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Retired Armchair Trekker

#1
Just home having completed the Camino Portugues in the second half of May. My motivators were Ivar, our forum host, gdb, the many wonderful people, most of whom I have never met, who make up the contributors of this site and lastly my husband.

Our Camino was different in that we joined a group. Six walkers whose ages ranged from about 30 to mid 70’s and a leader. Our luggage was shipped daily and accommodation was pre-arranged.

Our six months of preparation, walking the boots in, walking with our packs and training on flat dry dusty and sealed roads in Australia left us ill prepared for the Camino. On reflection we probably would not walk with wet weather gear again – our bodies overheated under it and our clothes were soaked through. We would never have made it to Santiago without our walking poles. The undulating countryside peppered with rocky surfaces and heavy rain resulted in blisters for my husband while I suffered a stomach upset during the latter part of the journey.

I had seen the Camino as a place for reflection and contemplation. It turned out rather differently – a more apt description would have been a test of endurance in uncharted territory. gdb warned us to “expect the unexpected” and that “the Camino would provide” and it did.

Amazingly at times when you felt that you did not have the energy to go forward somewhere from within an inner strength emerged and you completed the day’s walk.

We marveled at the unimaginably green rolling hills, the granite posts that supported the grapevines in the fields, the ornate churches and cathedrals, the people and the tastes of Spain that made the Way so memorable.

We found encouragement came from the locals along the way, group members and Karen’s group who we tagged on our first day of walking.

There was an overwhelming sense of achievement as we waited patiently on the steps of the Pilgrims Office to receive your Compostela. At the Pilgrim’s Mass the following day we had the good fortune to see the botafumeiro swung – what an amazing spectacle (paid for by a group of tourists who looked like they had been bussed in for the day).

To Karen, “are we there yet” takes on a whole new meaning and “yes” my hubby was happy it was over. Like Raymond the Reluctant he came along to support my dream.

As a postscript, saw Brother David’s van parked in a carpark in Cornwall last week.

Thank you all for being a part of my dream that became a reality in May. Go for it on the Camino Portugues – no crowds there. May the memories linger on.
 

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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:
#2
WOW Rose Louise - you can't call yourself an Armchair Trekker anymore!! Peregrina, you have walked the walk - and talked the talk!
Well done!! (Where to next?)
 
#3
Hi Sil,

Appreciated your positive encouragement over the past fifteen months for prospective walkers. Where to next - that question has already been asked a number of times today on our return. Can't say, but what we can say is that the CP has put us in good stead for whatever we decide to do next. For the time being I will just enjoy reading the posts on the forum!

Be happy and cheers. RL
 

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:
#4
Keep these in your 'to do' file Rose Louise - the St Francis trails in Italy.

http://www.camminodifrancesco.it/eng/index.php

A beautiful, 80km (piece of cake after the Portuguese) 80km walk in Italy - the Saint Francis Walk is the same route travelled by the Saint in the Sacred Valley - complete with a 'credencial' and a certificate at the end.

If you are feeling really encouraged by your CP you could try the 350 km (or a few more) trail from La Verna and the woods of the last hills of Tuscany to the lovely wide valley of Rieti in Lazio, through the most meaningful sites in the life of St Francis: http://www.diquipassofrancesco.it/En/homeEN.html

Sigh!! So many trails...... not enough time or money........ sigh. Especially us retired peregrinas who live so far south!
 
#5
Sil,

WOW Rose Louise - you can't call yourself an Armchair Trekker anymore!! Peregrina, you have walked the walk - and talked the talk!
Sil you suggested we "talked the talk". This morning we turned up at the local Probus meeting to hear a talk by a local businessman. Unfortunately about five minutes before the meeting he called to say he was unavoidably detained and would not be able to give his talk.

Guess what, we walked through the door just when this news was being relayed on a cell phone and next moment we found that we were being asked to give an hours talk on our camino. Meeting format is: business, tea break, speaker. During the tea break I drove home grabbed my pack, boots, spray jacket, walking stick (complete with snacks tied to the stem), sellos, compostelo and photos.

After hubby did the lead in of our journey from Australia through Porto to Tui I donned my camino gear and got into camino mode, we walked the group through our chance meeting with Ksam, the vineyards, small rural holdings, granite homes, cobbled paths, churches, major highways, drenching rain, blisters and all the camino held for us, arriving at the Cathedral exhausted but happy. While we don't think there will be any converts we had a wonderful time reliving our not so distant camino and sharing it with 65 other people.
 

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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:
#6
Hey - well done you two!! Isn't it great to share?
Now you can compile a Power Point with slides of your walk and give talks to other organisations. I have given dozens of talks - mostly to Probus, ARPP (Assoc Retired people and pensioners) WI's. WA's - Retirement Villages etc etc. Few, if any, of these folk will ever walk the camino but they love to hear about it and ask many questions.
Yeah - now you really have talked the talk!!
Hugs,
 

gdb

New Member
#7
Hola

The question still remains unanswered - where to next? I remind you of a quote from my favourite author "Only one thing makes a dream impossible - the fear of failure" so dont be put off by your fear and start dreaming about your next adventure.

Once you have finished tinkering in the workshop you can focus on all the future posabilities.

Keep smiling

gdb
 

jl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
#9
I too have had a busy time doing presentations to various groups. Did an hours talk this morning to our local U3A "Faith, Hope and Charity" group, and have been booked for a Seniors Education talk in the Christmas Holidays as well as a couple of Probus Clubs.

A tip for those who are doing presentations - I have divided mine into segments (Paths, signs, churches, pilgrims to name a few) and put background music to it and burn it onto a DVD. I inserted a picture of a shell in between each section so that I can pause the presentation and talk. The programme I used for it was windows movie maker and it has worked a treat. I usually let each segmet play through without me talking - it gives me a break, and I always go with a couple of DVD's (just in case one doesn't work) and I also take it on a memory stick as well - nothing worse than having something fail to work.

I have been surprised at how interested people are. Indeed, although it might take a few years to get organised I wouldn't be surprised if there are quite a few people where more than a fleeting thought was implanted and where action might occur! regards, Janet
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#10
I've been "booked in" to give a talk at the local tramping club. I like the idea of your 'categories' Janet.... Margaret
 


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