Sunday, December 8, 2013
Friday, November 29, 2013
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
To make a big deal about it.
I know it was bad for me, but I had to keep going. I had to pay off my student debt. I couldn’t really start my life and live it the way I wanted to, with no restrictions, if I had 300-500 dollars to pay every month for the next 10 years. I would have had to get a job, buckle down, and pay that shit off.
No travelling, no expanding of my mind and understanding of the world and the people in it, no learning of the diversity of possible ways to live my life, no growing beyond my conditioning as a child, no realizing what kind of living style I need to stay healthy and be satisfied in life, no discovering farming (permaculture) as a real option in my life, no discovery of my life dream and goal of being in or starting an off-grid/selfsustaining/
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
The first time when I was phisically and mentally done for the day, then realised I had to walk 5km more to the next town where there was an albergue.
The second time when I got to the to of "Monte do Gozo - The Mountain of Joy", because it was the last climb before Santiago.
The third time when I got to the cathedral, and passed by a person playing the bag pipes, I was tired and sore and wet and cold, and just flew the last 4.7km through the city, and there was the cathedral, the end of my journey.
The 4th time was when I got my Compostella, the old latin document that states you walked the entire way. The recognition of my achievement, like a diploma of personal growth.
The 5th time was the next day at noon, at the pilgrims mass, when the nun was leading the singing, and the packed church was singing along. The priest was addressing the pilgrims and talking about their, our, journey.
The last time when I left from Finisterre, left Maria there on the side of the hill, and now was going back for 1 more day in Santiago with Genie. Then I saw a Camino sign pointing to the path and I just couldn't hold it it.
What an accomplishment, what a wonderful feeling to be done. I am so proud of myself. I am a pilgrim. I am proud of myself. I have done what so many have not been able to do. I am very proud of myself!!
- to let go of things that happened in the past
- to not rely on technology
- how rude it is to be on the phone when together with others
- that when faced with a seemingly impossible task, to just break it down into small managable parts and then everything is doable
- to really appreciate the little things
- to listen to my body
- to trust and stop secondguessing my decisions
- that everything I do is my choice, that I make the decisions and thus have to live with the consequences
- that I have to do what is good for myself
- that being alone is good for my mind
- that being with other people is necessary for my heart
- to be myself no matter what other people think or expect
- that after overcoming a great challenge, it won't be just smooth sailing from there on; there will always be new challenges to face
- to follow my own path and pace
- that I don't need that much food
- that age is not important; it's the mental and emotional growth that really makes a person wiser
- that rest days are important for the body and mind
- that day dreaming is not constructive, but only a distraction from reality
- to trust my instincts
- that I value modesty and a good social ettiquet in people
- to channel my energy towards things I want, not towards things I want to avoid
- to be inspired by people, but not to immitate them
- that I am more alert and energetic in the morning
- that big meals don't help my energy levels
- how important itis to surround myself with people that share similar values as me, but to distance myself from the people that trample all over them
- I am Morning Fire Amazon Ninja
- that everything that happens has a lesson in it; i's not just a bad or good experience
- that change happens all the time, regardless if I rush it or try to delay it; so just enjoy what is happening in the moment
- trust in the way, and it will show itself
Friday, November 1, 2013
Saturday, October 26, 2013
You have to choose what you value and then stick to it.
Friday, October 25, 2013
Monday, October 21, 2013
Thursday, October 17, 2013
I realised that most of the day is spent in pretty mundane thought. Even though I have a lot of time during the day, I don't do very deep or productive thinking. It's focused mainly on the walking tasks.
Don't step on the snail, slug, bug, caterpillar, ants, worms and centipedes.
Watch out for the big rocks and the puddles.
I need to drink more water.
I need to pee. I don't see a big bush or tree anywhere. Is anyone coming?
I'm hungry. I can wait till the next town and get a sandwich.
How much longer to the next town? Check gps and map. How much have I walked? How much do I still need to walk? What time will I be at the destination? Can I make it all the way or will I have to stop before.
I wonder what (insert name) is doing and how far they got?
I hope I get a bottom bunk tonight.
I hope that snorer is not there tonight.
I hope there will be some great food somewhere.
My feet hurt. My heels hurt. My arms hurt.
So, here is some info that will help understand the logistics and details of my journey.
Before I started the walk, I had to get a pilgrims passport, which is just a paper with space for stamps on it. I stay at the Albergues, which are a cheaper version of the hostels and which are only for pilgrims, so people who have the pilgrim passport.
In order to finish the Camino, you must have walked at least 100km and have the stamps to prove it.
Each Albergue you stay at will stamp your passport, and so you can only stay one night at each Albergue.
You can also get a stamp from the cathedrals and churches.
I don't have as much space in mine, so I'm only getting stamps from the Albergues.
Here is a photo of my pilgrim passport.
I had a very nice break, with good wifi and a decent dinner.
Today, waking up was very fast. I got up and ready in 20 minutes and was out the door by 7:30am. I was very impressed.
It wasn´t cold outside, it wasn´t raining either, but it was still dark. Completely dark.
I stopped by the local bar and had a coffee, and now it´s 8:30am and I´m almost ready to leave. Not fully awake yet, but almost.
I don´t know if it´s really getting easier, or I´m just getting used to feeling pain somewhere.
It´s either my toes, my heels, my knees, my hips, my arms... something hurts at one time or another.
At least I haven´t had a headache, and my back is ok.
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
I picked up another walking stick. This one was just a branch, nothing special. It's helped with walking much better.
But now I'm thinking of giving away my beautifully carved wood walking stick, and getting some proper light and smaller walking sticks that will really help.
But today I used them properly, and because they are wood and heavier, my arms got really sore. Which made me think of my arm flabs, and how I'm trying to get rid of them, and this hard work with heavy sticks will probably be better for my muscles and flabbiness.
So, I've decided to keep them.
I've also decided to write a love story about the two sticks. It will be available as soon as I finish it, or get bore with writing it, and then I'll just write a dramatic and/or tragic ending of some sort.
You will just have to wait.
Sunday, October 13, 2013
After a day of rest, we walked a long road on hard ground and gravel.
My feet were killing me and my stomach was growling for some food.
We stopped at the Albergue and when I signed in, the lady saw my name in my passport and was immediately happy and surprised and started speaking in Romanian with me. She was Romanian too, somewhere from the Sibiu area, and had been living and working here in this little village with her husband and daughter for 5 years. It was nice to talk to her for a bit.
At 6pm, when the bar/restaurant opened, Hildegard, Dan and me went over to get our pilgrim meal.
It was fantastic. I had the bean soup and a great beef stew with mashed potatoes. A Spanish pilgrim joined our table and we had lots of red win and great conversations until about 9pm when we were tired and walked back to our albergue.
That's when I noticed the smell.
It smelled like a wood burning stove everywhere. It was fantastic. If it weren't so cold and I weren't so tired, I would have stayed out longer just to smell the air.
Saturday, October 12, 2013
After my nice rest at that Albergue, and the nice massage, I had renewed energy and better feeling legs.
The walk over these 3 peaks through a forest was a great change from the endless fields of this and that. I ended up walking a bit more after I met up with the Canadian couple from Kitchener who I had left behind a few days ago.
When we got to this nice little village, we came across the young German couple who I'd met earlier in this journey. It was a brand new Albergue and being a bit after the designated end point for the day, there were not so many people.
The Germans, Claudia and Eiko suggested we stay in and cook dinner for the 6 of us. Them two, the Canadian couple Hildegard and Dan, this other German guy Peter and me.
It was great. We went grocery shopping at this little local store, got stuff for a soup, a salad and some tasty meaty pasta. Then we headed ask and started cooking. It just happened that the we, the 3 women started preparing and cooking, but then we made it clear that the 2 men had to clean up after.
We finished everything really quickly. It was very nice to all sit together and after preparing the food to eat together. We had lots of delicious Spanish red wine and some pastries for desert.
The leftover pasta we gave to a dog, and we ladies relaxed while the men cleaned up, did the dishes and put things away.
Now, Claudia and Eiko have taken the bus ahead because they were running out of time, and who knows when I'll see them again.
That's what happens. You meet with people, and then spend some time together, and then they go off or you go off, and maybe you meet again in a few days, or maybe not.
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Today was gonna be an easy 12km day.
It was fine in the morning. Rather chilly but that kept me going. I walked half way, 6km on, and then I took a break.
Again, after that break, my right calf was in so much pain I didn't know what to do with it.
Luckily, I only had 6 more km to go, my feet didn't hurt, my backpack was light, and it wasn't very hot outside.
I eventually got to Villafranca and decided to opt for the 18 euro private room with queen sized bed, instead of the Albergue Municipal with 50 bunk beds for 5 euros. I took a shower, and went to bed to sleep off my pain.
I had booked a massage for 7pm and was waiting for the lady to come by and pick me up.
When she gave me a massage (which ended up being almost 2 hours instead of just 1), she said that my hips were misaligned, and one leg was shorter than the other, which she fixed through some magical stretching voodoo, and then when I showed her the problem right leg, she said it's not the muscle, but some vericose veins that were to blame for my pain.
Thank you useless body!
Somewhere, sometime, I was standing for too long, and got some vericose veins, and now were hurting like hell.
My immediate conclusion was to not stop at all along my daily walk, which was just not going to be possible.
The massage lady told me to stretch a lot before I start and when I take a break, and to put cold water on the affected area.
Well, that hasn't really helped because I have been stretching every morning and break time.
So, I'm going to check online and see what the internet has to say about vericose veins.
Again, thanks body!
In the meantime, I'm enjoying some lamb stew and delicious red wine. Take that evil vericose veins!
Monday, October 7, 2013
Today was the most difficult day so far.
The morning was incredibly beauful. I slept well, went to the post office and sent off another 1.5kg of stuff, making it a total of 7.5kg lighter. It was a cool morning and my legs felt ok.
I walked for a good 6km, and then I stopped.
That's when it changed and my right leg started to hurt. The day also changed.
My legs started to remember the hurt from the days before, the sun was strong, there was no shade, the walk was along the highway, it was straight and monotonous.
I was going to stop after 15km, 5km short of Belorado, the days destination. When I got into that little village, it was all quiet, and no Albergue in sight. I had to walk on, another 5km to Belorado. My feet and right leg hurt so badly I started crying.
I was hobbling along, crying and breathing heavily, but through my nose (like my sis taught me).
Then I stopped for a bit and collected myself. I had only hobbled 1.5km and still had at least another hour and a half at this pace.
I plugged in my headphones, cranked them up, and put some heart pumping dance music on.
That kept me going, until a silly ballad came up and I swore and then quickly changed the song, so as not to slow my momentum.
I saw the town of Belorado in the distance, and then saw the first Albergue, 1km outside of the town. I nearly started crying again.
I stopped there. At that point I didn't care about going all the way into town and being closer to shops, the cathedral or the restaurants.
That was a hard day, and I was glad it was over.
I arrived at 6:30pm.
It took me 2.5 hours to walk the last 5km.
Today I walked 21km.
After I finished 15km, it seemed like nothing, and 6 more km was not going to be a big deal either. It wasn't. Once I got going, it was slow, and painful, but it was completely manageable.
I got at the Albergue at 5pm, with so much free day time I didn't know what to do with myself.
Luckily, the Korean ladies and the German couple were preparing to go out for dinner, so I joined them right away. I didn't even stop to rest my legs.
We had the pilgrim menu, and we also had 4 bottles of wine between the 5 of us, after which we went to mass at the nearby cathedral. It was beautiful but I was a bit too wined up for it. I didn't get a samp, so I'll go again in the morning to get a stamp for it.
I don't have a lot of space on my pilgrim passport, unlike people who started at St. Jean, so I've decided to get stamps from the Albergues and the chuched/cathedrals I visit.
I'm in the laundromat waiting for my laundry to be finished. I hope it will be done before 22:00 when the Albergue closes.
Saturday, October 5, 2013
So, today, I walked 30km.
With my new sandals and 6kg less on my back, the first 19km were a breeze.
Then, Susan the Australian lady caught up with me and we walked together. Time and distance went by quicker, but my feet were starting to complain. We were walking much slower and once we got into the town we were walking slower still.
Wow, was it ever difficult.
But the day was perfect for such a long walk. It wasn't hot, it wasn't raining, it wasn't too sunny and the road was pretty even and straight.
Now, we arrived, and the thought of getting up to shower, was my clothes and get something to eat is sending shivers up my spine.
Friday, October 4, 2013
Thursday, October 3, 2013
We are in Viana now, 11km away from Logroño.
It's been tough, and it will continue to be tough.
After the first day, I sent on to Santiago 4kg of things. Tomorrow morning I'm planning on sending maybe 1 more kilo.
I need to lighten my pack so I don't have so much pressure on my feet.
Today I bought some new shoes. More like sandals really, but still for hiking. The ones I had before were ok, but there were 4 pressure points that have ended up in giant blisters. 2 on each foot.
Left foot: Pinky blister and heel blister.
Right foot: Pad blister and heel blister.
I had to get new socks, new shoes, am wearing shorts the whole time. You get really hot walking all day.
You learn so many things from walking so much.
I've also learned that any (deep) fried food is terrible for energy and endurance. Something to be completely avoided while doing such physical activities. Also, very sweet thing are not good either.
What I did enjoy, was some sausage, a steak, some canned lentiles, lots of apples, and olives. Nothing too overpowering in the flavour department.
The people have been really nice. Met an older couple from Kitchener Canada, Dan(iel) and Hildegard. Met some really nice Korean ladies who made dinner for me and my sister tonight. Met a few more nice people... Richard from Austria, Thomas from Germany (with whom I shared a funny yet odd mixed dorm experience), Bill from Canada who joined us for the Korean dinner. I'm sure there is more but my brain is no working right now...
To leave you with an idea of foot pain management, after pills and massage failed to relieve any of it...
Sunday, September 29, 2013
When I made my hostel reservation, I let them know that I'd be coming in at 3am via the train, and that someone should be there for when I arrive.
Well, I arrived at 4 via the bus, and when I got here, it was locked and the lights were out. There was nowhere to go so I just hung out, hoping someone would go in or come out with a key.
And yes, someone did. Some Irish guy was coming back from partying, and he let me in. Noone was there at reception, but I made myself comfortable on the large and cushy sofa until 8am when the check in desk opens.
Saturday, September 28, 2013
I'm very proud to have said my first sentence very calmly and clearly:
¿Dónde está la estación de autobús?
And the lady proceeded to tell me in Spanish: Just go that way around the building to the right.
And I understood!
Well, not really. I guessed some and understood a little. But put together, I figured it out.
Yay for easy foreign languages!
It's exciting, it's new, it's Europe, is Spanish.
I love it.
Am a bit shy saying anything in Spanish, but I'll get more comfortable in a couple of days.
I found my way to Barcelona Station, and when I got there, it turned out I actually have a bus ticket, not a train ticket. I don't know why I remembered train.
So, I found my way to the bus station now, not too far from the train station actually. Just 2 subway stops away. I still have about 2 hours until my bus is scheduled to leave.
I wanted to buy a train ticket since I was there already, but everything was sold out for today.
Good that I bought something in advance.
I just went through the Romanian Airport Blue Air gate. I've never seen such rudeness, disrespect and blatant money grabbing in my life.
Towards the end of the line to board the bus that will take the passengers to the airplane, there was one woman who started telling people (only the Romanian people) that they are allowed only one carry on bag, and to stuff their purses into their carry on suitcase. Then, after a few, she started picking people to fit their luggage into the narrow carry on measuring thing. Obviously many of the bags did not fit in, and a great circus erupted, about people not being able to take their luggage, unless they payed 55 Euro to give that luggage to be checked in.
And then she started rushing people that the gate will be closed in 10 minutes and they don't have much time.
A clear strategy to rip people off.
I am a mere hour away from the flight that will take me to Spain, where I will start my Camino.
A walk to start my journey.
It is not just a walk, something to fill my time with, or just a break from whatever.
To me it means an end and a beginning.
The end of my previous life and the beginning of a new life.
It's a journey of growth and change (*and if ur growing ur changing*).
It's a journey of self reflection.
It's the right time and the right thing to do before choosing a direction in my life.
I can't wait to start walking and clear my head of all things that are negative or confusing or obstructive.
Sunday, September 15, 2013
I was on the train from Suceava to Bucharest to pick up my dad from the airport.
I had started this book a couple of weeks ago and I finally finished it.
What an amazing book.
It deconstructs your idea of humanity and of the world and civilisation and our role on this earth in such a logical way, and then shows us the truth behind it all.
I teared up at the end.
I will definitely read it again.
I've been with family for the last couple of weeks. It's been wonderful, relaxing and worry free, but I've felt the itch to move, to travel, to get going.
Today I missed the train, and as unfortunate as that was, I really enjoyed the change of pace, the unexpected, the need to figure out an alternative. I feel bad that my aunt and cousin had to worry. They worried for the three of us. I know that things usually work out, and even if they don't, I can make the best of the new situation.
I'm excited to be on the move again, to travel, to have just a rough plan and to figure the rest out as I go, to have unexpected encounters.