July 1, 2012 - Head on a new adventure with chinaconnect to teach in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, China. I will be in China until August 5th. Stay tuned and follow my adventures!
From 2008 trip: Hi, this is Linda live from China. I will be here for four weeks teaching with China Service Ventures in Xinyang, China.
2010: Travel to a new city in a new province to serve a new organization.
2013: This year instead of going to China to serve I embark on a pilgrimge to Spain to walk the Camino de Santiago. I wish to walk as a pilgrim - dedicating my walk and my life to God. I am eager to see where He will lead me on my journey.
August 4th 2013
Well that's the title I am going with - when the going gets tough just keep walking! I had a night last night in Santiago. Followed by a trip to the bus station and then to the Santiago airport. A two hour or so wait there and then a 1.5 hours plane ride to Charles DeGaul Airport in Paris. Spent at least an hour there looking for the AirFrance bus that was to take me to Orly. Finally found it but the bus had just left so I had to wait another 25 minutes to get the next one. Then a one hour bus ride here. I now have 14 hours before my next plane ride, but I started with 17! I fly from here to Heathrow (another 1.5 hours) and then get to sit there ... read more
August 3rd 2013
Here I sit in a hostel blocks from the Cathedral of St. James - backwhere it ended once and now ends again. I feel a tad melancholy and bittersweet upon this visit to Santiago. I visited the cathedral immediately upon being dropped off (first getting here by car just didn't feel quite right) to say my goodbyes and do one last cruise thru the cathedral. I hugged St. James and went under the altar and saw the casket that supposdely has the bones - none of which I had done before. Then I listened a bit to mass before heading out to the streets to take care of things for the evening. That is when it reallly hit me. I didn't feel like I belonged here any longer. I know I did the walk and earned ... read more
August 1st 2013
Here I sit in the kitchen of author Tracy Saunders with Tracy in her Little Fox House (A Casa Do Raposito) wondering how I ever got here. I am sorry for the lack of blogs the past few days. I have juch a full heart and no words to express. Talking with Tracy she questioned if blogging was a good thing on The Camino or not. Her feeling was a diary was bettter. I don't totally disagree with her. I don't know that you can really blog and share the real essence of the Camino nor do you want to influence the experience of another. Plus I totally understand there are things that happen that you just don't want to put out there and even somethings you can't even write. Putting it to words just doesn't ... read more
July 29th 2013
This was a day that included most everything. I got to sleep in as I was only walking 14k today. I went half way to Muxia (Martin Sheen's ending in The Way where he comes to the ocean) to Lires.Just for background - Muxia is also supposedly where the "vrigin Mary" can ashore to meet John I think it was to provide him encouragement. I am not sure as I have heard some conflicting stories. So the day started well - with an easy morning and then a wonderful farewell breakfast with friends. We went to this awesome cafe where the dear fraulein fixed me a real German brutwerst for breakfast. It was amazing. Of course breakfast had to end and bittersweet goodbyes ensued. I was heading out for Muxia. My dear Camino Angels (Chanelle and ... read more
July 28th 2013
I sit alone at the albergue this evening in Finisterre. I would assume most of the people are back up at the lighthouse at land's end/world's end building a bonfire and burning thing and such. My friends have headed up that way. I have no desire to go and I also will walk again tomorrow while they have finished. I only have 15k to walk tomorrow so I will sleep in and have breakfast with friends before I head out. Before I complete my story about the lessons of faith and miracles that I started on the onset on my new journey, let me tell you a bit about today. Thanks to the help of one of my miracles from my first day to Finisterre my walk was pretty laid out for me. Since I am ... read more
July 27th 2013
Before I finish part one of To Land's End I realize I must close the first chapter first. As I reflected today and yesterday while I walked I realized that the Camino came full circle for me and a sense of closure did occur in Santiago. Yes it was the completion of a goal, but there was more to it then that. Santiago was the place where so many of us once again reunited and hellos and proper goodbyes were said. I was fortunate that those people who touched my heart the greatest actually did converge on Santiago at the same time - well all but one, but .... I will tell you momentarily. I walked with so many wonderful people on the Camino. I have told you about many of them here previously. I have ... read more
July 26th 2013
As I stated previously, my journey was not meant to end with Santiago. My pilgrimage was over there and my original intent was to head to France. That having changed I think the Lord has more lessons for me. In some ways getting to Santiago was anit-climatic - add too many emotions, reunions, fatigue and then catastrophe with the train wreck - it was always about the walk not the end. I think I have said before anyway - I can see now I started on The Camino before I ever even left, and I pray it never ends! It was very clear however that I was not meant to go home yet. It was meant for me to walk on and learn some more lessons. I actually now see Santiago as a bit of a ... read more
July 25th 2013
As I sit to write this on my final day in Santiago I do so with a heavy heart in light of the terrible train crash last night. The crash and the rain today (seems appropriate) have had sombering effects on the city. I will go to the noon mass again today to meet a dear friend of mine, Jeroen (the one who has walked for over 3 months from his home in Holland), and to pray for all those effected by this terrible accident. My heart is heavy, and I really wish to go home, but it is cost prohibitive, so I will walk on tomorrow. What I hoped to find/gain from my pilgrimage occurred what seems ages ago - that and so much more that I never expected. I can't go home early so ... read more
July 22nd 2013
Last night of the Camino - hotel just 10k fr Santiago. Wow a night of a real shower, real towels, a room with A/C, no snoring people, and food delivered to my room. Have to say its delightful but it also feels very strange. The last couple days I have walked with a new friend - Jess from Pennsylvania who oddly enough - lol - is a teacher. The days of walking solo, and the need to, have melted away. Jess and I still seek out the albergue, or in the case of tonight the hotel, that is not where the masses are staying, so that when we walk we walk on a Camino much like the one we started on. Once in a while the hordes of newbies catch us or we catch them. We ... read more
July 21st 2013
Have had so many new experience - some amazing and some .... well not so amazing! The Camino has changed, as I think I mentioned, so I am trying to keep ahead of the masses. So I am constanly pushing a little further ahead or staying in a less popular location. Sometimes that means a gamble, but so far I am finding places. Like night before last. The guidebooks and arrows funnel everyone into Portomarin. The guidebook says the next albergue is 8k away and only has 28 beds. First I walk by faith - don't have a guidebook. It has been working for me so far. So I hit Portomarin before the municipal opened at 1:30 and all my friends were sitting in the heat on the ground waiting. After thinking a bit I told ... read more