We left Madrid 18 months ago as the world shut down and now on 12 September we returned to Madrid en route to San Sebastian where we will begin a pilgrimage of 500 miles, walking from San Sebastian to Santiago de Compostela along the northern coast of Spain. This pilgrimage is called El Camino de Santiago de Compostela and we are following Camino Norte and Primitivo. Almost 350,000 pilgrims reached Santiago in 2019 following many different routes. The most popular is Camino Frances which starts in France. The route we are taking is less populated and somewhat more challenging as it follows the northern coast of Spain which tends to be more mountainous and rainy. 2021 is a special year to walk the Camino as it is a Jacobean Holy Year. According to Jacobean tradition, pilgrims who walk to Santiago de Compostela during a Holy Year and Pass through the Holy Door of the Santiago Cathedral are forgiven all their sins. And so our journey begins.
First full day in San Sebastian documented above was a leisurely fun day netting us nine miles of walking. The walk home from the above four pictures was up and over a long steep hill but we felt quite good. We are both feeling confident that we can walk this pilgrimage.
Second full day in San Sebastian: Sandy’s primary goal is to obtain a Pilgrim’s Passport or Credencial del Peregrino. This passport is supposed to be stamped twice per day and dated in order to substantiate ones pilgrimage and qualify to receive a Compostela in Santiago. The Compostela is the accreditation of the pilgrimage to the Tomb of St. James. Jim already has one Compostela but he made that pilgrimage without his true soulmate Sandy. We are now making this pilgrimage together to celebrate Sandy’s 76th year of life and Jim’s surviving an acute myocardial infarction in San Miguel de Allende Mexico. We will sorely miss our fellow pilgrims, Karen Lewis and J. William Boyle who planned this walk for us and were then unable to make this pilgrimage due to a number of factors. We will also miss former neighbors Peggy Scott and Margaret Deutsch and her friend Mandy Victor-Pieczarka who were planning on joining us for one week walks.