Elena Bowes

New York-London design & culture writer of a certain vintage looking for meaning and wholeness in life

Say Yes to Adventure, Camino di Santiago

May 23rd, 2023

Those of you who read my blog will know that I just walked a segment of the Camino di Santiago in Spain. You will also know that I was  dreading this Stretch-initiated trip where we would be joining his friends who for the most part were complete strangers to me and we would be traveling pilgrim style, not Gangnam Style sadly, not Indagare style even more sadly, but pilgrim,  like back in the Middle Ages only there was no horse and buggy, no anything beyond me and my backpack. As the Bob Marley song goes,

My feet is my only carriage. So I’ve got to push on through

Ten things I learned on the Camino:

That there are a myriad of ways to tackle the Camino, and it’s best to speak to a specialist to choose the route that’s best for you. We used Camino Ways

That before boarding that plane, someone- thank you Jef in the green –

needs to map out the daily walks on All Trails – Sometimes those Camino seashells are hard to spot, not to mention decipher …

That making a bad weather call and joining our motley crew a day late was the right move

But when the sun came out there was no place I’d rather be..

That blister pads and poles are essential,

not to mention waterproof boots, wool socks, a sunhat, cash, battery charger and an open mind..

That the best conversations happen on the road

And since I walk a lot faster than my beloved Stretch those conversations were not with him

That I don’t like pinxtos, but love Catalan artichokes

That it’s good to get out of your bubble (for short periods), as long as there’s hot water, clean rooms and people to laugh with

And that I still don’t like the Beegee’s

The Camino delivers. At the end of each day I felt a mixture of exhilaration, exhaustion and peacefulness. I left my laptop at home and barely checked emails. There was a real sense of connection and community on the trails. Strangers were constantly wishing us a Buen Camino and vice versa. It felt freeing to be so switched off from the day to day grind and at the same time very focused on spotting those seashells, figuring out our route, lunch and getting from Point A to Point B each day. It was kind of like being on a very long treasure hunt. Who knew what was around the next bend.

May, 2023

7 thoughts on "Say Yes to Adventure, Camino di Santiago"

    1. Then I have the perfect bar in Bilbao for you! They have the Beegee’s on a loop.

    1. yes- you can do it cheaply- just google- but if you want to do fancy, one group that might be able to help is Indagare. pricey but good. Bu yes to horse, bike and foot. xxx, e

    1. Thanks Joe, Ken and I are very excited for your and Dede’s big day. Of course, not nearly as excited as you two are. See you in matter of weeks. Happy September, xxx elena

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