Ready to go again….

Four years in the making.

I just sayin’.

It has been a rare day when I haven’t had some sort of thought, image, or memory of my original trek across Spain. The friendships alone are such a rich reward. And I’ve been lucky too. Last year I had a visit from Zeb, and this year from Ebbe and Jytte.

You would think making the descision to return would be an easy one….but no. There are so many complications to be factored. Relationships and my young company are the two biggest. Finally, the tickets are booked, and the arrangements have been made. If all goes according to plan I will be flying out of Toronto on the 15th of September and will spend a night in Paris with my friends Pauline and Frank. After a visit I already know will be far to short I will fly out the following morning (on the 17th) to Bayonne, France, and from there I will get transported to St. Jean Pied de Port. If you aren’t aware this is one of the typical starting points of the Camino Frances. Oddly enough anywhere is a starting point for any Camino. After a brief visit to the Pigrim office, collect my passport and get my first stamp my journey begins immediately walking up the Pyrenees. I remember all too well my first day four years ago and have made a reservation at Orisson once again. It is virtually impossible to train for the demands of walking up the Pyrenees here in Toronto. This mid mountain break will be a welcome respite from this early morning walk.

One of the differences I am consciously wanting to make on this Camino is to stay in different towns, locations, and Albergues. My underlying philosophy is to appreciate the history of the Camino, and the cultural uniqueness of the areas I walk through. I am particularly interested in the observe the impact, see the artifacts, and find contributions made by the Romans, Moors, Charlemagne, El Cid, while enjoying the distinct regions of the Navarre, Rioja, Meseta, and Galicia.

Specifically, I am not tying to recreate my original Camino. This effort would be destined to fail I am sure. Susan, Bene, Eddie, Mark, Zeb, Jytte, Ebbe, Benita…..(this list become rediculously long) were such an intrinsic element of my 2013 Camino. Imagining it were possible to duplicate these wonderful friends would be folly. Stopping in some of the original places might even be a bit difficult. Some of those memories are too vivid, and there is a chance I would be trying to re-live the moment in time again. This might even result in a bit of sadness, recognizing the moment past and lost. Such are memories.

So, experiencing a new Camino is paramount.

I will be posting daily as I have in the past, with an effort to include pictures this time. I know this was a bit of a disappointment for some.

I will also make my location trackable on an app for those interested to see my whereabouts.

Most of my original gear is still very usable although I have definitely decided to replace my poles. The new walking poles are even lighter than the first pair I had. My sleeping bag and back pack are virtually unchanged from the first use…..probably still smell the same.

With any luck I will be in Santiago around the 20th of October.

I definitely need this Camino…..