September 24, 2022 at Kansas City
In 5 days I depart for Portugal and Spain to pursue my third hike on the Camino de Santiago. This time feels different, understandable because it is. Christine will not be with me, I’m 70 years old (instead of 60 and 65 as when I departed on the first 2 Caminos), it is fall rather than the spring, Europe is just emerging from the COVID lockdowns, and there are other distinctions. Apprehension plays an emotional part.
My pack is 95% made but annoyingly heavy at just over 20 pounds. Today I will try and better discern what in my pack is necessary and what is “just in case” which should be excluded. Portugal and Spain are not third world countries. What needs may arise can be met there at stores, shops, and pharmacies.
Over the last month I have hiked nearly every day between 5 and 7 miles in preparation for the 10-15 miles I expect to cover overseas. The last few days these hikes have been with my pack. As a result my back is “talking to me” upon awakening in the morning. Ibuprofen helps.
It remains my intention to share my experiences in posts and pictures, however I have mused that I might approach it differently this time. Since Christine will not be with me until early November when we meet in Barcelona I knew I would be sending her daily updates. It occurred to me that I might “kill two birds with one stone” and write my posts as open letters to her. I ran this by her and shared the idea with a few friends. The reception by friends has been positive. Christine approves and has even proposed that I include portions of her emails to me, with some posts taking the form of a dialogue.
One friend pointed out that Ken Burns’ documentary series on the American Civil War featured readings from letters exchanged between soldiers and their spouses. The deeper insights these letters provided illuminated not only the events but the impact of those events upon the lives of the authors. Of course, those letters were written without the knowledge that they would be shared more than a century later.
Christine and I will share our experience and our deeper feelings with you. What that will look like, and how it plays out remain to be seen.
Peace Everyone. Pete
PS. Most of you receive alerts to my posts by email. Some of you read these posts when I share them on Facebook. I have found that Facebook does not always include them on everyone’s feed. If you wish to receive an email link from me when a post is published then please let me know and I will add you to my list. Pete