August 10, 2015
In the last few weeks, I have had the opportunity to practice my Camino del Norte beach walking . . .
I was visiting a friend on the northern Massachusetts coast, and we took a stroll down the beach for a mile. Walking on sand, wet or dry (and I tried both) is not easy, but I suspect I will encounter quite a lot of it as I walk the north coast of Spain. The spectacular views will compensate for the “hard on the legs” trekking through sandy pathways, and I’m grateful for a couple hours of “sand-walking”. I repeated the exercise at Cape Cod with another friend, and again mused about how different the view will be on the north coast of Spain than it is here.
Now, on the way back across the country, Neil and I stopped at the Indiana Sand Dunes National Lakeshore and did our instability walk, like drunken ducks, on the shore of Lake Michigan while dozens of families of all ages splashed in the water and built sand castles on the beach.
Again, I was reminded of what different footpaths are in the world, and wonder how many of them I will experience soon. But the lapping of waves is a thrumming meditation in the center of my chest, and I will look forward to hearing that sound often on the Norte.
My first night in Irun, my Norte starting point, will be spent in the Pensione Bowling, which I find a hilarious name. Picture private rooms along the sides of a Spanish Bowling alley. No, I’m sure that will NOT be the scenario, but I wonder what the word “Bowling” represents in Spanish, or in Euskera, which is the local dialect in that part of Spain.
No matter, I will have a “flat bed”, not a bunk, for the first night before I begin . . . I will write as usual, and send updates as I can. The internet access might be a bit more scarce on this particular trail, with fewer pilgrims and fewer albergues. I can’t believe I will depart in just a day more than two weeks, and my next two weeks at home are overcrowded with doctors’ appointments, a family reunion for Neil, book groups, unpacking from my New England trip, packing for the Camino . . . I suspect it will take me a few days of strenuous walking to step out of my overcrowded life and into the serene exertion of a long walk across a country.
For now, I’m returning to Colorado from a month in Vermont and surrounds, eating fresh farmer’s market vegetables, working at the computer too much and not getting enough real work done. And the rush will be over very soon . . . at least for the next two months.
I’ll be back to this site very soon.