The Way of St James:
Saint Jean de Pied de Port – Santiago de Compostela
Distance: 853,28 km
– Without any material (clothes, panniers and more)
– Without the food and accommodation of one day because I slept at home
The Camino de Santiago is actually something. From the start it is exciting, offering step by step small things that reward every effort is made, making it an unforgettable experience. To finish in such a simple and discreet way. The fruits of the path are collected on the pilgrimage to be savoured upon arrival. And I have arrived.
The Camino de Santiago had always had in mind and now that this experience also runs throughout my body I have to say, it is an unforgettable memory. It gives you all the time in the world to be with yourself and organize, or at least give you another perspective, to all the chaos you may have inside. There is also plenty of time to meet other people and, definitely, to make a lot of friends.
The reasons why I have done the Camino de Santiago are not at all religious, more to say, in my case and with the little time I had to do it, it has been more of a physical/sport challenge. However, doing this Way is without a doubt a religious and/or spiritual experience. Of course, it is full of Catholic churches, and that the final destination is the tomb of the apostle James. But I do not mean this type of religiosity or spirituality. I mean another more universal and truer one.
Get up every day with the dawn, in Spanish we say that God will help whoever wakes up early. Being at the mercy of the elements. Carry your belongings on your back and reach your destination through your own means, or rather, through your own legs. Spend long kilometres and long hours with yourself. Meet new people every day and share with them from a small conversation to several days, or even the entire Camino. Help your neighbour and have your neighbour help you. Laugh, cry, enjoy, suffer. Without any doubt, the Camino de Santiago is a great human experience.
Caminante, son tus huellas
el camino y nada más;
Caminante, no hay camino,
se hace camino al andar.
Al andar se hace el camino,
y al volver la vista atrás
se ve la senda que nunca
se ha de volver a pisar.
Caminante no hay camino
sino estelas en la mar.
Wayfarer, the only way
Is your footprints and no other.
Wayfarer, there is no way.
Make your way by going farther.
By going farther, make your way
Till looking back at where you’ve wandered,
You look back on that path you may
Not set foot on from now onward.
Wayfarer, there is no way;
Only wake-trails on the waters.
The kilometres feel longer on a bus than in a bicycle, but the hours go by quickly when reviving all the memories as I go backwards in the Camino de Santiago. Behind the window, a tear caresses a smile and reminds them that the ticket back home has no destination. During all these days my goal has been to get closer and closer to the end of the Camino but, and now? what is my goal? Where is the next yellow arrow which will tell me where my destiny is?