Camino en “Bici” – A Special Alliance – Germany & Spain

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What better way than to start the Easter Holiday Spring Break week than being in the camino seeing pilgrim friends, as well as, making new ones. A very special thank you to Julio Castro Marcote, Director of the Parador Hostal Dos Reis Católicos, for introducing us to your friends Helmut Weingarten (Cologne, Germany), Jose Luis Penedo Del Rio (Cologne, Germany), and Cándido Pazos López (Santiago de Compostela, Spain) and for participating in Rexistro 108 Vilei. 

A wonderful collaborative CAMINO project in the works for 2015 with German Expo Bike Group and sponsors such as Bicigrino.com.  We look forward to seeing you tomorrow as you arrive in Santiago de Compostela and hearing of your Camino adventure!

Rexistro 108 Vilei is a creative photography project started by German Limeres in August 2011 where he captures the faces of the pilgrims as they pass his families country house along the French Route of the camino in Vilei. Just 3km outside of Sarria through the magical forest before entering Barbadelo/Vilei.  In September 2011 I joined German in capturing the video testimonials of the pilgrims as they share their personal camino reflections on the “What” and “Why” of their pilgrimage journey. Rexistro 108 Vilei is the first visual register of the global pilgrims in the world as they make their Camino adventure.

 

Spring Break On The Camino

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It was a great way to begin the Semana Santa Holidays – Easter Spring Break week – with pilgrims from around the world.  The camino was full of smiles, laughter, and many PEREGRINOS enjoying the blossoming of spring along the way!   We began the day with a foggy morning in Galicia enjoying hot cafe con leche, cows grazing in the lush fields of vibrant GALICIAN GREEN from lots of rain during our long LONG winter…, and fresh flowers everywhere. The Camino was a picture perfect postcard day!

Some 500 pilgrims passed us in the early morning in Vilei just next to Barbadelo 3 Km outside of Sarria beginning their pilgrimage week to Santiago de Compostela.  Small groups to large speaking languages from around the world – Pilgrims from many countries: England, Ireland, Germany, Japan, Korea, France, USA, Malta, Austria, Poland, Spain Y MAS! We enjoyed meeting, taking pictures and video for this years pilgrims rexistro 108 vilei. BO CAMIÑO!

Video: A special thank you to Laura Neft (Sacramento, CA), Rachel Saunders (Burlington, VT), and Jenna Truglio (New Britain, CT) for sharing a little of their spring break camino adventure.

Photograph: Kalie Halpin (Chicago, IL), Rachel Saunders (Burlington, VT),  Jenna Truglio (New Britain, CT), Kelly Lindahl (Maple Grove, MN), Will Lowther (Vienna VA), and Dylan Francis (Los Angeles, CA)

WAYFARING – Scott Herriott

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WAYFARING is A funny, real,  and honest documentary by Scott Herriott that shares the diversity of the camino experience. As diverse as the people and countries that come to to make their own pilgrimage journey. Every reason is personal, unique, and varied. This upbeat documentary shows the range of emotions and reasons why people make this ancient pilgrimage adventure as they walk, bike and horseback ride to Santiago de Compostela. A challenge on many levels wether you are journeying for religious, spiritual or other reasons you will be touched by the range of camino experiences and emotions captured in Wayfaring – and surely it will inspire each person in a different way to make their own journey of personal discovery.

“Scott Herriott is a documentarian, former stand-up comic and Bigfoot enthusiast. He won a regional Emmy for his hosting duties on Internet Tonight on ZDTV (later known as TechTV) and was also a contributor on the channel’s The Screen Savers. He was also a contributor on CNN’s NewsNight with Aaron Brown and currently co-hosts “The Bigfoot Show” podcast. His trail name is Squatch, but please don’t call him that at any social events involving tuxedos and/or martinis. He’s been shooting his own documentaries for the last 10 years and makes just enough money to still live with his parents when he’s not off galavanting in the woods.” – squatchfilms.com

Thank you to Juan Carlos Duperier of http://www.authentic-journeys.com for connecting me with Scott Herriott.  Thank you Scott for sharing your wonderful and inspiring Wayfaring documentary.

For more information please visit: http://www.squatchfilms.com

 

The Camino, Life & Art – Gabriela Quiroz

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“The word pilgrimage comes from the Latin word peregrinus, which means a person wandering the earth in exile, someone in search of a spiritual homeland.” -Ian Cron Chasing Francis

Gabriela Quiroz and I shared some special time talking of her unique pilgrimage experience as she made the journey with her  Travel Light Film companions, Lindsay Thompson, Lauren Martinez, and Ron Nelson while they were making the historic pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela and making their documentary – Travel Light – A Divine Documentary Adventure.

I hope you enjoy,  as I did, the personal experiences and insights that Gabriela was so kind to share with me about The Camino, Life & Art!  Gabriela’s love of poetry and insights on  how our eyes are the windows to our soul’s through her art she likes “Putting an emotion on canvas versus reflecting some kind of reality.” Gabriela shared with some pictures of her paintings. Truly impressive, inspiring, and beautiful.  Wonderful that Gabriela followed her inner desire to paint and express her self-taught artistic talents. Both Gabriela and her art express a beautiful, genuine, and inspiring soul.  Thank you Gabriela!

“As an artist and storyteller at heart, Gabriela Quiroz believes filmmaking is an art form and a powerful communication tool that encompasses all areas of the human experience. Born and raised in the highlands of Peru, Gabriela’s fascination with stories and moving images began at a very young age.” – Travelightfilm.com

Thank you Gabriela for sharing your camino reflections and thoughts during a little quiet time before our pilgrim group “barbacoa” – a spanish style BBQ on the camino.

For more information about Travel Light Films please visit: http://www.travelightfilm.com

“One Step At A Time” – Tara & Mick

CAMINO MEMORIES & NEW BEGINNINGS! 

Thank you Tara & Nick for sharing some of your camino reflections from 2011 as your journey has continued your memories and experiences of your adventure will inspire others! Yes, just like my first blog post sharing your adventures was called The SMILES Say It All – that’s for sure!!!!!

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Memories from 2011 – Our lives at the moment….

Hello everyone!  We hope everyone is doing well?

It has been a long time since our last email and a lot has happened in that time so we try and fill you all in on what has been going on in lives of Tara and Mick.

As you all know we left London in August and went to Paris on an all night bus ride which was pretty painful The driver (French) must’ve been new, he stalled it as we left, got lost a few times. We made it and only a few hours late.

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Paris- It was a pretty nice city but still a city and could tell we were keen to get down the coast to some quietness. I thought Paris was a nicer city than London though it seemed a lot cleaner. We got to do the tourist thing but just a bit rushed.  We went to the Louvre, Notre Dame, the big roundabout and had Cheese baguette and champagne in front of the Eiffel Tower. The afternoon we went up to monte ? which was beautiful and such good views of the city we found a restaurant and had a few French delicacies like snails and crème Brule.

Leaving Paris we caught a train down to Bayonne right down the south of France it was so nice going through the country side and being back near the coastline. We went out to Biarritz the next day to see the ocean before we headed across Spain for a month. It was so good hearing breaking waves and put our feet in the sand. The next day back on the train again and on our way to Saint Jean Pied de Port an absolutely beautiful tiny little town just on the French side of the Pyrenees which is main start point for the Camino in France.

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We stayed in a really cool private Albergue (pilgrim hostel) for 2 nights so we could rest and prepare ourselves for our journey. The place we found out was 700 years old. We both loved St Jean must’ve been the nicest town the whole way along the Camino it was in a beautiful spot with a steam running through it with big Trout just under the bridge, old houses, narrow roads running up the hills and castle city on top on it.

The Camino de Santiago- We were so excited to get started and knowing that that the first day is the biggest and hardest UP HILL ALL DAY! But it was also the most beautiful. We were extremely lucky this route can be very dangerous in the rain and fog and also in winter with the snow and is easy to become lost quite a few have died crossing the Pyrenees. The day before and after we left were rainy and foggy but we had a perfect day with blue skies and a slight breeze.

I have no idea how/what to write about ‘The Camino’ only that it was the most amazing adventure each of us have ever been on.  We have too many stories to even start, we’ll have to save them for when we get home. We don’t have a bad thing to say about it, both of us did very well I suffered from blisters and Mick’s knee played up through the Meseta, he had the start of tendonitis we did a few shorter days and then it settled down. We met so many amazing and inspiring people along the way. Stayed in some amazing places… one was a bell tower which we slept with a mattress on the floor. There were too many bunk beds to even start remembering them all. I had my birthday on the second day, Mick gave a speech at dinner… I was not expecting that from Mick (he is normally very shy)! We then met this lady 2 weeks later and after talking to her for an hour she asked if we were the Aussie couple which the husband gave this amazing speech that had people in tears at how beautiful it was… ha ha. So much to tell I will write another email just about the Camino for those who what to know more because I could go on for ages…

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Arriving at Santiago was overwhelming I sat in front of the cathedral and cried still unbelievable that I had actually walked all this way. We had an amazing night there, attended the pilgrim mass the next day at noon which was all in Spanish so had no idea what was going on but it was still so beautiful. A night in a fancy hotel yay! Then kept on walking another 3 days to Finisterre, it was amazing out there. The last 3 km were along the beach it was so nice to finish walking along the beach barefoot. There is one Albergue which is only for people who walk out there (alot of people bus it out there). The old tradition was to walk to the lighthouse (another 3 km uphill) at dusk and burn your shoes or a piece of clothing watch the sunset and you will awake the next morning a new.  We didn’t burn any clothing we just sat and watched the sunset and drank wine…

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*Leaving the Camino we were still lost as to what to do next, all this time to think you would of thought we would of come up with something… nope. So we booked flights back to London the last place I wanted to go back to but we had a bag of our belongings at a friend’s house we had to get.

We were there for one day, I think Mick noticed it more than what I did, but I was adamant I was staying no longer than a week. So we spent alot of time on the internet and sending applications, we then got two phone calls in one day with our job offers.

So we are working on a FARM for the next 6 weeks (a long story there) it is amazing out here, we look after 2 beautiful children and 2 chickens, there were pigs but they are now in the freezer! We live near the main house in an old caravan which is bigger than our flat in London, there is also an apartment next to us so anyone who wants to come visit COME NOW we have everything here for you, and we have our own car which has been quite a novelty for us. The nearest town is a 15min drive on the hwy and it is still only the size of Maclean if that! We are both so unbelievable happy out here. The family we work for are beautiful people. So we live 3 hours North West of London on the Wales boarder. A little colder than but not as cold as where were going….

Next part of the journey, on the same day we got offered another job working as a ski chalet host and driver/everything. In FRANCE yay! So we have been crazy busy applying for our French working visa. The season opens in December and goes until April so we have work and accommodation until then. It sounds amazing only it gets down to -25deg, still have to remind myself it will be amazing.  We really are both excited for this.

But for now we have our wellies on and food festival to attend… yum local produce! I forgot to say we have our milk delivered to our house in the old glass jars ha ha love this!

I would LOVE to hear what has been happening back home, please give us an update its been so long..

Love to you all love Mick and Tara

* Thank you Tara and Mick for sharing some of your camino experiences and I look forward to posting more about your journey and what changes the camino has contributed to in your lives.  Bo Camiño!

Castles, Monasteries & Cathedrals – Adria Lopez

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What do you get when you mix a passion for discovery, ancient historical monuments, and the inspiration of a 14 year old boy named Adria Lopez? You get an incredibly creative and educational website that will delight and invite you to explore and discover more of Spain’s treasured culture, history, and amazing beauty.

Adria Lopez has put his enthusiasm, creativity, and dedication together with his powerful vision to share the castles, monasteries and cathedrals in a most unique and captivating website that is a wealth of  fascinating historical information and is a visual encyclopedia that everyone will enjoy.

This weekend Adria Lopez is spending a very special time in a truly magical place as he was invited as a honored guest by the Turismo de Santiago de Compostela office to take part in some very unique activities in Santiago.  Visiting Santiago de Compostela is a dream come true for many around the world and this special honor celebrating Jaume’s fantastic creative project and dedication to share what he loves of his culture will surely add many more wonderful blog posts of incredible pictures and educational information for all of us to discover and enjoy!

Thank you Adria Lopez for sharing your passions that are inspiring so many to explore, discover and make their own travel journeys visiting the castles, monasteries, and cathedrals of Spain.

For more information please visit Adria Lopez’s website and blog: http://www.castellsmonestirsicatedrals.com

A very special thank you to Nathalie Archer, Sam-says Enjoy-life!, for sharing the newspaper article of Adria’s invitation and special adventure in Santiago de Compostela!

Barefooting The Camino – Sue Regan Kenney

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The camino inspires in so many ways and one never knows what all will come from this ancient, magical, and treasured pilgrim path.  For Sue Regan Kenney the camino has been a passion for years  before its recent “renaissance” explosion that is taking place around the world.  Inspired by her experience Sue has been on a continued camino adventure that has included making her own documentary in 2006 Las Peregrinas – The Women Who Walk, writing two books My Camino – A true story about the spiritual journey of a woman confronting her deepest fear, Confessions Of A Pilgrim, and now her amazing innovative design Barefoot Bottoms a remarkable new sole-less shoes that are full of Sue’s incredible spirit – Sue and her Barefoot Bottoms invention have incredible SOULS of another kind!

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Our feet take care of us in ways that are truly remarkable working in unison with all other parts  and systems of the body that make for the ability to stand, walk, run, and explore our world.  For my dear friends who are wheel chair bound or have physical disabilities of other kinds they have a powerful appreciation for their feet and have broken through barriers to new heights finding their own freedom and incredible personal accomplishment inspiring others to express their passions in life and achieve their dreams.

Everyone has their own special memories of “being” barefoot and what “going” barefoot means to them personally. Something at our core, a way of releasing, letting go and feeling truly FREE is engrained in our nature and enjoyed in the spirits of our childhood. A delightful pleasure as we grow up with those “freedom times” letting our feet out of the confines of “trendy shoes”, “socially accepted practices”, and “life routines” may happen less frequent becoming almost non-existent going from one type of foot protection and coverage to another with only the sleeping hours to let our feet out of their little cages to “breathe”.

Going barefoot is something that deep down inside gives one a sense of FREEDOM in a way that is uniquely liberating.  Something that is so natural and is enjoyed as an everyday pleasure when young transforms in a variety of ways as we all go through the different phases of our lives.  I have many special memories of enjoying being barefoot and also have realized that at different times I too phased in and out of how much “free time” my feet have been allowed to enjoy.

“Every time I go barefoot, I discover the joy and freedom I experienced as a child.” – Sue Kenney

“Walking barefoot on the Camino offers the opportunity to metaphorically step into the footsteps of millions of pilgrims before me, who may have walked barefoot too. And besides, I don’t get blisters.” - Sue Kenney

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Feet on the camino can almost be an obsession for many which is understandable when one decides that they will make this journey. No matter how many kilometers they choose, depending on the Camino Route, they will make their mark one step at a time on this ancient trail.  Quickly, the appreciation for one’s feet escalates in ways that can be indescribable. Focused attention is given to them that they have probably long awaited for and certainly deserve.  There are many lessons on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela and a whole book could be written on powerful ability of our feet to “teach us”.  As Ekhart Tolle, spiritual author and teacher, has shared: if we were to pay close attention to our breathing for one year, that this simple act of noticing our breath, has the potential to expand our consciousness and help us to “awaken”  more than participating in any other form of meditation or spiritual practice.  I think the same could be said of paying attention to, listening and learning from our feet as they help to guide us in new directions, with healthier practices and routines.

For those who have experienced the camino either by foot, bicycle or horse there are special rituals and practices of foot care that each pilgrim puts together making their own special combination. Like an ice cream sundae with special toppings favorite foot rituals can range from vaseline applied before socks made of just the right combination of fibers, little camino breaks with rinses in fresh local rivers and cool streams followed by massages of all types, as well as, one great tip from a dear pilgrim friend,  warm vinegar salt foot baths that provided immense pleasure and soothing relief to my tired and aching feet.

I have a couple very special camino memories about feet. I remember when growing up that my father would change the shoes he wore every day giving his feet a break and switching it up so to speak which reminded me of my camino days in boots and nights in hiking sandals providing my feet with a different experience each day just like my dad. I also enjoyed another daily routine that of rubbing my feet with vaseline before putting on my socks  that reminded me of when I was a child and the way my mother would put on my socks and shoes before going out to play. Both these reflections of feet brought wonderful remembrances where I could picture and feel that love. The wonderful memories are so powerful of these simple, tender signs of loving affection and attention that many times it has brought tears to my eyes.

The gifts of the camino are profound on so many levels.  The power of connection to nature, our relationship with ourselves and others, an ability to encourage incredible life transformations and new creative endeavors.  Sue has taken her camino experiences and shared them with others in amazingly inspiring ways!

“Being barefoot grounds us with nature, nurtures creativity and helps our body to heal itself. It’s soul simple” – Sue Regan Kenney

I would like to thank Sue for inspiring me on many levels and for this invitation to explore a special feeling of newfound freedom as I have been out discovering my local area in Galicia barefoot style!  It has been a most delightful adventure feeling the different textures under my feet and between my toes.  Sue’s education on how to do this properly and that it is a process are much appreciated.  I remember during my second camino in 2012 where I walked, biked and experienced by horseback this adventure from Roncesvalles, the French Way , that I had been blister free and had pretty happy feet until the last week when my spirit was wanting to express some EXTRA – freedom and camino treasures by walking in the sunshine without my boots.

I had bought a pair of good quality hiking sandals, which were almost as expensive as my hiking boots, but the years of confining my feet in traditional shoes and also having SUPER high arches, a trait inherited from both my parents, my feet were not prepared… Unfortunately the desire for this new expression of freedom toward the end of this camino led to months of pain, walking with a limp, and a bone spur fracture that I would need to heal.  As with all experiences I looked for the gift and lesson and found an even deeper appreciation for the distance my feet had taken me during this camino journey. Also, a realization that just like life and the camino having good information and listening internally to your inner guide are a combination that can make all the difference in having GREAT and memorable experiences that are as pain free as possible.

So now armed with Sue’s educational and inspirational information I will keep exploring a little more of the freedom feeling of going BAREFOOT and am looking forward to experiencing Barefoot Bottoms here in Galicia and along The Way when Sue makes her yearly journey to Barefoot The Camino May 2014.  Thank you Sue for your friendship and most thoughtful and generous gift to send me Barefoot Bottoms to discover a whole new level of BAREFOOT FREEDOM!

I would like to again extend a very special thank you to Sue and Dr. Carol Francis for making a most inspiring radio interview together when I was unable to make the scheduled time.  Your thoughtful support and fast action helped to inspire our connection, this blog post, and also in creating a radio series with Dr. Carol Francis where we will share more inspirational and life transforming stories about the Camino.

Dr. Carol Francis: Radio Interview with Sue Regan Kenney – Barefoot Bottoms and the Camino:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/dr-carol-francis/2014/02/17/synchronicities-spiritual-messages-susan-mann-spanish-camino-pilgrimage

Synchronicities: Spiritual Messages-Susan Mann Spanish Camino Pilgrimage
http://www.blogtalkradio.com

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For more information please visit: http://www.suekenney.ca

Barebottoms. A real barefoot shoe designed by the author of My Camino, Sue Kenney who has walked the Camino 10 times and leads groups. Sue experienced the healing benefits of Earthing after only a few months of barefooting and committed to share this natural health related sustainable approach with others. She designed a sole-less shoe to encourage people to go barefoot everywhere. Her pitch to the hit CBC TV show Dragons’ Den was aired earlier this year.

My Bottoms Never Looked So Hot – by Max Zografos:
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