Well, I have about 12 hours until I depart from Antequera. Spain to start on the Camino de Santiago. I feel like I am ready, although I also feel like my pack may be too heavy. How do you prepare for 33 days when you really don't know what to expect.
I have been going through a roller coaster of emotions. On one hand I am very excited. This pilgrimage has been a dream of mine since I saw it in the movie "The Way" about 4 years ago. That movie touched me profoundly in my relationship with God and with others that are seeking something in their own journey. Every time I have seen it (at least 6) I have been touched or seen something different. So in this respect, I am really excited. On the other hand I am very down. I am dreading leaving my family to fend for themselves in Antequera. I know they can handle it, but we have never been apart for this period of time. I have felt over the past week that I am going for longer. I have had friends here in Spain that have wished me well, prayed for me and told me good-bye. It has been like telling people that I have known my whole life good-bye. I am really blessed with such good friends here in Spain and I will miss them. I have worried that I have not taken care of everything that I need to. I have worried about packing the right things, not too much of this or that. I am concerned that maybe, just maybe, I am not physically prepared and can't handle it. You see the ups and downs of this journey.
Today something changed. I have crossed a threshold. The excitement has overtaken the worry. The anticipation has overtaken the uncertainty. While the negative is still there, it is reduced and the positive is now the overwhelming feeling. We spent the day as a family, went to the movies, rested, played horses and just hung out.
Tomorrow I leave on the journey. I leave Antequera by train. I will go by train to Madrid and then make a connection to Pamplona, Spain. I then catch a bus to St. Jean Pied de Port, France where I will meet up with a group of 14 Aggies from Texas A&M. They have been kind to let me join up with them and share in the pilgrimage together.
We start on Monday morning from St. Jean Pied de Port. The first leg of the journey will be about 23 kilometers (approx. 14 miles) uphill. We will be going into the Pyrenees and will climb all day to an altitude of 1,400 meters (approx. 4,600 ft). This will probably be the hardest day of the trip, with the exception of the soreness the following day!!! If you would like to see the path we will be following is shown on this Google Map .
Laurie and I will continue to update this site to keep you up to date on my progress and thoughts.