The title of this blog is the literal translation of the Dutch saying: “De kogel is door de kerk”. It means: “The decision is made”. We will walk the Camino Portogués this year. If the recovery from the pandemic keeps progressing we can fullfil our plan from last year and walk through Portugal to Santiago de Compostella.
I will start walking in Lisbon (Lisboa), the capitol city of Portugal. I will deviate from the main route to pass by Fatima, from there I will walk back to continue the route to Porto. Once in Porto, Maricon will join me and together we walk to Santiago.
We are already in the 2nd month of 2021, time goes by so quickly. Another year past by, a year you keep remembered as a year of restrictions, I do. And the planned camino from Lisbon to Porto and Santiago de Compostella was cancelled.
We had our freedom for so long, could travel where we wanted, do what we wanted at any given time. But a small virus became something none of us ever wanted: a Pandemic. Keeping people all over the world in there own small world. Governments and health organizations strictly advising us to stay home, limit our contacts with others and pay even more attention to our personal hygiene.
And in December I did not listen to my body when on a Saturday a pain in my stomach became worse in a period of 36 hours. When the pain was almost unbearable I went to the family doctor in the hospital, on a Sunday. And 4 hours later I was in the O.R. for an operation on my perforated Appendix. Five days in the hospital and after that recovering at home.
My condition of walking hours, became limited to walking just a few minutes at a time. I felt like a much older man that the one I am. But now, almost 8 weeks after the operation, my physical condition begins to come back. Walking more and more each week. Even on Saturdays I try to go more and more on Camino-like tracks. Small paths, up- and downhill.
Who knows maybe this year a Camino? At least 11 Camini’s, short camino-like walks in the southern part of Limburg: Camini’s in the South of Limburg (use a translation add-on to read in in another language).
In October 2020 I became a novice at The Brotherhood of St. James the Major. My noviciat will take 1 year and if all goes well, I might become a full member, Brother, of the Brotherhood.
In the Cathedral of Roermond, the Netherlands, you can find a relic of St. James the Major. It is also a starting place, or a stop-over for pilgrims who go on their pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella in the North-West of Spain.
This the website of the Brotherhood use Google-translate to read it in your native language, the site is written in Dutch.
It is October and the big C is still going around. Walking a camino this year is definitly a No-Go. So what do we do? We just walk in our own country, Province and neighbourhood. Maybe we see new things or get surprised by new colours due to a change in the season.
Let’s keep our faith up and looking forward to a time without the big C.
On this day, if there would not have been a Pandemic, I would have finished my 7th day of walking in Portugal. The stage would have started in Tomar and finished in Fatima. This is not a stage on the camino, but for me a “side-trip” to visit Fatima on foot.
Tomorrow I would walk back to Tomar and continue due North, to Porto and beyond. I still think back of my time on the camino’s in 2018, from Lourdes to Santiago and from Ferrol to Santiago. The walking, the people, the food, the stories, and what it did to me.
During that time I learned that I do not need to arrange everything ahead, just let it happen. You might be surprised how things turn around. Maybe in this pandemic-times I should also let things be and expect nothing and see what happens?
For those who sometimes check my site, you will be seeing a small change: no more countdown clocks.
I just had an email from the airline that I would be using to fly from Eindhoven to Lisbon. They told me my flight is been cancelled for May 6. So now it is final: No Camino Portugese in May this year.
During these times it is difficult to plan ahead, because nobody knows when and how the world will live the way we used to be living our lifes.
Since a few weeks all news items keep mentioning Corona, or Covid-19 and what it is doing to us all. YES, me too have something to write about this topic. Every day live has changed for the whole world. It is not the same as last year, or the year before that.
I cannot remember ever having seen or felt like this before. We need to change our way of living for a period, trying not to catch this virus. No shaking hands when you meet a friend. Not standing to clode to other peolpe. Shops, bars, restaurants and churches are closed.
Travelling to another country is not possible anymore. Stop spreading the virus is the main message. Stay home, don’t leave it unless… We have a big dog, so we go out 4 times a day. We need to do some groceries, so we need to leave the house. This is still allowed, but what if this won’t help…..
Looking more to the future, we can already prognose that our plans of walking the camino in Portugal won’t be an option. I expect this situation will last into or maybe past this coming summer. On the other hand, this is not important as staying healthy .
So keep safe, positive in minds and negative in tests.
Time flies by. It seems that the longer your on this planet, the quicker time passes by. It is already March, the first Wednesday in March. 63 days from today I will arrive in Lisbon, the starting point of my 3rd Camino to Santiago de Compostella.
The first Camino I started walking in France from Lourdes. The second Camino we started together in Spain from Ferrol. And this time, the third time it will be Portugal.
So I travelled to the West, the South and this time it will be to the North going to Saint James. Walking from the East side will be more difficult, if you want to receive a credential in Santiago. The distance from the West to Santiago is less than 100 kilometers.
Maybe some day I will walk from Santiago to Finister, onward to Muxia and back to Santiago. At least the stretch from Muxia to Santiago will be walking to the East.
This month will be also a Santiago month for us. We will join the spring meeting of our Provincial Santiago organisation. One week later the training session will be held, walking 15 kilometers with fully loaded backback. And on the last Sunday we will receive the Pilgrim’s Blessings in Roermond.
Our next Camino will be the Camino Portugese. I will start from Lisbon and later in Porto Maricon will join me. Together we will walk to Santiago. As of now we still do not know which route we will take from Porto, we can choose the coastel route or the Central (original) route. And we can defiate onto the Spiritual route.
We do not have to change a lott of things from our gear, since the first Camino is just 2 years ago and most of the things we used than, can still be used on our next trip. We bought new jackets and shoes and socks, all other are re-used.
Next month, in March, we have 3 gatherings with the provincial group of our national Santiago organisation. The first one is the spring-meeting, this year in Tongeren (B), after that the training session, walking with our filled backpacks. Finally on the last sunday of March our Pilgrims-blessing in Roermond.