Friday, September 15, 2017

It's time for another Trekcapri Travel Adventure.  This time, I'm hanging up my trekking poles from my Camino de Santiago last year and heading to someplace familiar and new. 

I'm visiting Croatia for the first time with a small group tour called GrapeHops Tours with Shannon who I met through the SlowTalk/Slow Europe travel community. I'm especially excited that my sister (and brother-in-law) will be visting Europe with me for the first time. 

We'll stop in Venice (my favorite city other than Santiago de Compostela and Pamplona, Spain) before heading over to Croatia. Next we return to Italy for stops in Rome, Siena and ending in Florence before returning home. 

And I'm also pretty excited to see New York after nearly 20 years.  We'll spend a couple of days before heading to Italy and spending a day on the return home. 

I can almost taste the Prosecco and Italian Pizza already!  Ciaó 

Blogger Tricks

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Father's Day!

Last year while walking the Camino de Santiago, I hit a few low points and struggled a bit.  But in those low moments, I picked myself up and kept on walking.

One of the values that I learned from both my mother and father was the ability to overcome the many challenges in my life.  This really helped me on my Camino.  This was I photo I took the morning of the last stage on my Camino.  It was raining a bit when I first started out, but soon the clouds broke and I could see the sunlight breaking through.  It was a very memorable and fitting last day of my pilgrimage walk.

Thank you Dad for the many valuable things that you taught me.  Love you always, Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to Everyone!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Climate Change is Real!

Climate change is real! I saw first hand clear signs of the danger the world is facing when I saw the receding Glaciers in Patagonia, Argentina.

Although, America's so-called President has withdrawn from the Paris Climate Accord and continues to deny climate change, local US cities and states, individual private citizens, corporate America and the majority of world leaders remain committed and are in this fight together to save our planet for ourselves and for our future generations.

The world is fully aware that the United States of America President Donald Trump does NOT represent the majority of Americans who remain in this fight to save our planet.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Someplace New & Someplace Familiar

My next travel adventure will take me to someplace new (Croatia) and someplace familiar (Italy). This trip will be extra special because it will be my sister's first trip to Europe.  I have always wanted to show her why I love to travel to Europe and finally convinced her to take this trip with me. This will also be brother-in-law's first trip to Europe.  It will be fun to be a part of their first experiences traveling to Europe. Of course for me every trip feels like the "first time"!

When I started planning this trip, I made sure that a visit to one of my most favorite cities in Europe, Venice, Italy is included in the itinerary.  It will be our first stop on this trip!  I can almost taste the gelato, pasta and prosecco already. 🍷

At night when all the hoards of day tripping tourists have left, the few of us who remain, can witness what truly makes Venice so unique and beautiful.

Countdown has begun.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day!

 Happy Mother's Day to the best Mother any daughter could ever have.

Last year I was so fortunate to have fulfilled a dream of mine to walk the Camino de Santiago. While on my Camino, I know that my mom was with me for each step of the way.  On November 3, 2016 (after starting on September 21, 2016) I reached the town of Santiago de Compostela.

I am so thankful to my mom for instilling in me that I could achieve anything that I set my mind to doing. Thank you mom for always believing in me and for teaching and encouraging me to believe in myself and to always follow my dreams.

My mom was a strong, courageous, generous, kind, talented, and smart person. I do miss her, but I know that she is always with me.

Thinking of you every day and most especially on this very special day.  Happy Mother's Day Mom! Love you always!

Happy Mother's Day everyone!

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 . . .

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