My Camino: Claude Tranchant
Claude Tranchant found a career as an author after walking the Camino after she left her burdens on the Way.
Name of pilgrim
Where are you from?
Why did you decide to walk the Camino?
After many coincidences, synchronicities and signs posts, I realized that I have to walk this pilgrimage. I did not know why. I just knew I had to walk it, though I had never trekked before. I discovered “why” I had to walk it along the way.
Which Camino did you walk and when?
In 2010, I started my first Camino on my 64th birthday from Vezelay, a small vilage, in the Northern Central in France. It took me eight weeks to reach Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port. Then I climbed the Pyrenees along the Napoléon route and followed the Camino Francés to Santiago. Once in Santiago I kept on walking to Finisterre and finished my pilgrimage 100 days later at Muxia.
If you have walked the Camino more than once why?
After my first Camino, a friend of mine suggested I write about my journey. Boots to Bliss was published in 2012. The success of Boots to Bliss lead me to walk the Camino a second time. After it was published, I was invited to do some presentations. In 2015, I participated in a Q and A for the movie Six Ways to Santiago. Later, I organized and launched two Camino movies in Australia: Looking for Infinity: El Camino, World at Arms’ Length. In 2017, I was approached by Fergus Grady who asked me if I could be part of a movie/documentary: Camino Skies which was launched in 2019.
If you have walked more than one Camino route, what were they and why?
First time: 2010, Vezelay, Northern Central France to Muxia at the age of 64. Second time: 2018, with the Camino Skies’ film group from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Santiago, and then alone from Finisterre to Muxia. As I arrived in Muxia I decided to walk back to Santiago along the Dumbria Path. Once back to Santiago I walked a small section on the Portuguese Way from Hebon to Santiago. I covered about 1,100 km (685 miles) at the age of 72.
What was your highlight?
In 2010, I had many highlights. The one which could be the most relevant would be. After walking 100 days I arrived in Muxia, and climbed my last mountain: Mount Corpino. At the top of Mount Corpino, I had to perform one last act. I had to make peace with men, I had to release the pain and I had to forgive, for without forgiveness, my new route would never open and I would not be able to walk it freely.
Has the experience changed you in anyway?
Absolutely, I returned a free woman. I had left my burdens along the way. I had grown and I returned anew. I was a changed woman, believing in herself and her own strength.
Why should someone walk the Camino?
This is a very individual question with individual reasons. Everyone one walks the Camino for his or her personal reasons. This pilgrimage is very cathartic, as we all face challenges through the course of your lives. One might walk it for spiritual reasons. The reasons are yours, yours only.
What advice would you give anyone who is thinking of walking the Camino?
If your dream is to walk the Camino, do it. Age is irrelevant. I have been volunteering in palliative care (end of life) and in cancer wards for the past 14 and 15 years in two different hospitals. I can’t volunteer now because of the COVID-19 virus. I learned a lot talking and listening to the patients. Their biggest regret is not to have done this or done that. Do not wait to be on your death, have no regret If you cannot achieve what you had planned. It is alright, at least you have tried: no regret.
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