“The Camino, by its nature, serves as the ultimate metaphor for life. Footsteps along a well-trodden path may be our guide, but do not shield us from the questions that most of our busy everyday lives prevent us at times from fully recognizing. The road offers very little to hide behind. The process of life is life along whichever road, path, Camino, or Way we find ourselves on. Our humanity toward ourselves and others, our history and our future is what defines us. Take the journey of life. Buen Camino!”
My airline tickets have been purchased! The shuttle van from Biarritz airport to St. Jean Pied de Port has been booked! My hotel reservations for the first two evenings of my Camino (September 2nd and 3rd) have been made and paid for. The first albergue/refugio (otherwise known as a hostel) has been reserved and paid for the night of September 4th!!
I’m on my way, don’t know what I’ll find along the path, but I’m ready. My trip is less than 3 months away and I am excited to find out what the Camino has in store for me. There are several reasons (I think) I want to complete this pilgrimage, but I will bet the Camino will show me several more.
I will be walking with and having stamped along the way, one credential for myself and another credential for my first husband, who passed away in 1994. The credential for my first husband will be given to my children when I return to the States. I am planning on having my Compostela (certification of completion of the pilgrimage) completed in my name, Arlene Mourier – Vicarie pro: Peter John Montalbano. “Vicarie pro” meaning “On behalf of”. I will also be carrying and having stamped along the way another credential for Miguel Angel Sahade. This credential I will give to Miguel’s children upon my return.
- While on their journey along the Camino de Santiago, pilgrims carry a credential (credencial), a document with which the pilgrim authenticates his or her progress by obtaining sellos (stamps) along the way. Sellos can be obtained at most hotels and inns, restaurants, bars, churches, museums, city halls, police stations and at all albergues.
- The Compostela –In most cases peregrinos will be interested in obtaining the ‘official’ documentation for having completed the Camino whether or not they are walking the Camino for out-and-out religious reasons. This document is called the Compostela and is a form in Latin issued by the Officinal de Acogida de Peregrinos (Pilgrims’ Office in Santiago). The Compostela is obtained by presenting yourself, some form of official identification (like your government-issued travel passport) and your completed pilgrim’s credential. You must have documentation showing that you have walked at least the last contiguous 100 km (or cycled the last 200 km). On the francés this is from Sarria (or Ponferrada).
My training has continued and I now carry my completely filled backpack on all my treks. I have to admit the normal trails and streets are becoming quite boring and I am looking for new places to explore. This morning I headed up to Sabino Canyon, in the Santa Catalina Mountains here in Tucson for a hike that was slightly less than 8 miles.
The main trail ascends from 2,800 feet to 3,300 feet and truth be told, I believe the last mile up holds the steepest grade. But I made it!!! Yup, I made it up and back with almost 20 pounds on my back in 3 hours and 10 minutes. I believe that averages 24 minutes per mile. Usually I walk about a 15 to 20 minute mile but I guess this wasn’t bad considering the ascent and the temp of about 90*F.