SARS-2 and its ugly consequence, COVID-19, is upon us. Borders are closed, hostels and albergues shuttered, cafés and bars along the Way silent and without the laughter and moaning of pilgrims.
So I thought I’d try something different. Instead of blogging my Camino, as I would have done in a few weeks, I’ll blog a Camino. More precisely, my 2017 and 2018 Caminos, as a non-fictionalized-but-fictional, diary style blog.
I’ll blog the stages, write about my sore feet, the people I’ve met, show some pictures. I might not post every day, after all I have a day job and it’s not “walk to Los Arcos” for a change, but at the end of this, in a month or so, we’ll have arrived in Muxia or Finisterre, stared into the ocean, and washed the dust of the Meseta from our skin in its refreshing embrace.
I keep diaries. Every day I write into an app called Day One. I’d started as a kid, writing on paper, moved to text-files on my computer, and tried a number of diary apps before settling on this one. My diaries are usually raw, few images, lots of thought splinters. One of the advantages of a digital diary is, that I can combine different days and years into a PDF, which I just did. And so, a mix of 2017 and 18 emerged, a narrative that, polished, embellished, cleaned up for consumption, redacted, and name-changed, will appear here.
I’ll “virtually” walk the Camino again. I’ll meet old friends once more, sit at the campfire in Boadilla del Camino one more time, get annoyed at the Hippie in the yard smoking pot and playing his Banjo at four in the morning, and more.
Unlike you, I know how it all ends. A wise man once said, that everything that happens is but a stone thrown into a slowly moving river. The stone disappears quickly, but its waves will travel down the river for a long time. Some of those waves still lap at my feet.
I am copying the tense as it was used in my diaries. Sometimes I use present tense, sometimes past, there is no rhyme or reason to this, other than that I never meant this to become a public diary and, depending on the day, mood, or how much time had passed, used different tenses.
Our fictional-non-fictional Camino starts in St. Jean-Pied-de-Port and ends at the Ocean. In between we meet people like Jake, the Camino-Theorist, Ellie, the weird one, Oleander from South Africa, and Paul who came here by mistake. But before we can leave, we have to prepare. And that’s what the first post is all about, the weeks and days before.