The trek, though not easy, is remarkable safe, even for single women on their own. Physical hazards are few – a rare clamber up boulders or a steep, muddy “descente delicate.” For blisters, pharmacies stock remarkably effective gel pads, and if needed, good doctors are readily available.
Cares fall away, though every once in a while you ponder: Just why, exactly, am I doing this? For perhaps one out of every five pilgrims, there’s a religious reason, even a vow. Beyond that, the trek later in life is a wonderful opportunity to get in shape. Moreover, like the yellow brick road in The Wizard of Oz, the Camino is an opportunity to sort out – and overcome – one’s pressing or lingering problems. Quite a number of hikers were dealing with job loss, divorce, and medical conditions, only to realize that, all along – like the Scarecrow and the Tin Man – they had unsuspected inner resources to deal with life’s ups and downs. The trail’s ups and downs are a tonic.
You wish others, and they wish you: “Buon Camino!” If life is a journey, for Bonnie and I this was the journey of a lifetime.