Camino #32 – A Host of Fascinating Pilgrims

I promised a post about my second meeting with the Toronto chapter of the Canadian Company of Pilgrims. Again it was amazing. These are very ordinary people doing extraordinary “things.”

I knew I was really looking forward to hearing the keynote speaker Dennis Garnhum talk about his book, “Toward Beauty,” which I have read. (It is an extraordinary book, as was his talk). Since I posted my comment on the chapter’s FB page, another person going to the same meeting, Alyssa Golden, sent me a message and asked if I could help her out at a table she had booked for the meeting. Alyssa hosts the FB group WOACA (woman of a certain age walking the Camino).

Love the badge

I was thrilled to have something very engaging to do, while I hung out for the day. “Yes, I would love to help out at your table.” As an aside, Alyssa started WOACA a year ago. She now has 9,000 members – I count this as extraordinary. Alyssa had badges to sell and a book, “Hearing The Camino’s Call” which she has published. It’s a compilation of stories from 58 women explaining why they walked or were planning to walk the Camino. It’s a great read!!

At the WOACA table, I got to talk to a lot of pilgrims and soon to be pilgrims about their experiences. I got to pick Alyssa’s brain about publishing and I also got a free badge and a free book for doing something I really enjoyed!!!

Great Read

Plus, I had time to speak to a few people I had met at the November meeting. Lucille told me that she will be walking part of the Camino Del Norte while visiting her brother who lives in Irun, a city at the start of that Camino. She will also be volunteering for a time at the shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in France. Another very different way to spend your vacation.

It was an extraordinary day. When I come back from Portugal, I will spend some time walking with this group. They walk every Monday and Friday for about 15kms each day – Did I mention that it’s a 9:00am start!! Doing the math at 5kms per hour with a break for coffee and lunch, you finish around 2:00pm and then you have to get home. Makes for a good night’s sleep!!

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