The Camino de Santiago (the Way of St. James) is a large network of ancient pilgrim routes stretching across Europe and coming together at the tomb of St. James (Santiago in Spanish) in Santiago de Compostela in north-west Spain. The most popular route (which gets very crowded in mid-summer) is the Camino Francés which comes nearbij the Hospederia Guts Muths.
The network is similar to a river system - small brooks join together to make streams, and the streams join together to make rivers, most of which join together to make the Camino Francés. During the middle ages, people walked out of their front doors and started off to Santiago, which was how the network grew up. Nowadays, cheap air travel has given many the opportunity to fly to their starting point, and often to do different sections in successive years. Some people set out on the Camino for spiritual reasons; many others find spiritual reasons along the Way as they meet other pilgrims, attend pilgrim masses in churches and monasteries and cathedrals, and see the large infrastructure of buildings provided for pilgrims over many centuries.
Walking the Camino is not difficult - most of the stages are fairly flat on good paths. The main difficulty is that few of us have walked continuously for 10, 20 or 30 days. You learn more about your feet than you would ever have thought possible!
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