The Camino del Santiago de Compostela is a network of trails that
converge on the city of Santiago in Galicia in the North West of Spain.
The camino can start anywhere, Rome, Paris, Copenhagen. Mine started in Portsmouth when I said goodbye to my wife Julie and sister Sally at the entrance to the Portsmouth to Caen Cross-Channel Ferry.
Geography determines that most of the routes that start outside of Spain go through France and converge at St Jean Pied de Port in the French Basque country. The 800 kilometre trail from here to Santiago is known as El Camino Francia and this is the route I chose to walk in October 2014.
The camino is more than a narrow strip of earth. It is a living, breathing organism that provides everything that a pilgrim needs. It nurtures and sustains spiritual growth in all who undertake the journey.
It is a magnet that attracts people of all ages and ethnicities. It enables inter-personal relationships that defy barriers of language, age, sex and religion.
It energises, it refines, it reduces life to what matters; finding a bed provides a goal for each day. The sun behind you in the morning, alongside in the middle of the day and before you as it sets guides you to the long-term goal of Santiago.
Anyone who has the will can do it. Where there is a will there is a way.
© JR 2014