of life's meandering paths


our camino

Follow our plan to walk the 'Way of St. James' across the top of Spain.



June 28/09

July 08/09 

March 21/10


Auntie Jane  -  June 28/09

We are planning to walk the Camino del Compostella.  Unremarkable as many others have tackled the 500 mile trek across the top of Spain, but we will be doing it in our 51st year of marriage and at a rickety old age.

We have decided to travel Europe starting in April of 2010 for an extended time. The plan is in motion;  at the investigative stage, but we are busy reading web sites, books on people who have completed the Camino de Santiago de Compostella, and ogling photographs of the rural Spanish countryside.  I read that an eighty year old Italian couple have completed it eight times. (although it didn’t say if they were twenty when they did it)  So I am sure we can do it once and get the certificate at the end of the trek to prove that we finished.  People from all over the world have been doing the Camino de Santiago for centuries which started as a religious  pilgrimage.

We are not strangers to Espaňa having spent much time there years ago while on a previous extended trip to Europe. We travelled fifty thousand miles that year and we had our kids with us. It has since been our dream to do it again just the two of us. We have fond memories of the Spanish people so anticipate a wonderful experience.

It is surprising that once we started talking about our trip, how many people said they have always wanted to do it as well. So we're starting this page to record the planning and preparation leading up to our Camino.  Once there, we will take many pictures and write about what we have accomplished daily. About the walking, the food, the people we meet and the aches and pains. The Camino journey will take us a month or more as we will take our time.

It is a huge trek that will also take us this year to plan in order to get ourselves ready mentally and physically as well as gaining all the information we will need. Such as how to buy a car in France to have after we have finished so we can travel Europe at our leisure. Our idea is to meander small towns along the way, eat the local fare and drink the wines of the regions as we go.  We have seen Paris, London and Rome and are now looking for different adventures and experiences in the less traveled pathways.

The trouble starts at home. We need to get rid of fifty years of accumulated stuff first. And then put a few treasures into storage. We'll keep you up to date. If this interests you, encourage us with an email or start a thread on our new forums page.

                                                                                                                                                                                     Spanish Tourism site




 AJ  -  July 08/09 


A little background about why.

When my husband first came up with the idea of actually walking the breadth of northern Spain I thought dementia was finally here. Walked into his head and threw out reason. Why ever would anyone want to put themselves in that misery? But he said he was going whether I accompanied him or not. Then a perusal of websites and pictures devoted to the Camino de Santiago de Compostela began to have an effect. Green Spain and the photos shared by other peregrinos fuelled the wanderlust. The rash idea caught like a burr in wool.

We have previous experience with España and remember the Spanish people as kind and friendly and generally happy. Even though we lived there in the days of Generalissimo Franco. The idea of trekking nearly five hundred miles became sort of a personal recovery plan. To rescue ourselves from the mediocrity of daily life in Vancouver. Getting fat, lazy and winding happy hour back 15 minutes each day and then sleeping through the six o’clock news!

But why the ‘Way of St. James’? And such a distance?  We are not Catholic, and can’t even call ourselves religious. Is it a challenge in this late portion of life? A last stand in our autumn before winter sets in?

My husband says he has a small tribute to pay to Pope John Paul II because he believes he actually started the crack in the Berlin Wall that eventually ended communism in Eastern Europe. John Paul courageously went into his homeland Poland and pushed religion in the faces of the communists to start the most important process in any change of society – ideas.

So we started looking at the prospects of such an undertaking. Since our earlier travels in Europe, we have always dreamed of going back as two freedom seekers without agendas or obligations. We are still wondering if this will be possible. Money IS an object, and we are looking at our possessions as how many dollars they will bring in towards our, ‘enablement’.

Then there is the issue of health. Pills are part of life. Age is loitering in the shadows like a Batsquatch. Aches and pains always remind us of that. But if we don’t go now, will we ever?  

The Camino Frances  begins at Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in France and you start out hard and cross the Pyrenees! And for the next 30 days you visit Pamplona, Logroño, Burgos, León, Astorga before reaching the “City of the Apostle”, Santiago.  Legend tells that St. James' remains are buried on the site of what is now the city of Santiago de Compostela. It is the proper pilgrims' route. And 2010 is a Holy Year.

So the challenge is intriguing. We need to know what shoes to buy, what kind of packs to use, what to bring? A small computer will be carried for internet access and to post reports and Eletters. What clothes does one wear? We need to learn how to say “We’re wet and tired and hungry” in Spanish.

It’s all in the beginning stages right now, but as I said, the idea of this arthritic ramble has taken hold and seems to have imbued  a traveler's romance in with the mental and physical challenge. An adventure looming like a glowing sunrise. Perhaps even a spiritual journey. Yes, a pilgrimage.

I want to be a peregrino too!

And now I have to say I am going whether he accompanies me or not.




AJ  -  March 21/10


Camino Update.

For those who have shown an interest in what we are doing.

We are adopting a back up plan at this time and going month to month. Spring and summer seem to be moving into autumn. But any time is okay to follow the Path of the Shell.  (Uru anyone?)

As we get older it is not as easy to get organized and put the schemes in motion,  People keep interfering. Doctors keep prescribing. Things keep happening. Junk keeps building up in our closets, especially when you live with a hoarder who finds a need to discuss every item to be sold three or four or five times. This is not good or productive. He went through 600 books and deleted three, of which two found their way back onto the shelves!  Progress is painstakingly slow.

The general idea was to divest ourselves of a lot of ‘treasures’ that have turned out not to be treasures, but possibly encumbrances, if that is a word. The valuable items we saved over the years for our retirement, have turned out to be just junk. But we will make headway. Even if the plan is only vibrating at the speed of a snail’s thin shell.

We have two magazines interested in watching us wobble from lane to lane and to hear what happens to two old codgers, intrepid adventurers or not, on a journey of discovery. The title of a series might even be Not Quite Nomads. Walking 500 miles is a major undertaking – (ba-ad word!) -  for a pair of limpers, pill takers and mewling bitchers about our pains, each trying to one-up the other! This will be a life changing experience and so far I am only at the stage of wondering how heavy a bottle of Glenfiddich becomes in one’s backpack! The trick of course, is to drink it to lighten the load.

So we are in a holding pattern until we can solve a few issues with ‘stuff’. What do we keep and store and what goes? Exactly what IS a treasure? And where do we get a sponsor?  We want to get a decent hotel at least once a week for R&R and new bandages.  

We are determined to embark on this adventure, and to walk our Camino in spite of pain and torture, it is the Faith. St. James would allow it no other way. And we are bristling at the concept proposed by some, that in one’s seventies, one should not take on such an arduous trek. It’ll be the death of you, has been suggested.

Well, we were supposed to retire years ago to our comfortable life of leisure and canasta and gin and tonics in the shade of the veranda.

We are hoping for Freedom 85. Meanwhile,  we’ll continue the dreamscape of Spain and plan, however slowly, for the death of us.  

Deal the cards.









Spanish Tourism website -

Camino de Santiago info -












All writing is copyright 2009 by Jane Robertson and Auntie Jane.  All original photographs, artwork, logos are trademarked and copyright by Masalla Galleries Graphics and the property of  Opinions expressed are our own.  All Rights Reserved.  Illegal to use without written permissions.  

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