Scott Paul

Joined April 2017Living in: Lethbridge, Canada
  • Day25

    What makes a pilgrim?

    October 4, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    I still haven't answered that question.

    Some would argue that it involves a measure of sacrifice,. There are those who fall in the "no pain, no gain" camp. For others it is walking every mile of the Camino with your full backpack -- no luggage service and no taxis.

    I've developed shin splints and so incurred a measure of suffering today. That said, I don't feel any more a pilgrim today than I did yesterday when each step was pain free.

    I do know that each pilgrim has the physical and mental resiliency to get up each day to walk 20-30 km. and then do it again the following day. Pilgrims share stories, medical advice and some deeply personal convictions. They help and look out for each other. A remarkable community that reshapes itself around you everyday.
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  • Day24

    What's in a name?

    October 3, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    I tried convincing 2 Italian peregrinas that my name was Juan Diego. I said it with gusto and exuberance, and a bit of a bow. They weren't buying it. Eventually when I said my name was Scott, the one woman thought I said "Stop" and so she did.

    While Coleen and I are hiking the Camino Françes, it is also known as the Way of St. James in English, or Jakobsweg in German, or Chemin de Saint Jacques in French. All pilgrims head west to Santiago de Compostella -- the Iago being Spanish for James. All referring to Saint James.

    A disciple of Jesus, James had a short mission to Spain after Jesus' death, returned to the Holy Land and was beheaded by King Herod for his efforts. James' followers send his body out to sea and somehow it makes it way to Spain where centuries later his bones are discovered near present day Santiago de Compostella -- field of stars.

    What's in a name? A wonderful pilgrimage indeed.
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  • Day23

    Go Your Own Way

    October 2, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    So I see a Pilgrim today walking down the trail backwards. Perhaps sun stroke ... perhaps just different strokes for different folks. But this peregrino was certainly hiking the Way on his terms.

    And that truly is the case here on the Camino. Do we take the optional route, call over the lone pilgrim to share supper, hike onto the next town? For many this is a profoundly religous pilgrimage. Each decision a pilgrim make shapes and colours their Camino experience. We each go our own way.

    By the way, I tried walking backwards for a bit. Not for me. I'll continue with my face to the West and the breeze at my back.
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  • Day22

    Look, there's a castle. ..

    October 1, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    I love castles.

    Yesterday in Ponferrada we walked the castle walls of the former bastion of the Knights Templar. Great medieval castle with a secret tunnel, turrets and pageantry. I could imagine knights on their mounted steeds, their horseshoes ringing out on the cobblestones, riding off out of the castle gates to fight in the Crusades.

    A boy's dream realized.
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  • Day21

    And the words of the prophet are written

    September 30, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    ... well in Spain, they are written everywhere. On Camino markers, underpasses and traffic signs. I have grown to appreciate the colours and novelty demonstrated by the Spanish graffiti artists and international pilgrims.

  • Day20

    Cross my heart

    September 29, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    We have left the Meseta, the great plains of Spain, and have headed into the mountains. Crosses everywhere including the famous iron cross at Cruz Ferro where we left a heart stone that Coleen found along the Way.

    Last night we used a Sharpie on that same rock to write Marita's name on it. Always in our hearts and each step of the Camino.Read more

  • Day19

    Slow down ... you move too fast

    September 28, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    Ya gotta make the morning last. Just skipping down the cobblestones. Lookin' for fun and feeling groovy.

    This Paul Simon song has come to mind many times over the past 24 hours. Last night, we stayed at a Spanish albergue that offered yoga, a vegetarian supper, and a few spiritual lessons. After this Zen experience, on our hike this morning we came across a donativo rest stop where fresh fruit and cold drinks were offered amidst some psychedelic backdrops.

    Then we met a Polish expat living in Texas of all places who proudly showed us his silver bracelet that said "Old Hippy".

    Groovy man.
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  • Day18

    A Knight's Tale ...

    September 27, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    It's beginning to look a lot like ... the Medieval Ages. Grand cobblestone bridges, jousting fields and all manner of statuary and signage evoking the days of knights, chivalrous deeds and quests. Loving every medieval moment.

  • Day18

    Leon .. like moths to a flame

    September 27, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    Medieval pilgrims and modern pilgrims alike are drawn to the Spanish cities for provisions and to be wowed by their cathedrals. Leon is no exception. An elegant cathedral with exceptional stained glass windows. I could take pictures of the stained glass work alone for hours.

    But after the contemplative and peaceful countryside, Leon is a bit unsettling to this Canadian pilgrim. I'll be happy to get back to some solitude and leave Leon and its cathedral to other pilgrims. Buenas Noches.Read more

  • Day16

    Sing a Song ...

    September 25, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    I've been singing on the Way from time to time. Right now I have the Carpenters' "Sing a Song" on my Camino sing list.

    Last night at an Italian albergue we were treated to a live guitar performance by a Spanish pilgrim who is carrying his instrument, talent and voice on the Camino. His rendition of Simon and Garfunkel's Sounds of Silence was haunting and sorrowful.

    After supper the party continued with the largely Italian pilgrim cohort singing improvisational versions of Bob Dylan's Knocking on Heaven's Door, accompanied by the beautiful strumming of the Spanish pilgrim. Magic.
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