A letter to… the priest who signed my Compostela

Dear friend, It was New Year’s Eve, 2010. The close of the Holy Year and the final day of my short first camino.  I arrived in Santiago de Compostela at 3:15 p.m. with the door set to shut at 4:30 p.m. in preparation for the Mass and the ceremonies and the dignitaries with speeches. I […]

A letter to… littering pilgrims

Dear Pilgrims: I have heard you are back home now, telling everybody what a wonderful time you had on the Camino de Santiago. You are sharing your wonderful memories with your friends and families and repeating over and over again that these memories will stay with you for the rest of your lives. So will […]

A letter to… a young man, forgiven

I am waiting for you to die.  Unfortunately, you are neither visibly sick nor terribly old, so I realize the wait will continue for some time. But I’m fine waiting as long as it takes. Your death will free me. Your dying will please me. Any suffering you may endure would not sweeten the event […]

A letter to… Amy

Dear Amy, I really didn’t want to retire.  I loved being a teacher because it kept me feeling young when I was surrounded by teenagers all day.  I didn’t have time to think about getting older, and I carried on teaching until I was 69, just after you died.  Your funeral was amazing, the chapel […]

A letter to… my father – we’ve forgiven each other at last

Dear Dad, You weren’t with me on my Camino – and you’d been dead for some 20-odd years – but you were along for the walk all the same.   Trudging through Galicia in the rain, I felt the long,  painful slog that your life was.   Laughing with pretty women in cafes, I felt […]

A letter to… a would-be pilgrim

Dear Pilgrim, Are you having second thoughts?  Pre-Camino doubts?  Well, don’t! I stumbled across the Camino Frances whilst on holiday and as we drove along the motorway close to Burgos, I could hear it whispering… come walk.  I was a rather plump, middle aged woman.  I was three years clear of cancer and maybe I […]

A letter to say… I tried and succeeded

What you say about the Camino and having a difficult time describing the experience to others is so true. I did the Camino because my husband wanted to do it and wanted me to join him. A friend had done the Camino and wanted to do it again but her health prevented that. I wasn’t […]