David at Alto del Perdon (790 metres) infront of the 'Monumento Peregrino'
On the 6th April 2019 I began the journey of a lifetime! It was the start of a seven week adventure walking from St Jean Pied de Port in the French Pyrenees across Northern Spain out to the Atlantic Ocean at Finisterre. It was a very special pilgrimage in memory of my wife Lynne who died in June 2018. It was a very personal tribute to the love of my life, my soul mate, best friend and travelling companion. During our 47 years together we had travelled the world and unsurprisingly she said to me many times before she died . . . "Keep on travelling!" A friend of ours, Heather, visited Lynne during her illness to share her recent experience on walking the Camino de Santiago. We looked at her inspiring photo album of her Camino journey. Later Lynne suggested it might be a wonderful thing for me to do in the future. Of course I said "Yes, but only with you by my side!" Lynne eventually said to me . . . "Do the Camino!" So in April and May I walked for seven weeks on the Camino de Santiago, for officially 560 miles but I know with all the detours and walking even on my 'rest days' in the great cathedral cities it was well over 600 miles! Lynne was with me every step of the way . . . 'in my heart, in my mind and in my spirit!'. We did it together!
I took a detour off the Camino route to visit the beautiful 12th century
Romanesque Church of Santa Maria de Eunate near Puente La Reina
David with fellow pilgrim Stephanie from Hong Kong
Camino way-markers signposted the entire route across Northern Spain
The yellow arrow is often accompanied by the historical symbol of the shell or scallop. It has been sculpted in stone in churches and monuments since the 12th century. It is now found, alongside the yellow arrows, on the way markers along the Camino de Santiago. The shell of this precious mollusc has been fished off the coast of Galacia for millennia and it quickly became the symbol of 'The Way'. The shell was originally a prize for completing the pilgrimage and unique proof of it, since its sale was prohibited in other places that were not Santiago.
Pilgrims approaching Redecilla del Camino
Enjoying a chat with fellow pilgrims near Alto de Erro on approach to Zubiri
The sound of the cuckoo by the Canal de Castilla near Fromista
Water fountain in the hamlet of La Faba on the way to O'Cebreiro
David lighting a candle in memory of Lynne in Iglesia de Nuestra Sra. de la Concepcion
in the village of Hontanas
Stunning views on the 400 metre climb up onto the Ruta Pradela detour
after leaving Villafranca del Bierzo
This blog, entitled 'The Way of St James' (1), will be followed by further highlights in the next few days.