I experienced a great deal of anxiety while walking the Camino, and much of it was centered around getting lost. A part of me feared that we would disappear into the wilderness of northern Spain, licking the peanut dust off our empty snack bags to survive.
Never mind that Camino del Norte is not that wild; I was neurotic about having the right resources during our journey.
We often get questions from readers about the Camino del Norte, which we walked in 2015, so we decided to set up a section on the blog dedicated to our hike. It includes the 37 posts that we wrote while we were on the trail in Spain, listed chronologically. It will also include, over time, more posts about the walk, including practical advice as well as an examination of the lessons that we learned along the way. This first post is an introduction and a look at how it all started—with a movie.
When you spend five weeks hiking nearly 500 miles through Spain, your gear becomes an important part of who you are. Throw in eight weeks of sightseeing all over Europe in addition to the Camino, and you have the perfect testing ground for what works and what doesn’t in your selection of gear. In an ongoing gear series, I will be talking about some of the items that became indispensable both during our European trip as well as on our current North American road trip.
The first bit of kit I want to talk about is our choice of backpacks. Not only did these packs have to carry our load during the Camino, but they filled in as our suitcases for our entire 13-week journey.
After a wonderful tour of Finisterre and Muxía, we got back to Santiago just in time to attend the Friday night Pilgim’s Offering mass at the Catedral de Santiago de Compostela, a service that honors the peregrinos arriving in Santiago. The mass is held daily, but the Friday night service is special because the church brings out its gigantic Botafumeiro.