For my upcoming atheist pilgrimage I've been thinking more and more about walking the camino instead of biking it. I don't have a singular reason for this, but it just seems more in the spirit of a pilgrimage if it is by foot. I think that walking the road will give me a greater relationship with the elements around me as opposed to the contraption I would be riding.
Of course changing my mode also requires other considerations. I was looking at doing the Arles route in southern France, but as this adds another ~500 miles to the trip, that is just not practical for my by foot. I am thinking about the more traditional start of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port on the Spanish/French border.
I am also reconsidering my intentions of doing it backwards. As I am reliant on pilgrim housing, I may run into places not cooperating if I do it in reverse, especially as they might ask questions that lead into my outing myself as a heretic. I am not going to be shy about my heathen nature, but also the purpose of the trip is not to rub it in everyone's face either. Sure, I am planning on bringing On The Origin of Species instead of a bible, but we all need our sacred books.
If I don't end up walking from/to Arles, I still want to go there as it was a haunt of Van Gogh, maybe my favorite artist, and I want to visit and maybe try my own hand at painting some of his scenes such as "Café Terrace on the Place du Forum, Arles, at Night."