Biking Camino de Santiago Spain

Living for the moment

Cycling the Camino de Santiago
Written by Kirstie Pelling

Living for the moment

Kirstie Profile SmallI’ve joined the crowd and discovered the delights of the MP3. I now see why the children have been so absorbed on blisteringly dull patches of riding. Grinding up long steep hills with burnt land or vineyards stretching out as far as the eye can see is so much more fun and atmospheric when you can do it with Sting crooning away about his ‘fields of gold.’

Fields of Gold Camino de Santiago

These Fields of Gold came alive when I was listening to Sting

Gary gets me through the tough stuff

Last night on a particularly hard stretch of gravel, with the sun blasting into my face and no breeze, it was only Gary Barlow that got me through the whole ordeal. And as I rode out yesterday from Logrono, a burst of Mozart coincided with the beginning of this dirt road next to which miles of fence had been studded with home made crosses. Literally tens of thousands of them; little and large wooden sticks gathered from the scrub and weaved into crosses, framing the urban landscape and the motorway beneath with a studded wall reminding the religiously motivated pilgrims of why they are there, and giving the others something interesting to look at.

Crosses on the Pilgrim Motorway Camino de Santiago

Crosses on the Pilgrim Motorway Camino de Santiago

Am I missing the point?

As I clung on for dear life to the handlebars (I hate going off road) I wondered if for most of this road I have missed the point of it. I’ve been worrying away about the cycling, concentrating on getting from A to B, and taking care of feeding the kids whereas so many others are there to feed their souls and concentrate on their spiritual path. In my experience there’s little room for finding yourself when you’re fully occupied scrabbling around to locate clean socks for everyone, ensuring there’s enough healthy food in the picnic bag to feed the rabble at least three times a day, and locating the right road at the right time, when everyone is in the right mood.

Collecting Water on Camino de Santiago

Maybe it’s the little moments that matter more than a life changing experience

It’s in the little moments

But then perhaps all our family journeys have been pilgrimages of a kind. While there may not be time for any of those big life changing experiences people talk about, there are hundreds of little ‘moments’ that are spiritual and memorable in their own way. And here you find them when you least expect them. As the children dashed off the bikes to make their own crosses out of wood and grass, I glanced at my baby sleeping peacefully in the buggy, her head lolling, and her spectacles hanging lopsided across her face. Then I thought of our new nephew we’d just been told had been born. The sky was blue, the makeshift crosses led the way down the gravel hill and I had a new battery in the MP3. It’s never just about the cycling.

Cycling a traffic free section of Camino de Santiago

Cycling a traffic free section of Camino de Santiago

About the author

Kirstie Pelling

Kirstie is the Editor of The Family Adventure Project. A professional writer and poet, she's the creative and journalistic force behind many of the stories and features published here. She's a co-founder and co-director of The Family Adventure Project and also works as the #poetinmotion producing and performing poetry for print, video and live performance.

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We're Kirstie & Stuart. We share an adventurous spirit, a passion for indie travel and 3 kids. The Family Adventure Project is our long term experiment in doing active, adventurous things together. Find out more...


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