Thursday, November 8, 2007
Camino De Santiago - First week
I am in Day 8 of the Camino de Santiago. Essentially, you wake up, walk 6,7,8 or more hours each day to the next town or city, wash your clothes, eat dinner, and go to bed. Or at least that is the way it has been for me for the last week. This will change though. The ¨Camino¨has a way of teaching you. (or ¨explaining it to you¨as my Dad liked to say). My backpack weighed about 18 kilograms or about 40 pounds because I had my tent inside. They advise you not to take more than 8 to 10 kilograms but I thought the extra weight would be good excercise and I liked being able to camp when I liked. Well, I had no troubles with breathing or muscle pain, but it will tear up your feet and your joints. My feet would be swollen, red and feeling like they were going to explode each night. I would sometimes loose feeling in my toes and it started to take a toll on my knees. Today, I found out you could mail the tent to Santiago (5 kilos) for about $10. ¡Hasta la vista!
Anyway, I learned an important lesson today and each day it teaches me another. It also gives me a pain in a different muscle, joint or just another blister.
And for all of this, I can easily say that this is going to be (and already has to a degree) one of the BEST experiences in my life and I would highly encourage (almost threaten) that everyone do it. It is absolutely amazing! The landscape, the terrain, the people, the camino, the way of life, the simplicity, the time to think, to breathe, the freedom, the pain, everything, its aboslutely INCREDIBLE! I can´t emphasize this enough.
You can walk many different paths and you can take as much or as little time as you like but I would encourage at least 30 days. I get the feeling and other people have said this as well, that the Camino has a way of breaking you down and rebuilding you. Right now, I´m in the breaking down process but somehow, I´m enjoying it. Crazy.