Sunday, 8 December 2013


I seem to have turned into a "junkie", constantly in need of a Camino  fix. Relentlessly, I look at maps and photos, plan routes, talk to other pilgrims and just generally fantasize about a new Camino experience. I know I am not alone with this type of behaviour, well, at least I have convinced myself of that.
Of course this affects my song writing, and more than just a little. Below is a list of the 12 tracks which will more than likely come together as Steeltown Pilgrim Vol. 2, probably early in the spring, 2014. I have added a brief note to point out the "Camino connection" of each song.

Camino Sunset
written for and to my dearest  fellow pilgrim, the one who introduced me to the Camino.

Hello, Spanish Love
written, as promised, for a new friend and pilgrim while at Tapia de Casariego on El Norte.

Storm In Muxia
Galician mythology, geology, justice, love and more--song written partially in Muxia, finished up in Steeltown.

If You Ever Feel The Way I Do
about my longing for a woman who was walking El Norte while I was home and very much alone.

Fly With Me Angelina
inspired by a conversation with a young lady on the Camino Portuguese.

Bring Me One More Bottle, Senorita
came up with the title on Camino Frances-song written entirely on El Norte a year later

Big Max, Indy And The Preacher from Wyoming
inspired by my two pilgrim friends and our bizarre encounter with the "Preacher from Wyoming" on El Norte.

Where Are You, Lost Love?
written for and to a fellow pilgrim, the one who introduced me to the Camino.

Carmen By The Sea
written entirely on El Norte  for Carmen.

Who We Are
the "we" is me and my dearest Camino friend--written in Steeltown.

Song For Angel
written about a woman I met on El Norte - written about four months after I came home.

Fall So Far
wrote this on a hiking trip is northern Ontario while my ailing Camino friend was resting indoors.

Well, there you have it. My addiction now calls--- think I'll go chat a bit on The Camino Santiago Forum ( Thanks for listening,
peace, love

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Camino Guitar

     I wanted to write a new song or two, so I decided I was going to bring a guitar on the Camino Frances in 2012. I didn't really have a travel guitar but I managed to find an inexpensive Yamaha which was small sized, sounded decent  and yet, was lightweight enough to haul around for 800k. It wouldn't fit on my backpack, at least comfortably, so I planned just to carry it in the regular manner. I contemplated giving it away once I arrived in Santiago.

     Things went smoothly at first, at least until I hit heavy rain just before Pamplona. After finding refuge in a small cafe, I opened  up the wet soft shell case to discover the guitar too was also getting wet. Not good! Miraculously, the woman who ran the cafe came to my rescue with a clear, heavy duty plastic bag from her back room. It was perfect--it could hold the entire guitar with case. All I had to do was tie up the end. Problem solved.
      Besides its intended purpose, and a few good singsongs, the guitar came in handy for the odd photo--like this "Abbey Road" shot  atop the Alto del Perdon :

     I had a bit of a misadventure at the red wine fountain about an hour out of Estella. Like any good pilgrim, I had a taste of this free wine. I chatted for a few minutes then left, feeling much invigorated and much lighter. It wasn't until I had walked 2-3k that I realized I was feeling so light because I had forgot my guitar! I panicked, raced back, and found it right where I had placed it--on top of a garbage can--good thing it wasn't garbage day.
     Carrying the guitar the entire distance never really bothered me at all, though it was often awkward, especially on high winds days. In a vicious storm during my descent to Triacastela, it was all I could do to hang on to it--there were some very desperate moments, but "we" survived.
     I would not necessarily recommend carrying a guitar, but overall for me, it was a success. In fact, I brought it again on El Norte in the spring, 2013. The names of all the villages and towns I slept in on both caminos now adorn the front of this guitar: El Norte in blue, Frances in black.

     And I will no doubt bring it again on my next camino--more  memories, more names.  So it should come as no surprise that I'm quite attached to it now. Soooo, about that idea of giving it away in Santiago?-- sorry, not happening.
     And besides carrying it, I do play the thing once in a while. This, a vino inspired  performance near Sarria: