600km Walking Pilgrimage through Spain

Written by Denise Chng Lisan & published on September 2 2008

From the moment I discovered an ancient pilgrimage path in Spain in June last year, the attraction of walking hundreds of kilometres towards an assured destination grew on me daily. My eagerness to go on a month-long journey on foot across the steep slopes, lush valleys and forests of the Pyrenees, and through countless small towns and villages, was part of a subconscious quest to find depth and meaning in my life. At the age of 33, I was approaching – prematurely, perhaps – what seemed to be a mid-life crisis.

Straits Times Life! Article,Denise Chng Lisan,Camino de Santiago,Camino Frances

Letter from Quebec: Preserving Heritage

Written by Denise Chng Lisan & published on November 8 2008

'TRAVEL is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living,' wrote Miriam Beard. Life in Quebec is now my teacher, pointing out my knowledge gaps and honing my ideas of living - be it language, culture, life-skills, or the environment.

Denise Chng Lisan

Rythym of the Camino

Posted by Denise CHNG Lisan On Thursday, September 27, 2007
On my second day of the camino, I had a rude shock to find that we were not allowed to stay for another day if we wanted to rest. In fact there are certain rules of the camino one has to obey.

1) Everyone must leave the albergue between 4.30am to 7.30am. Unless one chooses to stay in a private hotel or hostal and pays more for that.
2) Lights out at 10pm. Completely pitch dark. If you find yourself still shuffling your belongings, you´ll have to use a torch light.....and we should be in bed by 10pm anyway.
3) Siesta hours should be respected because they close when they close. So lunch needs to be planned for usually.

Áround these ´rules´there is a certain rythym to the camino. I´d find my fellow camino walkers up and running, ready for the day´s walk by 7.30am. And we usually try to get to the place we want to get to before the sun sets. The walk for the day is usually around 20-30 km per day....and one can walk from 6 to 8 hours. It´s hard work, really. Sometimes I think we must be nuts to people who are witnessing this from afar.....why all this trouble and effort.

But the joy is finding our own rythym in the midst of the camino. We define the way we walk, what we want to see, who we want to discover more, where we want to sleep, how far we want to walk.

I´m learning everyday how I want to define my camino, my own pace, my own rythym. They say that the rythym of the mind, and the rythym of the body, should be aligned with the rythym of the day, the walk.

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