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athgarvan

EL CAMINO

Though no longer young I love walking and try to do several kilometres every day. So you can imagine how envious I was when my friend  -  of my own vintage  -  last summer completed the famous Camino de Santiago, he pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Saint James in north-western Spain, where legend has it that the remains of the apostle are buried. He's bragging about it since.

The Camino  can start anywhere but my friend took the usual north coast route. It involved walking the last seventy-five miles from Sarrio to Santiago which is the minimum distance required to receive the certificate awarded to bona fide pilgrims. This is the most popular Christian pilgrim route in the world. The pilgrims come wishing to experience physical and, especially, spiritual renewal. My friend was surprised that pilgrims from around the world had one thing in common: their willingness to help and encourage each other along the way. Weather did not seem to worry them. His joy and satisfaction at having completed the course meant so much to my friend. What a pity I could not have had that satisfaction myself. You never know, maybe I'll try it yet!

The scallop shell (above) has long been the symbol of the Camino.

Comments

Yes, I often wondered if there was a connection because of the shell in your username.
You obviously started much further afield. What did you experience?
What wonderful reading all that makes. How interesting you make it. I have been reading and reflecting on your experiences. Thank you so much. May the Good Lord bless you on your journeys
A very old tradition, of which it would be wonderful to partake.
The idea of pilgrimage seems deeply embedded in the human psyche. I believe even non-religious people participate in the Camino and derive benefit from the experience.

For some time I have had a hankering to do a local pilgrimage, perhaps to Bardsey Island. I'd have to do it in stages. I wonder if 2013 will be the year I finally get around to it?
Go for it. We're all behind you.