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How our camino dream started

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A very special meeting in 2011

Long time before 2011
How wonderful it is to walk with a backpack every day with the only concerns: what do I eat today and where do I sleep. Two weeks walking is nice, but someday we would go on a long hike . . .

8 March 2011
International Women’s Day is the start of that long walking tour. The international women are the nuns in the monastery of Limoges. We feel an incredibly great sense of freedom with three months of nothing ahead of us. Someday has become now . . .

6 April 2011
A pilgrim meets many new people. Some encounters you will always remember. Like that special evening with a hospitable philosopher. «Une rencontre riche» «L’hazard n’existe pas» His strong advice was to stay in Saint-Jean for an extra day . . .

9 April 2011
After 700 KM walking Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port is reached. The quiet green France with hardly any pilgrims and a lot of personal shelter is behind us. Ahead of us is the bustle of the Camino Frances with many yellow arrows and large full dormitories. That asks a change of mind. And . . .  we can stay an extra day in pilgrim’s hostel «L’Esprit du Chemin«.

11 April 2011
There are early pilgrims and late pilgrims. At breakfast you automatically meet your-kind-of-people. Like that Portuguese woman with a little green backpack. Many years later she would have her own pilgrim’s hostel on the Camino. Afterwards our most special meeting on our way to Santiago. Thanks to that extra day in Saint-Jean. Coincidences don’t exist . . .

Astrid & Sieb
Gouda, Netherlands

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