Wednesday, February 17, 2010



Continue walking toward the east. A former pimp gives up everything and decides to shelter pilgrims who adventure out in winter and summer, in the fall and in springtime. Little by little he begins to approach sanctity. The roof of his hostel was donated by Saint Joseph.

Work there for a day. Shelter those who need shelter and care for those who are in need of care.

Your image with this man is the fifth test. The image of someone you took care of is also the fifth test.

Because we had started mapping out or journey and the tests we knew ahead like Montserrat and Sos del Catholico and where we had come from by process of illumination we could see that somewhere between Foncebadon and Sos del ray Catholico would be the site. At The Phoenix hostel they had also guided us a little in the right direction so to speak as we could not work out who the pimp could be and where Saint Joseph had donated the hostel.

We arrived the car journey was hilarious wandering the pimp how he had got here what he would look like what we could ask him. We arrived and he was very different to how we imagined a roaring fire lit the room and black and white picture if Paulo on the wall in the same place in Santigo de Comptela we had sat 4 days before. I feel so privileged to be on this journey to be seeing the sites I am and meeting the people that I am.

Also to be reading his books and life’s works I read a small biography of his life before I left to start this journey.

I will insert an extract from wiki that may give you a little background on his life and may help you understand why I find him so interesting!:

Paulo Coelho was born in Rio de Janeiro Brazil. He attended a Jesuit school. As a teenager, Coelho wanted to become a writer. Upon telling his mother this, she responded with "My dear, your father is an engineer. He's a logical, reasonable man with a very clear vision of the world. Do you actually know what it means to be a writer?"

After researching, Coelho concluded that a writer "always wears glasses and never combs his hair" and has a "duty and an obligation never to be understood by his own generation," amongst other things. At 17, Coelho's introversion and opposition to following a traditional path led to his parents committing him to a mental institution from which he escaped three times before being released at the age of 20.

Coelho later remarked that "It wasn't that they wanted to hurt me, but they didn't know what to do... They did not do that to destroy me, they did that to save me."

At his parents' wishes, Coelho enrolled in law school and abandoned his dream of becoming a writer. One year later, he dropped out and lived life as a hippie, traveling through South America, North Africa, Mexico, and Europe and becoming immersed in the drug culture of the 1960s. Upon his return to Brazil, Coelho worked as a songwriter, composing lyrics for Elis Regina, Rita Lee, and Brazilian icon Raul Seixas. Composing with Raul led to Paulo being associated with satanism and occultism, due to the content of some songs. In 1974, Coelho was arrested and tortured for "subversive" activities by the ruling military government, who had taken power ten years earlier and viewed his lyrics as left-wing and dangerous.

In 1986, Coelho walked the 500-plus mile Road of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain, a turning point in his life. On the path, Coelho had a spiritual awakening, which he described autobiographically in The Pilgrimage. In an interview, Coelho stated "[In 1986], I was very happy in the things I was doing. I was doing something that gave me food and water -- to use the metaphor in The Alchemist, I was working, I had a person who I loved, I had money, but I was not fulfilling my dream. My dream was, and still is, to be a writer." Coelho would leave his lucrative career as a songwriter and pursue writing full-time.

My favourite quote from Paulo is:

"The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times."

We did not stay there the night we shared stories and asked about his life where he had come from in Brazil and why he moved back but he seemed a private man and I think I should keep those stories to myself.

We started driving again out of the town which had 3 cars and lots of curtain twitchers uneasy by our presence.

We knew that for the next test we need to be in Sos del ray Catholico and that was around 150km so we decided that after a night on a top bunk and that we really had not spent much money over the last 5 days we have been making our sandwiched freshly in the mornings with fresh bread and Spanish ham and cheese with tomatoes and for breakfast having cereal and bananas. So we decided to treat ourselves to a hotel a romantic valentines dinner out and well WHEN IN RIOJA DRINK RIOJA AND DRINK WE DID! NOT JUST RIOJA I HASTEN TO ADD!!!! And Gin, whisky, vodka and rum ohhhhhhhhhhh and the tequila shots! The pilgrims almost got pitch forked our of town let me tell you.

No comments:

Post a Comment