Before the Departure
“You’re too slow!” my husband waved his head with a desperate look while we did our weekly hiking training.
“That’d be a miracle if you survive from this tour.” my friend said it with a mischievous blink.
“你速度太慢了!” 在一次我們例行的爬山訓練結束前, 我先生搖搖頭, 用一種絕望的眼神看著我.
“如果你能在這次的朝聖之行活下來, 那可真是奇蹟囉.” 我朋友用半開玩笑的口吻這麼調侃我.
This tour is one-of-the-kind to me in many ways.First of all, I had never been a backpacker in my life so far, nor did I ever tried to walk 120km in 6 days in a row- even though this Camino de Portugues has been the easiest option among all pilgrim routes to Santiago Compostela.
Secondly, I never felt so many stresses and worries before any trip as a travel-mania.
的確, 這趟旅行從各方面來看, 對我而言都稱得上是獨一無二.
首先, 雖然這條葡萄牙的朝聖路線, 已經堪稱是所有聖雅各之路當中的入門級. 但我這輩子還沒當過背包客, 更別提擁有六天內連續走完120公里的經驗.
其次, 身為一個樂天派的旅行狂, 從來沒有任何一趟旅行像此行一般, 讓我在出發前感到如此強大的壓力和憂慮.
The movie “The Way” and the book “The Camino” written by Shirley MacClaine inspire this trip.
Camino de Santiago ” is a network of pilgrims’ ways serving pilgrimage to the shine of the apostle Saint James the Great in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where tradition has it that the remains of the saint are buried. ” Many people step on the routes for spiritual growth. For me, it’s just to explore a new destination- very instinctive, without many thoughts.
電影”朝聖之路” 和好萊塢女星莎莉麥克琳的著作 “聖雅各之路” 催生了這趟旅程.
聖雅各之路是數條通往西班牙北部聖雅各大教堂的路徑. 聖雅各是耶穌的十二門徒之一 , 據說他的遺體被埋在這裡. 因此傳統上聖雅各之路被視為朝聖之路. 很多人走上這條路,為的是追求性靈上的成長. 但對我來說, 只是想要探索一個新地方. 所以這趟行程的決定, 很快速, 很隨性, 沒有太多考慮.
However, with more hiking training I had and with the departure date closer, I injured my knees, received all kinds of “concerns” from around. At the end, I even started to doubt if it’s a bad decision. Few days before the departure, a bad flu hit me and released me from all preparations and anxieties. That’s the moment I realised from the universe- just let go and do it!
然而, 隨著出發前愈來愈密集的爬山訓練, 我傷了膝蓋, 也接收到身邊不少或關心或擔心或開玩笑的揶揄, 讓我也越來越懷疑, 到底這是不是個愚蠢而不自量力的決定. 出發前一週, 突如其來的一場感冒, 搞得我整整一個禮拜如同行屍走肉, 虛弱不堪. 我無法有精力擔心, 所有之前的訓練也看似付諸流水. 此刻, 我卻突然明白, 也許老天要我放下一切, 做就對了!
On the Way
♣ Learn to Have Self-Awareness and Let Go
The whole tour is a practice to learn let-go. Starting from the packing. The ideal weight of the backpack is 1/10 of one’s weight. In my case, the packing was all about removing until what remained was the most essential to sustain this trip. Then there are more “practices” on the way. For example, peeing outdoor is a very critical skill yet not any guidebooks even mention it. From feeling embarrassed to calmly accepting this norm, it only takes me half day to develop a strong awareness to my body, sharp instinct to identify a good spot in front, and totally let go my self-esteem, manners (also my pants) and only focus on the moment contributing to the mother earth- with joy and peace in mind.
整趟朝聖之旅都在練習如何放下, 先從打包開始. 最理想的背包重量, 應該是體重的1/10. 以我的狀況來說, 就是不斷的篩選捨棄, 一直到背包裡只剩下最精選的必需品為止. 接著, 這條路上不斷提供機會讓你練習這課題, 在野外解放就是其中一例. 大多數尿急的時刻, 都是前不著店後不著村, 這是極關鍵的求生技巧, 卻沒有任何一本朝聖教戰手冊提到. 但聰慧如我, 只用半日的時間, 就充分領悟到精髓. 首先, 你得傾聽身體的訊息, 一有尿意時, 就要提供警覺, 用高度的直覺偵查四方. 接著, 放下自尊和禮義廉恥. 當關鍵時刻來臨時, 就算不是最佳地點, 也要沈著堅定的卸下褲子, 只要放下一切, 就能享受貢獻大自然的那種怡然平靜.
♣ Go with the Flow
The 2nd day of our walk is the best orientation to the worst possible scenario on the route: 20km walk in non-stop shower- wet, cold, windy- plus hunger and an unbearable knee pain! I’ve been always a believer to self-healing and thus against western medication. Under such desperation, however, I gave up my stubborn, swallowed a panadol and dragged my painful knees to finish the remaining kilometres. The next day, a good rest enlightened me that the walk had to be carried on- same as our life- no matter how the weather or my condition would be. Thus, I surrendered all my insists, learned to manage my pain and face whatever would come in front. I took every chance to breathe in those beautiful colors of big nature while the sun was out, and focused more on my steps while it started to drizzle or pour. We drank and ate like no tomorrow while good food and wine were available. It turned out to be a surprise how easier it was to finish our daily walking target. I guess relaxing one’s mind and going with the flow would be the answer.
開拔的第二天, 老天就為我們示範了這條路上可能發生的最糟狀況: 無止盡傾盆大雨, 又濕又冷風又大的20公里路, 伴隨著飢餓和痛不欲生的膝蓋. 縱使我一向是自然療法的擁護者, 對西藥有諸多抗拒, 也不得不屈服於這片灰澀, 放棄堅持, 吞下止痛藥, 然後繼續拖著疼痛的膝蓋前行. 在一夜好眠後, 我突然了解到, 不管天氣和身體的狀況如何, 這趟路是得繼續走的, 就像人生一樣. 那幹嘛不接受現實? 那一刻起, 我放下許多無謂的堅持, 學習和我的疼痛共處, 並盡量用開放的態度面對一切. 風和日麗時, 我就多欣賞身邊美麗的景色, 盡情拍照, 天公不作美時, 我就專心走路. 有機會享受美食, 就無所顧忌的大口吃飯, 大口喝酒. 就這樣, 突然我發現, 往往在不知不覺中, 就達成了每天的行走目標公里數. 我想, 心無一物, 順勢而為的心態, 應該是最強的推動力.
Coffee and food are the best reward to our hard daily walk. They are super tasty and with amazingly affordable price on this route!
咖啡和美食是每天我們犒賞自己努力走路的獎勵. 此條路線上的咖啡和食物無法想像的物美價廉, 只恨不能賴在這裡就此住下!
♣ The Simple Happiness
Walking on this route makes everything simpler, even one’s expectation to happiness- having a good cup of coffee and meal, passing through beautiful forest trails and country roads with warm sunlight, safely and smoothly arriving the destination of the day. If none of these wishes happened in certain days, we created our own happiness through each encounter on the road- they could be cute farm animals (a pair of geese sang to me in duet while I was taking their pictures; several cats followed us after we gave them good pats!), amazing wild plants or the fresh smell from the grassland after drizzle. Those cheerful pieces enrich and make every moment in the walk memorable.
走在這條路上, 生活變得簡單, 包括對快樂的期望. 吃飽喝足, 走過一片漂亮的森林, 穿越陽光灑落的鄉間, 或者只是平安順利地走完今天這段路, 都能帶來高度滿足感. 如果不巧某些日子裡, 這些好事都沒發生, 那就看路上會遇到什麼, 來自得其樂一番. 我特別喜歡一路上相遇的農場動物, 有兩隻鵝在我拍照時, 對著我來了一段水準極高的二重唱; 只要來一手按摩, 我就能拐騙路上的小貓, 讓他們心甘情願地跟我走一段路. 而路邊那些極力綻放的花朵, 以及雨後清新的草地和樹根味, 這些片段 都刻畫而豐富了我每天的旅程.
♣ We are all Passengers to Each Other’s Life
People on the way complete our story. Some impresses us for their pleasant personality and interesting life; others fuss us for misunderstanding or behavior we can’t agree on. Yet we could play the same role to others too at the end of the day. Therefore, I learn to stay at the present and take less seriously about what had happened- good or bad. We lose, we gain, then all will be gone anyway. Isn’t it?!
這條路上遇到的人, 當然也完整了我們的故事. 有些人志同道合, 他們和善的個性和有趣的故事為我們短暫的相遇增色不少; 有些人則或許是語言和文化上的誤解, 和我們不太歡樂的擦身而過. 然而, 投緣或不合, 來來去去的人生, 有時我們吃點虧, 有時拿到多點甜頭, 加加減減, 最後都是歸零. 想通這點後, 不管遇到什麼, 我都試著活在當下, 事後不放心上.
We bumped into this German couple by random everyday but we never exchanged names. The husband told us that it’s their second walk on Camino de Santiago. Therefore, they would like this time to be more relaxing- just enjoy what happened on the road without caring much how many kilometres they can walk everyday.
我們每天都在路上和這對德國夫妻不期而遇, 卻從不知道對方姓名. 在一次的攀談中, 德國先生說, 這是他們第二次走聖雅各之路, 有了上次的經驗後, 這次他們打算輕鬆走, 只享受走路的過程, 不去在意每天走多遠.
These passionate Romanian ladies traveled in a group of 13, yet each member walked on their own pace and the group only met at checking points. They are friendly and super talkative, insist that we shall visit Romania one day. When being asked what the first thing to do after arrival Santiago Compostela, they said, “to have hair and nail done!” They do know how to enjoy life:)
這些熱情的羅馬尼亞姐姐們, 一行十三人一起走這條聖雅各之路 ,但每個組員都可以依照自己的步調自行離開或者休息, 到下個休息點再碰面. 姐姐們友善又健談, 堅持我們有朝一日一定要到羅馬尼亞旅遊. 當談到抵達聖雅各城後想做的第一件事, 她們說, 先去做頭髮和指甲, 把自己打扮得漂漂亮亮. 真是愛死她們這種懂得享受生活的態度!
♣ What Meant to be is Meant to be
A scallop shell (an iconic symbol to guide pilgrims on Camino de Santiago) I’ve been looking for since the beginning of the trip only showed up in the middle of our tour while we had given up searching it!
這個貝殼是朝聖者皆會佩戴的, 它象徵指引朝聖者一路平安到目的地. 從我們出發前, 我就遍尋這貝殼, 但始終不見蹤影. 開走後幾天, 完全沒掛住這件事了, 結果貝殼自己找到我.
The famous Botafumeiro ceremony (the swinging of thurible) in Cathedral Santiago is the most expected to pilgrims yet also the most mysterious- no one knows when it happens out of those solemnities unless someone requests it specially (very rare as it’s expensive!) We stupidly missed it on our arrival despite that we were only few steps away. Without holding any hope to the pilgrim mass the next day (something stopped us from participating an earlier one as planned), we witnessed the miracle at the end thanks to the special donation from a faithful group! Watching the swinging censor (weighted 53kg) being pulled up by 8 strong men, dispensing clouds of incense in the air with the beautiful singing in the background, I was touched and felt all the tiredness was paid back!
完成朝聖之行後, 在聖雅各大教堂, 除了彌撒, 就屬這知名的盪香儀式最受大多數朝聖者期待. 但除了一些特別的節日及週五晚上之外, 其他日子要見到, 就得靠信眾大筆捐獻, 但實在價格不菲, 所以真得看緣分. 我們是週五下午抵達聖雅各城, 但因為某些愚蠢的理由, 雖然人近在咫尺, 卻還是錯過了這特別的儀式. 不解, 自責, 也只能放話下次再來走一次一定不錯過. 第二天原本計畫參加早上彌撒, 也因為一些莫名其妙的原因耽擱, 搞到只能參加中午場, 卻沒想到當天因為有顯赫團體的出席和贊助, 結尾竟然上映了難得的盪香儀式! 看著接近60kg的香爐, 在八個大男人的合作下飛盪空中, 空氣中瀰漫著好聞的聖香味, 伴隨莊嚴的聖歌, 我不禁喜極而泣, 此行所有的疲憊和辛苦, 在此刻一切都值得了!
All the stamps on my pilgrim passport mark my steps on this route. My instinct has the tendency to always guide me to somewhere exotic or adventurous. If I have to share what the gains are in these trips, that may be the chance to understand myself and life more clearly through several encounters in unfamiliar contexts. That’s why I love to refresh/recharge myself through travelling, and that’s the meaning of travelling to me!
朝聖者護照上的戳記, 記錄了我在聖雅各之路的每一步. 每次的旅行我多半靠直覺決定去哪, 而直覺總帶我去探索和自己生長背景完全不同的地方. 如果一定要分享這些旅行帶給我什麼收穫, 我會說, 透過在異鄉抽離自我的邂逅, 能更深刻的看清自己和生命的本質. 這是為什麼我需要靠旅行充電, 這對我來說, 就是旅行的意義!