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The Camino de Santiago

The Camino is said to call you.

And the Camino certainly called me. Continuously over a number of years. Sometimes stronger. Sometimes fainter and barely audible.

But the call was there.

My curiosity in the Camino was sown many years ago. So long ago that I have forgotten the exact details.

But this I do remember. Seeing some people (I did not realise that they were pilgrims), with rucksacks, and sticks in the mist in northern France. Walking along the Loire Valley.

And one thing, above all, did catch my attention. The shell standing out on the back of their rucksacks.

Pilgrim shell

Truth to tell I did not really understand anything of what I was seeing. Call it the arrogance of youth.

This image slipped way into the mists.

The Camino calls you
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But over the years the image returned. Sometimes stronger and sometimes fainter. But it was a semi-constant. In the background.

Fast forward to more recent times.

I was in León in northern Spain. I was in Spain with my wife, reminiscing. Reminiscing about the good old days in the 70’s when we were carefree students. We were studying languages at university and my wife had been sent to León for a year. Not the sun drenched costas. Not the high life in Madrid or Barcelona.

But León. Haughty, cold, bourgeois León.

We had decided to treat ourselves and we were staying in the Parador in the centre of Leon.

El camino te llama

On arrival we were walking in the square out the front of the Parador.

...and

….the image of a pilgrim, resting, sandals off, with a look of contented fatigue grabbed my attention.

…. I realised then and there that I wanted to do that. I wanted to be that man. I wanted to be that pilgrim.

… with a face of contented physical exhaustion.

Pilgrim León

I was hooked on the idea of the camino.

How, what, why, when……..

Life got in the way of the Way (!)

I did not know the answers. Life got in the way.

Life got in the way of the way! Like for so many people.

Don't let life get in the way of the way

But, the seed was planted. The call was heard and received loud and clear.

The seed for many adventures, and experiences ...

... and this website!

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