87 / El Camino de Compostela / English

  • Quotation Number 1:
    - "Puede dejar el Camino, pero el Camino nunca te dejará" 
    / "You can leave the Camino, but the Camino will never leave you".../

    El Camino Portugués / MY WAY
    May 23d - June 8th, 2017
    Porto - Santiago de Compostela / 250 km = 155 miles by foot in 10 days
    - Many thanks to my son, who was giving me common advice how to organize my journey, etc.
    - Many thanks and good memories to my grandmother Maria and grandfather George who were praying to Saint Mary during my childhood.
    - And many thanks to those anonymous people met on MY WAY, who smiled, helped me giving directions and advice
    and above all to that Anonymous Galician Voice from Tui who from his balcony at 6 am in the morning, still dark, 
    shouted out kindly- "Abajo" ! - to exit the town and to follow the right Camino Way. That was my direction !
    Obviously, English is not my native language. 
    So, some of my phrase constructions or some words could be strange and awkward. 
    Please, feel free to correct them and to send it back to me. 
    I will be grateful ! Thank you in advance !
    The 5 practices of Pilgrimages
    /inspired by a 5th century conversation between Zi Zhang and Confucius 
    about the 5 practices of wise rulers of "Analects" in China/:
    - practice the arts of attention and listening,
    - practice renewing yourself every day,
    - practice meandering toward the center of every place,
    - practice the ritual of reading sacred texts,
    - practice gratitude and praise-reading,
    / from "The Art of Pilgrimage" by Phil Cousineau, SF, 1998/
    Day 1 / Friday, 25th, 2017 / Porto
    As I arrived Thursday evening I decided to start my Camino by walking in Porto.
    My "Refugio" was somewhere 8 km from downtown, not far away from the airport,
    so for the whole day I did about 24 km. Porto it's a nice city on the hills, many tourists. Next to The Cathedral you have an info point where you can get your stamp.  After that you can follow the yellow Camino arrows, but , after 5 min you will be ... lost. No more arrows around you. 
    I think there are 2 reasons for that:
    a) - they want you to see the shops around you, 
    b ) -  if you really want to do the Camino, you will find the Way, like a labyrinth.
    What I did, I followed the North direction and after a while I was again on the Camino. And this situation will repeat again and again at the entrance in other cities. After Tui, in Spain, sometimes we could be lost, because the locals repainted the arrows, they want to walk next their shops. Also there are alternative routes.
    I took a lunch in a small simple restaurant- some workers from neighbouring constructions. Simple people, kind and smiling to me. Thanks again !
    In the evening Abel-Angel, the owner of the Refugio and his daughter prepared some meal for us. I met a smiling couple from Francfort, a Dutch couple, an Irish man and 2 tcheque young girls - Domynika and Terezka.
    Another Polish girl from London, Anja already finished her Portugues Camino, she was back to take her flight from Porto, she gave me her shell 
    / that I carried with me and I hanged it on a bridge next to Santiago/, she narrated her Camino story, also sometimes with tears. 
    She had also a bad experience: someone in Spain tried to sexually assault her and she informed the police.
    Abel said that after his first Camino, he decided to change his life, to open this Refugio and to dedicate himself to pilgrims. 
    His second name is Angel and he is really like a helping Angel ! For the first night you can leave a donation, for the second night - 7 euros. 
    In other official municipal Albergues in Portugal the price will be - 5 euros, in Spain - 6 euros in dormitories with bunk beds.
    Day 2 / Saturday, June 26th 2017/ Porto - Sao Pedro de Rates / about 30 km
    Some clouds, nice weather.
    I left my Refugio around 6.30 am and I started My Way.
    It took me a couple of hours to exit Porto and finally to enjoy the countryside. At one moment I saw a German pilgrim in front of me, that why I didn't see her before. I think she took the bus to exit Porto, which was a good idea. On my way I met an Italian young woman, a Brazilian couple, etc. 
    In the afternoon I felt something strange on my feet but I didn't yet know  what it was. 
    At a crossroad I stopped to ask my directions - a driver stopped, he explained me very kindly and he proposed cautiously to drive me to the Albergue 
    -/ 1 h to walk, may be/. I said no, certainly, because I am a pilgrim !
    After 4 pm when I arrived in Sao Pedro de Rates, I realized that I had my first blister.
    I was concerned, because I didn't know what else I could have next days and that could disturb my entire trip. 
    Anyway, this Albergue was very nice, run by volunteers, Christina, one of them, was blooming and smiling. She prepared fresh herbal tea in the kitchen. Some other Dutch young people were preparing pasta.
    Later I asked an advice from Christina about my blister. She treated it very friendly, even she gave me some extra bandage and she told me firmly 
    that I will finish my Camino and I shouldn't doubt about it. She was right. Thank you Christina /Angel nr 3/.
    In the living room I socialized with an Irish family- father, mother and two daughters, friendly and kind people. I will meet them again for several days.
    Day 3 / Sunday, May 28, 2017 / Sao Pedro de Rates - Portela de Tamel / just after Barcelos/ 
    Nice day ! In the morning I prepared some oats in the kitchen and I proposed some to Shingo, a Japanese guy, who was also in the living room the night before. He was pleased with that and during the day he will share also with me with some chocolate and seeds. He was doing already his Camino in Spain for several weeks,  but he had some knee problems, he interrupted for a while and now he is continuing this Portuguese segment.
    The morning was very beautiful, sunrise, forests, fields, countryside roads, etc. In Barcelos, some people were going to the church and they greeted me. Finally I arrived at Albergue in Portela de Tamel. It is on a hill, so the arrival was a kind of challenging. 
    Somewhere in a forest I felt the smell of a linden tree flowers, I grabbed  some. I already had some eucalyptus leaves in my special tea carry bag 
    Also I was thinking to prepare my herbal lemon tea, but I was not sure if I will find a supermercado around. Just in case, I stopped at one garden full with citric trees,  I asked a young girl about the supermercado, she didn't really understood my Spanish so she called her grand ma, and I was given several oranges and a lemon. I will never forget their real natural taste ! And my worries were in vain ! At this Albergue like in the previous one, in the kitchen we had plenty of fresh lemons for free ! In the kitchen you can buy also some items /eggs, sardines, cookies, etc. from the receptionist/.
    In the dining area I spoke to some Italian middle aged Pilgrims and they told me they were coming from Lisbon and everyday they were doing around 40 km ! And Sinora Rita mentioned that when walking one shouldn't stop to rest for a longtime, otherwise it will be difficult to walk again. 
    So, all my way I was remembering her advice. Thank you! 
    Certainly, one can stop for 5-10 min to take off the shoes and to air the toes, but no more than that !  
    The Albergue is a new modern building, next to a small church. 
    The next morning leaving the Albergue again at 6.30 am I noticed a pilgrim sleeping outside at the entrance of the small church.
    - "Walk with the sun till your shadow disappears"/painted on a wall just before Calzadilla/. 

    - "I felt the fatigue, hunger and pain of those hundreds of thousands who have gone before I felt their presence. 
    I also shared their joy, awe and elation" / from an Irish pilgrim from Belfast/.

    -   "......concentrate on only the next step; and keep walking.
    Think about what is working well - not about your aches and pains.
    Don't think about the total number of kilometers you are walking.
    Only think about what you are walking today.
    Right now.
    Step by step, hill by hill, rest stop by rest stop
    - that's how you accomplish your goal." / Lynne's post/
    Day 4 / Monday, May 29th, 2017, 
    Portela de Tamel - Ponte de Lima - Albergue Sao Pedro de Rubiaes / 42 km
    I slept well and as usually I woke up around 5 am, I had my tea, some eggs and I left at 6 am.
    My concern was the rain, it started to rain in a half hour and it rained almost all the day.
    I had a poncho that I didn't trust too much from my previous experiences and a small Ikea umbrella.
    Around 8 am it started to rain heavily, I was in a middle of a field, a village was around, but nothing closed to me, 
    so I walked almost an hour in that heavy rain until I saw a bus shelter. MIRACULOUSLY I was not wet. I waited for a while and I continued my way.  
    According to my bookguide I was supposed to have a night in Ponte de Lima. I arrived around midday, some other pilgrims were already resting in a bar, because that Albergue was opening only at 4 pm; so I continued my route, because I felt it will be overcrowded and the whole ambiance was a kind of "rainy."
    I arrived around 5 pm at the Official Albergue in Rubiaes. 
    That was a long Day ! I needed to pass a mountain that is called in Portuguese "Alto da Portela Grande de Labruja" / the Sorcerer/.
    Before that I stopped in a small village bar to drink a big herbal tea pot made by myself and to get the stamp.
    I can say that mountain was the highest on the way, but again, MIRACULOUSLY I was not tired going up !
    it was a kind o funny ascension, I saw many honey collecting bags hanging on trees. On the top one can rest, there is a spring water.
    So, the descent was easy; approaching the village Rubiaes I heard the barking of many dogs and I was cautious. 
    At one moment a saw several dogs running towards me and a man, may be the owner, he was a kind of strange man and he didn't say hello. 
    Well, yes, you can meet something strange on your Camino, like two young girls from Latvia. 
    On another hand, a couple from Latvia, Imant and his wife Inese were friendly, kind and helpful.
    In the kitchen I left my food bag for a while, and when I came back I saw a cat eating my 2 remaining croissants.
    I was very pleased with that, because I like cats and if I can help them I am very happy.
    But my question is: why I saw only hungry cats on my way in Portugal ?
    Unfortunately, there is also a dark face of things. In 2016 over 15 pilgrims died on all Camino Roads, for various reasons - heart attacks, road accidents, ocean drowings at Finisterre, etc.
    Some pilgrims have reported that they have been sexually harassed by locals, and others have even been raped. Even worse, in April 2015, an American of Vietnamese descent, 38-year-old Denise Thiem,  was bestially murdered by a man near Astorga, Leon, who changed the direction of the yellow arrows to his home. Another 41-year-old Belgian Flemish pilgrim Jeroen Schelstraete in September 2016  was initially trampled by car and then thrown dead into an organic recycling bin. Previously, he had been robbed by three individuals, then arrived at the police station, for he seemed to have identified a robber,  and after a few hours he had "disappeared" - in that area of ​​Astorga. The police did not find the killers.
    Day 5/ Tuesday, May 30st, 2017 / Rubiaes - Tui
    That was the last stage in Portugal.
    When I left in the morning the Albergue, I saw the Italian team, waiving me. 
    I will not see them again, because they had a different speed and also they were in hurry, because they needed to return to Italy at a precise date.
    I was reflecting about that notion - "to hurry up", so on OUR WAY, some people are not in hurry, they want just to finish on time the Camino, 
    this unique project because it is so important to do it, as it was for me.
    It was a nice day, the last town in Portugal was Valença, a small touristic one with an ancient citadel. 
    I bought some postcards, I stopped to drink a glace of white wine to say "Thank you" to Portugal and I continued my way passing the International Bridge to Tui in Galicia/Spain.
    There is also an Albergue in Valença, but I wanted to sleep in Spain, I don't know why. Something new ?
    So, I found that Albergue in Tui, it is just next to the Central Plaza and the main Cathedral. I took a shower, and laid on my bed for a while to relax.
    Then, being hungry, I saw an American lady eating a Spanish Salad on a terrasse of a small simple cafe next to our Albergue, 
    I took the same dish and it was MIRACULOUSLY delicious ! The smiling lady told me - "don't eat the table" !
    May be because of a Spanish olive oil ? Anyway, Galicia greeted me greatly in this specific culinary vegetarian Way ! 
    "Buen Provecho", Bon Appétit !
    A Notice: 
    The Galician Language is very close to Portuguese. The people understand each other.
    In the Middle Age it was the same language, but after that Galicia was taken by Spain, there are some minor differences.
    For more than four centuries of Castilian domination, Spanish was the only official language in Galicia.
    During the Francisco Franco era the teaching of Galician was prohibited /1939-1975/.
    Nowadays the population of Galicia is bilingual.
    Galicia / Spain
    Day 6 / Wednesday, May 31, Tui - Redondela / 31 km
    Exiting Tui, somewhere under a highway bridge I saw a graffiti - TE AMO !
    There are also some confusing yellow arrows because some people painted additional ones to direct us to their shops.
    It's true that also sometimes there are some portions of alternative routes. 
    That why, I think, it's a good idea to ask several times our way to not get lost.
    It was a kind of difficult day, because one needs to pass through an industrial area with heavy trucks traffic.
    A sunny day. In Redondela at the Municipal Albergue, the kitchen was not equipped, 
    because the pilgrims took all the items, the receptionist told me.
    That was hard to believe that the pilgrims would take some additional weight just for fun.Usually is vice-versa.
    Anyway, I was so tired, that I laid for several hours thinking that I will need to rest the next day in another hotel. 
    My blisters were the worst. Finally I found a shoe store, and Benito, the vendor, after I said to him "Ayude me, por Amor de Dios" 
    he recommended some good solid Spanish sandals and my life changed totally after that. Thanks again !
    I was still carrying my old sport shoes for several days just in case, 
    and finally I left them on a fence somewhere on the Way, as a memory for other pilgrims. 
    Around 9 pm I have heard some music from outside, I was curious so I went to the small plaza where a local band was playing Mexican music.
    A local man, talkative, told me about the event - it was an opening reception for a new hair saloon and the people were invited to have drinks.
    It was nice to listen to him, because I like Spanish language and I try always to improve it.
    Finally, I noticed that there were no more pilgrims around, so I returned to my Albergue across the street and... the door was locked because it was after 10 pm. I was thinking what to do ...and a young lady from inside saw me and she open the back door to let me in.
    I was so grateful ! Another Angel ! Thank you so much Angela from India !
    Day 7 / Thursday, June 1st, Redondela - Pontevedra
    That was a kind of easy day - my sandals !
    The morning was foggy but after a couple of hours some sun appeared through the clouds.
    Nevertheless I got lost, so I decided to continue on the highway and after some time I saw some British girls and I followed them.
    One need to pass through some small mountains, many tourists.
    Also some military folks were participating in a well organized and supervised race to Santiago and the locals, friends, parents, etc. were greeting them joyfully. I was wondering in my simple mind why the pilgrims don't provoke the same overwhelming "joy" to the locals ?
    Well, certainly it's a rhetorical question. And I don't know myself if I am joking or just I am caustic.
    Some portions of the road were keeping the shape of the Ancient Latin "Via Romana XIX". Their bridges are the best preserved.
    The Albergue in Pontevedra is a big one with a nice lawn outside.
    The kitchen, well equipped - and we prepared some pasta- me, two Polish Ladies, Agnieszka and Anna, and Takae from Japan.
    It was too much, so we left the pot in the kitchen with an inscription - for others - and it was gone very fast. 
    A German man thanked me vividly afterwards.
    I know myself - when I cook something - usually it is too much, I guess my subconsciousness always thinks about sharing it with other people.
    Why not ?
    - “Don’t miss a moment !”

    - Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Country Life", 1858.
    "Few people know how to take a walk. The qualifications are endurance, plain clothes, old shoes, an eye for nature, good humor, 
    vast curiosity, good speech, good silence and nothing too much...."
    - "We are pilgrims on the earth and strangers; we have come from afar and we are going far" / Vincent van Gogh/ 1853 - 1890/.
    "There are no strangers, only friends you have not as yet met" /author unknown/.
    - "El peregrino no exige, agradece". /A pilgrim doesn't demand , he's grateful./
    “Go as far as you can see; when you get there you’ll be able to see farther”/ Thomas Carlyle/
    Day 8 / Friday, June 2d, Pontevedra - Caldas de Reis
    That was a nice day, some hills, groups of German pilgrims in hurry without backpacks.
    At the Albergue, the receptionist was giving carefully to each pilgrim  information about hot springs were we could relax our feet.
    What I did. The second day all my blisters will feel much better ! So, the name of this town - "Warm/ waters/ of the Kings" - was real ! 
    Thank you ! Another miracle on My Way !
    The local "Supermercado" was close to our Albergue, I bought some items and for the dinner, the Polish ladies invited me for another pasta.
    Other Polish people joined our table and we had a nice conversation in English.
    Day 9 / Saturday, June 3d, Caldas de Reis - Teo /just after Padron/
    The first thought in the morning living the town: "THE WAY is the goal in our life" ! 
    And again I met "Un Caminante Mistico", a French man from Aix-en-Provence, a tall man like from Middle Ages on his road. 
    I used this nickname because in French it doesn't sound so mysterious like in Spanish. 
    In the woods I saw a rest area for pilgrims well kept and maintained: rest rooms, vending machines, chairs outside. Nice !
    Many other Brazilian young  people with light backpacks. I crossed Padron, where one can stay at the local Albergue, 
    but I decided to continue more, to reach Teo, Somewhere in Escravitude I stopped for lunch and I had a delicious local Galician vegetarian broth -'la sopa gallega": potatoes, kale, turnip greens, beens, etc.
    The little Albergue into the woods in Teo is a modern one, I prepared my herbal tea in the kitchen 
    and a retired driver from Madrid Juan was speaking with a talkative girl receptionist about the meaning of Camino: 
    " No hay dolor sin gloria" / there is no pain without glory/.
    I was enjoying listening their Spanish. Other pilgrims were friendly and kind - from Slovenia, Italy, Poland, etc.
    - Se me ha ido el santo al cielo
    - Quien canta, sus males espanta 
    - El que se fue a Sevilla, perdió su silla
    - Despedirse a la francesa
    - Con la iglesia hemos topado, amigo Sancho
    - Como agua de mayo 
    - El mundo es un pañuelo
    - Por la boca muere el pez
    - La curiosidad mató al gato 
    - Del dicho al hecho hay un buen trecho
    Day 10 / Sunday, June 4th, 2017  
    Teo - Santiago de Compostela
    That was an easy day. The last one. But again, in the morning, leaving my Albergue, I was lost. Fortunately, I saw on another hill a Polish guy, so I followed him.  I knew him, because we spoke another evening, he was coming from Lisbon, young, tall, and he was doing around 40 km every day.
    After a while I saw another pilgrim, that I remembered from the last evening, when I had dinner at another private Albergue close to my municipal Albergue / mine didn't have food/. She was Margarita from Kaunas/ Lithuania, all dressed in yellow, smiling and brightening, all Joy. She waived me from a small bridge.  I will meet here again entering Santiago the same day, asking me what city we were !
    And she will tell me that she was lost somewhere for an 1 h. That reminded me that I was about to get lost as well. At one point, following my path, I saw a big dog in front of me.  He was looking quietly and intelligently to me, like asking what I was doing there. Just in case, I stepped back and I asked a Sinora on her balcony if the dog was not dangerous.  She said: "Absolutely not, he wants just to cross the small creek". And when I looked at the wall, I saw my yellow arrow pointing to another direction to follow. 
    So, that big dog actually helped me to get back on my Camino and to not get lost as it happened to Margarita. So, thank you, dog. I saw also some cats crossing My Way,  a kind of welcoming and warning me. In Portugal I met also some cats, they were seeming always hungry, so I was giving them some food.
    So, I entered Santiago from the West side, next to the Park of Alameda
    It was Sunday, a lot of people on the streets. 
    On the big plaza behind the Cathedral it was a special rock event with loudy music. Me, a pilgrim coming from the Nature, it was strange all that, I said it's not for me.  At the Cathedral I saw a big line to the entrance for a Special Mess on The Centenary of Apparition of Fatima.
    From my previous trip here / October 2011/, I remembered where to stay - Seminario Menor on a hill. Looking for my directions, Gene from San Francisco told me  that a place in the dormitory is 13 euros, and in small rooms - 16 euros. 
    I got a small monk room / restrooms and showers in the corridor/. What was strange is that they are common - men and women together, unisex. 
    That is unusual for a religious institution! Anyway, from there you have gorgeous sunsets, a small garden. In the basement, there is a big kitchen and also a small supermarket  open until 11 pm, even on Sundays /otherwise everything is closed on Sunday/.
    From my window on the second floor I could see the blue Galician sky and I was feeling like being home. 
    My neighbor across the wall, an Italian man was speaking on the phone to all his relatives in Italy that he finished his Camino. 
    After a while he moved his speech in the corridor, because I could still hear him through the open window. 
    Anyway I guess all the people in our building could know how happy he was finishing his Camino !
    I stayed 2 more days in Santiago, Monday and Tuesday, June 5-6, 2017.
    I got my Pilgrim's Certificate and I stayed in line for one hour.
    In the Park of Alameda I saw a statue of local poet Rosalia de Castro /1837-1885/.

    Writing in Gallego, the Galician language, after the period known as the Séculos Escuros (lit. Dark Centuries), she became an important figure of the Galician Romantic movement, known today as the Rexurdimento ("Renaissance"), along with Manuel Curros Enríquez and Eduardo Pondal. Her poetry is marked by saudade, an almost ineffable combination of nostalgia, longing and melancholy.

    In the evening in the kitchen of my Convent Albergue, another Polish couple Hannja and Bogdan from Katowice, invited me to share their dinner and wine. 

    I offered them a typical Galician pie - "Tarta de Almendra "Andrada"bought at the Supermercado "Gadis" /Montero Rios street, 23-25, the best !/They did El Camino de la Plata for 4 weeks.Thank you ! I bought many postcards for my friends, but just before going into the Cathedral I found 2 special postcards with payers in Spanish, that I didn't see before in other shops. I like to think it was a special sign for me. Another miracle ! And now I am finishing these notes just the day of August 15th, the Feast of Saint Mary the Virgin.

    A coincidence ? A miracle ? 
    On my Camino several times I had tears in my eyes. Compassion ? Empathy ? Connection with Sky ?
    On Wednesday, June 7th, having my last breakfast in the kitchen of my Seminario I noticed
    that on the napkins it was written - "Gracias por su visita" ! /Thank you for your visit!/ 
    I brought one of it with me. At the Santiago modern large airport a mysterious pilgrim greeted me again.
    I was waiting my flight and I was looking into the nature to see those Galician forests and hills.
    I was thinking that we, "Camino people" coming back to our ordinary daily life, we are a kind of lost in these big noisy cities
    and that already we are missing our "Camino" Way and I was making plans for my next Camino.
    Already at Dublin's airport another Irish pilgrim, Theresa, coming from Santiago 
    told me that miracles are happening every day, just we need to pay attention to that.
    Via Dublin / Wednesday, May 24th, 2017 and on the way back: Wednesday, June 7th
    My trip passed via Dublin, where, with my return tickets, I had almost 2 days.
    Waiting the public bus 41 at the airport, I liked a big clock tower with a such inspiring sentence - GOD IS LOVE.
    I bought a "Leap" visitor unlimited card for 1 day /10 euros/ and that was a good bargain for a pilgrim taking care of his travel expenses!
    It was a kind of difficult thing to find a place to stay in the dormitory, so an Angel guided by Padre Pio answered my prayers and a carpenter Charlie D. 
    helped me to find a place at "CitiHostel" on Lower Gardiner street, downtown, close to the main street O'Connell
    /1775-1847, an Irish political leader who campaigned for Catholic emancipation during the British rule/.
    In the kitchen I socialized with Diana from Spain, mostly a volunteer learning English; other young people from Latin America; 
    I saw also some tourists from Estonia, Romania, Germany, etc. 
    I liked Dublin: quiet and  kind people and I strolled for hours on the streets to catch the local "air" in this Celtic romantic ancient mystic country. 
    On one of the postcards that I bought for my friends, were printed the portraits of Irish writers: Jonathan Swift /1667-1745/, James Joyce /1882-1941/,  G.B.Shaw /1856-1950/, Samuel Beckett /1906-1989/, Oscar Wilde /1854-1900/, etc.
    Yes, Oh Yes, Sixteenth of March
    All we are of Irish crunch
    Everything is green around
    Irish island on the ground
    Gaelic, Celtic, Ancient sites
    Shall we try these hidden bites
    That's the people with blue eyes
    Look at Sun on morning rise
    And you life will be more bright
    Be surrounded by the light
    You believe in all Almight
    If you want to see the Sight
    And some of my "Simple Poems" 
    in different languages: Spanish, English, Russian, French
    Yo estoy ”Un Caminante“,
    Un mártir y un andante;
    esta es mi vida loca-
    no sé mas que dice boca.
    Poland, Poland: music, dance-
    from the train, looking at glance;
    kochać, kochać, to jest źycie-
    tak jak w staroźytnym micie.
    Thanks, Galician Province,
    deepest is My Way since;
    and Santiago gives his hug-
    Pilgrim’s full is mug.
    Pilgrim, pilgrim, humble men,
    for the others - good omen;
    if you want to see the Sky-
    and the meaning of ”Bonsai”.
    Angels, Angels, flying around,
    and with Love they will surround;
    I have been in their Sky-
    they will never ask me why.
    You be free and bright and smart
    pay attention to the right
    never doubt in Sunny Light
    on the Way will be your sight
    ты мой брат и нежный зверь,
    вот и ты открыл ту дверь;
    это жизнь, любовь и ласка-
    это есть святая сказка.
    не узнaешь ты несчастье,
    ты живи и пей на счастье;
    ты счастливым будь всегда-
    не забуду никогда !
    ты в Дорогу соберись,
    и к себе домой вернись;
    это есть твой Путь намётанный-
    всё делами он замётанный.
    С Днём Рождения,
    Кем ты был и кем ты стал-
    Ты в "Камино" не устал.
    И живи ты всем на радость,
    Забывай ты про ту гордость;
    Пой ты песенку со мной-
    И в Воде себя умой.
    c’est Ton Chemin vers l’inconnu,
    vers le Ciel, des Saints connu;
    tu te gardes de juger-
    Sainte Marie: le bon verger !
    tu es maitre étincelant,
    dans un monde chancelant;
    Moi, Santiago, te bénis-
    dès maintenant, sommes réunis!
    Va plus loin: les monts t’attendent;
    que les Anges toujours t’entendent !
    tu es bien des nôtres, c’est vrai-
    et tes larmes, le monde couvraient.
    Un Bonjour de loin, de loin,
    Espagnol et Portugais;
    Je l’ai fait, ce Grand Chemin-
    Bien Celtique Irlandais.
    July 6th, 2017 / from Lucy and Steven from Seattle:
    Bonjour !
    I'm glad you are safely back and already thinking about your next Camino! 
    If we ever go back, it might be nice to do the northern route in Spain. 
    I'm glad to hear that the sandals made your walk more enjoyable. I've been living in my Tevas since we got home. 
    I walked with pain in my lower leg the last four days of the Camino but am recovered now. The nurse called it an overuse injury- ha! 
    We enjoyed meeting you and sharing some of the same experience! 
    Have a great summer ! Lucy
    - August 15th, 2017.
    Bonjour! Comment allez-vous? 
    We head off on our next small adventure soon to see the total eclipse of the sun! 
    We'll meet our daughter's family in Oregon so camping with them will be an extra bonus!
    Thanks for sharing your notes from the Camino and the five practices of a pilgrimage! 
    I will read them more in depth while I'm camping and once I finally sit still!!
    We experienced two weeks of wildfire smoke here from the fires in Canada, 
    but now our prevailing west winds have returned with cooler temperatures and the smoke has cleared. 
    Thank you for keeping in touch and keeping thoughts of the Camino alive!
    Take care,
    June 28th, 2017.
    I hope you arrived safely and had a wonderful Camino :) 
    Because my Camino was really amazing ! 
    And I am planning to go back to Spain and live there :) 
    Greetings from Kaunas, Lithuania.
    Margarita (the yellow girl) :)
    - Yes, your Poems are simple ones, but good to read :) 
    All the best to you in your life, and never know, 
    maybe we will meet again in Camino or somewhere else.. 
    Hugs, Margarita
    August 15th, 2017 /from Takae from Japan:
    Thank you for your greetings.
    I came back to Japan on 13th June and I moved to Fukuoka, Kyushu region from Iwate, Tohoku region on 10th July.
    In Japan, there are various festivals from July to September.
    I send you a picture of Tobata Gion oh Yamakasa that is my area's festival.
    It began about 400 years ago,
    it was registered as UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage last year.
    d) August 31, 2017:
    - Thank you for sharing your experience with me.  
    I enjoyed reading all about it, and can relate to you wanting to go back.  
    I have walked the Camino three times and am always thinking 
    of when my next one will be. It is life changing!!!!
    All the best.
    - Alda / East Coast
    e) August 31, 2017:
    - Even in English you write with the cadence of a poet -- bravo!
    The only strange-sounding English was "advices."
    I don't think we ever use it in the plural.
    Saying he gave me some advices is like saying he gave me some "sugars" or some "waters".
    Gracias por compartir sus recuerdos de su camino.
    - Marie-Hélène / Midwest
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