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2yrs: 4 Camino’s : 1100 miles :-)

October 3, 2013

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1100miles plodded since this journey began two short years ago. A camino to find meaning to loss, a camino to find a new path without that person.
Camino Frances twice, Camino Norte once & now the Camino Portuguese. Different paths different people all heading to the cobbles of Santiago. Last night sitting in the Compostela Square taking in the only ray of sunshine the entire week I watched the jubilation on the faces of those whose sore tired feet carried them & their now rather tatty backpacks through the stone tunnel to their journeys end!
But is it the end?
For many it may only be the beginning..
A light at the end of their personal dark tunnel.
Possibly a tunnel of love from romances nurtured on the dirt track. Miles not a problem if soulmates have been met. Like the couple I encountered near Porto de Lima ; him a mature West coast American her a young north European met 2002 married 2004… The great Atlantic not in their “Way” matching camino wedding rings proof of Cupid’s effort 🙂

This camino similar to my Camino Norte in May threw up more challenges as it is a path less trodden. The early autumn weather was unkind from disembarking the plane in Porto. Driving rain & thunder storms stayed with me most of my journey, Northface coat & rucksack cover inadequate to keep their contents dry. So night saw me dripping into new albergues in pretty villages & morning saw me dressing in fresh wet clothes to leave them behind. But on the plus side the rain enhanced the shedding bark from the tall eucalyptus to envelop me in a forest of heady aroma while I ate the dark juicy grapes hanging abundantly from their verge vines. Grapes with pips! Grapes that coloured your fingers purple! … Nothing modified here. 🙂

But while enjoying this rustic autumnal tapestry i would also advise on both the Portuguese & the North Camino that solo females seek out company or at least know other walkers are ahead or behind as these paths are lonely & isolated & we may be seen as vulnerable prey…..I had one such encounter & heard of a few from others. While sustaining an accidental injury could leave you without help for many hours. Albergues are also quite limited compared to the Camino Frances but well worth seeking out.

Safety sorted the Portuguese were warm & welcoming throughout my very wet journey. Offering me directions, shelter, fruit from their trees & even a black bin liner as an extra overcoat.
Two plastic bags on my feet & one plastic bag over me I was now a true bag lady 🙂

Now I sit in a familiar airport listening to the rain pounding on the Perspex above & feel my journey is complete. Its time to hang up my asics & step back into the living; to those that smell sweet & wear pretty clothes & high heels. Maybe like my lovely dad I will never see Santiago again….. But like him it will leave me with beautiful Camino memories forever. 🙂
Camino one two & three i walked as a tribute to this wonderful man. But this one is for all the “Pink Ladies” out there whose path like my own have taken them on a breast cancer journey. October back home is Brest Awareness month….the perfect time to walk the “Way” to celebrate life after cancer!

Though maybe next year I might just buy a pink ribbon 🙂 🎀
But
Now I’m tired.
My feet are tired.
My asics are tired.
Time to put the feet up.
Next year I will become a nana for the first time.
Maybe this is the “Circle of Life” sometimes we have to let go of one life to make room for a new one!
A new tiny hand to hold on a new Camino! A new life! A new Way!
Buen camino xxx

Now does anyone know where I can buy a rocking chair because isn’t that what nana’s are meant to do??? lol!
Or maybe il keep an eye out for baby asics & rucksack instead 🙂 xxx

Ps. in case you are wondering I walked through the tunnel alone lol! My soulmate must be on a different “Way” or maybe he took the bus 🙂 🙂 xxx

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