50 Days of Camino

Kevin Soltysiak's travel log of the way of St. James, the "Camino de Santiago"

Toulouse — Lac de la Bordette

After two days spent in Paris and one day in Toulouse, it was finally time to start walking. As I said, my notes for the first ten days are very brief, so I have to rely on my memory for this section, and we’re talking about events that happened two months ago… Still, I remember a few things about the first day. Mostly, the neverending suburbs. Loïc and I were very excited and restless to start our hike, but after two hours spent walking in Toulouse and its surrounding cities, the excitation was mostly gone.

There was a few parks here and there though, and we had enough to talk about to not think about the dam under our feet. It was around midday that we thought about a project that we never got around to do, but that made us laugh for a while. During our test hike, we noticed that canned tuna salads were cheap and good enough (as far as canned food goes), so it had became our first choice of hiking food.

And while we were having our lunch (or was it dinner?) break, we thought about making a youtube channel, where we would be testing canned tuna salads, comparing brands and tastes, giving them grades, and eventually going as far as making partnerships with the brands once we’d have a good following… It would have been a fun way to let our friends know that we were doing allright and where we were without actually having to talk to them. We even thought of the background music :

But laziness and the lack of proper editing material got in our way. We’re still convinced it would have been a hit, though.

So, our route took us through Toulouse and Blagnac and then around the airport. While the walk was not fun, seeing planes land and take off from up close is always something that will impress me. We passed very close to the airbus museum, too, with some interesting old planes on display. At some point in the afternoon, we arrived in Pibrac and took our first coffee break of the day.

A statue in a parc in Toulouse The front of the church in Pibrac... I think.

From there, the rest of the day is hazy, but I remember it felt harder. Since our bodies were not yet used to walking with heavy backpacks (around 15Kg at that point, when we had a few cans and full bottles of water), we felt the exhaustion on our backs, our legs, our feet… On top of that, the sun was quite strong. Not that I mind it, but it doesn’t help either.

Around the end of the afternoon I started having my first blister, on the side of the right foot. I didn’t expect it since I had no issue during the test hike, but I suppose walking in city streets all day is different than walking on grass and that’s what happened.

But we pushed through and walked until we found a nice spot to set up the tent. The first two spots were less than ideal, but the third one was just right: the Lac de la Bordette. We arrived there quite late, around 19h, so we thought it would be better for the next days to plan a little bit more and not end up in the dark, without a place to sleep.

When we arrived, I remember being quite happy because my phone registered that we walked 47Kms… Which cannot possibly be true, looking at the map. Best case, we did between 35 and 40, which might have been too much for a first day. Here is a recap of the route we took. I’ll try and put one for every day.

View route map on plotaroute.com