Santiago Compostela

If my feet could talk, what would they say? After taking part of the El Camino Santiago pilgrimage, my ten little piggies and not-so-little bunion would say more than pass the Epsom salts please. While my fingers snapped hundreds of photos (and my butt a few, too), they cannot capture the insane beauty of the Portuguese-Spain countryside. Pictures miss the sounds of magpies chirping, the feeling of removing a backpack after a day of hiking, and the luring smell of an espresso in the middle of nowhere.

If you really want to learn about the Camino Pilgrim Experience, ask a pilgrim to show you their pilgrim passport. Stamps are collected along the way to authenticate one’s journey. Just point to one and get ready to listen. Trust me. Behind each stamp is a story and a possible blister.

Many say that the El Camino pilgrimage is not what takes place along the Medieval trails, but the journey that takes place inside.

Or better put, long roads without wifi force you to listen to your inner self, the one that says to read more books, and pay attention to one’s internal mirror more than the one in the dressing room. This group of teens gave their fingers a rest to absorb nature. That is, until their chaperone was out of sight, when they ferreted their phones out of their pockets.

Things I saw along the way were beyond the countryside thanks to good old -fashioned story telling by other travelers. They included hungry lions on an African safari, Eliza Doolittle singing songs from My Fair Lady, stories of saints and pilgrims, and adventures deep sea diving all to the backdrop of goats nahhing and farm tools clinking.

A mosaic of shells, rocks and notes with prayers are found along the path.

So how does one find their way on the El Camino trail to the finish line? Just look for the shell posts with the yellow arrows.

Then, just when you think you’re feet will fall off, you arrive in El Camino Santiago Compostela. Pilgrims march in the city like aunts towards the St James Cathedral. It is a celebratory moment, no matter what path you take to get there. Pilgrims are welcome to mass or sign up for a confession with a priest in a choice of languages. I hope those who left their toilet paper along the way ask for forgiveness!

4 thoughts on “Just Did It: Camino Santiago

    1. Awesome, you are such a great writer! You pull my soul into the path and walk with you.

      God bless you.

  1. Fantastic, Ginger. I want more detail. How many miles did you walk? And what is the circumference of each blister?

    1. Ha! Well, you know how folks get a VIP pass at Disneyworld to jump to the front of the lines? Our tour was like that. About seventy miles…not five hundred.

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