El Camino de Santiago

The Walk

It is with much sadness that I need to postpone my Camino de Santiago walk until 2016 :( There are three factors in our decision to postpone.

My back:
For the past couple of years I have had very bad lower back pain. An accident back in 1999 and a fall down our stairs at home in 2011 have played their role in this problem. I have been managing the pain with a cocktail of pain killers but thet has just masked the issue and it is not getting any better.

New job/annual leave/80th birthdays:
My job has gone permanent (which is AWESOME!) and that means I fall into the annual leave calendar and have a limited number of days to take for the remaining 5 months of 2015 and we have a very special 80th birthday party to attend in Cape Town in December.

Stuarts knees:
Stuart has plumbers knees. Too many years of kneeling under basins and in front of toilets have taken their toll on the cartilage which has worn and there are bits floating around (Bleurgh!). A simple twist or strain on the knee causes weeks of pain and swelling which can be quite debilitating for him.

I will do it, just not this year.


Preparing to walk

A few years ago I watched a movie called The Way and fell in love with the notion of making a pilgrimage. But it wasn't until I watched the Simon Reeve BBC documentary on pilgrimage that I decided to actually make one. And with my 40th birthday on the horizon I thought 2015 would be a good year to walk El Camino de Santiago

Camino guide book

I have read so many articles about why people do this pilgrimage, from those who watched the film and thought it sounded like a good idea, to those who want to challenge themselves, and those who do it for spiritual enlightenment and of course those who want to be closer to God. Then there are those, like me, who really have no idea what we're getting into!

Alot of people walk the last 100kms, which is all you need to do to get a certificate of completion from Santiago de Compostella, and initially I thought about just doing that bit. But then the journey would be over and I didn't want it to be over. I want the journey to last a little longer than a few weeks. So I am going to start my journey this year and each year I will do a little more until I reach the end.

I am walking the Camino Frances starting in St Jean Pied De Pont, and walking for about 8 days. How far will I get? Well, I will get as far as I get. And I will love the adventure and next year I will return to continue my journey.

Sometimes I get a little scared and I try talk myself out of doing it, or think that maybe next year will be better. But then I pick up my guide book and read about all the amazing places I will visit, or go online to the forum and read stories from those who have been, or recount the conversation I had with a young guy in a book shop who told me about his uncle's journey on the Camino and once again i'm inspired and ready to go.

Stuart is coming with me and we head off in September. Woo Hoo!! I will update as I prepare :)

Ciao xx