Monday, May 19, 2014

Reflections on Camino 2

We intentionally chose to walk our second Camino in a different season from the first.

Two years ago in autumn, the grain fields were either bare or golden yellow. The grapes were on the vines ready for harvesting or picking by passing pilgrims and wild berries were plentiful by the roadside.

This time, in spring, the fields were green with new plantings, and the vines were freshly pruned for new growth. So were the trees that lined the espolons of Burgos and Leon.

In spring, the country seemed full of life; the birds were chatty and the highly perched storks were at their nests which were deserted previously.  Roses wild and cultivated, like the wild flowers, were in full bloom. In Galicia their scent even overpowered that of the fresh cow dung, which are always  plentiful. 

For walkers May was more comfortable but still warm in the blistering sun at midday but not as unbearable as in autumn.The Pyrenees was freezing cold and wet; we were actually fortunate as those who crossed over the day before and after were met with sleet and snow. Perhaps there isn't a good season there!

The most obvious change for pilgrims is the dramatic increase in their numbers. There are many now who have prebooked accommodations through travel companies that bulk reserve rooms, leaving limited choices for individuals like us unless we choose to stay in albergues where the "true pilgrims " stay; nothing wrong with that of course, as many would say.

An interesting part of the Camino is in meeting fellow walkers, exchanging stories and experiences - the Canadian banker who changed his job to retrain as a nurse; the Czech who worked for radio Free  Europe thinking about his future;  the mother and two young children walking for the Dad who just died; the father and son striving for a new bonding; the determined French woman on her 9th Camino, the young Japanese girl on her own with limited  English (and Spanish ) and many, many more.

There were those driven by religion or spiritual causes; some strove with raw energy determined to finish without distractions.

Unfortunately we also saw many who ended up with injuries through lack of care or over enthusiasm. An education for everyone.


  1. Sounds like you had a glorious experience!

    1. Paul
      Certainly! See you at the next CSJ meeting.

    2. Paul
      Certainly! See you at the next CSJ meeting.