Martyred by The Camino de Santiago

Martyred by The Camino de Santiago

I’m jabbed by thorns and scratched by hay, and we have barely started.
I must say this hike you planned is not for the fainted-hearted.
I never was a nature girl, in spite of what you think.
With just this amount of moving, I’m already at the brink.

It isn’t even noon yet, and we began at dawn.
“We’ll laugh about this later,” you say as I trudge on.
As we approach the cliff face,  I worry about falling.
This mountain-climbing business is simply not my calling.

You say it’s a mere hillock, but to my exhausted eyes,
a hillock’s just a mountain in another guise.
Are we coming back this way? I ask, hoping the best,
thinking I’ll just wait here as the others mount the crest.

But alas, my hopes don’t gel. This trail leads to another.
Inside, I swear a bloody streak. Aloud, I mutter, “brother,”
as I lift my pack again and leave my comfy rock
to walk and walk and walk and walk and walk and walk and walk.

When the day is finally done and in my bed I’m lying,
I am not laughing much at all, in fact, my dear, I’m crying!
I’ve grown blisters on my blisters and bruises on my bruises.
You can have your damn “Camino.” In the future, I’ll take cruises!!!


Word prompts for the day are: moving, laugh, jab, trudge, falling and hay.

25 thoughts on “Martyred by The Camino de Santiago

    1. lifelessons Post author

      You’ll be gratified to know it is fiction, but would not be fiction if I were to attempt such a feat. I have an 82 year old friend who has done it three times.. the last time to celebrate her 80th birthday!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Linda Crosfield

    Your friend and mine who’s done it three times inspired me! Love your poem. Here’s mine (Spanish words should be in italics, but you know:

    O Cebreiro

    We’ve been warned about this day.
    Hours of walking before the challenge —
    twelve hundred metres accrued ascent
    over thirty kilometres,
    switchback after switchback,
    hardest part at the end.

    And me, barely standing
    after years potatoing on the couch.
    How can I even think of doing this?
    A tensor bandage clutches my ankle.
    Another blistered toe surrenders
    to the kindness of Compeed,
    racks of which in every size
    and shape known to foot,
    greets you in every farmacia.

    Sore and nervous, we walk
    for hours before the steep,
    stop at a fuente,
    pour water on our heads,
    fill our bottles to the gurgle-brim,
    climb and climb until the path runs out
    and we reach the top,
    breathless, grateful,
    high-fiving the sky.


    1. lifelessons Post author

      Where was this, Linda? You realize mine was imaginary, right? How I know I would have reacted!!!! I did have a 12 mile forced-march through the jungle and then a final mile uphill when I was still in my twenties and even that was hard at the time.


      1. Linda Crosfield

        Camino in 2014 for me. Went with my sister and another couple. I don’t think I’ve ever been as proud of myself. Actually just walked half of it—350 kilometres in 15 days—my sis had done the first half the year before and wanted to complete it. About the only reason I even considered it was because of Marjorie-Pauline. I mean, I was a mere 66 when I tried it!


    1. lifelessons Post author

      I used to love climbing as well but not for many years. Yes, it was fiction, but the part of my 80 year old friend doing it three times–the last time on her 80th birthday, was not fiction.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Anna Sime

    My first thought of doing the French route to Santiago, Spain came after hearing about a friend’s experience. I knew I had to do it. I went the year I was 67. The pain is forgotten but the change to me personally is not forgotten. Three years later I did a connected camino the length of Norway and three years later across France to reach the beginning of my first camino. Each one had its pains but the life changing experiences far out way the pains. I might be ready for a 4th when I get my ailing hip replaced. Thanks, Judy, for the reliving of the experience.


    1. lifelessons Post author

      You are a wonder, Anna, and I remember that charming young lady you met on one of your treks.. Was it the first? How do you think these experiences changed you?


    1. lifelessons Post author

      My hat is off to you, Tiffany. Looks like so much fun if one could just do it on motorbike..I know. For shame. I’d get a very quiet one…That’s how we did Bali back before there were any cars there. Magical. My lazy-girl Camino.


  3. Pingback: An Interview with Judy Dykstra-Brown, Teacher, Artist, Poet, Part II | ARHtistic License

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