Thank You Camino For Special Friendships



I have been blessed with many special “synchronistic” experiences that has brought wonderful people into my life.  As they say the universe knows just what you need and provides an opportunity for people to come together, connect, and share in creating together special memories.

It was again this way that the universe knew how to bring me just the right people to make new friendships and share in helping me live in Galicia experiencing Spain as a real local.  God and the universe knew well she doesn’t speak much spanish so lets send her people who are kind, loving and Bilingual!

The story began in Fall of 2011 with a new friend Anna Maria Lopez who loves America and enjoys spending her vacations traveling learning more about the USA. She is a very talented and creative graphic designer who has worked with my friend German Limeres and also taught him graphic design more than 20 years ago. In 2011 Upon her return of her trip to America mutual friends said we should meet.  It took a few months with our busy schedules but it was a real delight from the beginning and our enjoying friday evening walks on the Roman Wall in Lugo. Anna shared with me that when she had returned from America she had told her sister she wished she had an “american friend” and wouldn’t you know I had just come to live in Lugo and was lucky to meet Anna and become friends.

Anna would bring me more synchronistic connections that go back 30 years to La Jolla, CA where I grew up. Anna had recently joined a hiking trail group for just a few outings one of which would lead to a very dear friend, Marisa Granda Escudero, who has shared with me her love of the camino, included me as one of her own family and helped to make living in Lugo a very special experience.

As it so happened Anna and Marisa were on the same bus for one of the 3 hiking outing the group shared. Marisa was supposed to be on another bus a different day but due to her work schedule ended up on the same bus as Anna.  They enjoyed hiking and though they had lived in the same city for 20 years had never met before. Anna originally from Barcelona and Marisa from Madrid.

After the hiking trip only spoke/emailed a few times and one was after Anna and I had met and Anna shared with Marisa there was an american woman, me, living in Lugo and that I was from La Jolla, CA.  Marisa said I went there for vacation when she was a young girl.  Just so happened that Marisa traveled there the same summer my family moved in 1976… Anna and Marisa said well soon we would all meet.

One friday I asked Anna how about we call Marisa.  Anna said that she had just emailed her 30 minutes before that we would set a time together.  Well, the universe didn’t want us to wait – I needed to fix my spanish cell phone and Anna had taken me to almost every store in town.. One we hadn’t been to was at the mall.  A place not the best for a friday night as it is one of the busiest times for the mall in Spain.  Also, Anna and I don’t usually go to the mall unless absolutely necessary as we enjoyed our friday night walks on the Roman Wall.

But Anna graciously agreed to keep helping with solutions for my phone.  We drove to the mall and of course it was packed…. But within less than 5 minutes we not only were inside the mall with what seemed like the rest of the town and bumped RIGHT INTO MARISA and her daughter Veronica.. So within 30 minutes of their email to each other the universe provided the RIGHT TIMING!!!

Marisa invited me that night to hear her son Miguel sing in his last live concert with a band he had sung with for years.  It was a special evening celebrating new friendships that has led to many wonderful experiences – Thank you Anna and Marisa for being open to the “Signs” and Flow that helped us all to become friends. I am forever grateful! Muchisimas Gracias por todo!!!

Thank you for letting me share this, Long, introduction to sharing Marisa’s Camino story but for me it is so powerful how the universe supports in bringing people together.  Marisa’s full name is Granda Escudero and the name “Escudero” is very historic in tradition as it was the name of the squires that helped the knights of the middle ages. Marisa has more than lived up to her name in the kindness she has shown me a mere pilgrim traveler (for more information on the heritage of the name Escudero please see below).

Marisa has enjoyed many Camino adventures and shares in a wonderful spanish tradition that some who are passionate about the camino make and that is to take a part of each year’s vacation and set out on a new camino journey.  What a wonderful way to experience the Camino and over time see how it touches, transforms and changes our hearts, minds, spirits and Lives!

Marisa Granda Escudero – Thoughts On Her Camino Experiences:

“I was born in Madrid and enjoyed many special times at my families historic village of Valdevarnes just outside of Segovia.  I have always had a love of nature, animals, meeting people and sharing in travel adventures. I have been a veterinarian since 1985 and have lived for the past 20 years in Lugo located in Galicia northern Spain one hour by car to Santiago de Compostela.

For me what I love about the Camino are the people you meet – the way is the people! It is not just that the landscapes are beautiful of course the landscape is amazing but without the people the camino means nothing.  Because it is for me this is what is special about The Way you are sure that you will meet people and  have an emotional and meaningful connection. You can share with them what you really are thinking and feeling.

You don’t really know why the people do the camino, some people have a religious objective,  some people want to find themselves, and most of the people I met were people that had a big change in their life, either a divorce, or death, or some thing that makes you want to change your life. Most of the people feel they want to change their job or they are trying to look for an answer. And maybe they wthink they that The Way will help them be themselves.

The camino has a special way of helping people to be open and sharing. Most of the people i met were this way.  Many needed an answer and wanted to feel something a sense of guidance and new direction in their life . Most of them did find something new and it helped them to share a nice experience as everyone is going the same way.

Everyone walking has a lot of respect for other people. They are kind and ask if you want to talk or do you want be alone – people have so much respect for others and for the experience that you are trying to have.

I had felt that since I was young I had wanted to walk the camino. Also, having lived in Galicia for so many years my interest in walking and experiencing the camino grew. I knew that when I started in Roncesvalles I would finish and arrive  in Santiago at the Meta(means the end).

I met a lot of different people from many countries. Once in Burgos, i remember that we were a group of people from 46 different countries all in the same church. We all attended a pilgrim celebration, pilgrim prayer session,  where you everyone shares where they are from. There were also pilgrims from  all  the different provinces of Spain. It was special to share with people from so many different places and from so far away.

You may see people with a problem and you want to help them there is an openness and willingness to help and share. You feel very safe in the way that someone is taking care of you. Some of my friends said how are you doing this alone aren’t you afraid?  I felt it was all possible and that I was t cared for and safe.

If you want to have a different experience you can not find this type of experience as I believe it is very hard to find and does not exist in other parts of the world.

You may have pain in your feet, blisters, your back hurts, and you are tired.  You share more than you realize with others as you find out what you have in common and this makes a bond between all the pilgrims.

I really like the camino and it has been so very special for me that i decided to continue and take the opportunity to continue to camino. It is one of the blessings of living here that I am so close to the diffrernt routes of the camino that I enjoy sharing in more camino experiences.

Yes one of the things for me is I really like to walk, to be in nature, and to meet people. I like a lot the French Way for the people you meet.  I enjoy the other ways because they are less crowded and offer different experiences in nature. They are all very beautiful and you know that each experience will be wonderful and create many special memories.

It is also nice to know that no matter what way you take you will have a place to sleep and nice people to meet. No matter where you are you will meet people who will include you always making for a special experience in sharing.

If you start doing the way maybe you will like and want to do more. There is a very beautiful way to go from Santiago to Finisterre. You have done the camino and then the last walking is more relaxed. You have done the work and then it feels you  now have your holidays.

Finisterre has very nice atmosphere and ambiance where you can enjoy the beach and the sunset is beautiful. I have many pictures that remind me of how special this part of the camino was.

I look forward to sharing in camino adventures with others and to the many special memories that the camino brings.

I have been fortunate to have many camino experiences.  I walked in 6 different sections the French Way spreading out the camino during my vacation holidays beginning in Roncesvalles to Logrono, Logrono to Burgos (Belorado), Belorado to Leon, Leon to Ponferrada, Ponferrada to O Cebreiro, and O Cebreiro to Santiago.  I enjoyed making another camino from Santiago to Finisterre (known as the end of the world) and continuing along the ocean from Finisterre to Muxia.

I have experienced different parts or stages of the Primitive Way two different stages or etapas from Fonsagrada to Cadavo and Cadavo to Castroverde enjoying eating cocido during the carnival festival in 2011.

I walked the English Way in the spring of 2012 and began my journey of the Northern Way making the first stage (Etapa) from Irun to Bilbao summer of 2012. For most of us who have experienced the camino once you begin you will camino in some way for the rest of your life.

Buen Camino!” – Marisa Granda Escudero

* “The name Escudero is of occupational origin, that is, it belongs to that group of names derived from the job or profession pursued by its original bearer. In this instance “escudero” is an old Spanish word meaning “person who makes shields” from the Latin word “scutum” which means “squire”, and refers to the servant who used to carry his lord’s shield when it was not needed”.  –

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