‘You’ll love this yarn – it’s honest and it’s revealing’ says Australian Talk Show Host

DAn Mullins head shot‘You’ll love this yarn – it’s honest and it’s revealing’ says Dan Mullins, Australian Talk Show Host about the interview he conducted with me last week. “Stacey and I talk about her journey, both spiritually and physically – in our hearts and on our feet.”

Click here to listen in on the conversation: https://player.whooshkaa.com/episode/?id=106114

MyCamino-ThePodcastDan Mullins, a Sydney radio broadcaster, producer, and host of ‘My Camino – The Podcast,’ asks probing questions that have me revealing my innermost thoughts on pilgrimage and on my own spiritual experiences. He asks:

  • Why do people walk? What is it about walking?
  • You mentioned earlier the immense history of the Camino. When you walk, how conscious are you of Christ’s involvement and the Christian involvement in that history?
  • You talk in the guide about pilgrims carrying too much in their packs, and you say, ‘Generally we as humans carry too much stuff.’ How can a faith-based life ease that load?
  • So you are inviting pilgrims, Stacey, to explore themselves, to learn more about themselves and to find themselves. Is that a fair assessment?
  • You write about forgiveness and you say the Camino provides an opportunity for forgiveness. Can I ask you to elaborate on that just a little bit?

Click here to listen in on the conversation: https://player.whooshkaa.com/episode/?id=106114

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Dan Mullins, “My Camino-The Podcast” Talk Show Host

Camino books, Spiritual Camino, Camino guide, Camino devotional

 

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Lourdes pilgrim ‘thrilled’ about guidebook

“I walked the Piemont route from Lourdes to St Jean Pied de Port in September 2015 with only a French guide book, and I don’t speak or understand French!  Needless to say, it made the journey at bit more challenging.  So I am thrilled about your book and hope to walk the route again this year with your guide book in hand.  And what an incredible, beautiful route it is!” said Fred Bovenkamp, on Camino de Santiago.me forum today.

Spiritual and Walking Guide front-cover

Learn more about the Lourdes, France, to St Jean Pied de Port  route by viewing the Camino book, Spiritual and Walking Guide: Lourdes to St Jean Pied de Port, on Amazon at http://bit.ly/LourdesCamino. By Stacey Wittig, Camino pilgrim.

The only English version spiritual devotional and walking guide for this part of the La voie du piémont pyrénéen. Available now in paperback or Kindle.

Rudy Maxa’s World discusses Stacey Wittig’s new book

160924-rudy-maxa-logo-1Author Stacey Wittig was honored to be interviewed by Rudy Maxa from Rudy Maxa’s World with The Careys last week. The interview was broadcast from the chic lobby lounge of Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock in Sedona, Arizona. The radio program reaches over 275+ weekly radio stations each week across the USA.

Bell Rock happens to be the site of one of Sedona’s four major vortexes of earthly energy and a spiritual place for Native Americans and others.

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Stacey and Rudy talked about hiking in #Sedona and her new book, Spiritual & Walking Guide: Lourdes to St Jean Pied de Port in the comfortable “Living Room” of the Hilton Sedona Resort. The book was written to enhance the spiritual experience of pilgrims walking from Lourdes to SJPP along the Way of St James.

The show aired on Saturday 10a-12p ET on TuneInListen. Click here to listen to a recording of the interview that took place in one of America’s sacred places:  http://rudymaxa.com/podcasts/2016-2/

The show has a weekly audience reach of approximately 1.4 million via approximately 275 affiliated network stations, a 24/7 TuneIn.com channel, growing social media platforms, frequent remote broadcasts, online and more.

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About Rudy Maxa’s World with The Careys

Renowned travel expert and award-winning journalist Rudy Maxa, along with the show creators and married travel partners Robert and Mary Carey, easily connect with the audience and skillfully cover the world of travel, culture and its allure through modern segments, on-location remote broadcasts, etc.  Combined, Rudy Maxa’s World with The Careys offers unmatched experience, unparalleled insight and unique understanding into travel, trade, tourism and dozens of related industries. http://rudymaxa.com

About Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock

Located in the spectacular Red Rock Country in Northern Arizona, Hilton Sedona is a luxury resort with spacious rooms and suites, spa and championship golf course. #HSRRedRock http://www.hiltonsedonaresort.com

Order Wittig’s new book about the Lourdes pilgrimage on Amazon by clicking here: http://amzn.to/2cTM0Xt

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The “Living Room” or Lobby Lounge of the Hilton Sedona Red Rocks Resort and Spa.

 

Spiritual & Walking Guides releases new book: Lourdes to St Jean Pied de Port

Spiritual & Walking Guides just released its latest book: Spiritual & Walking Guide: Lourdes to St Jean Pied de Port. The Camino guide book is today’s most comprehensive spiritual guide for walking from Lourdes to St Jean de Pied Port in France. Order at Amazon by clicking here: http://amzn.to/2cTM0Xt

Many modern pilgrims desire to walk the primitive pilgrimage route from Lourdes to St Jean Pied de Port, France, and beyond onto the Camino Frances. But, until now, few guides have been published in the English language for the Voie du Piémont Pyrénéen sections of the Camino walk.

Spiritual and Walking Guide front-coverThe three-in-one book incorporates daily devotionals, Bible verses and way guides that will help prepare your heart for a closer walk with God.
Included in the book: 
• Maps for wayfinding
• Daily scripture readings – no need to carry a heavy Bible
• Meditations that help you hear God’s direction for your life
• Questions for reflection to make the most of your pilgrimage
• Details about where to sleep, daily distances walked and essential websites
• Insider travel tips
• How to procure a Pilgrim Credential
Here then is a guide ideally suited to you, the pilgrim, who is seeking both spiritual and terrestrial direction while walking the Camino route from Lourdes to St Jean Pied de Port in France.With space to journal thoughts and revelations about your Lourdes pilgrimage, you’ll hold onto this book as a keepsake f
or many years to come.
About the Author
Stacey Wittig is a Spirit-led Christian, who was transformed by the Camino de Santiago experience and now writes about hiking and pilgrimage.
About Spiritual & Walking Guide: Lourdes to St Jean Pied de Port:
List Price: $24.99
5″ x 8″ (12.7 x 20.32 cm)
Full Color on White paper
106 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1537021508
ISBN-10: 1537021508
BISAC: Travel / Special Interest / Religious
Order on Amazon by clicking here: http://amzn.to/2cTM0Xt

The Pace of a 83-Year-Old Man

Today I walk the pace of an 83-year-old man. I’ve watched him 50 yards ahead of me for the past hour or so. When he goes up a hill in the distance, I can see that I’m not catching up. Later when I am on a rise looking down, I see him below me.

32-DAY-TWENTY-EIGHT Navarrenx to Aroue (4)

He  stays the same size. If he were getting smaller, I would know he’s pulling away. If he were getting larger that would indicate that I was walking faster than him.

32-DAY-TWENTY-EIGHT Navarrenx to Aroue (12)

This man and I have met up three or four times over the past 10 days to exchange greetings and some pleasantries. We follow the ancient pilgrimage route of the Via Podensis from Le Puy, France, towards the west and Santiago, Spain. Via Podensis is just one of hundreds of paths that form a spider’s web throughout Europe, Scandinavia and the Middle East that connects the three most popular pilgrim destinations of the Middle Ages: Jerusalem, Rome and Santiago. Today people like the man ahead of me continue to follow these ancient routes.

14-DAY TEN Conques to Livinhac le-Haut (6)

Le Trois: Stacey, Joseph and Michel

Earlier this morning, the 83-year-old man recognized me and my two traveling companions.
“Ah, Le Trois — the three are still together,” he said in French and smiled approvingly. We all know each others’ countries of origin — me, USA; Michel, France; Joseph, Belgium; and the 83-year-old man, Switzerland.  This man from Geneva is an intriguing loner, so we haven’t wanted to get too close too fast. He has ducked out of every conversation so far without leaving his name behind. Indeed, in one meeting when asked where he planned to sleep for the night, he answered before disappearing,  “A kilometer away from nowhere.” In other words, off the beaten path of the popular pilgrim sleeping spots.

photo of Jean-Francois, the 83-year-old man

Jean-Francois, the 83-year-old man

But today we finally exchange names. Jean-Francois is fit and trim, dressed in ultra-modern, lightweight backpacking attire and equipment. He carries a smile along with a tall wooden hiking pole intricately carved with the names and corresponding years of each Camino he’s walked. Jerusalem in 2014. Lourdes in 2015. Arles and other pilgrimages routes across Europe dated with the carver’s flourish. The 83-year-old man has walked over 60,000 kilometers in the past decade or so.

And so now, I am still not catching up. Interestingly,  Jean-Francois typically appears at a crossroads or a church. The next time I see him, he’s standing at a crossroad to warn us not to go in the wrong direction. He comes along side of me and we walk for awhile together. He does not speak much English, and I do not speak much French, but we talk in simple words and communicate well. I tell him that I, too walked Lourdes in 2015 and Arles in 2008.

When he looks down at my hiking boots matching the rhythm of his and says, “Vous marchez bien!” or “You walk well, ” I feel like I have been honored with the best compliment. For today I am proud to walk the pace of an 83-year-old man.

Stacey “Vagabonding Lulu” Wittig is a spiritual travel writer based near Flagstaff and Sedona, Arizona. This article first appeared in Pinewood News in May 2016. She wrote from the road that month while traveling Les Chemin de St Jacques – Via Podiensis – in France.

Une table sur la route: Saugues, France

Joseph.Jacob.crop.800Correspondance de la voie le 30 avril 2016. Le Puy du Velay (Via Podiensis) à Santiago. Réimprimé à partir de Pinewood News.

Aujourd’hui, j’ai vu une belle jeune femme italienne de rire à la météo avec des flocons de neige qui s’accrochent à la sombre des cils. Les flocons sont grandes et diminue lentement jusqu’à ce que le vent intermittent enfonça rapidement dans nos visages. C’est le dernier jour du mois d’avril près Le Puy, en France, et je ne m’attendais pas à ce que la neige.

Chaque fois que j’ai amené gants légers à la France ou l’Espagne à marcher un des anciens chemins de pèlerinage connu meilleur au US comme le Camino de Santiago, je n’ai pas besoin d’eux, alors j’ai laissé derrière eux. Aujourd’hui, j’aurais aimé avoir une paire. Je me disaient que je ne pouvais vraiment pas obtenir des gelures en 20F-degré météo, mais elle n’est toujours pas aider mon engourdissement des doigts.

08-DAY FOUR Le Sauvage to Aumont-Aubrac (10)800

 

Aujourd’hui, j’ai également vu des centaines de jaune jonquilles décorant un tapis d’herbe à travers laquelle un petit cours d’eau méandrique coulait. Je n’avais jamais vu des jonquilles, appelé jonquils ici en France, à l’état sauvage avant et le contraste entre le jaune et le vert m’a arrêté dans mes pistes. C’était avant que la neige a commencé à tomber sur les Chemins de St Jacques.

08-DAY FOUR Le Sauvage to Aumont-Aubrac (12)800

 

Plus tard, après la chute de neige est tombée pendant un certain temps, j’ai vu quatre hommes dans la forêt, parler et rire debout à côté d’une porte dans notre voie. Il semble un bon endroit pour arrêter et parler aux pèlerins qui étaient en situation de rattrapage avec nous par derrière, ce qui avec un autre champ de jonquils en vue, cette fois avec leurs visages gai rejetée vers un lit de neige. De toute évidence, cette place a inspiré d’autres avant nous, parce qu’à travers une autrement wordless griffonné signe de rendement à proximité étaient les mots, “I love lyfe.”

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“Mi vous aimeriez une banane?” Pierre offerts à chacun des trois autres hommes et moi. C’était un gros bouquet de très awefully long les bananes — trop pour un homme d’être transportant dans son sac à dos. “S’il vous plaît, avoir une banane “, il a offert de nouveau après chacun d’entre nous a poliment refusé.

“Eh bien, si nous pouvons vous aider, ” Joseph, le belge ont ri. Chaque pèlerin a pris une et à l’unisson pelés leurs bananes et pris une bouchée.
“J’ai de prendre une photo de ce “, J’ai dit de prendre ma caméra. Ils ont tous hammed it up pour moi et j’ai pensé, ” quelle belle et salubre Camino m’être fait ici de la famille en France. Si je devais prendre cette photo en Espagne, les gars serait levée leurs bières, pas leurs bananes.”

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Plus tard au déjeuner, Joseph m’a montré un en bois, shell sculpté à la main de la taille d’un petit escargot. La coquille, le symbole de St James, qui s’est tenue une histoire spéciale pour Joseph. “Hier, c’était chaud et je voulais quelque chose à boire, et j’ai vu un signe que suit ‘Nene.” Après la marche du signe, j’ai vu un homme dont les vêtements étaient tellement sale. Il avait besoin d’une coupe de cheveux. Normalement je ne donnerais pas arrêter et parler à un tel homme. Mais je voulais quelque chose à boire. ”

” Il s’est assis à une table sur la route. Sur la même table qu’il avait une bouteille de vin rouge, verre à moitié saoul, pain, fromage, il a également recueilli des pièces de machine, vieux bidons d’huile, de bidons d’essence et Rusty outils. La table était sombre et sale et derrière elle, il s’assit dans un fauteuil roulant.”

“Mais le gars a été tellement heureux que dans quelques instants, nous échangions au sujet de nos familles et de vie. J’ai passé 20 minutes avec l’homme. Il m’a dit qu’il avait un travail pour installer le câble électrique élevé partout dans le monde. Mais ensuite, il a eu un accident et ont chuté.

Il revint ici, chez ses parents dans ce petit village. Il m’a dit que c’est son bon plaisir et sa vie pour rester et inviter les pèlerins pour quelque chose à boire et parler avec eux durant leur pèlerinage.”
“Il m’a donné ce shell “, a déclaré Joseph le doigté avec amour. Je lui ai demandé : ” Combien voulez-vous?” “Non, c’est un cadeau”, l’homme dit. Il a été mon premier inhabituelles passe sur le camino.”

“Quand j’ai finalement s’éloigna, à moins de 200 verges de quitter sa place j’avais les larmes aux yeux. “Joseph, ne vous comprenez maintenant pourquoi vous marchez Compostelle?” J’ai entendu. Ce gars m’a ouvert les yeux. Je me demandais pourquoi j’étais sur cette voie. Elle (la raison) pour l’échange avec d’autres EST. Je ne suis pas seule marche le Camino pour moi, mais également pour la communauté que je trouve ici. Je fais partie de ce que fait cette le bonheur de l’homme et il est partie de la mienne.”

08-DAY FOUR Le Sauvage to Aumont-Aubrac (18)800

 

A Table on the Road: Saugues, France

Joseph.Jacob.crop.800Correspondence from the Way on April 30, 2016. Le Puy du Velay (Via Podiensis) to Santiago. Reprinted from Pinewood News.

Today I saw a beautiful young Italian woman laughing at the weather with snowflakes clinging to her dark eyelashes. The flakes were large and falling slowly until the intermittent wind drove them fast into our faces. It’s the last day of April near Le Puy, France, and I didn’t expect snow.

Everytime I’ve brought lightweight gloves to France or Spain to walk one of the ancient pilgrimage routes known best in the US as the Camino de Santiago, I haven’t needed them, so I left them behind. Today I would have loved to have a pair. I kept  telling myself that I really couldn’t get frostbite in 20F-degree weather, but it still didn’t help my numbing fingers.

08-DAY FOUR Le Sauvage to Aumont-Aubrac (10)800

Today I also saw hundreds of yellow daffodils decorating a carpet of grass through which a small, meandering stream flowed. I’d never seen daffodils, called jonquils here in France, in the wild before and the contrast  between the yellow and the green stopped me in my tracks. That was before the snow started on Les Chemins de St Jacques.

08-DAY FOUR Le Sauvage to Aumont-Aubrac (12)800

Later, after the falling snow subsided for awhile, I saw four men in the forest standing, talking and laughing next to a gate in our pathway. It seemed a good spot to stop and talk to the pilgrims who were catching up with us from behind, what with another field of jonquils within sight, this time with their cheery faces turned down towards a bed of snow. Evidently this place had inspired others before us, because scrawled across an otherwise wordless yield sign nearby were the words, “I love mi lyfe.”

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“Would you like a banana?” Pierre offered to each of the other three men and me. It was an awefully big bunch of very long bananas — too much for one man to be carrying in his backpack. “Please, have a banana,” he offered again after each of us had politely declined.

“Well, if we can help you out,” Joseph, the Belgian laughed. Each pilgrim took one and in unison peeled their bananas and took a bite.
“I have to take a picture of this,” I said taking my camera out. They all hammed it up for me and I thought, “What a beautiful and healthful Camino family I have found here in France. If I were taking this photo in Spain, the guys would be lifting their beers, not their bananas.”

07-DAY THREE Sauges to Le Sauvage (17)800

Later at lunch, Joseph showed me a wooden, hand-carved shell the size of a small snail. The scallop shell, the symbol of St James, held a special story for Joseph. “Yesterday, it was hot and I wanted something to drink, and I saw a sign that read ‘NENE.’ After walking to the sign, I saw a man whose clothes were so dirty. He needed a haircut. Normally I would not stop and speak to such a man. But I wanted something to drink.”

“He sat at a table on the road. On the same table that he had a red wine bottle, glass half drunk, bread, cheese, he also collected machine parts, old oil cans, petrol cans and rusty tools. The table was dark and dirty and behind it, he sat in a wheelchair.”

“But the guy was so happy that in a few moments we were exchanging about our families and lives. I spent 20 minutes with the man. He told me that he had a job to install high electric cable all over the world. But then he had an accident and fell.

So he came back here, to his parents’ house in this small village. He told me that it is his pleasure and his life to stay and invite pilgrims for something to drink and talk to them during their pilgrimage.”
“He gave me this shell,” Joseph said fingering it lovingly. I asked him, ‘How much do you want?’ ‘No, it is a gift,’ the man said. It was my first unordinary happening on the Camino.”

“When I finally walked away, within 200 yards of leaving his place I had tears in my eyes. ‘Joseph, do you now understand why you are walking Compostela?’ I heard. This guy opened my eyes. I was wondering why I was on this way. It (the reason) is for exchanging with others. I’m not only walking the Camino for myself but for the community that I find here. I am part of what is making this man’s happiness and he is part of mine.”

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