Neverlost4good on the Camino De Santiago
I walked the Camino April 20th- May 30th, 2015. It is said that the Camino is done in stages: the first is like birth: going over the Pyrenees mountains and pushing against the wind and weather that holds you back. The second like childhood (Pamplona to Burgos). You are confused and still dependent on others, but learning to walk. The Meseta; a coming-of-age, and lastly, walking in wisdom and joy through Galicia onward to Santiago de Compostela. But let me add the final stage: the wisdom of hindsight, and if you are not careful, a growing desire to return and to walk with less focus on the miles and more on what the path will give you, day by day.
My walk was more like high school: arriving in Madrid, disoriented and confused, climbing the Pyrenees the following day through jet lag and wonder, feeling awkward and out of place with my fellow pilgrims, trying to look cool: a freshman. By Pamplona, I knew what I needed: a bed with communal meals. I could follow the arrows and watched for others to guide me. Still new, but growing in confidence: a sophomore. Burgos to Leon, alone again: but rushing to meet deadlines and checking off miles like a marathon runner. Was I on target? Will I make it? Who cares! Press on! A junior. And the last section, after Cruz de Ferro, I began to slow my pace; savoring the scenery and the characters I met in the albergues. I had tossed out half of my pack weight and walked lightly, seeing my departure rush at me as I was pulled with great urgency toward Santiago: a senior.
I hope in this blog, you will sense this transformation. At first, I’m just taking pictures, and reaching pre-planned destinations, but gradually, the Camino begins to show me how “the best laid plans” are often lost and I can only control my response and reaction to that change. I am working on an audible book that should be finished by March, 2015. It will be called Neverlost4good on the Camino. I decided to market the audible book first, and then work on formatting my ebook. It’s a backwards method, but I’ve never taken the common path in life. Thank you reader, for taking interest in my writing, and may I wish you a “Buen Camino” as you find your way to Spain. –Rebecca: neverlost4good.
Click on link to begin my 1st Camino (2015):
Song of the Tongass - Southeast Alaska: I returned to you; like I said I would. That promise, made back on the rocks of Sandy Beach, on Heceta Island, when crying the day before we left you, 12 years old, I said good bye. Years … Continue reading The Trip north - After my husband had driven me across the northern route from Virginia to Washington state, it was time to make the drive to Alaska. My father asked to come with me. Apparently, some of my family were worried about me … Continue reading Happy Limericks written on a rainy day - The boats on the bay are all green. The fish in the nets are all clean. And the fisherman’s wife, scales fish with her knife and dances all night in her dreams. —r.d.greeley Teaching in rural Alaska - Winding down the long, twisting road, I am driving to my new teaching assignment. I realize how fortunate I am to be able to “drive” into the village. 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Do they cover their young with their feathers unfurled? When the winds blow rain are they watchful and … Continue reading Stages of the Camino - The awakening The research The decision Prep The wait The walk I will be writing on each stage. Thank you for being patient while I figure out how to configure my blog! 🙂 Stage 1: The Awakening - “Also I heard the voice of the Lord saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then I said, Here am I: send me. – Isaiah 6:8 My life has been a series of dreams. Some would … Continue reading Stage 2: Research - So you liked the movie “The Way,” or you heard from someone about this long walk through Northern Spain. Your curiosity and reasoning about the Camino is just that, yours. Undertaking this walk will take commitment on your part, and … Continue reading Stage: 3 The Decision to Commit - At this stage, you know you want to walk “someday.” You might even look several years down the line, thinking that this isn’t a good time. It might not be, or is it? Do you have a general idea about … Continue reading Stage 4: The Prep - The ticket is purchased. Oh the feeling of going back and forth, deciding on a date, picking a flight with the least connections and layovers. The hand pauses above the return key, and with a single stroke, your Camino is … Continue reading Winter Season - 3 months of winter. With the holidays nearly over, the long month of January sets in. I’ve got my pack nearly ready. I have walked in my boots since September, and noticed there was a slight snug feeling against my … Continue reading Out With The Old…. - Just now, I found myself basking in the sunlight through my window. The furnace kicked on, my dog at my feet, my eyes not focusing on anything: meditation. I was in Spain, walking, seeing spring flowers, cold winds, threatening clouds, … Continue reading The final preparations - It is only 45 more days until I leave for Spain. This is the last of the “pre” stage portion, I suppose. I am still working with recovering from plantar fasciitis. I have been to physical therapy for it. The … Continue reading 24 days - Things to consider when putting your life on hold: make a list. Before 30 days out, if you can, begin to compile lists of things that need attention. For those who can go on a whim (what does that mean?) … Continue reading March on March! - Today I walked from the YMCA to home with a full pack. It was a little over 4 miles and I had three giant hills to climb. I think I got a good workout and on the way I saw … Continue reading April?! - A year ago, I wrote in my journal that I would walk the Camino de Santiago. The date was April 19th. I moved back to Virginia, unpacked and resettled, tossed around different dates until in September of last year, I … Continue reading It is what it is… - In true pilgrim fashion, I set out from my door for my first “official” pilgrimage act: to receive the pilgrim’s blessing from my church. I barely got there in time! It was a 3 mile walk from my front door … Continue reading Day 1 - I don’t know if I’ve ever felt this nervous. But all my check lists were checked off, the pack tightened down, and here I sit at the Charlottesville airport. 1.5 hour flight and 5 hour layover. At this point I … Continue reading The plane! - One hour. I felt like I climbed up on the high dive at the pool and I have to jump! Tomorrow: Espana! Heavenly Bells - I spent a lovely night at Corozon Puro pension on the border of France. The field next to the house has horses with cow bells tied to their necks, so as they graze, you can hear the most pleasant sound! … Continue reading More later - i made it over the Pyranees. I’m in Roncevalles. Yikes–smikes that was tough! - Morning at Orisson to Roncevalles 4 am wind sounded like it was going to lift the lodge and blow it off the the mountain. I couldn’t go back to sleep and considered my choices. Do I go on? The climb … Continue reading Roncevalles-Zubiri - Okay: the meal was a little disappointing, but we who fought against gusts of 60 mph winds had reason to celebrate (see pic below) Afterward, I attended the pilgrims mass at the church and all pilgrims were able to partake … Continue reading Hmmmmm - It’s funny: you meet people and have various opinions that first impressions bring. But even 3 days can create a bond. I separated myself from my friends that I first met and am experiencing loneliness. The Albergue that I … Continue reading My good friend Anna - I first saw her three days ago. I had just descended the mountain before her. She was struggling up the hill to The Albergue, near tears, and slumped down hard: her pack hitting the wall behind her. She looked at … Continue reading Passed by Pamplona - i walked 5 miles into Pamplona and it was SO busy! Because it was Saturday, all families were filling the streets. I decided to hike onward 2 miles to Cizur Menor to stay at Marinal Roncal Albergue. I’m in a … Continue reading Part two- Cizur Menor - was asked to feed the turtles, which was extremely fun! señora Roncal told me to bring her my boots. She then showed me how I need to take out the liner every night and stuff the boot with … Continue reading C.M. To puente la Reina - Up and up through green fields of barley to the Alto de pardon. Before you think me strong: I bused my pack ahead because of the mountain. Even so: I have a small blister on my right big … Continue reading Week 2 - I have been walking five days now. Today the weather is cloudy and looks like it might turn worse, so the raingear will be ready. I meet with small groups of people and they come and go. Another person has … Continue reading Estella - beautiful walk today, but will you all forgive me if I take the night off? Here are some pictures. Post dinner report - i thought I would try to list the path today, and now that I’ve had my food, I can think. Climbed 5 km out of Puente la Reina to get my first cafe con Leche. Nothing was opened. Only one … Continue reading Guiding Angels - so I knew I would walk the Camino alone. But how wrong I really was. Because the comments I received from all of you overwhelm me. I’m not alone. You all are with me. I I got to my Albergue … Continue reading Torres del Rio to Longrono - Today I started earlier and was able to see the sunrise by turning around. I had 15 miles to cover. It was very beautiful, but steep up and down. The wild flowers are so beautiful. I sang and … Continue reading Longrono to Ventosa - I now know where ancient chants have their birth: in a quiet pine grove leaving Longrono, along a lake, I heard the soft “who” of the Owls in the trees. One would called out a series of “whoo who who” … Continue reading Azofra - I will have to bus ahead soon because I have a deadline to make. My feet have informed me that over 12 miles they will not do. So the “suggested legs” in the book will not work. I started walking … Continue reading Oh wow! - I see that this didn’t post. So it may be out of sequence. This was when I first landed in Spain. it is a good thing indeed that I had a 3 hour layover in Madrid! Customs took forever, my … Continue reading Resting in Santa Domingo - One of the amazing things about the Camino is the way it begins to make its own way in every person’s journey. You can plan, dream, decide, but soon the Camino begins to write itself and lay out its own … Continue reading Today’s challenge - So far, I have been fortunate to travel with those who speak Spanish. Today, I take the bus to Burgos without the help of fellow pilgrims. The schedule in the Albergue says that there is a bus at 9:15 am. … Continue reading Facing fear - I can’t think quickly, so I plan several options constantly to quiet the frozen feeling of situations that are complicated. It is called a coping mechanism and it works for me. I don’t really like being alone, but life has … Continue reading He has filled my heart with song. - I have stopped for breakfast, and the Internet is GREAT here, so I am downloading this mornings pictures. God has filled my heart with songs, I used to write songs and thought that they were spent, God has been my … Continue reading Lay down the burdens of your heart - Amy Grant wrote a great song with this theme and I sang it several times today. Somewhere along the way, I heard someone say that those you have trouble with on this path are really showing you who YOU are. … Continue reading Full moon on the Meseta - A month ago, shivering in the snow, waiting for my dogs to do their “business,” I looked up and watched the full moon over Staunton. I remember thinking, “my next full moon will be in Spain!” I barely saw it … Continue reading Quick check in - I did the math, and to walk without anxiety, I needed to get to Leon. So, this morning went like this: The nuns booted us bleary-eyed pilgrims out the door at 7:58 am. Doors slam shut and there we stood, … Continue reading Long pull out of Leon! - What a long walk through dingy neighborhoods, past garbage cans over-flowing, not to mention UP hill. It wasn’t on my top ten of mornings. I’m always forgetting something, and today it was sun screen. I had a long sleeve shirt … Continue reading Villares de Orbigo - setting out to beat the sun the sun wins! It is 80 degrees by noon. I see storks nests irrigation canals And a bridge dating from 1400’s defended by dueling Knights to think that the Knights of medieval … Continue reading Orbigo to Astorga - I said goodbye to the loveliest place on the Camino. We had a wonderful dinner made by Christine (4 courses ). I was amazed at a group of 4 that refused to eat her meal. I won’t mention the … Continue reading Rabanal - Tomorrow, I will arrive at Cruz de Ferro, the cross where pilgrims lay down a rock or something that symbolizes laying your burden at the cross. I have a piece of sea glass from Hydaburg, Alaska, where I felt the … Continue reading Losing everything - Here is a shot of the garden area where we had tea yesterday. Last night we had a wonderful service in a little chapel built in 1100 (I’m guessing) and they had a pilgrim blessing with the priest … Continue reading Ponferrada - How about a “lighter” report? Okay! I had a great rest last night. We had a communal meal: it was lentil soup. I was like, “yeah, what else!” But that was it. It was good and I was grateful. After … Continue reading Forget Italy - It’s what you want to hear in the morning while walking through vineyards: a man singing in Spanish at the top of his lungs while working in his field. Forget Italy: I want to live here. I walked … Continue reading The valley - Have you ever had a moment where you knew that everything was a gift from God? that’s how I feel today. I’ve been moving through the Camino in a river of people. It’s almost like traveling on the freeway through … Continue reading Pictures from yearerday - pics that didn’t load “I’m not a witch, I’m your wife!” Princess Bride movie quote. I see this image everywhere now. There’s got to be a story behind it. lost hippy van dinner last night. Ruitelan to Fonfria - thank the Lord it was a cool morning! It was a beautiful climb up to the highest point on the Camino: O’Cebreiro. I made good time, and it was absolutely beautiful. My pictures will not do it justice– I did … Continue reading Fonfria to Samos - The descent off the mountains was not as bad as I had imagined. It was so beautiful and perfect trekking weather for me: cloudy, damp, and breezy. I made good time. Yesterday, I saw the Albergue check in had postal … Continue reading Oops! 28 km. - Samos had the most beautiful alter. Instead of Christ on a cross, they had this— it was about 50 feet tall, and your head had to tilt to the heavens to look at it. Lovely. Vespers was sort of disappointing. … Continue reading Past Portamarin - if I make mistakes in my writing, please note that I’m writing on my tiny phone. Now that I’ve taken care of that: I had the most wonderful stay at my last stop. It had glorious windows that framed the … Continue reading Photos from Gonzar to Casanova - Great beer tap Our son Jaime’s name and proper spelling is everywhere. my home for the night Washing machine and with a shower and laundry blowing in the breeze, a rest for my feet— Friday before Santiago - I am now at about 60 km. I walked 25 km today. At this pace, I should arrive Monday afternoon! I will bus to the ocean Tuesday. It was a long walk today. My Albergue would not serve breakfast … Continue reading Good job me! - This last section of the Camino is NOT well marked. After 3 km I came to a fork and no markings. I took what looked right and after 1/2 hour I knew it was not. What to do…what to do. … Continue reading Wish come true - While walking today, I decided to get my own room. There were several towns that had little hotels or pensions and I decided to treat myself. My feet “quit” at 20 km today and so I spotted this nice Albergue … Continue reading Check in - Oddly enough, I prefer the snoring, rustling, strange smells of fellow pilgrims to a night in a deserted building! I couldn’t sleep until after midnight. Onward towards St. James! Abundance - After my nightmare of alburgues–and I can say this now because it is daylight, and I’m miles away….think “Shining” and you know the feeling that I had all alone in a building. Okay? THAT was scary. You know how something … Continue reading Santiago de Compostella - With roosters crowing, I was up at 6 am. Usually, I creep around in the dark and take my things outside, but with my own room: the lights are on! I carefully attended to my feet: foot cream, Vaseline, big … Continue reading Bonus blessing…. - If you ever find yourself in the tiny town of Muxia, Spain, be sure to eat at a de lolo restaurant. It’s a nice boutique hotel as well, but I think I stumbled upon a great thing here. I just … Continue reading Taking care of business… - After dinner last night, I was asking to pay for my room as I would be leaving at 6:30 am. The waiter told me what door to exit from and then said my breakfast would be wrapped and waiting on … Continue reading Last day in Santiago - Beginning stamps and destination give a euro and he poses! English mass alter I attended my final pilgrim’s mass and saw the censor swing again (lucky me)! 1st Camino 2015 - Neverlost4good on the Camino De Santiago Dear Reader: I walked the Camino April 20th- May 30th, 2015. It is said that the Camino is done in stages: the first is like birth: going over the Pyrenees mountains and pushing against … Continue reading Promise kept. - Now on Amazon: I promised that I would complete my book by March and here it is with one day to spare! The eBook is priced low, and I imagine the audio will be as well. It is just over … Continue reading Count down - In less than 3 weeks, I will be in Spain. I am going to post my packing here. For the head and shoulders: I have 3 hats (I know: it’s a luxury). My faithful bill hat, a fleece beanie to … Continue reading Two days of travel! - After a long flight over the Atlantic, I watched the sun break over Spain from the air Picking up my luggage, I passed through customs without incident. I wandered around and found the shuttle that takes you from T-1 to … Continue reading Santo Domingo de la Calzada Day 1 - Today I took time to take care of business. After a fitful night of sleep, I woke at 9 AM. I went down to breakfast and the kind waitress asked, “Cafe con leche?” After I said yes she disappeared and … Continue reading Day 2 – STO. Domingo to Villambistia - Good bye STO. Domingo! I didn’t sleep again, but was ready to hoist the pack and meander up the path. It started misting rain, so I frantically pulled out my rain gear and pack cover. No one else was wearing … Continue reading Day 2 April 26 - Yesterday’s laundry did not dry. So into a ziplock it went. When I left my Albergue this morning, it was threatening to rain. I took my raincoat out but my host said “no no it will not rain. Do not … Continue reading April 28 – day 4 Burgos! - It was a foggy start today. I imagine the countryside was pretty, but it was quiet and scary! Muffled steps and pilgrims appearing out of nowhere. I passed through Atapuerca alone-or was I? Now I’m approaching Burgos, my favorite city. … Continue reading Day 5. April 29 - Cold storm tomorrow with snow?! Holy moly. I had a “day off” by walking 6 miles into Tardajos and found the cutest Casa Rural (La Fabrica). An old stone grain mill converted into a small inn. Taking it easy and … Continue reading Day 6 April 30 - I had a tough day. I woke up with vertigo. I was able to walk with poles over the mountain. This is a section that I missed last time. When I first got to a town called Rabe de la … Continue reading May 1st - I hope the dates aren’t out of order: the WiFi isn’t strong out here in the country. The countryside was beautiful, but the wind and low temps made for fast walking to keep warm. Today I made the decision to … Continue reading May 2nd - Apparently, my photos are not loading up quickly. This is sad because they are very beautiful. Maybe when I get home I will post just pictures in an album. Today I walked over a very steep hill and was able … Continue reading