Hankes journey to Santiago de Compostela

A tribute to that one unique Hanke
with her great love for people and animals
and her unbridled commitment to true life

Camino Hanke

On the eve of her pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, she turned out to be pregnant. Two deep dreams intertwined in an inextricable thread, Peter’s child and the pilgrimage of her life. Could she break through this happiness of theirs together and leave, or should she give up? Hanke made the choice. She decided to take the trip of a lifetime, along with the child growing inside her.

She carefully packed the essentials of clothing and toiletries into her backpack and the book by Paulo Coelho that had inspired her on this journey. That’s how it would work. Peter took her to the airport the next day and she flew to Biarritz, hitchhiked to Bayonne and took the train to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port where the 795 km hike began.
The pass over the Pyrenees had only just opened and she soon noticed her body protesting. After more than a week, she decided to stop, for herself and for the well-being of her child. Peter picked her up and they traveled back together.

Her deep desire to make the trip to Santiago remained very much alive after the birth of Kees. After two brief attempts with little Kees and a friend, she decided to quit her job in May 2019 and finish her pilgrimage. Peter would take care of Kees and girlfriend Mascha would fly to León with little Kees for a weekend together.

Here is the report of her journey. Partly worked out by herself in preparation for a book, partly taken over by me – her father – from her notes. The style is different and I have not tried to smooth out the difference.

It is a story of the journey that you could call a metaphor of her life. Her life was one long camino, full of encounters and full of love, full of connecting and letting go, and always wanting to get on the road again. Not wanting to grow with roots in the ground, but always looking for a place to ground. Until next time. That’s how it went on the camino, that’s how it went in her life. Again and again she makes deep contact with someone she meets, she opens herself up and listens to the other. And again and again she chooses her own path. That is the story of this journey, that is the story of her life. Hanke’s life was one long camino.


For the entire trip, go to Route in the menu.