“Time flies” is an expression we often hear, and in my case, it’s not an expression, it’s a reality! I am but a mere 56 days from my departure for France where I will meet up with my French Camino friends to undertake another beautiful journey on the Camino de Santiago, or to many, the Way of St. James.
For thousands of years, pilgrims have walked the many roads that make up the Camino in hope to reach the city of Santiago in Spain. In a majestic cathedral lies what many believe are the remains of the apostle St James. Millions have undertaken this journey which originally started as a voyage of penitence and religious introspect. Today, pilgrims travel hundreds or thousands of kilometers seeking adventure, personal introspect, spiritual enlightenment or simply to discover the great countryside of Spain.
In May and June of 2011, I walked more than 500 kilometers covering the distance from Burgos to Santiago with only a backpack on my back and the wind in my hair. It was one of the most life-transforming experience I had ever been blessed to live, and once again, I set my sights on returning and living the life of a bohemian pilgrim.
This time I will have the privilege to walk the Camino with my good friends whom I met during my first Camino. Five wonderful exuberant individuals (2 brothers and a dear friend of theirs and one additional couple) along with my “bestest ever” donkey-friend Nestor will once again team up for parts of the Camino. Daniele, Jean, Nestor and I will walk the 800 km to Santiago, and the others will join us at various times during the trek.
We will begin our Camino in France, although the actual location is to be determined as Daniele and I will join Jean and donkey Nestor who will have started ahead of us. Nestor lives on a farm located some hundreds of kilometers south of our starting point. Jean will start earlier and we will connect with him on the 23rd of April.
For the next 8 weeks, my focus will continue to be a healthy lifestyle with the addition of physical training to get me ready for the daily 20-22 km walks that await me. My intentions are to blog during my journey, as I did during my first Camino. This allowed my family and friends to keep track of my adventures as well as get a sense of reassurance that all was fine.
As always, your comments are appreciated and I hope that through my writings you will get a glimpse of the magic and appeal that is the Camino de Santiago.
I close today with the ever-comforting “Buen Camino”