Before I left for the Camino, I made one more inventory of my backpack to “lighten the load.” Out came:
Sarong from Bali
Travel pack of Tums
Evening wear (tights and long T-shirt)
My two one-liter water bottles (taking one 3/4 liter bottle)
And then . . . On the morning of April 11, I walked out my front door to walk toward the airport. This was no longer a training walk, but the real deal. I left my IPhone behind carrying everything I would need for 6 weeks in my backpack and walked for eight hours without music, audio book, texting, checking the mileage on my Fitbit, posting on Facebook or any other electronic distraction. So my pilgrimage began. I walked and tried to be mindful looking into the eyes of those I passed.
My walk started in Suburbia San Diego where I live. Behind me in this photo is my house and gray skies. But walking south the skies were blue, with white puffy clouds, a day of promise. This in some way mirrored the Camino as most of the day I walked east to west, as I will in Spain. I even saw a yellow arrow, but I think it had to do with underground digging.
The first hour in subIurbia. I passed houses with front yards filled with roses in full bloom. I could smell them three houses away.
And then I turned on to El Cajon Blvd where I walked for the next four hours. This is not one of San Diego’s finest neighborhoods. I saw numerous tattoo, smoke, smog and auto shops- strip malls-pawn shops-used clothing stores-tiny little eateries of every imaginable cuisine-and people down on their luck.
Then I was in familiar territory – Hillcrest -my old stomping ground. I walked right by buildings where I used to work and down Bachman to Hotel Circle. It started sprinkling on me walking toward Old Town so I went in a hotel and asked if. I could wait for a few minutes in their lobby. I was asked for my I.D., given approval and told, “Don’t wait too long.” I guess he didn’t like the backpack look. I left, preferring the light rain.
Before long I was in my hotel room, washing my clothes in the sink, stretching my tight back muscles and preparing for the flight early the next morning.
Tomorrow . . . .travel day.