10 Tips on how to keep an illustrated travel sketchbook on the road, even if you “can’t draw” (Part 1)

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A basket of apples in Basque country. The stamps are the the same ones used for Camino “passports.”

In 2014, I decided I wanted to walk the Camino de Santiago and keep a travel journal. Only problem was, I disliked sketching.  I knew what a travel journal SHOULD look like…

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Photo altered and text added with apps
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Storks nesting on top of Spanish church. Photo altered and text added with apps.

Never in a million years could I keep an sketchbook like the ones above– the ones full of architectural detail and castles with swans floating on them, with notes in a perfect calligraphy.

I’m an abstract painter.   I like big, sketching is small. I like color, and sketching is black and white.  I like huge ideas, and sketching is detailed.  I don’t even like reality that much, so why would I want to draw it?

I am not an expert sketcher, so please take my advice with more than a few grains of salt. But I was lucky.  I ended up keeping an illustrated travel journal that has brought me and others pleasure over the years.  As I walked the Camino, this scratchy, amateur sketchbook got me free food, wine and rooms, acted as a thank-you note, and bailed me out of trouble a few times. It got worn and dirty occasionally, as I did.  It also let me keep “secrets of the Camino” that eventually became painting and printmaking series, though I didn’t know it at the time.  And I normally didn’t draw from photos, drawing what was in front of me instead. I wasn’t a purist about it, but I wanted to draw my moment, adding memories of the day and figments of my imagination.

Tip #1: Practice before you go

Yes, you non-drawer, you do have to practice a little. Why would you suddenly start doing something on a trip when you don’t ever do  in everyday life? Everyone can draw and paint. You did as a kid.  So get a kid drawing book that shows you how to make firemen and hot wheels and dinosaurs, or get Art Before Breakfast by Danny Gregory, or a book on anime or doodling.  Take a course from a local sketching expert like Susan Cornelis if you can, or find your branch of Urban Sketchers.  Find the size kind of sketchbook you feel comfortable with– but with blank pages. Do not use a fancy sketchbook that makes you feel like you have already screwed it up just by looking at it.  It should feel friendly! Make stick figures or cartoons. Spill ink and paint on it. Don’t get too serious.  Draw your Starbucks.  Don’t show anyone.  Take an online course from Sketchbook Skool. Do this for a few weeks to a few months before you go.

Full disclosure: here are notebook pages done as practice before I left for Spain.

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Snow globe and sticky note. I was teaching Moby Dick and Macbeth at the time

 

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Another in the sticky note series. I should do that series again!

 

Tip #2: Use your words and your little scraps of things. Use what you got.

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A plate of paella with cutout collage scallop shell.

Use your words and the paper travel media which you collect, cut into pieces. Stick on train tickets.  Get places to rubber stamp your notebook, then draw later.  The key to an illustrated travel journal is words plus images done NOW, not later.  You can’t plan what the pages will look like in advance, but you can enter the moment and use everything in front of you.  Don’t be a purist and don’t try to have each page make sense.  That is your perfectionism speaking, and it will stop your daily travel journaling like an anvil dropping on the head of Wile E. Coyote .  I did this page with a plate of paella in front of me, looking at a Roman arch hung with hats.  Even if you did only collage and crayons and words, no drawing at all, it might be more amazing than you could imagine when you started.

Tip #3: Do it daily and do it anywhere.

 

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The Cafe Moderno, established 1912. Fountain lady and urn.

I did this one waiting at a fountain for it to be time to see a movie at night. Please do not wait to do your travel journal page for the day.   It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece.  This page had a healing quality for me, as I was stuck in this town as my foot mended from a minor– but threatening to become major– blister infection.   I did work on the train and in cafes.  I am not a dedicated urban sketcher, braving snow and balancing on stools.  These pages do not capture a “thing,”; they address time, space and emotion.  They are not as good if you wait for the “right” scene or right place to draw or even a better idea.  Do it now, with your crummy view and the mediocre idea in front of you.  “If you’re not with the one you  love, love the one you’re with.”

Part 2 and Part 3 of these ideas will be continued in the next two posts.  You can read my Camino blog here.

Upcoming Events

Sunday, November 4, 2018 10:00 AM,  Lecture/Slideshow for SketchKon Art Convention,Westin Hotel Pasadena, Pasadena, CA . “Inner Reportage:” How a Lousy Sketcher and Lazy Hiker Drew an Illustrated Travel Journal on the Camino de Santiago Pilgrim Way.”

Saturday, November 17, 2018, 5-9:30 PM-  SOFA Winterblast. SOFA Arts District on South A Street, Santa Rosa, CA.  This locally-famous free art and street festival includes a parade with decorated couches.  Follow updates on Facebook.  This year, Saltworkstudio will feature work by Tim Haworth as well as my paintings.

First Friday, December 7, 2018, 5-8 PM, Ring the Bells, an informal holiday event. Backstreet Gallery, SOFA Arts District, South A Street, Santa Rosa. Bring your own chimes and bells to ring as you walk through winter studios to enjoy hot cider and live music. The artist Karina Nishi Marcus will have work on display as my guest.

 

Saltworkstudio Art Blog turns six.

 

 

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My shadow on Arizona petroglyphs.

Dear interweb world humans, beings, friends, voyeurs, and artists,

Thanks for following me all these years!  It has been a journey reflective of my inner world, a composition of shadow and light, beauty and imperfection.

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Turquoise Window World, an early painting post from the blog

 

It’s been a while since I’ve posted.  I have to break through an invisible membrane of fear every time. As an introvert, sometimes I don’t even enjoy posting carefully edited versions of my life and paintings.  I’ve constantly struggled to be “authentic” with the innately inauthentic medium of social media and blogging.  At times I have been both over and under-attached to your reactions,  first living for them– the fabled “stats”– and then rejecting them entirely.

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Floating beauties from the Naples Archaeological Museum

 

I think the high point of authenticity for me is, ironically, not the art blog, but the Camino de Santiago pilgrim  posts.  I really perceived the blog, during the time of being on the road, as a tentacle of true connection.  I could feel support reaching through it.  The art, if you can call it that, was completely unrevised– the messy notebook pages.

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Portals of color, locked, Spain
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Pilgrim sketchbook, Camino de Santiago

Looking forward, I find myself increasingly interested in pure abstraction and an authentic gesture.  I want distance from approval and marketing and time to develop on my own without outside pressure, time to grow a new set of metaphors. So I’ve decided to take 2016 as a learning year, not showing year.

I won’t be doing open studios, except for our local events. I am going to paint at the Art and Soul Retreat in Portland this March.  These 5 days in a hotel room, painting and sketching, should be fun and instructive.  I’m excited to finally be studying with Jesse Reno.  I think he is a master of staying with the process until the final image, however eccentric, emerges.  I hope to focus on composition with Jane Davies.  I’m looking forward to cooking on the hotel room iron! (Just kidding. Sort of.)  I will be in the Sheraton Airport Hotel, car-free, and am thinking about how to keep costs  low.  It will be a rather fancy art  garret.  I’m bringing plastic sheeting so I can paint in the room if I want, storing the paintings on the extra bed.Let me know if you have ideas for hotel room survival.

At home, projects include new chicks in March, and planters for the heritage grapevines we got as starts from the UC Davis plant ark. The grapes are no longer grown in France,  having been hybridized, but  they are the ones that appear in many old masterpieces.  An ancient strain has been preserved and will grow on our arbor, or so we hope.  The grapes themselves are perhaps these that Monet painted, pale green with a rosy cast.

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Both chicks and grapes grow fast once they start.  I wish you a surge of new growth as well in the Lunar New Year.

Suzanne

 

 

Camino Collection and Corrick’s Culture

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For this post I’ve decided to back carefully out of the darker underworld of the Screwtape for Artists letters, and turn to brighter horizons. I’ve gathered my Camino de Santiago posts from last year into one chronological story for you. The photos give me a little spirit whiff  again of wheat fields, wine, virgins, horizons. For a moment I was back in the land of blossoms and boots, mazes and muses. I hope you enjoy them.
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I have a show hosted by the lovely people at Corricks featuring Sonoma County Art Trails artists.  It’s me and the amazing Joel Bennett. Hope you can make it on Friday, if you’re in the area.  Spring is almost here, a good  time to consider your upcoming pilgrimage, wherever it may take you. Suzanne
Bennett & Edminster Poster

From Camino to Collaboration

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Four Hands Painting Exhibit Information and Facebook Invitation
Dear Friends,

This is a belated thank-you note for following me on my Camino  journey, both inner and outer. Many of you have asked how the Camino has changed me. I am just three months out of it now, and have resumed my art life. Events have “followed fast and followed faster,” as Edgar Allen Poe would say.

What changes are showing up at this point after the Camino?  I feel lighter and more complete with my life as it is.  I am more able to celebrate who I am, rather than mourning who or what I don’t have, or focusing overmuch on my mistakes.  This change seems subtle but profound.  I have created some new paintings, filled with gold leaf and gold light, that  may have emerged from the many gilded churches of Spain. Projects are coming to completion, including the Four Hands Painting collaboration with knockout artist and close friend Susan Cornelis.  Our show is called The Golden Thread– the thread that leads us out of the labyrinth.

It’s not all sweetness and light, though.  My world seems to be full of beautiful, artistic women who have contracted cancer.  If I were the kind of person who reads omens– and you know I am– I would say that life is issuing a kind of Carpe Diem announcement, a Tempus Fugit warning.   I remember the wonderful Franciscan chapel of Rome filled with little skulls and hourglasses of time flying by, made of browned bones mounted on sky-blue crypt walls.  Scott and I visited this crypt, and I was surprised at the beauty and delicacy of the art.  Part of my life feels like this.. a skull with butterfly wings.skull with wings

So what’s it to be?  Bliss or bones or golden thread,  skull or butterfly wings, or some delicate combination of all these?

I’m glad to be on the road with you again.    This time, the road is my life. Yours, Suzanne

My Camino Experience

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I´m heading out of this gorgeous station in Porto, Portugal to catch an overnight train to Madrid, a sleeper.  I can count on the fingers of one hand my overnight trains– once to Paris, once to Cochin in South India, and now once to Madrid.  There is always a romance to it, even if it´s just a little sleeping berth.  I want to wind up my Camino posts to you.  I am not really sure I can answer all your questions.  The ones about art and change will have to play out in the future.

I talked for a long time to Koos, a South African now living in Switzerland.  He hiked from Geneva to Logrono, Spain… 1200 km? A long way, anyway. He did not finish the Camino in a classical sense, yet I was struck by our similarities in experience.

What I want to say to you is this.  On the Camino, every day is like a world.  Koos and I both had the experience of worlds of thought and contemplation opening through the walking.  I see each day of the Camino like a drop of clear water teeming with event, yet magnifying a certain aspect of thought.  Connections are made.  You are walking in nature, so it´s healthy; beauty and your physical movement work together to support you.  Only connect. It´s better, for me, than writing in a notenook or talking to someone.

It´s as if you walk further into your purpose.  We lack the time for contemplation in our lives.  Walking is one way to give that time back. I believe it makes a difference that we name it a pilgrimage, and to do it for a month or more.  The historical and religious resonance supports us and makes it sacred. Everyone gets something different according to their needs; my insights might interest you, but they won´t be yours.

I´m winding up my trip now and may not write again, but I may store away some impressions for you from the Prado.  I doubt I can walk through the world´s great museums as gracefully as I did through the days of the Camino, but I can try.

We both had the experience of childhood memories comin g up.  Thereºs time to really think about them.  You are supported by the activity, so the deep emotions can come up and go through you as you walk.  Many people report memories.  And you slowly have the chance to observe how you order your world, to take little signs and signals from nature, or from the Great Mind, or God.

My next door neighbor Neil is walking the Pacific Crest Trail for five months.  I wonder if the experience is similar?

We both carried with us a list of three goals.  They are private:  I won´t share them with you, and he didn´t share his with me.  Slowly, as you carry these things with you as you might an object in your backpack, they may transform.   New metaphors, meanings, and interpretations of your life occur, all within the great open book of nature.

I think it´s important that we name it a pilgrimage.  ^The historical and religious resonances support us and gives it a lovely weight.  And it´s important to go for a month or more.

I went with the love, support, and daily Facetime conversations with my husband Scott.  Scott, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support.

Thank you to my readers and those who have responded.  You are part of my proof of a gloriously generous universe.   Suzanne

 

Camino Questions, Part One

20140711-065444-24884971.jpgI think I opened Pandora´s box when I asked for questions! Here we go.  I´m loving Porto… parts of it remind me of Naples.  And it´s warm, so to sit out on the roof terrace at night, surrounded by lights, is a great pleasure. The first photo in the post is from the terrace at night; I´ve enjoyed three nights of this.

 

Was there anything you would have done differently to prepare for the Camino?

I think I was okay with my prep.  I started training in January for a June departure.  The best thing I did was to learn how to use trekking poles properly. This sounds simple, but it´s not intuitive.  Though I´ve had an ACL operation on my left knee, and my ankles are vulnerable, I had no trouble at all with joints or muscles.  I used little leather kayaking fingerless gloves with the poles and that enabled me to use the pole straps easily and well.  I saw a lot of people using two poles improperly.  Don’t bother to buy them right before your trip.  If you don´t practice with them so you are comfortable, it will provide no benefit. In the future I would BRING A SMALLER PACK.  I found that my 45 liter plus pack was on the large side.  Everyone always brings too much gear and has to leave some behind.  I was so jealous of people with smaller packs.  Mine, however, was smaller than some.  Don´t go for superlight weight at the expense of comfort.  Do not bring anything that is the slightest bit uncomfortable.  Don´t bring dressup clothes… you won´t use them, not even a skirt.  Buy something new when the Camino is over.  Ladies, one nice scarf, one pair of earrings (I broke two pairs underway) or your one piece of jewelry, and a lipstick or eyeliner will make you feel like a queen.

The best things I brought was my iphone, a Joby Gorilla bendy tripod with a phone holder, and a full-sized Brookstone folding wireless keyboard.  I didn’t need an ipad with this setup, and I didn’t need a camera.  It also made strangers come up to me all the time and take notes on the setup! I brought a semilarge sketchbook and was happy with that, a small set of watercolors.  I liked having a sarong along as a towel, privacy shield, scarf, skirt, blanket, picnic blanket, and so on. Many Europeans carry a smaller pack and a larger waistpack.  I used a larger moneybelt in front, under my shirt for easy access, for passport, credit cards, cash and phone.  You may not like the look of a waistpack, but they are secure and very practical.  Don´t carry your phone in your pocket, loose.  Zip it away routinely somewhere.

 

Hey folks, the Camino is COLD in the summer.  Bring an extra layer.  I would bring a light Merino wool top and leggings…. spiffy long underwear… at any season.  I only brought one pair of pants and the leggings… worked well.  By cold, I mean in the 40s and 50s.  Even if you don´t use them in the warmer parts, you will in the mountains and Galicia. To really prep, you have to hike a lot with your pack and your boots, with a fully loaded pack and poles.  By the way, I wore runners, and did okay, but I wish I had taken boots.  This was not necessarily for ankle support, but because parts of the trail are quite rough and stony underfoot.I felt I had to be careful as I walked of the bottoms of my feet.  But you have to decide for yourself. I had two blisters once, then not one other the whole trip.

 

BRING A GOOD PAIR OF WALKING SANDALS as your alternates.  I took adjustable Tevas.  Don´t bring flipflops… I met at least 4 people who threw them out and had to buy better sandals in Spain, because your feet swell and can need pampering and support after walking.  I also enjoyed having a somewhat hardier daypack than the ultra super flimsy ones… I got a packable one by Eagle Creek.  Also, all the Europeans have little ultralight synthetic sleeping bags that pack to the size of a liter of water.  They are not common here, but my Marmot nanowave 55 was quite similar.  Your sleeping bag should weigh under two pounds. If you are older, or a larger person, your pack will be bigger.  I bought an Altus poncho, which is a raincoat with a hump in the back that goes over your pack, in Spain, and I loved it.  They are not made commonly in the USA yet.  You can buy an Altus and a sleeping bag in Europe before you start.

Take MORE TIME and more money than you think you need. This is standard travel advice, of course, but be willing to be flexible with what your ideas are for the Camino.  You probably will want to or have to change plans.  I didnºt reserve anywhere and was glad.  You can always use booking.com a couple of days before.  Walk at your own pace.  You´ll see folks doing 40 or even 50 kilometers a day.  Let them. Use your smarts and intuition to tell you where to start and end.

Is it better to go alone or with another? It depends, of course, but I have so say that for sheer contemplative time, going alone is great.  You have to be in tune with your hiking partner.  Many women go alone.  It is just interesting to go alone with your thoughts and your conversations with the Beyond.  It is very safe for women, especially if you are not in the first bloom of youth. Apples and oranges, alone or together:  It´s your Camino.       20140711-062631-23191604.jpg Most useful gear: a set of around 8 large safety pins to use as clothespins, and an elastic travel washline. You need the pins to keep your clothes on the line when thery´re hanging out a third story window or whipping around in an alpine wind, and you can use the pins to pin the still damp clothes to the outside of your pack. I prefer thick hiking socks and they take a long time to dry. I took a small shred of beatup towel to use first to dry my body, then throw on the slippery floor to stand on. All the showers are tile and tend to be dangerously slippery. I carried a regular old bandana everywhere and used it for so many things. Often bathrooms have no soap or paper towels.

Mentally or emotionally, what would I have left behind? It´s easy to whip out pat answers to this one. You need a lot of patience with yourself and others, and to leave judgement of yourself or others behind. I saw a lot of folks get into trouble with a competitive feeling, especially when you´re older and less fit and comparing yourself to athletic youngsters. But I will rant a bit about an attitude that caused me personal problems. This may not sound very spiritual. I wish I could say something more enlightened-sounding.

The thing that caused me big trouble was  taking a tourist approach to Camino lodging rather than a pilgrim approach.  The pilgrim approach is to take what is there, be grateful for shelter and company, and to laugh off any problems the next day.  After all, it´s only one night.  You don´t have to rush or reserve or prefer or angle to choose a better place.  You know God is taking care of you: trust.

The tourist approach is to read ahead, to plan, to try to figure out what might be the best place.  Of course, you want to stay somewhere that is not horrible.  But most hostels are fine.  I found that when I tried to pre-read, angle, plan, or consider reserving, it did not do me any good at all.  Rather, the opposite occurred:  I became critical, pissy, and discontent with what I got.

I am not even sure planning has that much to do with it.  I am sitting here in an exsquisite townhouse hostel, a Porto villa from the 1800s, and I am only here because it was the only one that kept popping up on Booking.com, not among my first choices.  I personally wish I could have left this demanding, deserving, entitled feeling behind.  As a pilgrim, you take what is there, and you are SO HAPPY just to stop walking.  My worst mental problems came from confusing being a pilgrim with the comforts of 21st century tourism. True hospitality is so simple.

Left Behind

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Here in Porto, Portugal, I´m sitting in a beautiful hostel, a real hostel this time, that has won many prizes. It´s in a renovated townhouse in the center of old Porto: high French windows in each room, billowing white curtains, views of the port and river. I am in a woman´s dorm of six, and am about to go upstairs to a breakfast, up the old wooden stairs to the rooftop kitchen area. Once again, I feel like I am borne along on some gentle river of right place, right time. And there´s a computer that seems to work.

I left things behind, and lost things, on this trip.  Let´s start with the physical.  That pack is your home, and when things are lost or stolen, the shock is disproportionate.  I lost three items, probably because I left them behind~~ sarong, prescription sunglasses, and a pair of underwear.

This whole trip I have been experimenting with flow. I decided that when things went wrong, that was a signal to stop and do something else, in other words, to actually change something. I think it was Einstein that said you can´t solve problems on the level they were created, but have to step outside them to another place.  This loss of items sounds laughable when I list it, but these losses caused my stomach to lurch.  In the damp weather, having only two pairs of underwear left me no margin of error for drying them.  The sarong was my security item~~ scarf, pillowcase, bedcover, blanket, modesty while changing, and a curtain for my bunk if I wanted privacy.  Oh, and it was my towel too.  And sunglasses.

When I encountered bad events, feelings, and bad days, I had the time to do a few existential experiments.  My idea was that if things were going wrong, or I was freaked out, I could change my ideas and plans to something that felt better.  This sounds so simple, but often in life we are bent on a course.  If you have an awful work day, you stay at work and tough it out.  But I didn´t have to do that here.

So when I lost things, or became fearful of hiking alone in the green, dripping Galician woods, I could read these as gentle nudges to change plans.  It worked well.  When I got an infected blister, it gave me two days in a hotel room to reconsider how I approached the walk.  I think one reason my walk was so wonderful is that I let painful signs actually give me a message to change, and I could act on them.

I also had some bad dreams on the Camino.  I think that we brush through layers of religion, history, blood and war when we walk through these places.  The cathedrals are full of blood, bones, skulls, body parts, and monsters, the gargoyles.  When you start to align yourself with the good, I think the shadow can be activated.  I am used to this.  I often have bad dreams when I start innovative creative projects.  When you step outside your comfort zone, your subconcious mind knows it.  There is often a kickback, like firing a gun.   I believe all dreams are meant to help us, and are messages, so I don´t worry as much about uncomfortable dreams as I used to.

The Camino is a metaphor.  How wonderful to leave things behind!  I could leave the dream in a church, or at a tree, or in a cafe, and hike on.  All of life is a process of leaving things behind.  We can read that as loss, or a new chance.  I did my final leaving behind of deep things at the alter of St. James.  I left behind the same things the ancients did:  old wounds and sins and temptations, atonement.  I feel like I literally left them behind for the saint, or history, or nature, or God, to return to the cycle of the universe.  We leave things behind and face the new day freer.

By the way, after I started this post, I found my blue sarong in a ball in the bottom of my pack!  My friend returned!  Ah, synchronicity.  Go figure.

Camino de Santiago: Money, Time, Distance

Several people have asked me to comment on some of the practical aspects of my June-July 2014 Camino. I must emphasize that these are my opinions only, and that many will disagree. There are many available sources to use to form your own opinion.

Money: from California estimate $1500 or more for a round trip ticket, $300 more for travel in Spain (train, bus, taxi). For a 40 day trip, I would budget $60 a day…. around 40 Euros. This is high, but you will want the occasional hotel and dinner out. That makes $2400 + 1800 = $4200. You may also spend 300-500 on the right pack, shoes, small sleeping bag. Make sure you have a good working credit and debit card. Credit Unions have far lower fees than regular banks for withdrawing cash or using credit cards abroad, so get set up with a credit union. You can of course spend less daily. I often relied on a tomato salad with bread and tuna , fruit on the side, that I made in a hostel kitchen.

Time: I would give it at least 40 days for the whole thing. The Brierley guide is excellent, but if you want to stop to smell the roses, I would walk two days for each of his stages. Choose shorter stages, or choose a portion of the route to walk.

Distance: If you were backpacking in the Sierra, you probably would not walk 15 miles a day. Unless you are sure you can do it, 30 km a day is a long, long way. I saw many people injured and ill from trying to do too much. Also, starting in the Pyranees seems to me to be a point where many people injure themselves or get ill. Go shorter distances, start very very slowly, and WALK AT YOUR OWN PACE. This may not fit the guidebooks. I must emphasize that it is crucial you do everything you can to remain healthy. I saw so many people almost punishing themselves, and harming their bodies, on this trip, pushing on when they should have stopped.

You get a Compostella for walking the last 100 km into Santiago, starting in Sarria. So thousands of people, and schoolchildren, choose this route because it is the easiest way to the document. The path is very crowded and is a very different vibe than other parts of the Camino. That is the rule of the Catholic Church– walk the last one hundred. The Camino is far more than the document. You might consider an alternative route and skip the Compostela. God will understand.

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The Inner Camino

I’m sitting here in the Santiago bus station, waiting for the express bus to Portugal. I thought I’d take a moment to share with you some thoughts about my Camino. I made a list of reasons to walk before I left, and reflected on them as I walked. But I’m one of the lucky ones. Two of the main reasons I walked were out of gratitude for my beautiful life, and for enjoyment.

People walk for many reasons. Many are in the midst of personal catastrophe, change, or deep loss. I met a woman who, in the midst of recurring cancers, was left by her husband for another woman. She had never been alone in her life, having married young. Her pain was tangible, but walking seemed to be keeping her positive in a way nothing else could. She said in amazement, “I still have my life. ” Another man carried the picture of his wife on the back of his pack. She passed away a few days before their 50th wedding anniversary. He was walking joyously in her honor. Several people were carrying remains of loved ones with them.

This post has now crashed twice on me, and I’ve lost blocks of writing. But I’ll try one more time to continue.

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Dear readers, could you help me out by posting questions in the comments column? I am feeling like Someone doesn’t want me to write right now. According to my experimental theory of staying in the flow, this means I should stop writing and do something else. Go ahead, ask me any question you are curious about: packing list, physical aspects, emotional questions. Be personal. I’ll answer everything in the next post, and share more about my inner Camino. Please help me out, and I’ll answer all in the next post. Buen Camino, Suzanne

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Greetings from the End of the World

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I’m writing you from my favorite cafe at the end of the world, a cheery place to counteract all the endings. Seagulls shriek, cry, bark, howl, meow, and moan; I’ve never heard anything like it, all day and all night. A person with too much imagination could easily hear them as the souls of the damned, wailing before they are carried away. Did I mention that Finisterre is built on a graveyard? Hey, I watch movies: I know what happens when you build on burial sites. Or maybe only Americans notice.

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Continue reading → Greetings from the End of the World