When I first started hiking here in the German Alps, I kept seeing that symbol above. ‘What is that?‘ I’d ask.
Oh, it’s the Jakobsweg.
‘Huh? What’s the Jakobsweg?‘
You know, it’s a pilgrimage. One of the oldest ones in Europe, I think. Many people walk it.
Now that I know a bit more about it, I can tell you: some English names for it are The Camino, The Road to Santiago, The Way of St James or St James’s Way depending on your preference.
The long and short of it is that I’ve said for years, ‘I want to go do that someday.‘ There was a German bestseller about walking the route (the name of the book I won’t bother mentioning), and although the Jakobsweg was already very popular hereabouts, it suddenly became even more so.
Then I saw the Emilio Estevez movie ‘The Way‘ (starring his father Martin Sheen), and not long after that I was asked if I wanted to come along and do some Walking Down the Road. Yes, I did.
I still do.
There’s a lot that goes into planning such a thing, and the more I read about it, the more out of my depths it seems I am. However, there seem to be plenty of folk who do this and they seem to do it and even make it back somehow.
To be clear up front: I’m not even planning on walking the whole thing. My intention is to get a taste for it, and from what I understand: once I do, I’ll definitely want to go again.
I’ve been alternating between obsessing about which shoes I’ll wear and imagining how delicious the Tapas in Logroño are. Already, I’ve decided I’ll be documenting as much of it here as I can.
Not just the actual walking of The Camino, but I intend to blather on about the preparation and I suspect I might find myself contemplating what it meant to me long after I get back home.
Like I said, I’ve still got to decide on footwear. Here’s a photo of me taking one pair out for a test drive. I’m pretty sure you’ll be seeing plenty more of this sort of thing in the foreseeable future. Something tells me you can hardly wait.