Sketches for a Portrait of* my Camino
Tuija Wetterstrand (Lehtonen)
Place of residence:
Time of the Camino:
My favourite links:
[Confraternity of Saint James]
In Finnish only:
Suositun vaelluskirjan uudistettu, kokonaan nelivärinen laitos nyt saatavilla! Pyhiinvaellusmatka, alkaa Roncesvallesista Ranskan ja Espanjan rajalta ja päättyy 750 km myöhemmin Santiago de Compostelaan. Lisänä käytännön vinkkejä! Uudistetun laitoksen esipuheeseen on lisätty kertomus reilun 200 kilometrin vaelluksesta Ranskassa, Le Puyistä Conquesiin. Kirjakaupoista sen saa tilaamalla. Tiedustele myös lähimmästä kirjastostasi.
Kirjan ensimmäinenn laitos (julkaistu nimellä Lehtonen) palkittiin Päätalo-instituutin Möllärimestari-kilpailussa vuoden 2005 parhaana omakustanteena sarjassa dokumentit. Palkintoraati perusteli valintaansa seuraavasti: "Lehtonen on kirjoittanut helppolukuisen ja mielenkiintoisen kertomuksen pyhiinvaelluksesta Pohjois-Espanjassa. Teoksessa kuvataan...myös katolisen alueen historiaa. Kirja on kirjoitettu selkeällä kielellä...Erinomainen lukukokemus, herättää kyllä vähemmänkin kiinnostuneet."
|On Thursday evening of May
29, 2003 I arrived to the village of Roncesvalles in Spain. My
long time dream was about to come true: tomorrow I would start
my pilgrimage, "Camino", towards Santiago de Compostela. So far
everything had gone wrong. I had planned to start my pilgrimage
already a day before from St Jean Pied de Port in France. I
thought I was smart and bought a cheap ticket from Helsinki
to London and an other cheap ticket from London to Pau, a newly
opened line by Ryanair. In London there was a message in my
email: all the flights to France on Tuesday - the day of my flight
- were cancelled because of a general stike. After several
unsuccesful attemps to call to Ryanair information desk I
finally got a hold of a very stressed officer who offered
me next available flight to France on Friday. No way I wanted
to stay in London that long! I was eager to start walking, and besides,
I did't want to change more euros to pounds as during the transaction
I would loose yet another 1,5 pounds. So I asked to change to the the
first possible flight to anywhere near that direction, and landed
to Gerona in Spain on Wednesday morning. Late that evening I hade
made my way to Pamplona by bus and for a moment I considered
of starting my pilgrimage from there. But then I desided to go
to Roncesvalles, that would at least be closer to my intended starting
From there on everything went fine. On June 28th I arrived to the Pilgrim Office in Santiago de Compostela, got the last stamp to my pilgrim passport, "Credential" and was issued the official certificate, "Compostela", as a proof of having compleated the journey. I still don't know exactly why I wanted to spend one month slowly walking towards the presumed tomb of Saint James, carrying my belongings in a backbag and sleeping in humble refugios. Still I found the experience profoundly impressive.
I wanted to share some of the moments of my Camino, hoping "to give something back". At first I thought of editing and publishing part of my diary. But the web is full of good diaries about Camino, and besides I felt it difficult to translate some of my thoughts from Finnish into English. Also a list of advise based on my experiences didn't seem like a good idea: there are loads of informative pages on the web that are upadated regularly (look at the collection of my favourite links on the left). So I ended up scanning some of the pictures I took and building simple web pages around them. I have arranged the pictures in themes to illustrate the many aspects of the Camino. The collection of pictures is very uneven. From many spectacular sights and great moments there are no pictures at all. Sometimes I was just too tired or too busy to grab my camera at the right moment.
The historical facts I have mostly got from the book The pilgrimage road to Santiago by David M. Gitlitz and Linda Kay. All mistakes are mine.
Along the way