The Camino de Santiago is a huge challenge for anyone, whether you join for the last 100km from Sarria, or if you walk every step from Saint Jean Pied de Port. There are as many Caminos as there are people who walk it.
This was actually one of the most important things I learnt last year – there is no right way to “do” the Camino, there is only ever your way.
For me, this was best summed up by Mel, who I met in Burgos last year (and bumped into a couple of times along the way afterwards). I knew I was going to have to shorten my Camino, and was feeling disappointed. But she reassured me that there is so set of hard and fast rules you have to follow, she said “it’s a guide book not a rule book”.
I also went into last year’s walk thinking that I had to walk the whole Camino in one go. That this was the only way to do it “properly”. That meant it took me eight years to find the time to do the walk.
But many people walk the Camino in sections at a time. And my lovely Camino pal Elke is doing just that. While it may take longer to reach Santiago this way, it gives me the wonderful opportunity to walk with her again.
So this time I’m not playing by the “rules” because there are none. I only have a week, but I am going to join the Camino for the week that I have.