Immediately after booking my flight to Madrid, I ordered a copy of John Brierley’s A Pilgrim’s Guide to the Camino de Santiago. Even though I already had an older edition that I’ve been perusing for a couple of years, I figured it was better to travel with the most recent publication. The book arrived in the mail from Amazon two days later.

I’ve begun reading; however, I don’t plan to try to absorb all of what Mr. Brierley has to offer prior to my departure. I do want to become familiar with the route, at least in a minimal sense. But like the guide suggests, I will let the path lead me rather than try to pre-determine my every step.

One thing that the author strongly suggests is that pilgrims have a “spiritual purpose for taking the journey.” At the present I haven’t quite determined if I do. I suppose I’ll know when that occurs, and I fully expect that it will. Like with my steps, I’ll let the path determine my inner journey as well.

For now I just plan to read about the Camino. I’ll walk some each day and continue to run four or five days a week until I leave. Occasionally, I’ll train with a full pack. I hope the “full” pack will never weigh any more than fifteen pounds. That seems like a reasonable goal.

Over the next five weeks I plan to write a few pre-walk entries in this journal. Some may be informative while other will be reflective. Like with the walking, I’ll let the spirit lead. And I’m looking forward to finding out exactly where that is.

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