Thursday, March 26, 2009

Watercolors Posted

I've added photographs of all of the watercolors, good and bad, from the pilgrimage.

The originals were made on one of three sizes of paper, 4x8inches/10x20cm, 6x10inches/15x25cm, or 8x10inches/20x25cm. I spent generally less than 10 or 15 minutes on each, mostly because the weather was limiting or I had no time to dawdle, but also because I get bored pretty quickly. I prefer a handful of fun watercolors to dozens, hundreds, or thousands of digital photos. Each watercolor brings to mind all of the conditions that existed while I was painting - the weather, the company, the dangers, etc. They're not meant to be beautiful works of art to be framed and hung on the wall, or even stuck on the refrigerator with a magnet, they're just for my scrapbook.

There's a story behind each one. As I get time, I'll figure out a way to incorporate the story into the slideshow.

I also went back to some of the older posts and added the appropriate watercolor.

Pilgrimage Numbers

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Numbers for planning purposes...

I've safely returned to the States and am finding the time between visits with family and friends to summarize my trip. Many people I've spoken with who are interested in doing something similar have asked about costs and the realities of winter weather. The info is charted above. Still more to come soon...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Stay tuned...

Once I'm reunited with my computer next week, I'll post my watercolors, something like 60 in all. For pilgrims who might follow, I'll post the stats of the trip - my path, costs, weather, equipment, lessons learned, etc.

Thanks to all of you commentors. Your participation has really been encouraging to me.


I looked, I couldn't see forever, but it wasn't a clear day at the lighthouse perched at the very tip of Cape of Finesterre. Walking along this rocky coast they call the 'Costa da Morte', the Coast of Death, with all of its mystical Celtic folklore was hardly the easiest of these daily promenades I've enjoyed over the last 80 days, but hardly the most difficult, either.

The rain came in sheets from the west and mixed with the upthrown oceanspray from the tall crashing waves below. At least it wasn't too cold. The filtered sunlight through the thick moving fog gave an impression of a grainy black and white photo to the scrubby vegetation on the crags, the churning sea below, the fast-moving clouds in every shade of grey. The setting begged the names 'Heathcliffe -- Cathy' to be despondently shouted into the howling wind. Only the screeching gulls were my companions on the trail.

Under the conditions of the moment, I dismissed the idea I had had to dive into the Atlantic when I reached the end of the land. I didn't even attempt to find a path down to the sea from the height of the lighthouse. A convenient café instead gave a more civilized perspective to watch the fierce waves, though the puddle that repeatedly formed under my draining jacket didn't do much to please the proprietress, who, frankly, had little else to do but mop it up periodically as I ate my fish soup.

My long winter walk has come to an end.

I started where Charlemagne had his 9th-century vision of Saint James beckoning for aid in the northwest corner of Spain. This dream set in motion a series of events that shaped Europe, and thus, the world, which continues to this day. And I've been part of it. How cool.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


The heavy rain held off long enough for me to walk the last 20 kilometers (14 miles) into Santiago. I arrived in a light drizzle. My pace crept up on me unnoticed - it took less than 3 1/2 hours, and there are many hills. 2,400 kilometers of conditioning can do that, I suppose. About 25 foot-pilgrims are expected today, a strong contrast to the 300 I arrived with on October 31st, 2007. Maybe because of the rain, or maybe because the time of year, but the city's rather quiet.

It feels great to have made it here, but this isn't my final destination - I'll rest for the day and stay in a comparatively nice hotel rather than a pilgrim house - and leave first thing in the morning for Finesterre, the mystical point on the coast where the legend says the rudderless boat carrying the relics of Saint James arrived. Another 3 or 4 days of walking... and then, I'm not sure yet...

I tried to scan in some more watercolors, but the quality is so poor, I can't even post them. I'll keep trying to find a way to post them soon. More later...