Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Road to Santiago

Odd little travel narrative about one woman's three trips on the Camino de Santiago, the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela told in a kind of mixed-chronological order.  First, the most recent trip, a weeks worth of the camino taken with her 12 year old daughter.  I have been thinking lately this would be a fun trip to take with my daughter when she is about 12, so this part became a kind of cautionary tale.  I pictured my sweet girl, age 12, wearing an i-pod for 200 km and rolling her eyes at me.

The next part was a short chapter, her first time on the Camino, which involved her arriving in Spain while 7 months pregnant to do some research for a book and stumbling upon the path, walking on it a bit, and then realizing she needed to come back someday. Walking the Camino while 7 months pregnant was not smart. Contractions ensued.

The last part was the second time she came, 7 years after her first try, and she walked to the end.   I was a little unclear how many km she actually walked, but I don't get the impression she did the whole pilgrimage.  It seemed like perhaps two weeks worth.  It was a solitary journey and one she embraced even though it was often difficult and painful. She was not so much interested in the sites along the way as she was her own personal solitariness and the spiritual experience of walking the Camino.

At the end I realized this short narrative was part of a series published by National Geographic which included all manner of places around the globe.  Somehow, the fact that it was a series kind of made it seem a little less that it should have been.  Somehow, it explained why it was thin.  But it made me want to go and try it myself.  I have begun planning.  I think my first goal is to simply get in shape.  I have 8 more years until my daughter is 12.  Think I can do it?

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