No pilgrims in the streets
The effect of the Corona virus on the camino to Santiago de Compostela
As I write this blog, Spain is officially in a lockdown for 4 days. We have to stay inside the house and can only go outside to go shopping or to visit the doctor or pharmacy. I have a special paper that says I have permission to walk to my work at Spain is More. We spend the rest of the day at home (thank you for Netflix already!). For those who have ever been to Spain, knows that this is quite a challenge for Spaniards. Life mainly takes place outside. But now all bars and parks are closed and police are driving through the street to ensure that everyone is following the rules. The world changed completely in a week ...
The camino is waiting for you
It is a strange time. Also for Spain is More. Many pilgrims choose not to go on a pilgrimage now. And for some, there is already no choice, because flights are canceled and hotels along the route to Santiago are closed at least until the end of this month. I really sympathize with them. Pilgrims who have been looking forward for years to walk or bike to Santiago de Compostella, together or alone with their brother, sister, son, daughter or friends. They must postpone or cancel their camino. My heart goes out to all of you. Now is not the time to walk or bike the camino. But the moment will be there. Hopefully soon, because I know from my own experience how a pilgrimage can 'call' you. That now, for whatever reason, it is necessary to step out of your everyday life, to relax, to be in the nature to heal, to get peace in your head and body. The camino is waiting for you all. I know that for sure…
The streets of Leon are empty now. No pilgrims in the square near the cathedral. In the morning you don´t hear the ticking of walking sticks, you don´t see happy and brown faces on the terrace and don´t hear 'buen camino' or other languages around you. The cathedral and the Pilgrims office in Santiago are also closed for a while. The camino, which connects pilgrims from all over the world, has stopped. And so pilgrims now look for each other online. In all kinds of forums, Facebook groups and other social networks, information is shared with each other, questions are answered and support is provided in all kind of ways.
I am positively surprised by the support. From everybody. From our suppliers who rebook or cancel their service free of charge. Taxi drivers, bike suppliers, luggage transporters, hotels, albergues, guides, you name it. Often small companies that are completely focused on the Camino de Santiago. They are extremely vulnerable right now. My heart also goes out to you.
And then our kindly customers! Those who plan or intended to walk or bike to Santiago de Compostela. Who respond with so much understanding for the situation. By email or by phone. Thank you very much! Your understanding, flexibility and patience is also a great support for us in this uncertain time for everyone. I fear that the Corona virus will concern us all for a while. In the meantime, we try to help everyone as much as possible. Do you have questions? Would you like to talk about your planned pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella? Get in touch with us. Also keep an eye on our website for current information.
At the moment I wish you above all a good health, stay safe. Because honestly, that is now the most important thing. Take care of yourself and everyone around you!
Happy Holiday Manager and camino expert