The addictiveness of walking the Camino

I have walked the Camino from St-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Santiago de Compostela twice. Early next spring, I’ll walk again on a different Camino route starting in Sevilla in the south of Spain. That will be a distance of 1000 kilometers. Also on the horizon is my plan to walk the island of Shikoku and the 88 temples in Japan. That would be a distance of more than 1200 kilometers. I was there just recently in November gathering information for this visit. What is it that draws people like me often to walk the Camino and other ancient pilgrimage routes? I don't think I am crazy although I will leave that to others for the definitive answer. I will admit to feeling like a fanatic and it would be difficult for someone who has not made such a long walk to understand that [...]

By | January 22nd, 2017|0 Comments

Opening of the heart

I worked with two editors in the writing of this book. Without their services, I might have completed the story four years ago. Chances are I would have been totally unsatisfied with the result. When one is close to the action, one needs a perspective different than one’s own. Perhaps it is like a lawyer facing criminal charges against him and conducting his own defense in court: a man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client. I’m glad I wasn’t that fool. Trinidad de Arre on the outskirts of Pamplona The editors caught all manner of mistakes: not only the typos, awkward use of unnecessary words, the repetitions, occasional lack of clarity, the contradictions - sometimes even the opposite of what I meant. Then there was my tendency to rant at times rather than [...]

By | October 16th, 2016|0 Comments

Valley of Despair

“I still have another six kilometres to go. It’s starting to get dark. I feel a spattering of gentle rain but am not bothered. Although I do have rainwear, it’s at the bottom of my backpack, and honestly don’t want to rummage through my baggage. Now in wooded territory, I begin the steep descent into the valley of Roncesvalles. It’s a killer on my ankles. I can hear the church bells in the distance. My progress is painfully slow.” “By the time I reach the refugio the sky is pitch black. The light drizzle has turned into a deluge and I am soaked through. I manage to get the last bed but have missed dinner. This small town has nothing to offer me. My sole sustenance is the sausage and cheese I bought the night before in St. Jean. This [...]

By | September 25th, 2016|0 Comments

The passing of a pilgrim

This past week we have lost a talented acupuncturist and shiatsu colleague, Michiko Takehisa. She suffered a massive stroke last week from which she never recovered. She was fifty-one, vibrant and alive. She looked much younger. She was giving to the world and still had much more to give - now, all of a sudden gone forever, although she lives on in our hearts. Today, at a wake for Michiko, I meet her parents, recently arrived from Japan. The father doesn’t look much older than me. I also meet her husband, Bob. He’s a soft, sensitive man with an expressive face, personally welcoming me to the occasion, despite the tears he must be feeling in his heart from a loss so recent. He invites me to spend time with people here I know and, more importantly, to spend time with those [...]

By | August 26th, 2016|0 Comments

Lost in the Pyrenees

  I was just reading today in the Guardian that a couple of British people had got lost for five days while crossing the Pyrenees between Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port and Roncesvalles. One should be able to cross the Pyrenees at this point in one or a maximum of two days. In order to survive, they had to resort to drinking water from ditches and cattle troughs before being rescued by firefighters. The Pyrenees can be unpredictable at the best of times and it’s certainly possible to become disoriented. It’s definitely important to keep your wits about you and stay present at all times. Take the journey seriously and give it the respect that is due. I mean, they even made a movie, “The Way” starring Martin Sheen, where the son dies in an accident on this leg of the journey. Certainly, the [...]

By | August 18th, 2016|0 Comments

The Process Of Writing

I will admit to having the most atrocious memory. How could I remember the details of a month-long journey when sometimes I can’t even remember the small ingredient list that my partner has asked me to buy at the grocery store? When I walked my first Camino in 2010, it was more than a year later that I had any thoughts of writing a book. Fortunately, I had taken lots of photographs - 1400 of them - and this supplied an effective aide–mémoire of my journey. Writing a daily blog also helped with some of the sensory detail of what I was experiencing as I walked. The original purpose of the blog was so that the clients at my clinic could follow me on a daily basis. I didn’t want them to just think that Tim had disappeared on another [...]

By | July 17th, 2016|0 Comments

Ready or not, here I come

Extracts from My Camino Walk - A Way to Healing "I have many doubts about this journey I’m about to begin. Most are related to the physical challenges of walking eight hundred kilometres. I’ll be crossing three mountain ranges, and the cartilage in my left knee has degenerated, probably from my work as a shiatsu therapist. It feels as if bone is rubbing against bone. Every step is painful. I’ve been feeling this pain for the last two months. Coincidentally, it began three days after I bought a nonrefundable ticket for the transatlantic portion of my trip. Pride and stubbornness wouldn’t allow me to change my plans. Besides, why should I expect my knee to be any better next year? Next year, I’ll just be a little more decrepit—one step closer to the grave. That’s always the way it goes, [...]

By | May 23rd, 2016|0 Comments

My Camino Walk: A Way To Healing – Now Available!

Finally, what you’ve all been waiting for; what I’ve been waiting for. The ebook version is available on Kindle, Kobo, and iBook and I am hoping that the print version will be released around September. It has been an interesting journey and I have been well guided along the way by Susan Toy of IslandCatEditions and Rachel Small. Without their help, my effort would have been mediocre at best. They molded me, stretched me and taught me well. I was walking down the road about a week ago and a next door neighbour asked me the name of my book. That stumped me. I couldn’t quite remember because I’d been so involved with the small details of writing and rewriting. I’ll also confess to leaving the synopsis of what the story was about to other people. Oh, so that’s what it’s about. I was impressed that, in a [...]

By | May 21st, 2016|0 Comments