Follow Her is a column that allows women on the road to share their treks and adventures with readers in as close to real-time as possible. Each adventure unfolds in a series of linked articles that brings readers along as the writer reveals the sights, experiences, and insights they on their journey. Catch up on the past installments of Carson’s Camino de Santiago adventure here.
After leaving Burgos, the Camino de Santiago stretches through long, flat terrain that I had braced myself for based on what I’d heard from other pilgrims. But rather than finding the Meseta mentally grueling, as expected, I found it an ideal place to make friends. While I spent the first day alone, enjoying a playlist full of Beyoncé, I quickly found that the Meseta fostered great relationships. The friends I made during this middle stretch is the Camino are the ones I will remember (and hopefully keep!) for years to come.
The Meseta may not deserve all the credit. It may have just been as simple as finding a group of people that was walking the same pace as me or just generally being more comfortable in my pilgrimage. No matter what, this middle stretch of my Camino de Santiago helped me realize that this walk is more than walking to reach a goal.
One of my Camino friends asks every day after our walk, “What was the word of the day for you?” The response should be a word that sums up how you were feeling, good or bad, mentally or physically. If I had to assign a word to this stretch of the Camino I would say, “confident.” I’m confident in my body to get me where I need to go. I am confident in my ability to creating lasting relationships. And I am confident in the Camino to provide me with an experience that is worth remembering.
The last stretch of my Camino will again change. Not only will I be walking through the green, mountainous province of Galicia (a welcome change from the brown, flat desert) but I’ll be joined by my family. My parents and best friend will walk with me for the last 100 kilometers. While I’m sad that my Camino is coming to an end, I also welcome the new experiences this last portion is sure to bring.