Bob Walks El Camino Lesson 1
Back in March I started training to walk El Camino de Santiago de Compostela, a pilgrimage that has existed for over 1000 years. Even before it was taken up by Christians, there are indications that early humans walked this walk. While there are many ways to get to Santiago, most pilgrims walk from St. Jean Pied de Port in Southwestern France, over the Pyrenees crossing slowly towards the city of Santiago de Compostela, close to the Atlantic coast. This history is available in many places, and there are many, many you tube videos that capture some of the flavor of this walk.
Today (July 29) I have walked over 700 miles as I prepare to leave on August 22. Yes, my feet often hurt, and I have been challenged with finding the best walking shoes (no boots that fit me seem to be available), getting a backpack that fits (yes today backpacks are made in various sizes unlike when I last bought one), and extreme boredom as I walk my various routes. I've also found a community that often lifts me up and constantly encourages me! This is made up of family, friends, my Camino group here in Charlotte, and even strangers who encounter me along the way who are mostly curious and then excited as I explain why I am walking around an urban area with a backpack and walking sticks!
There seems to be great hysteria from other pilgrims over the weight in their packs. Right now I am a little over 20 pounds, and I expect it will stay that way. Most of the decisions have been made, and I am eager to get going in three weeks!