Thursday, September 9, 2010

Camino: Start all over again.

My first 50th birthday present, six months early:
Joanna gave me a $1,000 travel certificate, to go to London to mark my completion of half a century in 2011.

She earned it by giving up her seat on a flight home this summer, thus being forced to spend the night for free in a swank hotel.
(How come they never offer these swaps when I fly?)

With her amazing gift, I got thinking I could do a different trip instead:
I could walk the Camino de Santiago again, as I did when I turned 40.

(The actual time on the road is cheap--hostels are about 5 euro/night, and besides food, there's nothing to buy ...and you wouldn't want to carry it if there was.)

bink could scrabble together frequent flier miles to go again too. Yesterday she made our reservations to Madrid. So, we're going, in May.

Here I am, dusting off my old backpack.

When I walked at 40, I said maybe I'd walk the pilgrimage every decade. But for a long time, I had no interest. (It's uncomfortable, to begin with.)
But now I do.
Not sure why.
Not particularly for spiritual reasons, like the first time. Maybe something more like wanting to shake off the dusty answers of this past decade.
Even if just to make room for fresh dust.

Here's Fred pretending he can't dance–
"Maybe by the time I'm fifty/ I'll get up and do a nifty..."
– so he can woo Ginger, who sings "Pick Yourself Up" (dust yourself off, start all over again).


momo said...

I'm so happy you will be able to follow your heart's desire for your birthday! I hope there are no blisters this time...

Margaret said...

Fresh dust! Cool!

(But this time's going to be a bit different because you're going to walk the entire thing in full Starfleet uniform, except for the flamenco/gogo boots, of course.)

poodletail said...

Excellent! I'm happy for you that you can mark your 50th this way. Who knows what you'll discover 2nd time around?

Beetle said...

Oh my gosh, when I read this post, I started jumping up and down because ... I walked the Camino, too! Several years back now. In fact, my husband and I walked it together BEFORE we got married. We nearly broke up at the end of it! Actually, it is quite a miracle that we stayed together because we were really fighting towards the end of it. Guess we can attribute that to the great saint. Wink ;-) But overall, it was a good experience.

Where are you starting? We started in Le Puy en Velay France and did a fairly leisurely pace. I must say I enjoyed the French part MUCH more than the Spanish part mainly because (1) the food was MUCH better, the accommodation was MUCH better, and we were walking on rural roads and footpaths (not next to major highways eeeek!). Still, it's not the Camino unless you get to Santiago! And visiting those great cities and cathedrals of Spain was amazing. Well, I hope you have fun, and say "hello" to the Apostle for me when you get there. Maybe someday, we'll go again, too. I haven't met many Americans who've walked the Camino, though of course, the numbers of pilgrims are still increasing every year. Oh, and Happy 50th Birthday!

femminismo said...

So maybe you can start in Santiago and end up with the French food? Or is that not the "Way of the Camino"? Perhaps I should do more investigation. Happy late birthday and so happy you get to travel. Thanks again for the book!

Clowncar said...

I love the idea of fresh dust. Is that old Camino de Santiago dust you are wiping off the backpack? Is there actual Camino de Santiago dust in your backyard now?

Fresca said...

My 50th birthday isn't until March, so there's still plenty of time for presents. : )

MRET: I hadn't thought of walking in Starfleet get up, but now you mention it, I must!

BEETLE: Hey, that's cool you walked the Camino too!
What year?
Funny about you and your fiance because bink and I had talked about what a great premarital test the walk would be! It forces traveling partnert to get to know each other really well, for better or worse.

We were goint to start where we did before--at Roncevalles, on the SPanish side of the Pyrenees. But now you talk about the French side, I'm going to look into that too.

CLOWN: That old dust is mostly from the closet, where the pack has been stored for 9 years. But there is surely dust from Spain in the crevices, some of which has now been further dispersed.
Probably dust from the saint himself!