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the rhythms of the camino: new article

3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
Loved your article Rob - and I've entered the competition to win your book! Hold thumbs!

Thanks for sharing, it makes me want to go again, and meet you along the way.

€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
HI Rob,
I was one of many who listened to you speaking when you were in Vancouver a year or so ago. I enjoyed your speech and your book which I either bought at the meeting or later. And I still enjoyed your article! Thank you for your refreshing perspective.
Yes - the rhythms - hmm - for me they include of course the walking each day for most of the day, the pleasure and pain of the daily use of my body in a way I don't experience anywhere else, the smiling 'buen camino' greetings from others, walking through mile after mile (km after km) of spring flowers- changing as the landscape changes, the time alone where thoughts wander, new and friendly faces and the time with others which has no expectation of anything beyond the moment, cafe con leche (I never drink coffee at other times), freshly squeezed orange juice, bocadillos and tortillas, lifting the pack off and on - knowing it contains everything I need, misty, moisty mornings and days tucked inside my rain clothes far away from the stresses of the world, stopping for a rest and taking my boots off for a lavender cream rub, church bells, little villages, kindness where it is unexpected, sharing meals, end of day showers, climbing into a top bunk, going to bed sore but happy... so many rhythms... so healing to a neglected soul.
As cyclists some of our 'rhythms' are different.

I did a lot of mulling about hills this year as we edged round the Massif Central.

There's the satisfaction of getting a hill right - speed, gears, energy, all paced right so that there's something left for the final push.

As a lumpy 50 something on a laden high street store basic bike, more often than not I would get it wrong, so I did lots of walking up hills too. Sometimes I needed Peter to pace me - or I would set too fast a pace and exhaust myself.

But a good long steady walking push is an opportunity for close study of the hedgerow or field edge. There was an exquisite sky blue butterfly on a lilac blue scabious flower that I won't forget for a long time. What is the rusty red (in autumn) fluffy growth I saw in the bushes - a round clump like a miniature mistletoe so I assume it's parasitic? Toadstools on the cut ends of logs stacked up, autumn crocus, blackberries, the way the light reflects of blades of grass, the variations in vine leaves - plenty to appreciate as the miles slowly go by. All these are familiar to walkers as well, of course.

But for us cyclists after the uphill comes a downhill! Suddenly we can stop all physical effort, settle our bottoms comfortably on the saddle and go-ooooo! A minute before we were hot and sticky, maybe panting, noticing a beetle crossing the road and hearing every rustle in the dry leaves, now the wind is cooling and drying us off and instead of heads down, studying every botanical detail, we're heads up, looking out across the landscape, considering the bigger picture - why are the hills that shape? which river valley is this we're sweeping into? where have the vines gone and what is that crop over there? is that church spire the first sign of our night's rest or is there much further to go?

And of course, sooner or later, as the rhythm re-asserts itself, along comes the next uphill!!

If I can do it, attached is a picture of Peter eating lunch at the top of the long uphill out of Tonnerre, north of Vezelay, during which we saw the butterfly on the scabious mentioned above!

No I can't - I'm sure I managed to do it before?! Well, when I can work it out, I will do so!!
The first edition came out in 2003 and has become the go-to-guide for many pilgrims over the years. It is shipping with a Pilgrim Passport (Credential) from the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela.
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc

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