My mind is filled with yummy thoughts of the Camino

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Pic taken 2013, Camino with the girls, this was in Molinseca

Pic taken 2013, Camino with the girls, this was in Molinseca

Those of you who listen to Highveld KFM 94.7 in the mornings while dodging Jozi’s taxi’s to hopefully arrive safely at your destination would have heard Whakehead play “500 MILES” last Friday. The words have been spinning in my head ever since ……..

I have spent the last few months in a wondrous, magical place thinking, planning, dreaming my next adventure. It feels like a homecoming, bizarre I know, however getting these feet back onto the Camino again is very exciting and more so because my best friend, Sharon is going to be by my side every step of the way. For those of you who followed my first Camino in 2012, will have met Shereez, referred to as my best friends daughter who walked most of the Francis Way with me. Well, her mom, Sharon, my best friend is embarking on her first Camino, “welcome buddy and I hope the bug bites as deep as it has bitten me, I want to walk all the Camino’s”!!

One of the other things I am most excited about, is the simplicity of life while on the Camino, rediscovering the joys of….

  • Using only shampoo AND not conditioner as well, in fact one’s shampoo doubles up as body wash
  • A sleeping bag, well the first part will be hotels as Albergues are apparently non existent, but from Porta to Santiago we will juggle between whatever is the cheapest accommodation
  • Doing laundry by hand with a bar of sunlight soap
  • Surviving in two MAYBE three sets of clothes for the duration of the journey
  • No hair dryer, no make up, just the pure natural look
  • Buying daily supplies in shops as big as a bathroom, limited choice of everything
  • No news, no TV, no worry, no responsibility – just “going with the flow”
  • Sharing a room, a bathroom, sitting with strangers at dinner

Mostly though, I have been reflecting… contemplating how I am going to love and enjoy the freedom OF JUST BEING! Will I find out more about “me”, will my beliefs solidify even more, will my purpose be discovered, will my confidence grow, will I return with new goals, wishes, dreams, direction, so many things going on in my head, all good and exciting. Even though I feel I can leap onto the Camino NOW, I keep reminding myself of the valuable lessons I learnt, some being – take life in baby steps, living life one decision at a time, patience, gratitude, grace and there are loads more……..

Life continues to be a work in progress!

It’s hard to believe that almost two years ago, on July 25, I arrived in Santiago de Compostela. I miss the Camino. I miss the walking, the meditation, the people, the beauty, the physical pain I struggled with has faded in memory, leaving only pleasant thoughts of endless hours in deep spiritual contemplation…… I think I actually miss the Meseta the most, the long, shadeless stretches between towns… the sound of my step, the movement of my poles, the rhythm of the walk… all lulling me into a meditative trance of love, peace, and joy… Sometimes, when I close my eyes and quiet my mind, I feel the rhythm of my walk… my feet and shoulders all moving to the beat of my humming and at times my whispering, left… right… left… right…

Since I’ve started writing about the Camino again I realise there is just so much I have not shared, suppose there are too many unforgettable moments.

  • I’ll never forget the elderly gentlemen who became our Camino guru our first night in Roncesvalles and who wished us (Shereez and myself) well on our first Camino, when Santiago seemed so impossibly far away
  • I’ll never forget Shereez who found joy speaking to the cows, calling them her precious, her beauties, her friends
  • I’ll never forget the church bells ringing in the far distance as one approaches the villages
  • I’ll never forget cooking pasta with a group of friends in Astorga
  • I’ll never forget that day in Logrono when I celebrated my 48th birthday and Shereez made me a birthday cake from a sponge cake and a kit kat she got from a vending machine
  • I’ll never forget the blisters and Marco whom so willingly kept doctoring both mine and Shereez’s feet
  • I’ll never forget the massage I treated myself to in Los Acros and the rest day we took in Burgos
  • I’ll never forget watching the soccer game in the square at Burgos and partying till late with the Spanish
  • I’l l never forget the day we walked 47km’s (I will NEVER FORGET!)
  • I’ll never forget the live band playing in the square in Melide
  • I’ll never forget my camino angels, who made everything better
  • I’ll never forget the large Dutch family, home schooling 3 kiddies along the way
  • I’ll never forget the SMS I got from Tanika one morning “mom you are my hero”
  • I’ll never forget the day walking up hills became easier
  • I’ll never forget the people I met, the friends I made, the memories of great laughs we had
  • I’ll never forget the creaking, noisy bunk beds
  • I’ll never forget how lucky I was not to have been bitten by bed bugs
  • I’ll never forget all the encouraging messages I got via SMS, whats app and Facebook
  • I’ll never forget the peregrino meals @ 9 euros, for a 3 course meal plus a bottle of red wine
  • I’ll never forget the toilets without toilet seats
  • I’ll never forget the night in Triacastella where the gentleman in our room snored so loud we all got up and started walking at 04h00 as no one could sleep
  • I’ll never forget how 5 of us tried to walk in the dark with only two head lights lighting our way
  • I’ll never forget the Fuente del Vino
  • I’ll never forget walking through depressingly deserted villages
  • I’ll never forget the mom and daughter who walked in dresses everyday and singing so loud it irritated me beyond comprehension (bwahahaha)
  • I’ll never forget the massive back pack in Astorga and everyone waiting to be photographed – the pose being “the back pack on your back”
  • I’ll never forget my morning ritual, uno cafe con leche par favor
  • I’ll never forget the beauty of the rolling green hills while walking to O’Cebreiro
  • I’ll never forget lighting candles in various cathedrals sending well wishes to those close to me
  • I’ll never forget walking into Santiago
  • I’ll never forget the guy with ONE leg walking the Camino
  • I’ll never forget the 83 year old lady who walked every step of the Camino by herself carrying her back pack
  • I’ll never forget buying the most expensive walking sandals I bought in Viana and walking three quarters of the way in them
  • I’ll never forget hating my boots as much as I did yet I lugged them with me right till the end
  • I’ll never forget beingn so frustrated with trying to find decent computers and internet in the most rural parts of Spain
  • I’ll never forget the cow shit, the smell, the horse flies as big a cockcroaches
  • I’ll never forget the fresh juicy fruit left at farm stalls for one to take and pay on a trust basis
  • I’ll never forget the choo choo train trip we took in Burgos and Leon
  • I’ll never forget the margarita’s Shereez and I drank in Leon with Debbie and Jess
  • I’ll never forget the 1 litre of beer Shereez decided to drink in a monastery in front of the nuns, as well as sit in the park and finish it
  • I’ll never forget Shereez, Jess and Kirsten howling like wolves
  • I’ll never forget the day Shereez’s feet hurt so bad she wanted to take a bus and I felt so helpless
  • I’ll never forget the yogurts, they were so disgusting, nothing like our yummy fresh yogurts in South Africa
  • I’ll never forget those showers that only allowed for 5 seconds of running water at a time
  • I’ll never forget waking up to the music of buddhists chanting in one Albergue
  • I’ll never forget the time Debbie and I spent chatting about our lives on the Camino (miss those times so dearly Debbie)
  • I’ll never forget Kirsten teaching Shereez and myself how to master a bush piddle
  • I’ll never forget the day Shereez and I walked 17km on a cobble like road with no stops, no cafe’s, no water points
  • I’ll never forget the dinner the guys cooked for the ladies in Calzadilla
  • I’ll never forget the beers we downed at 11h00 in the morning in Reliegos at the Spanish Elvis Bar
  • I’ll never forget the wonderful night I had in Molinaseca
  • and of course I’ll never forget the cafe con leches (cuppochinos)
  • I’ll never forget….
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