As some of you know I decided late last year that I wanted to walk at least part of the Camino on my vacation this year. This series of posts will lead up to my actually doing as much of it as I can in just shy of two weeks.
What Is It?
The Camino is actually called the Camino Frances. It’s one of several routes that lead to Santiago in Spain. This tradition of walking from just about anywhere in Europe to Santiago goes back at least 1200 years.
It’s laden with tons of Catholic tradition and doctrine that I don’t believe in or agree with in the slightest. The reason people began trekking to Santiago is that there’s a tradition that Saint James ended up being buried there. The story is a stone boat showed up in Israel and his disciples put his body in it. Somehow the boat ended up off the coast of Spain and his body was taken ashore, buried and lost. Then, hundreds of years later, a man was given a vision and the resting place of St. James was officially proclaimed by the Catholic Church.
Naturally I don’t buy any of that. But I do respect and honor those who made such a long and dangerous (in those days) pilgrimage. Whether or not you accept the tradition you have to admire their faith.
How Long Is It?
The Camino Frances (which is the main Camino – there are many others) traditionally runs from St. Jean Pied-dd-Port across northern Spain to Santiago. That’s a distance of 800 Kilometers or about 500 miles. From there you can continue to the coast and Finisterra which is another 90 miles or so.
Why Am I Doing This?
That’s a great question, and one that I’ll answer in my next Camino Countdown! Keep watching for it and as they say on the Camino, Buen Camino!