If someone had told me that YOU, Vita, would take the road to Santiago once – I wouldn’t believe it! Anyone but ME?!? The desire was, the insecurity, the insecurity were superior to my supposed desire.
However, it turns out that the seed, which was only sown to me in about 2017, slowly sprouted, sprouted and sprouted and realized in my first march in Santiago, which I started at Easter 2022 in Pamplona on April 14 and finished on April 30 in León.
I can only marvel at how creative God was and still is to make the desires I had expressed truly incredible to myself and the possibility.
… For the first time, I heard about the Santiago Road from a friend who was a “summer” walker and also accustomed me to several days of hiking along the seashore. When the sea was known, I started to get acquainted with mountain climbing. My experience is still small – only Toubkal was conquered – the Atlas Mountains in Morocco and some Tatra peaks and trails on both the Slovak and Polish sides. I liked the mountains, but the road to Santiago could be completely different! A foreign land, a foreign language, foreign people – in the way you are doing everything .Hmm… very tempting, but for me? Will I be able to live with myself, not be afraid of the unknown? Will I have enough strength, endurance, money, vacation days and communicate like more ..? And those language barriers! I learned German at school, which I forgot a lot about, hardly anyone in Spain would be interested in talking, and not so much in Latvian! Sounds completely impossible! Eh!
Then in 2018 Sandra Rone visited us at the parish summer camp with a miraculous story about how she has traveled this Santiago route more than once and in different directions, as well as about the fact that such a road has started to become in Latvia and how difficult, time-consuming it is! it is difficult to build this road, because so many people know nothing about such a road and they have to be persuaded to allow it to be in Latvia as well. Again, my heart is pounding. I admire Sandra’s courage, confidence, energy and zeal. Would you like to help her, just like ..?
As time goes on, Facebook notices here and there the end of the article about the road to Santiago, somewhere in the press there is a message I read carefully, but I still don’t think it would work for me, and it all remains fantasy.
Until July 2021, suddenly, out of blue air, the opportunity to participate in a week-long march here in Latvia, measuring the road from Riga to Skaistkalne, falls. However, it would be much safer to go to Latvia – the language itself, people are their own, everything seems to be known and not to be worried about, and in this march, both accommodation and sightseeing tours along the way have been organized. For the first, long, my way of dating – ideally – just go, watch and find out! Here I made a decision quickly, without hesitation for a moment! And I am so grateful to God for this momentum and encouragement, because at that time I would not even realize that this was a turning point in my future life!
I went along with our Latvian Camino road makers and other interested people! This abundance of stories heard, descriptions of the experiences and feelings of the Santiago road, the presence of the world’s breath, the difficulties of pedestrians, the joy and their revelations! I listened to the bells, the road ran under my feet unnoticed. Well, I already knew that one day I might actually do it, even though the question – WHEN – would remain unanswered. There is already so much to go, see and experience in Latvia! Do you have to run that far right away?
Speaking of my first multi-worker in Latvia – yes, it was hot, all the edges from the unusual number of kilometers and heavy bags hurt, but there was (and still is) something indescribable about it. It’s the magic of the road, which may not be felt by everyone, but I’m glad it fascinated me.
When the people I met on this Latvian trip went to Spain very soon, I followed their stories on FB with great interest. And I felt that I was gradually going through processes like in the game “Warm. Even warmer! Hot! ” – The internal tingling had resumed.
Then I got sick with Covid. There is a lot of free time and now there is a real interest in getting acquainted with Zaiga Ābele’s book “My Way”, which had been waiting for my opportunity to be read on my bookshelf for several years. Well, I trembled everything, how much I wanted to experience YOUR way! In the middle are all the little but significant touches of God in the direction of Santiago – I will not waste your time counting them all. But then, at Christmas, on my 50th anniversary, I received a beautiful wish – May the sun, the sea and the wind! It was like a strong click – I felt that I really wanted to dare and give in and that I was finally ready for the miracle I would definitely experience!
The time from Christmas to Easter went unnoticed – learning Spanish, taking care of things to take with you and training your physical abilities. Although as the war in Ukraine began and continued, I was overwhelmed with thoughts – if I really had anything else to do when such terrible things were happening nearby, my BIG day had come and the journey could begin!
410 km were covered in 17 days. I would lie if I said it was easy, but infinitely beautiful and inspiring though!Villages seen on the way – large and small; cities and towns; glorious churches and cathedrals; architecture; the breath of history and antiquity felt at every step; mountains and hills; the diverse nature that was so fragrant, bright and colorful in its spring bloom; vineyards that have just begun their growing process; the expressive daily chirping of birds and cuckoos; unusual Spanish food (oh, this white bread always and everywhere); the sound of Spanish, which was even successfully used and understood much less; the kindness, responsiveness of the local people, the desire to help if necessary, even with elements of the “silent show”; diverse accommodation; various weather conditions – from +28 degrees to wet snow, prolonged rain and back to +23; and conversations, conversations, conversations… with yourself, with God and with companion Sandra! And where are all the others, pedestrians on the road of different ages and from so many different countries – Germany, Italy, France, South Korea, America, the Netherlands, Brazil and so on. it was seen that new friendships and acquaintances were formed along the way. Anyway! There is so much in common and unifying for these people!
Yes, in Spain, every traveler can feel welcome! The road is also appropriately marked with large road signs that are already visible along the part. There are also arrows on a variety of surfaces and locations. The pavement, tiles and asphalt have built-in shells that show the direction of travel. It is impossible to get lost (unless you walk early in the morning when there is little sunlight and the headlight beam is in a narrow range ). There is also no need to worry about water supplies, as almost every town has water pumps that have survived even from historical times. Benches or other places to take a breathe and relax are also often provided. (Eh, how blessed it would be for a good Latvian official to be on this path, who makes different reservations about why all the above is not possible with us in Latvia)! Although Covid has unfortunately closed down many of the open-air bars and bars, it can be felt that the ROAD is slowly coming alive again!
Yes … this WAY was so fascinating, “delicious”, blessed and inwardly transforming that I already know – the sequel will follow! This French road must go all the way to Santiago de Compostela! A little more than 320 km. And nothing would end there, because there are still so many roads in the world and in our own beloved Latvia!
Maybe it was Sandra’s merit, maybe it was the WAY magic, or maybe it was God’s work on me, but now I have a feeling that I can dare to get out of the ordinary, I can not only dream, but also realize my dreams, because this life is mine, and it’s so short and runs infinitely fast.
A heartfelt thank you to everyone who inspired me to experience my heart SING!
Buen Camino! Hasta luego!