Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Day 11 - Of mountains and caminos...

This blog is supposed to be about the Camino de Santiago. And it is!

I just like taking detours! Here I am, almost three months ago, with my friend Sandra from Namibia, meters away from the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

At 5895m high we felt as if we were on top of the world, not just on top of Africa!

This was by far the hardest thing I've ever done. Ok, giving birth to my two children wasn't a walk in the park but at least then I had an oxygen mask to attach to my face when I needed it!

If you've ever wondered how far you can push yourself, I can highly recommend climbing this mountain. Not only will it test your physical abilities but you most definitely will find out a few things about your mental capabilities as well!

It really helps to have good people with you. I certainly could not have asked for better partners. I can't remember when last I laughed, from my stomach, as much as I did on this trip. It was food for the soul, I tell you.

Walking the Camino in 2012 is going to present new and different challenges, of that I'm sure. Somehow I have a suspicion that the challenges are not going to be as physical as the Kili climb but I look forward to be challenged mentally and spiritually. I do hope that the challenges will lead to growth, both in my faith and in every other aspect of my being.

I hope that I will be led to wonderful people, places and experiences.

Today I read about a pilgrim who didn't know where she was going to sleep one evening and a family simply opened their doors to her, gave her a room for the night and fed her, not only that evening, but the next morning as well. To me, that is what the Camino is all about and I can't wait to experience my own unique encounters!

The more I think about it and the more I discover, the more I realise that all of the research and all of the new connections I am making, are all building blocks, essential to the building of my own pilgrimage.

I'm absorbing and storing all the information that comes my way at this stage. The smallest, seemingly most insignificant detail or tip I come across is written down because I know that it could have the biggest impact on my journey. Just like the suggestion I came across on the Internet when researching my Kilimanjaro climb. Someone said: 'Plan to summit when there is a full moon'.

I did exactly that, my trip was planned so that I reached the summit on the 26th of July and we had the most glorious full moon we could possibly have asked for!

So here's to inviting all things good and positive!

Camino fact of the day: The Camino de Santiago is also know as 'The Way of St James'. I have found a wonderful description of the walk on a website and I have asked them if I can reprint it exactly as they have it, as I cannot describe it better in my own words! As soon as they've given me the ok, I'll post it here.

As for our weekend spent in one of the most beautiful part of our country, photographs will have to wait until tomorrow - there seems to be a problem with uploading pictures right now...

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