About

Hi there, welcome to my blog!

I’m really delighted you stopped by.

Right now, this blog is an account of my time walking the Camino de Santiago. Short version: In 2013, I walked 800km (500 miles) of the Camino Francés (The French Way) from the south of France, over the Pyrenees, and across northern Spain.

There’s a spoiler alert, if ever you saw one!

I’d carried the dream for over ten years, but life was busy and I didn’t know when I’d ever have the time to walk this old pilgrimage route. You know what it’s like – sometimes you have the time but no money; other times you have the money but no time. I felt I was caught in a loop and if I didn’t do something differently, I’d wake up some day and realise that twenty years had just passed by. I was itching for a change.

Unexpectedly, in July 2013 the Camino called and I decided to answer in the only way I could: with my feet. I resigned from my sensible, secure job and five weeks later, I started walking from St. Jean Pied de Port in the south of France. I walked the Camino alone, carrying all my belongings on my back, and with only one plan: to do my best. Handsome Husband waved me off with support and love, and told me to have fun. He’s an awesome husband.

My friends suggested I blog about my journey but until now, I rejected the idea. I wanted only to walk and let the path unfold: I wasn’t interested in reportage or in providing entertainment. Plus, I’m usually a private person and the idea of a blog made me squirm.

Now, I more able to articulate my experience and I’ve been inspired to share my reflections in writing.

In particular, I’m hoping this blog does a few things:

  • Connect with like-minded people, especially anyone wanting to make big, heartfelt changes in their life
  • Converse with fellow pilgrims from the Camino – there’s always so much to say!
  • Provide support and information for anyone thinking of walking the Camino

If you’re interested in the same things, then this blog is for you.

(Of course, even if you’re not specifically interested in these three things, I’m still delighted you’re here.)

I’d like to publish regularly but life with a Small Baba means I don’t get to write as often as I used to. That said, I aim to publish at least once a month so if you don’t want to miss a thing, sign up for free updates by entering your email address at the “Follow this blog” button it appears in the top right-hand corner of the screen. It’s black in colour. If you can’t find it, please let me know.

Please feel free to comment on my posts and share this blog with your friends – the more, the merrier!

Thanks everyone, I look forward to connecting with you.

18 thoughts on “About

  1. Well we look forward to reading your journey as we are currently on it right now. We are in Sarria and started on September 5th in St Jean Pied de Port. Seems a little surreal for us now that we are almost at the end so we are looking to follow blogs where people document their journey and experiences. It is helping us relive our moments as well!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, wisemonkeysabroad, and thanks for your follow. I’m excited for you in the final stages of walking and hope your feet are holding up ok. I also hope that your arrival into Santiago is the arrival you wish for. Please do let us know how you get on over the coming days 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am so happy I discovered your blog.
    This has been a dream of mine for years and I am hoping to achieve it within the next 5 years. I’m loving reading all your posts as it is just encouraging me even more.
    Thank you 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thanks ChantalSA, it’s great to have you along for the written journey!
    I know what it feels like to carry the Camino dream for many years, and I also know that the right time will present itself so I’m sure your time will come! Until then, I hope you enjoy reading & I look forward to your comments and questions 🙂

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  4. Pingback: The Joy of Walking Alone | The Camino Provides

  5. Hello, I’m happy to have stumbled on your blog. Like you, I have wanted to walk the Camino since I heard about it in my early twenties, ten years later I am just trying to find the right time to take two months break from work 🙂 I wanted to go this April/May but work projects will prevent me, so I am considering either August or pushing it back to April 2017 (… But that feels too long to wait :-)). Looking forward to reading about your experiences – thanks for sharing them 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Thanks very much, Donna!
    Ooooh I know what it feels like to debate exactly *when* to walk camino….how confusing and exciting at the same time! Like you, I felt compelled to go at a particular time and I tried to push it out by 6 months thinking I’d have trained, saved money, and prepared myself better by then. In the end, the earlier dates won out because they felt more right than waiting for the later ones…so you will know your right time too.
    Till then, happy reading and thanks for stopping by!

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    • I’ve been reading all your blogs! Love them! This is the first time I’ve seen the reply buttons so i’m adding onto this one. Years ago two of my 4 sisters and I decided to do part of the Camino. My niece had done it and we were looking to walk somewhere. But we found out it was a holy year and were afraid we were going to have to sleep on the ground. We did part of the Appalachian Trail instead. My back did not do well and my two sisters ended up carrying my stuff that I didn’t throw away! Anyway, a few years later I woke up one day and said I need to walk the whole thing and I’ve been researching and planning ever since! The sisters didn’t want to do the whole thing so they were out. My Handsome Husband said he would go so wala! Otherwise, I was going on my own like yourself and I was fine with that. I am retiring next January and always planned on going next year in June. Then we got a puppy and two nieces decided to get married next year in May and June. Handsome Husband wants to put it off till the following year but that’s another Holy Year! Ugh. So, my goal is to some how to do it next year! Will have to find a dog sitter but maybe kids and friends can each take a week. 🙂

      Question – I haven’t heard of you using poles. Did you take poles with you? I bought some and I hate them! i have to concentrate to use them correctly and then i have to stop to take a drink of water, put on chapstick, itch my nose, blow my nose, get the hair out of my eyes, etc. etc.. I really don’t want to take them but I will feel guilty for buying them.

      My other question is, you don’t talk about using the facilities very often. Were there facilities whenever you needed them? I worry about that. We traveled to Europe last summer and there were a few times where I was in pain because I had to “go” so bad and we had a hard time finding someplace for me. Also, did you carry TP or Kleenex with you in case they didn’t have any?

      Again, I’m really enjoying your blog. I’ve read the end of the trip and I’ve read the beginning. I’m somewhere in the middle now. I have my Brierley book next to me and I look to see where you are along the way. 🙂 Thank you for writing this. Its been very helpful!

      Sally

      Liked by 1 person

      • *Great* questions, Sally – thanks for asking and for reading!

        Briefly:
        Poles – yes, I did use them and loved them. They are a personal preference so I say if they help you, great. If not, I wouldn’t stress about them too much. I guess just keep an open mind because you might find yourself wanting some en route and hopefully you can buy some along the way.

        Facilities – I didn’t have any issues, thankfully. For most of the trail, the bars and cafes were well-spaced so I had the privacy and comfort of modern plumbing. In the Meseta region there were long, long stretches between towns and villages. I don’t mind telling you I hopped in behind bushes along the way and when there weren’t any bushes I did my best to be discreet! I carried tissues in my pockets all the time because very often, even the café stops along the way wouldn’t have paper in them. One of the side effects of having thousands of people pass through each day 😦

        I never had to do a poo al fresco (yes, I just said the word “poo”) so I feel kind of happy about that! Not everyone seemed to fare so well and I definitely did *not* enjoy walking past those reminders at the side of the trail. I’m not sure why a person wouldn’t at least dig a hole, or go behind a bush, or something, but I guess it takes all sorts. I don’t know what everyone else did to avoid this kind of scenario but I found that I coordinated my fruit, veg, and coffee intake with indoor plumbing, and I recommend that!

        One small thing:
        If you can bring a little plastic bag to carry your used tissues with you instead of leaving them behind a tree or bush out in the countryside, it’s ideal. It’s better for the environment and very easy to plan for.

        If you’ve got more questions just let me know! 🙂

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  7. The Camino Francés is on my wishlist and I am reading up on others experiences before I can find the time to go. I also read recently that 250,000 people did the Camino in 2014 (I think that this figure combines all routes and all methods of transportation) so I want to find I time when I won’t be “fighting” for space in overnight places. I look forward to reading your blog in its entirety.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading and for your kind words!
      I’ve been a bit slow to post since the arrival of Little Baba. There’s been a lot of chaos and not a lot of sleep, and writing gets pushed down the “to do” list more often than I would like. But I am working on some new posts so hang on in there and there’ll be some new content for you to read real soon 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Geraldine: I see that you are now following my old Pen and Ink blog. I haven’t posted to it for years and don’t plan on adding to it. You might be more interested in my jrtraveljournal.wordpress.com instead, it will be updated more frequently (but I haven’t traveled much in the last year so it is static for a bit).

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  8. Hello,

    I have been scouring the internet for blogs about people who have walked (not done!) the Camino. Am I happy I found yours! I wanted something different from the “this is my Exalted Brand backpack, and my Extreme Endurance Shoes, and my Super Absorbent Handkerchief, and Thou Must Drink Your Weight in Water Every Day” preachiness. There are so many blogs about people who have “done” the Camino, “done” the Kilimanjaro, “done” the Boston. I was searching for something deeper, humbler, and more personal, something that would let me peek into another walker’s motivations and struggles and successes. Thank you so much for sharing your intimate thoughts and perceptions of the Camino. I hope your journey spans many more kilometres.

    Cheers,

    Nat, from Canada
    Hoping to walk the Le Puy route this fall

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh, thank you Nat!
    How lovely to have you along for the read and thanks for your very kind words 🙂
    Your comments about people “doing” the Camino, Boston, etc. makes me chuckle….I too wanted to avoid that mentality & had a little rant about it here: https://gerscaminoblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/30/doing-the-camino/
    I hope you enjoy reading the blog in the months to come. I’m still adding new content & working around the schedule of Small Baba, so keep an eye out for new posts in the near future.

    Like

    • Hello!

      Yes, I am walking the Camino Frances also. I start mid April next year. I decided to do it for charity.

      We too have been on a bit of a camino recently – camper-vanning around Europe.

      The camino has been calling me for a while and my preparation is helping me to make sense of the journey we’ve just taken. I am blogging about it too. It’s a story in progress.

      I love how you’re writing years later and reflecting on your time on the trail. I really do. I’m beginning to write my own adventure stories and the lessons that changed me. It is all so relatable to who we are and how we live.

      Fran

      ps my camino blog is http://www.slowerfamilytravels.com there’s a diary section where I jot down thoughts of how preparing for the camino is actually a camino.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Great, I’ll check it out!
        The camper vanning sounds great and walking camino for charity is also fabulous. I hope your preparations (logisitcal and emotional) all go well and Buen Camino to you!

        Liked by 1 person

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