Posts Tagged ‘chemin de st jacques’

One Year Later

May 20th, 2011

I know it’s been a bit light of late, but well… Today marks the second of two very special first anniversaries this week.

On the 20th of May 2010, along with a small group of friends, I hit Fisterra (or Finisterre). My Camino was over. My 900km trek – spanning 36 days of walking and totaling some 39 days – had come to a close.

On the 16th of May 2010, my 33rd day of walking, I entered Santiago de Compostella.

So this week I’ve been┬áremembering so many of my wonderful experiences on the Camino and thinking of the family I made along the way. Not that a day has gone by without my thinking of the people who made it so magical.

Above, our Camino Family. Or a small part of it, at any rate.

There are many ways to enter Santiago. You can enter it on horseback, shortly after dawn:

You can enter it by bike, like these three matching ladies and their matching bikes here:

Or you could enter it on foot, which is what I did.

However you enter the city, you will be overcome with emotion. You will stop, in awe or shock or both, in the square in front of the cathedral. Perhaps you will stand in silence. Perhaps you will cry, because you can’t believe it’s over and because it is.

However after those first few moments pass, and you start meeting up with people you’ve met on the Camino, they will make way for joy.

On the 18th of May I departed Santiago and began my Camino to Finisterre. I was lucky. I walked with friends. That first night, I came across this entry written by a friend in a diary at an albergue in the town of Negreira. Brought tears to my eyes.

In the distance to the left is Cape Finisterre. The End of the World:

Our little family of pilgrims made their way to our agreed meeting point at the cliffs at the end of the cape, where we prepared for sunset.

After the sun had set, we set fire to the wooden dummy, dressed up as a pilgrim in clothes abandoned by pilgrims. We each tossed something into the fire. A symbol of our lack of attachment to material things, or of a promise to abandon a habit… As many reasons as there were people.

We have all since scattered to the four corners of the globe. And though I am quite bad at staying in touch, I have not forgotten. I miss you all.

Tonight I will be thankful, and I will celebrate.

More coming soon!

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Time Flies

April 14th, 2011

Time flies. It really does. Today marks one year since I took my first steps on the Camino de Santiago from St. Jean de Pied de Port in Southern France.

Memories of this extraordinary time have been flooding back at me of late. This is probably due to three things.

The first is that two dear friends are leaving this very day to start their own pilgrimages on the Camino. One of them is going for the second time.

The second is that I recently had the opportunity to watch The Way, an absolutely beautiful and moving independent movie by father-son duo Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez, which follows an American father who travels to St. Jean to recover the body of his son who died on the Camino and decides to walk it in memory of his son.

The third, last but not least, is a small package which arrived in the mail just a few days ago. A prototype of a DVD project begun by Alexander Ruediger, a friend I made on the Camino and who turns out to be something of a celebrity in his native Austria.

I’m overjoyed to have had the chance to collaborate with him on the production of this beautiful DVD which offers impressions of the sights and sounds of the Camino de Santiago. I contributed a number of pictures to the project. I can tell you, I was so excited to see my pictures featured both on the cover of and on a DVD!

The DVD will be launching soon. You can find out more on www.camino-chillout.com. Unfortunately, my German is about as bad as my Chinese, so I can’t understand much of what’s featured on the website… Hehe.

More coming soon!

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