Sharing and interacting with other pilgrims are some of the rewards of walking the Camino. It is even more rewarding when the interaction and the camaraderie continue long after the walk has been completed.
Dennis Mundle, an Australian pilgrim walked with his wife Darelle from St-Jean to Santiago de Compostela in April/May (2013), in what was the coldest European spring for some decades. Snow, rain-soaked clothes and squishy boots did not deter them and finally they walked into Santiago, where thankfully the weather improved! In the generous spirt of the Camino, Paul shares some thoughts and photos.
“The first thing I have to say is that we absolutely loved it & I would do it all again tomorrow.
Darelle & I started from St Jean Pied-de-Port on April 23 & headed into the coldest European spring in 40 years.
We were able to go over the top of the Pyrenees on the first day which was cloudy & cool & from there on we only got into shirt sleeves on the last day into Santiago. Quite unbelievable!
What we did appreciate was that the cooler weather made for very comfortable walking conditions.
Most mornings at 7am we were layered up with clothes & gloves & gradually peeled some off as the day progressed.
We met the most amazing people from across the world & aged from 18 to 70 who were all doing the Camino for different reasons. Some religious, some emotional & some just because it was there.
As we climbed into the snow covered hills towards O’Cebreiro on 18 May heavy snow started falling & the decision was made to stay there overnight for safety reasons & continue the next day. A Canadian chap we walked with the next day had set out from O’Cebreiro the previous morning with 4 others & became lost in the snow for 3 hours. So I was pleased we decided to stay the night.
Now that we have the Camino under our belts we are looking for other challenges & hikes of 1000 klms are under consideration.
You don’t stop doing things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing things.’