Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Interview with a Peregrino from the UK: Michael

My life policy is....' If all else fails, read the instructions'.....success has, however, been limited!!! - Mike

1. What's your reason to walk the Camino de Santiago?

I am essentially retired, although I am forced to turn my hand to a part-time activity to keep the Bailiffs at arm's length. I had seen the Camino on a Holiday TV programme and thought it a good walk.I had the time, thought I might be fit enough, and plenty of bravado, and hoped my wife would be impressed enough to join me. In the planning stage, I thought of other people who might benefit from my offering at the Cruz de Ferro,as this monument had really grabbed my imagination and it's power to respond to requests, had developed into 'miraculous' status in my mind. I had been raised a Catholic, though lapsed, and had a limited knowledge of Spanish. Let's do it!.

2. Did you find what you are looking for?

I found great friendship, across the nations,loved the scenery, the camaraderie, the fun, the food, the language, but my wife didn't respond, my friend with the brain tumour became bed-ridden, and I felt that the miraculous response to my 'prayers' had been ignored. Was God on holiday? Why were my prayers not answered? The 'religious' part of my journey seemed to have been in vain.

3. What is the thing that surprises you most in the Camino?

The fact that I was able, relatively, [remembering my age and poor preparation to walk such a great distance with little difficulty. Mind, I had my Sherpas....Rosalinda and Christina, who trained me to 'walk to heel' and not try to go too fast. I owe them a great deal. Later I walked with Sanchu, with yourself, Manuela, Martin, Peter ,Dik and Maria, Benedicte, and Andreas. They made each day a feast of humour, conversation and camaraderie such that 30 km came and went in no time.I loved their company and they made it all 'fun' not hard work. Thank God they all spoke good English!

4. You took a bus to Fisterra (Finisterre) from Santiago after your camino. (I know that because I saw you there). Now I heard that you are planning walk the same route (3 days?) in August. Anyway reason why you are doing it?

I was unable to walk the last bit to Finisterre because I had a plane booked from Biarritz on the 30th May, but I regreted not being able to finish the journey with my friends. I also had 'underclothes' that needed burning and a stray spark may have caused untold damage to my marriage prospects had I worn them much longer.!!! So, 5th October, I go back to Santiago to walk that 'last bit'. Anybody out there feeling fit? I've booked a week so that I can look around more, not just concetrate on getting the kilometres in.

5. Any plans to do another pilgrimage anytime soon? If so, where would it be?

Why not do the Camino Frances again, same time next year. Why not? Or I am open to offers if any of my new found friends need 'a companion', I am ready, willing and able!

Thank you for setting up the site, and thanks to all those friends who made the Camino such a wonderfully successful and enjoyable experience. BUEN CAMINO.

(You're welcome! -ed)

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