Our Walk & Write tours aren’t just for writers – they are for anyone wanting to unlock their creativity and purpose. Led by author and journalist Stephanie Dale, these unique adventure writing tours offer a productive ‘time out’ from everyday life. Sue Gunningham joined the April 2018 Walk & Write Camino and put this blog post together for us about her experience.
A writer’s block of monumental proportions requires an innovative solution. Hence I found myself walking 4-5 hours a day along cobbled lanes and bush tracks that wound around century-old stone-cottages and farmhouses on Spain’s Camino track.
Wandering with my musings between moss-covered dry-stone walls reminiscent of the pathway to a fairy dell, and then on through forests with leafy arms lifted in prayer, offered a possible solution.
For eight days, under the watchful eye of author Stephanie Dale, I joined a small group of aspiring writers to walk the Pilgrim’s trail from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela.
Mornings began with a workshop to focus us on ‘the story within’, to help us target the muse and encourage us to listen hard to the words our psyche was urging us to write.
I participated willingly, listened, breathed, walked and mused. And slowly, a crack appeared in my reticence, and my story began to emerge.
Each morning, walking pole in hand, my stride became more enthusiastic.
‘Buen Camino,’ I called out more sincerely to friendly pilgrims and villagers en route.
A four-hour walk followed by a couple of hours’ writing in a coffee shop or bar was exhilarating.
Then transportation to luxury accommodation – a magnificently restored centuries-old miller’s cottage, a nobleman’s house or a restored village hospital complete with chapel. Each accommodation was more amazing than the last – four poster beds, open fires, sherry decanters, Spanish cakes and views of lush green rolling hills and stone bridges.
With each day my slumbering secrets awakened and by journey’s end I had scaled the walls of my writer’s block – my story was laid bare.
At the Pilgrim’s Mass held at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela on the last day, having walked 118 kilometres, I sat smiling, renewed and joyful.
‘Este ce mi Camino’ – This is my Camino.
>> Next Walk & Write Camino departure: 8 April.
>> Next Walk & Write the Francigena Way, Italy: 23 September.