In all we walked 152km over seven days.
Each morning we packed up camp, sent our belongings away on the shuttle to the next camp site and then walked all afternoon to get to the next village where our campsite was ready and waiting for us. (And some very kind teammates helped throw up our tents.)
The first day was the hardest. Those hikers that began further away tell us the first ten days are the worst – so by their account we only experienced the very worst of it all. But suprisingly the aches and pains of the first days worked their way out by the end of the week.
Europe is old. I tried to capture some of the local feeling and the paradox of our “modern” little group as we passed through thousand year old cow pastures sporting the latest “Go Sport” fashions.
We saw cows, chickens, goats, pigs and sheep. It was a real petting zoo. Except you had to walk a LONG way between each of the attractions.
The Way was marked with arrows and seashells found on an unlimited variety of surfaces. The city wall, someone’s private garden fence, the sidewalk in the city, plaques in the ground, random boulders along the way, and trees.
Our final destination, Santiago de Compostelle. Which litterally means starry field, though today it has grown into a pretty large city. And this is the famous Cathedrale.
Meet our traveling Spiritual Family.
Rick (Spain) our most gracious chauffer who drove ahead each day with our tents and did all of our grocery shopping for us.
Twinky his wife, but she got to walk this year, while he did all the cooking, or, um, most of it. 🙂 but we are very thankful Twinky helped out in the kitchen she makes a mean Chicken Moskatel.
Wulf (Brittan) who walked the way last year, and came back for a second go at it. And just watching him walk in quiet confidence gave us the assurance that our task was not an impossible one…
His brother Magnus who we thouroughly enjoyed. And who introduced us to several Welsh cultures and vocabulary. Brilliant young man.
Sam (Portugal) who perservered through the worst blisters I’ve ever seen, and who hopes to come back next summer and bring lots of friends.
Anne (France), with whom I had the most fascinating spiritual conversations and imagining what heaven might be like during the last three kilometers of a 23 kilometer day while searching desparately a restroom … but it will remain one of my most precious memories of the whole trip.
Cilia (Spain) the boldest evangelist I’ve ever met.
Rob my darling husband who dared to walk 25 kilometers each day with his out of place shoulder in a sling. His determination surpasses my own.