I am shaking in my figurative boots right now as I prepare for bed in Pamplona, Spain. Tomorrow when I wake, I’ll be eating a boiled egg and fruit, drinking a coffee, pulling on my ‘day’ clothes and shaking in my literal walking shoes as I start the first day of my one month pilgrimage across Spain.
Starting from the Spanish town of Pamplona, I’ll be making my way about 700 kilometres west along the famous Camino Frances trail (also known as the French Way), following the footsteps tread by hundreds of years of pilgrims. Although traditionally a Christian pilgrimage, the way is now also walked by intrepid and troubled spirits from across the globe.
Reading about the Camino over the past few months, I’ve heard stories of great sadness and accomplishment; stories of 90 year old walkers and those suffering illnesses, of people who’ve lost loved ones, or those who have nothing. But for me, a generally happy traveller from Australia, joining the Camino trail is about something else, although it is hard to articulate exactly what….
Perhaps it is about adventure and the Spanish countryside, as well as about being free and wild. Perhaps it has to do with the challenge of letting go, of following my feet and my heart, about letting my mind quiet and trusting that the path with provide. It could also be about ego; saying I did it, proving that I can, that my body is stronger than it seems. Perhaps.
For now, all I am sure of is that I’ve sent most of my possessions to Santiago de Compostella. I have shoes and a small pack. I have a supportive partner who is ready to walk with me. And I’m in Spain. It seems that the best thing to do is face my anxiety and just go.
Along the way I’ll be keeping you updated, telling you stories, sharing my tips, posting photos of the Spanish countryside. I will also be posting stories from my recent one-month stay in Istanbul, Turkey, as well as stories and tips about my few days in Barcelona and Pamplona, Spain.