38 Memories And 38 Photos From The Camino De Santiago

One journey seen through daily glances

Nick Barlow
Walk The Walk
Published in
25 min readJun 3, 2022

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I walked over a million steps between Saint-Jean-Pied-Du-Port and Cabo Fisterra. I could have written an account that chronicled them all, but there are already enough books, articles and websites out there about the Camino that writing about it in that sort of detail only serves to obscure the reality of it. Instead, I’ve chosen to take just a couple of things — one memory and one photograph — from each day I walked and maybe from those fragments you can piece together a better picture of the whole.

Day 1

The route has finally left the road behind and headed into the woods I’ve been walking alongside since Valcarlos. I’m walking with a good rhythm, I’m warm in my multiple layers, there’s not too much snow on the ground, and the fingerpost sign says it’s only 4.8km to Roncesvalles. It’s ten to one and even though the path is continuing uphill, I’m sure that means I’ve done most of the climbing for the day and I’ll be there by 2pm.

It’s well after three when I get there, mud and snow still clinging to my boots, fog blocking off any dramatic views, but one important lesson learned: don’t trust the distances on signposts.

The first time the Camino crosses the border from France into Spain is not a dramatic entrance

Day 2

I’m looking up at a clear blue sky, lying on a lawn of artificial grass in a pair of shorts and a t-shirt as I go through a series of stretches after a day of walking. I’ve made it to my albergue in Zubiri and I’m trying to remember that when I set off that morning there was still snow on the ground at Roncesvalles. My body isn’t protesting too much about the walking or the stretching, though, and I’m beginning to think I might just be able to do this.

The Pyrenees look a lot nicer when you’ve crossed them

Day 3

There was supposed to be a café halfway along today’s route, but it was closed, and when the path took a sudden dart uphill on the outskirts of Pamplona, I wasn’t feeling too happy…

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Nick Barlow
Walk The Walk

Former academic and politician, now walking, cycling and working out what comes next. https://linktr.ee/nickbarlow