- Year of past OR future Camino
- Aragones 2008, del Norte 2009, VdlP 2011, Ingles 2014, Camino de Madri 2015, Frances 2017
Thanks Sean for bringing back these great memories. Just a little more about Seans and my time with Maria - I am very partial to a good brandy as a nightcap after a days walk, and after she stayed as a guest in my flat in SdC in 2016, she bought me a bottle of brandy as a thankyou. After she tragically died, I put the unopened bottle away until such time as Sean and I could open it and together toast her memory. This we did in 2018, in the cloisters of San Martin. The remainder is back in storage, until we both can be in SdC together, and toast Maria again.On 12th May 2014, Alan, my Australian pal, and I arrived in Santiago having just finished the Camino Ingles. It had been a short walk in beautiful weather and we were in good time for the Pilgrims Mass at 12. We spent a few days in the city before we started a volunteering stint together in the Pilgrims Office.
On 12th May 2015 Alan, Mike from America, Ruben from Madrid and I arrived in Alcazaren on the Camino Madrid having walked in from Coca. We were in the Bar Real to collect a key for the alburgue when we met Maria, a lady from Holland, who had arrived just ahead of us. Maria (in her seventies) was walking alone and had been on the way for seven days. She joined our happy band for the rest of the camino and we parted the very best of friends. The next year she started on the Primitivo but had to stop in Lugo with what she thought was a knee issue: she bussed it to Santiago and spent a few days with Alan who was volunteering in the Pilgrims Office. We kept in touch and Maria subsequently had a hip joint replaced later that year: it hadn't been her knee at all. She had a laugh about that. In 2017 we arranged to meet to walk the Invierno and hopefully to volunteer together in the Pilgrims Office. Plans were well advanced when totally unexpectedly Maria was diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer: after a brave fight, she sadly passed away on 23 August that year. We were devastated, she was such a vibrant, positive, happy person. Those two dates, 12 May 2015 and 23 August 2017 will always have a special place in my camino memories.