During my recent Camino, I received an email from Bozidar & Marjanca who wished to tell their story about their Camino. Thank you for getting in touch!
I don’t remember when I first heard about Camino de Santiago – but since then, I very much wished to walk the Way. My dream came true in the summer of 2013, when my wife and I walked from León to Santiago de Compostela. The following year we walked from Saint Jean Pied de Port to León. We returned in 2016 and walked to the end of the world, to Cape Finisterre. Those summers still hold the most beautiful memories for us.
Before we left for our first Camino, we thought we were prepared, because we walked on many trails and hills around our home town, but on the Way we got blisters, as many others did. It was easier to handle them as the way leads you through beautiful landscapes, many beautiful villages and cities with rich history. However, the Camino sometimes takes you through industrial suburbs and abandoned villages, and of course sometimes blisters and muscles also hurt more. Many people say that Camino is a lot like life: it not only includes happiness and beautiful things, but also pain and tough times. There are many opportunities for conversation along the Way, but also time for silence and reflection.
During the walk we can recall already forgotten events, beautiful moments as well as sad memories. On the other hand, we started thinking about plans for the future. Many people also say that Camino does not only purify the body while walking but also the soul. As a result, our feelings were not only wonderful when we arrived at the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela – at the same time we were sad, because the journey was over… and we realise that the best thing we can do after our Camino is that we try to continue our Camino each day of our lives.
Bozidar and Marjanca Rustja, Slovenia
Now that the Christmas festivities are over, it is time to bid farewell to 2016 and look forward to 2017. While I did enjoy my short jaunt on the Camino Fisterra in September, 2016 in general will not be missed. Also while I am writing this post, I hear that Carrie Fisher has just passed away. Sigh, may she rest in peace, along with the many other people who have been taken far too early. How and ever, closer to home, my broken wrist should shortly be healed fully and I hope to move into my new humble abode in the first quarter of the year. I say all this with two fingers crossed behind my back, while keeping hold of my collection of 4-leaf clovers!
But one thing that I’ve been quietly planning since September was a return to Spain and the Camino Frances. I can’t seem to pull myself away from it. My destination has been unclear however. One time, I wanted to walk the meseta, the next I wanted to try the Camino Ingles, and another I had wanted to try the Camino Portuguese from Porto. This is the downfall of only having two weeks to work with. I was really unsure of a starting point until November. But I’ve made up my scattered mind now and have decided to walk from the beautiful city Leon to Santiago de Compostela, 300 km over a period of roughly 14 days. I have chosen April 25th as my start date and have my flights and accommodation in Leon arranged. While I have walked from Leon a number of times, I haven’t walked beyond Sarria since 2011. I have chosen Leon as a starting point as I really enjoy the hills from Astorga to Molinaseca, especially on a warm day. I am also going to see if I can avoid the end stages in Brierley’s guidebook. The towns of Hospital de Orbigo, El Acebo, Cacabelos and Las Herrerías may be small but they are fab places to stay. Other times, I have passed them not giving them a thought.
So now is a great time to create the #caminodesantiago2017 hashtag and write how I’m getting on until April. Kit-wise, I have little to change which is a saving grace! I was also given a little action camera over Christmas which I fully intend to use. I have ordered a little clip that will attach it to my backpack strap so I can take plenty of random videos and photos.
And just to finish this post, I want to wish you all a happy New Year! Feliz Ano Nuevo!
…it’s got a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
..I haven’t got used to writing it yet, but at least we have got one extra day to try and complete all those New Year’s resolutions, eh?
Christmas was good but I’m happy to be out of silly season. There wasn’t much walking done however, as the weather was as Irish as you can get. However, I was one of the lucky ones as hundreds of homes around Ireland were destroyed due to flooding. The beautiful Lough Derg Way which I walked last year, and the towns surrounding it, is submerged in water. The weather in general has been unusual for this time of the year with tornadoes in America and extreme heat in Australia. I find it insane that some people still don’t believe in global warming.
Anyway, moving on…
I’m really eager to receive a new purchase in the post next week. I love keeping an eye out for books (paperback or kindle) about the Camino and I have found one written by Luke Darracott. Luke walked the Camino a couple of years back and decided to write about it before going. He also video logged his journey. Once I receive it and read it, I will post a review. It can be bought online on lulu.com. I love the cover art, it’s very vibrant and it’s just like the Camino during the months of May and June.
And finishing up for now, I’ve decided on returning to Spain in September when I will walk from Ponferrada to the coast. I haven’t walked this section since 2012 so I’m eager to return. More on that later.
Well I received my itinerary this morning for my trip. I will be boarding a flight to Santiago on Saturday 4th and arriving there just before 1pm. I’m sure there will be others on board who will be taking part in the walk, and they will go about it at their own pace and speed. We awake at 7.30am each morning which is fine by me, but I’m sure the late nights we will have will change my opinion sharpish. It’s amazing the amount of good wishes and positive feedback I am getting for doing this from work, Facebook and on Twitter. Even two years ago I would never have thought of doing it and if it was not for my father working for Aware, I would never have heard of the Camino. I hope to take a good few pictures and eventually upload them. This will probably be the last post I make before then so over and out until I arrive back.
I’ve got little over three weeks now before I head off to sunnier climes to Spain. We head off on the 4th to Madrid and after a long drive to Sarria we camp for the night before starting the trek. As far as I am aware, there are 9 taking part, three of which I spoken to already. So I have great reason to be looking forward to this and the challenge. So far, I have raised just over €500 so I have a bit to go before I hit my target.
I am working away with some fundraising however. A GAA Fantasy football league, which I mentioned in my previous post, has been arranged and that is due to start on the 22nd of this month. Also I have a table quiz organised for the 13th of May and I am hoping a load of people turn up as it will be good fun. And after all it is Friday!
Have been slacking on the practice to be honest. Up to mid-April I was walking roughly 5 hours a week, including 10km walks during the weekend. The last few weeks I haven’t done much, mostly due to a lack of motivation and when you have bad days at work, exercise is the last thing you want to do. Just need to get back in gear again and I will be ok.
Other news. I went along to my 2nd meet up of Twitter users last night. Some people I have met previously, and some I met for the first time. Aptly called DubTweaster, a good crowd met in Solas on Wexford Street for some pre-party drinks before going next door to the Village. I had a great night! I have met some good friends from Twitter in the last 6 months and it has kind of kicked my social life back into shape again. Much drink was consumed and many creme eggs were eaten 🙂 Here’s to the next meet up!
Now I am off to have some food before going for a walk in the evening.