(Originally posted on 25 August 2016)
Today it was Pamplona. Tomorrow it will be Burgos, León or Santo Domingo de la Calzada. You walk through the streets but you don’t have time to see the monuments, taste the food or enjoy a little bit the Spanish life.
Some days, like today, it is even worse. I woke up at 5:30 in the morning and started walking in the dark with my iPhone as a torch (good way to save the weight of bringing an actual torch). I arrived at Pamplona at 7:30, way earlier than the opening of the shops (in Spain life does not begin before 10 o’ clock). I walked through empty streets and I did not get a real sense of the atmosphere of the city. The only sound I listened to was that of my steps.
It is one of the downsides of my Camino. If you intend to walk everyday for 20 to 25 miles, you have to adjust your priorities. Even on the days when you have an easy path and you arrive at the hostel in the early afternoon, you don’t have the physical strength to visit the towns. Yes, I could certainly do less miles per day and taking the experience a little bit easier, but it would not be my path. And the more I walk through these places, the more I believe that the Camino knows me better than I could understand.
Maybe one day I will climb the stairs of Santo Domingo de la Calzada’s bell tower, maybe one day I’ll go to Pamplona to participate in the Sanfirmines or to Santiago for the Feast of Saint James. For now, I know that being proud of myself matters way more than being a tourist.
And I love that feeling so much that I want to enjoy it as much as possible...