Some medieval history, St. James Day and other things…

  • Camino Society walk – 23rd July
  • St James Day – 25th July
  • Tentative plans for 2023
  • Diving head first into YouTube
  • If you want to support Clearskies Camino…?

Phew, I am struggling to write for you guys. I used to post much more here. I best get my thinking cap on and lose this writer’s block. If any of my readers have any tips that you would be willing to pass on, please do share! I haven’t forgotten that I am currently in Oia on the Portuguese Camino – so I have another few days left.

Ballyhack, Co Wexford / Passage East, Co Waterford – 23rd July

July 23rd is over a week ago at this stage. I traveled to the south of Ireland and met with a large group from Camino Society Ireland. You might have seen photos on my other social media accounts. Passage East is not a huge part of the world and not a part one would associate with having a pilgrim path, but if Damien McLellan has his way, you never know how the next few years may turn out. Damien is a local historian and veteran pilgrim whom we met when we arrived in Ballyhack. He has spent quite some time researching a possible link between Ballyhack / Passage East and the Camino de Santiago. He has written a piece for History Ireland which you can read here.

It was a miserable day and with the wind gusting in from the sea, I couldn’t see the sun coming out for the forseeable. However, every was in good spirits and looking forward to the day ahead. I always ensure to bring rain gear with me on these walks, as you never know what kind of weather will crop up. The great thing was that everyone was prepared and we had a cup of tea and some food before we set off on a brief walk and talk. I had come down from Dublin with my friend Elizabeth but there were 30-odd other pilgrims there, so it was a good crowd. As Damien talked about the day ahead, I couldn’t help notice how passionate he was telling us about his findings. He obviously had spent some time researching this and he has walked a good few kilometres along the Camino de Santiago in France and Spain.

With Elizabeth in Ballyhack

It was great to walk some of the pilgrim path it is believed that pilgrims walked on to Dublin. I say some because most of the path is on private property. It was also great to come home to Dublin learning something new:

  • Residents of Ballyhack used to earn a living by farming cockles along the shore. There is a house along the coast with a sign saying “Cockle House”.
  • There was a St James Church in Ballyhack until the turn of the century. All that remains is the graveyard and the altar. We were told that some stones from the original St James Church were taken and used to build St James Church of Ireland church further down in Duncannon.
  • Pilgrims would have walked to New Ross. From there, they would have followed the River Barrow and then on to Dublin.
  • Another thing I didn’t know is that you need to get a ferry from Co. Waterford to Co. Wexford. It was a fun experience!

Here is a short YouTube video I created about the day:

St. James Day – 25th July

St. James Day is special for all pilgrims. Some pilgrims like to mark the occasion by being with other pilgrims, some pilgrims like to watch a film or read a book about the Camino. Others, like me, like to walk a favourite route. I was off work on the 25th and 26th of July so I was able to zone out from the stress of the 9 to 5. So yes, I took a walk and I had a refreshing day, but I did think of my pilgrim friends. I watched the celebrations online later in the evening which was fun.

Tentative plans for 2023

I’m excited for next year. Truth be told I wouldn’t mind going on another Camino in September but I know a few people who wouldn’t approve. So next year is the next best. I will be returning to the Camino Portugués again. I did enjoy the Coastal route in May. As things stand I have a flight bought to Lisbon for the 8th of April 2023 and a flight home from Santiago two weeks later. Where I start walking is anyone’s guess. Leave your suggestions below! In 2019, I walked from Lisbon to Agueda so I would like to start where I finished and walk until I have no time remaining. I have plenty of time remaining to formulate a plan. So we will see where it goes.

Umbrella Sky Project in Agueda – Impactplan.pt

Diving head first into YouTube

As you can see, I have started to create some content on YouTube. Not all of it is good and I am very much a beginner. But I am willing to start at square one. The videos released are mainly slideshows of photos / videos from previous Caminos but I want to be comfortable enough where I can speak in front of my camera. To do that I need to prepare as I have one or two confidence hurdles to get over. As I have said, I am not stopping writing to concentrate on something else. I won’t stop writing as it gives me great joy. I am always open to suggestions regarding topics I should cover – leave them in the comments below.

If you want to support Clearskies Camino…?

And last but not least. If you would like to support what I am doing here, you can do so. If you enjoyed reading a post, I accept cafe con leches by clicking the link below or to the side. This is totally optional and open to any anyone who enjoys my content. Let me know if you have any questions.

Buen Camino!

If you like what you see, let me know by hitting the ★Like button and leaving a comment. You can read about my Caminos as far back as 2013, just click “Previous Caminos” below. If you want to hang out with me between posts, then follow me on Instagram and Facebook for more frequent updates. I can also now be found on YouTube.

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