Faces in the Crowd – Anything is Possible

Posted on May 11, 2019 under Faces in the Crowd with one comment

Maty, Len and Emelio

“Anything is possible if you put your mind to it.”
Meet Maty Amaya.

In 2012, the Argentinian economy was in shambles. Maty lost his job and was depressed. He told his family that he was going for a bike ride.Seven years and some 93,000 kilometres later, he’s still on the move.
He has visited 40 countries and is doing the Camino for the seventh time. The previous six were on his bike but this time, he’s walking. The first time he was confused and drove his bike in the opposite direction!
In December 2017, he was biking through Italy around Christmas. A couple saw him on the side of the road in a blizzard. They took him in and kept him for several days.
A few years earlier, this couple had been in a horrific accident. Their two children were killed and the parents were both in comas for more than six months. They awoke to find out that they were childless. They gave Maty a stuffed animal. Emilio now travels the world with Maty.
Later this month, the couple will travel to Spain and walk the final 200km with Maty… and Emilio.
Maty is a photographer and sells small prints for donations to finance his travel.
He embodies the notion that anything is possible if you try.

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Thursday Tidbits

Posted on May 8, 2019 under Thursday Tidbits with 5 comments

It it the end of day 5 and I’ve had to go down a notch on my belt. I guess when you’ve walked 162k and put on 228,330 steps, you’re bound to lose a few pounds!
So, I’m walking out of a town yesterday and someone whistled at me and said Buen Camino. NO ONE has ever whistled at me before. When this was repeated, I thought I had a secret admirer. I looked up in the window of a house and there was …. a parrot! So much for secret admirers.
The Camino is full of folks carrying backpacks and personal baggage. People are dealing with loss, emotional issues, health and relationship problems.
To survive the Camino , you must be adaptable or you probably won’t have a very good time. For example, snoring is the music of the Alburgues , the hostels where we share rooms with bunk beds. You do get used to it and after a long day on the trail, sleep eventually comes.
Today, exiting another town, a young woman in front of me was singing “What do you do with a drunken sailor.” Of course, I couldn’t resist chiming in. Katerina is a young woman from Slovakia and unless another candidate emerges, she will get my nod, hands down, as the most spirited person on the Camino. Her walking partner, a 60 something from Holland were the fastest walkers I’ve met so far. The wind howled all day from the west at 50k. I followed them for 10 breathtaking kilometres. Katerina swooped and soared like a bird. She sang and she danced and she begged 18 wheelers to honk their horns. Most of the 10k was uphill, into the wind but I scarcely noticed as I was mesmerized by her zest for life. When I finally caught up at a cafe, she told me she had come to the Camino to have fun. No kidding!
I don’t have wifi at my Alburgue tonight so I’m sending this now from a bar.
With the high winds, I had a very bad hair day, but then again, everyday is a bad hair for me.
Have a great weekend.

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Monday Morning Musings

Posted on May 5, 2019 under Monday Morning Musings with 4 comments

“Ask not for whom the bell tolls”
Sorry if this post doesn’t look normal. I’m doing it on my iPhone.
My trip has gone very well so far. I have two days of walking under my belt. It is more challenging than I thought but the countryside in Spain is simply spectacular.
I’m meeting people from all over the world and I’m collecting great stories for my book.
I walked the last 10k Saturday with a chap from Finland. We were having a beer at our hostel at the end of the day. Of course, I was asking a lot of questions. He looked at me and said, “In Finland, we are comfortable with silence.” No one ever told me to shut up so politely!
Yesterday, I was passing through Estella and heard the peel of bells for Sunday mass. Right next door to the church was a winery that had a spigot dispensing free red wine. I think that the winery drew a bigger crowd.
I am publishing this on Sunday as I’ll be on the road early tomorrow.
Have a great week.

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