Why? We get asked that a lot. Why would we want to walk 500 miles across Spain following the Camino de Santiago? In truth, we really don’t have an answer. It kinda beats the hell out of us why we’re taking this on.
Remember George Mallory’s quote, “…because it’s there?” Yeah, it’s kind of like that.
The question is always the same, why? The reactions are usually that of a glazed over look of dumbfoundedness (is that a word?) or a look of actual interest followed by the inevitable question and answer period of the program. Where do you start? Where do you end? Where do you sleep? Where do you go to the bathroom and how do you even begin to plan for such a thing? Those are just a few.
If we happen to be in REI asking questions about hiking gear, most REI worker bees already know about the Camino and are excited for us. But if we happen to be at a holiday dinner party and no one has heard of the Camino, well then of course there are a multitude of questions and sometimes that glazed over look of – I can’t even fathom doing such a thing – appears and secretly they’re probably thinking, “They must be out of their minds.”
I recently decided that even though I’ve broken in my new Merrill walking shoes, I’m going to revert to my long-standing relationship with my Keens. But they needed to be refurbished before they walk me 500 miles. We took them to the local shoe repairman and as I explained to him why my Keens needed to carry me 500 miles, that glazed over look began to appear. Once Abi began to explain the Camino though, the glaze disappeared and genuine interest came through. p.s. I can’t wait to get my shoes back. I miss them.
So why are we walking? Because it’s there. It’s the ultimate walk. It’s the two of us on the road together, literally. It’s a time for us to gather our thoughts, to talk, to laugh, to cry, to be in awe of where we are. Everyone has their reason; their story. There are those who loudly profess that if one does not chuck all modern technology, does not carry only the barest of necessities and does not only stay at the albergues, then one is not truly a Camino pilgrim. That’s a load of crap in my book and only serves those who judge. I don’t have to be a martyr to discover my own way on the Camino.
Do I have any fears? Yes. I have two. Number 1 is that I’ll step wrong and do something stupid like sprain my ankle or wrack my knee joint. Which lends itself to fear number 2, which is the fear that I won’t finish and I’ll have to write a blog post to tell the world I didn’t make it.
We are 3 weeks and counting from crossing the pond and we start walking April 12, rain or shine. So what questions do you have for us, we’d really like to know!