On Saturday Jennifer and I had what is turning out to be an annual pre-Christmas lunch with our Three Camino Angels – Britta, Janet, and Jenny.
We started our lunch at 1pm, and we finished at 7pm.
That is what’s officially known as a “long lunch.”
Britta and Janet came with us on the Indian tour. Jenny was not able to come, because she’d committed to being a hospitalero on the Frances. So the lunch was, in part, a chance for us all to debrief after the tour, and to tell Jenny what she missed out on, and for Jenny to tell us what we missed out on!
She said that while it would have been wonderful to have come to India, her work as a hospitalero had been incredible, and very rewarding. She said she got back way more than she gave out. And she’s planning to do it again next year.
We spent the entire time swapping stories, catching up, chatting, laughing, drinking, eating, laughing some more, and generally having a great time.
It was interesting for Jennifer and me to find out what kind of impact the Indian tour had on Britta and Janet. They were both still buzzing from the experience. They found it at times profoundly moving, but also a lot of fun.
At some point in the hazy afternoon we talked about the power of the Camino, of how we were together because of that ancient way to Santiago, and how strong those bonds can be – even from just a fairly cursory meeting while walking.
Friendships can be made that will last a lifetime.
The Camino Angels are friends because of their meeting on the Camino. Jennifer and I are friends with them because we met on this blog, which of course came about because of the Camino. Each of us now has very strong friendships all over the world –
We spoke about other walks we could do – and we agreed that none of us are in any way interested in walking just for the sake of walking. The Pacific Crest Trail is not for us – nor the Appalachian Trail. Magnificent walks that they are, and of course supremely challenging, but they are not the Camino.
I’ve spoken before of the soul imprint that’s there on the Camino – the energetic residue of all those who have gone before. It’s the reason sick people can walk the Camino and get better. It’s the reason frail old people can walk 800kms. It’s the reason those with questions find those questions answered. They are all imbued with the accumulated energetic residues that lie within that sacred way.
At 6:30pm our waiter informed us that regrettably, our luncheon table had been reserved for dinner. We grumbled, and shifted to another table so that we could have coffee and dessert. There was still much more to talk about – more to laugh about.
At 7pm we finally left the restaurant, because there were people lining up outside wanting a table. On the street outside I suggested we sashay through to dinner at a great Greek place further up the street, but common sense ultimately prevailed.
But we didn’t want to say goodbye. There was still such a lot to talk about. That’s the power of the Camino.
It was a fun afternoon Bill – really enjoyed it.
So many wonderful friendships formed from the Camino and through your blog.
And existing friendships deepened.
I met Britta on the Camino and it was really great to share our India experience . Many lovely memories.
Jenny I have known for over two decades now. A close friendship, for me made even more special through are shared experiences on the Camino.
A powerful, sacred energy it is.
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Of course I ‘liked’ this post … I was there and totally enjoyed the entire afternoon. A long time since I’ve had a 7 hour lunch!!!
Yes, what an extraordinary energy is happening with all these Camino friendships. We’re all very lucky to have connected in so many ways, across continents, ages and experiences. You’re all precious people and I feel totally blessed to be part of both my Camino and PGS worlds 🙂 Love, Britta
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Likewise Britta. All this because we all did a long walk across Spain… unbelievable. Aren’t we blessed?!
Love this, what a treat for you all!! And Its so true about the Camino.
The world is need of these kinds of loving connections that span the globe. We can each do our part to visual and send this connective loving Light out!! A wonderful healing Camino Consciousness that can lift some of the heaviness that has hit us. I think we all can help.
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That’s a great term Kathryn – Camino Consciousness. I like that!! And you’re absolutely right…
Isn’t it great how we become good true friends the Camino Bill – it is a vibrant living energy in us and connecting us. And my goodness always great to eat yummy food and drink fine wine. Loved the photo of you all.
Bill, my wife and I completely understand the power of the connections made on the Camino. We split the walk up over two summers and met wonderful people from the U.S. on both trips. We have visited and kept in touch with our Camino friends.
That’s one of the great side benefits of the Camino Brent isn’t it. Those friendships, those bonds, can be disproportionally strong given the amount of time you actually spend with someone. I’m sure it’s like that for servicemen and women too – who share intense experiences.