Que es Camino ? : What is Camino ?
Please excuse the lapses into languages that are perhaps unfamiliar. As part of this journey, I am trying to learn Spanish or as it is correct to say,I am learning Spanish and it is sometimes very trying. "Vamos a llegar" or "we will get there" , which may well become the theme or the battle-cry for the whole trip.
The Camino is a long, long, long, long, long walk across the North of Spain. It is a pilgrimage route, well traversed over the centuries, to Santiago de Compostela. It is also known as The Way of Saint James,as the remains of the saint are believed to be interred in the cathedral in Santiago,the final destination for the many pilgrims who travel this path each year.
As with roads well traveled there are many routes to this end destination and there are a number of different ways to reach Santiago along the Camino. There is the Camino Inglés, a stroll at 110km in length ,the Portugese Camino from Lisbon is 620km from Lisbon, the popular French Camino from Saint Jean Pied de Port at 769km and the Northern Camino,at 817km. There are more. Did I mention that it was long ?
In the real world, covering distance by foot requires consideration of time so we have decided whether by accident,design, divine intervention or late night conversations with Malbec, or was it Rioja, to walk 200km over the 10 days at our disposal along the Northern Camino.
There is more information to be had on the Camino from those Wise Wiki Wizards on
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camino_de_SantiagoThe word Camino itself translates as path, road, track, lane. bypath, journey or course or just the way.
The Camino is often referred to perhaps, in a more secular non religious manner, as The Way.
I like the analogy of a path or a way. It is something that stretches in front of you, stretches behind you and is always where you are.
Symbolically the Camino is a journey of being with oneself, a conscious exploration of self reflection and the possibility of creating significant Life changes.
In a sense, it is a meditation on Life and its purpose, by travelling a sometimes arduous path towards personal understanding.
Ideally,as one walks,there is the creation of a state of being still, in motion.
In our busy lives we are often coming from somewhere and going to somewhere else, always moving, never still.
To be still in motion, now there is a meditation and.... a challenge.
The routes are marked by scallop shells. A symbol of the Camino and the tide of Life itself.
There is an excellent movie about the Camino called The Way staring Martin Sheen and his son Emilio Esteves, who also directed it. By coincidence as I write it is being shown on BBC2 this coming Saturday 9th May at 11.40pm . It is worth seeing or recording.
There are also a number of books on the Camino by notable travelers on the path, Shirley MacClaine's The Camino :A pilgrimage of Courage , Walking Home by Sonia Chouquette and The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho, the author of the best selling The Alchemist.
I haven't decided yet whether I will add to the collection - if only I could type while I walk.
Long walks require long hours of training and as with Life...who knows where the time goes.
PLEASE NOTE THE PAGES FOLLOW SEQUENTIALLY FROM BEGINNING TO END, FROM PAGE 1 TO PAGE 16. THEREFORE THE "OLDER" POSTS ARE THE NEWEST ONES IN THIS BLOG OR THE ONES AT THE END OF THIS JOURNEY - A VERY NICE IRISH TOUCH IF EVER THERE WAS ONE!