So here I am in Vancouver, barely off the plane, and I've already talked to two pilgrim groups and one public library crowd. Saturday's Victoria gathering offered a full day of Camino info and lore (and a great paella lunch) thanks to the organizational prowess of Wendy Loly and a high-powered team of volunteers.
In Surrey on Sunday (nice ring to that), Leigh Anderson made us feel like we were sitting around his rec-room with his cheery, easygoing style. But the best part of both gatherings was the breaks, when pilgrims and pilgrims-to-be mixed and mingled, sharing advice and stories and wishing each other well on their future big walks. Thanks to everyone for making me welcome, and giving me a chance to escape Toronto's Never-ending Winter of 2008.
Hats off too to Ben Cole, co-author with his partner Bethan Davies of some super guide books and maps of the Camino. His talk on the Via de la Plata almost convinced me that it would be great fun to spend a few weeks walking thirty-five kilometers a day in 45 degree heat. (Or was it forty-five kilometres in 35 degree heat?) Nearly got me, Ben.
And then tonight, a sterling audience of a hundred-or-so on a rainy Monday at Vancouver Public Library. Thank you to librarian and peregrina Janice Douglas. I tell you, I'm likin' this west coast!