Here I am! There’s been much planning, training and waiting, but finally I am walking the Camino de Santiago from St Jean Pied de Port to Santiago del Compostela.
Day 1 was easier than I expected. About 16 miles up over foothills of the Pyrenees, joining many other pilgrims. I walked on my own and I walked with others. I had many conversations along the way, some superficial but some quite deep as we shared why we are walking the Camino.
Two particular things stand out. At dinner in the Albergue at Roncesvalles, I was telling Steve, a retired US forces captain, that I am raising money for Toybox by walking. When he heard about the plight of street children with no birth certificate, he spontaneously and quietly slipped me 20 Euros. Such generosity! After dinner, I joined many other pilgrims for Mass in the church. We were blessed by a 30th Anniversary performance of an excellent local choir. Such harmony!
Today (Day2) has been a long day – 23 miles walked. The Camino is very busy and many hostels are ‘Complet’ i.e. full. I am blessed to be staying at a ‘Donativo’, a hostel where you pay or not, as you are able. At dinner, we were 20 people around the table, made up of about 10 nationalities.
I aim to send a few more of these ‘postcards’ as I journey.