|Gordon and I at Muxia|
Those who have already made the pilgrimage know that the journey is in the head and heart as much as in the feet. I started my Camino with my husband Gord on foot in 2009 from Le-Puy-en-Velay in France. 440 kilometers later we were hooked and planning our return journey the following year. That year however, I had a terrible time with my back and our walking days became shorter and shorter until I was taking the luggage transport more than walking. Finally I had to make the difficult decision that we had to stop at St. Jean Pied de Port at the French/ Spanish border. I had walked 760 km but was faced with the reality that I would likely never walk to Santiago. Packing it in, however, was not an option.
In the summer of 2011 Gord and I returned to St. Jean-Pied-de-Port but this time I brought my folding bike Friday and a trailer. If I can convince just one person who would love to experience the Camino but is limited in some way to at least consider other options then I am happy. On the Camino I saw people walking without packs, walking with sticks, riding on horses and donkeys. I saw a woman in a wheel chair and two men on unicycles. I even saw a Duch man pulling a home built cart while his wife walked beside. There are many ways to Santiago.
Before the Camino Gord and I took our bikes with us for most holidays and biking works really well for me. On all of our trips I have always had to push myself to keep up with him. This trip was very different. Gord was walking between 30 to 40 kilometres each day which is a strong day for a walker but a very moderate day for a cyclist even with side trips. It worked brilliantly for both of us. I believe that I may be the record holder as the slowest cyclist to ride the Camino Frances, and I believe that it was the best possible way to do it... at least for me.