Category Archives: Uncategorized

Cloudy day in Logrono

We left Logrono with a crowd. Kind of felt like a hiking herd of folks at the race line and….go! There we were in the herd steadily falling behind the people while the city and its 5 kilometers of suburbs fell away from us. Things began to quiet down except for Daisy and I. Grumpy mama that I can be. I wanted her moving faster! The poor thing was doing her best and having to deal with me too…Darn. I had to change my ways. Two days was not enough rest. Daisy’s knee out of whack and swollen now, and exceptionally cold weather I believe surprised us both. I apologized and changed. Daisy changed herself upon meeting a woman from Argentina. This woman was walking with a day pack while her husband to weak to walk drove from one town to the next supporting her on her pilgrimage quest. She had surgery and could not carry any weight and so for her in her life her husband was a kind of angel. He found places to sleep and food and everything. All she had to do was walk.

This woman began asking Daisy lots of questions and commented, yes you are going to slow but how old are you? she had said, there are no twelve year olds or thirteen to even eighteen year olds. You – so far you are the only one I have met. This is a very hard thing but now that I know your age, you are not going to slow. You are going just right. But be careful! It isn’t the body that surrenders. Look at me. Look at these old people walking. It is the mind that surrenders. Don’t let your mind surrender. In fact, embrace your mind as a tool. A lovely tool that can help you get to where you joyfully want to go. This pilgrimage is hard. But you will make it. Do not fear or wonder about not making it. That is a waste of time. Daisy listened to this very soft spoken woman. Not a lecture of any kind but a kind voice of added strength to her journey.

Hours later, while walking, Daisy said, you know there really is nothing for me to go back to. All the fun things at school happened. I miss my friends and actually wish they were here with me – not the other way around-I with them back on Maui. And Daddy and Linden oh I miss them so much! But really they should join us. But really they should start in St. Jean. So perhaps I will have to wait—–but, but, but daddy! I miss daddy! He makes everything funner! And Linden he is so funny I would have to laugh down the trail.

Silence…..I’m glad I’m with you mama. Me too Daisy.

By the way, Daisy’ s knee/foot issue is a bit better. We hiked 13 miles into a beautiful hill town full of local activity and are surrounded by grape orchards. Today we walked by folks tip pruning the vines. Row after row after row…. Xo

Logonoro

May 10, 2013 Logonoro, Spain big city #2

(Ok I’ve. Lost 4 writings to you all so sorry I’m learning)

We walked into town in the rain exhausted, happy (goofy actually) and overwhelmed. By farthest the hardest part of these walks is walking into a city. Many people call ahead for spaces but our phone does not work here and do not have that option at least yet…. Yesterday was a miracle. Our friend copper was on the street and could guide us to her hotel/ hostel. This morning we had hoped to stay another day but by 10:00 am they were already full. STRESS. Now we need to check into the municipal hostel and I worry about room. We are tired. Daisy is still sick and what I am learning is that this trail cannot hold the numbers of people walking it. This is a growing activity to walk this trail. What seams like 100’s of people were actually over 175,000 people last year especially during the months of June, July and August. Apparently it is even more crowded, it is May and everything is always full and overflowing. We are part of the crowd.

We lined up in front of the Alburge an hour before it opened at 13:00. It is now 14:30 and I believe all the spaces are full. I have parked myself in the kitchen to write to all of you. Thank you for your friendship and support! Wow! It is an online party and yes we will have a slide show when we are back.. I will do my best at posting pictures. But I spend hours sometimes just getting something posted. I am trying this app called pages to copy and paste into the blog……meanwhile, Daisy is posting pictures on Instagram. Search her name and you will find her. She is my tech support.

Today is a rest day.
We have walked 97 miles so far under sun, rain and clouds. We made it over the Pyrenees mountains, a gorgeous wild and rugged landscape that I have fallen in love with. It is truly wild and I could easily return to explore…. We have eaten nettles, and wild onions in my sandwiches and Daisy’s in Daisy’s hair along with Hawthorne flowers and the yellow flowers, descendants of wild lettuce..
We have walked into hill country which has meandered into open spaces at times. We have walked by acres and acres of wheat fields. We have watched the wind tickle the fruiting tops of wheat and I Kelley have spent hours wondering about the agricultural practices that I see. We have walked by what I believe to be ancient olive trees that in the states one would consider “old growth” as well as wine grape orchards with stumps so thick you can also only guess that they are hundreds of years old- no exaggeration- because when you see the younger vines the older vines, there is just nothing to compare to….

So many castles, so many ruins,, so many stone- Roman made bridges and this Camino road winds its way across this landscape in and out of towns and it has been this way for hundreds of years. It is my understanding that historically, more people walked this pilgrimage than people do now…… I don’t know where they stayed or if the standard was differentfor sleeping or what.

A few tidbits.. I met a family with an 8 month baby on the trail. They are taking it a day at a time. I believe the oldest person I have met is 80 years old. Steady. Perhaps walking 2.5 kilometers an hour…. The fast walker is 7 kilometers an hour. The steady “fast pace seams to be 5 kilometers an hour. They have very light packs. Daisy and I are moving up from two miles and hour to 2.5 miles and even 3 miles an hour about 4 kilometers an hour. We continue to lighten our load. Sometimes accidentally. We have both lost our only long sleeve shirts. Daisy a sock. I am learning to carry less food which is very heavy and to drink more water in general. We are trying to drink 5 quarts a day each. We continue to meet people from different parts of the world a seventy year old Korean woman danced for us in an Alburgee. Beautiful! She is traveling with her husband and children in there late 20’s and early 30’s. we have met two father/son groups. We continue to meet lots of travelers from Brazil. Recently I met a woman from Iceland and one from Youglaslavia. More people from different places in the world all the time…. Lastly I have learned that a few convicts in Spain may walk the Camino (with police) arrive Finesterra go in and out of the water 7 times, have their clothes burned and then walk back and are give a kind of pardon. This is an active tradition with a few of the lucky chosen. Another interesting thing. In Spain you may walk the Camino for extra credit in School and if there are two people applying for the same job with very similar credentials, but- one of those people have walked the Camino, that person gets the job. In fact I have met people on the Camino now who are only walking this trail because it will help them get a job. (They are from Spain)

So why are we all doing this? Another question or is it the same question? another time…..xo, Kelley

Pamplona

We made it this far!
We  have walked 44.5 miles. And today we walked 3 miles of the total quoted.  Last night we stayed in a Church built in the 12 century.  I felt it as a holy place before I even walked in…..
 
Ok, I am crazy, but I had an experience.  Kind of funny,….. I will swear and cross my heart to the truth of what I herd…. Goes like this….

I’m walking or shall I say limp or stumble down the trail. (My foot injury is bad and yes I will make it.). The land scape is both wild and historically domesticated.  Old apple trees along grown over edges of fields, a forest of Beech, chestnut, maple, alder. Older.  Lots of early wild flowers, violet, Lilly of the valley dandelion,nettle, dock (oh I could go off on the plants….I love them so much) old stone structures….any way were walking slowly when I hear a bird say, “we have a problemo they are moving to slow- o.”  There is a conversation with the birds and something else, a nature being perhaps.  I here the birds say “we will go ahead and clear the way but if they can, speed them (us) up!”  I sped us up and soon then Daisy sped us up even more….  About an hour and a half later we arrive into the town of Arres.  We had just crossed this vey long old stone, Roman made bridge, set our packs in front of the Alburgee (a pilgrims hostel) when the door automatically opens.  A monk greets us and right then a bird bursts out this amaizing song and it begins to rain, again. I felt as if our arrival was announced.  I thanked the birds and other nature beings for what ever guidance we might be receiving. Mucho Grasias!

This old Alburgee has been the first place I have felt this sense of holy connection to place, land, soul and guardianship.  I can appreciate Christianity and my practice is different.  But this place….I can pray here.  I can resonate to this old church and little town landscape.  It installs this wordless feeling that I associate with reverence.  

In the morning, Daisy and I walk into Pampalona.  Walking slowly. Only 3 easy miles.  We find a cafe with wifi.  Only the wifi does not work…again… I have my first coffee, delicious and Daisy has a cup of cocoa that looks like hot chocolate pudding.  She loves it! We then get in line to sign into the Santa Maria Auburgee located in the heart of Pampalona.  A day of rest…perhaps…or taking care of things.  Washing laundry, mailing back to Maui layers we do not need, therefore significantly lightening our packs.  Finding the post office which was a huge learning curve, going to the pharmacy and buying….drugs! I am the owner of ibprophen, some kind of leg salve for shin splints and blister salve.  Daisy is much to tired to explore this historic city.  She just needs “homey” time. We return to the Auburgee and Daisy cooks for us chicken soup with beans and potatoes.  I do the dishes.  It is here in the kitchen in the Auburgee  of 110 bed that we run into an older Brazilian couple who informed us that the woman who was annoyed with us for not pushing into Pamplona ( she did not like that we did not go the distance from larasona and stopped In Arres) developed terrible shin splints and had to take the bus home (only 3 mile difference but a tired body and 3 additional miles can be hard on ones body)  I met a young woman today who also has to go home from an injury and I say to Daisy, see how good your doing?  This Camino is a demanding teacher and so far you have made it this far.  There is no such thing as perfect.  We don’t know if we are going to make it, but let us hold the intention that we will.  There are so many  walkers and most are in pain.  Most are hobbling like ourselves.  Yet there is this special commitment to move forward and everyone is supportive no matter their temperament.  Our newly made friends Michael and Anne may also have to stop.  Tomarrow Anne goes to the doctor.  I pray for good sound healing acceptance for what ever the outcome might be and optimism for possibility – what ever that could look like even if the Camino is not part of it.  As an industrialized culture we set our “eyes on the prize” rather than the process.  There are those things that “teach”  by not making it. A much harder lesson sometimes. 

We have made it this far and will walk at least 5 kilometers Tomarrow or onward.  Tomarrow is supposed to be sunny!  Hurray!  Perhaps that will lift us. I have come to realize through all of this that we are on the Camino.  A kind of flowing energetic river.  Though we will see many sights we are in a flow that will guide our experience not the “sight seeing” as a could or a should but a part of what will at times be part of the adventure and other times not part of the adventure.  Pamplona was one of these places.  I was excited to walk into this city and see the sights of this amaizing place.  We have walked the winding streets but that is all and Tomarrow we move onward with what I feel to be relief.  There’s this song:

“the river is flowing, flowing and growing, the river is flowing down to the sea.  Mother carry me a child I will always be, mother carry me down to the sea”

Help us to stay in the flow of the Camino.  We need all the help we can get.  Why this is such hard work I do not understand especially as an accomplished hiker/backpacker, but it is.  My prayer is to lighten Daisy’s spirit.  Light her up, get her strong and help her find that sweet rugged macho quality that can be so helpful in these kinds of situations.  Give her confidence. Help her to look forward rather than to spend so much time missing all her friends and family.  Missing people makes your energy sticky.  Help her cleanse gently.  Help her to see that her growing into this experience is a gift to all her friends and family.

Ashe. Xoxo,
Kelley

We’re Crazy!

Daisy and I are beat up bruised and exhausted.  I’m quite happy to be out of Paris, a beautiful, busy and very expensive .  Whew!

Arriving in St Jean had its own challenges and excitement.  We met so many people pumped and excited on the train.  People coalescing from all over the world to walk this trail.  From the St jean train station we were like herding cattle to the pilgrim office.  There we wait meeting new friendly people, snap photos, and thewhen it is our turn receive individual attention and are gracefully welcomed.  Unfortunately the auberges were all filled up by the time it was Daisy and my turn for this kind welcome and we had no real place to go unless we wanted to spend $50.00 on a private pension.  No not the first night. No we need food and we arrive late and then suddenly the expensive places were taken.  Gulp.  “Kelley, you fool, so I thought”.

Daisy w patient attitude followed me around and suggested we walk the streets and knock on pension doors to inquire.  I insisted that we return to the pilgrim office and plant ourselves till we get help.  The same friendly man completely overwhelmed by the amount of walkers arriving each day, a record month’ walked Daisy and I to a tucked in little place not actually advertised.  We paid 12 euros vs. the 22 Euros the woman on the street was advertising and trying to pull us in. This woman reminded me of the creepy woman in the scary district in the movie Marry Poppins.  I still see her eager greedy face and feel relief to be in our little bunkbed space, now walking the streets in search of a grocery store for dinner, breakfast and lunch the following day.

The next day our first day on the trail a total of 25.1km (15.5 miles) the alternate route.  The mountain passes were snowy.  Thank god because it is also longer….  Rain is pouring down and there we are with a few walkers.  We stop for a snack and the walkers disappear.  Where did they go?  Something felt wrong.  We walked on in the rain along the road.  Time passed.  I wondered.  Soon,  I noticed through the trees many walkers off on the right on the beautiful pastoral hillside.  Ahha!  I refused to turn around.  Daisy I said there will be a point further ahead where we can cross to the hillside but I do not think we want the extra kilometers. We don’t.  Already the rainy walk feels long and we have just begun.

Eventually a small town merged with the Camino and we joined the other walkers.  Shortly after, we are ascending crazy steep hillsides.  The good thing is that the rain has ended. But the walking continues over steep and climbing elevation.  Everything is wet and the hard part is having walkers buzz right by us like friendly and encouraging race cars.  Then there are the men of steel.  Young guys plugged in oblivious to the bird sound, the sound of the wind, or drips of rain while walking their steeley not so friendly pace.

Our first day ended at an Alburgee in Ronceresvilles, Spain.  We had hiked over a Forested mountainous border into Spain.  We negioate 3 languages Basque, French and Spanish and inevitably mix them all up.  it is good to have a sense of humour and recognize that we humans know how to commnicate regardless of oul language skills.  However it does require a willingness to try to communicate.  At any rate, Ronceresvill is a town of around 100 folks a bar and an Alburgee.  The first Alburgee was filled with 300 people.  Daisy and I had to move in to the old hostel holding 150 people in the same room.  Bunk beds in lines down an ancient stone building.  The housekeeper welcoming pilgrims.  Daisy and I could barely walk. Daisy is in soo much pain.  I forced her to eat layed her down on her cot and together we rubbed each others feet.  There in her own pain was her ability to see my pain. The limp from my dance injury last fall showing up like firecrackers there on the hill side and nothing to do but walk which turned into limping and later a good hobble.

The next day was similar some rain, less elevation and one kilometer less. However the decrease in elevation left us a tiny bit stronger.  Still together we hobbled into the next town.  Daisy practically in tears, feeling like her “feet are breaking”.  I don’t like those words but say nothing.  I keep pushing her toward the Alburgee.  I am amazed by her strength and wonder how many children her age and older teens would be able to endure this.  I believe a certain jewel inside in our children as well as the strength and will and belief of the parent.  This is tough business.  Daisy just wants to go home.  I cannot blame her.  I rub my Daisy’s feet feed her pasta again) and send her to bed.  Again she sleeps with out moving and I hate to wake her for another day of trekking.  The alburgee’s require that you are out by 8:00 am.  I pack daisy’ s pack and allow her to do the minimum just to get her out the door into the morning rain again.

So much has happened between day 1 and day 3.  I only touch on how we are doing but there is so much more to share.  New friends, some walkers who feel like guardian angels, some folks who feel obliged to impart their adult parental philosophy on our child, a father son drunkard scenario, people from all over the world: Brazil, Norway, France, Spain, Portugal, Britain, Italy, turkey, Mexico, Germany,Australia and many other places.  Mind blowing actually.  And the felling for me is curiosity (if that is a feeling).  Sometimes I have hope in the world.  Sometimes it is the recognition that we are intimately connected more than I realize and to place ourselves in a situation like walking a pilgrim trail exposes us to that sense of connection to all over the world.

The pickpocket

Licking the Eiffel Tower - for NariraAmaizing Walking along the river Rhine

We are here in Paris recovering from  all night flights and a 12 hour time change.  Wow! We made it! Yesturday was our first real day walking this gorgeous City where sidewalks are full of people, brasseries (cafes) spill onto sidewalks with tables and chairs that the pedestrian has to walk around, lots of electric bicycles, and of course there is a fantastic underground. Technically this city is fairly easy to navigate however, I am experiencing the learning curve, grateful for maps to get around these narrow winding streets. So much fun!

So….. our first “real hour” in Paris walking along the River Rhine, On our way towards the Eiffel Tower when two young men begin hassling us in a different language. They were Persistent and moving into our body space. One man tried to reach in my purse. I blocked him & said something like no way! He promptly gave up on me. Meanwhile the other young man reached in Daisy’s pocket and took her phone. Daisy grabbed her phone right out of his hands and said give me my phone! The kid left running. Yeah Daisy! She has some tough wits about her! Not a fun experience but I pointed out to my shaking daughter that really that was a fantastic learning curve! First, nothing was lost and we are safe. Second, daisy got to see how she responded in a tough situation and knows what to do now and third, we are more vigilant. So perhaps we are lucky for the experience.

Lastly- I’m having a learning curve with blogging on the iPad while accessing free wifi. Lots of technical difficulties. Xoxo

Getting Ready

  • Our_shoes_before_500_miles.JPG

Our shoes before 580 miles

  • Definition from Websters:
    Pilgrimage (noun). A traveler, especially one who journeys to visit a holy place, as an act of devotion; a wonderer (verb) to wonder like a pilgrim – pil’grimage (noun) journey to a holy place; the journey of life.

    Daisy and I are going on a journey. Our plan: To walk across Spain on the Camino de Santiago. We will live on a careful budget, stay in pilgrim hostels and walk, walk, walk, carrying a pack thoughtfully packed with as little equipment necessary. This 796.0 km or 494.6 miles of walking to Santiago Spain (and another 80 miles to the ocean) is my gift to Daisy. She is 12 years old, strong, courageous, thoughtful, and ready to try out her walking legs, embrace the Spanish culture, sleep in simple settings with many people who are also walking a pilgrim journey to Santiago.

    My hopes are for the power of discernment. To wisely navigate for safety and health and embrace all that is before us both seen and unseen as part of the wild and fantastic nature of this pilgrim adventure, and have amazing experiences beyond our possible dreams or imaginations. I have a rough sketched out plan meant to be broken in the event of saying yes to that which is more than the plan, while holding a strong intention for walking to Santiago and on to Fisterra, a place known as the end of the world.

    Daisy and I really are walking across Spain. We begin in St. Jean Pied de Port France, walk over a mountain pass in the pyreneese and into Spain. We then traverse across Northern Spain through towns cities roads and rural landscapes to the Ocean. Though many people begin this journey, over a 150,000 walkers a year, does not mean every one makes it. For me, this raises the notion and meaning of a pilgrimage, which is after all, the name of this journey: the Camino de Santiago. Daisy and I will be modern day pilgrims on an ancient pilgrim path.

    I understand the dictionary definition of a pilgrimage, but how does that definition really play itself in real life journeying while negotiating both modernity, travel adventure/vacation and recognition that faith and spirituality has many meanings? We travel a Christian pilgrim route and stay in pilgrim dorms I believe supported by the Christian Church. Yet this trail is much older than Christianity. In effect we are traveling a pilgrim route created by many people’s of many cultural and spiritual backgrounds who used this path in many ways.

    What is important to me is that the land memory (the vibrational memory in the land) that surrounds this trail has claimed itself as a pilgrimage through thousands of years of use. In fact, The Camino de Santiago is growing. The old routes across Europe are being remembered and reestablished. More people are being called to walk these trails. Perhaps because they are well organized and there is value in a long adventurous walk. I also think that what is really calling us is the power of our spirits listening to the call of the land and the places that hold strong memory. places like this need us and we need them to remember our own internal or should I say nonverbal journeys that require faith in something greater.

    Perhaps a pilgrimage is a tool to navigate our prayers through our bodies literally while staying fully present to life. Or perhaps a pilgrimage is a place where we can just walk off the stresses of modernity. Whatever a pilgrimage might be, We must stay in the present or we can get hurt or sick or to tired to continue.

    I am full of lots of hope of making this journey, but really I do not know what to expect.