Wild Weekly Photo Challenge: my Escape along the Camino

Maria at the end of a long day’s hike  …

Why was it so important for me
to walk along the Camino to Santiago earlier this spring?
Did I just need to Escape
to a simpler time, and place
far-far away from electronic gadgets, multi-tasking and long commutes?

You can tell me…


one of my best friends

Galicia is hilly.

Every day the path offered views like this,

and this,

and this,

led us next to streams,

past grain storage “bins”,

and shrines on walls,

churches like this,

and this,

and this simple one

Can you see the yellow arrows on the wall of this little church?

up many stairs,

past huge old trees

under canopies of dappled shade,

sometimes was difficult to walk on

and even led us into dark woods!

I knew I’d successfully escaped when I became “superstitious” and couldn’t walk past a cairn like this without making a wish, and adding my stone to the pile. 😀

next to the path

This post is part of LetsBeWild.com Wild Weekly Photo Challenge.  The Challenge this week is: Escape.

About dearrosie

We think we need so much, when all we really need is time to breathe. Come walk with me, put one foot in front of the other, and get to know yourself. Please click the link to my blog - below - and leave me a comment. I love visitors.
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39 Responses to Wild Weekly Photo Challenge: my Escape along the Camino

  1. larooby says:

    I think we walk to be with ourselves and to hear our inner voice, to open our senses to the texture of the journey, and of course, appreciate the company of our best friends. I wish you many steps in a life-long walk of discovery.

    • dearrosie says:

      Yes it was all that larooby – thank you for expressing it so well.
      Once I’d escaped the stresses of modern society and relaxed into the rhythm that you get from walking I discovered that my monkey mind stopped its idle chatter, and I could hear what my soul had been trying to tell me for many years.

  2. Lovely, lovely LOVELY! one of my favorite things is seeing how people always walked together and yet it was clearly a journey of solitude and introspection — I can imagine you there so clearly!

    • dearrosie says:

      You are so spot on with your observation Betty. I didn’t want to do my walk “alone” so I joined a group of Canadians – you can often see them in the path ahead or behind me – but it was a journey with myself and my soul, and all these months later I’m still digesting what I learned.

      Hey you’re in Malawi right now. I know a little bit about Africa so I can imagine what you’re doing. 🙂

  3. aFrankAngle says:

    Beautiful pics with short, but meaningful words is a wonderful way to reflect and share your journey. Well done!

  4. I loved this post as I scrolled through each picture. What a journey! These pictures filled out your adventure even more. I almost groaned when I saw your friends climbing up the stairs but I oohed and ahhed all the other scenes. The path along the stream is lovely…and I know walking on stones and uneven ground takes its toll on the feet and ankles. All the churches are so different in size and style. Thank you for bringing us more. You have a lifetime of memories in these.

    • dearrosie says:

      I thought I may have included too many photos in this post, I appreciate knowing that you enjoyed my selection. I have so many photo from the Camino that I still haven’t shared. Every day we walked past old trees, ancient farms and villages, churches and animals. I could – and should – do a post just on the dogs, the trees, the streams, the churches…

      OMG those stairs were at the end of a long day’s hike. We were hot and tired and I think you can imagine how we felt when we discovered that the Monastery, where we were going to spend the night, was at the very top of the hill…

  5. These photos took me right to another place, so peaceful. I love the ones of the path next to the stream. I can imagine myself walking on it right now! ahhh!

    • dearrosie says:

      Darla it gives me enormous satisfaction to learn that you were able to “escape” just by looking at my photos. When you’re feeling stressed come back here, sit down, take deep breaths, and if you listen carefully you should hear the birds. Their songs accompanied me and encouraged me every day.

  6. Thank you for helping me escape this morning with each of your wonderful photos, Rosie. I’d love to do a portion of this walk. How do I get AA Hubby to stay at home and chatter away with my “monkey mind?” (hee hee) I have to admit that “cairn” was a new word for me. Thank you for broadening my vocabulary, too.

    • dearrosie says:

      Very satisfying for me to know that my photos helped you to escape AA. You’re welcome to return any time you yearn for the big outdoors. Just sit back take deep breaths and if you listen carefully you should hear the birds which accompanied me every day.

      How do you get AA Hubby to stay at home? I went without Mr F because it was MY thing, something I have been yearning to do for so many years.

      What to do with your “monkey mind”? Just tell it that AA Hubby has the peanuts. 🙂

      There’s a strong Gaelic influence in Galicia. “Cairn” is
      a term used for a man-made pile (or stack) of stones. It comes from the Scottish Gaelic: càrn (plural càirn).

  7. heather says:

    lovely photos Rosie!
    Glad to see you are still processing! I hope that the journey will last you a long while -or even forever – in memores, photos, stories, discoveries.

    • dearrosie says:

      Merci boucoup for taking the time to leave me a comment Heather. Glad to know you enjoyed the photos. You’ve reminded me that I promised you more pictures of the churches…

      I think the processing is something that will stay with me for a long time. It’s not easy to share a memory of something when it’s still “fresh”, you need time to digest it. Now that I’ve been back for four months I’m able to look back and share more of my “Great escape”.

  8. souldipper says:

    Aw, Rosie, I suspect you’ll be reflecting on this great walk for the rest of your life. Isn’t that exactly what is meant to happen? The intimacy you built, step by step, with the land and your soul, connected profoundly in spirit and heart. Just as with life, a sojourn with yourself while sharing it with fellow humans.

    When I sit in my rocking chair – hopefully 30 years from now – I will remember and be grateful for trails; not ivory halls and expensive dinners!

    • dearrosie says:

      You always share much wisdom in your comments Amy. It was definitely
      “a sojourn with myself”

      I didn’t realize when I first got back that I needed time to digest everything. Now that I walked four months ago, I can reflect on the experience and understand so much more of what I gained and learned.
      No doubt in a year’s time I’ll understand even more. It is a journey that I’ll reflect on my whole life.

      I’m so grateful – and so proud – that I was able to do it, that I didn’t let health issues scare me into not going, and that my two best friends didn’t let me down.

      When the time comes for us to sit in our rocking chairs we’ll both be able to remember the feeling of freedom and empowerment we got from walking the trails.

  9. That is a trip I’ve always wanted to take, but that hasn’t yet made it onto my itinerary. Thank you for the photos 🙂

    • dearrosie says:

      I waited about twenty years before I was able to do the walk T. It was a life-changing experience. If you have the time, and the inclination I’ve written several earlier posts on it.

      • I’ll definitely explore your posts.

        A friend (who is currently hiking in Nepal) and I have discussed the Camino a few times. She had planned on going, but life happens, of course.

        I suspect it will take some time, as well, to get prepared for a major journey. I’ve got knee and foot issues, which have had an impact on the amount of hiking I can do in the last couple of years. I think getting into excellent shape, and making sure I have proper orthotics and footwear would make a difference.

      • dearrosie says:

        Hiking in Nepal is something I’ve also wanted to do. It’s a real challenge.

        You must delay your trip until your have correct orthotics and your best friends are healthy. Knees get punished when you walk every day. As the Camino is hilly, it means you’re going up and down each and every day and walking downhill is hard, especially on the knees.

        I think shoes are the most important item to purchase. I’m not sure whether there’s a shop like REI near where you live in China, where you can return shoes that don’t work. I had to try about half a dozen pairs before I found a boot that fit me. You also need different thicknesses of socks. You start the day with cold feed and thick socks, and end with hot feet and thinner socks…

  10. What a beautiful collection of shots – they all represent escape very well!

    Hope to see you join in our challenge for this week too! http://www.letsbewild.com/photo-challenge/wild-weekly-photo-challenge-4-water/

  11. I love the picture of the leaning church with the orange door! It was nice to see some of that gorgeous scenery from your great escape again, Rosie. I wonder if you’re thinking of doing it again sometime, or perhaps you have another adventure in mind?

    • dearrosie says:

      I’d love to do the adventure again Barbara, perhaps in a few years time, and next time I hope Mr F will join me.

      I could do a post just with pictures of churches. Each little village, even if just a few houses, would always have a church.

  12. It truly still amazes me that you accomplished such an amazing journey. It’s wonderful to see more of the beautiful photos. I’m just sure you have more adventure in your future! 🙂

    • dearrosie says:

      I’m glad to know you too aren’t bored with the photos of my walk. When I was choosing pictures for this post I found myself looking at photos and thinking, was I really was there, did I really do that?

  13. The last photo! What a description! You did escape, and yet carry everything from around here with you, to wash it in the stream waters, burnish it with the path pebbles, and make a wish for it over countless cairns. Rosie! Wow!

    • dearrosie says:

      I knew you’d notice the last photo Priya. People left piles of stones all along the route, usually on the mile markers, but there was no reason for the cairn in that last photo. Whether the person who placed the first pebble just loved the view we’ll never know, and why we all joined in and left our pebbles we’ll never know. I can tell you I left my pebble there just because…

  14. shoreacres says:

    I’ve had a post draft in my files for some time called “Two Stones a Cairn Don’t Make”. I need to drag it out and give it some more attention.

    Your photos and description are wonderful, but I can’t help wondering what it would be like to make the pilgrimage without a camera. How would it differ if our eyes were our only shutter and our spirit the film on which the images are impressed? Annie Dillard talks about this at length in “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek” – the differences between walking with and without a camera.

    Another version of the same dynamic is the impulse to see everything in life through the “blog-fodder” lens. So often I find myself looking at something and wonderful how it will fit into my writing. That’s not good or bad, it’s just a fact that sometimes needs accounting for.

    And I like that we’re seeing more of your trip as you absorb it. Already, people are telling me they’re anxious to see photos of my trip to Kansas. They’ll come, but in my time. I need to think about it before I write about it!

    • dearrosie says:

      This is the second time someone’s mentioned Annie Dillard’s book “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek”. I must read it.

      I have a feeling we’re going to be reading your post “Two Stones a Cairn Don’t Make”… in the near future. I hope so. I’m intrigued by the title.

      I took many photos – over 1800 – because I knew I’d be sorry if I came back and wasn’t able to share it with my family, but I wonder whether I took extra photos because I felt a duty as a blogger?

      Something that I didn’t realize when I first got back from Spain is that I needed the distance of time to be able to really share the experience, and now that it’s been slowly percolating for several months I understand so much more about it and myself, and my personal growth.

      Each day the path led me though farms and villages that hadn’t changed in 1,000 years. To walk along those cobble-stone paths with no sign of our noisy, frantic, modern life, just daily meetings with cows blocking the path and birds cheering me along, it honestly felt as though I’d gone back in time to the middle ages, I stopped and took big gulps of the stress-free air, and then felt it would be selfish if I didn’t capture the moment, so out came my camera.

  15. Kathy says:

    I’ll bet your are still digesting everything that happened during this walk, Rosie. I sometimes think it takes months and months (and sometimes years and years) of digesting before we realize all the whys and wherefores and what a pilgrimage like this truly meant. I am still digesting our trip to Nicaragua last January. It meant something deeper than just a nephew’s wedding.

    • dearrosie says:

      I can imagine that though your nephew’s wedding was a wonderful proud experience, the trip to Nicaragua was something that you’re still digesting.

      I understand so much more about the Camino, and my personal growth now that I’ve had several months for it to slowly percolate. Thank you for your continued interest in the trip Kathy.

  16. Robin says:

    It looks like such a lovely walk/pilgrimage, making me want to do it all the more. I love the leaning church, and the cairn. 🙂

  17. munchow says:

    No doubt that El Camino was a fantastic experience. One day I will walk the walk, too. Thanks for sharing, and Happy Thanksgiving!

    • dearrosie says:

      What I didn’t realize when I walked the Camino is that months after I returned home the experience would continue to percolate my psyche.

      I hope you walk the Camino one day Otto.

  18. Pingback: Change | Wondering Rose

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