I am happy to share a special guest post by Camino angel and bestselling author Karin Kiser.
Support Camino Cleanup
During my first Camino in 2011, I was disheartened by the amount of trash I saw along the route. I was determined to play a part in leaving the Camino in better condition than when I found it. Unfortunately, for all my good intentions, the last thing I wanted to do while walking all day fully loaded with a backpack and trekking poles was stop and collect some rubbish. Bending down with a full pack seemed a Herculean task. So my cleanup efforts were limited to areas where I was already resting without the load of backpack.
Last year when I was volunteering in Galicia, I was finally free of the backpack and could begin to pick up trash in earnest. During those two-weeks I took responsibility for the 3 km stretch on either side of the albergue and rounded up a dozen bags of waste.
I just returned home from another relatively short Camino. Two travel days, one night in Rabanal, one night in Ponferrada, ten days of walking, and two days in Santiago.
I was craving a less crowded walk, so decided to do the Camino Invierno, aka Winter Way, from Ponferrada. This is definitely a less-trodden Camino, but little did I know that I wouldn’t see a pilgrim until the third day! This was by far the most challenging Camino for me because some of the stages were very long, and a few days there were no places to stop. But, I walked through incredibly beautiful landscapes, connected with some locals, and survived some unforeseen challenges. In short, it was a Camino of solitude at the beginning, a test of my fortitude in the middle, but throughout it all, left me with a feeling of extreme gratitude. I will write more about it later. I did some posts on Instagram and Facebook if you want a sneak preview of my adventures and a few pilgrim hacks, see:
Hola from Ponferrada, España.
I just started walking the Camino Invierno! I will write a detailed route report upon my return. For now, I am excited to share a cause that I am supporting and ask for your help pitching in. During my Camino, between May 17-28, $2 from every patch sale will be donated to Egeria House in Santiago to support the work of Sybille Yates and the volunteers who help pilgrims in need. My patches can be ordered for $4 each at: Etsy.com/shop/caminoprovides
I met Sybille in Santiago after my last two Caminos and witnessed how she has helped many pilgrims. Sybille is a busy woman! After seeing her at the 10 am mass, handing out hymn sheets and helping pilgrims to find a seat, I saw her again at the hospital visiting a friend of mine from the Bay Area who became critically ill while walking the Camino. Because I have seen her kindness in action, I want to show support for what she is doing in Santiago with Egeria House. She is one of those Camino angels I will write about when I get back home.
Learn more at: Egeria.House
My patches can be ordered at: Etsy.com/shop/caminoprovides
I will give Egeria House the patch sale contributions when I get to Santiago on May 27th or 28th.
Thank you for sharing the Camino love!