Sunday, October 28, 2007


Anika made it to Sanitago Saturday, October 27!

This picture of Joop, Harald, Anika and me was taken in Pamplona.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

All That Time To Think

I was thinking this morning how The Camino really offered a great opportunity for people to brood. 500 miles of self -pity.

But from my experience with myself and, I think, those around me - most everyone simply reflected and planned.

Many people I met were divorced, divorcing or widowed. Everyone mentioned their familial status and also, very candidly discussed the joys or pains of arriving there. (Ironically, job fields were also mentioned but job titles or roles were never discussed). They also used the time to sort out what they "really wanted" next.

Personally, I "studied" all my friends, family members and ex's, spending time praying for them, reflecting on our bonds and qualities, thinking about bettering a current relationship or learning from the past and in some cases mentally "letting go". There was not a second of bitterness or anger present. Trust me, there were days of contemplation about individuals.

What I found to be deeply moving was that with this raw candidness, many of us formed a bond unlike any other I've ever experienced. Because The Camino is so physically and emotionally rigorous and the pairing of souls became so profound, I believe it is fair to say we all fell a little bit in love. We have collected soulmates from around the globe.

Back in the "real world", with the rest of the world not knowing The Camino world exists, this benevolent filter becomes thinned and is sometimes difficult to activate. For the most part though, I came back with a new perspective and opportunity to look at all things and people in a different and more peaceful way. And too, I have wonderful new friends with whom I can converse and slip back onto the Camino and again restore my soul when needed.

Friday, October 26, 2007


Jorge arrived in Santiago October 5 and went on to Finisterre (the end of the known World in Columbus' time) on October 8.

Anne (Paris) and Jorge and I walked together for a couple of days. We visited the monestary in Najera together.

Jorge, being from Spain, was our Camino botanist showing us all the things we could eat from the flora along the trail. He ate it first so we followed along. He was also the guy with the long legs who "borrowed" part of my bunk one night having being designated (assigned bunk numbers) as my upper bunk mate.

This being a travel year for him (electronic study break from his teaching position) he's off to Germany, Holland and Belgium here soon.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Denise Made It!

I received an email from Denise today!

"Got to Santiago on 13th Oct - exactly 6 weeks and I walked every step of the way! I thought about you every day and will always remember how you said "Fly little bird, fly" when I set out that 1st morning. There's so much I want to tell you but there are no coincidences only miracles, and the best involves Dominique."

Her Dominique story was one of those chance encounters of meeting up with her after many days of not seeing her....somewhat like me with a different Dominique, Harald, Marlena, Tania and of course, Denise herself.

She mentioned in another email of ongoing Camino dreams - I had those as well!

I'm still basking in the physical and spiritual miracles of it all.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Harald made it to Santiago, Sunday, October 14!

He wrote today: " Today something unbelivible happend: I drove with 2 older ladies (from Germany, 61 & 63 years) per rent-car from Santiago to Muxia and Finisterre to see the Atlantic Ocean before flying home on Thursday. In Finisterre we all stopped in a small Bar/Restaurant at the harbour. The two ladies ordered a coffee which doesn't came. So I went into the Bar to reorder. At the Bar there was a man - drinking a Cognac and smoking a cigar - - - Joop!!! Absolute unbelivible. We met the last time in Viana (mid of September !!!). He arrived in Finisterre this morning - per feet ... Yes, the way's of God are unpredictable - and wonderfull !!! What an end for our both Camino's."

Yes, truly this is God's way. We all crossed paths so many times. These two were "the Spain team" keeping me going.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Juergen just emailed....he's 60 km out (3-4 days) out of Santiago! It is nice to know that more are "almost" there. Keep good thoughts for my Camino friends!

I met Juergen while having my morning snack between Granon and Belorado. I ran into him again at San Juan de Ortega and we walked together for a few days and hung out until he delivered me safely at the bus "estacion" my last morning in Burgos.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Joop emailed me yesterday - he was planning on arriving in Santiago today. Yay! Joop you did it - 800 km, 500 mi, 6 weeks. I remember that first day in St. Jean Pied de Port when we met - you were so worried - and YOU DID IT! Congratulations!

Here's Joop's account of the Camino: He has some breathtaking pictures displayed.

Sue Kenney

Sue Kenney emailed me yesterday. She had a spelling correction of a name to offer to me on a post I'd done about Eunate on one of the Camino boards.

Sue has written two camino books and done a DVD. I hadn't read them before I went, but I intend to now. Check out the video clip on her site. In minutes it captures what it will take you hours to read here. And the guy singing is Miro - his 10th camino. He was at Eunate when I was and in several towns after that.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Tarta de Santiago

Remember the lovely Tarta de Santiago boxes that graced gift stores and panaderias along the Camino? I found a spectacular recipe. I am nibbling, imbibing and reminiscing as I type. Here's the picture of my efforts this evening in the kitchen.

Here's the link to the recipe I used. I found that 2 1/3 cups of whole almonds will make the noted amount of ground almonds for the recipe. I think too, that I kept my almonds a bit courser than the recipe intended, but I liked the results.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Going Global

Last month at this time I was in the Pyrenees.

Last week at this time I was leaving Madrid, making my way home.

This week I'm back at work and getting emails from my Camino friends. The emails are originating from Spain, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Some forgetting I don't speak mulitple languages LOL! (Thank goodness for online translaters).

The common thread in those emails: 1) Almost there! or 2) Wish we were back there!

Yet another gift of the Camino

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

OK, Now I'll Talk About It

My Camino walking stick did not come home when I did. It made it from Spain to Newark, but then got lost between Newark and Salt Lake City.

Remember that my hiking poles didn't make it over? Because of that I bought a stick in St. Jean Pied de Port. I found the height I needed. It had a little leather cord on the top, a metal pokey bottom, and a scallop shell engraved on upper part of the pole. It was not a finished wood, but it was sanded smooth, still retaining it's natural tree limb bumps.

This stick practically carried me when I could barely walk (the blister thing). When the going got rough, it steadied me. Down was a dream, up was a lift. I left it here, I left it there. It was always waiting. (Then I learned how to prop it with the pack and we stuck together pretty well.)

Most every hurdle with the trip I handled like "no big deal". This, however, was tapdancing with my psyche. I really, really, really wanted it back. To me it was going to be something I could hand down to one of my grandkids, like Dad had given me his pack.

The airline was fabulous, really and no kidding. They took my report and checked to see if it made it but was unusual enough that it was hiding in the plane hold (before I ever left the airport). They called every day after that, checking details, asking questions and letting me know they were still looking and would check after each arrival.

Today they called saying it was in Houston (???) and would arrive in SLC by 2pm. At 4pm the delivery service called for more details on my house location.

My stick is here.

And now, seeing it, and holding it, all those miles that seemed so surreal and dreamlike are now very validated. The stick brought the journey home.

Stop by, I'll tell you the story behind that walking stick propped up in the corner. :)

To My Camino Friends

Denise, Joop, Eva, Harald, Aleix, Klaus, Jorge, Marlene, Tanya, Anika, Cedric, Denis, Sara, Mino, Baltazar, Jurgen:

A week ago today I entered Santiago. By my calculations you should all be arriving in the next few days or week. I'm thinking about you all. I admire (and envy) you for the distance you have traveled. I hope that you, like me, feel the joy that I felt upon entering the Cathedral and the thanksgiving that lept from my heart for having had the calling, faith, courage and stamina to arrive there.

Jerry, Anne, I will continue to think about you warmly, knowing your camino completion is in your future. I can't wait to hear the stories.

Dominique, Kayleen, Penny, Ziggy - It was fabulous to have you at the finish line with me. How fortunate it was to have us all intersect AGAIN!

You have all, so very, very deeply, touched my soul and changed my life forever. I thank you for being such a part of my Camino.

Monday, October 01, 2007

The Trip's Not Over Until The Blog Is Done

I'm working on adding pictures to the posts. I will also create addtional posts to describe pictures that I've taken that I'd like to share. This is going to take awhile. My journal has been a big help on knowing what was where and reminding me of notes that I want capture on the blog.

And I'm updating willy nilly. A thought or place comes to mind and I hunt down the picture and don't even bother trying to figure out where to begin. If you look now too, it will mostly be people pictures and not scenery. I'm recalling all the friendships. I promise there's a lot of places to see. I just need to keep plugging along.

I'm going back to work tomorrow so this will be an evening and weekend project. I'll send out an email when it is complete.

If you're reading this and I don't know you, clicking on my profile and the email link will provide you with my address. Write to me and let me know you'd like to be notified of the completion.

No More Coincidences

I had this stuck on my wall at home. I have no idea where I got it, when I put it up or what drew me to it. The back is copywrited and has the website about church vocations. The art, the words and the message are more than appropriate for my pilgrimage.

The front:
The back: Dare the Dream Prayer: Jesus, help me to trust the little intuitions that feed my spirit with this deep and certain knowledge: your love and grace guide my steps; you keep your promises; you will never abandon me. As I discern my response to your call, help me to be attentive to the ways your Spirit guides me. Then, Jesus, every step – wherever it takes me –will always lead me to you.

And: Blessed are you who belived that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled. - Luke 1:45.

While I don't feel I was called (or being called) to a vocation, I do strongly feel that I was called to do this pilgrimage and to be forced to trust the Voice of direction, housing, darkness, cold, pain, etc. I feel that I was selected to experience the daily miracles and cross paths with those whose lives I am now intermingled with. I won't dilute the experience by saying "my faith was renewed", but more that the faith I had, which sometimes I take for granted, was bathed in gold and at the same time deepened to the rawest, most basic, elemental emotions one could experience. A very special gift.