Camino In Translation

It probably never ends.

Camino translates from Spanish as path or journey or road or course, but it also translates as way, which best describes my walk to Santiago — one segment of wherever life head — the way forward.

(Photo by Debbie)

I am glad we have done it, so glad to have had a good friend to put our project in motion and get us going.

We saw people every day who were on a mission, and we also saw many who were walking just to walk, to see if they could trek 100, 200, 500, 1,000 miles, with no other personal, emotional or spiritual baggage. There were many reasons people found themselves walking in Northern Spain.

(Friday morning, Oct. 7, about 8:15, full moon still visible, we arrived in Santiago about five hours later.)

Deep down, I think the pilgrimage strengthened my belief. The Bible says, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” That sums up my Camino pilgrimage. If that becomes my focus, it will have been worth it.

Back to basics. Stepping down from the pulpit, two things stand out now that it’s done.

1. Feet and Boots. If your feet aren’t happy, life is not good on a long-distance hike. From Day 2 or 3, things did not go well below my ankles. The boots I loved did not love the second toe of my right foot. Compeed didn’t help, re-lacing the boot was no good. Rather than risk long-term damage to the top of the toe and toenail, I switched to my old trail walking shoes. Which eased that problem, but led to five or six blisters by the time we got to Santiago. The worn-out shoes were just too run down for 80 miles of walking. They stayed in Santiago as my gift to St. James.

2. Spain. We love it. This is the most unexpected discovery. We saw a glorious country on foot, beautiful, at the harvest season, with people who are welcoming to pilgrims as they have been for 1,200 years. Buildings constructed centuries ago. Old churches, farms and fields, towns and villages. The Spain we saw endeared us to its landscapes, people and culture.

We are in Paris now, which is wonderful and bustling and multicultural and crowded and cosmopolitan and gray. Spain was sunshine.

We can’t wait to go back.

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