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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:
A friend started walking on Tuesday - here is her first message:

Sooo exciting ... zurich was a white out ... our plane looked like a carrot cake dripping with tooo much creamcheese topping! 2 inches of snow had to be removed at the de-icing pad and engines needed assitance to start! cos of minus temps ... but airport was sooo efficient! ...
Madrid airport is huge but the info desk were really very helpful with directions.
Luxury bus ride from madrid to pamploña thru beautifully maintained farm lands was an easy 5 hour trip.
Disappointed ... unable to start walk at Roncesvalles .. knee deep snow, and pass over Pyrenees closed ... this has shortened my walk by 40 km ... drat! now my route only 700 km!
Superb, sm, clean, neat, warm, german friendly stay at Paderborn Albergue at riverside house is highly recommended .. sang german songs and had a reading from german bible after breakfast ... left me with fuzzy wuzzy warm feeling in my heart!
Walked Pamplona flat ... quaint and very, very old ... famous for the "running of the bulls" every july... founded by Romans in 75AD ... cathedral about 600 years old!!
my backpack fits like a second skin and my shoes feel like snug slippers..
Feel like i am light years away from Durban...
love ... peace... healing to you all in abundance :)
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
More from Margaret on the camino:

Pamplona to Uterga
when you are on a well planned mission with the right motivation, no external conditions should sway your direction ... 17km, non-stop rain, sucking, slippery mud, rocky ,wet paths, icywind off snow slopes 400m away, mist, 2 degrees and less at times - whatever - i am on the Canimo and exhilerated!!
my gortex lined waterproof Salomoms were heaven sent, i was dry under excellent rain pants and jacket, my gloves filled up with icy rain!!!
nothing beats a hot shower and to die for hot coffee at the Albergue del Perdon at Uterga!
keeping company with 27 yr old girl from Germany, 37 yr old girl from south Korea - conversing was challenging and a laugh!!
What did i learn? keep a positive attitude, keep going in planned direction, team work is essential, value each other's strengths, God is wonderful!! a smooth path is only good in fair weather, rocky paths are better in the long run.
sillydoll said:
More from Margaret on the camino:
a smooth path is only good in fair weather, rocky paths are better in the long run.

When all the current snow melts, I imagine this will seem all too true a statement over coming weeks. I hope I am able to keep hopeful as your friend Margaret does, in the face of lots of mud and rain!
Kiwi Margaret
I do remember mud and rain! this year it will be with a lighter pack! I took my pack to a veterinarian and weighted it on the dog scale. yesterday it was 16.4 pounds, (7.4K) today I repacked and its 15.4! going in the right direction. thanks to Margaret for some wonderful reflections.
sillydoll said:
17km, non-stop rain, sucking, slippery mud, rocky ,wet paths, icywind off snow slopes 400m away, mist, 2 degrees and less at times - whatever - i am on the Canimo and exhilerated!!

That's the spirit! :D I'd rather be there - in those luvverly conditions! - than in a nice centrally heated room counting down the weeks before I set off. Can't wait.

Very light, comfortable and compressible poncho. Specially designed for protection against water for any activity.

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From Margaret:

hi to all ... Puente la Reina .. 683km to go ... i am sitting on the 11 centuary bridge over the River Arga, eating chunks of bread and cheese.. sipping cool water from the town water fountain at Puente la Reina ... the main church has the most jaw dropping ornate interior...and i went to mass there .. just beautiful ... we took a detour off the route to visit a 12 centuary church at Eunate ... i felt saturated with ancient blessings permeating the 1m thick walls ... the tears just rolled down my cheeks in awe at the history of my faith ... do you realise how old your culture - religion - faith is? and who took the time to hand it down to you? today i give thanx for this ...

Estalla ... 661km to go ... today i took the time to pick a flower to give a fellow walker who was battling with a sore ankle ... i hugged a dear old local lady who was watering her pot plants outside her door dressed in blue fluffy gown, and fat ankles stuffed into blue slippers ... i blessed the cricifix hanging out of a fellow travellers backpack ...i chatted to a horse and waved at a tractor driver in the fields ... and healed a very tired gentleman resting at a bridge... - today I encourage you to add value to someones life in a simple way .... the landscape is like a symphony to my eyes - spring trees sprouting bright green leaves ... orchids busting with blooms ... butterflies ... birds ... vineyards ... green farmlands ...mountains ... valleys ... and very, very old buildings and churches - here at Estella, the monuments date back to 1090... awesome...

to walk the journey of life - you need God, a positive attitude, a passport, some money, and a good pair of walking shoes - how simple can life be!

Love, Peace, Joy, Faith, Hope and Courage to you all

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