Hati Hati Buen Camino

Hati Hati means be careful in Indonesian. It’s a common farewell, I guess as to leave the comforts of home is inevitably inviting danger. This is what my Balinese neighbors wished me today as I left for my Camino. Traditionally your Camino begins at your front door… YES, I have begun! I am writing this at Denpasar airport (but probably won’t post until tomorrow).

I am packed (sort of)… all to be sorted and rearranged / discarded(?) when I am in Paris, as I really packed for three trips – the bike ride, the hike, and the recovery (I need a nice dress and my smart boots to wear while toasting my accomplishments). I plan to store some, and post some back to Paris along the way, so my load will become lighter, physically, and hopefully metaphysically, as that’s what a pilgrimage is about, right?

I have my Credencial del Peregrino (pilgrims passport), it arrived in the mail a couple of weeks ago… And did cause a flutter of excitement. I have my scallop shells, the ancient symbol of St James and the Camino. I am going to attach one to my bike, and another to my pack. Last night I sewed a small clam (not quite a scallop, but close enough) to my hat. I have my stone, laden with wishes and desires to leave at the Cruz de Ferro. I have sorted some CouchSurfing hosts for my first couple of nights of my trip, and my dear friend is meeting me at the airport in Paris to ease me into the land of fromage et vin.

And so with expectation, some trepidation, I board the plane for what may be a life changing(?), well perhaps just a life affirming journey. With that I’m not sure I can wish this to myself, but I will anyway – Sally, Buen Camino!

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