This is my third week on the Way of St. James, and I think I’m finally getting the hang of it (but perhaps not French computers, which is making this post excruciatingly difficult). After walking about 400-500 km I have recognize certain sounds that pop up wherever I happen to be. If you close your eyes after reading this, hopefully you will get a sense for what it sounds like to walk The Way.
1. The wind rustling through trees and high grass.
2. The distant roaring noise of a car approaching you on the highway, and the rush of sound a it passes you.
3. The cacophony of buzzing you hear — either high tension power lines overhead, or a symphony of crickets chirping in the grass.
4. The unreciprocated echo of church bells tolling in a small village, fading into the still heat of midday.
5. The constant sound of your feet: scratching dry gravel, stomping through high grass, pounding hot asphalt, crackling over dead grass.
And if you listen closely, through the white noise of today you can hear the past whispering to you in the trail of dust in your wake.
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18 thoughts on “5 Sounds You Hear on The Camino de Santiago”
Thank you..wonderful post, I feel like I’m there. Just what I needed today.
Thanks PJ! It’s funny, I put this one up and thought it was terrible. I was in a big hurry to post it since it had been a few days, but what do you know, you liked it so that counts for something, yeah?
Ah, Nathan, the poetry of the road has entered your soul. Well done.
Thank you Dennis–for reblogging this post, and for the encouragement. Even if I wanted to quit, I never could with people like you and PJ behind me.
Our pleasure, Nathan. We are living vicariously through your travels. BTW, how long will you be in Europe? PJ and I will be returning to France in May.
See you then 🙂
Reblogged this on Via Lucis Photography and commented:
We are following Nathan Mizrachi’s blog “Life is a Camino” as he walks the Compostela pilgrimage. Today we learned that the poetry of the road has joined him as a companion.
I love your blog, Nathan, and I treasure silence. Today’s entry affirms what you hear when you listen. Thank you for making this trek — one I’ve been interested in for some time but am unlikely ever to be able to do. Thank you for doing it for me.
Hi Judy, I thought I had replied to this comment but I guess not. I really appreciate your support, and am glad you have enjoyed following my journey. You’re not the first person to mention that they can’t make it, and I obviously don’t know your story, but I have met people on the Camino that are nearly 60, and people that manage to live off of 5 Euros per day and basically beg their way along the road. But in any case, if you can’t make it here then I’m glad to share my travels with you.
Treasure that awareness the rest of your life. The poetry of the road can live with you, inform you, comfort you and leave you with precious memories.
Thank you Aquila! This is as close as I can get to bottling the essence of the Camino, but long after I reach Santiago it will still rest in the cavities of my mind.
It’s wonderful that you are doing this now, as a young man. Having the experiences and memories will be priceless.
You forgot the snoring…and the “tick, tick, tick” of trekking poles on the pavement…those are two sounds I will never forget from the Camino! Great blog post!
Ugggh let’s not talk about the snoring. There was a ton of that last night in the refuge. Glad I’m going one stage further than them tonight because even with earplugs on it was incredibly loud!
Where did you walk from when you did the Camino? When was it?
I walked in 2010 on the Frances, hospitaleroed in 2011 in Santo Domingo de la Calzada and walking in 2012 on the Portuguese from Porto…Spring the first time, fall the next time…fall is my favorite.
That’s so cool! I wonder about the process of being a hospitaliero, how does one go about applying for a position?
You just need to go through the training. I strongly suggest going through the Canadian Company of Pilgrims training vs. the American Pilgrims on the Camino training…it costs half as much and the trainers are awesome! I live in Oregon, so I drove up to Port Angeles, WA and took the ferry to Victoria, BC for a long weekend and even with gas/ferry/training fees, it was at least 50% cheaper than if I had stayed in the US and traveled somewhere for training. You can also do the training in Spain, if you have good Spanish. Or you can just ask a private albergue about volunteering too. Lots of options. I’m happy to help if you are interested. It’s a hard job that pilgrims really don’t appreciate until they serve! I added your blog to my other website: http://www.caminodesantiagopress.com
Funny, I’ve actually been up to Port Angeles…an interesting story for another day, perhaps.
But my Spanish is fine, so I suppose I can just learn down there. Thanks so much for adding me to your other website! I wondered if there was a place like this–it’s so interesting to read blogs by other peregrinos out there.