Everyone Does Their Own Camino—Luxury Version

“When you told me about the Camino,“ our friend John said, “you talked about hostels and sharing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. If you had told me it was going to be like this . . . “ Dad had just called John to fill him in on our adventures and the latest four-star hotel we were staying in. “We’re doing a luxury Camino,” Dad explained, repeating the words I’d used many times on this trip. “Here, I’m going to put Becky on.” Dad handed me the phone.

I didn’t even greet John. I started right in with my Camino educational-moment-of-the-day. “Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain walked the Camino to Santiago. We’re doing it their way. I’m pretty sure they had people carrying their bags for them and they probably stayed at some pretty nice places.” Municipal hostels didn’t exist when they walked it. . . Last night we stayed in a former palace that dates to the 1500s—I’m thinking that was more their style. Though they couldn’t have stayed in that place specifically because they walked in the late 1400s.

A popular phrase along the Camino is “everyone does their own Camino,“ by which we mean that there are many ways to do this journey. There are, in fact, hardly any rules. The only one I know of is that if you want to get your official compostela certificate at the pilgrim office in Santiago, you must get your pilgrim credential stamped twice per day for the last 100 km. But other than that, there’s no definitive rule book.

So Dad and I will carry our day packs, enjoy our air-conditioned room and private bathroom. You can call us King Lou and Princess Rebecca if that makes these accommodations easier for you to accept.

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