The next time you hear someone announce the final demise of God or Christianity or religion – take your pick – recommend they take a walk on the Camino de Santiago. If they can’t do that for some reason, then give them this wonderful book. – Arthur Boers, author of The Way is Made by Walking
Since before the year 1,000 AD millions of pilgrims have walked to Santiago de Compostela, in Northern Spain, believed to be the burial place of the Apostle James. Since the 1980’s there has been a modern resurgence in the ancient pathway, with over 300,000 completing the pilgrimage annually.
Walking 500 miles on the Camino de Santiago was not just a bucket-list item for me. It was a spiritual journey I had dreamed of taking for decades. At age 61, my children grown, I was too young to retire, but wise enough to know that I needed to reorient the hurried pace of my life. I left my work and took a year’s sabbatical to “reset” myself and the first step was to head to the Camino for six weeks.
With everything I needed in a 16-pound pack’ and equipped with a set of seven simple principles, I took off solo in late March from St. Jean Pied de Port, France, to walk, as pilgrims have for 12 centuries, across Spain, to realize my dream. It was the Walk of a Lifetime.
Along the way I experienced the emerging spring and late winter in the Pyrenees mountains, budding vineyards in Rioja, the solitude of the Meseta and lovely, wet and green Galicia. I found warm hospitality in albergues, met dozens and dozens of new pilgrim friends and was joined by my wife along the last 113k from Sarria to Santiago.
My book is part personal memoir and part travel memoir, and combines history, spirituality, coffee, culture and humor into an engaging journey of personal rediscovery.
The book has over 40 photos, but view more Photos of my journey, here
The first chapter is free: