Between September and December 2016, I took a sabbatical from my work as a Shiatsu practitioner, and traveled in Spain, offering my acupressure massage in return for board and lodging. I walked in the north, notably the Camino Frances/Santiago de Compostella; the end of the Via de la Plata from Santiago to Vila de Bario, and south (Sierra Calderona).
In May 2017 I returned to Spain to start the Via de la Plata, the longest Spanish Camino of 1000 km.
And in July 2017 I was back north of Valencia, house-sitting in the village of Olocau.
I wrote some of these blogs when I was away, and added to them on my return. Each one covers a place (or more than one) I visited, and are numbered according to the order I visited them.
‘But we are all …too, travellers with a donkey; and the best that we find in our travels is an honest friend. He is a fortunate voyager who finds many.’ RLS *
* Travels With a Donkey in the Cevennes by Robert Louis Stevenson (incidentally a son of Scotland). https://www.awesomestories.com/asset/view/Robert-Louis-Stevenson-and-His-Walk-with-a-Donkey
I was not been able to stop walking when I first returned to Scotland, and so set about exploring my home city and further afield with ‘a new eye’, and have given this group of blogs a slightly different name, in recognition of the fact that most people I meet are walking because they have a canine friend to do it with. Me – I’m just crazy about walking and need no excuse.
Scotland is as spectacular as Spain, although I admit that the sun does shines a little less.
I have always enjoyed conversation, and now discovered a joy of writing – inspired by the places I have been and the wonderful people I have met.
‘The words simply tumbled out of him and he listened to them in astonishment as they lined up, seemingly of their own accord, to create a meaning that became apparent to him with surprising clarity only after he had spoken them.‘ p 31-32 A Whole Life, Robert Seethaler.
Happily, I was happily to teach Shiatsu in Paris in May 2017, and as I was already on the continent, I thought I would walk in Normandy. Another lucky co-incidence then occurred: I had been working on a Shiatsu mobile application, Tsubook, and invited to visit it’s creators who live in Normandy. When I searched on the map, they lived on the coast a few days walk from Mont Saint-Michel where I immediately knew I needed to go. So, another walking project was born and subsequently realised in May 2017.
I walked from Agon-Coutainville to Mont Saint-Michel along the randonée GR223 and then inland to Pontorson, plus a beautiful day on the Brittany coast, and here are my blogs telling you all about it.