Not Ready. Ready.

When last I sat and wrote a post on this blog, I had one day left to go on my trip to Santiago. I had been on the road for 40 days and had walked all the way from St. Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Campostella.

I arrived, happy and very healthy. I got my Campostella. I saw the Botafumeiro not once, not twice, but three times over the four days I was in the lovely city.

I visited Finisterre and Muxia. I saw the Church overlooking the sea before it burned down. The Church, not the sea.

I said goodbye to my new old friends, my Camino family, hoping to see them again, yet sure I never would.

But I never finished writing the blog. I left it unfinished with one day to go.

My Santiago adventures, of which there were several, were surprising and, perhaps entertaining. My hitting the Trifecta of albergue experiences on my very last day. The lovey gift given to me, for no apparent reason, by a pilgrim I had walked with for maybe three days. My getting transportation home, finally, and traveling with the guy with no pants.

Yes, that’s right. No pants.

But I never finished writing about them or about my trip. The ends were never finally tied up. I never summed up my trip, what I had gotten out of my travels, what I had learned, how I had changed.

That was two years ago.

And now I am preparing to go again. Yes, the whole thing again. Starting not in St. Jean but in Lourdes. Why? So that I won’t have to gasp over the Pyrenees on Day One. It will take an extra week but it will give me a running start.

I’m such a baby.

I know what to expect. And that makes it easier.

But I know what to expect. And that also makes it harder.

I can’t commit to a starting date yet.

I am excited and anxious and uneasy.

How strange.


13 responses to “Not Ready. Ready.

  1. My dear, longtime friend, I am so impressed. I have loved (LOVED) reading and re-reading your posts from the Camino, and I have often imagined that our own lives are parallels to the Camino. We both THOUGHT we knew where we were headed, and e have both been surprised by turns of events in our lives. But we both know the reason why we walk our paths, and we have found family along the way. I am so grateful to call you family. As you prepare to walk this path again, may you be blessed with blessing others, as you have blessed me. Love you.

  2. An old guy on a long walk here. Just stumbled across your postings on the Camino de Santiago website. Heading off for the CF on 1 May. We have a few things in common. Retired military, as I suppose is your husband. Was stationed in Japan for almost 13 years (1978 – 1990). Last duty station was Hawaii. Lived or worked there 1990 – 2011. Have enjoyed reading your blog, looking forward to follow on entries. Bueno Camino on your next pilgrimage. The Old Guy / our84

      • I was a navy pilot stationed on the aircraft carrier MIDWAY, Feb 78 – Sept 86. She was homeported in Yokosuka, and our planes were at Atsugi when we were not underway. For the first year or so my wife and I rented a small beach house in Hayama. For the next 7 years we lived on our sailboat at the small pier at Yokosuka. In Sept 1986 I transferred to the admiral’s staff ashore and lived on base in quarters for the next 4 years.

        We transferred to Naval Base Pearl Harbor in mid 1990 and lived on base until I retired in Sept 1992. From then until July, 1994 we lived in a condo in Kaaawa, leaving Hawaii for Virginia not expecting ever to return. Never say never. In 1996 I returned to Hawaii to work for American Hawaii Cruises on the SS INDEPENDENCE. I would live on the ship during my rotation and in Virginia while on vacation; long commute! The company went bankrupt at the end of 2001 so I left Hawaii in November, 2001, only to return in Oct, 2005 to work for Norwegian Cruise Line on the PRIDE OF AMERICA. I retired – retired in October, 2011, leaving Hawaii behind for good. We now live in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.

        Since you listed Panama, I assume that your husband was Air Force, only because my borther-in-law was Air Force and stationed in Panama years ago. When and where you were in Japan (Yokota?). It appears as if you are still living, somewhat, between scratching your wanderlust, in Hawaii.

        I am starting my Camino the Spanish way, at Roncesvalles.

  3. Hi Footloose! I’m Farmer John and I read all of your blog and always wondered if I missed the last entry. So glad to find it here! Maybe you know or maybe you don’t, but when Merriweather Lewis finished his truly epic Voyage of Discovery, he never could get himself to write his “summation” from all his meticulous notes, even though he had promised President Jefferson that he would do so. The trip was truly the pinnacle of his life and I think he just never could accept that it was “over”: I smiled broadly when I read that you also are planning to do again what was intended as the “once in a lifetime experience”. I smile because that has happened to me as well. My Camino was in 2013 and I walked from LePuy to Finnesterre and I was hooked. Coincidentally, my reason for starting at LePuy was so I could walk through Lourdes (a bit off the Chemin, but only a couple of days worth). Sadly, the floods that year made the Shrine inaccessible and I didn’t go see it. We substituted a visit to Fatima after the Camino though and that was a highlight of the entire summer.
    Not sure of when I’m going back or which route, only sure that I am!
    Buen Camino,
    Pilgrim Farmer John

    • Farmer John, I have missed you. I am so glad this got to you so you can get to me. I did not know that Lewis did not complete his report to Jefferson – I think I understand why. He isn’t the one who went crazy, though, is he? I have heard about the 2013 flooding in Lourdes and have seen a video of the waters gushing under (I assume one of) the stone bridges. Unbelievable! Did you walk from Lourdes to SJPdP and then on?

  4. hi.
    I’m misun.
    did you remenmber me?
    you are very brave.
    sometime i think that somewhere i will go camino.

    good luck to you.

    • Misun, how could I forget you! How is everything/ Was the last time we met late one afternoon in Burgos? I was so happy to see you!Please catch me up on everything that happened to you after we saw each other.

  5. Happy to hear you arrived home happier and healthier than at the beginning of your pilgrimage. Hard to believe your last post was two years ago. Interesting that you are taking on this challenge again – because of new challenges in your life?

    • Hi, Allyson. I took the saying to heart – “Start out like an old man so you can finish like a young man,” and it really worked. My life, strangely, is just as good, if not better, than it was when I walked the first time! I guess my main challenge is that I’m now two years older. Believe me, that is a significant challenge, LOL!!

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