I am home safely in the USA and looking back on my Camino experience as though it were some surreal dream. It is said that the Camino experience is one that cannot be explained by those who have done it and cannot be understood by those who have not. None of this made sense to me until now. I find myself trying to explain the joy of seeing the faces in Santiago of those I saw along the 500 mile course. Both of us beaming smiles or hugging even though we may not have ever had a conversation. You know what they went through to get there and they know also. Nothing needs to be said (and in most cases, you would not speak the same language anyway).
I want to thank Jenn Rompre for not only suggesting that I blog but showing me the way. This is the kind of leader the nation needs. I have enjoyed the blogging and I hope that readers have enjoyed riding along on my adventure. I never anticipated how hard it would be to write a blog on an iphone from a bunk bed with a questionable internet connection and poor lighting. I am not the world’s best speller to begin with and trying to fat finger a blog under those conditions and the mystery of auto correct are partially responsible for some of my errors.
The truth about the Camino was always kept slightly away from gentle readers. It is hard. Physically and emotionally. For many, too hard to complete and painful. I did not write of those that fell and broke bones, dislocated shoulders, were blistered so badly they had to stop, or so riddled with tendonitis that they sat in a hotel for a week on anti-inflamatories. I was very lucky in many ways. Most of all the weather but also that my physical problems were surmountable. I was able to ignore many aches and pains until I completed the Camino but I will be nursing them for a while here at home. My Spanish is very much improved but I have also picked up alot of French, German, and Italian.
Among many things, the Camino makes you appreciate the blessings you have in life. First of all, life itself. On the Camino you walk past at least 12 markers that tell the tale of the death of a pilgrim at this very spot. There is nothing more awakening than the knowledge that someone doing what you are doing died on this very spot. You say a short prayer for their soul and you walk on with the clear knowledge that there but for the grace of God go I.
From that most basic truth come many other things for which one can be thankful. I am much more deeply appreciative for the blessings that life has bestowed upon me, my health, my family, and my friends. Little else is important.
Thank you for your interest in this blog and my adventure. I wish you all a Buen Camino.