Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Camino Tattoos

It is now nine months since we walked from Pamplona to Santiago - a feat that many still do not believe we actually did. For us - it was suppose to be a one time event - something to add - and scratch off - our life's bucket list. Of course - like many - we do not have a bucket list - this was done completely on a whim - a challenge to ourselves - to literally step outside our comfort zone - go to a foreign country - place our lives - our well being - our safety and comfort - completely into the hands of God -the people of Northern Spain and other peregrinos -of whom we did not know. If you have read our earlier posts - you know that it was a fantastic experience. Like many who walked before us -like those now walking the same trail - the Camino de Santiago gets into your blood - refuses to leave - refuses to go away. Memories and daily reminders - abound - constantly beckoning you back - to a point that many have the need to - wear their Camino experience on their sleeve. This desire frequently manifests as a Camino tattoo. 

Arlene's CaminoTattoo
Our time to resist has come and gone - as evidenced by the photo above - Arlene's right ankle now proudly displays her forever Camino shell - drawn by our granddaughter - Gaby - tattoo artistry courtesy of Proton of DeKalb, Illinois. I have not yet yielded to the forces of the Camino -no ankle tattoo for me - I make every effort to avoid anything around my ankles and veins- having had vein surgery for a valve problem - the same surgery which I partially blame for my twin brother's early demise.  Maybe a shoulder - that is far enough away from the area of concern - maybe - that will be a future post. Thousands of peregrinos have done exactly what Arlene did - the size and styles - as various as the people who wear them. How anyone remembers their Camino experience is up to each person - just as how and when and why they walk - it is their Camino- there is no wrong way to walk - to remember.

Buen Camino
Dale & Arlene

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Older and Bolder

It has been a while since our last post - took a group of pilgrims to Italy in November and are currently looking for a winter home in Arizona so we can have a warm place to walk during the winter as we start training for our return Camino walk in fall 2015.  We picked the Phoenix area for the White Tanks mountain range and the Estrella Mountains - lots of hiking trails within a short distance from our future home. We made one trip in May and will be returning next week to try to lock down our new home. In the meantime we have been busy around the Illinois place - just having hosted a wedding reception and now - free again to make a road trip out west. This will be special for us as we will be driving to Arizona with our dog who does not travel well- hopefully - he will be a seasoned traveler by the time we return.  If time allows we will try to get some hiking in when not home shopping.


We keep in touch with other peregrinos who have also walked at least once via the Facebook page - American Pilgrims On The Camino - lots of conversation form newbies and old timers sharing advice back and forth - so we are very much still connected to the Camino. Will write more as the new training gets more serious.

Buen Camino
Dale & Arlene 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Botafumeiro

Yes we have a botafumeiro of our very own.  We had to jump through a few hoops to acquire it from Spain.  It would have been much easier if we had purchased it while we were still in Santiago after completing our Camino - but we did not know it was available at that time. It was only after reading a post on the Camino Forum that we learned of its availability.  We ordered it in November 2013 hoping to hang on our Christmas tree as an ornament - it arrived in January.  Mail service from Spain is slow - as it was explained to us by the vendor.  Slow mail service coupled with the fact that the vendor did not accept credit cards or Paypal compounded the delay.  The only acceptable way to pay was by using a wire transfer service.  We selected XOOM to handle the process. Our botafumeiro now sits on top of our piano next to our shadow box holding our Credencials, Compostelas and Shells.  It is about 6 inches long - 10 inches if you include the stand.  No - we do not burn incense in it.  It is a fragile work of art - we want it to last so we will not be heating it up.


If you would like one of your own we suggest buying while you are still in Santiago - otherwise you can order online at: Souvenirs del Camino.  As mentioned above it took some time to arrive but it did finally get here.  Cost in Santiago is 16€ with shipping to the USA total was about 40€ - expensive but cheaper than a flight to Spain.

Buen Camino
Dale & Arlene 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year 2014!

WOW - it is now 2014 and it seems like ages since we walked the Camino.  It is very interesting that with each passing day we miss the Camino more and more. We never dreamed that would happen to us - experienced world travelers - but it has.  When we first made the decision to make the walk - we promised ourselves that we would not get caught up in what an outside observer might term - Camino "fever" - but we have.  What we have learned from our experience is that walking the Camino is an experience like none other. Sure we long to return to many of the other places that we have visited - Italy and Poland -in particular - primarily because we have family in both countries. The longing to return to the Camino is different and one that is beyond explanation - the only people who can understand are others who have already experienced the Camino - the desire to return continues.

I recently revised the video that we posted on YouTube - it has been edited and eight minutes has been removed - twenty-six minutes is more comfortable than almost thirty-five.  Perhaps more people will view the shortened version - hopefully it will inspire others to walk the Camino.



Buen Camino
Dale & Arlene