Here are some thoughts I jotted down on the bus ride back to Madrid yesterday.
- Last year my friend Emily asked me to compare doing the Camino to doing an Ironman triathlon. The two experiences are so different it’s hard to compare them but I’ll say this… if you have the physical endurance and mental toughness to do the Camino, you have what it takes to do an Ironman.
- Russell and I took Spanish classes last spring to revive the long-lost Spanish from high school and college. It really enriched my experience this year to be able to read signs and menus and have conversations with shop keepers and fellow peregrinos (pilgrims). I’m inspired to study more during the next year to get even better.
- The bottoms of my feet hurt a lot more this year than last year. I think I’ve worn out all the cushioning in my hiking boots so I’ll look into getting new ones for next year.
- We’ve created a walking game similar to the car games kids play in the back seat of road trips across the U.S. The Swedish word for hello is hej, pronounced hey (or hay :-). So when we’re walking and someone spots a hay bale (or hundreds of them stacked 5 stories high, which can be seen from miles away) the person says “Hej <person’s name>” and that person looks around until they find the hay and then repeats the phrase with someone else’s name. Of course we all want to be the first to spot the hay. For some reason, Ted and I enjoy this game the most and conversations were often interrupted mid-sentence with a loud “Hay Ted!” or “Hay Kathey!”
- The Camino path seems to be the only place in the world where I prefer small towns over big cities. Walking the Camino I don’t need much, and the small towns have everything I need… provided graciously with no hassle.
- The pilgrims have a saying – “The Camino provides” and I’ve found that to be true. You don’t need to prepare for every possible contingency because when a challenge presents itself, so does someone or something that can help.
- In my daily life, I often feel the insignificance of being one amongst billions on a big planet in a huge universe. But walking on a path that people have been walking for centuries… I feel part of something significant and important. I treasure the interactions we have with others also on the path and with all the people supporting the pilgrims on the path.
- I really love Spanish tortilla con patatas. :-)