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10th anniversary

alansykes

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Except the Francés
Saint Andrew's Day. 10 years ago today I was sitting at my first mass in Santiago cathedral, at the time speaking virtually no Spanish, when I picked up the archbishop's list of recently arrived pilgrims and realised that the "uno del Reino Unido, desde Sevilla" must be referring to me.

It was an almost embarrassingly moving moment. I don't know if it was then that what I had assumed was a one off "bucket list" walk in memory of my recently deceased mother turned into a probably lifetime addiction, but it certainly helped the process.

I had hoped to arrive in Santiago today and once more assist at St Andrew's Mass (I am partly Scottish and my farm is within sight of its border).

Sadly it was not to be. But I don't at all regret the 500-odd days I've now spent on several different caminos, covering 33 of Spain's mainland provinces, and 13 of its autonomous regions. Sleeping in everything from a partly ruined shepherd's bothy in the high Pyrenees to the parador in Santiago, 3 bullrings, an Inquisition prison, a dovecot, many former railway stations and schools, above a funeral parlour, in a few medical centres, a couple of town halls, convents, a palace, a former slaughterhouse, attached to various churches, in monasteries, sports centres, firestations, private houses and specially built complexes. Roasting in Andalucía to finding the water in my bottle had frozen nearing Zamora and getting soaked to the skin more times than sometimes seemed fair. Meeting many delightful, friendly and hospitable people, and a (very) few complete shits. Enjoying many dozens of delicious meals, and a (very) few disgusting ones.

Perhaps most importantly, learning to love Spain, its language, its literature, its architecture, its landscapes, its history, its people (most of them), its everything (mostly). Among the most enriching experience(s) of my life.

I can't wait to get back.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Saint Andrew's Day. 10 years ago today I was sitting at my first mass in Santiago cathedral, at the time speaking virtually no Spanish, when I picked up the archbishop's list of recently arrived pilgrims and realised that the "uno del Reino Unido, desde Sevilla" must be referring to me.

It was an almost embarrassingly moving moment. I don't know if it was then that what I had assumed was a one off "bucket list" walk in memory of my recently deceased mother turned into a probably lifetime addiction, but it certainly helped the process.

I had hoped to arrive in Santiago today and once more assist at St Andrew's Mass (I am partly Scottish and my farm is within sight of its border).

Sadly it was not to be. But I don't at all regret the 500-odd days I've now spent on several different caminos, covering 33 of Spain's mainland provinces, and 13 of its autonomous regions. Sleeping in everything from a partly ruined shepherd's bothy in the high Pyrenees to the parador in Santiago, 3 bullrings, an Inquisition prison, a dovecot, many former railway stations and schools, above a funeral parlour, in a few medical centres, a couple of town halls, convents, a palace, a former slaughterhouse, attached to various churches, in monasteries, sports centres, firestations, private houses and specially built complexes. Roasting in Andalucía to finding the water in my bottle had frozen nearing Zamora and getting soaked to the skin more times than sometimes seemed fair. Meeting many delightful, friendly and hospitable people, and a (very) few complete shits. Enjoying many dozens of delicious meals, and a (very) few disgusting ones.

Perhaps most importantly, learning to love Spain, its language, its literature, its architecture, its landscapes, its history, its people (most of them), its everything (mostly). Among the most enriching experience(s) of my life.

I can't wait to get back.
Thank you for so many great posts and inspiration.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Felicitations on ten years of walking and posting. Always it has been a pleasure to read your discriptive messages and to see your splendid photos.
May you continue to enjoy and share your future paths.

In the truest sense Ultreia.
 
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Stephen Nicholls

Steve Nicholls, Suffolk, U.K.
Year of past OR future Camino
Too many caminos to list in the permitted 100 characters!!
What an inspiring letter Alan: and you have summed up beautifully the feeling that so many peregrinos have at the moment.
I'm hoping for one final final camino in 2022 - the very short Baix Maestrat from the Mediterranean: it will be long enough for me as I'll be 83 by then!
Meanwhile - keep safe, and keep hoping and praying that world will be walkable again one day soon.
Ultreia!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Alan, may you have all blessings of the way for many years to come. That wish is not completely unselfish — your beautifully written posts from the road are a great joy to read. So the more you walk, the more the rest of us can be inspired to follow in your footsteps.

My first tentative and timid exploration off the Camino Frances came as a direct result of your description of Santa Maria de Lara on the Camino San Olav — reading your words and seeing such wonderful photos I thought, "I have to walk this camino." I did, and have never looked back. So I offer both congratulations and deeply heartfelt appreciation. Muchas gracias, and long may you walk!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Leon - Santiago (2015); Ingles (2016); Baiona - Santiago (2018); Pamplona - Burgos (2021? 2022?)
My first Camino was in 2015, from Leon to Santiago, and when the priest announced "Uno de Estados Unidos, desde Leon," I had the same reaction as yours, that sort of "hey, that's me!" and almost crying. And the botafumeiro flew, and that was that.

Happy St. Andrew's Day, Happy 10th Caminoversary, and wishing you many more adventures!
 
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Stephen Nicholls

Steve Nicholls, Suffolk, U.K.
Year of past OR future Camino
Too many caminos to list in the permitted 100 characters!!
It's time somebody posted here - so here's the first [and maybe only] for 2021 :)
I am still hoping that borders may all be open NEXT year for my final final camino - this short one through villages that are all familiar to me.
However, this may now be impossible, as age has caught up with me, and, at 82 years of age, I'm not too steady on my feet, which really rules out the Baix Maestrat which must surely involve a lot of hill/mountain walking.
So, while my body is now too old, my heart is still in the camino, and the camino is in my heart. Having been an amateur photographer all my life, I have over 40,000 photos on my computer, and over 2,000 of the various caminos I've walked in my beloved Spain.
My best wishes ... my love ... to all peregrinos, and to Ivar, with thanks for a dozen happy years walking the hills of Spain.
May God bless you, keep you safe and keep you longing for that day when caminos may be possible again.
Stephen.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Best wishes to you Stephen and may you be able to walk once again in the near future. In the truest sense, Ultreia.

The following post was originally written 21/03/2020 at the beginning of confinement here in France; almost a year has passed since then but my sincerity remains ever true.

"My husband Bill and I at 80 and 81 after a year of extreme serious illnesses battened down. After closing our Marne-side b&b/pilgrim house, stocking medicine and food for the next months we continue to go forward together with courage and strength of will towards the inevitable.

All life is chance; things are or are not. I try not to worry about what I can't control but hope for the best while attempting to make things better.
Memories of successful past camino efforts help me keep going.

Ever since I discovered this Forum in 2009 each morning I have read/replied to the posted entries of the past day as the Forum became a part of my normal routine. One pleasure across the past decade has been the discovery of digital friends in unmet fellow walkers/readers with whom so much could be shared. Such are you for me.

Stay safe and well dear companions,
We who can not continue to walk as in the past can still continue on the pathways of our memory,

May we all have the mental and physical strength to persevere."

Margaret Meredith
 

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