Guest Post: A New Camino

Today’s Guest Post is by Paula Stokes. You can see more from her on her blog site at https://wellcomeonline.org

It’s my 50th trip around the sun next July.  Nearing the big 5-0 is getting me excited for more travel.  I have a list of places to go and I’m contemplating a return to The Camino.

The Camino de Santiago is a series of trails across Spain and the surrounding countries of Europe.   The end is in the city of Santiago de Compostela, in the northwest corner of Spain.  The Camino has several routes. I walked the Camino Francés, the most common.   I walked part of the way in 2013 and completed the trip in 2014.  It’s about 500 miles and takes a full month to walk.

“The French Way (in Spanish: Camino de Santiago Frances) which goes from the French side of the Pyrenees through the interior of northern Spain as far as Santiago de Compostela, in the Spanish region of Galicia. It’s the most famous and followed route of El Camino de Santiago.”

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Here’s a link to a blog post from my last trip…and a few pics from the start.  See my happy face???

“(September 24, 2014) Well I’ve done it again. Landed in Paris.  Lorna was my inspiring seat mate from Vancouver. Lorna is 84 years old and solo traveling.”

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A few Paris sights….(it’s not all work)

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And Roncesvalles…

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                    Early morning mist in Roncevalles at the foot of the Pyrenees

Good news! You can also bike the entire route, just do a few parts or take bus tours.  I chose to walk and started solo because it’s inexpensive, well-traveled but still feels like an adventure.  The Way is…. life slowed down and simplified.

A typical day?….wake up, put your pack on and walk….  My routine included start walking, a stop for coffee after an hour or so, walk, then stop for lunch and walk.  My day ended late afternoon to early evening.  I stayed in a mix of hotels and pilgrim hostels or ‘Albergues’ (common word for hostels in northern Spain from Old Occitan albergue). 

Taught me how to make a whistle from an acornThe WayDennis aka The 'Hamburgler'IMG_0236
This lady gave me walnuts from her pail. still have themIMG_0241

Oh… by the way, there’s magic on the trail.  Days slow down and your mind will start pushing out all the clutter.  The trail has a ton of great energy built up over the centuries.  Previous to going on my first camino, I spoke with a friend Deb.  She’s walked several times.  She told me about getting into a town late.  It was raining and cold.  She thought to herself ‘all I want is a nice warm fire and some soup’.  It wasn’t long before she found an albergue for the night.  The proprietor welcomed her in, asked her to sit by….wait for it…the fire AND handed her soup!  Still not convinced?  Here’s me riding a white horse after I said, ‘I really want to ride a white horse”.

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Donna Janigo shared this link with me.  Jeanee aka The Alaskan Pilgrim is a friend of Donna’s family.  She finished her walk a few days ago and produced this series of videos chronicling her journey.

The best part of the camino is the small villages along the way.  Locals will welcome you, small kindnesses are common and so are smiles.  It is common to receive a Buen Camino (good walk/journey)!

Buen Camino to you!!!!

Websites

Camino De Santiago Blog | The Way of St James Blog

The Way of Saint James – Official Portal of Tourism

How much money should I budget for the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage? – Quora

Movies to inspire your WAY

The Way (my original inspiration)

Life in a Walk

(explores an alternate route, documentary style)

5 Best Films About The Camino De Santiago (Spoiler, The Way is #5)

https://wellcomeonline.org

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One Reply to “Guest Post: A New Camino”

  1. Traci thanks so much for posting! Exciting to share my story on your blog.

    Paula Stokes says:

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