I’m back. But, not completely.
My heart is still walking through the Galician forest.
In truth, I am forever changed.
For 10 glorious days I had the blessing to travel with my sweetheart Mr. Mo (a.k.a. Jeff) to Spain where we walked an ancient pilgrimage – El Camino Inglés (The English Way) – which is one of multiple routes comprising El Camino de Santiago (The Way of Saint James).
All of the paths lead to the legendary burial place of St. James the apostle at the foot of the grand Cathedral in the city of Santiago de Compostella.
I am still trying to process everything that happened. It was amazing. Although, “amazing” is not an adequate word. It was a very personal and transforming experience. I find myself vacillating between wanting to tell the whole world every detail …. and wanting to shield it from the public eye, keeping it all to myself.
We walked about 150 Kilometers – plus some extra (because we got lost … twice), so I’m counting it as a solid 100 miles – through the mountains, forests, villages and country roads of Galicia in northwestern Spain.
That’s a rather simple description of a rather complex undertaking.
…And Back Again
I took 2,342 photos (to be exact) – and, over 50 video clips – which basically maxed out my memory card. It required over 12 hours to completely load everything onto my Dropbox (but only after I upgraded to a Pro account) 🤭
Those are just the raw files. Unedited. So… of course I had to go buy a new computer and a beautiful double-wide monitor yesterday … 🙄 ok. Don’t judge. My latest computer is from the Dark Ages – paired with a 10 inch monochrome monitor… which I have been valiantly blogging with for over 10 years [!!!] So, when our local Costco was having a killer sale … I considered that a divine sign.
I have greater empathy today for the prophet Mormon who was tasked with abridging a thousand years worth of historical records, stories and scriptures into one small condensed book. I can imagine him throwing his hands up to the sky and dramatically facepalming as he looked around the room overflowing with records…
He summarized the daunting process humbly and honestly:
“I cannot write the hundredth part of the things of my people.”
– Words of Mormon 1:5
Yes, I can share my stories and [SOME of] my photos and videos, but I cannot share “a hundredth part” of the things that have happened to my heart, or what has transpired inside of my soul on this journey.
Before we even finished the second day of our pilgrimage Mr. Mo and I were already plotting together when, where and how we could possibly return to walk again. 🙂
They say that when “the Camino calls you” there is always a desire to answer the call. This has been true for us the past seven years. We have heard the Camino calling to us, and have been hoping and dreaming to walk “our Camino” for so long. And then, the windows of heaven opened and everything fell in place for us to go. During our pilgrimage last week we met fellow peregrinos & peregrinas who heard the call of the Camino. Many of them have walked multiple times, on multiple routes.
So, now I can say that we have walked “our first” Camino – but, definitely not our last. I do believe we have many more pilgrimages and adventures in our future!
Telling Our Story
So, how and where do I begin? Our entire Camino Inglés journey comprised a total of 10 days (all we could afford to be away).
Here’s the breakdown:
- 2 full [exhausting] Travel Days (involving four flights, three airlines, two long layovers, one taxi, high anxiety, and numberless miracles) to get to the starting point of our pilgrimage in the port city of Ferrol, Spain.
- 5 full (extremely long and amazing) days walking our pilgrimage.
- 1 full day experiencing Santiago de Compostella, and traveling to Paris
- 1 full day exploring Paris
- 1 full day traveling home to Utah (with an unexpectedly inspirational layover).
I am incredulous how much “weight” each of those small numbers hold!
“by small and simple things are great things brought to pass” – Alma
I am going to do my best. I will try not to overwhelm you with overly long rambling posts, nor make your eyes bleed from sharing too many photos. I am also going to try to include a few of our remarkable stories. Due to my present Life-After-Camino-Life already starting to move forward at warp speed I really could use a little prayer on my behalf to get these series of posts completed. I’m aiming for publishing at least one or two per day. I would like them to be coherent, and I hope they will provide at least the hundredth part of inspiration and joy that we found on this journey.
Off we go together, then!
¡Buen Camino! – Holly