In 2014, I was lucky enough to have the time and fitness to walk the Camino de Santiago from St Jean Pied de Port to Santiago, Spain.
What is the Camino de Santiago?
The Camino de Santiago, a walk of about 800km extends from the foothills of the French Pyrenees, to Santiago in Spain. I walked an average of 20km per day to Santiago and then on to Finesterre a further 90km.
Caring for feet
As I soon discovered, what matters most is keeping your feet healthy. The main feature of all conversation between fellow pilgrims was how the feet were faring, and how to treat foot ailments.
My husband experienced no blister or foot problems to speak of while I was less fortunate. Perhaps it was the change in weather or maybe I’d become careless and stopped massaging my feet each night. In any event, one small blister grew and grew some more until after a week I could no more.
Helpful hosts and the local Centro de Salud (Health Centre) looked after me and I was able to continue on my way.
A Life Changing Experience
While walking the Camino was hard, it was also one of the best life experiences I’ve ever had. We met people from all walks of life, from all over the world. We connected with people with whom we had no common language over our shared experience. Simple acts of kindness made the walk easier. Like the woman in a bakery who opened early to serve us breakfast. Or the person who called out to us as we took the wrong route.
The Camino is Addictive
The Camino is addictive and we are already planning to walk the Portuguese Camino next year. We didn’t carry our packs this time, but next time we definitely will.
This is an edited version of a piece I wrote for another site which you can read here.