caterwauls

travels to the edge and back
                   compass points, people, places and  paramours  
 
 

   home   


Do not just follow the easy path - walk strong and make your own.

 

 

 

Peregrine traveling


 Travel does broaden one's horizons, and you acquire a feeling of respect for the people of the countries visited if you view them with an open mind for their situation and not in the context of yours. Not everyone envies the North American lifestyle. Simple is better and there is something to learn from every society.
Some of the countries that we have been fortunate enough to visit, and even live in, follow here; Andorra, the tiny co-principality in the Pyrenees  between France and Spain - Austria - Belgium, the best pommes frites anywhere! - Denmark, with all those mellow Danes! -

England - Finland, to family at Kronoby on the Arctic Circle - France, where even railroad stations have gourmet food - Germany, the friendliest people - Gibraltar, you couldn't get there from Spain in 1974, you had to go on a boat (the Mons Calpe) from Algeciras to the continent of Africa at Tangier, then back from there, even though 'the Rock' actually overlooks the isthmus from Algeciras! -

Italy, wonderfully chaotic fun - Liechtenstein - Luxembourg - Monaco - Netherlands - Norway - Portugal - San Marino - Scotland - Slovenia, (Jugoslavia then) - Spain, easy living on the Costa del Sol, hurra por la siesta! Andalusia is a wonderful place to idle away time or write your novel - Sweden - Switzerland, I know where the best restaurant in the world is, but I can't tell you - (well maybe, ask me again later) - Vatican City - Wales. Morocco - Lebanon - Iran - India - Thailand - Singapore - Hong Kong - Japan - Hawaii.

And not a bad experience in any one of them. During a year of travel, the people we met were friendly, accommodating and happy. And we learned that other cultures' different values are not necessarily lesser values.                                                                                                                                                             

Most of this travelling was from the driver's seat of a BMW Bavaria, bought on European Delivery plan from Vancouver and picked up at the factory in Munich. It was complete freedom in visiting Europe and going wherever one wanted. We lived between Fuengirola and Marbella on the Costa del Sol.
  
                                           

As you write, communicate and think for the rest of your life, the memories and experiences of your travels will find their way into all your writing; images, snatches of conversations, the ambience, and the people you meet will remain in your heart.  Their world will become your world too.
 

 

Naturally, Spain is foremost in our minds having lived there for a short sunny time years ago, and as we whiled away the warm months, we were treated with great respect. honesty and friendliness
by the wonderfully vibrant Spanish people. It was a halcyon time of sweet mental languor.

 

 And once you've been to Spain, you will always be in love with it.

 

 

excerpt from my song, Malaga ...

There is gold and silver here in Malaga
Shining softly when you look into her face
She will warm you in her sunlit arms and then
gently wrap you in her Spanish lace.

 


The Holy Sagrata Familia

   

The structure is stunning and you wonder how a mind could have conceived it, and what effort it
took to design and work out the engineering details. The interior will strike you with awe,
go in to see what they have been building since March 1882 and is still not finished!

 

The fantasy of Gaudi's mind


the camino


Follow a plan to walk the 'Way of St. James' across the top of Spain.

We are planning to walk the Camino del Compostella.  The Path of the Shell. To tackle the 500 mile trek across the top of Spain. The plan is in motion;  at the investigative stage, but we are busy reading web sites, books on people who have completed the Camino de Santiago de Compostella, and ogling photographs of the rural Spanish countryside. People from all over the world have been doing the Camino for centuries which started as a religious  pilgrimage.

We are not unfamiliar with España, but our previous travels were in the far south, Andalusia. The Camino transcends the North, through  Green Spain . It is a huge trek that will take this year to plan in order to get ourselves ready mentally and physically as well as gaining all the information we will need.  The idea of trekking nearly five hundred miles became sort of a personal recovery plan. To rescue ourselves from the mediocrity of daily life in Vancouver. Getting fat, lazy and winding happy hour back 15 minutes each day and then sleeping through the six o’clock news!

But why the ‘Way of St. James’? And such a distance?  We are not Catholic, and can’t even call ourselves religious. Is it a challenge in this late portion of life? A last stand in our autumn before winter sets in? Yes Why? Is it a small tribute to Pope John Paul II because he actually started the crack in the Berlin Wall that eventually ended communism in Eastern Europe. John Paul courageously went into his homeland Poland and pushed religion in the faces of the communists to start the most important process of change in any society – ideas.  Why? The personal challenge. With each painful step perhaps one digs out the dust and dirt of one's personality to expose the truth. And isn't your personal truth the culmination of learning oneself? Isn't that part of the goal of life? Finding out who you are?

The Camino Frances  begins at Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in France and you start out hard and cross the Pyrenees! And for the next 30 days you visit Pamplona, Logroño, Burgos, León, Astorga and many tiny villages before reaching the “City of the Apostle”, Santiago.  Legend tells that St. James' remains are buried on the site of what is now the city of Santiago de Compostela. It is the proper pilgrims' route.

So the challenge is intriguing. We need to know what shoes to buy, what kind of packs to use, what to bring? A small computer will be carried for internet access and to post reports and eletters. What clothes does one wear? We need to learn how to say “We’re wet and tired and hungry” in Spanish.  We already know gracias.

It’s still in the beginning stages right now, but the idea of an arthritic ramble has taken hold and seems to have imbued a traveler's romance in with the mental and physical challenge. An adventure looming like a glowing sunrise. Promising a spiritual journey. Yes, a pilgrimage.

We are determined to embark on this adventure, and to walk our Camino in spite of pain and torture, and rickety feet, it is the Faith. St. James would allow it no other way. And we are bristling at the concept proposed by some, that in one’s seventies, one should not take on such an arduous trek. It’ll be the death of you, has been suggested.

Well, we were supposed to retire years ago to a comfortable life of leisure and canasta with gin and tonics in the shade of the veranda.  Now we are thinking about how heavy a bottle of Glenfiddich will be in a back pack? But there is a way lighten it, isn't there.  We'll be writing our peregrinations under the title, Not Quite Nomads,  and looking for a sponsor ezine so others might share in the enlightenment of two soul-mates bound for a fleeting glory.

We were hoping for Freedom 75. Yet there are different measures of freedom, aren't there? So we’ll continue toward the dreamscape of Spain and keep planning ....... however slowly ..............  for the death of us.  


Deal the cards.

 

We want to be a peregrinos too!

 

 

 

Links

Spanish Tourism website - http://www.spain.info/

Camino de Santiago info http://www.caminodesantiago.me.uk/

 

 

Enchanted Cool Respite Miles to go ... Albergo Peregrinos Santiago

 

Verde  España, and the Way of St. James.


 


 
 
inner travels
labyrinths
 
 

 

(more travels to come)

 

           
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