Exciting News!!

Yes, the long-awaited print edition of my book: "My Camino Walk - A Way to Healing" (IslandCatEditions) is out and will be available for order either through Amazon or from me direct. Just a temporary glitch is that Amazon want to ensure that I am the author. I can vouch for that although there were times during the writing where  I feel I had been"channeled." Is that what inspiration is about? However, Amazon assures me that you will be able to order the print- book within the next 24 hours. Thank you, Amazon! I also hope to have some copies with me this Saturday. Meanwhile, you can still order the eBook version through Kindle, Kobo or iTunes. Image of the author with walking poles More exciting news: I will be presenting, Saturday 28th October,  at the twice-yearly "All things Camino" meeting [...]

By | October 26th, 2017|1 Comment

Fighting with nuns

Why would I pick a fight with nuns? I seem to bump into several of them walking the Camino. I’m walking for spiritual reasons. They’re  walking for religious reasons. As I mentioned in my book “My Camino Walk - a Way to Healing,” (published 2016 by IslandCatEditions) when I walked in 2010, I met a nun from California. She provided a suitable scapegoat for my rant about the history of the Catholic Church: the Crusades, the Reformation, the Inquisition, the Residential Schools, the physical mistreatment and sexual abuse of young people, the patriarchy and other injustices. She successfully deflected my vitriol by agreeing that the history of the Church is not good but that she was involved in what she hoped was a meaningful way by working with poor people and drug addicts. I realize one can't pick a fight [...]

By | May 29th, 2017|0 Comments

 The Camino continues….

  It's been more than a week after I arrived in Santiago de Compostela at the end of my 1000 km walk from Seville. Because of an unexplained and continual longing for sardines and vintage port, I ended up traveling to Porto to relax, catch up on sleep and indulge (in moderation) my desire for such things. Why the picture of the above famous stairway in a bookstore? Because J.K Rowling spent time here in Portugal teaching to make ends meet before finding literary success with her Harry Potter series. Not that there's any connection with my modest little literary effort entitled "My Camino walk - A Way to Healing," published by IslandCatEditions and available as an eBook with Kindle, Kobo and iTunes. Meanwhile, I'm just spending time hanging out, enjoying the city and surrounding areas and trying to process [...]

By | May 13th, 2017|0 Comments

Relaxing in Port

The title of this posting seems a little decadent as if it were some rather extravagant spa treatment. I decided to make the journey to Oporto in Portugal once I completed my walk from Seville to Santiago de Compostela. During my daily journey of walking northward, I found myself thinking about grilled sardines. It became almost a fixation - lightly salted and slightly crisp on the skin. Nothing complicated about the recipe. I also got thinking about Vintage ports. Another reason to spend some time here. A vintage year has to be declared through an approved independent regulating board, so not every year is vintage. There has to be sufficient excellence of quality among 85% of growers. I'm not interested in Ruby, Tawny or Late Bottle Vintage. The latter is not the same as Vintage. Trouble is the 20 year [...]

By | May 9th, 2017|0 Comments

Arrived in Santiago de Compostela

First sighting of Santiago This is my first time approaching Santiago de Compostela from the south. On the Camino Frances, the entry to the city is less charming and seems to be walking through an endless suburbia of busy roads. On this route, topping the brow of a hill on small roads, there it is in all its ancient glory. According to my poorly translated guidebook, the final 20 kilometres is described as difficult. I'm not so sure I agree for the reasons given. However, my journey was difficult for other reasons - some of my own making. I have alluded several times to being hypnotized by the route. I should be focussed on looking for yellow painted arrows or scallop shells indicating  that I am on the right path. I continue on in a dream like state. [...]

By | May 6th, 2017|0 Comments

Silk purses, sow’s ears and Blue Nun

Sow's ears Sorry I haven't posted for several days. I always need to find a reliable source for Wifi and it isn't always available when walking the Camino. I was in Orense and trying all sort of tapas, including Pig's ears. Three generation from the family run this restaurant including a nineteen-year-old who is washing these ears with a nobbled glove. Just had to try the specialty. Can't say I really liked it, although I want to post this photo to horrify my vegetarian friends. And this photo, with glass held high, is to horrify my non-drinking friends. Seriously though, a brilliant local red wine - chilled somewhat to hide its many imperfections, but deliciously crisp. Obviously I am enjoying it, especially having walked 45 kilometres today. Just another 40 and I arrive in Santiago de Compostela. However, [...]

By | May 3rd, 2017|0 Comments

Trailer for sale or rent…

In my book "My Camino Walk - A Way to Healing," (IslandCatEditions 2016 Kindle, Kobo, iTunes)  I had written that, when walking, the rhythm of the pace can cause a tune going through my head. It is not always a voluntary choice and there's nothing you can do to change it.  Back in 2010, it was "Ten Green Bottles." You know the one: "hanging on the wall..and if  one green bottle should accidentally fall, there's be nine....." Well, this time it was a song that I remember from the 60's and never wanted to hear again: "Trailer for sale or rent - rooms to let 50 cents....two hours of pushing broom...ain't got no cigarettes." Can't quite remember the sequence of the lyrics. So, here's this song going through my head, but it's a small sacrifice to pay for such fabulous [...]

By | April 29th, 2017|0 Comments

Restless night but all’s well

Was feeling congested during the night from my cold and not looking forward to walking especially as the weather is forecasted cold.  Normally I would be on the road by 7.30 a.m One possibility was to take a train one stage beyond. Procrastination has its advantages. By the time I had had breakfast at a local cafe and found my glasses - they were in my right pocket - it was 10.00 a.m. I was feeling fine and would walk today a modest 18 km.  I have never seen such blue If yesterday's walk was a measure of excellence, today's walk was pure bliss. Again, nobody in sight, no traffic on the road, vistas of excellence, I found myself exclaiming aloud. "Fuck, it can't get any better than this." I have recently been in conversation with a couple [...]

By | April 27th, 2017|0 Comments

A not so good day and a good day

I would like to say that I left my luxury suite in Puebla de Sanabria well-rested and in good shape. The reality is that I have caught a cold. I imagine it is from the accumulated changes in temperatures. Around Easter Week, temperatures were in the high twenties - low thirties in the whole of Spain.  This is usually typical of June temperatures. After reaching Salamanca, first thing in the mornings were quite cool. And for the last five days, I have worn a fleece jacket. When it's windy, it gets quite cool. When the wind dies, it gets quite hot - so don't put the fleece away but carry it around your waist. A leather jacket? I started my 31.2 km walk out of Puebla de Sanabria at 7.30 a.m. Wooded pathways in the semi-dark give an [...]

By | April 26th, 2017|0 Comments

A day of rest

A view from my hotel The reality is that, despite the reflection I see in the mirror, just occasionally I should act my full consecutive number of years. I took the day off and booked myself into the Posada de las Misas in Puebla de Sanabria. Quite apart from the spectacular view, it has a full-size jacuzzi My first act was to fill it with bubbly stuff and appreciate this simple act of self-nurturing of tired and sore muscles. View from my living room Last night I indulged in an appetizer of a combination of eggs, jamon iberico and prawns. The main course was a baked cod dish with a Provençal melange. I chose a white wine to accompany that was fresh with just a slight touch of spritz. Against my better judgment, I let myself [...]

By | April 24th, 2017|0 Comments