Jennifer and I met with Donna and Greg in Brisbane this past week. Two lovely people, very keen to walk their first Camino.
In Donna’s case, she’s been considering family commitments, and she was considering some time way way in the future – but it was clear to me that the Camino bug had bitten her well and truly, and I told her I did not think she would be able to hold out that long!
As we were leaving I asked her if she would write a guest blog. She’s been giving this some thought, and here now is her post. Oh, and I think she’ll be walking the Camino within a year!
Donna’s guest blog
As the regulars on here will know I had the pleasure of meeting Bill and Jennifer last week. I can assure you all they are even more beautiful in person than they are on the printed screen. Bill asked me if I would consider writing a guest blog. Panic immediately set in and I’ve pondered what to write now for almost a week.
I was lucky enough to camp on the beach at Double Island Point, Qld over the weekend. It’s a beautiful white sandy beach just north of Noosa. You need a 4WD to get there and you literally camp up in the sand dunes.
It makes it very easy put in tent pegs.
When you camp on the beach your arrival and departure times are governed by the tides. As we had other things to do on Sunday afternoon we had to leave very early on Sunday morning to head back home.
As we left my daughter asked if we could go to the bakery so she could have a meat pie. It was 5:45 in the morning. When I didn’t respond immediately she said “It’s tradition Mum – we always have a meat pie when we come up here.”
That got us talking about traditions and we noted that most traditions for us revolve around food: birthdays, Easter, Christmas. Thanksgiving in America. Sure there is sometimes gift giving in there but more often than not there is food. I wondered if I even had a tradition that didn’t involve food. I thought about this on and off all day.
On Sunday night fellow blogger Greg and I walked up Mt Ngungun. It’s one of the Glasshouse Mountains about an hour north of Brisbane. It’s a steep and sweaty 20 minute walk to the top but the views are amazing.
We went up on Sunday to watch the sunset and to see the almost full moon rise. The views from the top are amazing. It was a very busy night with about 20 people up the top until well into darkness.
It was while we were walking up that I realised I do have a tradition that doesn’t involve food. And it’s one of my favourite traditions. After every hike I do I always play k d Lang’s version of Hallelujah.
I play it quite loud in the car and if you are in my car you must adhere to two rules – you can sing along but you must not speak until the song is over. I’ve been doing this for a number of years now and my walks don’t feel complete unless I do this.
What are the Camino traditions? Leaving a stone at the Cruce de Ferro and placing your hand on the pillar in the cathedral in Santiago are two I know of. Are there others?
Do you have any walking/hiking traditions? Or any other traditions that don’t involve food?
Hi Donna –
What a fabulous post! I love your tradition of playing k d Lang’s beautiful version of Hallelujah too.
One Camino tradition I observed last year was the tradition of dedicating your Camino to a late loved-one/ones.
I dedicated my Camino to my late and much-loved Mum and Dad, for giving me my life. I thought about them so much as I walked and the feeling of love for them was huge. I wrote my dedication to them in the huge register in the Compostela Office and wow – what a feeling that was! Completely joyous and completely overwhelming.
In their lives they had done so much for me and my four siblings – on the completion of my Camino I felt that I had done something for them that was a demonstration of my love for them.
Thanks. I do love k d’s version of Hallelujah. Often if we are sitting up on top of a mountain somewhere just enjoying being there we will play the rest of her album too. It’s very mellow.
What a beautiful thing you did on your Camino for your parents. I’m sure they felt the love.
Thanks Donna – I did feel very close to Mum and Dad on the Camino.
Re k d Lang … I find her voice to be like a warm musical blanket … as you say, she’s very mellow.
A warm musical blanket, I like that. Maybe I can think of Michael Buble the same way.
Hi Donna –
As far as warm musical blankets go, my favourite warm musical blanket CD is Jimmy Webb’s Ten Easy Pieces – it’s exceptional.
Cool Jenny. His music is beautiful. I’ve never heard of him before and now I’m going to go and buy his CD. If you’ve got any more recommendations for warm musical blankets I’ll gratefully accept them.
It is very diffiicult to think of traditions that do not involve food. I don’t have any in regards to hiking, except peeling your boots off at the end and putting your feet up.
We do have some in the family though. one is on birthdays you get to be the Birthday Boss! I have 4 kids and they grew up getting to be birthday bosses, which means they got to make the decisions for the day (who sat in the front seat, a game to play, WHat we would watch on TV, what book we’d read, what was for dinner etc…) It was a very fun thing.
Also every night, I would ask them who loved them and they would go through a very long list of people, angels and God. I thought that was a good thing to have in their head when they went to bed.
You’re right Kathryn –
it’s hard to think of traditions without food, which of course usually accompanies a get-together.
One thins which Jennifer and I never do, nor encourage our children to do, is celebrate mother’s day or father’s day.
We think that’s just a massive marketing ploy – we just ignore it altogether. We do’t even get a phone call from our kids on mother’s day or father’s day!
Bill I feel the same way about Valentine’s Day. Huge marketing ploy and it works.
Donna – same deal here. We never celebrate Valentines Day. But for us, birthdays are very important, and Christmas and Easter.
I like your traditions. I might try and incorporate them into our lives too. I bet your kids slept well knowing that before they went to bed.
With every birthday for several years now, each of our daughters gets a pretty luxe bouquet of flowers delivered. Dad “usually” does the selection but lately “Mom” has been ummm, ‘influential’ in the selection. We try to make sure the delivery happens at a public place (like the office) but, in any event, they get one. (Our son gets cash and REALLY digs that…”Can’t eat or drink flowers!”)
I like the idea of of delivering the flowers in a public place. It makes it even more special. I think all boys can relate to how your son feels.
A few years ago, I asked a Jewish friend of mine about the Holidays of the Jewish calendar, He response still tickles me, “We are attacked, we kick our their butts, we eat!” Thank you Jerry!
In the summer of 2002, we drove to Disneyworld from Canada for our family vacation. My husband and I and our 4 kids(aged 7 to 12) piled into our van and headed south. It took us 3 days to get there, sleeping in hotels along the way, everyone in the same room. The kids were small so we always requested a room with 2 queen beds and a cot. We had a fantastic holiday, everything was perfect.
After a week we headed back. We drove to South Carolina on our first night. The next day we drove 954km and arrived at our planned destination, a popular hotel chain in the heart of Pennsylvania. We stayed at the same hotel chain throughout our holiday, however, this hotel refused to let us all stay in one room, we would have to book 2 rooms. We said thanks but no thanks, and proceeded down the street to another hotel. We requested a room with 2 queen beds and a cot. Imagine my surprise when the desk clerk told us that their sister-hotel had called them to warn them that a family of 6 might be looking for a room. Rules were rules, we were told, and we exceeded the allowable number for one room. We were so angry we jumped back into the van and drove straight home, another 585km!
So what is our family tradition? Every summer for the past 11 yrs, when we pass this particular hotel on our way south… we flip them the bird.
Wow Sonia –
What’s interesting about that story is that now you can “flip the bird” on Trip Advisor and other websites. I think that the Internet has made hotels more responsive to people’s needs now.
You could tell your story on any number of travel websites and they would lose business by other travellers sympathetic to your situation.
I do some writing for Lonely Planet, and I’m not shy about telling hotel folk that if they give me problems.
You’re right Bill and I do post reviews on Trip Advisor, however I don’t think TA was around 11 yrs ago. And besides, we all partake in bird flipping as a family, all children grown now. And someday we hope to pass this tradition down to the next generation.
This past summer we made the mistake of ”saluting” the hotel as my husband was passing a car. The look on the poor driver’s face as a flock of ”birds” pressed on our windows flew past him.
Note to self, remind husband to stay in outside lane when passing said landmark.
Hi Sonia –
What a great tradition! I have to say that it’s the hotel’s loss … they might have had your patronage for 11 more years.
Thanks for a hoot of a story!
Cheers – Jenny
Jenny, you are so gorgeous!
I responded by telling Sonia how to kick back – you responded by telling her that it was the hotel’s loss!
You are a wonderful person – and I think I have to walk more Caminos to be more like you!!
Cheers Bill! And thank you for the compliment – much appreciated.
Had the two hotels seen fit to go with the other hotels in the same chain that Sonia’s family had stayed in, there could have been an entirely different family tradition happening all these years on, and into the future.
I’ve just read Sonia’s comment about the poor innocent driver being given the bird by the whole family … it’s made my day!