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Photohunt - WALKING

Throughout the world, we see people who are obviously prepared for walking a very long distance. But unless we stop to visit with them, we rarely know if they are just starting out; if they are somewhere in the middle of their trek; or if they've arrived at their destination.

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Did you ever wonder if there was something special they were walking toward? Or was the experience of the walk itself the goal? Or both.

In the case of the three subjects of my first photo, it appears the answer IS both. They were pilgrims. Pilgrims on one of the most famous walks in all of Christendom - The Camino de Santiago de Compostela. Or in English, The Way of St. James. The Camino is the largest network of ancient pilgrim routes in Europe. It is made up of more than ten routes which all merge into the three main routes: The Camino Ingles, the Camino Frances, and the Camino Portugues. Depending on which pilgrimage route these three had chosen, they may have been WALKING many more than 500 miles.

This plaza was their final goal.

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It is a huge square in front of the cathedral housing the tomb of St. James, a powerful draw for a pilgrim. It is, after all, the only known tomb for any of Christ's disciples. Standing in front of the golden cask said to hold his bones, brings you to within one degree of separation from Christ himself.

The exhausted pilgrims flop down in the middle of the plaza to rest, many of them spread eagle on their backs as the look up at this amazing facade.

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After returning from our holiday in Galicia, northwestern Spain, where Santiago de Compostela is located, I began reading everything I could find about the Camino. One of my favorite books about walking the Camino is Jane Christmas' delightful self-deprecating first-person account of her own journey:

What the Psychic Told the Pilgrim: A Midlife Misadventure on Spain's Camino de Santiago
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Comments (13)

What an interesting and adventure-filled life you lead! Great photos and wonderful information. Thanks for sharing.

Wonderful, wonderful photos! I like the first one best, so warm and friendly.

Mine is up. I hope you have time to check it out.
http://newyorktraveler.net/
Happy weekend!

What an amazing photo of the cathedral! Breathtaking..
~ The Bunch

Deborah thanks for this excellent post. Love your photos and also learning more about the Camino. That is some church!

Thanks for visiting mine and I liked the Tar Heel joke (not lame at all!).

Happy weekend, Annie

Eden:

Thank you for this post. I found it very informative. 500+ mile walk? WOW!

Deborah responds: And, Eden, that 500 miles is only after they make it to inside the Spanish border. If they start from another country who knows how long it would be?

Beautiful photos and I learned something new here today. Mine's up too at http://prettyfabulous.blogspot.com/2009/05/photo-hunt-15-walking.html

Great post, Deborah. I love the story behind the walk and the book recommendation. I'm adding it to my list of future reads.

Great post on the Camino de Santiago. Lovely photo of the magnificent cathedral.

Great post, Deborah. And very exciting take on the theme. Love the photos!

How interesting!! I wonder how long people take to walk it? Is there a system of hostels or homes where people stay along the way? Do people fund raise for it or do it for charity? I'm fascinated, too. Thank you for sharing!

Wonderful pictures (as always). I couldn't imagine walking that far.

Great post, Deborah - thanks! Will look for that book ... the Camino de Santiago de Compostela is a fascination of mine. One day I'll walk (part of) it! :D

Great take on the theme this week. Love the story and the photos.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 2, 2009 1:08 AM.

The previous post in this blog was SSS WEEK #1 - FORAGING THE CITY SALAD .

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