One million steps to Santiago: the road in sixty images

One million steps to Santiago: the road in sixty images

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One million steps to Santiago: the road in sixty images

One million steps to Santiago: the road in sixty images

SERGIO GARCÍA

Santiago’s road

From the Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela, 774 kilometers throughout the north of the peninsula. An ancient route that delves into the very soul of Spain, at the mercy of the stars, the wind and the ghosts of each one

El Camino is like a book with blank pages, bound in vellum, with worn covers and blunt edges. It is enough to consult a map to know how the chapters will be titled, but it is impossible to anticipate. “You make your way by walking,” said the poet, “and when you look back you can see the path that will never be trodden again.” Every slope and bend are the promise of an ampoule as well as a revelation; the logical consequence of following in the footsteps of those who have preceded you for centuries and whose shadow seems to escort the pilgrims as angels did with humans in that Win Wenders film, omnipresent but invisible. The Camino is an infinite succession of beech and chaparral trees, of vine, wheat, sunflower and beet crops; of sweat and saliva adhering to the corners of the mouth as a result of the wind, sun and rain. It is immutable although it changes people with each stage as water does with the river bed. One discovers in the hostels and canteens that, although we are the masters of our own steps, they follow a precise score where the tempo is the least of it, guided by a canvas of stars and a telluric force always oriented to the West. This year is Xacobeo and the rigors of the pandemic have been containing for months that current that is now spilling uncontrollably, with tributaries throughout Europe and beyond. 31 stages unfold before us, from Saint Jean Pied Port, on the other side of the Pyrenees, to the Plaza del Obradoiro, crossing the entire north of the peninsula along the so-called French Route. 774 kilometers, an authentic ‘road movie’ to the Spanish. They accompany us?