Pilgrim Profile: Ensuite Pilgrim

Pilgrim Blogger

The Basics

Name: John Twort

Country: England

Route: Camino Portugués

Start: Matosinhos Mercardo Metro Stop, Porto

Finish: Santiago de Compostela

Year: September 2013

Distance: 1375 miles from Birmingham UK to Porto

Albergue: Airporto Hostal, Porto: warm welcome, helpful hosts & a
short Metro ride from the airport

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Hospitable beach bar proprietor – Gave me (left) coffee & water gratis as a pelegrino

The Questionnaire

What was a challenge on the Camino?

Walking solo; previous Caminhos had been in groups and rooming with a close friend, for the most part. There were not many Pelegrinos on this beautiful route; surprisingly I became used to walking alone, with either the Ocean for company, or my I-Pod. I did rub along with a small number of other Pelegrinos, with three of whom, I am still in touch.

But the biggest challenge challenge came on entering Esposende, when I noticed that I was passing blood when urinating – was this because of too much Ibruprofen – three months later a Urologist revealed the real cause.

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“Buen Camino”

What was something unexpected that happened along the Camino?

I went from eight painkillers to two a day after my “scare” and found that by resting judiciously, particularly at the end of the day, I could cope and to my relief, the bleeding stopped. In Viano de Castello, I made the acquaintance of Anna, from Germany,who was en route to S de C [Santiago de Compostela], via a different itinerary to mine.
The next morning, I decided to take a local stopping train, two stops along, where I could embark close to the Caminho and the ocean; who should I find in the compartment, but Anna! With an impressive map on her knee.

I enquired about the map, but she could not recall the website, promising to e-mail the address when she could find the details; I wished her Bom Caminho as I alighted from the train.

Imagine my surprise, when some days later and by now in Spain, when I came across a note (which I still have), on the trail, a stone at each corner, which said:

“For John…….”www.caminador.es”…….lovely greetings Anna
The Lady With the Map!”

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This is Anna

In what ways did life change upon returning home?

As a direct consequence of the Caminho, walking solo, I felt a resurgence of self-confidence and achievement, notwithstanding the many welcoming and helpful locals, who helped in different ways – grateful memories and photos.

Celebrated eldest grandson’s second birthday, in October. Tom Henry and the family, had a great day. Then I suffered a hernia, which was successfully dealt with on Friday, 13th December – me, superstitious?

Unfortunately, the bleeding returned, far more heavily, and on Christmas Eve I was diagnosed with cancer of the bladder – to be removed in the New Year, after Chemotherapy in the Spring; as I write I am recovering from that, slowly – it was a different journey, which I have blogged on “Ensuitepilgrim/WordPress”
My next adventure will be to walk part of the Via de la Plata, from Seville to Caceres, hopefully in the Spring of 2015.

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Church of St. Tiago – Castelo do Neiva – some modern stained glass

What is your favorite Camino-related quotation?

When that April with his showers soote…………………showers sweet
The drought of March hath piercèd to the root
And bathèd every vein in such liquor………………………rootlet / liquid
Of which virtúe engendered is the flower;

When Zephyrus eke with his sweetè breath………………the West Wind / also
Inspirèd hath in every holt and heath………………………grove & field
The tender croppès, and the youngè sun……..……………young shoots / Spring sun
Hath in the Ram his halfè course y-run……………………in Aries / has run

And smallè fowlès maken melody……………………………small birds
That sleepen all the night with open eye…………………..who sleep
(So pricketh them Natúre in their couráges)…………….spurs / spirits
Then longen folk to go on pilgrimáges……………….people long
And palmers for to seeken strangè strands………………..pilgrims / shores
To fernè hallows couth in sundry lands……………………distant shrines known

The first lines of ‘The General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales” ~ Geoffrey Chaucer

The reawakening of that insatiable need to walk a Caminho, albeit Ensuite!

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All Pelegrinos welcome some guidance!

One Response to “Pilgrim Profile: Ensuite Pilgrim”

  1. Camino Pilgrim Nev

    Excellent post John.
    I plan to walk the Camino Portugués sometime in 2015.

    Buen Camino!

    Camino Pilgrim Nev

    Reply

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