Five weeks ago today, on our daughter Erin’s birthday, we arrived in St Jean Pied de Port, France. Tonight we will sleep in the small town of O Pedrouzo, just 18 km from Santiago. But this journey began some time ago.
We had heard an Australian being interviewed, on ABC Classical Radio, after he had walked the Camino and written a book about his journey. Intrigued, we bought the book, and thought, one day, when the time is right, we just might walk our own Camino.
We put the book up on the bookshelf, and life, as it does, carried on.
Seven years passed before the right time came along. This year we were able to juggle our careers, our business and our household, and find the six weeks it takes to get to Europe, walk the Camino, and return home.
We have overcome injury and illness, and met some amazing people on the way.
It has been an incredible experience, a test of our courage, our strength, our will, and our emotional fortitude. Surely one of the hardest things we have accomplished in our lives. And one of the most rewarding, fulfilling, satisfying journeys.
We have climbed up and down mountains, through vineyards and cornfields, sunflower crops and wheat fields, past animals and vegetable farms, through sun, rain, fog, dust and dirt. Stayed in cities of great size and villages of as few as fifty people, slept in tiny B and Bs, former monasteries and paradors. We have visited some of the most magnificent cathedrals in Europe, and some of the humblest village churches.
Tomorrow, on our daughter Elizabeth’s birthday, we will complete the journey and walk into Santiago de Compostela.