our second month in review

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It is just over 2 months since we flew out of Sydney for Europe. It only felt like a few days ago that we wrote our first month in review but here we are sharing our second month already. We are over halfway into this trip now and will be home before we know it.

After our last month’s post, we moved onto Carcassonne and Lyon before saying good-bye to France and hello to Switzerland.

Carcassonne has to be added as another one of our memorable experiences in France. Maybe it was climbing the 242 steps for a rooftop view of the citadel on an extremely warm day that made it memorable. Lyon was a little bit of a surprise package in itself with plenty to keep us busy (more posts to come about that).

IMG_3026We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Switzerland and were very thrilled to be able to visit most of their UNESCO Heritage Sites. The scenery is just breathtaking and every day we seemed to be blown away by something different. There were many highlights in Switzerland (posts still to come) but the one that jumps straight to mind is the Bernina Express from St Moritz to Tirano. We had amazing weather so were graced with the most gorgeous views!


And on the flip side, our biggest disappointment was without a doubt, another unsuccessful trip to Jungfraujoch – at least we got onto the train this time πŸ™‚

Then it was a quick stop into Luxembourg which is very quaint country. We didn’t see much except the old town but it looks like there are plenty of interesting hikes and things to explore outside the city.


From there it was back to France for a bit of Paris again, where we got to visit the Louvre and Notre-Dame this time. Back in 2006, we didn’t visit either. Despite the queues, we enjoyed wondering through the Louvre and getting lost – that place is a maze!

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After the very brief stop in Paris, we went south to Bayonne before winding up in St Jean Pied de Port. There we started our epic 800 km walk of the Camino.


Day 1 – 3 was so unbelievably exhausting. That first day, climbing for almost 27 km to 1400+ metres asl over the Pyrenees into Spain, our bodies had never hurt in that way before! At dinner, we couldn’t even move our arms to feed ourselves. That was an adventure in itself! Our bodies felt so battered and bruised but we soldiered on.


We had a break day in Pamplona and although we didn’t get to run with any bulls, we did get to experience another fiestaΒ (The Privilege of the Union)Β they had.

IMG_4969The atmosphere of rural Spain is contagious. We love how there are siestas in the afternoon and then the evenings is in a league of their own! The streets are deserted during the day and as soon as 6pm hits, hundreds of people pour onto the street. Where have they been hiding all day?

We are finally getting into the swing and rhythm of walking everyday. We have walked about 160 km so far and we have enjoyed every minute. Despite the aches and pains and searing heat, it has been rewarding and uplifting to meet other pilgrims. The feeling of seeing our β€œrest” town in the distance at the end of every day is like seeing a source of water in the dessert! So near, yet so far! So excited, yet such a tease! Imagine walking up a hill, mountain, slope, incline only to peak over the crest to see the town… HOORAY! Except, you still need to walk there. How many times have we wished for a zip-line at that point?

Oh but the satisfaction of accomplishing outweighs the day’s walk 1000 times over. The scenery and sunrise helps as well! Remember, if you want to read our Camino day by day reflections, just duck on over to our Camino DiariesΒ or onto our Facebook page.

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Have a great week ahead, folks!

We welcome your comments here


37 thoughts on “our second month in review

    Packing my Suitcase said:
    September 17, 2014 at 1:17 am

    You guys are having the perfect trip, probably the trip of your lives! Amazing where you have been to so far… I wish safe travels to you and keep us posted! πŸ˜€

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      September 17, 2014 at 4:09 am

      Thanks Allane! Hope you are well!
      It has definitely been an amazing trip and to think there is so much like this and more in the world to explore – it is gets us so excited πŸ™‚

        Packing my Suitcase said:
        September 17, 2014 at 5:46 pm

        hahaha I can imagine!! We live in an amazing world… and lucky us to have the chance to get to know it better πŸ˜€

    thegrownupgapyear said:
    September 17, 2014 at 12:31 am

    Fab photos and I’m glad you’re enjoying the Camino. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      September 17, 2014 at 4:08 am

      Thank you πŸ™‚ The Camino is such a wonderful experience πŸ™‚ It is tough but yet so rewarding! We are loving how free we feel doing it. Hope you do get to o it one day!

    kayrpea61 said:
    September 15, 2014 at 11:06 pm

    Another great post, as we have come to expect of you πŸ™‚ Fully sympathise with the aching bodies, too.

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      September 16, 2014 at 12:39 am

      Hi Ken!! Thanks so much for your lovely words πŸ™‚ Our aching bodies seem to be adapting now…. At least we hope!

    the eternal traveller said:
    September 15, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    Two months already! You’ve done so much too. Isn’t Paris glorious!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      September 15, 2014 at 7:19 pm

      Yep – how time flies!!! We definitely appreciate all that Paris has to offer much more this time then we did 8 years ago πŸ™‚

    Marie said:
    September 15, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    Lovely pictures. Safe travels for the rest of your journey.

    Curt Mekemson said:
    September 15, 2014 at 6:24 am

    Sounds like the walk is going well, and you are right… the way to do it is one K at a time. πŸ™‚ Sort of like eating an elephant. –Curt

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      September 15, 2014 at 6:21 pm

      We can’t say we have eaten an elephant before, but yes, we would imagine that it’s “bit by bit”! Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

        Curt Mekemson said:
        September 16, 2014 at 1:50 am

        It’s an old adage… kind of like Mao’s ‘the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step,’ which I am sure you face every morning.:) –Curt

    Grace said:
    September 15, 2014 at 2:45 am

    I am so glad you found my blog because now I am aware of your walking the Camino trail! It sounds so wonderful, I am definitely going to be following your journey.

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      September 15, 2014 at 2:48 am

      HI Grace! Thanks for your comment πŸ™‚ We will be sharing more regular updates and reflections on the Camino over at http://abrighterperspective.wordpress.com (a side project blog) or on our FB page so check those two if you are interested! πŸ™‚

    Diana said:
    September 14, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    Walked 160km?!?! CRAZY!!! FABULOUS!!!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      September 14, 2014 at 11:59 pm

      Yep!! It is pretty massive when we think of how far we have walked so far but still a long way to go πŸ™‚ Hope you have been well!

    CrazyChineseFamily said:
    September 14, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    It is just so interessting to follow up your travels on your blog. Right now I am only sitting in a dark room, outside its raining and I need to finish up yet another few job applications…

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      September 14, 2014 at 11:58 pm

      Ahhh – well when we return, Le will be doing the same with job applications. Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

    Celia said:
    September 14, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    Awesome! Looks like you guys are having the time of your lives!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      September 14, 2014 at 11:57 pm

      Hi Celia – we are having a blast but can’t believe we are now in the second half of the trip already! Time to plan the next one πŸ™‚

    Shelley @Travel-Stained said:
    September 14, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    Sounds like a great second month! and way to go, 160 km down!!! Wow!!! πŸ˜€

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      September 14, 2014 at 11:56 pm

      It certainly was another great month for us. Thanks for the encouraging comment! Yes, one km at a time πŸ˜‰

    BerLinda said:
    September 14, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    What an amazing month! I’ll be interested to see what you thought of Lyon – I lived there for a year during university πŸ™‚

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      September 14, 2014 at 7:36 pm

      Almost didn’t recognise you by the name until we saw the photo πŸ™‚
      It was an incredible month and we are so sad that we are really on the home stretch now …. 😦
      We loved Lyon and will have to get some posts up when we get a chance at the end of the Camino πŸ™‚ Hope you are well and look forward to your stories of Berlin!

        BerLinda said:
        September 14, 2014 at 7:38 pm

        Thank you! I’m sure you felt like you had AGES when you arrived – it flies by, doesn’t it? Sounds like you really made the most of your time though!

          wisemonkeysabroad responded:
          September 14, 2014 at 7:40 pm

          It did feel like AGES to wait for the moment we flew out… and in a way because we still have another 640 km to walk… we feel like AGES before we get to stop (which is kind of good but still a wee bit daunting). We have made the most of our time, not just at the drawing board thinking of where to after all this finishes. Money may be a bit of an issue though… LOL!

            BerLinda said:
            September 14, 2014 at 7:49 pm

            I can imagine! Enjoy the last 640kms – if enjoy is the right word πŸ˜‰

            wisemonkeysabroad responded:
            September 14, 2014 at 7:50 pm

            Thanks πŸ™‚ Hmmm…certainly will remember it even if we don’t “enjoy” it the entire way!

    livinglikemabel said:
    September 14, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    Awesome post πŸ™‚ really like the 2nd to last image πŸ™‚ looking forward to future posts!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      September 14, 2014 at 6:09 pm

      Hi Mabel!! We are a little low on the posting at the moment because of the Camino but will try and get posts up when we can πŸ™‚ Thanks for much for reading and leaving us a comment!

    John Rose said:
    September 14, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    Great blog guys. I really need to travel around Europe more. Thanks for the inspiration

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      September 14, 2014 at 6:04 pm

      Hi John! Thanks for your kind words – we hope we’ve nudged you to see more of Europe πŸ™‚

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