Tuesday, July 5, 2016

A Goal- De Cluttering.

A few days walk after Salamanca, in May 2014

I really miss being on camino. And I have come to realize it is not going to happen this calendar year.  I have been very blessed to be able to have been on two, and I need to keep that in my thoughts.

 It is so easy to fall back into old habits, and get caught up in day to day stresses. One of the many reasons I love going on camino, it really shows how little I really need and have an enjoyable life. Yet here I am a mere few years later, and once again I am drowning in stuff. I love thrift stores and yard sales so it is really easy for me to accumulate lots and lots of uneeded things. Its stressful. I have decided this weeks goal is to do a clear out and donate all things I haven't worn, or used in the past couple of years.  (not my Camino kit of course! I do plan on getting back out there)

Monday, March 7, 2016

New Trekking Poles!

I used to not much care for trekking poles, but now i just love them. I was using them wrong. What would the world be with out You tube to learn new things?  Not only do they help with balance, they are great for pointing, using to steady a camera, whack weeds out of the way. Also I found that sometimes my hands would swell if  I wasn't careful of the salt in my diet. (Also a Camino concern as fries are pretty much a staple on the pilgrim menu) and that doesn't happen if I use poles. I had previously bought the Black Diamond Z poles that were of a fixed length. While I liked them, there were just slightly too short.  I used them anyway for awhile, but recently decided it was time for new ones. I got the adjustable yet still foldable into Z style,. so they are easy to put in your backpack and hopefully can be carried on planes.  I love them! I got them from Sunny Sports, at a good price. My sister was able to fit my old poles, so I was able to set off the cost of my new ones somewhat. I highly recommend them They are light, easy to deploy.
Stock photos of my new poles!
Since it is still fairly cool, I decided to go a walk thru the shade-less desert

Its actual quite early for wildflowers here, so hopefully it is a sign of a good season.

It was surprisingly difficult to get a shot of my walking stick while holding it. But They are just wonderful! 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Pilgrim book review: Laughter and tears along spain's 500 mile Camino de Santiago

This book had a lot of potential, but I think it could have used some editing.  The writing was good, but what threw me was that he had quite a bit of repetition. He based this book off of his blog, so he would begin the chapter with the blog post then go back and write about the same events. Sometimes with the exact same wording. I found it confusing.  This was his first trip abroad as a 53 year old American from Texas.

As with all Camino books I find it fascinating what lessons they take away from their experience. In someways, everyone's Camino is fairly similar. Sleep walk eat repeat.

The item that stuck out most to me was said by a fellow pilgrim he met:

"Every pain has a meaning, and when you find the meaning you don't need the pain anymore."

Along the same lines, " Maybe you can't find the peace and happiness unless you slog you way thru the difficulties too... "

What I learned most from following his journey was facing regret and fear with the attitude of what did it teach you and how it can make one a better person. And it is never too late to try something that pushes you out of your comfort zone.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Still Looking..

So I basically did exactly what I was trying not to do, which is not keep the Camino spirit and attitude in day to day life. I recently moved into an old adobe home and while I love it,  it has had it share of problems, which of course require's its share of money.  It had begun to cast doubt on whether I could save enough to afford to go this Sept as I was planning. So I took it harder then I should have. I haven't practiced my Spanish hardly, quite going to the wonderful Camino forum. I don't know why, but if I couldn't go I felt like I didn't even want to think about it. Sometimes I think there is nothing funner than trip planning, when plans are not to be made, it brings great disappointment to me.  I am not sure what made me want to log into the forum, but I did. I answered a brief post, and the response was just what I needed to hear. "The Camino isn't going anywhere" It is so easy for me  to get caught up in wanting instant gratification. Maybe this is just a lesson I need to learn.

Goals are pretty much the same, post at least once a week, practice Spanish, get in shape.  I am ready to begin again.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Keeping the Camino Spirit

Is really hard for me in day to day life. No matter how much I try it is so easy to get bogged down with stuff, and caught up in minutiae of life. I always feel better when I spend more time in nature and walking, and I have been doing neither of those things. I feel I have been focusing more on the negative than then positive of late and I need to change that. And of course, today I am faced with quite the rainstorm here in the southwest. So I don't walk. If I was actually on Camino I am sure I would have sucked it up and carried on and it would have been OK. I am not so I didn't. I regret that. Things always seem better when walking.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Pilgrim film Review: Pilgrimages of Europe- Santiago de Compestela

This past week or so has flown by, and it has been humid. I am not really used to humidity so it has been fairly hard for me. And it drives scorpions into my house, I am up to six killed in my house, and one at work.  Needless to say, I really haven't been on any interesting walks or purchased anything Camino-ish.   On to some thoughts on the film.

I streamed this courtesy of Amazon Prime but it appears to also be available for DVD purchase as well. Its about 30 mins. I found it as fascinating as it was dated. But that what was great about it. Especially the soundtrack. I find 1980's soundtracks amusing.  It really was quite the contrast to a modern day Camino. Most of the pilgrims they interviewed mentioned how alone with their thoughts they were and in the shots there was nary another pilgrim to be seen. And even more alarming, they wore jeans! Just like in the movie The Way.  (though on a side note I did meet a very fast walking pilgrim who swore by wearing jeans, giving more weight to the argument to do whatever works for you). The narrator did say that in Spain there was only one way to Santiago- the Frances route, which of course there are numerous. Based on the small sample size of pilgrims in the documentary I would say they had larger backpacks. They also used camping stoves, which I think would get tiring after a bit, but then again a hot drink when every you wanted one would be nice. I like to think I recognized some of the places, as I would nod an think to myself "Yes I too sat at the table next to the path for a break." I believe it mentioned that 8,000 people a year received a compestela, compared to the 250000 + now.  It was interesting to compare how some things changed a lot and others were surprisingly familiar.  I would  recommend this just to see how much the Way has grown.

Monday, August 17, 2015

A new Fanny Pack

It has been really hot this past week in Arizona. It is also the time of year that I feel summer should be over. Time for Fall! I didn't go on nearly as many walks as I like to. Hopefully the super hot hot heat is at an end. I did go on a nice walk about sunset.  I saw my first live Rattlesnake of the year, and boy did I regret not wearing my proper hiking boots instead of Teva Sandals. I saw him before I was close to it and clearly the path was big enough for both of us, but at least with boots I think a wee bit of protection could be had. Do they make rattlesnake proof shoes? 
A very nice sunset, and even though the walk was fairy short it was nice. hopefully I will be able to do some more this week. 

I came across a herd of javelinas, I was away a bit so they are a bit blurry 

Here is my new fanny pack. i found it at a thirt store for $2. It looks unuased or at least not used in the desert, as there was nary a bit of dirt in it. Its a bit heavy but fits my kindle and other things I like to have at hand on camino. I really should weigh it.  I keep hoping they will come back in style, ah to relive the nineties.