Thursday, 26 April 2012

The Joy of Blog

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One of things about this Blogging thing I find most gratifying is the extraordinary number of nationalities of my visitors. Not all are drawn because of the Camino de Santiago connections either although my post on The Scallop Shell of Love is probably one of the most popular. Another one is Trasna: The Crossing Place, a beautiful poem by Sister Rafael Considine. I was at a local flea market once and noticed a painting on canvas of a simple wooden bridge and a path leading onwards around trhe corner and into the trees. "That's Trasna!" I said. It put me in mind of the ancient bridge you encounter by the shrine just heading out of Tui on the Camino Portuguese. I bought it of course, and now it is on the stairs just as you enter the pilgrim loft at The Little Fox House. My series of LIVE blogs from the Camino Portuguese also attract a fair number of visitors. I have walked the Frances, the Aragones, and a goodly stretch from Le Puy and I can never repeat my first Camino experience,(although I did relive it writing Miranda's story in Pilgrimage to Heresy) but I still recommend the Portuguese as a good first Camino. The albergues are never crowded, the terrain is gentle, the food is good (and the beer is cheap!) and the people are very helpful. It was on the Camnino Portuguese that I met my friend Fernanda who opens her home and her heart to pilgrims every day of the year just 22 klms from Barcelos. I have been back several times to see her and always am welcomed as one of the family. So very special! In fact, it has been folks like Fernanda, Jacinto and Mariana their dancing daughter, and Rebekah Scott and Paddy at Moratinos on the Camino Frances who inspired me to move to the Camino de Muxia and open my own home to pilgrims despues (after) they have finished their Camino. A Casa do Raposito (The House of the Little Fox) is my attempt to "give back" to what the Camino has taught me. The idea of opening a "Post-Camino Sanctuary" has been in my mind for 13 years now, but I needed to see how to do it - i.e. not as an albergue but as a form of "homestay" before I could make my decision to pull up (very shallow) roots in Marbella and dig a deep hole here in Carantona. I love it! So back to my stats: there are 21 countries represented today. Twenty One! And that doesn't include the "unknowns" or the others who have visited before: Korea, Russia, Japan, other countries in Africa and S.E. Asia and S. America. I’ve had visitors from India and Saudi Arabia and even a few from The Vatican! At times the Canadian number is much higher, and at one time I was getting a full 25% visitors from Australia. It is a seasonal thing. Americans remain the highest with a generally high proportion of visitors from the UK. Believe me, I think about each visitor and picture your surroundings as you enter my world. You are all very much appreciated; all 11,000 plus of you in two and a half years. I hope one day to meet you at The Little Fox House, but please don't all come at once. There are only 14 people in the whole village! I am currently putting the final touches to the manuscripts of two books, St James' Rooster - my novel which concerns first archbishop of Santiago, Diego Gelmirez - and The Indalo Quest. Both of these will be available in English in June and as El Gallo de Santiago, "Rooster" will be published in Spanish in September. I hope you will join me on those journeys too. I shall be continuing to blog about the History and Mystery Tours in the Costa da Morte, something I hope to be offering to those of you who can pass my way. There is so much of natural beauty, culture and history here I just have to share. The next one will be about Castros: those vestiges of a Celtic past which can be found all over Galicia and particularly here on the Costa da Morte. In the meantime, please do keep coming. And remember to leave a comment as feedback is every writer's reward. 

1 comment:

  1. Would love to know what the Vatican visitor thought! :-o

    So from the southern part of New Jersy, Hola and looking forward to seeing what the rest of this year brings to Casa do Raposito!