So, in some period of time, 2,5 years ago in my mind occurred an idea of going to the adventure called St. James Way, or famously called El Camino. There was a strong „call“ somewhere above, because, as figured it out that later The Way „calls you“. The first steps are from your own home.
And everything started when I saw the movie „The Way“ with Martin Sheen in the main role, 4 years ago.
I did not have even the clue that something like that exists and that there are three main pilgrimages in the Christianity: Rome, Jerusalem and St. James Way.
It is difficult to describe this call because it is hard to describe what would make someone like me who has lived with sense of having cosy bed and comfort of all the civilization benefits at all time, to go into adventure knowing that only one backpack, having every night at different bed and hostels with many strange people, living for a more than a month in the aesthetic life. Ok, I can make some excursion or weekend mountain walking where civilization benefits were secured pretty much and those were my high peak of getting out of that life, but having that for the full month… well, that was really big thing to break in my mind and to go with full heart: „I will go!“. But once that idea came to my mind it was impossible to ignore it, and it was growing and growing each day more and more. Life circumstances also pushed me to make that idea real.
Entering into a nearly two-month of self-initiating desert life was a miracle for me, and you can only imagine how was that to all the people that I know: family, friends. When I started to talk about that, they did not take me for a serious. Usually, there was „the look“ of superstitions, deep breath and a big laugh with comments like: „You? Yeah, right…“, „You must be joking“; „Yeah, yeah… You will go… If I see that….“.
And to be true to myself, even I was not 100% sure of getting into that adventure. But, wish was getting stronger and stronger. With the time distance, you realize how each cube of your life are placed at the place not even the most precise machine cannot get it.
When I have started to explore the adventure of I am taking, like forums, blogs and everything I could find on the Internet, one of the first questions popped out was: how to get to the Saint Jean Pied du Port. As this is in France, and I have a good friend Sonja that was calling me for a couple of years to visit her in France in Paris, I have decided to make Paris my start point of the adventure. Because, what is the best way to start my way, then in the city of love – the world’s top city in the world. The city of glamor. And looking at the map of France, I saw Lourdes, so… why not to connect it also.
The French Saint James Way starts Saint Jean Pied du Port or just below the Pyrenees (of course, there are several trails of Saint James Way, like Portuguese way, Camino Primitivo, and most of them are shorter than this one, but however, I decided for the most visited, with the most infrastructural facilities and covered with all the necessary needs that can be helpful and make it sure to walk in an easy mind – with enough hostels, shops, hospitals, pharmacies and other .
All that way ensures to see Spain with its many small villages and cities such as Pamplona, Leon, Burgos and Santiago de Compostela – the ultimate point for every pilgrim.
In the meanwhile, I have discovered that there is some sort of appendix to that way the leads to the point sometimes long ago, it was called the end of the world – Finisterra.
As I plan to have my departure from all that expedition from Lisbon airport, why not discover some Portugal as well. And thinking like that, I’ve made my choice for the last phase of my trip: Porto, Fatima and Lisbon.
When counting the days of traveling, there was a plan of getting everything in approximately 40 days. But, as usual, the plan was a little bit stretched to 53 days of the total expedition.
And here are 4 months after my life adventure passed bye and since I get back home. All the impressions are still in the movement of getting it all sort out. I can not explain how many wheels are changed in my head, that moved, changed or just made some other turns in my way of thinking or doing things or just in how I respect or look at life. Everything is still trying to find its place and from this point of view, I feel like that was one unreal dream in which I had the main role.
After all that time and sorting all of my pictures that I take (well, I was Photo Nazi of the Camino… needed to take pictures of almost everything, so I shoot „only“ 10.000 photos!), and when all the impressions are more or less calmed down, my emotions have their own drawers, finally I can analyse and give some testimonies, comprehensions, anecdotes and stories that are in more objective way of looking (even though it is very hard to do that ever).
While traveling I pushed myself to write all the details, and all it two main purposes: 1st to make sure that I memorize all the events and as much as details possible and 2nd to inform everybody who followed me via social media and who was giving me all that support.
I am truly grateful to everybody because there were true physical and psychic fights, that were like big black demons in me and like tornado gave me hard burdens. So, all that support, comments were the huge stimulus for getting further and not to give up.
Little by little I will discover at this pages all the details, covered with much more pictures, maybe with some history and technical details, advises and other. I am sure that there will be some people saying: „Well, you should do like this…“, or „You should not do that…“. Well, I know. It will be things like that as always. But, like one of the big lessons of the Way, but actually rediscover that simplicity of life and existence, like the finger pointed at you at all time saying: „It is your Path, your Life. We all have the same Way, but we will live it in our own different way. And that is the absolute truth. Nobody of us has the same story, same way, and that why we all have different points of view to the same thing. The biggest truth is that we all have our own stories in our own hands, because we have the mission to learn and to perceive the thing(s) he or she needs to learn as its own life mission, or actually his/hers Way (yes, it is in purpose big capital letter „W“ for Way, because it is the name of our life).
I want to tell this smart part of my Way in mostly pictures and in some words because it is like that just because I made my own choices, I have met that particular person in that particular time of my life. And all of that I take as a big gift, for each and every last one.
For the start point, just some part of pictures representing all the parts of the was. The reminders for all of you that followed me via my Facebook page, but for me as well…
Big thank you to you all.
Big HUG AND BIG LOVE SENDING TO ALL MY CAMINO FAMILY!