The Camino Frances is an ancient medieval pilgrimage path across Spain. Starting at St Jean Pied de Port in France, this route extends for 800km to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.
I began walking in Pamplona in May 2012, after leaving Odena where I’d had a home exchange. I arrived in Santiago 6 weeks later on 1 July, after walking approximately 7o0km.
I wish I’d kept a detailed diary of my Camino, but after walking up to 20km a day, then washing clothes, sharing a pilgrim dinner or just catching up with others in the albergues – I was just plain spent.
There are countless books and websites about the Camino, including all the many paths to Santiago, so anyone wanting to learn more about this wonderful, unforgettable experience should have no trouble finding out about the highs, the lows, the fun, the challenges, and most especially the camaraderie and the beautiful landscape of Spain along the way.
I set out alone, but met up with others along the way … people from many different countries, with many different reasons for making this pilgrimage.
I wasn’t sure why I was doing it – and still not sure many years later. But I know it was one of the most rewarding, challenging, memorable experiences of my life. Meeting Bob in Sahagun, and then Nicole in Hospital del Obeiro, made the last three weeks so much fun. We walked together sharing everything – food, accommodation, stories of our lives, and a great celebration when we walked into Santiago together. We’ve stayed in touch ever since – and had a great reunion in North Carolina in 2017.