Thursday, June 7, 2012

Camino Day 1 of Eddie and Emilene

(Karin posting) :
(Sonja and Karin recently with Johnny on the left)

Today is the first day of Emilene and Eddie's Camino - and Sonja and I have been peering at maps and generally wondering how they are doing and trying to imagine and picture them with their backpacks, what they are encountering, whether they set off without hiccups and if the weather is good because here in our hometown at the tip of South Africa, it has been a cold, miserable, wet and windy day.

The first bit of good news to cheer us up on this cold and dreary day was this article that was published in our local newspaper, The District Mail  about Sonja and her fighting spirit (veggees) despite her battle with MSA, as well as our dear friends who have, as part of their personal pilgrimage, undertook to also walk for Sonja and creating MSA Awareness along their journey.  The timing was perfect, as it appeared today, the day that the first pilgrims, Eddie and Emilene, set off from from

Emilene Ferreira, Eddie Waring, Susan Albertyn, Karin Holtzhausen and Sonja van Rhyn
photograph by District Mail

After responding to numerous emails and facebook messages and sending encouraging messages to fellow MSA sufferers and/or their loved ones (she does this on a daily basis), Sonja has now retired into a more relaxing position, close to me and tucked snugly under a blanket in her 'lazygirl' as she calls it, and I am tweaking the Blog here and there and also searching for suitable maps and links in general. Despite the TV flickering in the background - our chatter revolves around the Camino walkers.

We are hoping to hear from them to hear that all is good. This map shows the journey they tackled today.

St Jean to Roncesvalles.

Much later .....Soon after midnight I received a message from Emilene to say that Eddie and herself had survived the first day - also known as the toughtest part of Camino.   According to an informative site,, it appears to be quite a challenge:   "The route from St Jean is steep, very steep and climbs from 200 metres above sea level to just above 1,400 meters then head right back down again into Roncesvalles at 900 metres, which can be very hard going on your knees and shins."

Eddie and Emilene about to set off.  Note custom-made MSA emblems attached to backbacks for good visibility.  

An extract of her email:

"Hi everyone!!
I made it across the Pyrenees! Eddie and I hiked from St Jean Pied du Port to Roncesvalles today - the most difficult day on the camino, we did it in 7 and a half hours. We are both feeling great - I taped my left foot with the special tape that the foot doctor recommended, works like a bomb!
So far we have stayed in two of the best alburgues on the camino, the one we´re in tonight is in an OLD building with three floors but it is brand new inside as it was renovated 1 year ago.  Stunning place!
I was able to sit with my TIRED feet in a ice cold river after we got here - heaven!"

So glad that things are going well.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for writing this post Karin! And for all the many hours you spend tweaking this blog. Too often you have to take the back seat on this crazy journey, but my dear friend without your help NONE of these projects would have come of the ground. Thank you for your love, support and for giving me wings! Lots of love, Sonja


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