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 Proven├žal 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

Food, glorious food !

Lentil Stew Several days ago, I found myself by accident staying at a old farm house called Casa Camino in a small community called Riego del Camino run by three young women: an Italian who speaks with a remarkably Scottish accent, a Scots woman and an Irish woman. When I say by accident, I don't plan where I am going to stay on the Camino. I just trust that I will find accommodation. For me, this is learning to trust the Universe for all that it will provide. It invariably has. I'm met with a hug, shown to my room and asked to join them for tapas, drinks and dinner. They are vegetarian and asks me whether a lentil stew - pictured above - is in order. The stairs up to bed I'm one of four [...]

By | April 23rd, 2017|0 Comments

On the road again

In my best-selling book entitled "My Camino Walk-- A Way to Healing," I had made two statements that I am wondering whether they are the truth. I had said that one needs the contrast of walking through industrial parks or along major highways to truly appreciate the beauty of nature. I take that back because I am fully aware how mankind is poisoning the environment for the sake of 'progress.' I will settle for pristine nature anytime and don't need to know its polar opposite. I had also written that one can often access the spiritual by way of the physical. For two days, I have walked 40 kilometers each day. That is also allowing for walking in the wrong direction for several kilometers. Sometimes in life, we follow the wrong path and I will admit to my list of [...]

By | April 20th, 2017|0 Comments

Salamanca

It's as if I have started a new journey and, because I have moved on, I will be sorry not to see the people that I have got to know during the  past two weeks. However, I realize that it's important not being attached to certain outcomes. It's just more baggage just as heavy as the physical stuff one carries in one's backpack. I'm back to being a tourist again for a day in Salamanca and that takes some getting used to because one's not walking. Still, that's part of the journey just as much as the walking. I love spending time in the churches because they are brilliant spaces in which to meditate. So much focused attention over the centuries. Would love to attend a concert here. For the choir Forgot to mention an event from four [...]

By | April 17th, 2017|1 Comment

Change of plans

I have a guidebook for the Via de la Plata that is sparse on detail, descriptive passages, possibly exaggerated, that might make Etobicoke look like a garden city, and divides the journey into 'manageable' stages. Although to date I have enjoyed immensely the landscapes, rolling hills and flatlands hypnotically beautiful, looking ahead there are consecutive stretches of 40 kilometre days. The distance I can manage but it is the 30 degree Celsius temperatures that have me concerned. Preparing floats for Samana Santa processions I'm about 220 km from Sevilla so I am changing plans. I want to experience the Mozarabic way via Ourense and with two weeks of daily walking will enter Santiago de Compostela from the south. Then I will take a train or bus to Porto in Portugal and return to Santiago on the Portuguese Camino. [...]

By | April 16th, 2017|0 Comments

Why I walk

This is not what I would call the usual holiday. It is sometimes a test of endurance especially with the present heat, unusual for southern Spain this early in April. I'm not feeling that I have to prove anything. What I like is the camaraderie of people walking the Camino. We might walk alone during the day because everyone develops their own natural rhythm. However, at the end of the day, one often meets up with the same people - perhaps at the same albergue or in a restaurant in the town square. One develops a fondness for these people even if one really knows nothing about them. We're all participating in a journey slightly beyond our normal routine. There's a sense of equality. Looks like a plastic tree in a North American shopping mall. No, these are real [...]

By | April 14th, 2017|0 Comments

Three quick days

I seem to be fighting with technology again. Prepared my blog postings for the last three days and then lost it in space. In the big picture, it's just a champagne problem, so just take some deep breaths and move on. I'm sure you will forgive me for not posting on time. It's just an aggravating factor. The walking has been difficult and I was coming to the conclusion that I was not up to the challenge. I was feeling this was a reflection on me. Since the first day after leaving Seville, I have walked from Castilblanco de los Arroyos to Almaden de la Plata. That was 29.5 kilometres. The following day was really a two day journey to El Real de la Jara and then onwards to Monasterio. That was a total of 34 kilometres.. Today was a [...]

By | April 12th, 2017|0 Comments

On the walk

Madrid and Seville are behind me now. I've stopped being a tourist. I'm a traveler now. Where am I going? Where are any of us going? I could say I am walking to Santiago de Compostela but that seems too difficult. My journey is 1000 kilometres. It sounds an impossibly long way to walk and there's little consolation from the words of Lao Tsu that " a journey of a thousand miles......" Life is simpler now. All I have to do is put one foot in front of another. Walking is straightforward. If it weren't for internet, I would have no idea that Trump had ordered a bombing raid over Syria.  Holy Week Parade Although newsworthy, if not downright scary, it's not in my immediate world. I'm at a local level able to experience how others celebrate events [...]

By | April 9th, 2017|0 Comments