Thursday, July 29, 2010

Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela

Hi guys. I gotta share a nice experience with you, actually Wim asked me to write about it so I said why not. It has nothing to do with the Iceman Challenge, or.... maybe it does? It is just a different kind of challenge although not as extreme as the iceman challenge :-).

Just a few weeks ago I completed an amazing trip. For 38 days I became a pilgrim walking 1000 Km from Sevilla to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. It was a beautiful and rewarding experience, I actually call it in my blog "1000 Km walking meditation to Compostela", you know... just being there aware of the present moment. The experience was just unforgettable. I saw so many things each day, beautiful landscapes, animals, cities, villages, people and a lot more. It seems a bit weird to see so much in each day since I was just walking. We are so used to travel always by car, bike, public transport trying to reach our destination as fast as possible and missing everything in between.

I had great days, but also very tough days, mentally and physically. Some times I would experience a lot of pain between my toes and around my heel because of blisters trying to appear or just muscle pain. At those moments I would focus on that area and I would mentally try to relax the muscle and send energy to it. It seemed to work. When I had pain in the sole of my feet I would think "How would I feel if I would be running barefoot on the ice for the Iceman Challenge? What would I being thinking about? What would be my feelings?". Sometimes I would think "cero blisters, I will reach Santiago with no blisters". This kind of thinking did helped to create a certain "feeling" in my mind and heart and clinging to that feeling would help to alleviate the pain and discomfort or.. maybe it just helped to forget about it, I don't know. Well surprisingly I finished the walk with almost no blisters, my feet where in very good conditions compared to my other pilgrims friends so perhaps this kind of thinking helped... However I did have problems with my muscles. On my sixth day I started to get some pain on my right foot. Again I try to be aware of that area, I tried to mentally relax the tendon and mentally sent some energy, however the pain continue to increase and after 3 hours walking instead of me controlling the pain it had controlled me. I ended with a tendonitis on my right foot so I had to take one day of rest. I also continue to have severe pain in the sole of my feet until the end of the pilgrimage, it made it very difficult to sleep in the nights. Now I've found the cause of the problem, it was just dehydration... Haaaa so much worries and frustrations and all I needed was just a bit more of water! Maybe I should have think about water instead :-)

Anyways, I would like to share some pictures with you. Actually I'm working on a video but it is still work in progress so at least I can share with you some pics. I hope you'll enjoy them.

If you are interested about doing this trip and have some questions then you can visit the "Via de la Plata FAQ,s" post that I wrote.
If you want to know more about my experience you can go to: 1000 Km walking meditation
If you are interested and have the opportunity to do a trip like this please do it, you won't regret it at all, it will be an amazing experience.


  1. I'm also interested in g tummo and resisting the effects of the cold. I thought to myself maybe I should type g tummo into youtube to see any new deveopments. That eventually lead me here. I also did the Camino De Santiago. You'd think when you see the pictures that you would remember all those places but nothing looks firmiliar except for that chapel at the end :P. It's as if you took a diffrent route. The landscape looked much nicer. I didn't take a camera. I did the walk in April.

    I had to rely on my cold resistance training from last winter on the very first day of the camino. We were told not to go up the pyrenees and to take the valley route because of terrental rain and wind. We all ignored it and we had a grueling walk in wind that would push you of the road. Stopping for a rest was not an option. The hail stone was extremely sore when it hit you in the face and everyone was soaked and all the backpaks and the contents inside. I thought my clothing was water proof but I should have known better. I had no hood so I just had to discpline my mind to just accept the pain from the hail stone. The wind was blowing the rain and hailstone up the mountian slope not down. Best fun I had in a long time. On guy who was about 50 just couldn't take it and gave up. That was extremely serious and he was helicoptered to pamplona luckily for him the weather lightened up for a helicopter to come in.

    Everyone should do this.

  2. I checked it out. You did do a diffrent route. I started in Jean Pied de Port in france. I think you may have started in south spain. Your route is much nicer looking (grass is greener??) If i'm doing it again I'm doing that route. That collussium type place looks class I would love to have seen that. I walked through santiagio after a two days rest and went to fisstera. I felt I could have walked more. 880km about in total I think.