Before starting to travel long term in October 2013 we went on few shorter trips abroad. And one of these travels was walking a part from Camino de Santiago in the end of April / start of May of 2013. It is a pilgrimage route across Spain to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.
Why did we do only one part of it? Because it’s more than 800 kilometers long trail and then we had only two week vacation and so the time was limited. In total we still walked for more than 300 kilometers. Our journey started in Ponferrada, went all the way the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela and finished – in Finisterre, which is Spain’s westernmost point, literally translated as “World’s End”.
As we had such a short time back then, we want to do this again, this time the whole Spanish route, from the start point in Pyrenees till the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela and then further to Finisterre.
Why We Went on Camino de Santiago
We got to know about Camino de Santiago from a couple from Latvia. They had a blog, where they wrote about their journey day after day. We were not following the blog daily, but we read an e-book which they made in the end.
After this couple’s book we got our hands on “I’m Off Then: Losing and Finding Myself on the Camino de Santiago” by Hape Kerkeling (German actor and comedian). Book was very nice. In it author describes his daily routine in walking the Way in a very simple and funny way. After reading it we got even better idea what kind of trip is it, what to expect, what to pack and not to pack with you and what are the challenges.
So, two books later we felt like we had already walked some part of it. But still there was a feeling, that it’s not enough. That we need to go on this journey for real.
It was autumn 2012. During the winter Kaspars’s mother also read this book and she also liked it very much. One day Kaspars persuaded her to go on the pilgrimage with us, ha. And then we decided that it will happen on our next vacation, in spring.
In the end we were 5 – I, Kaspars, his mother, his brother and his friend. We roughly planned our route and bought the flight tickets.
And another nice thing happened – we got to know that our favorite band Rammstein had a concert on the next day after our arrival. So without hesitation we bought the tickets to the concert, too! For Kaspars’s mom as well, yeah!
One thing characteristic of us then and now is – we never plan too much. We had the tickets, we knew where we will start the journey and where we will finish it. But when the departure day grew closer we bought train tickets needed and booked an accommodation only for the first days in Spain and for the last day in Spain (in Madrid).
Back then, before starting The Way, the idea itself seemed quite daring and a little bit crazy for us. Walking for days, maybe sleeping outside, sleeping in the dormitory full of other pilgrims… But now, after almost one and a half year of traveling I am smiling at these thoughts. Of course, it was not a crazy idea! Now we have done much more crazy stuff.
Some of you might think that you need to be religious to go on this trip. But it is not true. Everyone can go – the reasons can be religion, sports, sightseeing, “finding yourself” or mix of everything listed before.
Read all our articles from Camino de Santiago 2013!
Author: Una Baufala
Una is a traveler and travel blogger from Latvia. Apart from traveling and exploring new places she loves to read books. And she adores cats. Together with Kaspars they have been traveling – volunteering – working abroad since October 2013. WeAreFromLatvia.com is where she shares her travel experiences.