And We’re Off!

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

I am one of a group of eleven bound to walk a portion of the centuries old pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. To “walk across Spain”, as I like to say! This is my fifth “Camino” and fourth opportunity to join the Wayfinding Academy of Portland, Oregon – an awesome, two year college that is at the heart of a movement to revolutionize higher education! On this “Learn and Explore” trip, we will travel by foot along The Camino de Santiago de Compostela, or, “The Way of St. James”.

The history of this walk is very fascinating. For thousands of years folks (most notably Catholics having been sent by their priests to earn forgiveness or a lesser time for themselves and/or family members in purgatory) have journeyed hundreds of miles from the front doors of their European homes, to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela where the relics of Apostle St James are purported to be housed. He is credited with being one of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ and responsible for bringing the Gospel to Spain. It is recorded that King Alfonso II decreed that the cathedral be built to preserve St James’ remains and that all villagers encountered enroute by pilgrims must do everything they could in the way of housing, feeding, supporting and caring for the trekkers as they traveled to pray over the apostle’s bones. There is much more to this infrastructure and the ways early pilgrims needed to “prove” their pilgrimage. I know eyes are already glazed over for new readers and that many of you already know this stuff…. So I will elaborate upon the lore in days to come.

Today I flew to Dallas from Seattle with much excitement brewing in my body!!! I joined five others and together we flew onward to Madrid – our meeting place and location of the Airbnb where we will be staying for a couple of pre Camino nights. We left the Sunny and HOT Pacific Northwest for Sunny and HOT Texas! When it came time to take off for the second leg of our journey, however, MAN – it just started POURING!!!! Rain is SOOOO MAGNIFICENT, don’t you think?!!!

We were delayed, yet all in all, our itinerary was great in that we were able to leave the USA and fly direct to our Spanish destination. And an unexpected gift – the flight wasn’t full and I was able to move seats and have a row all to myself!!!! The past five times traveling to Spain I have stayed awake the entire 20-30 hours, but then again I arrived late day and could go to bed “early” and get up whenever- alone. This time arrival is in the morning with others – so a new goal emerged: sleep on the plane!! Having the extra room is indeed a blessing! Buenos Noches!

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