Monthly Archives: August 2016

“The world is an egg”

This expression is often used in Teresina to say that some place is small, where everyone knows each other.

You could think how i dare to say “the world is an egg.” It’s all right! I am using a language reinforcement… So I should correct and say that “The Camino is an egg.”  😉 Let me explain. 

I was going down the Mount of Forgiveness or “Monte del Perdon” when I looked a pilgrim family composed of father and two adults (a man and a woman). This family walked closer when they saw me with one Brazil’s identification. Immediately we introduced ourselves saying our names and the place/city we came from. More brazilians on the Way…the family is brazilian as well. \o/ 

Monte del Perdon

Monte del Perdon

To my surprise, the son who is named Daniel, said he is a doctor and lives in Ribeirão Preto. Without delay, I said to him that my sister also lives in that city, in order to specialize herself in pediatrics. Then he said he is also a doctor, a pediatric orthopedist, including he teachs medical residents. Oops! We started to connect the ideas.

To everyone’s surprise, at the end of this first contact, we discovered that Daniel was a teacher of my sister two months before. We started to laugh considering the coincidence: in the Spanish soil, during the Camino de Santiago, we found a connection that put us together.

“The Way is or is not an egg?”;)

The friendship on the Way

“The Way is made by people.” I wrote this in some of the first posts on my social medias. I would say the contact with other pilgrims impact directly the self-expectations and maturation revealed during this journey.

It is an inexplicable exchange!

People come and go. Some of them stay more time. Everybody with a story to share, no matter if during a dinner at the table in a restaurant or walking for the kilometers that separate a city from another. 

That is why I say with great conviction that someone only remain alone on the Way if that is his/her desire. Despite have arrived there by myself, I only remained alone in long stretches because I wished it. I wanted to enjoy every minute to hear the voice of my thoughts, to meditate to the sound of birds, waterfall, or even the phone’s playlist. I had more difficulty to “find” myself with a company by my side, because I felt a certain “obligation” to speak.

In Camino, I had many opportunities to meet people of different ages, from different nationalities. I made friends, people with I could open my heart and soul. That task was not hard, because the simple fact that we were all pilgrims there we already identified on us some common particular characteristics. Being a pilgrim on the Camino de Santiago has peculiarities. That’s why I remember not infrequently have heard of people in Brazil: “you are crazy! Why are you making such an adventury like that? You would be much better enjoying the beach sitting in the tent sipping a cold beer… “

The fact is that despite the difficult times that surely all pilgrims face on the road, so many countless joy happen generally in contact with other people.

I created a special contact with Jelena (Croatia), who I had already commented here in this blog. We had a strong empathy since the beginning. However, we didn’t walk together the most of time. Generally, we left the hostels together and met again in the cities of destinations. On one such occasion, in Pamplona, we had such an explicit reaction of love and happiness that I deduced that woman would become a great friend, in whom I could trust. She would be my “guardian angel”. <3

Jelena <3

Jelena <3

Other ones with whom I had the pleasure of live closer some days were Andrea and Renato, both Brazilians. It was from them that I learned how going beyond the physical limits is always possible if by your side there are people who drive you to it. We walked the three together in only one memorable day impressive 41 (forty-one!) Kilometers. <3

Andrea :D

Andrea :D

I heard beautiful stories from Chris (USA), who inspired me to be a better person. It was with her that I passed the night and ate in a natural draft hostel, vegetarian,  after getting lost and had walked six (6) kilometers more, of the 30 or so that we had already done. We were in each other’s company. <3

Chris and Renato :D

Chris and Renato :D

With Helle, from Denmark, I learnt a lot of joy for living. Helle taught me that sometimes we need to be flexible in order to achieve certain goals. Her mark is cheerfulness. When I have your age, I want to be like you, Helle!

Helle (with green scarf) :)

Helle (with green scarf) :)

I could write pages and pages about the dear friends of the Way. There were so many and so special. I keep all in my best memories and on the notes of my yellow Moleskine. <3

Twenty-seven years, but eighty knees

That was the conclusion I reached at the end of the second day of hiking. Honestly, I thought this day would be peaceful compared to the previous day. I was wrong!

The Roncesvalles route to Zubiri proved that would be wet and full of muddy. I remember a thin drizzle set the tone of my walk. I was pretty attentive and careful in order to not slip and fall in the midst of large stones.

 

Tradicional pic in Roncesvalles.

Tradicional pic in Roncesvalles.

Despite the apparent discouraging scenario, tulips that adorned the houses of the eighteenth century buildings in Burguete filled my eyes with beauty. For the first time I saw tulips planted in soil, such as the common roses in Brazilian gardens. They were small, big, full of colours… I was surprised because the apparent fragility of their petals could well live with that soil and that weather. They resisted as if on purpose to be appreciated by the pilgrims who pass by there.

 Beautiful tulips.

Beautiful tulips.

From the small tulips to towering trees, everything stimulated the contact with the beautiful nature promoting the perfect setting for the reverie of thoughts. I just wanted to calm down and my wish came true.

The path to Zubiri was just descent. My knees no longer showed me they wouldn’t work how I expected. I had to slowed down. Do you know when you walk as if you were choosing where to step? Well, I did it for almost one hour.

The pilgrims that I had passed at some point, began to reach me, one by one. But not only them. Also the own Spanish families that enjoyed the Sunday leisure to practice outdoor activities took advantage from me.

They were adults, children and elderly, all of them walked as if nothing was out of control, meanwhile for me, everything, absolutely everything, was uncontrolled.

Suddenly, a lady with 65 or 70 years passed me. When I saw that scene and I realized that no matter if you have 27 years, if your knees do not respond. I laughed inside and the tears wanted to vent.

That was exactly what happened. Every time I tried to find firmness, a tear falled on the floor. It continued happening until a Swiss pilgrim, whose name I did not record, stopped and asked if I was okay. At first, I said yes. But of course I was not and then he insisted on the question. I decided to put the feeling of self-sufficiency “inside of my backpack” and revealed that I was not well, because my knees hurt a lot.

Without delay, he drew from his pocket a remedy for pain, those that dissolve in the mouth without water, and offered one of his sticks in addition to mine. Besides he still walked with me until the arrival in Zubiri.

Marks of the Camino.

Marks of the Camino.

The Way began to show up acts of solidarity and kindness which continue until the end of the day (take a look on the pics above), until the end of the journey, making it one of the most striking memories of this pilgrim.

Tea and pomade I recieved from two pilgrims in Zubiri's hostel.

Tea and pomade I recieved from two pilgrims in Zubiri’s hostel (They noticed I felt cold and my keens continued hurt).