Posts Tagged ‘way of Saint James’

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 remembering 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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Posted in People, Travel/Urban | Comments (3)

Greyhound at Play

September 10th, 2010

I’ve recently fallen in love with greyhounds.

Now, I’ve always had a thing for dogs. But greyhounds are special. They’re sleek and beautiful to watch in action. They’re gentle, quiet (read also lazy) and sensitive creatures with a heart for mischief.

I came across a number of greyhounds during my Camino, and I got see just how special this breed of dog is thanks to a member of my Camino family, King Jimmy.

So, a few days ago I was perusing my archives and came across these shots, made in a park in Brussels earlier this year.

Hail to the King.

More coming soon!

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Posted in Animals, Portraits | Comments (0)

The Road

April 18th, 2010

Some time ago I decided to do Saint James’ Way, also known as Le Chemin de Saint Jacques de Compostelle, Il Camino de Santiago, etc…

I decided to follow the Camino Frances – as in, that part of the Way that starts in France (at the foot of the Pyrenees to end in Santiago. It’s an 800 km trek on foot.

By the time you read this, I’ll have started it some days back and likely well on my way, somewhere down the road.

That means that I won’t be posting anything new for a little while as I’m not taking my laptop with me. But I do intend to come back with a few good pictures (and stories) to share with you.

Until then, I’ll leave you with this picture, which I made in Brussels.

This age-old symbol of the sun, a menhir, was offered by the Xunta de Galicia to the city of Brussels and dedicated to the Anonymous Pilgrim. It was erected at the site of the city’s traditional assembly and departure point for pilgrims embarking on the Way of Saint James.

I propped up my flash on my backpack – which I set on the floor some distance from the menhir to camera left. I then exposed for the sky and snapped away.

Catch you soon!

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Posted in Travel/Urban | Comments (2)

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