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Another Way to Santiago

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I thought the Camino had eluded me this year.

The urge to climb high and view the world from Scottish peaks and sleep in green corrie campsites filled my head and heart all spring and summer. It absorbed every scrap of my energy and enthusiasm – and a lot of time when I should really have been working.

And yet. And yet.

Triggered by photographs, long shadows on walls or roads and contact with pilgrim friends on three continents, El Camino has lurked and tugged at my imagination. It’s three years since I first set foot on the Way from St Jean Pied de Port and there hasn’t been a day since when I haven’t reflected on that journey, the people I met and the mark it made on my life.

And now, almost without warning, my backpack is loaded and my heather-scratched boots are patiently waiting at the door. My passport and guidebook are laid out on the table and the departure for my pilgrimage in the footsteps of St James is imminent.

This time I’ll walk along the camino portugués, along the route reputedly walked by Sant Iago himself when he first preached his gospel. Poignantly it’s also the way his body was carried back to be buried in the site now known as Santiago de Compostella.

I’m hoping for a Buen Camino.

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17 Comments Post a comment
  1. Wonderful news, Nancy. I’ve heard great things about the camino portugues from the NYC camino social network (we have a meet up group that walks around the city and/or drinks wine – it’s fun!). Looking forward to your pictures and thoughtful prose.

    October 16, 2015
  2. Doug Buchanan #

    Buen Camino Nancy, we truly wish we were there. Perhaps next year love Doug and Pam

    October 13, 2015
    • That would be grand, Doug. I’m packing gloves, a down jacket and waterproof trousers this time and expect the whole experience to be a quieter one. But packing a toothbrush “just in case”. Some comments stay imprinted in the mind forever! N

      October 13, 2015
  3. Mrs Gillman Isobel #

    What a wonderful time of year to be embarking on such a project Nancy, I hope you have a wonderful journey. Don’t feel any guilt, who knows what lies around the corner for all of us. I attended the funeral of a man who died too young yesterday and another friend has just lost her six year old grandson to cancer. The most precious possession we have is time, we should make the most of it. Wear those boots out my friend! I xx

    October 12, 2015
    • Yep, those boots are made for walkin’…. on cobbles, in Portugal apparently. Which are hard on the feet, by all accounts. I expect some of the accommodation will make our stay at Loch Ossian look like five star luxury! Wish you were coming Issy.

      October 13, 2015
  4. Have a safe trip full of new adventures.

    October 12, 2015
  5. Looking forward to comparing notes. And it really should be “bom caminho”!

    October 12, 2015
  6. I LOVE reading posts like this! I’m so happy to hear that you’re headed back, and very curious what this experience will be like for you. Buen Camino!!

    October 12, 2015
    • Thanks Nadine. Wifi permitting, I’ll share the journey.

      October 12, 2015
  7. I’ve got goosebumps Nancy. I really wish you well. Que tengas un buen camino!

    October 12, 2015
    • Graçias Scott. I hope it’ll be “buen” but don’t expect to find anyone like you at the top of a hill brewing up and offering a reviving cuppa! x

      October 12, 2015
  8. Oh Nancy! I’m thrilled to bits to read this and cannot wait to follow your journey. My husband and I decided over the summer to adjust our Camino perspective and plans. We long assumed we’d follow the tradition route across the Pyrenees into Spain, but for the time being, that way is feeling too crowded and we reset our sights on the Camino Portugués. We’re still hoping for 2017 (our 25th wedding anniversary year), so take good notes 🙂 I’m delighted for you. My heart’s wish for a Buen Camino!

    October 12, 2015
    • Thank you so much. I can’t quite believe it’s happening and am feeling a combination of excitement, trepidation and guilt – as a freelance I should be working hard after a carefree flibbertigibbet summer. Hope to write about the journey as I walk though. Wifi and energy levels permitting!

      October 12, 2015
  9. Looking forward to “walking” with you through your blog… I have been feeling the same call and am tentatively planning the Norte, possibly this spring. Buen Camino!!

    October 12, 2015
    • Good to hear from you! Thank you for your good wishes, and yes, the Norte is an aspiration for me too. Who knows, we may walk together again. Love to you both, Nx

      October 12, 2015

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