Pilgrimage through Spain as a polliwog (#1)

I sit here looking at my little gift that weighs a thousand kilos in worth; thinking of how I came by it. It’s a small metallic token, that resembles a tadpole fashioned in an oriental looking way. A polliwog, a symbol of transformation and a sign of luck. It’s in my hands to remind me of the constant change the world is in, and the change in me. Sometimes, it  is better to roll with that change than fight against it (Personal Growth) and when you embrace this,  you can see the light you are looking for. It is a token of real friendship and a token to remind me of what I can bring to people’s lives and what they see in me.

Thanks Willy 🙂

polliwog

I suddenly warp through images;  of the fields, rocks, mountains, rivers and of the physical pains, joys and moments of awe I experienced on the journey I undertook last year.

I will write a series of posts with a number beside them to indicate that they belong to my diary of the Camino de Santiago  that I walked from September 11 to October 16  last year through the Spanish country side. I begun my walk in France in a town bordering Spain called St Jean Pied De Port. I like walking (apparently alot)  and so I did it for over 800 kms.

The Camino is a pilgrimage and throughout my posts I will include all the “talk”, history, feelings and popular beliefs regarding this walk are that I learned along the way.  I don’t want to write about my camino solely logistically. However, I will share what I do know and if you are interested you can contact me for more information.

Camino? What is a Camino? A little bit of history

It’s roots as a pilgrimage date back to pagan times, but it is better known as a Christian pilgrimage established during the middle ages, in the times of los templarios (The Knights of Templars). It is believed that the apostle Saint James walked this  way to the western coast of Spain, spreading the word of Christ. A Cathedral can be found at Santiago de Compostela (James of “Field of Stars” which holds the meaning burial ground) where it is said the bones of St. James lay.

The Scallop shell is a symbol of this way as is the cross of Saint James. The shell is representative of the way as St James walked to the coastal town of Finisterre. During these times  Finisterre was believed to be the end of the world – such that Columbus set sail from here- and it was the most western point and if you walked here, you basically were journeying to the end of the world.

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The shell also signified your completion of the walk as you had to get to the coast in order to get one, you had achieved the way. History tells that many prisoners were sent from France (from towns like Lu Puy and St Jean and many others) to walk this way in order to repent for whatever crimes they had committed. Pilgrims walked this way to repent their sins, get away from their horrid medieval lives and to be closer to their God, their Christ and honour the memory of St James.

Why walk for so long? 

The reasons are plenty and I will spend longer writing about those also, but just to give you an idea:

People begin their camino from many places in the world, some in phases and some all at once. Some people walk for weeks and weeks, just for sport, or for their love for God, or for spiritual reasons, just to walk, or for a cheap holiday if you happen to be Spanish.

As you see this is not merely a two-dimensional topic, and I have learned so much from it that I want to share, I will write posts based on my experiences, stories, phases of the walk and try to keep to a timeline. I will try my best to keep it to chronological order, especially when it comes to the characters I met along the way, so that the story flows!

The title of this blog is actually named after one of the thoughts I had while I walked my Way …

I was walking through the woods, a few days from Santiago De Compostela, and it was raining something hard, the blisters on my feet did not permit me to wear my waterproof boots that did not even keep out the water, so I was walking in flip flops, flicking mud onto the back of my legs as I did so. Walking along, singing loudly as I had no permanent walking companions at this point. All my friends were either behind me or ahead of me and I needed some solitude to gather my thoughts and finally find my own strength. Positive words of encouragement always helped me keep my stride keep walking but they weren’t around when I stepped into a puddle of mud or felt water seeping through my poncho down my back. I, like many others had my hood on all day looked, watched out for rolling rocks and pebbles, and swum against the muddy tide. It was simply never ending and it kept flowing, mixing with the poops of all the bacas all over the darn place.

After this negative moment I told myself to snap out of it. I had come this far, and I had done it with help or alone but I had done it. With my own two feet. Many people had advice what I should do, what I shouldn’t do bla bla bla. But at the end of the day I did it with my own two feet. It was my own little left and right sweet beautiful little toes that I put through hell that did the walking. My body and my will kept me going no matter what was happening physically and mentally.

This wasn’t a “omg I did it” moment, it was more in the sense that in life, sometimes we are dreading moments or dreading situations because we don’t know that we can actually do it, and with all the help we get to achieve anything at the end of the day it needs good old fashioned elbow grease. This is not to say that people expect things to be given just that occasionally the advice of others can interfere with our dreams and it’s until we walk the path ourselves do we know whether it is the right way to go by us.This seems simple, but lives are complicated these days by external factors.

And I thought… jeez, I could write a book about all this ish and call it…. My Own Two Feet.

Way to be cheesy huh.

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If you’ve read this far thank you thank you thank you!

Later Alligators!

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