Journal Archive: Winter Pilgrimage, Camino de Santiago
Extract from my winter pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago last year:
“A few people have been emailing and asking why the hell we are attempting this pilgrimage in the winter months. I know I painted a pretty grim picture in that last post, but just to clarify…Apart from that week on the Meseta, this journey has been truly amazing. It is by far the most challenging, and the most fulfilling thing I have ever done. In so many ways. Sure, there have been ups and downs, as with anything, but I wouldn´t change a single moment of it – even the difficult parts. Yes, even the Meseta!! Hey, what doesn´t kill you makes you stronger, right??
Camino de Santiago
And why winter? Well, about 100,000 people walk this trail every year. Most walk in summer. A smaller portion in Spring and Autumn. But only a handful attempt it during the winter months. We didn´t want to walk with the masses and we were well aware of the possible difficulties awaiting us, but we decided we were up for the challenge! It really is something else to do a walk like this in winter: To walk through rainclouds on the top of the mountains; to plough your way through knee-deep snow; to finally see the sun breaking through after hours of fog; to reach a high point and look back over the misty hills you have just taken 3 days to walk through; to feel the burn in your face and hands when you first escape the cold into a warm bar. The solitude that comes with walking at this time of year is also really lovely. While there are usually about 5-10 of us at any given time in the pilgrim hostels, there have been times when Shev and I are the only ones.
So there you have it…Even with the icy cold Meseta, I would still say this is the most rewarding and beautiful time of year to walk the Camino. We have no regrets!”