Dave and I cancelled plans to walk another Camino twice in the last two years – first because of the pandemic and second because of my health issue that came up last April. Everything is fine now, so we are geared up and excited to return to Spain in September. I am grateful for all the kind thoughts, prayers, and actions by caring friends and family. I know they had a lot to do with this positive outcome. 🙏
We hope to arrive in Barcelona on September 6th, make a quick recovery from jet lag, and be off on an eight hour train trip to Leon a couple of days later. Leon is the starting point for the spectacular Camino San Salvador (Way of the Saviour). We have been warned not to be fooled by the short distance of this Camino because, although it is just 121 kilometers, the mountainous terrain will physically test most pilgrims. Usually this Camino is divided into five stages, but we will take an extra two days. Our seniors’ knees and legs will thank us if we manage to arrive in Oviedo in one piece because we’ll still have 307 kilometers to walk on the Camino del Norte from Aviles to Santiago for an October 5th arrival (hopefully).
Believe it or not, Dave and I have been training for this journey since January 15, 2021 when we joined the “Camino For Good” Virtual Camino. Since then we have averaged eight kilometres a day and logged the distance onto the CFG website. It’s been great exploring our own neighbourhood here on Southern Vancouver Island and at the same time virtually walking the Camino Frances, Camino del Norte, and Finisterre-Muxia multiple times, thanks to the “Reset” button. 😊
My goal is to virtually reach Cruz de Ferro on the Camino Frances by the time we leave home on September 5th. Cruz de Ferro is where pilgrims pause to reconnect with the purpose of their journey before adding a stone or other token of love and blessing to the pile. Pickles’ Bluff in Dean Park will be my virtual Cruz de Ferro and where I’ll leave my rock.
A number of hiking trails, varying in degrees of difficulty wind through Dean Park and provide perfect training grounds for walking the Camino. It’s a favourite place to go for “forest bathing” on hot summer days. Here are some of our favourite photos taken in Dean Park throughout the seasons while walking the Virtual Camino for nineteen months. 👣 👣
Another one of my favourite local walks, especially on sunny days when it’s not too hot, is to Patricia Bay and around YYJ on the “Flight Path.” Here is a collection of photos of that route.