Stage 4, Stage 5 & Stage 6: (4) Puente la Reina into Estella on Friday, May 25; (5) into Los Arcos on Saturday, May 26; (started 6th Stage as a 1st leg) into Viana on Sunday, May 27.
Meandering up and down the overlaying hills and valleys, in a collage of mystic remnants of the Celts’ Druidic presence, intersecting with the Islamic influence of the Moors amidst the panoramic Catholic iconography and confluence of languages, I swim in a sea of cultural conquest, infiltration, losses gains - musical and linguistic mosaics and altruistic sharing. Today we walk through Logrono - crossing the border leaving this vibrant Basque region.
Los Arcos- tiny city of 1200 people has the most magnificent church I’ve ever seen (above). .... few more pics of next stage below. Mark’s friend Felix who visits the Long River Tai Chi community in Amherst, Massachusetts every year - and lives in Logrono Spain, brought his beautiful family to see us and share love and conversation at a cafe in Viana.
Stage 4: Yesterday we walked 23.6 km (almost 15 miles) from Pamplona to Puenta la Reina. The previous day painted an especially vivid contrast from the serene and isolated trek in rural Pyrenees to our walk into Pamplona, such a vibrant city. We drifted through the urban scape & stumbled upon Cafe Iruna - an exquisite setting and a savory dinner at Plaza de Castille - and later realized it was the storied hang out of Hemingway. Walking out of the beautiful sleeping city of Pamplona in the early morning hours and over the summit of Alto de Perdon brought me back to the inner journey as we climbed. The steep hike down and meandering through poppy fields and tiny villages occurred in an endless dream state. We found our albergue happily at the end of the day and extended our dinner as late as possible with our Camino sister who we had met on our first day in the airport and with whom we’ve been traveling every step. Many pilgrims walk one week- as their time allows and return back to the Camino to complete stages later in the year - as is her plan. It was a fond farewell, with a genuine sense of our profound enduring connection.
2nd & 3rd Stages PicsCamino - 2nd- Roncesvalles into Zubiri May 21 & 3rd Stage on May 22 Zubiri into Pamplona
Just posting 2 slideshows. More text later
Photos below are from May 22, Stage 3 Zubiri into Pamplona
Determination and the grace of fellow pilgrims took us over the Pyrenees across the border to Spain into Rancesvalles in this captivating land of the Basque people. May 20, 2019
Stage 1 of my Camino started May 19 from St Jean Pied de Port into the Pyrenees. Many pilgrims do the entire 1st stage in one day, but we divided ours into two days, to help prevent injury and more important - to focus on our inner journey. Our destiny was Orisson, only 8 km/5 miles. The skies dropped unrelenting freezing rain making it a soaked but not dispirited first day. I posted many of these pics on Facebook since I could not hold technological connections long enough to blog, but I’m adding this photo gallery again here, so my loved ones who are not on FB can see. We met many fellow travelers from every edge of the earth, including Northampton, Massachusetts. The dialogue with and sense of shared purpose with each propels us forward.
I brought the envelope that was mailed to me from “American Pilgrims on the Camino” when they sent me my Pilgrim’s Credential - and it turns out that their national office is in Olympia, WA - the place that Ryan chose as home. I added some scraps from the envelope to my opening page collage. Tomorrow I fly out of Dublin into Biarittz, France - moving closer to the gateway of Camino.
Landing in Dublin at dawn. How befitting to begin from this place from whence my ancestors journeyed to make home across the ocean - in a place that I call home. Here briefly - just this day & a night, then to France where Chardin wrote: “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
The scallop shell is the symbol of St. James & the marker of Pilgrims on el Camino de Santiago. My dear friend Beverly West Leach - from my CCAD days- made this scallop shell in memory of Ryan for me to carry on el Camino.
Prepping for Camino de Santiago
This morning I hiked up Rattlesnake Knob in South Amherst, MA in prep for the trail - I’m leaving Thursday!
...to walk El Camino de Santiago across the north of Spain. My flight lands in Dublin, Ireland on the morning of May 17th around the same time, my long-time friend Debbie Chizmar is arriving to Dublin airport. We will spend one night in Dublin and then fly to Biarritz, France and make our way to St. Jean Pied de Port by May 20th to start our Camino. You can follow me by checking my weekly blog posts here.