Iago I bought for my first Camino. I hadn´t ever had trekking poles before. It took a day or two to get used to him, to accustom myself to this strange extra limb. But he soon felt like an old friend. In Conques a kind girl in the tourist office gave me Thérèse - she´d been left behind by an American pilgrim - and I quickly found out that two poles were much better than one. Thérèse lost her pointed tip some time ago, but she still performs well.
Iago and Thérèse, my right hand and my left hand. I really couldn´t manage without them. They help me up and down steep mountain slopes, they stabilize me on rock and in mud, they protect my knees from strain and injury. They give me confidence to ford rivers and streams. They warn off any dogs which turn out to be aggressive rather than simply curious. They embody the polar principles of the very Camino itself, both its yin and its yang, its sun and its moon, its positive and its negative. They are poles working together, always in rhythmic harmony, never apart. They are both the Spanish and the French halves of the Camino´s soul. They connect me with the earth below, yet also point up to the sky above. They keep me grounded, yet also promise the radiance of the stars.