Coleen Paul

Joined August 2017Living in: Lethbridge, Canada
  • Day46

    Difference Between Centuries

    October 14, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    I made it to Mass this morning and witnessed the botafumeiro spectacle. A huge incense burner, kept in motion by six priests, passes over the congregation. In times past, it was meant to fumigate pilgrims who didn't smell very good AND who might be carrying disease. This morning's masses applauded the event!

    We've another day to explore the city, many more to continue to find the light through the mists, to awaken to the unexpected, and to celebrate achievements large and small. We just have to keep moving. Buen Camino.
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  • Day46

    To Market

    October 14, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    I've been lured back to Santiago with the promise of a market ... AND what a market. The huge stone structure with aisles of fresh produce, seafood, meat, baking and wine, spreads out past its walls to the surrounding streets. Nearby businesses take advantage of the pedestrian traffic to line the alleys with restaurant tables.

    There is one aisle devoted to cooking food from the market to order. We didn't quite figure out how to accomplish that our first time through, but hopefully on Monday we will have more to report. Instead, we had a Pulpa (octopus) Crepe and some Pimiento de Padron (tiny roasted green peppers) to tide us over until supper and bought our fruit and bread for tomorrow's breakfast.
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  • Day45

    When Opportunity Knocks

    October 13, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    Hillary, from Dublin, told a great story about snubbing the offer of breakfast at her albergue and then walking through numerous towns where one after another, the cafes were all shut down. We now have a similar story!

    The upside is, we walked our entire way this morning without seeing another pilgrim and very few other human beings. Apparently, the 15th century had few women on the route, though I don't imagine Scott and I will be immortalized for our journey. One poet had left notes along the way to engage our interest, should we choose.... we chose!Read more

  • Day44

    Birthing Pains

    October 12, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    After toasting the setting sun off the lighthouse point in Finisterre, we walked back the 3 km route with Andrea (Venice), Pamela (Scotland), Mary (England), and hundreds of other pilgrims. Feeling strong, celebratory, and a little sad that The Way was really over this time, we said our last goodbyes.

    BUT Scott and I didn't have to end it there! We got up National Hispanic Day (date Columbus discovered the Americas) and took a bus to the Camino Ingles, starting at A Coruna.

    Arriving at this huge industrial port city without another pilgrim in sight and no information offices, we got into a Starbucks and Googled our escape! Fortunately, a bus out of the city in the direction we wanted to go was scheduled for departure in 20 minutes. We disembarked at Meson Do Vento, stopped for "Comida", got directions to the nearest albergue, and felt renewed optimism on our walk into the country.

    Unfortunately, the only albergue within miles was "Completo" when we arrived. 2 km back on the highway was a hotel and 8 km further was a Casa Rural with room. Triple the price, but further from the city - we jumped at the continued walk to the rural B&B. The "hospitaleiro" thought we were nuts!
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  • Day43

    Never Say Die

    October 11, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

    Our walk today along the Costa del Morte was a day of sensory overload. Some of the paths were newly minted and others lined with huge pine needles, both of which cushioned us nicely. The seas were brilliant blue, the greens verdant, and harvested corn Midas gold. Scents ranged from spicy pine to briny ocean to sweet ripened fruits. While walking mindfully, I realized the exact step where the roaring ocean gave way to the silent woods.

    We walked to the end of the earth tonight, Finisterre, to watch the sun "die". Our journey has, symbolically, ended. But, just as the sun will be reborn tomorrow, so we have decided to begin again - wish us luck in catching a bus on a national holiday. Our destination is A Coruna, and the start of the Camino Ingles.
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  • Day42

    By the Sea

    October 10, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

    What's not to love? A forest walk to a seaside town with an engaging Georgian who is on the last leg of her round-the-world trip. A reunion with the Venetian, Andrea, on the beach - we are running out of chances for this as he returns to Italy on Friday. The kindest of welcomes at our albergue AND THEN a 3 course, free lunch! Seafood for supper. Sunset on a hilltop overlooking the ocean is scheduled for dusk - I'll try to post a picture.Read more

  • Day40

    On The Way Again

    October 8, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    With a week left in Spain, we had to make the decision of where to go next. A seaside town for sun and fun, an inland city for arts and culture, or another trail.

    Guess the title needed a spoiler alert. TEE HEE! We're on the trail to Finisterre and Muxia. It really wasn't a contest.

    I can't begin to describe the comfort of starting out again, meeting fellow walkers with an "Hola, Buenos Dias!", walking alongside and chatting with some for a while, meeting old friends at the "second breakfast" stop for a kiss on both cheeks.

    But once agin, The Way is different. There is a more tropical flavour to the scenery, new Way Signs, and a new mix of pilgrims from other Camino trails as well as those beginning with this one. Oh yes, our first albergue actually gave us a TOWEL for the shower. A pilgrim could get used to this!
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  • Day39

    Ultreia!

    October 7, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    The Way of St. James is behind us. We made it to the Cathedral in Santiago as the church bells chimed 10 AM - fondly referred to as "Chocolate Time" for Scott and I!

    We pilgrims have traded ‘Buen Camino’ which literally means ‘have a good journey, a good Camino’, for the past month. Lately, however, we've begun to hear "Ultreia". The meaning of ‘Ultreia!’ goes a bit deeper, implying encouragement to keep going, reaching ‘beyond’, heading onwards.

    I'm excited for paths that are beginning to reveal themselves, determined to seek out new adventures and opportunities, AND eager to hear where your paths are leading you.
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  • Day38

    Graffiti ...

    October 6, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    along The Way tends to range from religious to New Age, Simon & Garfunkel to John Lennon. But this morning's message read, "I'm almost to the end and I haven't found the answers. This is all a hoax."

    We often hear, "The Way provides. " I'd add ... opportunity ... In the gift of living in community with strangers, one has the opportunity to learn a lot about one's self. In the discipline of moving each day toward the unknown, one has the opportunity to learn to conquer fears. In the quiet of the morning mists, one has the opportunity to listen to one's inner knowing. And under the dazzling night sky, one has the opportunity to recapture wonder.Read more

  • Day37

    It's a Wonderful Life

    October 5, 2017 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 17 °C

    Today's celebration started with a rock picked up along the Camino, soon followed by a video of last night's bunkmates singing Happy Birthday. Another rendition was sung by Jesus and Paulo's troupe when we met at a breakfast stop. I was presented with handpicked walnuts by a smiling elderly Spanish man and lots of Happy Birthday e-mail messages - many of which were orchestrated by my best friend and love of my life, Scott. Thanks to all who participated! I've had a truly wonderful day.

    Supper was a Pulpa Feast - octopus!
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