Because we are opening our food truck on the Camino, and later the cabins, I have rejoined Facebook and Instagram. It’s a business decision, more than anything else, because as everyone who reads this blog knows, I am not a fan of social media. But then, like everything else, there was an upside.
To create my business page, I had to create a personal account. I was not happy about this, but I did it. And, because I have this personal account I decided to make my personal Facebook all about the Camino, because that is the entire reason I am creating the business Facebook page. So, I joined some groups – Camino de Santiago All Routes, etc. And I joined The Camingas group, amongst many others. This is a group dedicated to helping woman who walk the Camino alone. It was created after a solo American woman was killed on the Camino in 2015. The group is women only and answers questions, helps with planning, and more importantly, they encourage those who are nervous prior to walking the Way. And also, as happened yesterday, those who have started their Camino and are in need of help. A lot of ‘Don’t quit – you can do it!’ and also tips, tricks/hacks, and medical advice. It’s a good group. Women helping women.
So, over the course of the past few days, I have been reading people’s stories of inspiration, and trials. Looking through videos and scrolling through pictures. Yes, we live on the Camino Frances with Pilgrims passing each day, but it’s wonderful to read and see what people on the trail are feeling and seeing. Inspiring. But there is one particular type of pilgrim that I am always amazed at. Those who leave their front doors in Europe – sometimes further afield – and they begin walking from there. They traverse sparsely marked ancient Camino paths. Through towns and village where there are scant services for Pilgrims, if any at all. Until they reach St. Jean Pied de Port in the French Pyrenees. The distance they have already marked makes my little 800 km look like a day in the park. I always imagine they arrive in St. Jean feeling like we long haulers on the Frances feel when we arrive in Sarria. ‘Where did all these people come from?’
In all of my recent FB scrolling, one post jumped out at me. It is a film by Pauline Wald, a Peregrina from Paris, who started her Camino in Alsace in eastern France. She walked 2000 kms to Santiago de Compostela. And she produced a film about her experience and those of the Pilgrims she met all along the way. Over four months she documents what the Camino means to those who walk, and how changed they are by the experience. You can view the trailer here. And view the movie in its entirety on here.
Periodically, when I see something as inspiring as this I will post it here, or on the The Happiness Cafe page/blog. I don’t know her personally, or receive any compensation for this post, but I think we should highlight and boost such inspiring journeys. And such beautiful work. If you choose to view it, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.