Between May 22 and June 19, 2013 did the Camino de Santiago, the French way on foot. Starting in Saint Jean Pied de Port in the French Pyrenees, totaling 782 km, to Santiago de Compostela.
The walk was not easy, was suffering only by adverse weather conditions. For three weeks it rained almost every day and the temperature was on average around 7°C. Commented that ever since 1930 the winter was so long and in 20 years never rained so much this time of year. My bad luck, I paid all sins and Santiago became owe me!
This is the Compostela, the document issued by the Office de la pilgrimage – Santiago Cathedral, which certifies that the pilgrim has completed at least the final 100 km (Sarria) to Santiago de Compostela.
This is the pilgrim’s credential that is required for the issue of Compostela that by Certification Paso (stamps) proves he has visited the pilgrim along the way, in my case, the French way.
My Way to Santiago: reflection and reminiscences
Now talk is easy, then it’s all over and ended well!
But actually, many times I thought about quitting, forget the way go to Portugal … especially when lying in crude bed in a simples pension in Pamplona, one day and night immobilized to heal the muscle side of the left knee on the descent suffered stretched and sore from the Roncesvalle to Zubiri, a decline of more than 15 km, steep, with stones, plump and slippery, that heavy rain without respite and the cold 5 degrees.
When I was in ACACS – SP (Association of Brethren and Friends of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela – São Paulo) in August last year to watch paletras one on the way, what I heard, the speaker friendly, it was only the good things of walking to Santiago. Searching the net, the same thing, only good and positive.
It turns out that the path has bad things that can happen or not, to a greater or lesser degree. Are things that can happen to you, with your body and things that can happen with the path with the trail. Happened to me, with the way, mainly boosted by lousy time did. It rained just three of the four weeks, almost every day and almost all day, one unexpected cold 5 degrees and when was improved in 10 degrees.
I remember the first day that it was difficult to climb to Saint Jean to Roncesvalle are 20 km of ascent, leaving 170 m to 1100 m by way Valcarlos (the other path, the route of Napoleon was driven workshop Saint Jean not be done due to snow). Simply just a quagmire, I think I fell down three times with his boot mired in the mud and it was so cold that the raindrops froze, turned to ice system falls on its cover. When I arrived after 8 hours Roncesvalle my hands were almost frozen, could not fill out the form to the hostel.
As it was raining and cold right before I start my walk, trails and paths in Navarra and La Rioja, the regions most rugged and topographically varied, were almost impassable so the situation of clay and mud that took the entire trail.
Me, with my body, thankfully nothing too serious happened. I had nothing to foot blisters, nothing unbearable pain in the shoulders to carry the whole time the 10 kg backpack. Only a stretch in the lateral muscle of the left knee that after three days he was healed, but I did stay one more day in Pamplona, immobilized.But one thing, with all happens, you just do not feel more pain in the feet and legs after about 15 days. During this time the pain will always bother you, every day is a place of feet / legs, a muscle here another there.
Met experienced people, the third time was the way, and even with these, pains for a long time until and your body gets used to the repetitive stress. Once you make your daily commute, I was an average of 25 km per day, took 5 hours or so, and most of the time was non-stop, when he took a bath and stretched out on the bunk, was to raise such a stepping on tiptoe, not to prop up falling a pity only.
The hostels of large cities such as Burgos and Leon, and also to Roncesvalle are great, comfortable, with a support structure, kitchens, eating, etc.. Now the vast majority of hostels in villages and small towns are precarious, without much comfort with the minimum for an overnight stay.
Foods is no problem, for 10 euros (expensive) you has the pilgrim menu consists of first dish (salad or soup or pasta) and a second main meat or fish can be a dessert and wine or water. An alternative was to buy in grocery, deli meats, bread or even something that could be done in the kitchen of the hostel, when he had this structure.
The people you meet along the way is what we used to say, are actually and disagreements, because people come and go, you come across them and uncrosses with them. How did the way alone, I was alone most of the time, but I had the joy of knowing Silvia, italian and Nathalie, spanish, who were together for the third time the way, this time from Burgos (they made their way north but the rain and cold did change course and make the French way) and also because the final step, acknowledge Humberto, a Brazilian, a great traveling companion.
I wonder if it was worth making the path, I can only say that, now that it’s over, but wonder if you would again say with much certainty that no, not again and also would not advise anyone to do in the circumstance I made