Friday, December 28, 2012
Seven Tips to Make the Most of the Camino de Santiago
The Way, starring Martin Sheen, and it has started me on a journey that I hope will lead to my eventually walking El Camino de Santiago, or The Way of St. James, a pilgrimage route to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where tradition has it that the remains of the apostle Saint James are buried.
For my birthday in November, my son gave me Seven Tips to Make the Most of the Camino de Santiago, by Cheri Powell, as I considered this a good way to start mentally and physically preparing for my pilgrimage. Powell and her husband walked El Camino in 2008, I believe, and the book is full of info about what it's like to make the trek. She covers everything from where to sleep, eat, refill water bottles, to what to bring and what to buy enroute, and what kind of shoes to wear. She discusses pilgrim etiquette and rituals. What I found most interesting was her account of a typical day, and how she and her husband planned their trip beforehand and during the adventure itself.
Like many other reviewers, I felt the book would have been immeasurably improved had Powell included a map, but she never claims that her book is a guidebook or the definitive sourcebook for pilgrims. It provides exactly what she claims in the title--7 tips for making the most out of walking El Camino from France to Spain.
I walk daily, but my longest walk to date is 8 miles. I know I have a lot of training ahead of me if I am to walk 500 miles in 6 weeks, but goals make the impossible achievable. Buen Camino!