Saturday, April 18, 2015

On the way again

We are getting really very excited about our next OE, not a Camino this time but will catching up with some of our Camino family! First we are off to Rome where we will be attending the wedding of Annie and Eduardo who we met along the way, after some time in Italy we will arrive in Switzerland to again meet up with Eric another Camino friend, then visiting family and friends in the UK and then on to Scotland to see Mike & Olivia, how special it will be sadly cannot fit in Brasil this time but it will happen one day.  Will keep you posted!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Some people I met along the way

I have been reflecting on our time in spain, walking the camino and although I did enjoy the simple act of walking each day, for me the highlight of the camino really was the people that we met along the way - I am reminded of a maori proverb...

He aha te mea nui ote ao? He tangata! He tangata! He tangata!
What is the most important thing in the world? It is people! It is people! It is people!

For me the camino was all about the people - they became like family, the shared journey and experiences broke down barriers, you came to know them well and could recognise them from a distance by their clothing, their way of walking. It was always a delight to see them again at the end of each day and if you hadn't seen them for a few days - the reunions then could get very noisy - so many hugs and kisses..... here is a small sample of those we met along the way.....

Barbara - a German lady but now again living in Nambibia where she had been brought up - Barbara travelled with us to St Jean Pied de port by taxi and walked with us the very first day - Barbara gave me her walking pole at the end of this day - I really came to rely on that pole, we were sad that we never got to see Barbara again.
Juliana & Christina from Brazil - Juliana was a speech therapist and Christina an architect - these two were so caring & loving - they continually encouraged me
Johan - from Sweden, a doctor working in the prison system -Johan was so relaxed in his walking and I really enjoyed talking with him, he was always the last to bed and the last to get up - he celebrated his 50th birthday while on camino.
Dean - a kiwi lad living in London - Dean had biked to St Jean from Paris leaving his bike outside the goodwill shop in St Jean - Blair used to call him, 'the Eta ripples man' because he always got through - often arriving at the alburgues very late at night - he was a bit of a adventurer - staying overnight in a shephards/pilgrim shelter (cave) the first night over the Pyrennes, he had his own little cooker, but was very cold. Dean had got his gear all second hand and his shorts held together with borrowed safety pins did make the distance. Dean had 'other commitments' such as tickets to a music concert in London, a holiday with his sister travelling on her OE - which he struggled with - should I stay or should I go-in the end he chose to stay and complete the camino Michael (Scotland) & Olivia (Mexico) currently living and working in London. Olivia was another encourager and so graciously interpreted for us many times and helped me especially get medical supplies when I needed it. Michael, so tall, he was steady and considerate - I loved watching him and Olivia walking downhill holding hands.
Hosea-Maria - spanish but living in Germany - retired early from Mercedes (quality control) as both his parents had died young - and he didn't want that to happen to him. Hosea Maria was very presise keeping us informed exactly how many kilometres we had done...
Natsumi - from Japan - fluent in English, Portuguese (had been an exchange studen in Brazil), and Spanish - Natsumi carried a very large pack, she was very sweet, everyone enjoyed walking and talking with her.
Sally a teacher of vision impaired children from London and her partner Roland a pilot with Cathay Pacific who lives in Hong Kong - talking to Sally took my mind of a difficult uphill stage one day. Sally was also a stitcher working on a very complicated pattern she had designed
DJ - who I've mentioned before from Korea called me Mama and told Jeremy he wasn't just saying that he really meant it - singing to me a Korean love song was very special
Gille - from France a 'beautiful' man who spoke no English and us who spoke no French - showed me you don't need words to communicate or really understand someone
Brian - a business consultant from Australia - Not sure how we got on to the subject of some of my past but Brian honoured me by listening to 'my story' his sensitivity amazed me
Erik from Switzerland - kindly shouted us several meals
Elke - a therpaist for IHC children from Germany - great sense of humour - we had been calling her Erika for about a week before she corrected us! Elke is going send her daughters on a camino for their birthdays.
Anna from Barcelona - who had recently lost her job -was taking her camino slowly so she could find our more about her country's history - she loved to share her country and language with us and took us for pinchas in Logrono. Yum
Luke - from Belgium a lecturer in theology - in particular Galatians, Luke seemed shy but had such a quiet strength about him -
Torsten - a university student from Berlin - I have mentioned many times in my blogs, his sense of humour and enquiring mind really kept me going some days - he made me laugh a lot which was a huge gift considering we were walking 38 km some days
Bernard & Collette who had literally walked out their front door in Belgium
Mr & Mrs 0 from Korea - sweet and gentle people -Mr O walked back down a very steep hill to carry a young womans pack up for her
The Italian who said he was a Templer Knight and was carrying a cape and sword which made for a very heavy pack
Fred a hand occupational therapist from Canada
Majory and Melissa also from Canada a 75 grandmother walking with her grandaugther
Janic a German student was quite worried about me one day stopping whenever I stopped
Isabelle from Spain - between jobs and because of a 'boy'
Sven from Denmark - really enjoying meeting new friends and walked the 'first day' of the Danish documentary
Mark from Germany who helped set me straight - he overheard me having a little moan that we had taken the 6km longer option by telling me we were going exactly the right way because it was far more beautiful
Eduardao - from Brazil - wowrking as a Sociology lecturer in England - 5th Camino researching the reasons of modern day pilgramages and Annie from Germany who met Eduardo on a previous camino - they see each other every 3 wks.
Sasha from Germany - enjoying the gastrinomical delights of northern spain
Tom & Derval from Ireland - not long married - had honeymooned in NZ - they were a lot of fun
Linda from Canada very kind & caring
Ernst from Austrial travelling with his sister and a friend - he entertained us one night gy singing folk songs from Africa.
A Danish film crew - will be filmed in Denmark at Christmas - Michael the presenter always looked great - he was even walking in a tie
and there are were very many more people and stories.....

This is the way

These are a few of the different markers that showed us the way we should walk - generally they were very obvious,
often just simply a yellow arrow painted on the side of a wall or on the footpath

other times more subtle - such as the brass shells embedded in the footpaths - especially in the towns which caused some confusion at times and even getting lost now and again

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our way

Each night Michael would recite the names of the places we had stayed so here I will map out the way we walked with km

Day 1 St Jean Pied de Port - Roncesvalles 24.8 km (adjusted for climb 31.7km)

Day 2 Roncesvalles - Larrasoana 27.7 km

Day 3 Larrasoana - Cizur Menor 21.2 km

Day 4 Cizur Menor - Cirauqui 27.8km

Day 5 Cirauqui - Villamayor de Monjardin 21 km

Day 6 Villamayor de Monjardin- Viana 29.6 km

Day 7 Viana - Ventosa 29.9 km

Day 8 Ventosa - Santo Domingo de Calzada 33 km

Day 9 Santo Domingo de Calzada - Belorado 23.9 km

Day 10 Belorado - Atapuerca 30.3 km

Day 11 Atapuercan - Burgos 20 km

Day 12 Burgos - Hontanas 31 .3 km

Day 13 Hontanas - Boadilla de Camino 33.5 km

Day 14 Boadilla - Carrion de los Condes 26.7 km

Day 15 Carrion - Terradillos de lls Templara 26.8 km

Day 16 Terradillos - El Burgos Ranero 30.9 km

Day 17 El Burgos Ranero - Leon 37.5 km

Day 18 Leon

Day 19 Leon - Hospital de Orbigo 37.9 km

Day 20 Hospital - Santa Catalina de Somoza 25 km

Day 21 Santa Catalina - Riego de Ambros 33.9 km

Day 22 Riego - Villafranca de Bierzon 37.4 km

Day 23 Villafranca - La Faba 21.6 km

Day 24 Le Faba - Triacastela 24.8 km

Day 25 Triacastela - Ferrerios 38 km

Day 26 Ferrerios - Palais del Rei 35 km

Day 27 Palaia de Rei - Ribadiso 26.4 km

Day 28 Ribadiso - Monte Gozo 38.2 km

Day 29 Monte Gozo - Santiago 5 km

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The story of the doll

I think I said in an earlier blog that I would tell you the story of the doll and why I gave my kiwi doll away. I had asked the brazilian girls Juliana and Christina how they had travelled to St Jean Pied de Port to start their journey - they told me they had flown into Pamplona and then taken a taxi across to St Jean - "Wow" I said that must have cost you - 80 Euros was the reply, but the taxi driver took us for lunch!! "Lunch! how strange" I said "I wonder why he would do something like that" Ah Juliana said there is a 'HISTORY'.... Of course there is always a 'history'
Juliana then proceeded to tell me about the story of the doll - Christina & Juliana had some friends who did the camino and who took the taxi from Pamplon to St Jean - the taxi driver gave them a doll that his wife made to remind them always of his country and perhaps they would then come back again to return the doll to him - they gave the doll to the the girls and they brought the doll with them back to spain - i'm not sure how they knew they had the right taxi driver but anyway as it transpired they returned the doll to the rightful owner who was so overcome with emotion that he took them to lunch - the story so stuck with me that I just knew when the time came to say goodbye to the girls I must give them the kiwi so that one day they would come to NZ and return it to me... now wouldn't that make some story...
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Friday, May 28, 2010

Home again..

Back home to our beautiful granddaughters Giana and Leila - they were so excited to see us again - here they are trying out their bird whistles from spain
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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pilgrims progress

we can hardly be called pilgrims anymore - we are now in Whistler, Canada, staying in a lovely lodge by a lake looking up to the mountians which are still covered in snow - it was the last weekend of the snow season, a holiday weekend at that - Queen Victoria day to be exact - so the place was buzzing - we went up the mountain yesterday and did the peak to peak - a gondola between Whistler and Blacomb - an awesome engineering feat - we got to see a young bear cub foraging and some chipmunks who are the noisiest of creatures - the best part is that we are really appreciating a few days in the same place, but we are definitely looking forward to coming home and our own bed... will attach some photos then