The Camino Journal: A Wrap Up

This time two years ago, I had just finished the Camino Frances. It took me 38 days to walk over 800km. It was two days longer than I’d originally planned but ultimately, I do wish I took 45 days to do it. The extra time would have allowed me to have full rest days in major cities as well as time to do more of the mini side trips off the main Way. That is the main thing I would have changed about my Camino if I could. Lessons learned!

When I arrived in Santiago, I had two more days before my flight out of Spain. I had these two extra days because I had originally planned to walk to Finisterre. However, because I finished two days late, I was one day short to do the walk (takes three to four days to reach the coast/Finisterre). Revising my plans, I splurged on a hotel and explored Santiago (despite the rain) on one of the days and took the bus out to Finisterre on the other day.

Santiago is a great city but because of the rain, I didn’t see as much as I’d have liked. However, I did go to the Pilgrim’s Mass at the Cathedral again (got lucky – saw the botafumeiro swing a second time!) and I did a pretty neat tour of the Cathedral that included a walk on its roof. I also met up with a friend of mine from Japan – by sheer coincidence, her Sarria-Santiago Camino ended in Santiago about the same time I arrived. The extra weird thing is that I had met her seven years before at language school in France, the same trip where I first learned about the Camino and saw my first painted yellow shell!

It is now two years since I’ve done the Camino Frances. My life didn’t change dramatically because of it but I think it has influenced me in many ways. I’ve always been an independent person but I think I am now a more confident independent person. I’m a more open person. I’m more serious about setting and meeting goals. I’m starting to actively pursue what I love and putting my writing and photography “out there”. I’m back to being physically active (after walking over 800km, 10km races and a half-marathon are actually achievable!). The downside to having done the Camino Frances is that I now have the bug. Rarely a day goes by where I don’t think about it or have something random remind me of it. But that’s okay. I’ll just have to do it again, one day. I think, though, next time I’ll do the Via de la Plata from southern Spain as it is not as busy as the Camino Frances and is longer.

On that note, this ends my 39 day Camino Journal Blitz! I hope it was fun to read – it certainly was fun for me to walk down memory lane.

Don’t forget – please share any Camino highlights that you have!

8 responses to “The Camino Journal: A Wrap Up

  1. I can’t believe you met that friend from Japan! That’s such a coincidence!

    It’s amazing you walked all that distance! I get tired just reading your journal! 😉

  2. I love your blog and your splendid photos. My cellphone photos documented our trip but didn’t really do it justice. Santiago cathedral was undergoing renovations when we were there one year ago, so it was a teeny bit disappointing. Would I do this again? Definitely, in a heartbeat! But now the question is which section? Last year we walked Camino Frances from Leon – better to walk St Jean to Burgos or Leon; OR Portuguese Route or another route? I think when I know that answer, I will walk again. Thanks for sharing Kendra!

    • Thanks, Karon! I’m honoured that you enjoyed reading it 🙂 I’ve been seeing photos of the Cathedral this past year with the scaffolding and I felt so sad for pilgrims arriving to that. we all understand that the renovations are necessary but it is still sad to arrive to that… As for walking again, I agree that the Portuguese route looks interesting! I look forward to seeing what you eventually pick!

  3. I think my favorite part of your blog posts are all of the photos of the road itself. Foggy green fields, stone walls, photos with walkers in front of you. It’s was wonderful to hear your daily comments from your journey too. Thanks for sharing. I really enjoyed reading about your journey.

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