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Camino Portuguese Interior, August 28-Sept 12, 2017
Camino Frances, May 24-June 27 2015
Annapurna Sanctuary Trek, Nepal, May-June 2013
Camino Ingles, June 2012
Preparation for the CPI
What is a pilgrimage and how is it different from a long distance hike? What resources help us? How do we prepare? There is so much obsessive planning: what goes in the backpack, where to stay, how many kms to walk a day. And why we go at all.
Since I have written about the Dhammayietra, a Cambodian Buddhist peace walk, and worked with refugees, I want to think more critically about 21st century 'pilgrimages,' long distance walking, the politics of volitional movement. One might juxtapose Camino walkers with Europe's refugee/migrant "surge" in 2015 & 2016, and the tumultuous southern border politics of the US.
Cognizant of this privilege - that I have the cash, passport, and time -- I hope to walk differently next year, to listen and celebrate the chthonic Madonna in Southern France. This is my last European walk. I am so grateful for these days outside, the angels who aided, and company that coalesced.
In May, I plan to start the Via Podiensis in Le-Puy-en-Velay, visiting ancient woman at Rocamadour, then to the beautiful Black Madonna at Monserrat near Barcelona, moving from Mary-to-Mary. I'm hoping to understand those tales of the Marys at Saintes Marie de la Mer to Mary Magdalane at Sainte Baume. Not all by foot this time, and a deeper delve into pre-12th century Southern France. It's all a surprise, this particular walk; learning more each day, the way opening up before us.