Almost two years ago I posted about my desire to walk “The Camino de Santiago“, a 500 mile trek that starts at St-Jean-Pied-a-Port, France, continues across northern Spain and culminates at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.
I had been following a wonderful blog written by Kim, at So-Many-Places.com as she hiked, and day-by-day shared pictures and the highs and lows of her journey. About the time she completed her “Camino”, a documentary movie was released, Walking the Camino.
After convincing Tim to go see it with me, I invited our dear friends, Dick and Karen Theil to join us. I was surprised to learn that Karen had long dreamed of doing this hike.
Our research continued, including reading some books, watching the movie “The Way” starring Martin Sheen, as well as talking to a few people who had actually done it.
But, for Tim and me, life got in the way, we made other choices, and my desire to take on this HUGE challenge got a bit of a wake up call:
- I was not nearly fit enough to walk 10 or more miles a day carrying a back pack.
- I had other trips, places to explore that were higher on my wish list.
- Tim was still only luke warm on the idea, at best.
The dream continued to grow for Karen, and Dick eventually got on board with the plan.
I am THRILLED to announce that they left the USA over the weekend and now have Day #1 behind them. They are expecting the entire 500 miles to take approximately 6 weeks.
If you would like to follow along, and join me in cheering them on, you can subscribe to their blog by going to http://www.dicktheil.com. Just enter in your email address. You will then receive an email response that you will need to click on to confirm your subscription. There is no fee to join in, and your email is kept private.
Just FYI, I checked in with Karen yesterday via text as she had just completed her first 5 miles.
Gratitude Moment: Today I am thankful for having strong, brave, adventurous friends who believe in living life to the max. I am so very proud of them as they set out on this life changing journey. And whether or not they complete all 500 miles, they are still heroes in my mind. Buen Camino!
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I would love to walk the Camino but like you, I’m not fit enough and other trips take a higher priority. Would be fantastic though.. I’ll follow your friends journey with much interest and walk it vicariously 🙂
This is one of the few “trips” that experiencing it vicariously may win out over actually doing it.
Buen camino, I lknow that experience, I had done it last Decmber and raining every day for one week. Walking on very cold and rainy day is another amazing experience that I was not get sick. Good luck and enjoy more traveling.
Hello Ledgardo, I think it would be incredibly difficult to walk the Camino and if you throw in a week of solid rain, I’m not sure I could make it. I salute you for having done it!
Hi Joanne, I walked the first 100-odd kilometres of that route in June 2013…a super experience! Karen is right, the first day from St. Jean Pied de Port is uphill into the mountains and across the border into Spain and it’s tough…the descent is even tougher with the weight of the backpack! Perhaps she has managed to fit in a low cut blouse since lol. Hope to get back on the Camino trail again over the next few years and hopefully finish it one day.
That was 100km over 6 days by the way, just to clarify!
Kevin, I think if I ever decided to take on that challenge of walking the Camino, I would need to start it past the mountains. My hat is off to you for doing the hardest part. I hope you do get to finish it one of these days.
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That text exchange was hilarious! 🙂 What an amazing adventure!
That’s awesome. A couple of months back I saw the movie Wild starring Reese Witherspoon with some of my friends. It’s based on a true story of Cheryl Strayed walking the Pacific Crest Trail. The “Camino” experience reminds me of Strayed’s trek, except she was in the desert and it was more than a thousand miles long. It looks like it could be such a journey. By the way, I love the Mark Twain quote you used. Good luck to your friends.
I read the book “Wild” and loved it, though some of the story about her mom was painful for me to read as I too had recently lost my mother. Sadly my friends Camino trek had to end early after 12 days due to a stress fracture in her foot. She is determined to return after she heals to complete the journey.