It’s been raining hard. I have mud all up my calves, my hiking shoes are filthy, my feet ache, my big toe nail on my left foot has turned purple and I have blood blisters at it’s base, I’ve developed blisters on my right foot and hand, I walked 25 km today. I am on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela in Spain and I’m about to take a glorious hot bath – after I shower down my legs of course. Who wants a muddy bath?!
For those of you who do not know, the Camino de Santiago or Way of St. James, is the pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in NW Spain, where legend has it that the remains of the apostle, Saint James the Great, are buried.
It is difficult to define where exactly the Camino starts as pilgrims used to start their journey from home, but over the years, different ‘ways’ have emerged. The French Way is the most popular and it usually starts in the French Pyrenees. There is also the Northern Way, the Original Way, the Portuguese Way and the Finisterre Way. We met someone who began his pilgrimage from Geneva.
One of my compadres (friends) tells me that when it comes to discussing physical challenges, that one can discuss the pain or the pride. Today is the third time he attracted bed bugs, which is very common on the Camino. Despite this and the other hardships he has endured walking over 700 km, he says he will only discuss the pride of his adventure. I am obviously not of the same mind.