Not eating dinner last night was a bad idea. I felt too weak to walk up the stairs this morning. 

But still we walked.

Maybe it was the lack of sleep or the lack of food, or maybe I don’t need to justify my tears. But I cried when we reached the top of the first hill. The locals we passed had all been so kind, moving to accommodate us on the roads and wishing us a “Buen Camino.” Then we saw this view.

We had a small set back when Akash realized a few miles into the walk that her sleeping bag was no longer attached to the bottom of her backpack. I ran about a half mile back, hoping to see a sleeping bag laying in the middle of the trail. No such luck. It was lost. 

We walked on and I thought of things it was impossible to know; all the things that could possibly happen over the next month; the things we might lose, the things we might find. What happens to a body after 300 miles? Four hundred? And what about our heads? What would we be like in the end? Would we make it to the end?

I’ve had to give up on the calculations; on this day we’ll be here; on that day we’ll have this many miles left. It’s too long a journey for that. 

In the Barcelona airport en route to Irun, there was a television switched on to figure skating. Akash and I watched a young Japanese skater resign himself completely to the ice. His face was one of surrender as he glided effortlessly across the white space. It was like the ice was moving him along. There was no efforting, nothing to conquer. 

That is what we must do now to El Camino: surrender. It’s not about conquering this trail. It’s impossible to see the finish line, and looking for it can’t do us any good. We just have to take it all day by day, step by step, and let the Camino move us.


Day 2, Buen Camino

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