk 50 or so km over 2 or 3 days along a gravel path with fields around you, often atop a mountain. It is hot, dry and very sunny. One one day when I was feeling a bit alone these two German sisters came up behind me and despite not knowing German, I could understand enough to know they were commenting on my crazy limp. They came up to me and in broken English asked if I needed help or anything and I politely said no thanks because carrying me would have been the only solution. As they continued on forward moving fast, one of the sisters stopped, put down her bag and rooted through the top pocket for something. She found it and ran back to me and handed me a little rock she had gathered from earlier on during the Camino. It was in the shape of a heart and she said that it was for luck and she hopped my feet would stop hurting.

J’ai fait des amis avec des gens que je parle pas la meme langue que moi, juste des gestes de la main et des sourires, et j’ai fait des amis qui sont 1,2 et 3 générations plus ages que moi.  

Tout au long du Camino, je me sentais comme étant testés par les Dieux du Camino, comme je les appelle.  J’ai eu  plusieurs jours où j’avais mal aux pieds tellement que meme penser de marcher faisait mal. J’ai marché avec un pied à un angle de 90 degrés pour essayer de déplacer la douleur ailleurs. Ce fut durant ce que la plupart des gens disent est la plus longue partie du Camino, appelé le Mesetta, où on marchent environ 50 km sur 2 ou 3 jours le long d’un chemin de gravier avec des champs autour, souvent au sommet d’une montagne. Il fait chaud, sec et très ensoleillé. Un jour où je me sentais un peu seul, deux sœurs allemandes sont venu derrière moi et ne sachant pas bien l’allemand, je pouvais comprendre assez pour savoir qu’elles étaient entrain de parler de mes pieds. Elles sont venus vers moi et m’on demandé si j’avais besoin d’aide ou de quelque chose et je leurs est dis poliment non merci, car transportant moi aurait été la seule solution. Elles ont continuaient à avancer rapidment quand une des sœurs s’est arrêté, a poser son sac et chercher dans la poche en haut pour quelque chose. Elle l’a trouvé et a couru vers moi et m’a remis une petite caillou en main qu’elle avait recueillies plus tôt sur le Camino. Il avait la forme d’un cœur et elle m’a dit que c’était pour la bonne chance et elle souhaiter que  mes pieds cesserait d”avoir mal.

A few days later my feet did stop hurting, although I’m sure that was my body just taking it’s course, but when I caught up to the sisters with my new found energy and pain-free feet and I ran up behind them and surprised them. I know it wasn’t the stone that got rid of the pain, but I’m sure their kindness and generosity encouraged me to get to where I was going and to help me see further than my sore feet.

So there you have it, a little piece of my camino. More to come, stay tuned.

Quelques jours plus tard mes pieds ont cesser de faire mal, mais je suis sûr que c’était mon corpsqui devenait plus forte, mais quand j’ai rattrapé les soeurs avec mon énergie retrouver et sans douleur des pieds,  j’ai couru derrière eux pour leurs faire surprise.  Je sais que ce n’était pas la pierre qui s’est débarrassé de la douleur, mais je suis sûr que leur gentillesse et leur générosité m’a encouragé à aller jusque au bout et pour m’aider à voir plus loin que mes pauvre pieds voulait. 

Donc là vous l’avez, un petit morceau de mon camino. Plus à venir, a bientot. 

xo

Spec.

Camino Update!!!

Hello everyone! (Francais en rose italics)

I am so sorry for having left you with no news this long. Usually when I travel I want to do nothing but write but this time is different. I spend all day thinking and imagining things while I walk alone that when I arrive at night, I don´t have the energy or want to write things. I am usually ready to shower and flop down on a bed with a delicious cafe con leche (coffee with milk/latte). I am now in Santo Domingo de la Calzada, a small town, but not the smallest that I have been in so far. I stayed here last night and am spending the day today because I am tired and want to give my foot a rest. The last 10 days have been filled with ups and downs. I hurt my right foot near the beginning and have been walking on it everyday since, making it difficult to go fast. I have walked with great people and have had lots of fun. It´s interesting when you leave for the Camino, you feel like it is absolutely a must that you finish the entire walk. In my mind it felt like a failure if I didn´t go to the end. Now that I am here, it is totally different. Some people are only here to walk for a couple of days, others a doing the entire way. Some take buses in between towns once every couple of days and others walk all the time. There is no right or wrong way to do the Camino and I am really happy that I understand this now. Everyone comes on the camino for a reason, and everyone on the camino will tell you this. When I left, I had no plan or idea of why I wanted to the do the camino, except that I wanted to do something physically challenging for myself. Now that I have walked over 200km in rain and sun with all different kinds of people I don´t feel like I need to finish the entire way. I am content to keep walking as the physical work is the easy part. It is finding a space in an albergue every night and getting to the next town on time that is starting to stress me out. I am having trouble enjoying my walk because I have to keep thinking ahead to the possibility of no space in an albergue and what I will do. So far the experience has been amazing, the scenic landscape of Spain, rolling hills, sharing a path with thousands of snails and slugs on a rainy day and meeting people that I think I will stay in touch with for the rest of my life. Perhaps, for me, walking was just a way of connecting with new people and giving me a refreshed look on life as I start a new chapter in a couple of weeks. For the moment, I am tempted to go back to Paris in a couple of days to collect my things and move to London. I can come back anytime to finish the camino, it will always be here. I realize now that it is not a race against myself and that I can do it however and whenever I want. Everyday is a new day and I will see tomorrow how I feel and then decide what I want to do. Some days I don´t feel like walking and others I get up in a hurry and feel like I could run the 27km to the next town. I just have to wait and see what kind of day tomorrow is 🙂 Thank you for all your lovely comments and emails, I love getting them and I promise that I think about all of you while I am walking. Stay in touch and see you soon!!! xoxo Katie

Bonjour à tous!

Je suis désolé de vous avoir laissé sans nouvelles si longtemps. Habituellement quand je voyage j´ai toujour envie d´écrire, mais cette fois c’est différent. Je passe toute la journée a penser et imaginer des choses quand je marche tout seul et que quand j’arrive le soir, je n’ai pas l’énergie ou l´envie d´écrire des choses. Je suis généralement prêt à prendre une douche et tomber sur mon lit avec un délicieux café con leche (café au lait / latte). Je suis maintenant à Santo Domingo de la Calzada, une petite ville, mais pas la plus petite que j’ai deja été. Je suis resté ici la nuit dernière et je passe la journée aujourd’hui parce que je suis fatigué et mon pied a besoin de se reposer. Les 10 derniers jours ont été remplis avec des hauts et des bas. Je me suis blessé le pied droit près du début et je marche tous les jours depuis et il est difficile d’aller vite. Je me suis promené avec des gens formidables et j’ai eu beaucoup de plaisir. Il est intéressant quand vous partez pour le Camino, vous vous sentez comme il est absolument indispensable que vous finisait le chemin. Maintenant que je suis ici, c’est complètement différent. Certaines personnes ne sont là que pour marcher pendant quelques jours, d’autres font le chemin en totale. Certains prennent le bus entre deux villes une fois tous les deux jours et d’autres sont à pied tout le temps. Il n’ya pas de bonne ou de mauvaise facons pour faire le Camino et je suis vraiment heureux que je le comprends maintenant. Tout le monde est sur le camino pour une raison. Quand je suis partie, je n’avais pas de plan ou une idée de pourquoi je voulais le faire le camino, sauf que je voulais faire quelque chose physiquement difficile pour moi. Maintenant que j’ai parcouru plus de 200 km sous la pluie et le soleil avec toutes les différentes sortes de gens, je sens moins le besoin de finir le chemin completement. Je suis content de continuer à marcher comme la parti physique est asser facile. Il s’agit de trouver un espace dans un albergue tous les soirs et se rendre à la prochaine ville a temps qui commence à me stresser. J’ai du mal à profiter de ma marche parce que je dois continuer à penser en avance à la possibilité de plus d’espace dans un albergue et ce que je ferai. Jusqu’à présent, l’expérience a été incroyable, le paysage pittoresque de l’Espagne, les collines, et rencontrer des gens que je pense que je vais rester en contact avec le reste de ma vie. Peut-être, pour moi, la marche était juste un moyen de se connecter avec de nouvelles personnes et de me donner un nouveau coup d’œil sur la vie avant que je commence un nouveau chapitre dans quelques semaines. Pour l’instant, je suis tenté de revenir à Paris dans quelques jours pour rassembler mes affaires et déménager à Londres. Je peux revenir à tout moment pour terminer le camino, il sera toujours là. Je réalise maintenant que ce n’est pas une course contre moi-même et que je peux le faire, cependant, et quand je veux. Chaque jour est un nouveau et je verrai demain comment je me sens pour décider ensuite ce que je veux faire. Certains jours, je n’ai pas envie de marcher et d’autres, je me lève tot et vite et je me sent comme si je pourrais courir les 27 km a la prochaine ville. Je dois juste attendre et voir quel genre de journée de demain va etre 🙂 Merci pour tous vos adorables commentaires et emails, je promets que je pense à vous tous, alors que je marche. Restez en contact et à bientôt! Katie xoxo

Day 1 and 2 – The Ascent

Hello!

I only have a moment to give you an update on my progress. Yesterday I left St Jean Pied de Port for Orisson which is only 8km away but is the steepest part of my entire month journey. It was a tough ascent and took a good 4 hours. Upon arriving I met a wonderful Irish girl, Eimer, who became my tent buddy for the night and walking buddy today.

The place that I stayed in last night in Orisson was a chalet style building with a sort of stepped backyard that had 5 or 6 tents in it on platforms. Each tent had 2 mattresses in it with big wooly blankets. It was really lucky that Eimer and I got along so well because it turned out to be a great time. The rest of the people at the stop were mostly from quebec, a few from France and the odd other country, however Canada was the dominant nationality.

We had a delicious group dinner of soup, pasta and meat and then Basque cake, which I had never had but is a very light cake with a delicious warm almond paste inside. It was just what we needed after our big day of climbing.

Today, we woke up at 6 30 and got our bags packed up. I have I think the smalled bag I have seen yet, and I am very thankful. We had a quick breakfast of toast and hot chocolate and then began to climb again. Today was 20km of gradual and some steep climbing in rocks and uneven grass. We were truly climbing the Pyrenees today and it felt like it.

The fog was so thick that we couldn´t see the people walking 10 feet  in front of us. Often we could hear voices or the jangle of a cowbell but see nothing. It was a bit eery and I was glad I was with someone. The mountains are breaktaking, despite the rain we had most of the day and all the fog.

Coming down the mountain into Roncesvalles, Spain, during the last hour was  tough because my legs were getting wobbly like Jello. As it got more gradual and flat it got better and finally we arrived in the teeny town we are staying in tonight.

The albergue/hostel is in a giant old monastery that they have converted into a brand new hostel. It is lovely and clean and has big comfertable mattresses. We are having the pilgrims menu for dinner as most people are and plan t0 be in bed early to get a very early start tomorrow.

(Pictures will be to come as I can´t upload at these computers)

Tomorrow is 27km on almost flat ground. My legs are ready and I can´t wait!!!

Je n’ai que quelques instants pour vous donner une mise à jour de mes progrès. Hier, j’ai quitté St Jean Pied de Port pour Orisson qui est à seulement 8 km, mais est la partie la plus dure de mon voyage d’un mois entier. C’était une ascension difficile et a pris un bon 4 heures. Dès mon arrivée, j’ai rencontré une fille merveilleuse irlandais, Eimer, qui est devenu ma copine de tente pour la nuit et  ma copine de marche aujourd’hui.

Le lieu que je suis resté la nuit dernière dans Orisson était un bâtiment de style chalet avec une sorte de cour en gradins qui avait 5 ou 6 tentes en sur des quais. Chaque tente avait 2 matelas avec de grandes couvertures laineux. C’était vraiment de la chance que Eimer et moi s’entendais si bien. Le reste des gens à l’arrêt ont été majoritairement du Québec, un peu de la France et deux ou trois autres de tous partout, mais le Canada etait la nationalité dominante.

Nous avons manger un dîner en groupe délicieuse de soupe, des pâtes et la viande et du gâteau basque, que je n’avais jamais eu, mais est un gâteau très léger avec une pâte d’amande chaude à l’intérieur. C’était exactement ce que nous avions besoin de après notre grosse journée d’escalade.

Aujourd’hui, nous nous sommes réveillés à 6 30 pour preparer les sacs. Je pense que mon sac  est le plus petit que j’ai encore vu, et je suis très contente pour ca. Nous avons eu un petit déjeuner rapide de pain grillé et de chocolat chaud, puis a recommencé sur le chemin grimpant. Aujourd’hui a été une journee de 20 km de montée dans des roches et l’herbe inégale. Nous faisons vraiment l´escalade des Pyrénées aujourd’hui.

Le brouillard était si épais qu’on ne pouvait pas voir les gens marcher 10 pieds en devant de nous. Souvent, nous avons pu entendre des voix ou le bruit d’une cloche de vache, mais ne voyez rien. C’était un peu étrange et je suis heureuse que j’étais avec quelqu’un. Les montagnes sont genial, malgré la pluie nous avons eu la plupart de la journée et toute la brume.

En descendant la montagne dans Roncevaux, en Espagne, au cours de la dernière heure a été difficile parce que mes jambes devenaient moue comme du Jello. Comme ça devenait de plus progressive et plat, il s’est amélioré et finalement nous sommes arrivés dans la ville minuscule on reste ce soir.

L’albergue / auberge se trouve dans un monastère vieux géant qu’ils ont converti en auberge toute neuve. Il est beau et propre et a de grands matelas comfortable. Nous alons manger le menu pèlerins pour le dîner que la plupart des gens vont faire et le plan c´est d´être au lit tôt pour pouvoir commencer très tôt demain .

(Les photos seront à venir comme je ne peux pas télécharger à ces ordinateurs)

Demain, c’est 27 km sur un terrain presque plat. Mes jambes sont prêts et j´ai hate!

 A bientot