Camino de Santiago – It’s all concerning the journey. Half III

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By Ava Kabouchy – Images & Journey Web site

Arriving at one’s vacation spot generally is a bittersweet expertise. Particularly when on a pilgrimage or a climbing path, the place the journey is extra necessary than the vacation spot. However then once more, each journey should come to an finish for a brand new one to start. Traditionally, you had been forgiven on your sins after you accomplished your pilgrimage. Your heavenly slate would have been cleaned and also you’d have an opportunity at a brand new starting.  The scallop shell is a memento of that for people who have made the journey, and a reminder which you can accomplish extraordinary issues.

Ava Kabouchy finishes her Camino de Santiago, not in a cathedral however on a seaside; on the Finish of the World in Spain.

Arriving in Compostela

One other pilgrim and I arrived on the gates of the big monastery for pilgrims on the similar time. He was Canadian and had simply completed all 1515 kms / 941 miles, having began in Puy en Velay in France. I’d have preferred to speak with him in depth about his expertise, however I felt he wanted his alone time to let the expertise of the Camino wash over him as I additionally wanted regardless of my shorter distance.

I checked in, then having made the journey, walked to see my vacation spot – The Cathedral of St James of Compostela. The sq. in entrance of the cathedral was big, the house wanted for the supplies and employees constructing the cathedral in 1075. I walked to the furthest level on the sq. with out seeking to my left as I wished to soak up the entire scene. As I turned to look, the cathedral was as lovely and awe-inspiring as I had imagined it could be – and to assume it has been standing there for the reason that Center Ages.

The considered waking up within the morning and all you must do is have breakfast, reorganize your backpack, and be in your manner with no objective aside from to get to the subsequent pilgrim inn – what an exquisite approach to begin a day and what an exquisite approach to finish such a stroll to Santiago de Compostela on the Cathedral of St. James.


Reflections on Angels and Exertion

The metaphor of the Camino being a bit of life could be very applicable, ups and downs, tough occasions and good occasions. Folks have been type and angels have appeared once I wanted them. One of many angels carried a blue umbrella and helped me discover a resort I used to be in search of within the rain, nicely hidden behind a church. The girl with the blue umbrella smiled extensively once we noticed that this was the best place, I thanked her and stated; “Es un angel, Señora.” She was an angel, one thing I’ve come to consider in.

Being on the Camino was not all the time simple – there was the primary day once I crossed the Pyrenees, the chilly, the wind, the mud, the thought I’d by no means discover the tip of the forest resulting in the monastery in Roncesvalles, however I did, and being there was a brand new starting, a trying ahead to no matter may come my manner over the subsequent weeks.

Private tales about religion and dependancy

Every particular person I spoke with these weeks had her or his purpose for strolling the Camino, many non secular, others in search of insights or simply the expertise itself. I’m not a non secular particular person, however not feeling the spirituality of the Camino, I feel, could be unattainable. It was the sensation that came to visit me throughout conversations and the way forthcoming others had been about their lives, folks I’ll by no means see once more.

An American nurse informed me she was strolling as a result of she had had entry to medicine in hospitals, used them, and at last realized the hurt she was inflicting to herself and her household. She felt that the Camino would hold her from returning to her dependancy. Such a dialog would by no means occur with somebody we would meet on any avenue, however the Camino isn’t just any avenue. It’s a place of peace, of magnificence, of historical past and of friendliness, and it results in Compostela, the sector of stars, the place one may give thanks for having reached it or have fun one’s arrival there as one desires.



Reminder of latest beginnings

I miss the Camino, the sound of my trekking poles and greetings of Buen Camino, getting up some days earlier than dawn and seeing the sunshine and hues change. I didn’t in any respect thoughts the alone occasions, and typically even most popular them. I loved the uninterrupted time to assume, simply time to replicate on my life and the place I would love it to go.

The scallop shell is the image of a rebirth, a brand new starting, and I’m reminded of that every time I have a look at mine. As my grandkids have begun to graduate from highschool, considered one of my presents to every of them is a scallop shell, which I hope will remind them of their new starting and different new beginnings that may come to them all through their lives.





The Finish of the Earth


After Compostela, I took the bus to Finisterre, the tip of the earth, and noticed the Atlantic on a blustery, windy day.

At Finisterre, I put down a notice {that a} long-time and expensive good friend of mine within the U.S. had requested me to position for her below one of many peace markers. My token was a stone, gentle purple in color, that I had picked up within the desert once I was a instructor of English in Saudi Arabia. I kissed the stone as I positioned in on the bottom and gave thanks for my time there, the adventures I had, the folks I met, the good friend and lover I had, and all of the reminiscences I now carry with me.

I additionally left a small, opaque stone within the form of a coronary heart. It had been on my dresser in my Maine island dwelling, and putting it in Finisterre appeared the best place for it. My eyes welled somewhat pretty much as good reminiscences, previous reminiscences, got here to thoughts, ones that may make me smile eternally – dreamlike days, magical days, like these on the Camino, in Saudi Arabia, and on the coast of Maine.

Possibly that’s the reward that the Camino gave me – a letting go of inauspicious previous occasions and pondering now solely of the great ones and people to return.





Sensible info

When to go:  Spain could be very sizzling in summer time; Might, September and early October are higher occasions to go.  Additionally, you will keep away from the ‘mattress run’ then – pilgrim inns open at 3PM and also you might need problem discovering a mattress for the evening in summer time.

Guidebook:  I can’t think about a greater information than the one I had – Camino de Santiago, Moon Publishers, by Beebe Bahrami.  She offers all the data you have to from the dimensions of your backpack to the type of footwear to purchase.  There’s a additionally a detachable map in the back of the information.

Backpack transport:  Every morning I despatched my backpack with a transport service, which picked up the packs by 8AM.  Every inn offers an envelope wherein to place the 4 euros or so the service prices.  All it’s essential to do is put the identify of the inn the place you may be staying that evening, and it will likely be there upon your arrival.

The place to eat:  You’ll by no means lack for cafés and small eating places.  In the event you really feel like having a cup of tea or espresso, it isn’t far-off.  After arriving dwelling to Maine the next summer time, a good friend requested me why I didn’t simply hike the Appalachian Path.  I smiled and answered, “There are not any cafés, eating places, inns, or inns on the AT.”  My good friend smiled understandingly in response.

Really useful studying:  The Artwork of Pilgrimage:  The Seeker’s Information to Making Journey Sacred by Phil Cousineau

And keep in mind  It’s your Camino.  Do it as you need, at your personal tempo, and simply take within the expertise.

Buen Camino!

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This was the third and final A part of Ava’s Camino conquest! You might have learn Half I and Half II, proper?

About Ava Kabouchy

As a baby, Ava was fascinated by world maps, which later become travels to many components of the world. She has labored in a number of African international locations, created a microcredit group for girls in Honduras, and did a volunteer pictures gig for a clinic for a Mayan group in a distant mountainous area of Guatemala. Not too long ago, she hiked alongside the Camino de Santiago in Spain and in France, travelled in Morocco, fulfilling a childhood dream of strolling barefoot within the Sahara and one other of seeing the aurora borealis in Iceland.

Ava is the creator of the not too long ago printed “The place within the World is Grammie Now?”, a guide for younger readers to show them about Saudi Arabia, a rustic not typically studied in center college curricula. She has additionally authored a guide on her 4 years in Saudi Arabia:  “Wanderlust, A New Lease on Life within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”.

Ava makes her dwelling in southwest France and on a distant island off the coast of Maine, USA.

Be taught extra about Ava’s adventures on her Images & Journey Web site

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