It is Saturday morning and I am in the process of packing and taking care of last minute details.
I do want to especially thank my wife, Kathy, and my son, Matt, who will remain here holding down the fort while I'm off on my adventure. Without their help, this trip would not be possible. I am indebted to them.
Some of you may be wondering why a person would undertake such an arduous journey as this? I can't say for sure why I am doing it. When Kathy and I were in Santiago in 2005, we were awed by the grandeur of the cathedral and by all the pilgrims who had just completed their pilgrimage walks. I didn't think too much about the possibility of doing it myself until more recently. About a year or so ago, I heard a program on WGBH's Sound and Spirit entitled "The Road to Santiago". It got me to thinking that maybe I could or should attempt it myself. After reading several books and much information on the Internet, I decided that I wanted to make the attempt.
But for what reason? Here are the possibilities:
Religious? I was raised Roman Catholic, but not real active anymore, so that is not the compelling reason.
Spiritual? Partly. I'll leave it at that for now.
Historical interest? Yes. Spain is a magnificent country with a long and interesting history. It will be interesting to walk my way through the historical sites and the beautiful vistas.
Physical challenge? Perhaps the biggest reason. I am used to three day backpacking trips in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Why not see if I can do a 500 mile walk? I think I can, so I want to try.
Want to learn more about the Camino Santiago?
Here is a 7 minute YouTube video for a quick introduction:
And here is the 60 minute Sound and Spirit program "The Road to Santiago", which I highly recommend:
Several books on the Camino:
Gitlitz and Davidson's The Pilgrimage Road to Santiago - A comprehensive cultural guide to the Camino Frances. Even though it weighs in at around one pound, I plan to take this one with me.
Susan Alcorn's Camino Chronicle: Walking to Santiago - One couple's personal account of their Camino
In addition,Ralph and Susan Alcorn's website contains a wealth of information and many more references for additional resources. This is a good starting point for further research.