Way back in September 1998 whilst touring through France with my mum Patricia and friends I came across some little shell shaped bronze plaques embedded in the footpath outside of a cathedral. Not thinking too much about it I continued on with my touring....a few days later our little group decided to drive down to view a grotto near Vezelay. Once again I noticed the little scallop shell insignia. My mum thought they had something to do with pilgrim walking paths. Thinking she was mad, I thought who would walk all the way out here and beyond?
Some years later whilst reading a weekend travel section in the newspaper I saw this little shell again, and a story about the ancient pilgrim trails that all diverged on Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Incredulous as I was of the idea of people walking so far I became intrigued and began my own research.
The Way of St James is today, as it has been for hundreds of years, a path across the Castilian plain to the tomb of St James in Santiago de Compostela in NW Spain.
Now, I am not going to delve into and bang on about the historic importance of these pilgrim paths as my belief is you should research this for yourself. The reason for my blog is I have a commercial business, a little boutique B&B in Rutherglen, Victoria (Australia) and for some time now between running my business, greeting guests and hosting their stays, I have been out and about training for my Camino Frances (The Way of St James) which will see me walk no less than 800kms across the northern reaches of Spain and onwards to the End of the World! Also known as Finisterre. My extended camino will take me all the way to the Atlantic Coast of Spain, then along the coastal camino route to Muxia. By the end of my camino I will have walked about 900? Maybe a little more! Exhausted just thinking about it!
Some guests of the B&B have consulted me about where do I walk to do this training? How long do I walk for? How do we get to where you go to train? So, I got thinking....hey why not take the guests with me? Then thinking further ahead, I should invite past, present and future pilgrims to come to the B&B and join me for a few days of hiking, walking and exploring all the natural beauty of our area.
So this blog will, for the next 10 months, document my Camino training, my equipment purchases, findings on socks, yes socks! They play a most crucial role in the prevention of blisters apparently.....as does vaseline, paw paw ointment and moleskin blister pads...whaaaaaaa! Where will it end? Headlamps, walking poles, water bladders, trail shoes, toe socks....Injinji what!?
All new, strange sounding but incredibly exciting....enjoy my pics, my blog posts and please feel free to comment...I hope you find it of interest and help, and that it will inspire you to plan your own Camino!
My blog recollections and posts will eventually include my very personal, spiritual journey in the European autumn of 2018.