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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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Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.
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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Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.

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!
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
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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