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

Camping at the Edge of Land with Griffon Aventure

Posted by Denise CHNG Lisan On Thursday, August 20, 2009
We arrived at a camping paradise. Signs of bohemian art, written 'Griffon Adventures' led us to the campground hidden between the little highway and the Bas St. Laurent coast. Our car wheeled slowly down the beaten path and came upon the woods shack named 'Accueil' (i.e. reception). I already have good vibes for the place, as the setting sun threw a warm glow on all the wooden cabins, turning them into sunburst orange. The music of Bob Marley came into my head.

From the central wood shack, I could see little wooden tracks leading out into the wood in different directions. Out came Olivier, the guy who runs the place, whom I've been liaising with for my reservation. Barely in his 30s, I think, he looks like someone who embraces a life of 'la bohême' to me. He sports long brown curly hair tied in a pony tail, and unshaven chin. I imagined meeting Jack Kerouac in person, the author and protagonist of the book, "On The Road". It's my new book companion on the road.

Griffon Adventure campground is a communal paradise for those who want to get away from city beat and consumerism. It's a nice break not to see heavy recreational campers anywhere on the site. Even water and electricity is a rare treat. We washed our dishes by pumping water, same with toilet (though I simply just pee-ed in the wild - that's what nature is for). The luxury we had was warm and strong running water for our shower. That won me over in a heartbeat.

Our little site is, appropriately named Panaromix, sheltered by pine trees, peaking out to a panaromic view of the sea, with a campfire clearing to look at the stars. The best part of the campground is the communal playground, which consists of a bar, ping pong table, barbecue pit and terrace with two hammocks overlooking the sea. I was in love with the place the moment I got in the swinging hammock.

On google map, here we were, camping under the stars by the sea...nearly at the end of land at L'Anse Au Griffon.

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To view videos of our campsite, click here

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