Quote of the Month

There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling.

~Mirabel Osler

Friday, 14 June 2013

AGC Member Walks the Camino de Santiago de Compostela

Maggie Woodward's Presentation
We were so fortunate that Maggie Woodward agreed to do a presentation to the AGC and also allowed us to invite members of the general public. The audience on the day was 50-50 from each source and entrance fees raised €30 for us to share between CUDECA, Epilepsy Bereaved & Club Coffers.

This report will present a very brief account of Maggie’s presentation – the wonderful, full story is available on her Blog – http://magwood.wordpress.com/

Maggie walked the Pilgrims' Way with her daughter, Ella. 
She did not embark on the adventure because of any religious reasons – purely because….. 
it was there!
Actually, over 800 kms of it “was there”! And it took them a mere 5 weeks to reach the end……. Thinner, fitter, proud and absolutely (kn..)  worn out! 
What an achievement! 
And not belittled by the fact that, during May, 25,204 other people did it – 48% of whom were women; 7 people in wheelchairs and 27% over 65 years old.
 There are various routes one can follow to reach Santiago and Team Maggie-Ella chose the Camino Frances starting on the French side of the Pyrenees.  
They needed to register at the Pilgrim' office and to get their documents stamped (a daily requirement to provide proof of completion)
Carrying her pack containing a mere 8 kilos of items (HOW did she do that!? – see the  Blog) they arrived at their starting point and had their first experience of sleeping in an albergue in a 14 bed dormitory. 
This accommodation turned out to be Four Star in comparison with other places in which they laid their weary, throbbing heads in the weeks to come. 
Albergues can be situated in convents and monasteries,  in lovely purpose built establishments and in run down buildings with few facilities, and beds are invariably bunks. Prices ranged from free to around €12.
They also ranged from appalling to brilliant!  Ear-plugs almost… cut out most of the snoring……
The first day's walk was a baptism of fire when they reached the highest point on the route – 1,429m… in the snow, on the high path over the Pyrenees.
Maggie & Ella teamed up with other “pilgrims” for a few days, or a few hours. It was one of the most important elements of the experience.
It took only 3 weeks for Maggie’s blisters to disappear and give her no more pain.
Days easily slipped into a rhythm of Packing, Walking, Eating, Walking, Unpacking, Laundry, Eating, Sleeping. 
Maggie also ensured that she posted her Blog every single evening when there was WiFi – even those evenings when she was almost comatose …..
The weather was….. Varied – hail, snow, sun, clouds and the final few days – Wet. 
No opportunity to dry one's clothes – always wet! Shudder!
They carried on past Santiago and did the extra 120 km to Muxia and Finisterre lighthouse, over which there arced a magical rainbow!
En-route they came across a variety of stalls offering refreshments & mementos. Many of the refreshments were free, but it is customary to leave a donation.
After all the pain, discomfort and emotion, Maggie said she just might do it all again……but currently – she heartily recommended a City Break in Santiago, a fabulous city with cheap and easy access from Málaga.
What did she Learn?
Walking up hill only hurts  until you reach the top.
WiFi is absolutely essential
Exercise equals Chocolate
Raincoats are useless – one needs a huge Poncho
What did she miss most ?
Well, David of course… also  - Privacy, her own bed and good healthy food – especially vegetables and……  Hair conditioner (2 in 1 doesn’t do the job!)
There is a DVD called The Way (available for loan from Todo Papel in Cómpeta)

One of the most memorable AGC Events.

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