Four bloggers, 50 kilometres and one objective: discover the magic of the Camino. This was the challenge launchedthis weekend from Routes of the Camino de Santiago for four members of the Association of Castille and Leon Travel Bloggers: Eva and Jose, from Organizotuviaje.com; Lorena, from La Ratonaviajera, and Miguel, from El viaje del Sofi, four travel lovers who always wanted to experience the Camino but until now had never taken a first step.
Belorado-Agés (27.5Km) and Agés-Burgos (23 Km) were the two stages of the Camino Francéschosen for this weekend, which we can follow on Twitter with the hashtag #CyLTBenelcamino. And the impressions couldn’t have been better: everyone is coming back. We talked with three of them to find out what their first impressions were, their best moments and if there were any disappointments.
Eva is, along with Jose, the owner of Organizotuviaje.com, a blog in which they offer recommendations for free travel, helping others travel the world on their own. Eva had always wanted to do travel the Camino but had never found the right moment. "Sometimes because of a lack of time, other times because you prioritize other travel, other times for not being in shape...There are many excuses that have delayed my travelling of the Camino until this moment. So, when I was offered this experience, I did not hesitate," she says.
Eva: "The magic of the Camino is being with people you would never meet in your regular life and going to towns you would have never passed or stopped in for more than 10 minutes.".”
There is also Lorena, owner of the blog La ratonaviajera, where we can discover the less touristy side of places visited, without forgetting its key points."This weekend was my first time on the Camino and served as my introduction," says this young woman from Fuentidueña (Segovia). Lorena was very eager and confesses that she learned how she should travel it the next time. "There are very hard and long routes, about 30 km. And at that time, I realized that I have to travel shorter stages to make it more bearable.”
For Miguel, the third of our protagonists, it was trial by fire. In addition to being the owner of the blog El viaje de Sofi, along with Monica, Miguel loves to run. So, this first experience on the Camino was a chance to prove himself. I ran 23 of the almost 28 km of the first stage, and 23 of the second. "And I really liked it. I;m already thinkg about how I can organize more stages," he says.
An unencumbered Camino
One common fear was whether or not they would be prepared for the hardness of the Camino. Eva confesses that it is not sleeping in hostels or travelling with a backpack. With this initiative, it would be something new for her. The first experience enchanted her. The second she did not have to suffer, since thanks to #PaqMochila from the Post Office, the traveller transferred luggage from stage to stage without having to carry it. "We convince ourselves that we are not capable but then discover that it is possible. There are many ways to travel the Camino and this service is wonderful. It is neither more nor less Camino. The important thing is to have the experience, be with people and to discover incredible towns and landscapes," she relates.
Miguel: "On the Camino, we’re all equal. We regress to simple habits. And this allows you to meet people and better understand yourself.”
These perks at the time of travelling the Camino also encouraged Lorena: "Travelling the Camino is not doing penance. It's enjoying the landscape, the people, the experience," Lorena confirms, for whom it is evident that services like #PaqMochila contribute to more people, like her, losing fear of travelling the Camino.
Miguel is of the same opinion, especially if we speak of cases like his, in which the Camino is done with minimal intendancy. In fact, he tells us that he's been trying to convince his wife for years and believes with these types of services, he can do it. "On the Camino, there is always sacrifice. The purists will say that this is not the way to travel the Camino. But the important thing in the end is the experiences at the shelters, the meetings and atmosphere that you breathe, it's very cool."
Enjoy time and others
And this is precisely what the three are left with after their first Camino: the feeling of brotherhood and having time for oneself. "On the Camino, we are all equal. You regress to simple habits. And it allows you to meet people and get to know yourself," Miguel says, for whom it was it was best to live the feeling of brotherhood and solidarity, which he says he also has found in sports.
"There are very good vibes, like good energy all the time. On the Camino, sometimes you are left behind or go alone, and there are always people to talk to, who ask you questions," adds Lorena.
Lorena: “The Camino speaks to you. And you reflect.It’s a way of overcoming and being with yourself.”
Eva adds a third factor: enjoying time. "When you finish the stage at 3 in the afternoon and you have nothing to do. It's like recapturing the feeling when you were a child and went to the village, enjoying free time with nothing else to do," explains Eva. "Time stands still and is enjoyed more. And at the same time, it also favours the encounter. Then you realize the happiness of being together."
Is there something that surprised our walkers? Lorena is clear: "I did not expect so many old people or those from so far away. The Camino is international." Throughout only two stages, Eva, Lorena and Miguel crossed paths with people from Brazil, Australia, Korea, France and Germany. "That is the magic of the Camino. Being with people you would never meet in your regular life and going to towns you would have never passed or stopped in for more than 10 minutes."
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¡Buen Camino! This is our wish at Correos! – that pilgrims can fully enjoy their Camino and discover new places, histories, people and experiences through our postcards.