Camino de Santiago, pt 1....

It's been a couple of weeks since I've finished the Camino de Santiago, and it's been very interesting the thoughts that I've had. Many friends have asked how I've felt afterwards and it's very hard to explain the feelings that you experience during the Camino. A lot of joy, some pain, but some experiences you would never be able to replicate. I've had a hard time figuring out how I would do these blog posts. First was to reduce the photos shot from 2,600 down to 173 and then reduce even further for the blog. I decided that it would be best to break up the blog into experiences and not time based. This is because walking the Camino is more about the journey and not the end. So I've decided to begin by just talking about the best part of the trip, the people that I met. It was these people that made the kilometers pass, the days more interesting, the experience more intense. 
So to begin, I just want to show a map of the route, nothing special but it shows where I walked.

(Unknown producer of map)

It looks like a long way and it was but it was what you planned for. It was really great seeing the progress each day. 

This next photo is after the first day. Even though it shows 790, the hardest walk day was already past. 

After a day of walking, I found my first family. During the Camino, you find that as you walk, you start to group up and find people that are doing the similar pace and also that are fun to hang out with. So during the first week, this was my family. Two Italians, One Aussie, and two French (ok so i'm only 50%). We had a great time both walking and having our communal meals in the evening. Unfortunately three of them had to return to work and other duties after 7-10 days and the last one stopped to volunteer at an Albergue (pilgrim hotel). So I was off on my own again, for at least a day. 

While walking alone, I was seeing my shadow in the early morning sun. I was so amazed that I had a glow coming off m my head. I was sure that I was blessed but maybe it was just the sun hitting the bald spot on the back of my head?

While we were walking, one of our family said that we needed to spend the night in Logrono and do the tapas crawl. Tapas are a Spanish specialtly and usually just a bit to eat with a glass of wine. In Logrono, this specialty was supposed to have started and it was easy to see when we did 10 street long tapa bar after tapa bar. After a while, it got so crowded it was best to just sit back and watch everybody go by. 

Starting on the second day, my French friend Marie insisted that we have Apero (Happy Hour) which I had no problem with supporting. Even after she had to leave back to family commitments, I kept the tradition going with Apero every day, although new friends joining in. 

Occasionally we came across special events, in the photo below, a bar was celebrating their 2nd anniversary of being open. We found out because they were just below our dorm room so we decided to join them. At one stage, they all were laying down and playing some great music. And yes, I did end up dancing with the locals...

My friends have asked me how walking the Camino felt and I've had a hard time expressing the feelings that you experience but it really comes down to the people that you meet and the conversations had during the walk. That to me is the Camino!

On the next blog post, I'll talk about some of the sites seen and hopefully share some of the beauty of this region! Buen Camino! Bisous! 


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