Taste of the Camino

We talk all the time about how we’d like to take the kids out on the Camino when they’re older. Well, a couple of weeks ago, we finally did it! It was only for a few hours – and we’d still like to take them out for longer in future years – but at least now our kids can officially say they’ve stepped foot on the trail.

We drove about an hour east to the town of Melide and walked 4km west toward Santiago, had a picnic lunch, then turned around and walked the 4km back to Melide. Three out of four of the children loved the whole experience. The other one loved it, started hating it, then ate lunch, and then was perky again (I guess there is such a thing as hangry*). It was a beautiful day, only a handful of other pilgrims were on the trail, and being out in quiet nature was soothing for (almost) everyone.

Soon after we started walking, we came upon this Camino de Santiago trail marker. The 50.5km engraving meant that there were still 50.5km left to go before reaching Santiago:

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K and M found this waymarker:

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And R enjoyed the abundance of signposts in this particular spot:

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The trail out of Melide took us past this colorful stone house…

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As well as past this church:

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In some areas the Camino was paved:

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And in others it was a dirt road through eucalyptus trees:

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When I walked from Sarria to Santiago a few years ago, this creek was one of my favorite places. The stone bridge is the Camino here (you can’t keep going to Santiago without walking across it):

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Hey, we walked 1.5km already! Yeah!

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On this day we saw sheep, dogs, and cows:

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Halfway through we found a clean picnic table off to the side and got to eat:

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Then it was back to the car and home to Santiago. We’re grateful it was an easy first Camino trip with the kids. Many pilgrims say once they’ve gotten a taste of the Camino, they feel called back again and again. It will be fun to see what happens with B, R, K, and M as they get older, if they keep feeling summoned to walk, or if the Camino feels too close by and they decide to go farther away when they want to explore. We’ll see! But for now, the Camino beckons:

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* Hangry – the state of being when one is so hungry he’s angry. This causes others around him to say, “What’s wrong with you? Get some food and stop being so hangry.”

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