So, I’ve been home for just over a week.
To be honest this last week has been harder than any part of the actual Camino. I’ve gone from days filled with new experiences, new friends, new achievements to being at home and trying to reintegrate into my pre-camino life.
I admit that due to having a serious dose of man-flu I havent been very sociable. I’ve been stuck indoors with my guide-book, my photos and my memories. It feels strange to lie in bed and not have a group of brazilian cyclists wandering around at 5am wearing head torches.. When I have talked to people, I’ve (unsuccessfully) tried not to succumb to being a camino bore but it’s near impossible. Literally any subject seems to prompt a story that involves my pilgrimage.. (It still feels strange saying pilgrimage, more about that later). Friends can be telling me about them having a new dog…(I have a story about a man with a dog on the Camino)… the weather..(Ooooh there was this one day when i was in a hail storm on the Camino..) or even offering something as mundane as a cheese sandwich… (bocadillo de queso…. do you know how many of those I ate in the last two months??).
During my time away I was shocked by how many people enjoyed my blog.. Initially it was going to serve as a diary just for me.. then maybe for select family and friends to keep up with my adventure.. While I was away I averaged well over a thousand views per day, (one day I had over three thousand! ).. the amount of comments and messages both amazed and encouraged me. Plans to incorporate the blog into a small book are still afoot although I can’t decide what approach to take. I’m sure that at some point I will have a flash of inspiration that will leave me with either the way forward or the realisation that it’s a bad idea. There are already plenty of guidebooks out there so I’m assuming mine would be less of a guide and more of a taster/travel companion.. time will tell I guess.
The main feeling since returning home is the one I find most surprising. I REALLY want to do another Camino.. I think I could possibly even do the same route again but that’s unlikely so I guess I need to look at other possibilities and see which path calls out to me. (If only some witty chap had written some taster/travel companion books that I could read.. I’d buy the lot)
Regarding being a pilgrim… I’m not sure that I could call myself one. I guess I was just a guy on a walk but it felt more than that. As to how it felt more I still can’t decide. I joked along the way that my destination was the burger king in Santiago rather than the cathedral and to be honest if I ever find myself in Santiago again and had to choose between the two then It’d be a bacon whopper without doubt. I got my Compostela and proudly show it to anyone who shows even a passing interest in my tale. (I havent started carrying it about with me yet but I’m not ruling it out as an option). At Saint Jean Pied de Port I filled in a form at the pilgrim’s office, one of the questions was what was the reason for my walk, Religious, Spiritual or ‘Other’. I ticked Other. I think the next time I’m confronted with the options I may tick spiritual…
Anyway, I’m hoping to get back on the Alderley training hill in four days. It depends on whether I manage to recover from my man-flu so fingers crossed. If i do then I’ll let you know how it went.. If i don’t make it then I may treat you all to another excerpt from ‘The tales of St.James… (I’m sure there’s an unfollow button located on this blog somewhere for those of you who just felt a strong urge to not be subjected to any more of my literary ramblings)