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Enchanted Forests and Witches Covens

April 1, 2013 Day 2 – Reconcevalles to Zubiri (20 km)

Outer Journey

I woke up at the Refugio in Roncesvilles this morning.  I had my first good nights sleep in 5 days at the Refugio in Roncesvalles; but a woke up groggy and out of it.  I had a lot of trouble organizing my pack and thinking straight.  Finally, I was ready; dressed for another day of good weather and I went to the door and realized it was pouring down rain!  So I had to go back upstairs and change clothes for bad weather.  I realized I wasn´t well provisioned for early freezing Spring rain in Spain.  If I do this again in early April, I will pack differently. I rained HARD and it was freezing.  We started out walking through ice and snow.  I hadn´t taken out my gloves and my hands were freezing.  Finally, after an hour walking we found a place for breakfast.  When I began walking after breakfast, I walked fast to keep warm and a switch seemed to turn on and I couldn´t stop.  I passed everyone on the road.  I am so grateful that my friend Lida gave me a poncho before I left.  It kept everything dry.  After walking two more hours I noticed I was becoming very happy…really happy.  I felt great!  Rain and all, I felt exhilirated.  I came into the town of Zubiri a good hour and a half before everyone else.  But I couldn´t find a place to sleep right away.  A big group had booked the first few Refugio´s I stopped at.  I paniced because my feet hurt, I was wet and I didn´t want to walk to the next town.  Someone in town made phone call and there was a guest room available for 30 euros.  I took it.  When some of the other Pilgrim´s arrived, I heard they found a private Refugio for 15 euros and I was a little disappointed; but I remembered that “The Camino provides” and everthing turns out just right.  I met my walking friends for some vino and appetizers and then we had salad, soup, baby back pork ribs and dessert!  I now know how eveyone makes it through the Camino.  Food and wine!

Inner Journey

Today was a solitary day. I walked alone with my own thoughts, demons and eventualky joy. It was a day of walking through enchanged forests and the most magical of all was one that used to shelter a 16th century Witches Coven so of course I felt at home right away!  The energy in the forest was so peaceful and the energy was distinctly feminine which is rare for the Camino so far.  I actually caught visions of the women dancing through the trees.  Quite lovely!  I also realized that walking is similar to writing my Morning Pages, a practice I adopted from, “The Artist´s Way”, where I right three pages of stream of consciousness in the morning to dump all of my chaotic thoughts and clear my mind for new inflows of original thought.  After two hours of walking and having constant chatter in my brain, all of a sudden a switch turned off and it was quiet.  I then started noticing my environment more deeply and then I became deliciously inspired.  I will definitely make LONG walks part of my self-care practice when I return.  I owe it to my self, the people I love and my work.  I realize that my best self doesn´t emerge when my mind is cluttered and I am cycling the same old thoughts.

One of my favorite parts of today was coming in to small town and smelling the wood fire places burning and seeing the puffs of smoke coming out of the chimney´s.  It reminded me of ¨”home” and the peace and comfort found there.  I then realized that I HAD a sense of home and I was so glad.  I realized that I truly had a sense of home for the first time in 30 years!  Thank you Garrett, Alexa, Aydan and Nell for helping me create this.  Thank you Mom, Dad, Daria and Deirdre for supporting me from afar and thank you for all my friends and extended sense of community.  I am so grateful for you.

Buen Camino!



Witches Coven outside Roncesvalles.2013-04-01 12.12.562013-04-01 12.18.122013-04-01 12.14.562013-04-01 12.58.08


2013-04-01 14.40.352013-04-01 19.36.462013-04-01 17.33.23






  1. Deirdre

    April 3, 2013 - 3:13 pm

    Wow! What an amazing, life altering journey! Keep posting! You are so strong and so awesome! I wish I were there with you!

  2. Farion

    April 3, 2013 - 3:49 pm

    You are definitely NOT alone! …thinking of you as Kent and I checked out El Cap yesterday….

    “Perseverance furthers” Bravo!

    so much love, F

  3. Anita

    April 3, 2013 - 5:57 pm

    Bueno alie!

    I love that you were able to feel and see the women of the forest.
    Here’s to the divine feminine and the balance to come!

    I have surrendered to who I am and who I am here to help, so space occupying feels more comfortable;)

    Blessed journey,

  4. robert and Delphine

    April 4, 2013 - 12:13 am

    Three cheers for Alison. We are proud of your accomplishments. Did your climbing in the Adirondacks and the rain on Marcy come to mind? Take care of yourself and get plenty of rest. Daddy

  5. Kathy

    April 4, 2013 - 10:12 am

    Such beautiful country Alie. There is something magical about walking in the rain, when you are warm enough. I hope you get some good rest.


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