The Way

Camino de Santiago

The Way of St. James in North-West Spain has been walked by pilgrims for a thousand years. Several walks lead through Europe, finally meeting at Santiago de Compostela. The pilgrims visit the tomb of St James where the relics of the first martyr are stored in a silver casket.They will have walked through Europe following worn tracks which weave their way through villages and farmyards. Refuges and monasteries have been built along the way to provide shelter.Food and water are available in all sorts of places for the pilgrims. Some walked to find themselves, some to learn truths and others simply to follow others’footsteps. It is a beautiful area to walk in and well worth doing for whatever reason one chooses.

In September I joined the Camino, the Way of St James at Leon, 140 miles from Santiago, hoping that I would be able to complete the journey on foot in 11 days without too many blisters or too much pain… and I did. And I learned something important, something that I think is worth sharing. Let me explain.

At the carousel at Madrid airportour group of walkers claimed their suitcases, but it soon became apparent that mine was not there. On reporting the missing luggage to the Iberian Airlines Information desk, I was given a small – very small – emergency toilet bag to tide me over until my own bag was located and delivered to my hotel. I pointed out that I was walking the Camino and would be moving accommodation each day. I left 4 addresses which the lady assured me would be more than enough…