Last week I bumped into a colleague in our tea room at work. Rachel and I not only knew each other from work, but had initially met when Brendon took me along to one of his Tri club social get-togethers. She had recently returned from a hiking tour of Italy and I had a question for her about her trip.
I had been thinking about doing the European Peace Walk (after another friend posted about it on Facebook), however I had read that it wasn't particularly well organised and that something called the comino was better. I googled the comino and was interested in finding out more.
My question for Rachel was whether she had walked any of the comino. She said that she had walked on some parts of the Italian paths and it was on her bucket list of things to do. I casually mentioned I was interested in doing the hike and things escalated very quickly from there!
Within the space of a week, we had firmed up when to travel, who to travel with (we are leaving our respective husbands at home) and the type of trip we would undertake. Personally, I had ordered moleskin blister kits and a backpack, and parted with my hard earned cash to buy some serious hiking boots.
So what is this adventure we had committed ourselves to?
The Camino de Santiago are the paths travelled by pilgrims from across Europe to pay homage to St James, whose bones are said to rest in the Santiago Cathedral in Spain. The trail we are planning on hiking begins at St Jean Pied du Porte and travels over 800km across the Pyrenees mountains and east to Santiago. Each year, hundreds of thousands of 'peregrinos' (pilgrims), follow in those medieval footsteps on pilgrimage to the cathedral. People take the journey for a myriad of reasons, not just for the religious aspect, but also as a form of self-discovery.
Future blog posts will cover my reasons for walking, but in the meantime, we have begun our training and are eagerly anticipating the majesty and the beauty that awaits us.
Until then, buen Comino x