Day 6, 2016 - Puenta la Reina to Estella

BUEN CAMINO

Having common goals,

pilgrims from around the world

walk an ancient path.

Early in the journey, the first question asked in conversation was usually, "Why are you walking the Camino?"  For me, this was a difficult question to answer and it still is hard to articulate. Some walk for physical, mental or spiritual reasons or simply to experience on foot, the incredible beauty of the land. I knew it would be a physical endeavor, one that would challenge me in ways I had not been challenged since my days of triathlon competitions. I was ready for that. And I knew the journey would give me time away from the responsibility that for the past four years or so had consumed me as I cared for my aging mother. I was ready for that. I yearned for the foreign and the challenge of maneuvering in a place where I didn't know the language and would have to use my senses in a way not normally required. I wanted to take it all in, to revel in the differences as well as the familiarity I was sure to find. What I didn't fully anticipate was how quickly friendships developed with people from all over the world. Unique experience...fears, hopes, opinions and beliefs, were shared as we ebbed and flowed along the way. We walked, talked, laughed, sang, ate, and slept across northern Spain. We looked out for each other. We shared bandages, snacks, extra clothes; even trekking poles. I was reminded that the world is not so big; that people are good, helpful, caring and compassionate. That is why I walked and why, in a heartbeat, I would walk again.