In the winter of 2005, my brother Damian and I decided to make a pilgrimage to a place in Spain called Santiago de Compostela. We planned to spend about a month walking about 650 km. We flew from the airport in Bratislava on June 22nd and flew back from Santiago on July 23rd. Including the flights, the trip was about 5700km long (luckily we have airplanes, right?). The real walking began in Logroño, from where we followed the Camino Frances (or Camino Real). Our first plan was to just go to Santiago, but we changed it as we walked, so after reaching Santiago, we spent a day there and continued on to a place called Fisterra, which means “the end of the world”…actually, it’s on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean about 100km from Santiago, and really, being there feels like being at the actual end of the world. Especially in the evening when the sun sinks into the ocean.
In total we walked about 750km. Every day we walked between 18 and 40km, mostly in the morning, because the sun is really deadly in the afternoon. In order to be less dependent on money, we carried most of our food in our backpacks and so we walked most of the time with 20kg backpacks including water. In the end, we found the weight to be quite comfortable for walking, although most pilgrims would walk with far less.
Our trip, however, had another dimension … deeper than “walking”. It was a great opportunity to meet friendly people from all over the world who were walking the same “Camino” as we were. An opportunity to stop and think about things that we simply ignore in our daily lives, but that are so important … for us, it was truly a life-changing experience.
Buen Camino! Dominik and Damián Ramík