September - October 2017
  • Day35

    Even a Pilgrim ...

    October 14, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    ... needs to rest.

    After 35 days of walking, Coleen and I are content to trade out our hiking boots for sandals for the balance of our time here in Spain. We returned to Santiago de Compostella for a second time this morning. Our total mileage on the 3 Caminos we've hiked is just north of 1,000 kilometers by my calculation.

    But truly as one Camino graffiti author wrote "Smiles, not miles, are what counts" and we've had thousands of those.

    Much like the Galician dirt and manure have insinuated themselves into my Scarpa boots, the call of the Camino has resonated deep in my soul. I expect we will return.

    Hasta luego from this side of the Atlantic and I look forward to catching up with all of you when we return to Canada.

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  • Day34

    Misty Galician Morning

    October 13, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    We walked for 4 hours this morning and never saw a single pilgrim on the Camino Ingles. It is much less travelled than the Camino Françes and notwithstanding its name there is very little English spoken on the Camino Ingles. However the solitude and woodland trails for the most part have been delightfully serene.

    The Galcian mists can be spooky in the morning particularly when two cats decide to fight on a tree limb just over your head. I just about jumped out of my hikers!
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  • Day34

    Camino Ingles ... Never Stop

    October 13, 2017 in Spain ⋅ 🌫 12 °C

    Unexpectedly we have a few unplanned days on our itinerary. ... what to do, what to do?

    We chose to walk a section of another Camino called the Camino Ingles. This track will also take us to Santiago de Compostella via another route.

    Coleen was interviewed by a Kiwi pilgrim doing a documentary so perhaps she will become famous on this Camino!
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  • Day32

    Chasing our Shadows

    October 11, 2017 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 13 °C

    We've come to the end of the world -- Finisterre.

    In medieval times, the pilgrim would strip, jump into the Atlantic and burn his clothes on the beach. He would then find a clam shell, proof of the pilgrimage, and then walk home.

    Coleen and I, no terra firma left to walk westward chasing our shadows, did nothing so dramatic. In a granite rock, we watched the sun set into the ocean while sipping red wine.

    This signaled the official end to the Camino -- a symbolic time of death and rebirth when the sun rises tomorrow. And the two of us will rise and greet that sun with renewed purpose.
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  • Day31

    The Call of the Sea

    October 10, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

    Walking down a shaded forest track I could hear the Atlantic Ocean gently lapping against the Spanish coast. It was a beautiful sound.

    There is a certain symmetry to this as we began our Camino odyssey by flying from the Irish sea coast to Biarritz on the French side of the Atlantic. Now here in the Spanish resort town of Muxia, the Atlantic Ocean calls out our names as we have one leg left to this pilgrimage.

    Tomorrow we walk along the Coast of Death to the End of the World. Cliffhanger or what!
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  • Day30

    Humbled ...

    October 9, 2017 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 13 °C

    It never fails.

    Just when Coleen and I are patting ourselves on the back for our Camino efforts we meet someone else who wows us. Over a peregrino supper tonight we met a Belgian man who turns 67 years old this Saturday. Jean-Pierre left his home in Belgium 5 1/2 months ago and has been walking each day since on Camino trails in Belgium, France and Spain. Remarkable.

    Last night we met a man and a woman who have been walking from Paris with their dog and a donkey for months on the Camino.

    Like caffeine the Camino is highly addictive -- but harder on the feet!
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  • Day29

    He's not getting my shoes ...

    October 8, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    Let me introduce you to John, an Irishman we met on the Way. John was attending a wedding in Paris when he decided to hike the Camino. When advised of this impulsive decision, John's friend asked him what he was going to do with his dress clothes. John did not have an answer.

    Passing a Parisienne homeless person, John's friend gave the unkempt man John's suit, waistcoat, dress shirt, pants and tie. Later that evening they saw the same man -- now transformed and all decked out in John's attire. The bloke called over John's friend and said a few words. John asked his friend what the man had said. He wanted your shoes was the friend's reply.

    John retorted: "He's not getting my shoes!"
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  • Day28

    I did it my Way ...

    October 7, 2017 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 18 °C

    Combine 28 days, 799 kilometers, 3 blisters, one case of shin splints, numerous new friends, three cathedrals and then throw in some octopus, Galician stew, Rioja wine and almond cake and what do you get? An official latin Compostella and congratulations from the Pilgrim Office staff who verifies your credentials. Coleen and I have gone the distance.

    We sleep tonight in Santiago de Compostella at the Last Stamp Albergue under a waning full moon and a warm glow of accomplishment in our hearts.
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  • Day27

    The Last Stamp

    October 6, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    When I was a young lad I collected stamps which opened up my world to far off lands and national symbols. Each day on the Way we collect at least one "sello" or stamp for our pilgrim credencial, usually from the Albergue we are staying at.

    The credencial (or passport) is proof of our trip, where we started and stopped along the Way. It is required in Santiago de Compostella if we want to receive an official document written in Latin that says we have completed our Camino.

    Appropriately enough when we reach Santiago de Compostella tomorrow we will be staying at an albergue called The Last Stamp.

    The excitement is building. Only 19.8 km to walk tomorrow morning to reach the Cathedral in Santiago and add some more ink to my credencial.
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  • Day26

    Feliz Cumpleanno

    October 5, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    On this fine day in Manitoba, Canada a beautiful baby, now woman, was born. Happy birthday Coleen.

    Greetings from around the world are being sent your way from family, old friends and new Camino friends.

    Have a great day mi amor.
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