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travel, stories, and other flights of fancy


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El Camino de Santiago, Galicia

countryside, Sobrado dos Monxes, Galicia

Although departure points for the Camino de Santiago vary greatly, the indisputable end of the journey is, was, and always will be Galicia.

Where exactly in Galicia, is the choice of every pilgrim. Traditionally, it’s the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, built on what is believed to be the original burial site of St.James the apostle. If you make it there (and have walked a minimum of 100km), you receive the Compostelana, a decorative certificate in Latin, which recognises, commemorates, your achievement. It’s a pretty nice piece of paper – I think I value it more than my uni degrees. As
for the city itself, it’s a jewel of a capital, and deserving of the anticipation and endeavour that it inspires. But these rewards, whilst beautiful, aren’t always enough. Because often on the way to Santiago, a phenomenon occurs; weather-beaten pilgrims (I would say battle-weary, but that might be going a bit far), despite the discomfort of being on the road (and the desperate desire to hang up their boots and have a delicious home cooked meal in the company of their families), realise that they can’t stop, because they have become addicted to the Camino. And so what happens is that even after they’ve arrived in Santiago, they keep going, until they get to the sea and very literally can’t walk any more. I was one of these deluded wanderers, risking a flight back to Australia and the timely collection of some important bureaucracy in order to continue, well beyond my projected dates and end point. Why? Because I couldn’t bear the thought of the friends I had made going on without me. Because I wanted to get to the Atlantic, and breathe the ocean air again, and look out towards Canada on the other side. And because the idea of waking up in the morning, and not walking, was inconceivable. The real world felt so far away, and I was in no hurry to get back to it.

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Of course I had to at some point. And it’s not like I couldn’t see it coming, anticipate it, and mentally plan for it. I first felt ‘the end’ approaching about a week out from Santiago, as we crossed the bridge from Asturias into Galicia (which are divided by the Ribadeo estuary). It was exciting to be on the final straight. I couldn’t wait to see such a talked about city with my own eyes, to get there and celebrate with a huge convergence of pilgrims. But at the same time, I felt the need to slow down, to savour and make a conscious effort to remember every last moment. I think my whole group got a bit pre-emptively nostalgic; we started reminiscing about the Camino well before it was even close to finished.

In Ribadeo we celebrated our safe arrival with Estrella Galicia (one of Spain’s best beers), and licor de café, both typical to the region. As the town was heavily overbooked and the sky didn’t look good, that night we had no choice but to fork out for an overpriced pension (which we dutifully shared with about twice the number of pilgrims than beds we paid for). Of course, having paid (what seemed to us) a small fortune (but was probably quite reasonable), the weather stayed unexpectedly balmy, permitting us to enjoy a picnic dinner on the lawn next to an outdoor market, where we were entertained by a fantastic live band and a convivial Saturday night atmosphere. This was all the more relaxing because the next day we’d decided not to walk so far, instead opting for one last excursion to the coast (before we turned inland towards Santiago).

La Playa de Las Catedrales (Cathedral Beach), Lugo, can only be visited at low tide, and low-tide doesn’t last for very long. It’s not a beach you can really go to for swimming or sunbaking or getting too comfortable at. As soon as we arrived, I felt a bit silly for bringing something to read and a packed lunch. But despite not getting much more than my feet wet, it was well worth the side trip to see this magical place. The beach is formed by cliffs and caves and individual rocky pillars, similar to the Twelve Apostles from the Great Ocean Road in Australia. At La Playa de Las Catedrales you can walk in and around and through the rock formations, which have interesting acoustics and bat-cave-like shafts of light. In contrast to the craggy rocks, the beach itself is Playa de las Catedralesbeautifully smooth and the water is perfectly clear; calming and cleansing to pilgrim feet. In the short time that we were there the coastline underwent a striking transition. It started off rather pretty, but then not only did the tide rapidly rise, but a storm came rolling in, and suddenly we were scrambling back up the steps and running for the bus (they’re 3 hours apart and there’s nowhere nice to pass that time if you get stuck there).

After this brief diversion, we returned to Ribadeo, collected our backpacks, donned our (thankfully dry) boots, and then went to a bar to sit on our drinks for a depressingly inordinate amount of time, waiting for the rain to stop. It didn’t, and eventually we had no choice but to make tracks – no one could afford another night in Ribadeo. That afternoon we walked a grand total of 7km (my record shortest day), to Vilela, population 535 (I would have estimated about 20). Vilela had one grimy bar and the worst hostel I stayed in during the whole Camino. There were about 3 times more pilgrims than beds, all sopping wet (the cyclists doubly so), and with the pouring rain, there was nowhere else in the village to go (not even a bus stop). Nor was there any room to walk between the mattresses and the trip-wires of makeshift dripping clotheslines and piles of stinking backpacks. But it was here in Vilela, over a gourmet dinner of microwave lentils, tinned octopus (I kid you not) and burningly cheap wine (with only three seats, two plates, and no cups, shared between eight or so people), that I celebrated it being exactly three years since I’d left Australia. The situation was so ridiculous it was comical, sitting there debating whether or not I’d made a good decision, or matured or evolved as a person in that time, as I stood/leant there, dressed in socks with thongs and every dry piece of clothing I owned, shivering and swigging from a wine bottle with people whose surnames I didn’t know (we weren’t even facebook friends yet), and whose friendship I measured in kilometres. Yet strangely enough, my final consensus was that, despite the present situation, I was quite happy with the slightly tangential direction my life seemed to be taking. Why move up in the world when you can go west to Santiago?

It was also in Vilela that a grand plan was masterminded – that would allow each of our party to not only make it to Santiago, but onwards to Finisterre (‘the end of the world’), and then back to their various departure points in time to catch their respective transports to their respective next chapters in life. The best part of the grand plan was that we would arrive in Santiago City on a Saturday, party the night away, and then have a rest day (as one should) on the Sunday, in order to go to the pilgrims’ mass at the Cathedral and see the Botafumeiro. The Botafumeiro is a giant silver incense burner that is swung above the congregation from one end of the Cathedral to the other, by some kind of medieval pulley system, operated by monks who are also swinging (and probably having the most fun a monk can lawfully have). The spectacle is only performed on Sundays, feast days, and when large groups of rich and religious people pay for it (the cost is rumoured to be about €400). Anyone who eats tinned octopus clearly cannot afford this privilege, so a Sunday was the only possibility on our calendar.

It’s bizarre that we made such an ambitious plan, which called for about 35 – 40km walking per day, at such a clear low point on the Camino, when our spirits were dampened (drenched rather), and first aid kits and strength reserves were running so low. Yet everyone in our party took a deep breath and said “yep, count me in” (or some variation of that), probably thinking to themselves (I know I was) “oh shit, what on earth have I just agreed to?!”.

???????????????????????????????Best laid plans are doomed to fail, but ours, by some stroke of luck, did not. The weather came good, right when we most needed/wanted it to. The longest walking days were relatively flat and surprisingly doable. I was actually aided at one point by an infected toe which prevented me from stopping (to stop was to start feeling again), and so despite the lack of coffee, the lack of breaks allowed me to power through double the distances I was walking at the beginning of the Camino. In Sobrado Dos Monxes we stayed in the most incredible ancient monastery, which housed over 100 pilgrims comfortably, in definitely the coolest and oldest building I’ve ever had the good fortune to stay the night in.

As we got closer to Santiago, we encountered an increasing number of turigrinos, ‘tourist-pilgrims’. These could be easily identified by their suspiciously washed appearance (the women with straightened hair, the men clean shaven), lack of back packs (these were delivered by luggage courier services), and by their jolly, oblivious, restaurant-fed faces. Some actually had the cheek to take taxis the last few kilometres of each stage, often beating us to (and subsequently stealing beds in) the hostels. What I found particularly bizarre, not to mention annoying, was that many of these frauds were doing the minimum last 100kms of Camino in order to get the Compostelana. God only knows (pun intended) just what on earth the certificate meant to them.

On a less critical note, the progression of scenery in Galicia was a pleasure to walk – beautiful, varied, and fascinating! As we moved away from the coast we walked through farmland, eucalypt forest, pine forest, prehistoric-looking forest forest (reminiscent of William Robinson paintings), and strangely dry-ish grasslands. GaliciaThe best thing was that there was very little road (except for one stretch, which despite being much dreaded asphalt, was actually cool, shaded, vacant of cars, and one of the loveliest sections I’d walked). Since the beginning of the Camino, our way had been dotted with blackberry bushes and all kinds of fruit trees (conveniently overhanging fences). By the time we got to Galicia the blackberries were at their best, and there was a seemingly limitless supply. Whatever vitamins are in blackberries were definitely not lacking in our diets, we were stuffing ourselves by the sticky purple handful. Unfortunately the same could not be said for figs (which happen to be my favourite fruit). At the beginning of the Camino they were too hard and green to eat, but I was hoping that a few weeks deeper into summer they’d be ready. Alas, they did not ripen. I spent the entire length of the Camino checking every fig tree on the way, and not finding a single edible specimen. This was really quite upsetting for me, and one of the greatest disappointments of my summer.

What certainly did not fail to disappoint, was Santiago de Compostela. After 850km of hype, I was expecting the city to fall short of my expectations. But either I managed to subconsciously lower them sufficiently, or Santiago truly is that wonderful. Or perhaps I was a little high on the whole experience. Arriving in the capital, on a gloriously sunny day, in the company of new friends (who I felt like I’d known a hundred years), and passing through the arched gateway into the main plaza in front of the Cathedral, was one of the most satisfying and happiest moments of my life. We kicked off our shoes and lay back on our backpacks, facing up towards the elaborate (albeit partly scaffolded) facade, and spent quite a while there, each one with his or her own happy thoughts, soaking up the sunlight and the moment, until it was permanently burned into our memories. Then, as we ourselves started to burn, and get hungry, we collected ourselves and headed for the famous Casa Manolo on the Plaza de Cervantes, for a big and much deserved feed.

In Santiago there is pilgrims’ accommodation for 10€ in two different monasteries, both a little removed from the centre of town. We opted to splurge nearly double that, for a secured bed at The Last Stamp, where there were real sheets and towels, and importantly, no curfew. This was a fantastic decision. After showers and siestas, we reconverged in the main square after night fall, where a Galician folk band entertained a rather participative audience of tourists, pilgrims and passersby. Sometime around midnight the band wrapped things up and the crowd dispersed, but the pilgrims stayed on, making their own music until they ran out of provisions, realised they couldn’t sing very well, and decided to see what Santiago’s more official nightlife had to offer.

Cathedral of Santiago, from my windowIt not like me to be conscious of being home “in time for church”, but this was one mass I didn’t want to miss. Somehow we all made it on the Sunday, with time to wash and even nab a couple of hours sleep, before squeezing into the enthusiastically attended Cathedral. Whilst I nearly nodded off during the official “welcome to the pilgrims mass” (in about 15 different languages), it was worth being there to be part of such a congregation. The Cathedral is incredible inside, and it felt as though every square inch of it (right up to the huge vaulted ceilings) was filled with good will and excitement, and on my part, pure gratitude and wonder. The botafumeiro was quite a spectacle, though I was a little disappointed by the number of people filming it (literally watching it through their uplifted tablets); as though it was something they were likely to forget!

The rest of Sunday was filled with exploring the city, listening to live music, and a relatively early night before hitting the road once again – destination: Finisterre.

“The End of the World” took another three days to get to, and by the time we arrived, I was well and truly spent. If I’d left straight after Santiago I’d probably have been wanting more, but the “Finisterre extension” was the perfect closure.

The first thing we did when we reached the sea (the Atlantic!) was have a quick dip, before walking up to the lighthouse (an extra 3 km that I hadn’t counted on, story of my Camino). There we stared out across a vast and seemingly limitless ocean, took some photos, and then sadly, rushed-ly said goodbye to half our party (who had to run for a bus home). Those that were remaining then had a few philosophical beers, looking out across eternity. Before it got dark we hitchhiked back into town (there was a constant flow of sightseers between the lighthouse and the port), ???????????????????????????????bought snacks, rugged up, and went to the Finisterre back beach to watch one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve even seen. This smaller beach was permanent home to a community of hippies, who apparently started as pilgrims, but got to Finisterre and didn’t want to go back. I can understand how they felt. There were several bonfires going and, as is the tradition, people symbolically burning their socks, boots, walking sticks etc.

As it got later the wind picked up, and hunger and cold lured us back to town in search of a restaurant. I would have made a terrible hippy anyway. By the time we had dinner it was midnight – not a bad effort, considering or last solid food was breakfast, at 6am, back when we were still on the Camino. A girl in our group was Galician, which came in handy when trying to find somewhere serving decent food at such an ungodly hour (where did we think we were? Seville?!). Had we not a local in our party, I’ve no idea how we would have fared. Galician waitresses tend to be slightly haggard, and of strong, formidable (but very witty) characters. At least that’s the impression I got, trying to make out what I could of their rapid Galician.

The dinner was unbelievable. Perhaps it was enhanced by the combination of extreme hunger and my extreme love of seafood…but this “last supper” was without a doubt the best I had in all the Camino. We finally (finally!) got stuck into some fresh Galician octopus, the biggest, most orange mussels I’ve ever seen, some other delicious yet unidentifiable seafood, and crisp albariño wine.

It was over this meal, with the backdrop of mountains and sea and people speaking Galician (I love how it sounds), that I finally understood the term morriña – a type of nostalgia, longing, and homesickness, specific to Galicia. I may not be from there, but I can certainly appreciate how people who are can miss it so painfully when they leave, and how they have their own special word for this feeling. I’ve never met a Galician who wanted to live (well, end up) anywhere else in the world. There’s something magical about that place, sticking out above Spain and Portugal, on the edge of what once would have been the known world…

Sunrise on the last morning was spectacular. It was also bitterly cold, and for once, I wouldn’t be warmed by walking. As I stared out across the bay, waiting for the others to wake up, watching the peach and grey sky and cruising seabird silhouettes, I was hit by unexpected, yet pleasing realisations… that the prolonged goodbye period had really worn me down, but the Camino itself had been as fulfilling as I could ever have hoped for. I was incredibly grateful, and incredibly tired, and finally, I was ready, and glad, to be going home.

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El Camino de Santiago, Camino del Norte

The Way of St. James, Northern Route

My last post was nearly 7 weeks ago, which is possibly a record gap for me. I’ve been busy with all kinds of things; moving house, hosting visitors, adopting forlorn Czech pilgrims who’ve had their wallets stolen, and doing the two-day cross-hemispherical hopscotch to Australia. But for the bulk of that time, for most of my “summer”, I literally did nothing but walk.

Caminos across EuropeThe Camino de Santiago has more than one path. It is, in fact, a whole network of ancient pilgrimage routes, which make their way from starting points all over Europe to Santiago de Compostela, a beautiful city in the Northwest corner of Spain. There, it is believed that the remains of St.James are held in the Cathedral, after mysteriously arriving by a boat sent from the Holy Land in the first century. Traditionally the peregrinos (pilgrims) walked the arduous journey in poverty, humbling subsisting on the charity of the folk they met along the way. Their reasons for walking were primarily religious; they walked for penance, to beg forgiveness, to ask favours, to give thanks, to seek answers to questions untold.

These days, the roads to Santiago are busier than ever, although the profile, means, and motivations of the modern day peregrino have changed considerably. The Camino is no longer strictly a Christian tradition. Buddhist monks have been known to do it. Atheists, agnostics, people from the entire width and breath of the religious/spiritual spectrum make the journey. People walk the Camino because they are enthusiasts of nature, culture, food or history. The do it to quit smoking, lose weight, get fit, meditate, escape their crowded city lives and take in the fresh air and inspirational scenery of the open road. There are people running from things (unhappy marriages, stressful jobs), people looking for things (epiphanies, soul-mates, big ideas, exotic bird species), and people hoping put time and distance and reflection between one major life phase and the next. And then there are people who simply just like walking.

The most famous and most traditional route to Santiago is the Camino Francés. The French Route starts in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in the French Pyrenees, crosses south through the mountains, then west, all the way to Galicia, through the inner northern provinces of Spain. The French route is mostly flat, dry, windy, and notorious for weather extremes.  It is dotted with tiny towns and ancient churches, monasteries and fortresses. At one point it was the frontier between Christian and Arab Spain. More recently, it was popularised (but not particularly well-represented) in the Hollywood movie “The Way”, starring Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez. Just a couple of weeks ago, The Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy took the German Chancellor Angela Merkel on a diplomatic stroll along the final stages of the Camino, followed by a private viewing of the Cathedral (which was bad luck for any real pilgrims who were planning on arriving in Santiago on that date). It seems like everyone’s doing the Camino these days – and most of them are on the French route.

early morning on the road

This was one of the reasons I opted for a quieter path, choosing instead to walk the Camino del Norte, the North Way. I started in Hondaribbia (a small port town next to Irún, on the Basque/French border), and walked the 850-something kms from there until Santiago. It took me exactly a month. From Santiago I then did the 3 day, 90km “extension” to Finisterre, The End of the World, to watch the sunset over the Atlantic.

The Northern Route runs mostly along the coast, and is characterised by beautiful beaches, dramatic cliffs, lush green farmland, pine and eucalyptus forests, and mountainous ups and downs. Compared with the French route, it is said to be physically more demanding, as well as significantly less populated, less frequented, and therefore less accommodating to pilgrims. There were often long distances between towns, and amenities were generally scarce. Although the inadequacies of services and accommodation was frustrating, I think this was more than compensated for by the fact that the Camino del Norte, despite being peak season, didn’t feel crowded. There were mornings where I didn’t see another pilgrim for hours, and I loved that real, sought after sense of being alone, with my thoughts, on the road.

I’m a hot weather person and was pretty upset by the rain and overcast skies of Northern Spain (often complaining about being cold, wet, and “robbed of my summer”), but have to admit, we had pretty ideal weather for walking. At least there was no risk of heatstroke, as there is on the shadeless French Route. And we were lucky enough to have a few glorious, sunny beach afternoons, which were all the more enjoyable for being so hard earned. Dipping our tired feet in the ocean after a long day’s walking was bliss.

So, who were “we”?

I, for one, started the Camino alone, with the clear intention of walking alone. In fact I think we pretty much all did. But the best thing about being alone is that you’re completely free to meet people and modify plans. I’m not quite sure at which point “I” became “we”, but by the end of the Camino “we” were a tight, but relatively fluid (we lost some and gained some) group of about ten peregrinos, originating from all over Spain, Galicia, Catalonia, The Basque Country, Germany, Italy, The Czech Republic, Holland, Australia, Brazil, South Korea and America.

It happened rather organically, as most good things do. At first, in the early weeks, we passed each other on the road, and maybe walked together for an hour or two here or there, before one or the other moved ahead or fell behind, in accordance with the mantra “cada uno a su ritmo”, everyone at their own pace. We might have crossed paths later in the day; over laundry basins, in bars or in supermarkets (baskets laden with bread, cheese, chocolate, and one of every fruit). We started sharing detergent, directions, wine, pegs and Betadine. We began to re-group for coffee breaks, choose the same destinations, make bigger and bigger hostel reservations. In time, we recognised each others’ snores, gave each other massages, and were dressing and disinfecting each others’ swollen blistered feet. We knew who needed space, who needed encouragement, and when to give it. We helped each other “lighten the load” by sharing our cheap wine, chocolate and culinary disasters. We were sometimes a well oiled, walking-machine team, and other times, a stunning (but hilarious) example of disorganisation and incompetence.

For me, the unexpected social nature of the Camino was sometimes overwhelming. Aside from walking early in the morning (I was one of the earliest risers), there was very little personal space. In the evenings, the hostels were overcrowded. Many were in remote locations with no more than one bar, and if it was raining, there was simply nowhere else to go. No anonymity and nowhere to write in my notebook or draw or read. I’m an independent person, and being part of a bigger group, waiting for people and making compromises, is not something I’m used to or like doing. But I was under no obligation to join in; at any point I could have (literally) walked off and done my own thing. Yet every afternoon, I kept wanting to meet up with this merry bunch of eclectic wanderers, join in their silly conversation, and discuss backpacks and backaches and blisters with them. In the end, the company, the fun and the moral support was invaluable. Without them I probably wouldn’t have made it to Santiago in such good timing, definitely wouldn’t have made it to Finisterre and I most likely would have come apart at the seams, figuratively speaking.

There is no describing the satisfaction I felt arriving in Santiago de Compostela, and achieving my long-time goal of walking the Camino. Just as there is no way of saying this without it sounding like boasting or narcissism (cos that’s exactly what it is), but I am incredibly proud of my efforts. The Camino, in many parts, wasn’t fun. Sometimes it was hard, sometimes it was boring, sometimes it was incredibly frustrating. The way smelt like dirty livestock or car exhaust. I was allergic to most of the farmland. The entrances and exits to the major cities often passed through outer suburbs and grimy industrial zones. Sometimes there was nowhere to go to the toilet (not even bushes), or to buy food, or to sleep. I ran out of money and didn’t eat well. It rained for days and nothing dried. People got on each others’ nerves. I got sick of myself. We were all constantly tired. And it never helped that every map was different and the next town seemed to always be at least 3km further away than where we thought it was. But as corny as it sounds, these moments of frustration only served to heighten the exhilaration of every positive aspect of the Camino, and to sweeten the glory at the end.

we made it!

The best parts of the Camino are the hardest ones to put in words, especially without sounding clichéd. I loved not just seeing the scenery, but being in it. I loved feeling and smelling the ocean, especially after living so many years inland. I loved the giddy comradely singing about underpants. I loved starting to walk at daybreak, and then suddenly realising it was completely light and I already had 10km under my belt. I loved seeing a landmark in the impossibly far distance, and then suddenly standing under it, knowing I’d walked all that way. I couldn’t get enough of the pristine beaches and freshness of the Cantabrian Sea (compared with the blandness of the Mediterranean), or the dramatic, craggy cliffs, the ragged old stone houses, and the villagers that looked as though their lives hadn’t changed since 200 years ago. I loved the simplicity of walking, of waking up each morning and not having to make any decisions except “how far?”. I loved that the non-Camino world felt so far away, that there weren’t enough power plugs, and therefore it really wasn’t my fault if I didn’t check in to social networks or reply to messages for weeks. I loved the feeling of becoming gradually stronger, my backpack getting lighter, and being more carefree. At the beginning I followed maps and tried to organise where I would sleep each night, but the closer we got to Santiago, the more we left things to chance. Some days we set out walking knowing that there would be no room at the hostels when we arrived (taken up by turigrinos, tourist-pilgrims who catch buses and taxis and cheat their way to a bed in pilgrims’ accommodation). Yet in a group, this was easier to face, we knew that somehow everything would be OK. And it always was.

nothing like seeing your name in latin to make you feel super specialAll peregrinos who cover a distance greater than 100km are eligible to receive a “compostelana”, a fancy looking Latin certificate in recognition of their achievement, (referred to by one of my friends as a “get into heaven free card”. Not quite sure how that works, but I guess it can’t hurt having it!). When applying for the compostelana at the Pilgrims’ Office in Santiago, you must fill in a form with personal information, and tick a box to state your reason for doing the Camino. The options are religious, spiritual, or sporting/touristic. For me, after an entire month of walking, it was the first time I had been questioned about my motivations. Unfortunately “all of the above” was not an option.

Strangely enough, the question “why are you doing the Camino?” is never asked on the road. It is taboo in pilgrim etiquette. If someone wants to talk about their reasons for walking, it will eventually come up. You do not ask, and in many cases, you never find out.

I don’t believe the Camino to be a cure-all or the bringer of epiphanies. I find it hard to shake my inner skeptic and I don’t like talk of miracles. You cannot run from yourself, and if you search too desperately for something, you probably won’t find it. However, there is a lot to be said for walking the Camino. It certainly affords one plenty of contemplation time. It is a temporary escape, a respite from daily life, and in some cases, a break from destructive patterns. It presents you with physical and emotional challenges, all kinds of scenery, and all kinds of people. It offers you new perspectives and priorities. The Camino shakes you up. And whilst surely not every pilgrim finds the answer to their questions or achieves their goals, there is no doubt that every pilgrim learns something, learns a lot, along the way. And most of them have fun doing it.

I’m back in Australia now, and what’s left of the Camino is fading fast. This makes me a little bit sad. Like all big things, it completely consumed me at the time (and it was my life in Australia that was a distant haze). People are asking me “how was it?”, or sometimes “what was it?”, and I never quite know what to say. To be honest, I’d rather hear about what they’ve been doing. I worry I can’t sustain their attention long enough (or justify eating up so much conversation time) to give the Camino the rap it deserves. Nor do I want to short change them if they’ve asked an honest question and are genuinely interested in the answer. But getting at least some of it down in writing sure makes me feel a hell of a lot better. There’re some messy scraps in my journal too, but this blog feels clearer, realer, and can be read by others. Some pictures would be a good idea, just as soon as I can upload them the right way up. As would some description on the walking itself and the regions I visited. So it’s not quite all done yet, there’s a little more on the Camino to come…

just follow the yellow arrows