Saturday, August 18, 2012

Plans Coming Together

I'm caught in a realm of absurd contradiction: I'm so busy planning the pilgrimage to South and Central America  that I hardly have time to write about it.  Further into the absurdity, I'm so motivated to begin the pilgrimage (ticket in hand; weather window about to open), I hardly have time to capture all that was accomplished on the last.   The pilgrimage to Chimayo successfully forged the Camino del Norte a Chimayo.  Read about it here.  It's our hope that the camino to Chimayo will be used by many pilgrims and that the pilgrimage by the Our Lady of Guadalupe parish will become an annual event.  Time will tell.  More on the other website; book to follow shortly.

I've been studying the history, geography, and UNESCO world heritage sites for months now.  I have tickets in hand to leave on September 11th to head to Buenos Aires over Miami to begin the pilgrimage to the Basilica of Guadalupe.  I walked there already from the north and now I'll walk from the south.  There's no singular route connecting the starting and ending points, but the whole region is steeped in a myriad of cultures linked by the legacy of the Spaniards over the last five centuries.

I intend to exit Buenos Aires in the direction of the famous shrine of Our Lady of Lujan then westward to Mendoza (800 wineries), over the Andes to Santiago, Chile, to the coast at Valparaiso, then ever northward to Peru, driest desert on the planet - Anacama - to be somehow crossed.  Of course, the Nasca Lines, Cuzco, and Machu Picchu are cultural must-sees, but the intervening villages are hugely interesting to me.  After Lima, I'll continue to Quito, Ecuador, and to Colombia.  Tackling the Darian Gap should be a fun diversion, and then strolls through the history and geography of Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatamala before entering Mexico and enjoying the climb to the Basilica.  Except for Mexico, all of these countries will be new entries in my passport.

Maybe 12,000 to 15,000 kilometers  in total; maybe 8 to 10 months... the constraints are not too numerous.  A few vaccinations, the standard 3-month visa limitations.  No ongoing wars; pretty standard travel warnings; this should be stress-free travel compared to last winter's pilgrimage.

It's interesting that in Spanish, pilgrim is also used as a verb - peregrinar.  I'm happy that I'll be 'pilgriming' again soon.  Once I do, I'll update weekly-ish as I'm able.  I hope you'll enjoy tales of the extended winter walk this year.


Amy R said...

I look forward to following your pilgriming.

ksam said...

As always there will be a trail of prayers going with you. Pax.

Margaret Meredith said...

May you have another successful winter pilgrimage!

With fond memories of Santo Domingo de la Calzada, February 2009.

God speed.