Just in case you didn’t realize it we are now home on the mountain, a little bit more tattered than usual, but an MRI just a few days before we left had shown a torn meniscus in my knee. Walking over 200 miles wasn’t going to cure that, so it is scheduled to be handled in a couple of weeks. Have been busy sorting through all the photos, but also sorting out the impressions left on the mind by the travel.
Our usual organization and planning dissolved as soon as we arrived in Vezelay, France, our starting point. Our route changed, before we started. About six days down the road, the plan changed again, deciding to walk in Portugal and Spain, rather than France, so after a combination of rental car and trains, we started a new hike from Porto, Portugal to Santiago de Compostella, Spain. Successfully finishing in Santiago, it became life in a sit-com as we attempted to get from Santiago to Paris (another change of flight from Paris instead of the original Gatwick (London). This resulted in travel by rental car, bus, train, and involved several days of constant travel and comedic experiences. HEY! It is not easy being a Pilgrim. Paris was delightful as usual, we spent one entire day walking around Paris.
Now at home the whole experience becomes a head trip, answering the Why, of it all.
I have always been of the belief that “time” was one of the gifts of the Camino. Walk at your own pace, on your own itinerary, and especially to escape from the 24/7 captivity of email, texting, twitter, Instagram, and the daily Kardashian report. To have the opportunity to appreciate the sights, sounds, people, and to meet the challenge, the whole experience, that is the Camino. It seems we spend so much time ‘being connected,’ unfortunately for the most part it is meaningless trivia; and it results in our missing out on the fullness of life. The technology of 24/7, second to second, is a distraction from the reality of life. Like the Camino, life has its challenges, its obstacles, its highs and lows, none of which can be avoided by wearing headphones. Being able to spend time away from time constraints, with time to absorb all the Camino has to offer, could not be time better spent.
Who knows where we are going? The Shadow do.