Sunday, March 12, 2017

Where Have I Been . . .

While I have not been very active here of late, I have been busily writing out my Camino de Santiago Trip Report and Journals.  If you would like to read more of my Camino de Santiago, you can find my trip report on Slow Europe. There I have also posted a thread (Walking the Camino de Santiago), which has some live posts while I was on my Camino.

You can also find my Camino Journals on my other website HERE. The reason I am using this other site over my Blogger site is so I can include a slideshow in addition to a YouTube video and narrative of each walking stage.  It also allows me to post links to PDF documents (ie., my Packing list, etc.).

While on my Camino it was much easier to post on Facebook so that's what I used to blog while walking.  You can find my live postings on my Facebook Trekcapri's Travel Adventures Page.

I hope to resume my postings here as soon as I complete my daily journals of my Camino de Santiago. What a wonderful life changing experience. I'm already planning to hopefully walk my second Camino in the very near future.

As you can see in this video, my most favorite part of my Camino de Santiago pilgrimage was meeting the extraordinary people (pilgrims and locals) along the way.

Buen Camino!  The Dream Lives On . . .

Blogger Tricks

Monday, December 5, 2016

Trekcapri's Camino de Santiago: I'm Back

I'm back from Spain and my Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage. I had intended to blog while on my Camino, but time was very limited and I could only manage writing quick posts on my Trekcapri's Travel Adventures Facebook Page and on Slow Europe which is a great travel resource that has a wonderful travel community forum. 

I have a lot to talk about and now that I am home I will try to post some of my thoughts and reviews for anyone who is interested in also walking the Camino de Santiago.

At the top of my things to talk about is a review (before & after) of my packing list. This is a photo of my packing list contents "before" my Camino.  I will write a review (maybe even do a video) of what I would change from this original list. First and foremost, I would leave about 40% of it at home and I would take a smaller backpack. :) 

Stay tuned.  Buen Camino!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Trekcapri's Camino de Santiago: Hiking the Pyrenees Part I

It was a storybook start to fulfill a dream of mine to walk the Camino de Santiago. I arrived as planned (albeit over packed) in the small picturesque French town of Saint Jean Pied de Port, the start of the Camino Frances route. Met some lovely pilgrims on the way, arranged for my post Camino items and miscellaneous stuff to be transported on to Santiago de Compostela for me, had some good wine, a delicious meal and great company. It was just about perfect.


I had an extra day in SJPDP to help acclimate and on September 21, 2016, I took my first steps on the Camino. It was a beautiful clear day and even the 4-legged locals were out to greet me. I was feeling great.

This was the beginning of my steep and relentless up hill hike to Refugio Orisson. With every turn I kept expecting to see the Hostal or at least some flat terrain. It was not to be. There were more hills, some of which were steeper than the one you just climbed. 

In the mist of the pain and agony I couldn't help but to marvel at the beautiful landscape and my accomplishments. I'm hiking the Pyrenees.

View from Orisson
The people who run the Albergue and the pilgrims I met were wonderful and the view was just stunning. At night you can hear the cow bells outside our room (horses and sheep have them too), and it helps me to overlook the snoring. It's all in the Camino experience they say which I can appreciate, but I had probably 30 minutes of solid sleep the whole night. 

I loved the communal dinner where we shared our names and where we are from.  A young girl from Liverpool (who sounds like the Beatles, two girls from Ireland, a girl from Israel, a couple from Ireland, a girl from San Diego and a 72 year old woman from Sweden doing her 2nd Camino (my hero), a mother and son from Minnesota (originally from Hawaii)

The pilgrim's life is simple. You walk, you shower, you was your next day's clothes (in hopes that it dries), you share a very brief Post dinner chat and then you go to bed by 9:00 am. Breakfast is  at 7:00 am to 7:30 am.

The Dream Lives On . . .  Buen Camino!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Trekcapri's Camino de Santiago: Every Journey Begins With the First Step

Tomorrow, I will embark on the Journey of a lifetime.  What first started out as a "Dream" will soon become a reality. In the morning, I will leave my comfy bed, my car and my fast internet service here at home to walk an ancient pilgrimage called the "Camino de Santiago (Wikipedia), also known as the Way of St. James.  

I will start in the small French town of St. Jean Pied de Port at the foot of the Pyrenees. From there I will walk 790 kilometers (close to 500 miles) through four of Spain's 15 Regions to the town of Santiago de Compostela which is where the remains of Saint James is buried. 

There are several other routes for this spiritual pilgrimage, but I will be taking the most popular one called the Camino Frances (The French Way) as seen on the famous movie, The Way, with Martin Sheen and Emilio Esteves.

I've been planning and preparing for my Camino for the last two years and I still don't feel prepared. Recently, I told a perfect stranger about my Camino when they asked if I had any travel plans. When I told them I'm excited, but that I don't feel prepared. This person shrugged that off and said that I'll do just fine, it sounds exciting.  It's walking. You'll have a lot of fun. Just then I realized that in the mist of stressing over my preparations, I had forgotten what an amazing experience my Camino will be.  I realized that I have done all that I can do to prepare and that worrying about what I can or cannot control was beginning to take away from the excitement and joy of looking forward to my journey. The Camino lesson in all of this is "to let go, live in the present and enjoy each moment to the fullest".

Some people are born with natural athletic abilities to make such a trip easy, just like some people are born with the natural talents to write classical symphonies. And then there are some who are not.  It is true that I'm not the fittest nor the fastest and I can't come close to writing a classical symphony, so I'm not sure how I'll do or even if I will be able to finish. But what I do know is that I have always tried to live my life and will go beyond my fears to do so. What I lack in natural physical abilities, I feel like I can make up in other attributes like having a strong desire to live my dreams, my faith in God to help guide the way for me and my determination to not give up.  Before I leave tomorrow, I wanted to contemplate on all the things I have going on in my mind and heart and what I hope to experience:
  • my faith in God 
  • my faith in myself
  • the support of my family and friends
  • my belief in the Camino pilgrimage and all the life lessons that it provides  
  • spiritual/religious strengthening
  • the opportunity for self discovery
  • the opportunity to let go of some of the regret's in my life & to ask for forgiveness 
  • the celebration of my new found freedom as a retired person after 41 years of being in the work force 
  • my desire to full fill my dream of walking the 500 miles Camino de Santiago pilgrimage
Will I complete the 500 miles? I don't know. I will leave it in God's hands. All I know is that I would forever regret it if I didn't at least try.  And with that perspective in mind I feel like I have already fulfilled my Camino de Santiago dreams by taking my first step on the Camino Frances Route in the small town of St. Jean-Pied-de-Port.

I plan on blogging and tweeting along the way and on some of my other social media sites.  You can find the links to them by clicking on my Camino de Santiago Page located on the tab at the top of my blog or on the side bar. Follow along as I embark on writing my classical symphony entitled, "Trekcapri's Camino de Santiago, A Journey of Reflections & Gratitude."

I am definitely very thankful to have the opportunity to go on pilgrimage to walk the Camino de Santiago.  And whether or not I complete it, I am very proud of myself for trying and for living my life.  Before I go to bed, I'll say this little prayer and have faith that God will keep me safe, healthy (physically and spirituality) and inspired on this Camino journey.

May the road rise up to meet you, 
May the wind be always at your back. 
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
May the rain fall soft upon your fields. 
And until we meet again, 
may God hold you in the palm of his hand. 
May the blessing of Almighty God, Father, Son 
and Holy Spirit descend on you.
~ Celtic Blessing

To keep myself motivated, I did this cool word art a while back. I love it. I will say these words to myself as I walk.

And you know I had to do it. Here is my traditional trip announcement video for my Camino de Santiago pilgrimage:

The Dream Lives On . . .  Buen Camino!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Trekcapri's Camino de Santiago: A Journey of Reflections & Gratitude

I have only 24 days more to go before I leave on my Camino de Santiago pilgrimage.  I have named this trip "A Journey of Reflections & Gratitude.  My traditional Trip Announcment Video, will posted closer to my departure date. Meanwhile, here's a look at my newly created trip logo. :) 

Why do I deal with the dry dust in my mouth,
the mud on my aching feet, 
the lashing rain and the glaring sun on my skin?
Because of the beautiful towns?
Because of the food?
No. Because I was summoned!

~ Anonymous Camino de Santiago Pilgrim 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Trekcapri's Camino de Santiago: Bad Ass Pilgrim

On my 4th trip, I gasped for air and paused 5 steps from the top!  The Redondo Beach stairs are used by many locals for their fitness training. I'm using them for my Camino Training.  

As I finally reached the top, a girl who was watching me cheered "Bad Ass" and then lifted her hand to invite an encouraging high 5 with me. I laughed, thanked her and gave her a high 5! And so was born my favorite Camino Training phrase, Bad Ass Pilgrim!  I enjoy staying inspired in a fun and kooky kind of way while training. :)

By the way I am now only 28 days until I leave for my Camino. Packing is still a work in progress and my training and trip preparations are ongoing.

If you want to catch your dreams, 
you have to drop your fears.
~ Anton Rubaclini

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Retirement Countdown: My New Fun List

All my life I've created several life lists for myself. We've heard of these terms before . . . . My Bucket List, My Laundry List, My To Do List and My Must See list.  As a retiree I think I’m going to create a FUN list to my list of lists. Ha Ha!  Every Retiree should have one!

My new "fun" list will also include some not so fun things like my declutter projects and selling more unused items on ebay.  So why are these on my fun list . . . well because they are things I need to do and what makes them fun is I don’t have any deadlines to complete them and I can do them anytime I have time to do them, meaning I don’t have to squeeze them in on weekends when I’m not working.  

My fun list will be unrestricted , constantly moving and evolving. They will come in all shapes and sizes and they will weave in and out and through my daily life with no rhyme, reason or structure.   

There will be no time deadlines, no stress, no pressures, no set way of completing them and most important of all, doing them is get this . . . optional.  

Thursday, June 23, 2016

It's Official!

It's official!  I filed my retirement papers yesterday and as of July 23, 2016 I will be free!  It's been a very long 32 years but it's time for a brand new chapter in my life and I can't wait!  Whoo hoo!

And what would a big announcement from me be without one of my signature big announcement Videos! LOL

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Happy Father's Day: On The Camino

The scallop shell is an important symbol of the Camino de Santiago. Legend has it that after Saint James' death, his disciples shipped his body to the Iberian Peninsula to be buried in what is now the city of Santiago de Compostela.  A heavy storm hit the ship and the body of Saint James was lost at sea.  After a period of time, the body washed ashore undamaged and covered in scallop shells. 

For the modern day pilgrims, the scallop shell is seen along the trails to help guide the way for pilgrims. It is also carried by pilgrims (typically tied on their backpacks) as a sign of their pilgrimage.The shell is seen as a metaphor for the camino pilgrimage where the grooves in the shell come together at a single point, representing the different routes pilgrims can take to the tomb of Saint James in Santiago de Compostela.

Today, my heart goes out to a very special father, Mr. Larry Fagan.  His daughter, Tammie Fagan is a former co-worker of mine and a good friend. With the help of his loving family he is battling cancer. My prayers and thoughts go out to Mr. Fagan on this Father's Day and to his family.

As I did on Mother's Day, I have added my Dad's name to my Camino shell.  I don't know what my dad would've thought about me doing this pilgrimage. Like my mother, I think he would be supportive, smile and then tell me to just be careful. Love and miss them both!

I know how important prayers from others were to me when my parents were sick and I want to send some love and prayers to others who need them now as well.

And I thought it would be cool to write the names of my sister and her family on my shell so I can take them along with me on the Camino all the way to Santiago de Compostela.

To my dad who is looking down from heaven, a very special Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day Everyone.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day

My mom had a beautiful smile and a big heart. She also had an adventurous spirit and I know that she would have approved of my Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage.

Although I know that she'll be with me in spirit every step of the way as I make my way to Santiago de Compostela, I decided to also write her name on the back of my Camino shell.   

Happy Mother's Day, Mom
With all my love always. 

Wishing everyone a very Happy Mother's Day!