In about an hour, I leave for my second Camino. A few weeks ago, even a few days ago, I figured that this blog post wouldn’t be written until I arrived at the airport and settled in to wait for my flight. Or maybe it would be written on the flight, or else on the train ride from Paris down to Hendaye.
But instead, I’m ahead of schedule. I’ve been ahead of schedule these last few days, and it’s throwing me off a bit. Where is the scrambling, the rushing, the panicked feeling that I don’t have everything done and I’m not prepared and that I’m going to forget something?
A small part of me worries that there’s something I’m not remembering to do, but mostly, I’m on top of stuff. It’s strange. I know I’m still going to have that feeling of “what am I doing??” when the plane takes off and, better yet, when I arrive at the train station in Hendaye and set off to cross the bridge from France to Spain and into Irun, my first official steps of the Camino del Norte.
But right now, this sort of feels ‘old hat’. I did a small training hike the other day with my pack ‘Camino loaded’, and as I was stuffing things into compartments, it all came back to me: how the sleeping bag fills out the bottom, how my soap and toiletries come next, topped with my rain jacket and ziplocs filled with clothes, how my bag with electronics and cords settles in at the top. Without having to think, my hands just moved along, filling my pack in the way that I used to last summer.
I’m at my parents house right now, where I’m leaving my car for the next month. I only arrived here yesterday, having spent most of the day finishing up work for the year. I imagined that I would spend my evening with maps spread out in front of me, jotting down notes, sending off emails, doing all of those last minute, pre-trip things. But instead, I went for a stroll around my neighborhood and saw lightening bugs blinking across the corn fields. I sipped a coke slushey and watched Apollo 13. I had one of the most relaxing summer evenings that I could imagine.
And now I’m sitting in my old bedroom with my Camino things spread out before me, not quite fully packed. My outfit is arranged on my bed, I’ll change into it shortly: a long pair of hiking pants, a deep blue t-shirt, underwear, socks. I remember this moment so vividly last year, how I was struggling to take a deep breath, panicked about what I was about to get myself into.
This year I feel so calm, and I love it. I think I’ve been ready to get back on the Camino for months, and now it’s here. Round two. The weather is supposed to be beautiful for my first day’s walk on Friday, so stay tuned for some gorgeous photos of the northern coast of Spain. Here’s a photo of a map of the route, taken from my guidebook (so pardon the poor quality of the map… but you’ll be able to see the route, which is the most important thing).
So here we go, 31-days on the Camino del Norte and Camino Primitivo… 500 more beautiful and strenuous and magical miles through Spain. Stay tuned!
May your load be light, your steps like flight and your feet blister-free. I shall follow you on your great journey ahead. Buen camino!
Buen Camino! I’m looking forward to following this journey. After walking the Frances in 2012, I would love to take this route at some point.
Safe travels Nadine! Can’t wait to follow along 🙂
¡Buen Camino Nadine! I’m anxious to read your accounting of the Norté, have fun and enjoy.
I know what you mean about the calmness before the Camino feeling. I’m having this que sera sera moment as well. After almost 18 months of preparation for my last years Frances (overkill I know), I am well under prepped for my Norte journey in just over 3 months. Yes I have all the equipment but I haven’t put in the k’s of training. …and you know I’m silently okay with that. I now know that it just takes one step at a time to get there. I’ve already proven that I have the determination and the will power to push myself.
It looks as if we have the same guide book. I am really looking forward to following this spectacular journey.
Squeeee! I’m so excited for you. How lovely to be disoriented by the lack of panic or pre-departure crazies. How amazing to have a relaxing evening before the walk begins. How much you’ve changed in a year, it seems.
Wishing you a buen camino, peregrina. May the calm and peace you feel today follow you across Spain. <3
Buen Camino! So excited for you as you embark on the Norte. Memories flood back as I read each of your blog entries, and though we each walk out own Camino, there is always a connection to peregrinos past and future. I hope you love this route as much as I did.
Sonal Kalburgi says
I’m so excited for your Camino 2!!! I wish you easy travels, readily available coffee and amazing conversations!! I meant to write you more…..but I at least wanted to wish you Bon Voyage!! I hope you have an amazing time and soak up every moment. Can’t wait to read about your adventures.
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Buen camino!! 🙂 xx
I know the calm you are talking about. I leave on August 27 for my second Camino (also Norte), and I have most everything in a little basket, ready to pack. How are you writing this blog? I took a MacAir, and will do so again, but am curious. And how much does your pack weigh with the electronics? Buen Camino! I’ll be paying attention . . .
iva at the frontier says
I’m so delighted to find your blog! I start on the Camino del Norte in the next week or so, and there’s obviously less information on this camino. I’ve not done the camino frances but the costal route really speaks to me, and I love your photos so far!