Life of a Pilgrim
Cannot believe that I have walked 300 kilometers in the last eleven days. What an intense journey this has been so far. I set out on my Camino with the idea to find time to meditate, read and blog everyday and yet there has been no time to do so as I have been so busy walking. I have come to realise that walking 25 to 30 kilometers a day actually takes time.
After almost two weeks I have gained momentum and have my own camino routine going now. Wake up at about 6:00 in the morning and patiently wait to see who has the guts to be the one switching on the lights in a room filled with 20 plus sleeping pilgrims. I’ll be honest, one morning I was that person as it was almost 7:00 and no one was getting up. I mean, this is not a holiday where you sleep in. In fact, this is not a holiday!
Once I am up the sorting of my backpack starts; this is probably the most annoying part. Sorting through your pack and trying to get everything back into its place. Finally, I roll-up my sleeping bag and off I go. Usually I’ll skip coffee and walk a few kilometers first. After the first five kilometers are done I start to look for a place where I can enjoy a Spanish style breakfast. Every morning it is the same thing, I tell myself that today I will try and avoid the carbs and get something healthy for breakfast. Once you enter the cafe you soon realise that the healthiest thing in there is the croissant not coated with sugar or chocolate. I must say, the overload of carbs are starting to become a bit too much now.
Once finished with breakfast I set out to cover as much ground as possible. In the beginning I was extremely overwhelmed with the distances left at the end of each day, but the Camino has taught me to be more present. I tend to always be three steps ahead in everything I do. I have to plan everything and most of the time lose out on the present because I am so focused on the future. I can honestly say, at this stage I don’t even have a map and most days do not even know where I will sleep. After walking in the sun for a few hours, I then start to look for a spot to have a beer. Beer on the Camino is very important and I am convinced it has saved lives several times.
Then, finally when the sun gets too hot and the feet too tired, I start to look for an Albergue for the night. There is nothing glamorous about an Albergue, however after a long day of walking it provides you with a hot shower, an almost clean bed to sleep in and a pilgrim’s three course meal. Once I have washed my clothes and treated all the aches and pains, it is off to bed. As I dose off, with the sound of snoring in the background, I know that tomorrow I will do it all again.