Camino de Santiago
There is an ancient pilgrim path in Spain which is also known as the Camino Frances, measuring roughly 800km
I first read about it in my Thirties and I was intrigued. A long walk from the bottom of France to a city in Spain, which was hard to find on a small map, at the time. I wanted to do something physical to celebrate my upcoming 40th birthday and this pilgrimage sounded very appealing. Information on the Camino was hard to find as the internet was still very young, Facebook hadn’t been invented yet! I ordered a small guide online and started chatting to my overseas sisters about my plans. Two of my overseas sisters were keen to join me which started making the timing tricky. As time went on, things started to change, and my one sister was diagnosed with breast cancer, the other sister’s daughter planned a UK wedding and it began to make logical sense to change my plans to walk something in the UK. We ended up walking the 100 mile West Highland Way, from Glasgow- my birth city- to Fort William. This was a great adventure and literally got me on the road to running. So my plans to walk the Camino was stored on my bucket list and in a way I had forgotten about it.
Fast forward to present day, and once again the Camino beckons. After a series of events and timing, the way opened up and I am a few weeks away from starting this new adventure.
Making the decision.
When I started toying with the idea of walking it again I was perplexed. Now there is an abundance of information on the internet as well as books, films, guides and blogs. I had a few things to consider.
- Which route? as the more I read, the more I saw that there were many attractive options to make this pilgrimage
- When to go? Most people recommended avoiding mid year, as it is high season, hot and busy.
- Why am I going? Is it a pilgrimage in the spiritual sense? A physical adventure? To find myself?
Things started opening up and falling into place for me so I decided to stay with the flow. Hubby was then booked on a work job in France so it made sense to meet him there and make my way down to the start in St Jean Piet du Port. This would mean slap bang in the middle of peak season. But it felt right so I booked my ticket. After much research and toying and feeling about it, I decided to go with the more popular route. Yes it means more people, but doing this on my own for the very first time, I preferred the idea of seeing people on route and not feeling alone in the wilderness.
I still don’t have a definite ‘reason’ for going, all I know that it is something I want to do. I read a great book by Jean-Christophe Rufin, called The Santiago Pilgrimage. Being an accomplished author in his native country France, his explanation of his journey spoke straight to my heart almost wordlessly. He wrote “My remarks…to describe what the pilgrimage meant to me. …I was looking for nothing when I set off for Santiago de Compostela, and I found it.” This best describes my reason for walking the route. It is there and I am going to walk it!
I will post regular updates on my blog on my progress, so keep an eye on my blog.
For a compilation of my blog posts in a PDF format, please click on the link below.