If you’re a longtime HouseGoesHomer (it’s been around since July 2011, ermagerd) you may recall that I walked the Camino de Santiago the year before Shirley Maclaine.
She wrote a book about her experience called “Camino – A Journey of the Spirit”. I wrote a postcard about mine, which I sent to my friend Dom.
Ah! Remember postcards?
The postcard somehow travelled with him in a box of crap when he moved to Tassie and he’s finally gotten around to doing some culling.
He sent me a scan of it for posterity, noting: “The words ‘physical wreck’ don’t usually find their way onto holiday postcards …”
Here’s what I said:
Oddly, I look back quite fondly on the walk now. I feel like it’s a badge of honour that I did it, especially in light of these travel restricted times.
The Camino is an ancient pilgrim trail that wends its way through Spain to a cathedral in Santiago de Compostela.
Because the story never gets old, here’s a snippet of my experience (as recalled in a previous blog post) again:
“I’m no romantic. When my husband proposed – on bended knee, in Paris no less – I hissed at him to ‘get up off the ground’. People were staring. I don’t like people staring. ‘Aren’t you going to say yes?’ he replied. ‘Yes, yes! Now get up off the ground!’
I feel quite bad about my reaction in retrospect. It’s supposed to be every girl’s dream to have a man propose on bended knee in Paris. I wish I’d been less self-conscious and more swoony about sitting at an outdoor cafe in the Jardin de Luxembourg as the love of my life asked me to be his wife. My husband had chosen the most gorgeous rose gold engagement ring too, from Love & Hatred in the Strand Arcade in Sydney.
We were in Paris en-route to a little village called Saint Jean Pied de Port on the French/Spanish border to start walking the Camino as a “holiday”. It’s fortunate that my husband proposed before we started walking, as I don’t think I’d have said yes after.
I don’t put much stock in astrology, but Pisceans are supposed to have problem feet and I live up to the stereotype. I have no idea what possessed me to think walking 240km – roughly a third of the Camino – was a good idea. After one of my training walks for the pilgrimage – Petersham to Hurstville – I got infected blisters. After one day on the Camino – 23kms up the side of the Pyrennes, relentlessly pursued by sheep – I wasn’t in much better shape. It looked like we might have to pull out before we’d even really started (like the Brazilian bloke who lost all his toenails after they banged repeatedly against his boots on a particularly sharp descent). My husband-to-be was very downcast.
But I soldiered on, sometimes only managing a couple of kilometres a day until we finally found some sport sandals – worn attractively with thick socks – that I could motor along in.
At one low point, I remember wailing: ‘All I can smell is horse piss and all I can see is mud … this isn’t fun’.”
If you’re contemplating doing the Camino at some point or feel like reading more about my misery, click here.
One of my many favourite things about dating DD is that holidays are invariably fun while we are having them. It’s been such an unexpected discovery. Until I met him I thought holidays were things that you gradually appreciated after they were over. My ex tends to be a bit of a cranky pants while they’re happening, which takes the shine off them.
The only exception to the happy holiday thing with DD was our last adventure, which I screwed up by having a traumatic stoush with someone (not DD) that cast a pall over it.
I am very, very sorry to have done that to DD. He’s been enduring quite a lot of tears from me lately, I’ve been at a bit of a low ebb. I’d like to think things are finally on the up and up again. I’ve even bought an actual lottery ticket.
How nice would winning the lottery be? I fantasize about it quite a lot.
Anyways, happy Friday and have a good weekend. I hope your Christmas preparations are going well and the next few days aren’t filled with too much frantic last-minute shopping. Catch you Monday.
Song of the day: U2 “Walk on”