A Camino for Us All

It’s a rough day for many in the US. The news broke that the EU is recommending to member states to restrict entry by US citizens to essential travel only.

For those of us in Spain from the US, with our families still there, this means our brief summer reprieve of our loved ones traveling freely to Spain is over. The window has closed.

And for those from the US planning their Fall Caminos it’s a very tough blow. After more than a year delay for some, it must feel like the rug has been pulled out from under you.

To fly here before this latest edict, the traveler had to be fully vaccinated. It has to be a bitter pill to swallow knowing you did the right thing, all while contagion is rising so much in the US because half the country refuses the vaccine. I know that watching it from here and worrying about our families has made reading the headlines stomach churning. Living it has to be even more so.

Stones like these, with veins running through them, are considered wishing stones

If you had travel plans for September or October from the US to walk, it will be small consolation but I’ll post tons of pics and videos daily from my Camino, starting next week in St Jean on Monday. If you want me to make sure I hit a certain beauty spot, church, hillock, or village, please let me know. I’m happy to accommodate it and post photos.

For those who are not aware, as part of walking the Camino Frances (The French Way from points in France) the Peregrino passed over a series of mountains. The highest point is Cruz de Ferro whose apex bears a tall cross, where those who have imbued the stone with their burdens or worries leave it behind. It is symbolic, yet profound.

If you would like me to place a rock for you at Cruz de Ferro – for yourself or in honor of a loved one – please message me. I’ve already had friends make this request. Being a weird rock hoarder, I have jars of beautiful rocks from all over the world. Just let me know and I’ll pick one out for you. And you can provide any message or prayer you would like me to say when I place it there, and I’ll see it done.

Jeff and I heard about the potential US ban yesterday, and we’ve spent to day wondering how Spain will react. No word on that yet. But I try to remember that while this is a delay to the plans of so many, it is not permanent. The Camino will be here when the contagion has passed. To welcome you back with open arms. And by then, perhaps Jeff and I and The Happiness Café will be open and ready for you too.

In the meantime, stay safe. And if you need a Camino fix, stay tuned right here. This time around, I’ll walk it for all of us. Buen Camino 🙏

17 thoughts on “A Camino for Us All

  • The EU move isn’t an edict at all, and if the traveler has been fully vaccinated it means nothing more than having to take an antigen test upon arrival in Europe, and possibly before leaving too. While not an EU member, Iceland, where we’re going in a week has had this process in place since May. Vaccinated and with negative antigen tests? C’mon in!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Italy is the same now. Spain just required the vaccination as of June 26th. But they have yet to publish if they will balk at the EU requirements and stick with previous reqs. Or align with the EU. Have an amazing time in Iceland. One of our favorite places in the world.

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  • Thank you Kelli for gently relaying the gut wrenching news we didn’t want to hear.
    You’re a dear soul and please know you are appreciated. We look forward to seeing you when we’re allowed.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Yes, I’m anxiously waiting to hear what France decides. I’m supposed to be flying 11 Sept for 4 weeks for fine-tuning of where we are moving – city, village, river, Pyrenees. I’m also hoping it is vaccinated only with negative test results. Daughter is with me the first 2.5 weeks, then hubby comes over for the final 1.5 weeks. We’re all vaccinated and plan on getting a test before we fly anyway, just to ensure everyone is safe and we aren’t a carrier. Fingers crossed.

    Now on to your camino – what a lovely offering, Kelli, to carry the blessings and offerings and wishes of others. I’m just so happy you get to make this happen – the camino – and every part that comes along with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So crazy. I really do hope more EU countries stick with the vaccinated with a test. Seems like we have to support a move to making that normal. Instead of the back and forth on restrictions constantly changing.

      I’m happy to carry stones. I did this my first Camino for other ppl. But now, it seems more important than ever. Not just because travel plans are upended. Many ppl have lost loved ones. And are hurting themselves. It feels like the right thing to do in an uncertain world. I have a pocket reserved just for them.

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    • For sure. I really did not see this coming. I figured that since Spain’s vaccination rate is so high that we were getting towards the end of measuring everything by # per 100,000. In our fifth wave we had high infection rates but low hospitalization and exponentially lower deaths. They say the vaccine program avoided 96% of potential deaths due to vaccines. It seems like letting in vaccinated tourists wouldn’t be any different than vaccinated locals. Adding a PCR as insurance seems like a reasonable accommodation. But not shutting it down entirely.

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  • From what I have read, it is only a suggestion and up to each country to decide how to implement it. Italy has already come out and said that you could still travel if you are fully vaccinated. I pray that Spain does the same.

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