Return of the (Slowpoke) Pilgrim

Three months ago, this week, I packed my bag, flew to Spain, embarked on a journey (some would say out of lunacy) – and walked to the end of the world. Well, in some ways it certainly felt like it. I won’t give you the exact distance that I walked, not because I want to keep it a secret but because there seems to be some discrepancy in the figures provided by maps, guidebooks, way-markers and various signs. Suffice it to say that, in total, over two months’ time, I walked – at a record-slow pace and in mostly tolerable pain – somewhere in the vicinity of 1-1000 kms… leaning more precipitously towards the latter.

The first day I arrived in Spain, I went to a little café-with-character around the corner, settling down in my usual reclining pose on a comfy couch in a side room. When I looked up and saw this chalkboard sign on the wall in front of us, I asked Esperanza to translate, just to be sure…

IMG_5515
May your dreams be greater than your fears

Inquiring minds: apologies for my blog-absence. But I have no regrets, because I knew quite simply that I did not want to be among the legions of pilgrims that are attached by the hip to their emails and Facebook accounts and blogs. I wanted to be totally, fully and indisputably present every day, rather than inextricably bound and betrothed to my blog. And anyways, internet access (by which I don’t mean wifi) was so sporadic, unpredictable and expensive, that I’m rather grateful to have made no promises that I couldn’t realistically keep.

But now that I’ve earned my possibly faux-Latin compostela (certificate of Camino-completion), I’m hoping to sift through my pix and stories; pick and choose, and share some tasty bits. For starters – and what better way to start – I’d like to introduce you to my four-legged friends. At least those that helped me get my feet wet, helped me get my travel legs, helped me strike out on this possibly true / possibly faux-pilgrimage.

Here first are Sancho (left) and Popeye (my savior-man/burro); apparently so named because he loves spinach. I can attest to the fact that they also love dried baguettes, wildflowers and long grassy weeds.

IMG_5882The dog, a mutt named Santi (shortened form of Santiago), of unknown pedigree, was once a stray, then rescued, is loved to bits and loyal to a fault. Though a male, his sweet and easygoing disposition led me to often think of him as a her – and to calling her Shanti. Which didn’t exactly endear me to padre di pero (the dog’s daddy), a German man nicknamed Oscar. Who incidentally was also the donkey handler.

IMG_5813These three furry quadrupeds (and Oscar) accompanied me during the first wee week o’ walking. What an adventure it was. I only wished I could have continued to walk with these lovely animals… but alas, it was not to be. My subsequent walking assistant and carrier was of the  two-legged variety, the silent type and, well.. more on that another time.

IMG_5643IMG_5621IMG_5649IMG_5678IMG_5698IMG_5724IMG_5726IMG_5738IMG_5756IMG_5821IMG_5817IMG_5831

IMG_5844IMG_5863IMG_5876IMG_5861IMG_5929IMG_5941IMG_5957I think Santi is moping in this one because he knows that it’s our last day together… 😦

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14 Comments

  1. I’m so happy you’re posting again Amit! What a journey. Can’t wait for the next installment. I had to use my phone’s conversion feature to get a feel for what 1000 km would be. So 621 miles give or take. That’s impressive. And you lived to tell. That’s even more impressive, Way to go!

  2. Well done on this wonderful achievement Amit. I’m looking forward to your upcoming posts about it, as I always enjoy reading about the experiences of others on the Camino. It never fails to stir up my own memories, and a trip down memory lane is always fun. Love the fury friends you shared your first week with! What a special experience that must have been.

  3. Amit. I’ve thought about you so much about you. I’m longing to hear more about your pilgrimage – these photographs are a wonderful start. What an incredible experience and I’m very glad that all your hard work paid off and you succeeded in your ambition and dream to walk to the Camino. What an amazing lady you are. Lottie xxx

  4. Amit,
    So proud of you for your perseverance with all those challenges, before even getting to Spain. The photos crystallize the exterior experience beautifully, …… cannot wait to hear about the interior ….
    Will you return to Bali soon?
    still here, working hard……….. and progressing .
    view the new website: http://www.sawahbali.org
    be well, do well
    and a hug for your efforts,
    Phiphi

    1. Hi Phiphi, So good to hear from you! A wonderful website, you’ve really pulled together a team of people with a vast range of passions and experiences. Good on you. I like the clean design of the site, and Robi’s song is a good touch – except that subtitles (or a translation below) would be helpful.. especially for people like me who have (boohoo) sadly begun to lose their bahasa!!
      Lots more photos to sift through, writing and reading.. hope to be in Bali sometime in the new year. Let’s continue this convo by email, baik?!
      xx

      1. Good to hear from you Amit and the photos and light of Spain are a tonic after a week of rain here. The frogs are back with the JL. Bisma orchestra.
        Yes, all the glitches are being worked out on the site, and translation of lyrics had been on there… but POOF! has disappeared.
        Just email as you return. Christine’s classes are still most wonderful.
        Hugs, phiphi

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