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In the shadow of Pilgrims - Graeme Bennett

gb

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2005 Le Puy en Velay > Santiago; 2012 Seville > Santiago
#1
I hope to maintain periodic contact throught this site as I walk from Le Puy to Santiago, starting on 25 August.

I have opened a weblog at:

http://www.gbwalk.blogspot.com

Entries will be posted there too.
 

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#5
Buen camino Graeme

Hello Graeme,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts as your date of departure was getting nearer. I am able to relate, and appreciate. I am leaving in 2 weeks from Canada, and hope to be in Le-Puy on the 12th september.

I am anxious to be there and get walking also. :D

Buen camino Graeme!


Michel
a.k.a optimus
 

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gb

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2005 Le Puy en Velay > Santiago; 2012 Seville > Santiago
#6
On the Camino

At D15 on the Camino.

All is going well and am having a pause, based at Limogne en Quercy.

Have been very impressed by the warmth of reception at all lodgings and by other pilgrims and walkers along the route. There have been notable moments at the Convent at St Come, at the Hospitalet St Jacques at Estaing and at the Abbey at Conques.

A new contribution has been made at http://www.gbwalk.blogspot.com (in French this time).
 

gb

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2005 Le Puy en Velay > Santiago; 2012 Seville > Santiago
#7
Injury and frustration at D19!

What? Injury?

Yes, I have been forced to stop walking the Camino due to a pulled muscle in my leg making it impossible to continue walking for a few days at least. I am taking 5-7 days off to see how the muscle mends and then will decide whether it is OK to carry on. On Tuesday, when I took the decision, walking 10km seemed a long way!

Several other pilgrims were sympathetic, offered pills and potions and wished me a good recovery - so, now, I must just wait.....

More details are in my chronicle at http://www.gbwalk.blogspot.com
 

gb

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2005 Le Puy en Velay > Santiago; 2012 Seville > Santiago
#9
At SJPP

Have now reached SJPP in the most splendid weather!

3 nights rest here before crossing the Pyrenees on Mon 10 Oct.

The experience so far along the Camino has been marvellous so anybody planning to do it at a later date has much to look forward to....

My latest chronicle entry is, as usual, at http://www.gbwalk.blogspot.com
 

gb

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2005 Le Puy en Velay > Santiago; 2012 Seville > Santiago
#10
A good crossing of the Pyrenees with 2 days spent between SJPP and Roncevalles. Most marvellous views on both days but gale force winds on the second day while going over the top meant the going was more difficult than it should have been.

Am now at rest in Cizur Menor, a charming village just outside Pamplona.

Details in my chronicle blog as always: see above.
 

gb

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2005 Le Puy en Velay > Santiago; 2012 Seville > Santiago
#11
The Camino is really a step back in time: staying in old albergues (= inns), seeing villages and churches which date back 100s of years, being reminded from time to time of those who provided for pilgrims in the early years of the last millenium, eg Santo Domingo de la Calzada and San Juan de Ortega.

It is also a form of escapism for many: no need to keep in touch with the world, but the enjoyment of meeting other walkers of like mind walking to Santiago or part way. I think many pilgrims return to do part or all of the Way because they enjoy the experience and they hope to re-capture the good moments they enjoyed the first time - and they must succeed because they do it more than once!

Two nights ago would be a case in point. In the Albergue de Juan Bautista at Grañon there was a special atmosphere. First, the albergue: situated as an attachment to the church with one wall being common to the church and inn; a dining / sitting room with room with dormitory as a mezzanine floor overlooking the dining area, the whole under a wooden, sloping roof. In the corner a large fire-place, later lit by the Frenchman (hospitalero) running the place (for a fortnight), and a filled in church window in the church wall; upstairs the bell tower (where washing could be hung!). Second, the people: 19 pilgrims sat down to supper after a Spaniard had entertained us to guitar playing and singing, and another had sung in a powerful voice, and afterwards he could be heard singing in the church during evening prayers. A particularly attractive albergue, well run - and sleeping on mattresses on the floor was no discomfort after a 28 km walk! I was tempted to have a second night there, but will do that in the important town of Burgos, due to be reached tomorrow, where there is much to see.

And what of the walking? Wonderful, long, open views across rolling and, indeed, mountainous country. On Monday (17 October) the sunrise was spectacular and we could see the Pyrenees, well over 100 km away, silhouetted against the sky in the dawn light. Most days are good but yesterday was not! Rain throughout the walk which was largely beside a busy main road (also known as the Camino de Santiago), but today was really good being through open country, then forest, over a "pass" (1150m), a visit to the fine old church of San Juan de Ortega, described as a jewel on the Camino, and finally into Atapuerca, a small old village, and an old albergue for the night.

A landmark : passed the 1000 km mark on this day, the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#13
Com-pan-eros

A Portuguese priest told us:
"Solitude is necessary and often welcome but there are times on the camino when we need com-pan-eros, the ones we share bread with; not just the edible type but also the bread of our experiences and the many insights, revelations and learning that we consume as we walk along the Way. Spaniards say “Com pan y vino, ande el camino” - with bread and wine we walk the camino."
Thank you for sharing bread with us Graeme. Makes us feel as though we are there with you on the road.
Sil
 

gb

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2005 Le Puy en Velay > Santiago; 2012 Seville > Santiago
#14
On the Camino

Delighted to get some feedback from you Pilgrim and sillydoll. ItŽs good for morale to know one is not writing in a vacuum!

A new contribution is in place at the usual blogspot (see above) in French today.

Am enjoying the pilgrimage immensely! I am now at exactly the half way point between SJPP and Santiago. Looking forward to a dayŽs rest and exploration at Leon in about 4 days.

What do I have to do to share the wine, sillydoll?!
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#15
Companeros

Hola Graeme,
It is wonderful to hear that you are enjoying your camino. Camino pilgrims walk forever westward and it reminds me of this poem. I'll share it with you (in spirit) over a glass of wine in Carrion de los Condes.

As travelers oft look back at eve
When eastward darkly going,
To gaze upon that light they leave
Still faint behind them glowing
So, when the close of pleasure’s day
To gloom hath near consigned us,
We turn to catch one fading ray
Of joy that’s left behind us. –
The Journey Onwards: T Moore.

Sil
 

gb

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2005 Le Puy en Velay > Santiago; 2012 Seville > Santiago
#16
....and quietly flows the Camino

Many thanks, Sillydoll, for the poem: apt to say the least and very nice.

Further news at http://www.gbwalk.blogspot.com

Leon tomorrow and a dayŽs repose, at least.

There are more pilgrims than I expected at this time of year.
 

gb

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2005 Le Puy en Velay > Santiago; 2012 Seville > Santiago
#17
A new arrival

Have been joined by my wife...excellent!

Progress has been good, through sun, wind, rain (what else in Galicia!), even a few flakes of snow near the Cruz de Ferro.

We are now 35 km from Santiago, and, God willing we should stand in front of the Cathedral on Monday, 14 November.

A further bulletin has been posted to the chronicle at http://www.gbwalk.blogspot.com

Ultreia!
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#18
gb and wife

Ah Graeme! Now you can earn the wine!

Learn these words and sing them as you enter Santiago.

Dum Paterfamilas (Codex Calixtinus)

Dum paterfamilias, Rex universorum
Donaret provincias, jus apostolorum
Jacobus Hispanias, lux illustrat morum,

*Primus ex Apostolis! Martyr Jerosolymis!
Jacobus Egregio sacer est martyrio.

Jacobi Gallecia open rogat piam,
Glebe cuius Gloria dat insignem viam,
Ut precum frequentia cantet melodiam:
Herru Sanctiagu! Got Santiciagu!
E ultreia! E sus eia! Deus adjuva nos

God, Father of all mankind, King, ruler of the world
Gave to his apostles dear, lands, each to their own just care
James in his own land of Spain, Shines out with a holy flame

*First amongst Apostles now! Martyred at Jerusalem!
James became the holiest by illustrious martyrdom!

Lo! James’s Galicia calls out for our pious toil,
Marching on the holy way, road over her glorious soil.
Blending all our prayers in one harmony of endless song:
To Lord St James! To God’s St James!
And Onward! And Upward! God speed our way!

Sil
 

gb

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2005 Le Puy en Velay > Santiago; 2012 Seville > Santiago
#19
Arrival in Santiago!!

....and it came to pass that I finally arrived in Santiago, accompanied by my wife on foot, on Monday, 14 November.

A really good feeling....have seen the Cathedral, been to the PilgrimsŽ Mass yesterday and we are now exploring this marvellous city.

The latest edition to the chronicle has just been posted at http://www.gbwalk.blogspot.com

Thank you for the Latin poem, and its translation, Sillydoll. I did not see it until I had reached Santiago, but no matter. We will still celebrate with wine! And think of you and others in whose shadow I have walked.

On tomorrow to the end of the earth.......!
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#21
GB & Mrs GB

Congratulations. You are a true pilgrim.
Dante said: "They are called pilgrims who journey to the house of Galicia, because the tomb of St James is farther away from his home country than that of the any other apostle".

The Dum Paterfamilias is the "E Ultreya e sus eia.." song of the Codex Calixtinus - part of the Libre Sancti Jacobi (Book of St James) that was written by Aimery Picaud in ± 1137. Pilgrims have been singing those words ever since.

Enjoy the end of the world!

Sil
 
#22
Re: GB & Mrs GB

sillydoll said:
Dante said: "They are called pilgrims who journey to the house of Galicia, because the tomb of St James is farther away from his home country than that of the any other apostle".
don't think the good monks of St Andrew's would have agreed with that :)

sillydoll said:
The Dum Paterfamilias is the "E Ultreya e sus eia.." song of the Codex Calixtinus - part of the Libre Sancti Jacobi (Book of St James) that was written by Aimery Picaud in ± 1137. Pilgrims have been singing those words ever since.
'Ad honorem regis summi', which also contains 'e ultreia e suseia', is attributed to 'Aymericus Picaudi, presbiter de Partiniaco', but what hand he had in the rest of the Codex is highly questionable. Most likely it was a compilation of various sources. LSJ is simply another name for the Codex (which, despite the name/attribution, had nothing to do with Calixtinus).

If you're interested in pilgrims' songs, I'd recommend Cancionero de los peregrinos de Santiago by Pedro Echevarria Bravo, which is available in bookshops in Santiago (or at least was when I was last there).
 

gb

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2005 Le Puy en Velay > Santiago; 2012 Seville > Santiago
#23
End of the Earth

And so I have reached Finisterre and gone on...

The last 3 days walking from Santiago to Cabo do Finisterre were as good as any I had walked on the whole Camino. A fitting end to a walk!!

Having stood in the sea in the bay at Fisterra and had a toast in wine beside the Cross and plinth where St James is carved into its base at the Cape it was time to move on and back into the wider Camino of life.

I have updated the chronicle at http://www.gbwalk.blogspot.com
There may be one or 2 after walk words and, possibly, some pictures when sorted out from the 400 or so taken.

I hope the chronicle has been of interest to past walkers / caminantes and may be to future pilgrims.

Already the questions have started at home: Was it worth it? How far did you go? Would you do it again?

It has been the most marvellous experience in its different parts and as a whole.

Ultreia!

Graeme Bennett
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
#24
Again, congratulations Graeme... and thank you for your report.

I know that many have the same questions that you mention, and that your reports along the way will be very helpful for many walking "behind" you. I also think it is great that you link to your blog, for more information on your experiences.

Once home and relaxed, please feel free to upload some pictures on the "Album" section of the board here: album.php

This section is fairly new, so let me know if you have any questions on how to use it.

Thanks again Graeme,
Ivar
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#25
Music from the Codex Calixtinus

Thanks for that recommendation Peter.
I have a wonderful CD called "Miracles of Sant'Iago" by the Anonymous 4 (sadly they have split up) which is a compilation of medieval chant and polyphony for St James from the Codex Calixtinus. Hauntingly beautiful. I do have the music and words for Ad Honorrem Regis Summi, which as you say, also contains 'e ultreia e suseia'
Sil
 

gb

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2005 Le Puy en Velay > Santiago; 2012 Seville > Santiago
#27
Reference books and research

The guide books which I carried (see below) were extremely useful even essential on the Way itself. At the beginning I was sceptical of the utility of a description of the route such as one finds in a number of guide books. I tend to prefer a map so I can see where I am and where I am going. However, the route was not well signed in a few places and the map was not sufficiently detailed so I had recourse to the description in “Le Chemin du Puy vers St Jacques de Compostelle”. Nonetheless I am of the view that a map is necessary. That said, I met many pilgrims who did walk with a map or who did not have one at all. If one strayed from the Camino one could always ask the way, and often enough people would indicate to you if you had wandered off the route – which happened to me 2 or 3 times! As always on the Camino it comes down to personal choice….

The authors of the “Chemin….” always had something to say of interest for every stage, as there is so much history along the Way. Theirs was a veritable guide book.

The “miam-miam-dodo” gives addresses and telephone numbers of lodgings, shops, places to get food or eat it…..again a very necessary book.

I suggest that travellers carry no more than 2 guide books because of weight, but before leaving one should do as much research as possible about the route. I used the internet, forums in English and French and sites made expressly for informing people about the Camino de Santiago.

Reference books:
“Le Chemin du Puy vers St Jacques de Compostelle” by J-P Siréjol and L Laborde-Balen
“Le Chemin de St Jacques en Espagne de St Jean Pied de Port à Compostelle” by J-Y Grégoire and L Laborde-Balen
“miam-miam-dodo” by L Clouteau and J Cloteau for the route in France, and by C Champion for the Camino Francés in Spain.
"Pilgrim's Guide The Road to Santiago Spain" by JMA Jaen

Internet sites:
http://www.caminolinks.co.uk/4679.html
http://www.webcompostella.com/
http://forum.pelerin.info/list.php?bn=p ... ompostelle
<a class="postlink" href="http://www.santiago-today.com/board//">http://www.santiago-today.com/board//</a>
http://www.pelerin.info/article/index.j ... ubId=21493
http://www.aucoeurduchemin.org/spip/aaa ... brique=303
http://www.santiago-compostela.net/fr_bulletin.php
http://www.chemindecompostelle.com/index.html
http://www.caminosantiago.com/web_ingle ... grinos.htm
 

gb

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2005 Le Puy en Velay > Santiago; 2012 Seville > Santiago
#28
Statistics

Distance walked: Le Puy - Santiago 1553 km
Santiago - Cabo do Finisterre 96 km

Time taken: Total since departure to Santiago 86 days 44 in France, 35 in Spain
Actual days walking to Santiago 69 days 35 in France, 33 in Spain
Actual days walking Santiago -Finisterre 3 days
Day in Santiago 1 day
Total since departure 86 days

Average per day: Distance 22.9 km/day
Time (incl stops / visits) 6 h 14 min /day

Weather: Days on which it rained 22
Temperature range 0 – 30ºC

Gites / albergues visited 33 in France, 26 in Spain = 59
 

gb

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2005 Le Puy en Velay > Santiago; 2012 Seville > Santiago
#29
Reflections and ramblings a year on

So what is a former pilgrim thinking, doing a year on from his pilgrimage? A few reflections….

A year ago I was just starting to write my chronicle in the Santiago-Today forum and in my blog. Time seems to pass quickly and I have not made time to read about other pilgrims’ worries (before travel) and excitements (during and after).

Has my peregrination changed my life? In a word, no. My life goes on much as before. I think my outlook has changed marginally; however. I am far more aware than before of just how many people walk for pleasure, spiritual reasons or any other. My goal was simple: to walk 1600 km at one go from Le Puy to Santiago following what seems to be the oldest pilgrimage route to Santiago, a camino dating back 1055 years.

As I live not too far from the Camino in France I have occasion to cross it quite frequently, but I rarely see any pilgrims. However, recently I drove along part of the Chemin for a few kilometres east of Figeac and saw 5 pilgrims, walking separately, waved at them and they waved back. There are frequent moments of nostalgia: out running in the early morning brought back memories of seeing the sun rise, valleys shrouded in mist, the call of birds, the peace and tranquillity of the morn, the absence of people, beautiful countryside in both France and Spain, quiet villages.

I have had occasion often to mention to people I meet that I completed a pilgrimage to Santiago. Some show a passing interest:
“How far did you walk? How long did it take? Would you do it again?” are the most frequent questions. Occasionally, somebody will ask a lot of questions and show real interest, and then, of course, I can wax eloquently about the trip. Several friends followed my progress through my blog and then, of course, a number of readers of the forum followed it too. Several people remarked that it was really good that my wife joined me for the last 111 km from Sarria to Santiago. I thought it really good too! It gave her a small taste of what it was all about.

I started to write a proper account of my pilgrimage but it is not yet complete: too idle perhaps, or too many other distractions?! What I have found is that, by looking at my notes and photographs, I can recall quite a lot of detail about any particular day or place, and this is good for keeping the memory alive. I have read that some people have great trouble settling down again after the long walk but this has not been my experience. Normal life resumed at once.

Would I do it again? The experience of walking unaccompanied from Le Puy to Santiago I still regard as marvellous: meeting other pilgrims from many walks of life – the Belgian who started at home in Belgium, pulling his “trailer”; 2 Swiss, met separately, who started in Switzerland; a Russian who shared what was probably the worst accommodation I stayed in, in Spain,; 2 ladies who snored for England; a French couple and their Labrador; New Zealanders, Canadians, Brazilians, and the young Frenchman who insisted I stay at “En el Camino” in Boadilla del Camino, saying it is the best albergue in Spain……It was!

…..And what about places? A “concert” in the Abbaye at Conques with its sublime acoustics; the long distance views over the Aubrac in France and across the meseta in Spain; Burgos and its cathedral; the cock and hen in the church at Santo Domingo de la Calzada; the moving moment during Mass in the cathedral at Santiago; hilltops covered by windmills particularly on my second day’s walk after Santiago on the way to Finisterre; the somewhat grey, evening sky over the Atlantic “a los cinco por la tarde” when I reached the end of the earth at Finisterre.

So you can see that much remains in the mind exactly one year on from my departure. No doubt much is forgotten too, but no matter, there are good memories. Names of some villages in Spain conjure up nostalgic recollections: Puente de la Reina, Carrion de los Condes, Calzadillo de la Cuerza, Manzilla de las Mulas, Hospital de Orbigo, Rabanal del Camino….To me such wonderful names!

Visions of the Camino shall float them before me
Echoes of dreamland shall bear them along
Like the notes or the catch of a song,
Till the fields ring again and again
With the tramp of women and men

And no, I would not wish to walk the same route because the magic moments would not be there – but there could, and would, be others. Another route? Now, that would be of interest! They tell me that Sevilla to Santiago is good…….

I have not walked a step since I reached Finisterre last November, but a different challenge exercises me at the moment: trying to fly a paramotor (or motorised paraglider). Hmmm, to fly the length of the Camino would be good – but probably not practical. A 5 day walk was planned for this year on a variant of the Chemin but it is postponed to another year.

Why have I written all this? It just shows that even though I have not visited this or other forums very often since last November the reminiscences of the pilgrimage remain strong and while the pilgrimage may not have re-shaped my life it has certainly marked it.

Ultraeia !!
 

gb

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2005 Le Puy en Velay > Santiago; 2012 Seville > Santiago
#30
From in the shadow of pilgrims to other shadows

This time 4 years ago I had left Orisson (just in France) to cross the Pyrenees: day 46 of my journey to Santiago. My diary notes: “the wind was very strong...tugged, pushed, pulled, swirled in eddies around me, and even nearly stopped me!....Roncevalles boasted a very fine church (La Real Colegiata) with impressive inside and no less than 10 rose windows.” That was an 8 ½ hr day to cover 23 km.

In all a truly marvellous experience and which I remember with great affection. Readings here on this forum show that the Camino still offers plenty of interest, stimulation, controversy, friendship....and a sense of achievement.

It hasn’t changed me, save to admire those who do it for whatever reason, but it has taken 4 years to get going on another adventure: see http://gbdrive.blogsome.com
which has nothing to do with walking.

Sometimes people with whom one has been in contact on the Camino wonder what happens next, or later.

Buen camino to all who venture here!
 

gb

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2005 Le Puy en Velay > Santiago; 2012 Seville > Santiago
#31
Greeetings to all on the Camino on this special day, Sunday 25th July, 2010 and to those in particular who enter Santiago on this day.
 

ksam

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
#32
Re: From in the shadow of pilgrims to other shadows

gb said:
Sometimes people with whom one has been in contact ..... wonder what happens next, or later. !
That paraphrase of your comments could be the story of my life!! Even after dinner walks with my Grandparents in Germany, just intended to relax one for the evening...would always have me going further and leaving them on a bench..so I could see what was around the corner! And always asking what happened next! Thanks for obliging! Buen Camino on your next adventure! My other maxim to live by...what's the worst that could happen! Usually never as bad as you might think!
 

gb

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2005 Le Puy en Velay > Santiago; 2012 Seville > Santiago
#33
I shall be starting a new walk on the Via de la Plata on 7 September, 2012. To follow postings on this forum please see “Live" from the camino and see my title "In the shadow of pilgrims: VdlP - Graeme Bennett".

gb
 

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