On Monday I am heading to Spain to walk part of the Camino de Santiago again. This will be my third experience of the ancient pilgrimage which takes people along many routes to the city of Santiago de Compostela in the northwestern province of Galicia in Spain.
In 2015, my former partner and I walked the entire length of what is known as the “Camino Frances” which traditionally starts in St. Jean Pied de Port in France and covers a route of nearly 800 kilometers through northwestern Spain. In 2018, I did part of the Portuguese route, walking from Porto north along the coast and then inland to reach Santiago.
This time, I am flying from Lisbon to Pamplona, via Madrid and will walk for about a week towards Burgos. My plan is to meet up with, Andrea Mayfield, an acquaintance with whom I walked for a few days back in 2015. We stayed in touch on Facebook and when I saw that she was planning to walk the entire route again I asked if I could join her for a few days.
I had been thinking about walking part of the Camino Frances route again. I wanted to explore it more slowly, appreciating some of the historic spots I did not see before. When you are walking for 800 kilometers, your feet get pretty tired. Often it seems too much to go even a kilometer out of your way no matter how interesting the sight. This time will be different!
Santiago de Compostela has been a place of pilgrimage since the early middle ages. As legend has it, a shepherd discovered bones in a hillside and local bishops determined that they belonged to St. James, one of the twelve apostles, who came to Spain. Each year, hundreds of thousands of people make the journey on foot, bicycle or other means, using many different routes.