Saturday, 1 October 2011

Postcard Friendship Friday 051: Camino de Santiago

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I'm sharing a very special postcard sent by my ex-boyfriend - now my husband - when he was on a cycling trip of western Europe and eventually went on to the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage.

A Camino de Santiago pilgrim with only his bare things and a walking stick.
After dreaming about the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage for many years, my husband was finally able to realise his dream bike trip in 2004. Using his trusty mountain bike, he left England in June to go to France and finalise his camino route while there. Kicking off his bike tour in Elne, Perpignan in France, he cycled for more than 23 days following the ancient trail ending at the doors of the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

Except for his mountain bike and a trailer carrying his personal belongings and tent, my husband tells me he looks very much like the caminero on the postcard - Mister Stinkee! At times he stayed in a refugio (a shelter or a hostel) when it is not already full while food is available in villages along the way.

I lifted this paragraph from my husband's Hit the Road blog, which, I think, describes the magical camino mood that continues to fascinate the millions who have done the pilgrimage by foot, bicyle, and others:
A very friendly and multinational affair all the way.
Everyone on the Camino is having a rough time, long days, hard work, sweat and blisters. The way is chosen for you, you have to climb those hills and have to stay the night on the route. Slog to a campsite or no sleep in a refuge, good or bad you get what you get. Everyone is in the same boat. Everyone pulls together. A fantastic atmosphere, all friendly, all helpful, all smiling.
There's another thunderstorm here, and people are getting soaked right now, all their gear, tiny tents and little experience and all I can hear is music, chattering, and laughter.
Superb.
I am so amazed at his wonderful experience. I don't know what makes the camino magical - maybe it's the places, or the walk itself. Or maybe the people you meet and the camaraderie. Perhaps, it is the self-introspection that goes on when you do the walking (or cycling). Whatever that is, my husband promised he will be returning to the camino and we are going to do it together. Soon, while we still can. I can't wait.

5 comments:

  1. Wonderful card and great that it has special memories for both you and your husband. I bet that was quite the adventure! Happy PFF!

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  2. Wow! Is this the same as the Santiago pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho?

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  3. Great card, and a narrative that makes it personal and come alive.

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  4. I have read about this trek many times. Fascinating.

    I have a contest on my blog this week. To enter, visit and leave a comment.

    http://sendapostcardaweek.blogspot.com/2011/09/where-to-send-this-card.html

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  5. Hello dear,

    Thanks to the PFF Beth meme I'm gonna travel the world and learn a little more about a lot of things. What a coincidence, I just order a book of a woman telling how the compostell travel changes her life. I heard about her on radio and she was so funny talking about it and a part of what she says is what your husband wrote you.

    Thanks for this beautiful share and I hope you'll come by mine some day.

    Grace

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