Along the Camino
My friend and I have been traveling the Camino de Santiago for 11 days now, averaging 8-10 miles a day. We started in Leon and are currently in Portomarin.
Here are 5 things I’ve learned so far:
1. I can get up at dawn every day and walk 8 or 10 miles without any serious physical repercussions. That’s not to say that I’m not tired and stiff at the end of the day, because I am. However, it really isn’t that bad. At 54 this is something of a revelation.
2. Cafe con leche is worth its weight in gold.
3. Spaniards must be some of the sweetest people on this planet. Almost without fail the people we have encountered have been kind, patient, and welcoming. And traveling often means relying on the kindness of strangers.
4. My dad always thought it was kind of pointless to travel to Spain because it looks so much like California. That’s true, but the similarities are pretty superficial. The people, the culture, the language, the food, the architecture is all different. It doesn’t feel the same at all.
5. A lot of the people walking the Camino are women my age or older, often alone and sometimes in pairs or small groups. We may not be the skinny sweet young things we were in our youth, but we are strong and adventurous, and our numbers are legion.