Have I mentioned that I have a plane ticket for my trip to walk the Camino de Santiago? One night in the wee hours, I was clicking through a variety of airline search sites and found a one-way fare from Denver to Paris with an 18-hour layover in Reykjavik. Since the fares for Madrid and Barcelona were more costly, and since this Icelandic Air flight would allow me to see a part of the world, if only for a brief stay, that has been on my Bucket List for many years, I grabbed it.
I’ll depart on August 28, arrive at the DeGaulle airport in Paris on August 30 in the early morning, and take a train to St. Jean Pied-de-Port. The train should get me to my final destination, and the starting point of my walk by early evening on August 30. With luck, I might be able to actually sleep on some normal schedule that night, spend the next day regrouping, relaxing, reconnoitering, geared up to begin, headed toward Roncesvalles on September 1, my mother’s birthday.
I’m not sure whether to hold my breath, jump up and down exuberantly, or be shocked into complete silence at the audacity of my adventurous self. Never have I attempted anything like this . . . a very long expedition for me, by myself, in a country where I do not speak the language, a physical challenge the likes of which I have not known before.
But I’m not holding my breath, nor am I jumping up and down. The shock . . . well, I sink into it on and off, though I still have more than eight months before I get on that plane. But with that plane ticket, I also bought the beginnings of my travel insurance, and those two bits add more cement to my commitment to do this pilgrimage for myself, by myself, with my Self.
I’ll worry about arranging the plane home after I see how long it will take me to go 1000km across Spain from the French-Spanish border to the western coast at Finisterre and Muxia. There will be plenty of time to get home, after what I figure will be a six or seven week journey.
Today I registered for a Conversational Spanish course at the local community college, approximately three blocks from my house. I guess that’s another marker on the way to the Camino,and I’ll watch myself at each of these markers . . . watering the flower of this solitude experience as it takes root and blossoms.