“Focus on the journey not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it” Greg Anderson
One of the things we found while walking the Camino to Santiago de Compostela, is the same thing we have found and experienced in many other areas of our life. People are goal oriented and want to reach the next destination. On the walk people were getting up well before dawn and walking in the dark, little headlights on their forehead, trying to find the next arrow or marker. This is fine if you have spent some time the day before surveying the route out-of-town. But why walk in the dark. Yes it is a quiet time of the day, and you can be out-of-town before the traffic gets bad, but in the small town on the country road that we were walking traffic was never a problem.
I do understand that the summer heat of Spain can make walking in mid afternoon difficult, so that might be a consideration during the summer months for some people. But walking in the dark means that you really can’t see and enjoy the town, or the countryside, the signs, the shrines or farms that you are walking by.
It isn’t reaching our goal or destination that shapes our journey, it is each mile or milestone along the way that shapes our soul. It it the sights, sounds, people and experiences we have along the way that is what we, what I wanted to remember. I would say to anyone planning this journey to take your time, enjoy the sights, the sounds, get to know the people along the way, live each moment of the journey.
I am preparing a slide show; on Saturday Mar 16, 2013 I will be showing some of my work to the Calgary Chapter of Pilgrims about the Camino to Santiago. An 820k walked from St. Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostela Spain.
The Spring Meeting of the Calgary Chapter, Canadian Company of Pilgrims
will be held at Good Shepherd Anglican Church (408 – 38 Street SW, Calgary)
on Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6:30).
Everyone welcome – light refreshments served – tapas/wine gratefully accepted.
If you have been following the blog for a while you will remember that Bill and I walked the Camino in the Fall of 2012, there are many stories and photos already on the blog. If you are in the Calgary Area, and interested in learning more about the Camino please join us. There are many people who attend these meetings with knowledge that is both interesting and helpful if you are thinking of doing the walk
“When we walk like (we are rushing) we print anxiety and sorrow on the earth. We have to walk in a way that we only print peace and serenity on the earth… Be aware of the contact betwen your feet and the earth. Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feelt”
Thich Nhat Hanh
old boots on the camino route. the camino to Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
I have recently started to follow Kat Eye Studio blog, and her Photo-Heart Connection for January was inspiring. Looking back over my January blog, this is the photo and memory that was in my heart, my Photo-Heart Connection.
The Yellow Arrow is the route maker for the Camino to Santiago de Compostela. Painted on signs, fences, rocks and buildings at every corner, we would find a yellow arrow to tell us which direction to take. The Pilgrim wearing these boots had over the years already completed 4 camino walks. This year was his 5th, and due to health reason he could only dedicate 2 weeks to his journey. These boots had supported him during all of those miles. I asked about the yellow arrows on his boots and he said “they were a reminder to always move forward”.
We walked together for a short while, talking about his previous journeys but before long we were headed uphill into the Galicia fog, and I was slowing him down, so he wandered off at his own pace.
Walking to Galicia
While we walking the Camino to Santiago de Compostela in Spain we soon realized that our hiking boot had been one of the most important purchase. Absolutely one of the most valuable piece of equipment to undertake the 820 k walk. Here in Calgary we went to the Mountain Equipment Co-op to talk to their staff, they were wonderful, informative and patient at getting us the best fit. We seemed to be one of the pilgrims walking that had very few problems with our feet. If you are planning on going to a long walk, be it in Spain or in the Rocky Mountains I would suggest paying Mountain Equipment Co-op a visit for some advise on great boots.
Walking the Camino, The Way of St. James, to Santiago de Compostella, we were awake, and walking early in the morning, and each day saw camino art, wonderful expressions of creativity, some of it related to the camino experience some of it related to other subjects.
Located in Burguete Spain, a little town made famous as Hemingway’s trout-fishing base in the The Sun Also Rises. I wondered if the mural was a tribute to the writer.
We have been in Paris for 5 days now, and I think that each day we have walked almost as far as we did while on the camino in Spain. There is so much to see in the city. Yesterday while we walked out to the Eiffel tower it was nice and warm, foggy when we got to the top, but a lovely day. The forecast was for good weather all week, but this morning as we headed out to Notre Dame Cathedral it was cool and cloudy, and remain so most of the day.
Notre Dame_Paris France
Notre Dame_Paris France_Angel and Shadow
Notre Dame Cathedral_Paris France
After Notre Dame we wandered through the Latin Quarter all the way over to the Musee d’Orsay, the back to the apartment for a rest. With everyone here with us it is busy with walking, visiting, eating and drinking, no time for processing photos or posting on the blog!
We have read about it, we have talked about it, and we have even dreamed about it. Yes we are on the doorstep of Santiago de Compostela, this morning we had less than 14k to walk. Yesterday was wet, we were soggy by the time we arrived at our hotel, and we were hoping for at least a semi-dry day today as we walk. That was not to be. As we left this morning, if was foggy, misty hung in the air, and we had walked less than an hour when the rain started to pour down on us. We walked the final 10k in heavy rain. Arriving in the Praza do Obradoiro to the front door of the Cathedral about 1 pm local time, soaked to the bone. Our Gortex waterproof boots were even soggy. We took the picture below and moved onto our hotel to dry out, and find some lunch.
Bill and Jan at the Santiago Cathedral_Praza do Obradoiro
All is not lost, tomorrow and we sleep in and have a relaxing breakfast, we will register our trip with the Peregrino office and visit the Cathedral, and hopefully we will see and be able to visit with others we have met on the camino in better weather.
pilgrim with a green rain poncho_camino Santiago de Compostella
Today we travelled from Arzua to Amenal, about 25k. Today it rained heavily most of the day, and it was a colder today than we have had before, it only reached about 15 C.
When I had been doing my research on the Camino, one of the things I looked at is the weather. Trying to figure out what type of weather we might be subjected to while walking the Camino. So I have to be honest, my research showed that October temperatures would be mid teens (Celsius). Average days of rain in September and October were both 10 days. It is great that we have warmer temperatures than expected for most of the trip and while there have been days of some rain, there have been very few where it has rained all day.
Hopefully the rain will stop for our walk into Santiago Compostela tomorrow. Yes, tomorrow is the last day on the Camino. We will spend a couple of days before flying out.