A few days ago I stopped at St. James church in Dublin.
I had recently completed the E8+ in Ireland. The E8 is a European long distance trail that starts at the tip of Dursey Island in west Cork and continues to Dublin where you ferry to Liverpool walk across England and then ferry to the Netherlands and on to Istanbul.
I did just the Irish portion which I dubbed “My Irish Camino” in an earlier blog. I then toured Ireland with my wife Denise who returned to the states July 14. To prep for second and final leg of My Camino I visited some Irish Camino buddies I met last year walking from St. Jean Pied-de-Port to Logrono. Paddy and Padraig Blaney and Darren and Fiontan Campbell all from Lurgan in Northern Ireland. We walked the Mourne Mountains and they showed great hospitality to this peregrino by welcoming me into their homes for food and sleep. Our mutual love of the Camino bonds us. I laughed heartily as they both had Camino Shrines:
Walking into Darren’s house he has a map of the various Camino routes and I was able to show him my starting point of Le Puy, France which shows as Le P on the map.
Darren also has a stone with the Pilgrim’s Shell in his front lawn.
Paddy has an old Celtic cross that broke and he has added a Camino Shell to it to make a great shrine in his front lawn.
So I leave Ireland after 3 months ready for the second and final leg of my Camino. I walked 817 miles in Ireland. Tomorrow I walk from Le Puy 740 Kilometers to St. Jean Pied-de-Port and then 910 KM’s to Finisterre and Muxia and then 240 more to Porto or thereabouts. Sad at leaving beautiful Ireland but excited about getting to Le Puy and finding the rhythm of the peregrino. The simplicity of walking everyday and staying in Gites and Albuergues and socializing with fellow pilgrims (peregrinos) and letting the Camino spirit into my heart.