|The Way of St James|
We will be away five weeks, allowing my Mum and her friend Pam, Kevin's brother and babysitter Conrad to spend some quality time with the kids.
My sister, Pietra, has done the walk twice and I asked her to send me some snaps...
|My sister Pietra (left) with fellow pilgrims in suitable garb. So not a glamorous walk then|
|There's quite a few brownish mountains to climb|
|Pietra at day's end with wine and melting pot new friends: Brazilian on the left, Spanish on the right.|
|Pietra reaches the end|
|Here's the shell you get at the end. (You mean I walk for 28 days and alls I get is a shell?)|
Most people here didn't know about the Camino until the movie The Way was released. Not a great movie, stars Martin Sheen and was made by his son Emelio Estevez who lives in Spain (yes that's what happened to him). Despite my less than enthusiastic review, you may still want to watch it as some friends have said it's their favorite movie of all time.
You start in the South of France and usually end at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in Northern Spain, though its a total of 670 miles to the little church on the sea, which is further. It's not an organised thing, but most people do it like this: you walk with everything you need, most people end up giving away most of their stuff and carrying one change of clothes only. You start your day at around 6am and walk until early afternoon. You stay at pilgrims' hostels or on the floors of churches in communal rooms with communal toilets. One meal is cooked for all the pilgrims. Details here.
Not really looking forward to that communal sleeping (or the unisex loos) but I understand it's all part of the mystical discovery process. No champagne-sipping chakra cleansing or Malibu Beach sun salutations on this walk, it's just time hours and days trudging along a dusty rocky road.
Am I selling it to you?
Okay, did I tell you that my sister lost about 18lbs both times she did it? Looky here.
My sister says pilgrims start the walk with a question and by the end of the walk that question is answered.
(After doing the walk some people change careers, lifestyles, or split from their partner)
"I don't know that I have a question." I said.
"Then by the end of the walk you will have found your question" she said sagely.
Maybe one of you has a good question, I can loan yours and cut to the chase?