I am pleased to feature a Camino reflection written by a woman who completed the Camino Francés in May 2017. Sister Anita Fearday from Teutopolis, Illinois, made the pilgrimage to Santiago to celebrate three events in her life—her seventieth birthday, fiftieth anniversary of vowed religious life, and fortieth anniversary of missionary work in Bolivia.
Weaving Words and Photos into the Tapestry of My Life
by Sister Anita Fearday
A weaving that Anita did to prepare for the pilgrimage
Pilgrimage to Santiago—April 16, 2017 to May 18, 2017
Part One: Starting Out
Yikes! What did I get myself into? A symphony of strangers snoring in this dorm of 114 beds, coed toilets, showers, and bunk beds for the next month.
My friend Cathy Seitchik Diaz alerted me to a new docu-show that aired on Spanish television in July. The ¡Buen Camino! series followed pilgrims from more than 100 countries who were walking, biking, and even horseback riding on the Camino in spring 2017. Cathy was one of the pilgrims that was interviewed by host Marta Márquez. I remember when Cathy emailed me route reports on the Camino Francés, she mentioned a TV show and that a drone camera was following her overhead. She said she was a little nervous about being interviewed on camera, but because she is so passionate about the Camino, she was excited to spread the word.
Behind the scenes of Cathy being interviewed by the host, Marta.
Below is an interview with Marie Louise Muscat Azzopardi, a pilgrim who walked the European Peace Walk (EWP) in 2017, and friend of guest blogger James Portelli.
Pilgrim Interview: European Peace Walk
By James Portelli
Meeting Marie Louise
Have you ever crossed paths with someone who strikes you as a breath of fresh air, a person brimming with positive energy? My wife Tucc and I have known such a person—Marie Louise—for a few years now and we always look forward to meeting her on treks we join. I recently met with Marie Louise to discuss her most recent trek, the European Peace Walk.
Below is the roundup of Camino-related events and hikes in the SF Bay Area for the month of September 2017. This coming Saturday, September 2nd, I will be doing a presentation about One-Week Caminos with highlights of the Camino Portugués. Feedback from the last presentation on the Camino Inglés was positive, so we’ll continue with this “Camino Lunch & Learn” series as long as there is interest. The Lake Merritt walks have been a great way for like-minded people to keep the spirit of the Camino alive, right here at home. My hope is for this camaraderie to continue after our monthly walk, where everyone can gather in a comfortable atmosphere over a good meal and learn about Camino topics. I enjoyed every step of my “short” Caminos and look forward to sharing the highlights and lessons learned with those who might not have the time to walk longer Camino routes.
Happy Friday! This morning I received an email from a couple who is walking the Camino Francés right now.
Mandy and Ken starting the Camino Francés
Fans of the Camino de Santiago now have another great podcast series to listen to. Project Camino is a series of interviews with pilgrims hosted by Brendan Bolton. The podcast is a platform for people to share their personal insights on how they have taken the Camino home with them. Brendan’s aim is to gather a worldwide tribe of like-minded people who want to understand how others successfully live their Camino.
Below is the roundup of Camino related events and hikes in the SF Bay Area for the month of August 2017. On Sat. August 5th, I will be presenting about the Camino Inglés after the monthly Lake Merritt walk and brunch. Part of the joy of “unpacking” my Camino is going through the many photos and compiling my notes so that my reports might be helpful for pilgrims considering this route. I enjoyed every step of the Camino Inglés and look forward to sharing the highlights and lessons learned.
Continued from The Tower of Hercules.
After exploring A Coruña’s beaches and the Tower of Hercules, I decided to hop on a local bus for a ride to the Ciudad Vieja (Old Town). A Coruña was once a medieval town, and the remains of some of the walls are still visible. The huge Plaza María Pita, named after the woman who helped save A Coruña from the British forces, marks the center of town.
I don’t like war, but I love the story of María Pita! And I appreciate when cities honor the brave women who played an important role in history. So, who was María Pita?
Continued from A Coruña Beaches.
As this map below shows, there are a lot of things to see and do in A Coruña. Click image to enlarge.
After I left the beach, I saw some nice fountains, an aquarium, and sculptures. Aquarium Finisterrae is rated #6 out of 79 things to do in A Coruña, according to TripAdvisor. But I couldn’t linger: the Torre de Hercules was beckoning me, so ultreia e suseia (onward and upward.)
Continued from Getting from Paris to Camino Inglés.
Here’s a bird’s-eye view of A Coruña. Click the image below to expand.
Surrounded by water and steeped in history, A Coruña has a lot to offer! Photo credit: Spain.info
On the far left you can see the Tower of Hercules, and along the bottom, a long stretch of beach. The port and marina are on the right, and the Old Town (Ciudad Vieja in Spanish, Cidade Vella in Galician) is situated to the left of the marina—complete with narrow winding streets to get lost in, old churches to pray in, a lively pedestrianized zone to stroll through, and plenty of bars to quench your thirst in (or satiate your hunger with free tapas!). What’s not to love! I managed to pack all of this in on the same day that began in Paris before sunrise.
After settling into my hotel around 2 p.m., I was anxious to walk along the beach on my way to the Tower of Hercules, which I could see from my window.
View of the Tower of Hercules in the distance