Category Archives: Europe

My dad is not just my dad

Time to write an introduction to the Scotland trip I made with my dad last month.
With your dad? you might think.
Hell yeah with my dad!

Dad and me in the forest
On our first hike of the trip: an easy stroll through the forests around Dunkeld. We were greeted with rain but we didn’t care one bit.

You might have noticed from previous writings that I usually travel alone (and love it). So being in almost constant company while on the road – sharing cars, bedrooms and bathrooms – is a bit of a challenge for me. I’m used to doing things my way, and that’s not entirely what happened in Scotland.

My two biggest regrets are: Continue reading My dad is not just my dad

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Is a dream a lie, when it don’t come true?

And so I walked the last day of my first Via de la Plata. The clock had switched to daylight savings recently and, with that, walking in darkness became a thing again. I enjoyed the absolute quiet. Staying in an albergue alone also means walking alone, and with the nearest towns over 10km behind and ahead of me I knew I’d have the Camino all to myself. Soon came the sunrise.

I talked out loud to the hazy colours – the blue hue that had enveloped the trees and grass. I talked to the birds singing and to the flowers slowly opening up to a new day. I talked about travelling.

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Continue reading Is a dream a lie, when it don’t come true?

Two important updates have been installed

My second to last walk went from Alcuéscar to Aldea del Cano; a short 15km. My legs felt strong and the weather was perfect: clouds cast some shade, it wasn’t too hot, nor too cold. Yet for some reason I was having a though day. The sky felt oppressive, the air didn’t seem to supply sufficient oxygen and my mind was hazy. I figured it had something to do with the nearing ending of the Camino. I remembered feeling lost and sad on the Camino Francès too, when Santiago came within reach. Surely, you’re happy to have made it. But when you enjoy being a pilgrim as much as I do, the foresight of finishing the journey and becoming a non-pilgrim again isn’t so joyful one. It’s a mixed feeling that catches many walkers a little of guard, but not me. I’m an experienced pilgrim now. Right? Continue reading Two important updates have been installed

Drunk pilgrims near Merida

Visiting Merida didn’t take as much time as I expected. My initial plan was to stay for two nights, one in an AirBnb and the second in the pilgrims albergue, where I’d meet up with Canadian C and German R and we’d walk on together. However the city didn’t appeal to me that much at all. After strolling around a bit and eating a mediocre meal, I spent the afternoon drawing in the Roman theatre – which is absolutely lovely. The next morning I continued my pilgrimage.

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Continue reading Drunk pilgrims near Merida

The Spanish rain…

The equipment I brought on my Via de la Plata was the same I had on my first Camino: a bag that travelled with me to rainforests, a coat with years of dutiful service, shoes that had carried me to Compostela before. And yet I only realised how severely unsuited they were for rain after I walked in showers for hours and hours.

The road to Zafra was long and unsheltered, with bare vines stretching out on both sides. The ground was muddy and slippery, the thick earth clang to my boots and made them heavy, my pants were not waterproof.

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Before the rain

Continue reading The Spanish rain…

A blessing of solitude

Oh that glorious walk between Monesterio and Fuente de Cantos… No words or pictures would do it justice. It was without a doubt the most beautiful stretch of walking I encountered on my mini-camino (that is, the part between Sevilla and Cáceres) and it lifted my heart beyond expectation.

The weather was overcast and clouded, however fast winds made for an ever changing scenery and shadows travelled over the endless planes in a matter of minutes. The fields were glowing with colour, mainly the bright yellow of tiny flowers and the deep green of moist grass.

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The fields seemed to take over the colour of the Camino. Some of them were bright as gold.

The road soon let me into a sea of infinity. This is the Spain I love so much: a landscape that seems endless, with nothing surrounding you but waving hills and heavy skies. A landscape in which one could easily drown.

Continue reading A blessing of solitude