Regina G Beach

The only constant is change.


I wrote a guest post for Jake Treks. Below is an excerpt from that essay.

I’m taking a long walk.

It isn’t the walk I’d thought I’d be taking this year. At the end of the week I’ll be flying to Biarrintz, France to start a month-long, 500-mile Catholic pilgrimage across northern Spain on the French Route of the Camino de Santiago. I am not Catholic, but that’s not strictly necessary. Anyone can obtain a pilgrim’s passport granting them cheap accommodations in the Albergues, the dormitories sponsored by towns and churches along The Way.

The Santiago de Compostela Cathedral has held the the relics of St. James (Iago in Spanish) since the 9th century. Catholic pilgrims walked an old route that followed the Milky Way to Fisterra. Before the New World was “discovered” by Europeans, people thought Fisterra was literally the end of the world.

Medieval pilgrims walked for one of three reasons: they, themselves were faithful; they were paid by wealthy Christians to walk on their behalf; or they were criminals who chose to walk off their penance rather than rotting away in a jail cell. Over 300,000 people earned their Compostella (certificate of completion) in 2018 so I’ll be in good company.

My goal is to walk between 15-20 miles per day. I have 31 days and need to maintain a 16-mile per day average to complete the walk on time. This seems like an audacious goal for someone who hasn’t backpacked more than a few days at a time. I’ve kayaked and biked for weeks on end, but this time I won’t be paddling or rolling. My feet will be my wheels and I’ll carry everything I need on my back. I don’t doubt I can do it. If I’ve proven anything to myself, it’s that I can and like to do hard things. 

Read the rest and see more pictures here.