Now, with recent health diagnosis and aging, I’ve had to edit my bucket list. Out goes the Camino de Santiago. I’m not sure if it was a good idea in the first place. Sleeping in communal dorms, sweaty people, snoring, talking in sleep, carb induced flatulence and the like. I like my home comforts. Sure, there are hotels. But a month of walking and staying in hotels would tote up quite a bill, not to mention flights. I’ve done the West Highland Way; that’s good enough, it’s one to tell the grandchildren. A couple of years ago, I met a seventy-six-year-old couple from Arkansas who would come every year and do the walk. Yes, all the way; Glasgow to Fort William. They will be in their eighties now.
I think the biggest appeal about the Camino is the social bonding with people from around the globe; I’ve always desired that — perhaps it’s the lonely child in me that spent his first five years playing alone.
Besides, I live across from the Island of Arran where I meet people from all over the world in the spring/summer months. I’ve met Swedes, French, Norwegians and a kind Israeli doctor and his family whom I accompanied quite a bit up Goat Fell. They were camping up the top for the evening. Goodness, I hope no one sleepwalked.
One that I ticked off from the BL was Preikestolen (The Preachers pulpit). In fact, I did it twice. I’m not sure if I could do it now. I’m thinking of Ecclesiastes 12: 5 when it speaks about growing old: “He will become fearful of what is high.” True, our ear/brain balancing mechanism diminishes as we age.
But when I was up there, I saw teenagers dangling their legs over. A dog that would not stop barking out of fear. A Norwegian friend was telling me his father would do a handstand at the edge. Scary, scary stuff.
Now, back to my revised list.