[Re-posting this, due to technical difficulties, including incompetence]
After the Via de la Plata. ..
When I arrived home, my husband asked me something to the effect of “Was that enough? Have you got the Camino out of your system yet?” On the one hand, I was very happy to be home and considered that 1 month on the Caminos is perfect (5-6 weeks is a bit much). On the other hand, I knew there would be more walking in the future. I tried to explain that:
- I enjoy these trips and I enjoy walking.
- I enjoy the challenge of speaking Spanish, and it is probably very good for my brain.
- Spain is a safe country.
- There is a culture of pilgrimage in Spain, and pilgrims are known and accepted. Anywhere I might walk in Spain, people will know that the old woman wearing a backpack is walking to Santiago.
- I am fortunate to be healthy and affluent enough to be able to to this, and I’m not neglecting any responsibilities in doing so.
- I enjoy the internet community for 11 months of the year.
- Most of all, being motivated to walk 40 km/week at home is probably the healthiest thing I could be doing for myself.
So,… why would I not plan to walk in Spain every year as long as I can?
The Via de la Plata was different from the Camino Frances. It requires more self-sufficiency. You will not be pampered and catered to. Pilgrims are a small part of the landscape, rather than being dominant, as on the Camino Frances. Nevertheless, pilgrims are recognized, welcomed and accommodated. Speaking Spanish is a big advantage. Being able to walk 30-35 km occasionally is necessary. You should be OK with walking alone, dining alone and sleeping alone, for those periods when no one else is on your schedule. Most (but not all) of the pilgrims are experienced, having walked the Camino Frances and other routes.
So, I will be back. Maybe next spring the Camino de Madrid plus something else to fill a month.
A few months later (June)…
In the past 2 months since I finished walking from Seville to Astorga, I have been to Calgary, Toronto and Montreal, Peru, and the Czech Republic where I am right now! It has been a bit too much and I am wishing for some extended down time at home. Each trip has included both work and pleasure, though, and I am not really complaining!
I decided not to blog, due to my general weariness, unreliable Internet, and the unanswered questions of why I blog and whether my blogging is anything more than self-indulgence. I have reflected on that and decided that there’s nothing wrong with a touch of self-indulgence if I also keep some humility and humour, and I don’t force it on others.
So, I am still here.