The Camino is a 500 mile pilgrim trail across the north of Spain. Since medieval times, religious pilgrims have walked the trail to Santiago where the remains of St. James are kept. If you’ve seen the movie The Way starring Martin Sheen, you’ve seen the Camino.
A few months ago, Doug told me about the Camino, and the idea of it kept circling around in my head. Why the heck not. We walked out of St. Jean Pied du Port in France on Good Friday. We walked over the Pyrenees, through the vineyards of Rioja, and up onto the high plateau of Burgos. We stopped in Leon.
We walked 20-30 kilometres a day. There were plenty of small towns with places to eat and stay. I became a café con leche addict.
We spent 21 days on the Camino. Some days were eight hours of walking into a cold 50 mph wind. We walked in mud, rain, hail, and snow. I now know that mud can be both slippery and cake your boots.
We had many reasons for stopping in Leon and heading to the south of Spain, but the main reason was the weather. When we got on the train in Leon, the temperature was 6C. When we got off the train in Valencia, it was 22C. I did a happy dance. Doug put on sunscreen.
We did make it to a town called Santiago (Santiago de la Ribera) in Costa Blanca on the south coast of Spain. I guess our Camino is a little different from the usual Camino. Sometimes it feels right to step off the road everyone else is on and go somewhere unexpected. We only get one life. Why the heck not.
I would hike the Camino again (just not in an abnormally cold April), and I definitely want to hike from Leon to Santiago.
If you’re thinking of walking the Camino, go for it. It’s not hard walking. You can go at your own pace. You’ll meet great people. You’re in Spain. By the way, the rain in Spain does not stay mainly in the plains.
If anyone from the Camino in April is reading this, feel free to contact me via this website.