A few people have asked me how my walk is coming on, so here’s a little update, it’s on pause.
I had a great time on my first leg from St Germans to Fowey, but I have found that the pandemic really has had a knock on effect to the experience I wanted, and which ultimately contributed to me deciding to pause the walk for a bit.
Firstly, no where was open for me to collect stamps. Part of the appeal of The Cornish Celtic Way, aside from the location and the opportunity to explore my mind and spirituality, was that there were stamps to collect. Similar to the Credential del Perigrino of The Way, there is a Cornish Celtic Way Passport, where local churches and businesses held stamps to monitor and also prove your progress. With all of these shut due to the pandemic, the walking felt less like being part of something, and more just going on a walk.
Secondly, I found it extremely hard to walk a linear walk when there are so many restrictions on public transport and hospitality services. I hated wearing a facemask on the overheated, summer train and when I wanted to get a drink in Seaton I was unable to find a seat socially distanced from the families enjoying the beach. Slim passing places on busy coast paths also filled me with dread and anxiety, it was all just too much for me.
Some might say that those experiences would add to the overall experience of going on a Camino. I would say they are probably right, the Camino is not meant to be easy, it is meant to present challenges to you as you walk, to help you reach conclusions and open your mind. For me though, I needed to press pause.
The second leg is currently in the planning stage, and for those of you following my progress, stage one is almost written up ready for you to read. I’m currently making adaptions to help manage my corona paranoia and whilst I still won’t be able to collect the stamps, I’ll be walking and embracing the challenge in true Camino spirit.