- Photo Essays
Since the release and unexpected success of the film The Way, it seems that walking the Camino de Santiago is on everyone’s travel bucket list. When I first walked the Camino back in 2003 it was little known to travellers outside of Europe and we felt quite the intrepid adventurers revealing our plans to walk across Spain.
I remember it well: the first hour of the first day of walking the Camino de Santiago in 2003. It began perfectly. I was super excited, full of energy (mostly from adrenalin, and the French pastry I’d eaten for breakfast) and ready to begin the trek into the French Pyrenees.
It’s true, the idea of a pilgrimage is usually associated with a religious ritual or rite of passage: the pilgrimage to Mecca in Islam, the Wailing Wall of Jerusalem in Judaism and The Vatican in Catholicism.
But I am going to help myself to a little creative license here and suggest that any journey or travel can be considered a pilgrimage: and a non-religious one at that.
It’s a traveller’s worst nightmare. Well, one of them at least.
Those huge red, flashing letters next to the departure time of your next flight have the power to rattle even the most frequent of flyers: CANCELLED. A delay is frustrating enough but you see ‘cancelled’ and your heart just sinks.
Getting ‘off the beaten track’ is getting more and more difficult these days with tour companies providing access to even the most remote areas of the globe. This also means that if you have the dollars, you can pretty much go anywhere you like!
Extract from my winter pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago last year: