Doing it again

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June 2012 I embarked on an adventure walking 790km across the northern part of Spain (El Camino).  Everyday I questioned “why am I doing this….” – I have never been so exhausted in my entire life.  My feet ached every step of the way, yet the beauty, tranquility, peace, joy and pilgrim friends around me filled my soul so whole-fully that I knew I wanted to share part of this special journey with my daughters ages 13 and 12.  19 March 2013 I return to the Camino to walk the last 223 km (Foncebadon to Santiago) with Cassidy and Tanika …… one step at a time…………

Pilgrim friends from all over the world that I met on the Camino last year have been asking – “why are you starting from Foncebadon?”  Firstly it is the most hectic part of the Camino, our first day is a descent of 1.460m, secondly there is absolutely nothing there but a few old buildings, 2 Albergues if I recall correctly and thirdly it is going to be freezing cold (possible even snowing which by the way I am not prepared for!)  Well – the initial thinking was to walk from Sarria to Santiago (110km ) and then Santiago to Finsterre, the so-called end of the world (90km).  The last 90km I did not do last year, a conscious decision taken as I wanted to walk this section with the girls.  So be it – plans have changed due to the girls eldest brother, Brad who was in a tragic car accident and has been in ICU for +- 6 weeks.  This most unfortunate situation has been somewhat traumatic for both the girls.  Sleepless nights, emotions and deep worry for their hero brother they asked to go to the place on the Camino where they could lay a stone for Brad.  Cruz de Ferro being one of my highlights when I walked last year I agreed that this would be our starting point to give the girls the opportunity to leave well wishes and positive thoughts for Brad as he slowly recovers from the car accident.

Traditionally pilgrims have left a rock, whether picked up along their journey or brought all the way from their homeland.  Some of the rocks contain little messages to loved ones or the name of the pilgrim’s home town.  The mound of rocks have been forming over the years and I would estimate the rock pile to be about 15 feet high.  People leave the rocks for various reasons, some commemorate loved ones, some ask for blessings, some ask for forgiveness, some leave well wishes for others, some just leave a rock for no reason and some leave their pain there!!  Cassidy and Tanika will leave a stone that they have decorated and a letter they have written for Bradley at the iron cross with well wishes, love, hugs and a speedy recovery.  There wish is that he recognises them and that he will be able to talk, walk, laugh, eat, drive – basically live an exciting life again soonest!  ……and this is the reason why we are starting from Foncebadon!!

Cassidy has also opted to take a stone along for the SA Team who depart for Texas, USA to compete in the international drum majorette competition  Had we not relocated to Johannesburg last year Cassidy would have joined the team in Protea Colours representing SA.  It has been a painful journey for Cassidy to embrace that she is not part of the SA team.  Hopefully our 223km walk will help her come to terms with her pain and emotions around drummies!

Tanika has also opted to take a stone along for all the homeless and hungry children in SA.  Her wish is to be in a position one day to help charities who in turn help others in need.

I will take a few stones to gentle lay at the iron cross, each one will be filled with unconditional love, hugs, health and wealth for those who are dear to me.

Below is a photo I took last year – each and every item you see has a story behind it.  I remember feeling extremely over whelmed with emotions!

The notes, memorable items, photos attached to the iron cross!

The notes, memorable items, photos attached to the iron cross!

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  • Leander

    I have just dropped you all off at the airport for this exciting and hopefully not too cold journey. Enjoy every step, I will be thinking of you all & constantly looking for updates. Love you guys!!!!

  • jmeyersforeman

    HI, I love your post. My husband and I walked the camino sept & Oct 2012, we were exhausted and our feet hurt, but we loved it. the beauty that surrounded us, the friends we made, and the time we had together was amazing, and yes we are thinking/planning on doing another camino. I am sure that the trip with your daughters weill be very special. Buen Camino

    • lovethecamino

      Hi thanks for your kind words go read my blog of my walk last year (if you would like to) http://www.sparksblogg.com
      We started our walk today under heavy weather conditions snow,rain,mud you name it we experienced it today.

      • jmeyersforeman

        well at least you can be reasonably confident that the weather will get better?! I am looking forward to your updates.

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