93 årige amerikanske Dorothea Adaskin og hendes 60 årige datter gik her i sommer Camino Frances fra Saint Jean Pied de Port til Santiago.
Jeg vil gå en anden Camino i Europa om få år, siger Dorothea Adaskin, der gav sig god tid og gik 15 - 25 km om dagen. Lad hver med at bestille en billet hjem, før du når Santiago, lyder hendes råd til kommende pilgrimme. Hele historien herunder er sakset direkte fra hjemmesiden https://www.goanacortes.com/all_access/article_ebec5774-be72-11e7-80b8-5b4a77cf52cf.html , hvor du også kan se billeder af de to.
Her den engelske udgave:
Mother-daughter pair of Dorothea Adaskin and Tanya Bigge took a vacation this summer, just like many other people.
The difference was their packs were filled with bandages and shoe inserts and only one extra pair of shoes.
Adaskin, 93, and Bigge, 60, both of Anacortes, walked the 500 miles of the Camino de Santiago, starting in France and stretching through Spain.“I am very proud of her,” Bigge said of Adaskin. “She went up and down mountains and walked in the heat and the rain. She was the one that did it. I got to be there.”
Bigge said she went to help her mom but didn’t expect to get as much of out it as she did.
“It is life-changing,” she said.
It’s physically just a walk, she said, but it changes the way you go about your day and the way you think about things.
Adaskin agreed and said she got her own perspective from it, as does anyone who has ever set foot on the Camino de Santiago.
“Everyone walks a different camino,” Adaskin said.
Healthy and uninjured
Adaskin said when she was starting out on the camino, she had two goals: to walk the whole thing, beginning to end, and to end the trip well and healthy, with no injuries.
“We managed to do that,” she said.
She said news of her would travel up and down the trail. People were shocked to discover her age and would take photographs with her out on the trail.
Sometimes, she would arrive at an alberque (a Spanish word meaning hostel), and people would be waiting for her, asking her if she was the 93-year-old walking the camino.
“We were always hugging people on the trail, people we had never met,” Adaskin said.
The albergues were set up along the route and contained several rows of bunk beds, around 6 to 30 in a room, Adaskin said.
Adaskin is no stranger to travel. She has seen many countries around the world and has studied in Denmark twice.
The women had tried a portion of the trail before, but their other walking companion, a friend from Bulgaria, only had a limited time, so they didn’t complete it.
Adaskin always planned to go back, and Bigge offered to go with her.
Focusing on everything
To get the most out of the trip, they focused on seeing everything they could see.
“It’s the little things, like the variety of the flowers and the plants,” Adaskin said.
There were animals, like dogs, cats and cows along the way, not to mention the farmlands and the wooded areas.
“We wouldn’t have wanted to miss anything,” she said.
She even saw a praying mantis or two, plus all the beautiful scenery and landmarks.
“We saw everything we wanted to see,” she said. “We stopped at every church along the way.”
The history of the landmarks along the camino, and the camino itself, were fascinating, Adaskin said.
The churches, for example, were all built for different faiths and contained so much history. Many times, the people there spoke English, so they could tell her what she wanted to know.
One of those history stops turned into so much more, Adaskin said. Soon after the women started out at the beginning of the trail (in France), they visited a monastery and slept in bunks where monks once slept.
When they moved on, they made it to an abbey and talked to the man who owned it, learned the history and moved on to Pamplona.
The history of the abbey stuck with them, though, and after a night in Pamplona, they turned around and went back to the abbey.
The owner was digging down the walls and the dirt next to the abbey, finding artifacts from centuries ago, Adaskin said. The women spent five days helping him dig and carry dirt away by the wheelbarrow-full.
Adaskin said although she walks in the forest lands and around Anacortes as much as she can, she wasn’t physically ready for the strenuous camino journey, but the work with the wheelbarrows and digging definitely helped prepare her for the rest.
Other people walking the camino would stop to help for an hour or two, as well, Adaskin said.
“It was a really great experience,” she said.
There was also the history behind the camino itself. Adaskin said she was fascinated by the idea of walking where thousands of other people did exactly the same thing.
“We are walking in the footsteps of centuries of people,” she said.
Several people want to get the walk done in a certain time frame or to see how fast they can do it, Adaskin said, but Adaskin and Bigge had plenty of time, so they walked between 15 and 25 kilometers a day (or about nine to 15 miles).
Packing light, taking time
When walking that far, it is especially important to take care of the feet, making sure you have enough inserts and bandages to take care of blisters, Adaskin said.
Bigge said she packed items to help, but since the camino has become so popular, many stores along the way now carry everything walkers need.
That frees up some space in the pack, which can get heavy, Bigge said. The women only brought one change of clothes.
They didn’t always have access to laundry facilities, so they would bring the clothes into the shower and stomp them underfoot to get out the sweat and dirt of the day and then hang them out on bushes near the alberques.
Bigge said the experience made her realize that people rely on stuff too much. On the trail, it’s best to carry a pack that only weighs about 10 percent of a person’s body weight. There is something special about being out with only limited supplies, she said. She realized there are so many things, life’s little luxuries, that she shouldn’t take for granted.
When she got back to the United States, it took time to fit back into the rhythm of everything, she said. She didn’t just get up each morning and start walking first thing.
Other people do the camino in sections at a time, instead of taking the whole thing start to finish, Adaskin said, but she’s glad they went the whole way.
“There is something about staying with it day after day,” she said. “You find a place to sleep, and then you get up and do it again.”
Bigge said everyone on the trail has a different motive but that the camino keeps drawing people back to it. She intends to visit another camino in Europe in a few years.
She said she recommends people go with a one-way ticket. That way, there’s no deadline for a return.
“Live with very little and enjoy what is around you,” Bigge said. “Even the tiredness, the soreness and hunger, just appreciate that for what it is, what it will bring to you later. Don’t complain. It will pass and it will make you stronger.”