Is Camino de Santiago in my future?

About 30 years ago, I read or heard of Shirley MacClaine’s decision to embark on a spiritual walk — Camino de Santiago in Spain. I’ve been interested in giving it a shot ever since. The spiritual aspect is less important to me than the experience part. There are several routes to take — some more strenuous than others. The distance is anywhere from 400 – 500 miles. Many people do about 10-15 miles a day. You don’t have to walk the entire length at any one time. You can do as much as you want. In 2014, there were 200,000 people who set out on this journey. The Camino de Santiago is a series of routes stretching across Europe and coming together in Santiago. These walks were first taken in the 9th century. I have no idea where on the map these walks start. I need to check Google maps or Google Earth, which is what Jim just did.  “Yo, look at those mountains!” (The Pyrenees.) I’m guessing we won’t be doing that part. Which actual route we would take would need to be researched and decided on — mainly which is flattest! I’m thinking the  Camino Frances — Sarria to Santiago, the most popular. This would be of moderate grade and we’d get the Compostela because we would complete 100 km.



Cathedral Santiago de Compostela  courtesy:


What brought it to the forefront of my mind after all these years/decades, really?  Well, on Saturday when I was working the golf tournament as a USO Volunteer, another volunteer (not USO) shared the Coke trailer with me. She mentioned she and her husband had done the walk twice. The last time, two years ago. She was just a few years younger than me and didn’t look to be in any better shape than me, so I got really excited. I wish I had exchanged phone numbers with her because I have more questions.

Jim and I are taking a trip to China in August and as he was looking at the questions required on the visa, I was telling him about wanting to do this walk. When he asked where on our trip to-do list I wanted to place it, I replied, “At the top.”

He paused a good pause and said, “Before Paris and Istanbul?” You betcha. I’ve been to Paris a number of times, and even though it’s my favorite city, I always prefer new experiences. I’ve not been to Istanbul, but Jim has. It was actually at the top of the list, but got bumped by this walk. It can wait a little while longer, I think. Maybe by the time we go next year, Turkey and Syria will have gotten their acts together.  Dream on, Irene.


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