|In Finisterre at the 0.0K|
|Starting the day in Arcade, Spain|
|Entering Spain in Tui.|
|Small buildings to keep grain|
Folks wonder why we would do a camino more than once. The first (French route across northern Spain in 2012) was longer and more arduous. This one easier in time and logistics was harder for me physically.
|Scenery along the coast of Spain|
I suppose I am always wondering in life if there are answers to the big questions - Why are we here? What am I put on this earth to do? How do I connect my head to my heart? How do I connect my head to my body? How do I accept my aging?
|Spa town of Caldas de Reis|
with thermal waters
I thought that walking a camino might give me answers to questions but the thing I realized is that there are not always clear answers as the questions are always changing. The beauty of the land, the joy of exercise and moving my body, the challenge of something difficult, the happiness with Richard each day as we set off for the next town, the new friends along the way - these are the gifts. Are they answers to questions - maybe yes....maybe I am here on this earth to be in community, to share life experience, to listen, to help others, to be close to my higher power, to pray for my friends and family (I did place many stones on alters along the way) and to JUST BE.
Thanks for traveling along the "way" of my mind on this lovely morning in Spain.
Tomorrow we are off to Pau, France to stay in a little studio apartment for two weeks and have our first experience of French culture together. Au revoir mes amis.
|Anne and Irma before Arcade|
Notes to remember:
- We walked about 140 miles.
- Met Irma from Switzerland who now lives in Melbourne, Australia - she fell out of bunkbed and was sent to hospital. Broke her arm/wrist and continued but we never saw her again after Arcade.
- Met Allistar and Aislinn who live in Brussels. They walked with us several days and we had meals together and enjoyed our day on the bus to Finesterre after reaching Santiago.
- Will surely see Anne and Michael in Australia someday in the future.
- Beautiful scenery - Eucalyptus trees, grape vines, fig trees, orange and lemon trees, chestnuts, apples, maples, pine - green everywhere.
- Loved our support company - Portugal Green Walks.
- Read blog about food - not the easiest for a gluten free vegan but we managed everyday. http://vegan-food-adventures.blogspot.com.es/
- Remember our ritual of strong decaf coffee at every stop - different than our usual tea.
- I am ready to make another walking trip but less mileage per day is my future.
|Richard is "tree bathing"|
And thoughts from Ricardo
There are as many reasons to walk a camino as there are not and I think that every reason seems to have equal value. So why did I choose to do it again? Did I not learn what I needed from the first one to Santiago through the French route five years ago? That is a question that I've asked myself and I am unable to answer it with much clarity.
However, here are my thoughts after this camino. First of all I like challenges and putting myself in uncomfortable situations which I enjoy and walking 140 miles to a religious site meets this criterion. Was this enough of a reason to take on this journey from Porto, Portugal to Santiago, Spain? Maybe yes, but walking everyday is a journey and does the destination really matter anymore?
This is how I feel about life now, just living one day at a time which is my life camino. Caminos show me that we are human and fragile and being with other people from all over the world helps me to realize that we are all equal and deserve the same respect and consideration. I have come to see the world without borders and everybody in it as my brother and sister. After the walk I was certainly glad that we finished and now is the time to take the much needed rest. So like life, with yin & yang or hard & soft, these opposites were demonstrated in this camino where every day I needed to take inventory of my stuff and my body, then walk just walk.
|We reached Santiago with besties Anne|
Yes I was very happy to do this camino and if my body allows I would do it again but now I rest.