Camino del Norte Day One – Lisa’s version

Drew is doing a great job of recounting what has been happening during the day, so I don’t want to repeat that. What I’m finding interesting are the thoughts that have been swirling around my head as we walk, and the conversations we have been having on the trail.

Today was surreal. We began the morning by driving in the dark. It felt like we were escaping the hotel, slipping out while everyone in Santander slept. I felt sick to my stomach the entire drive and until we took our first hesitant steps toward Donostia, 20-some km away. How strange to finally be walking! After so many weeks (months?) of talking about it, here we were, in Spain, faced with our first of countless yellow arrows. I couldn’t believe it was really happening. So…now what? Part of me was a little disappointed, is that it? Now we are just…walking. Of course I knew that’s what we signed up for, but the reality of the walking was very different. What do I do with my hands? How much do I stop to look around or take a picture? What should I THINK about? Then there’s the dilemma of other walkers–pilgrims, hikers, grandmas heading to the panaderia or kids skipping to school–do I greet them? Just smile? And what’s the passing protocol? Being the recovering competitor that I am, it is very hard for me not to try to pass every person on the trail. My head tells me to slow down, that we have 800km and many days to go, so there’s no reason to vault ahead. But my heart triggers my legs to move just a titch faster to try to catch up. *sigh* I have a feeling this dichotomy is going to be a problem.

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