Friday, April 24, 2009

added: "day ?....moratinos...sahagun.....caza de coto....leon...villa de mazarife...astorga" post
added: "camino graffiti" post

Friday, April 17, 2009

Added/edited posts: feb 15th villafranca post added pics etc. march 11th "almost next to last blog entry" post edited, added pics. etc

Friday, April 3, 2009

camino graffiti....

Along the way, amongst the numerous camino graffiti, mostly scribbles and initials, but a few treasures... I found a few things here and there that really resonated with me....

This one here was one of my favs. my JPII friends in particular will appreciate and find resonance with this one (esp MissM)

This was the tree that the above was written on. way cool! absolutely beautiful!

Seeing some of the graffiti made me wish I had a marker to graffiti too (yeah i know its probly illegal and whatever, but there are some quotes and things that i think can really encourage people along the way, and/or give people something to think about....)...but i didnt have one :( . attempts to find a marker failed :( anyway, there were alot of things that came to mind that I would have liked to have graffitied.... Here are some other things that I would like to see/have seen grafittied on the camino path ;)

(andrew linzey)
(fr. william mcnamara)
(matthew scully)

"Even for the most hardened cynic,
an aching longing remains for something
true, good, or beautiful..." (brennan manning)

"All religious experience at its roots is an
experience of an unconditional and unrestricted
being in love..." (brennan manning)

Children drift about on the tides of their
soul like pilotless skiffs. When a child weeps,
it weeps totally. It abandons itself freely to
its own tears and cannot dam up its sadness.
It possesses no refuge in a tower to which it
can flee to escape this flood. It weeps as long as
it must, just as the heavens rain until the clouds
are empty. And when a child rejoices it transforms
itself wholly into joy. It lives its joy through and through,
without bounds or reflections. And when it is afraid,
it becomes unalloyed fear. It is not "clever" enough to
erect a glass wall between the horror and its own soul..." (Balthasar)

"Our hearts of stone become hearts of
flesh when we discover where the outcast
weeps..." (manning)

"This is the first character of compassion:
its indiscriminate character." (manning)

**These are probably too long to be camino graffiti, but i cant help mentioning the following...:

The question "Where have I come from? "
rises up and haunts me;
lingering, it floats like a flower
in the backwaters of my mind.

From Somewhere deeper than I know,
in the place where I am held to the divine breast,
the voice of God echoes in reply":
"You, my beloved little one,
were hidden in my heart
before your sun burned bright.

You were the dream of my delight
before the earth was born
of the dust of long-dead stars

Before I shaped a single star,
I nursed you for endless ages,
feeding you with the essence of my life.

"In my great lap I played with your infinite childlike form
and gazed with love upon your original face,
the mirror form of my own image.
I laughed with delight at the marvel of your being,
the flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone.

"And you laughed with glee as I winked,
as the four winds sprang to life
and suns like dandelions
lit up the dark lawn of space.

"Where did you come from? o my child,
you in whom live all my hopes and loves,
you came from me" (edward hays)

"My Son, between midnight and the morning frost, when they dragged me to the second trial, i sojourned in your prison. I sat fettered to a tent-peg--lonely, beaten, disgraced--and i thought of you and of the rising day. I have tasted your prison; nothing of its bittersweet smell of decay was spared me. I have wandered through even the deepest chamber of all the prisons of all those who, in despair, have struggled against God's freedom. Down below in the lowest part of you, in the lightless disgrace of your impotence and your refusal, there have I chosen my abode. As a small root cracks the heaviest stones apart, so have I softly caused your prison walls to waver. You are still holding out against my love with the strength of your despair; but your arm is already beginning to flinch. Little by little you are yielding to my pressure.
I will not betray to you the secret by virtue of which I overcame your despair. Fatigued from his spiteful tears, the child finally falls asleep. By the following morning he has already forgotten his resistance and his disconsolate anguish. There is great magic in such extinguished memory: a new leaf is turned, a new chapter begins. Whether or not you are able is not the question at the moment. The whole point is that I have been able. When alone and locked up in yourself you brooded over your profound failure, you were strangely at variance within yourself: you were divided within yourself. Your unity--in that melancholy embrace of desire and regret--was mere illusion. Quietly, without your noticing it, I have cleaved you open and thus given you unity. ....
...... And what you have said about yourself is folly. You would not be my creature if you had not been created open. All love strives to go out of itself into the immeasurable spaces of freedom, it seeks adventure, and, in so doing, forgets itself. I do not say that you were able to free yourself, for it was for this that I have come. Nor am i saying that love's freedom lay contained within yourself, for i have given it to you. The Father has drawn you to me. ...." (Balthasar)

"Noone saw the hour of your victory. No one is witness to the birth of a world. No one knows how the night of that Saturday's hell was transformed into the light of the Easter dawn. Asleep it was that we were all carried on wings over the abyss, and asleep did we receive the grace of Easter. And noone knows how it happened to him. No one knows which hand it was caressed his cheek so that suddenly the wan world beamed with a thousand colors, and he had to smile involuntarily over the miracle that was realized in him...." (Balthasar)

day...? ..moratinos....sahagun...caza de coto....leon...villa de rabbanal PICS

ack. so i realized that im probably going to end up repeating some of the details here, because i dont remember exactly what i wrote in the post regarding these days... but its too complicated to transfer these photos to the post for that day, wherever it is in the yeah. theres gonna be repeats....

Below is moratinos....the hobbit hole houses struck me as interesting... (anyone know--are these
REALLY houses?...seem like they would be awfully dark! but they seemed to be houses as they had TV antennaes and stuff coming out of them...)

Moratinos cemetery--so tiny!

below: I remember being SO glad to finally be approaching Sahagun...saw this marker which i thought meant we were close but turned out that we really had a couple more K left... This day was sort of the breaking point for my feet, just too much weight for too far and too long.. I really stumbled into Sahagun (only to find there was not a single open albergue there. Two ladies carried (more like just about dragged, actually!) my bag the last couple k into town for me, and even with them having hte bag i was still stumbling and limping on my poor feet It was beginning this day that i remember having constant and continuous problems with my feet for the rest of the camino.

after finding everything closed in sahagun, and feeling like an orphan, being passed from one helpful person to another, but with noone being able to find anything open, we finally ended up in the tiny albergue at caza de coto (see blog post from this day for more details). while i was thankful to have somewhere inside to be for the night, this albergue is definitely on my "avoid" list--no heat, no kitchen, and i managed to put grainnes sleeping bag down in a spot that had apparently recently been sprayed with roach killer, as her sleeping bag smelled like RAID for the rest of the trip. ICCCK. though this albergue had hot water, i didnt use the showers because the air and building itself was so freezing. anyway, with no kitchen, i scrounged in the tiny tiny little shop for something suitable for dinner. i was dying for fresh food (i.e. fruits and veggies) after having not had a proper dinner the night before,no shop in the town the night before, then having come across no shops all day except, if i remember correctly, a tiny one at an albergue in ledigos(sp?) where i managed to get a pack of cookies and some more chocolate (i think this was this day, anyway)... i was really hungry this day and feeling really run down because i needed more food :( was looking forward to getting to sahagun to a proper supermarket....but we ended up loading into a truck and being driven around to every possible albergue until ending up in caza de coto because it was the only one nearby i missed the supermarket. so hungry and kitchenless on a cold rainy evening in an unheated hostel..., this sandwich was my improvised dinner... it wasnt good, but at least it was SOME fresh stuff, and better than alot of the junk i'd been eating. beginning the past few days before this, and continuing for the rest of the camino was when i started to depend on chocolate for getting me through the days...which wasnt what i really wanted to do, because despite the ideas we have about sugar and caffeine giving us energy, it would always make me "crash" later...

because we were often on our own, most of the pics i took had to be either taken by me at arms' width, or i also sought out mirrors or shiny shop windows to take our pic in :)

this one came out better since we asked a man washing windows to please take our pic ;) hahaha--i notice now, only after remembering who took the pic--that his window washing tool is actually in the forefront of the picture, lol!

baby G messing with the fountains in leon. we trudged and trampled through leon, and it was very poorly marked. i never knew if we were still on the camino path, and kept asking people. some were helpful, some hadnt a clue what i was talking about, and another tried to direct us to some important church or cathedral that they really thought we should see, but all i was interested in was getting out of leon. it was a big city and i bet it would have been interesting to spend more time there, but we couldnt. shortly after the below picture, grainne launched herself at a dog, and threw me off balance and me and my billion pound pack went crashing to the ground... i was ok, but touched that someone stopped to help me up. couldnt WAIT to get out of the city, too many dogs, too much congestion, not very pretty on the outskirts, and very poorly marked. a bit out of of the center of leon, but in the ugly industrial district, we met up with a couple more pilgrims. i guess they went the other way when i went to mazarife as we never saw them again.

more hobbit hole houses leaving leon. one of the guys i was walking with for a short distance said that he heard they used to be wine cellars, but didnt know what they were now.

below: several days before this was the beginning of me napping alongside the path. here, i believe it was going from leon to villa de mazarife. i was wrecked, i felt like we were on a plateau, and it was cold and windy. i think this was the first of the two times i stopped on this path to nap. it became an increasingly common occurence as the camino progressed because i often felt just WIPED OUT. at this point of the camino, it was still very cold weather and i couldnt stop for very long because G would start shivering. later on, when it was warmer, my naps and breaks got longer and longer, which is part of why we ended up arriving places so late. but it just got to the point where i was so wrecked i had no energy left and would have to lay down and have a "napper." oftentimes i felt like i got more beneficial sleep during these quick naps than i did at night. seldom was there a night that i actually slept well on the camino. this surprised me because i would have thought that with all that walking and being so tired i would have slept like a rock. but i seldom slept soundly, no matter if i was in my tent, an albergue on the floor, or even an albergue in a bed. bad sleep was probably in part due to TOO MUCH CAFFEINE!...

below: the road leaving villa de mazarife. this day started out well, and we were walking with another pilgrim who had just started. unfortunately we BOTH managed to go off track because an albergue had posted a yellow arrow going off to the village that the albergue was in, but that village wasnt actually on the camino. VERY frustrating, and added about 4 k to our day. this was the day we were supposed to have an easy 8 or 10 k to hospital de orbigo, but ended up getting sent on to santibanez, because of grainne, and then turned away at santibanez, only to almost end up walking another 8k in the dark but saved at the last minute by an SUV and went joyriding on the camino path the last 8 k to astorga... (p.s. if anyone knows where to report things like where the path isnt clear, such as this place after villa de mazarife, and a few others too, so that the markers can be improved, pls email me or post in the comments section--thanks!)

below: road towards santibanez. lovely beautiful evening. arriving in santibanez and getting turned away and anticipating another 10 k in the dark was ANYTHING BUT LOVELY THOUGH..but then we got to barrel down the path in the SUV so that was cool. gave us more stories anyway.

below: the path from astorga to rabbanal. there was supposed to be some famous cross or tree or something towards the end of this path approaching rabbanal, but we missed it somehow. approaching rabbanal, we JUST missed the brunt of the very bad snow/rainstorm that moved in that evening. i think this day was weird/mixed weather, because i think i also remember taking off my jacket and some layers at some point because it was pretty warm earlier, especially with the pack. but then it got cold and very windy later, if i remember correctly. though maybe im mixing up my days. this path to rabbanal, at the beginning, had a lot of flatness to it, then later on it climbed considerably. we stopped alot this day too (surprise, surprise.... seems to be becoming a theme here... ) i remember stopping for a long lunch on the flat straight path towards the beginning, just sitting down on the pathway, then again to try to nap near (??)st catherine or something, if there is a town with such name, then facing alot of strong winds later in the day and stopping at a rest stop but not being able to stop for long because of hte cold and the wind and the lateness of the day... and then finally stopping again in a forest grove of pine trees to look at my map again and gro being really tired and curling up and it being so so windy and me just wanting to curl up and sleep but we couldnt cuz we werent there yet..then getting to rabbanal and going through the village and nothing was open except the one hostel which was at the far end of the village. before entering the village i passed a stables, which i made note of, because previously some walkers had told me that they had met the people from the stables in a previous town in a bar or albergue or something and that if gro and i couldnt find anywhere to sleep in rabbanal, then maybe to try the stables. fortunately, we didnt have to. there wasnt anywhere to get food in rabbanal though, except for a bar, which i didnt want to pay the money for, so i made soup out of the remaining stuff i had in my bag--sprouted lentils, seaweed, salt, oil, bread...not spectacular but was ok and apparently my body liked it as it was enough fuel to help me through the next day which was REALLY strenous with the blowing howling knock you down wind. i didnt know if we were actually going to be able to leave rabbanal the next morning, we had a mountain to go up, and the weather was atrocious during the night, snow, etc, and still raining when we got up. i was kind of hoping other people would decide to stay another night, so we could ask as well, but when everyone else decided to push on, i decided we had better as well. it was SO windy though. and we couldnt take the camino path because it was covered in snow; we had to stay along the roadsides.

i forget what this is...something on the path to rabbanal...but dont remember which village :(

below: sitting in the kitchen at the albergue at rabbanal. over the next few days i "lost" most of these people i had been walking with on and off for a few days..they all outwalked us and i never saw them again. i was glad to be outwalked by the guy who had intentionally and cruelly shown me the slain pig, as i didnt care to ever see him again, but there were others that were enjoyable to be with.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

finishing my camino blog...the almost-next-to-last installment...

So...weve been back for way over a month now...and i keep INTENDING to finish the story of our travels--although the post is dated march i guess i started it over a month ago, and just finishing it now!...Dont know if anyones still reading, but want to have it for my own reasons anyway, so im continuing....theres alot that got left out in the short, rushed, limited albergue internet sessions. mostly i havent done the final posts because i was trying to find somewhere to upload my photos, which i cant do at home because the internet connection works off the cell phone tonite im in town and will try to finish uploading at least some of the pics...then i can finish the blog from home.

These are our "leaving" photos, beginning monday morning, after having arrived in santiago on saturday afternoon. Baby G was more than happy to jump in the rental car, and in fact towards the end of the camino, she had started "watching" whenever a car passed, sometimes trying to leap towards them as if she wanted to jump in... probably because she was imitating my behavior, lol...there were some days when we were really wrecked that i would watch all the cars that passed, hoping someone would see how wrecked we were and offer us a ride ;p... but the thing about the camino is that people driving by usually assume you want to do it on your own, so unless youre actively hitchhiking, youre unlikely to get a lift...

we got pretty lost on the way back to pamplona. part of it was because i decided i needed to make a detour back by somewhere, and the rest is because the major roads i found to be very poorly we only had a really basic map off google. we left late in the day, way later than i planned. but i got to see the sunset from near cebreiro, above tricastela. i saw the sunset from here when we were walking the camino, but was in such a rush because we were so far from tricastela and had already done like 30 k and it was getting dark etc, that i didnt really have time to appreciate it. and i KNEW i wasnt doing it justice by really appreciating it at the time, but we had more important things.. so these few sunset photos here are from up above tricastela. the small photos dont do it justice--as is always the case with cameras ;) -- anyway, the purples etc in the east were amazing. cant figure out how to use this program to caption by the photos, so anyway, further below is "YAY ETAP!!!" etap hotel was such a Godsend when we FINALLY arrived in Le Havre, on time to get grainnes vetwork done and in time to catch the ferry. ETAP lets pets in rooms for only three euro extra. we went in to get the room, and as i went back out to the car to get our stuff, the guy flipped the sign on the door to "no vacancies"!! we were SO lucky we got the last room. proceded to watch american movies that had been dubbed into spanish for the evening and sleep in a real bed, with a shower, and a blasting heater. :) Le Havre, by the way, was not very nice, im actually glad we didnt have to spend any more days there...though i still could have done without the billion dollar car break down... further down is us waiting for the ferry.

above is gro at le havre port while we were killing time waiting for the ferry, and below, again killing time... was SO glad to have the car back :) almost all of my photos of me/us on this trip have been self-portraits taken by me because there was seldom anyone else around to take them ;)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

arrived ireland

hey all. after 2 mechanics, 2 tow trucks, 2 days sitting at the mechanics in pamplona, and a repair bill that cost more than the value of the car.... (ugh), i was able to drive through the night and arrive at the ferry port by the required time.  we have finally arrived home (a few days ago. i meant to post sooner but havent had internet access. so sorry for leaving you all hanging :) ) future pics and camino "fill-in" posts coming when i get internet back at my caravan. thx. :) kaybee

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

AAAARRGH!!! the camino "continues" with all of the "bad" elements and none of the good...

i thought i was finished.... but... well...i AM finished with the fun part, but.... im reliving the camino... minus the good stuff.... i arrived in my rental car back in pamplona at 430 am this morning after fighting through the messiness of what i considered poorly-marked (and sometimes incredibly expensive-tolled) spanish roads for hours.... when i arrived back at my own car, it wouldnt start. i had half expected this so i wasnt really surprised or worried...i thought it would just need a jump start...well, a jump start and a trip to the store for a new battery and a kind neighbor installing the battery later, we had to call a tow truck cuz it still wouldnt start...i spent the day sitting in the rental car outside the mechanics hoping they would be able to make time to fix it today....but by the end of the day he had replaced several parts and still couldnt find anything wrong..... back in "camino living" but only the bad parts--i thought i was done with this stuff for now--sleeping in an albergue, worrying about the dog all night because shes outside and its freezing--although in this case worrying about her not only getting cold but deciding to eat the rental car if she gets lonely, wearing the same yuck clothes AGAIN, loading and unloading my backpack, etc etc ICK. i loved the camino but i dont want the camino without the good stuff ;p i really hope that my car is fix-able tomorrow or we might never get home! the ferry leaves on friday from northern france and we actually need to be there (or to a vet SOMEWHERE, if not there,) on THURSDAY!!.... ARGH. and if he cant fix it i dont know WHAT we will do as i need the car too much to junk it...nor can i get me, grainne, and all my stuff home without it! i think ill take any bad day of the camino over the current situation! argh. and the physical exhaustion over the current mental frustration anyday! so y'all please pray i can end up with a fixed car and get HOME!!! thanks ;) kaybee

i want to further update my blog and fill in the gaps but i guess it will have to wait till i get back to ireland....