For over a thousand years people have found their way to the Camino and followed it to Santiago de Compostela. The fascination with this medieval journey continues. Many who undertake it do not know why they feel drawn to it. I didn’t for a long time after.
The main questions are: am I capable of doing it? Will I meet other people? Why am I going to do it and what will it be like?
A part of the fascination lies in the historical context that passes through the Camino. Also, the path wends its way through a variety of European landscapes, from the spaghetti western gulches and passes to Roman bridges and Spanish country villages.
Of course it is a challenging journey, otherwise most of us would take the bus (the whole way) and not just when we absolutely have to.
A pilgrim once explained it like this – “Gently but insistently, the camino gets to work on all who travel along it, breaking through the outer layer of our old selves, patiently dissolving the surface ways of thinking, to draw out a deeper, and ultimately a more worthwhile being.”
Really, the food is great, the company better, the wine produces no lingering ill-effects. Accommodation-shared or private as you like, walking continuously varied. Churches – fabulous with their three-tiered altars and gentle resonant hymns. The camaraderie engendered was amazing.
The lingering question for most pilgrims on the Camino is – what will happen to me when I arrive in Compostela? It’s really worth making the journey to find out.Ideas anyone?