Which word would describe today on the Camino Celta, the Celtic Camino for Pádraig and the rest of us? I’ll remember it as an uphill battle, literally. Forget the hills of Dingle. What we went up today was the equivalent to rock climbing with a wheelchair.
It was getting close to 30 degrees celsius today and it felt like 40. You know one of those days when you’re sweating so much that you can drink sheer endless amounts of water and never have to go to the toilet? Today was one of these days.
But it was magic. There were no nerve-racking incidents today. It almost felt as if we were getting into a routine. Getting Pádraig ready in the morning, down to the hotel lobby in granny’s wheelchair, transfer into his 4-wheel-drive equivalent and off we went. It definitely was a good idea to have a base for a few days here in Órdenes and to get to the day’s starting and back from the day’s finishing points in a taxi. Note: Órdenes has one (!) wheelchair taxi who’s driver, Ramón, is a great man and very helpful when we try to push the MoutainTrike into that gap in his car that is just about wide enough to accommodate it.
When we decided last year that we were going to finish the pilgrimage to Santiago that we had started years ago, walking every year for a few days during Easter week towards Santiago, we didn’t have a clue what we were getting ourselves into. Even now, I’m not sure whether we fully understand what we are doing.
But that is not important. – What is important is that we are doing it.
To me, and I think for Pádraig too, this is a life-changing journey. I’ve heard of people making this journey is a wheelchair. But I’ve never heard of anyone with an acquired brain injury as severe as Pádraig’s walking to Santiago.
Are we mad doing this? – Of course we are. And I’m sure that Pádraig feels that too. And I’m extra double sure that this is the reason, the overriding, principal reason why he is enjoying this trip so immensely.
PS: You might want to check out my first (!) article in TheJournal.ie