Friday, June 04, 2010

On another path.

Beauty walk's a razor's edge. It's difficult to touch in Spirit. But when you touch it, it's genuinely a gift from the gods. The Solitary Walker

This is a Holy Year when Saint James Feast Day, July 25, falls on a Sunday. Folks are able to pass through the Puerte del Pardon (Door of Forgiveness) and have all their sins forgiven. Because of this the number of pilgrims along the Camino multiplies dramatically from other years. The Door of Forgiveness was opened at midnight December 31, 2009 and remains open until midnight December 31, 2010 when the door will be sealed until the next Holy Year in eleven years.

Via Tolosana traditionaly starts in Arles, Provence and for convenience the Confraternity of Saint James in London, UK breaks this Camino into two sections; Arles to Toulouse, and Toulouse to Puente la Reina, Spain.

I am walking Via Tolosana from June 11, 2010 starting in Toulouse and perhaps next year I will walk from Arles to Toulouse. The route I am taking will pass through the Midi-Pyrénées, Pau, and over the Pyrénées at Col du Somport (el. 1632 m.) into Spain where Via Tolosana becomes Camino Aragonés. The way continues on to Jaca in the Aragon Valley and meets up with Camino Francés in Puente la Reina (PlR), Navarre. I walked from PlR to Santiago de Compostela (SdC) in 2002 and 2007 so I will not walk from PlR this year. I have offered my services as a volunteer hospitalero and will be at one of four albergues further along the track.

Reading about the Templars, Black Madonna's, Cathars, and the Pilgrimage of Initiation fascinates me, hence I am thrilled to be walking in this area. Last month in Sintra/Cintra, Portugal I sat for a long time meditating at the pillar thought to be where the Pilgrimage of Initiation commenced. I have visited Santiago de Compostela Cathedral (site two) many times and will return in July where I will meditate in the lower chapel (St James the Less). In the meantime I will visit l' église Notre-Dame la Dalbade (Our Lady in White) in Toulouse (third site) and again I will sit and meditate. For information on the Pilgrimage of Initiation read the book Rosslyn: Guardian of the Secrets of the Holy Grail by Tim Wallace-Murphy and Marilyn Hopkins.

For those who have asked me .... yes, I hope to meet up with Kees but with his busy work schedule it may be difficult.


  1. Hola Luiza,
    I walked from Lourdes to Pamplona via the Aragones route last year. It was a beautiful walk, sometimes lonely, often rugged, ancient landscapes in Aragon. Have a wonderful walk!
    un abrazo,

  2. Thanks so much for your kind comments about my blog. And you're welcome to quote anything you like from it. Of course! You may have read it already - I blogged about the Arles and Aragon route, and it's sublime. You will love it, of that I'm sure. The French limestone causse area is exceptional walking, and the Aragon valley truly remote, amazing, and spiritually uplifting. Jaca is a great place to spend perhaps more than one night. Just ask if you need any more info. I envy you your walk, and would do it again tomorrow if I could. Just back from Sicily however, so some contemplation at home is on the cards for a while...

  3. Thank you Sil, I am looking forward to walking this way. I drove part of it with Kees last year when we drove from the Netherlands to Madrid. June is a little late to be starting but two weeks ago I was cruising the Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea, that was wonderful.

  4. I started your Blog from the beginning and have followed your pilgrimage from Le Puy along Camino Francés. I will continue to read your Blog until I am up-to-date. I am thoroughly enjoying your Blog and it takes me back to being in some of the places you mention. Castrojeriz for one, I found the climb out of the village tough going but was determined to get there ahead of a pilgrim coming up behind me. When I stopped at the top the pilgrim turned out to be Manuel a pilgrim friend whom I had first met in Puente la Reina. That day was a spiritual walk for me, I remember it well.

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