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Camino pilgrimage

Written by Taco, EVS volunteer

Community life can come to be a quite intense experience. Living with ten to fourteen people in the same spaces everyday is not always easy. Waking up every morning with an 8 month old baby screaming out her joy of life is beautiful but that can not be you’re state of mind all the time.
Anyway, for multiple reasons I needed to take some time for myself. Also, having hosted Sylvain Griot, who left Portugal several months ago on a cycle trip around Europe, revived in me the crave for adventure. So I left by foot with camping material some fruit, buckwheat polpete, a hat and a walking stick. Greeting some people working in the garden, I passed by the chicken house and left into nature. Walking across forests and meadows towards Brezovica. The feeling to walk on my
own two feet, carrying the necessary for survival until the next day at least is for me such a great feeling. Freedom, at last!
Living in a community makes me question many things: my position in the group, my contribution to the functioning of the place, my responsibilities, etc. And in many ways I am dependent on others for the roof, food and heating I can enjoy. These question also come up as one of the goals of this permaculture project is self-sufficiency. Independence to the outside world. The first step is thus independence and the next interdependence. Scales and metaphors.
The idea was thus to hitchhike into Croatia but soon got confronted with a Sunday traffic flow. Also, border crossings are often tricky, certainly in and out of the Schengen area. So I walked the first afternoon along the road towards Motovun, passing by Oprtalj. The backpack being quite heavy, I moved slowly along the road. With me I carried a book of Satish Kumar titled Earth Pilgrim. The author himself made a pilgrimage (without any money) across the world from India to all the four nuclear power centres (Russia, France, UK, USA) to demand peace.
The author considers a pilgrim a person that is aware of the interconnected nature of the universe and her or his place as part of the whole. According to him, the opposite of a pilgrim would be a tourist that is only interested in the destination. A
pilgrim sees the destination in every step she or he makes. It is with this spiritual inspiration that I walked slowly but mindfully.

The doors were open

The first destination was an abandoned house in the hill slope towards Livade. After a long night with loud carnival celebrations in the valley, I woke up with the first light coming through the glassless windows accompanied by a fresh breeze and some ivy. I continued my journey walking in the direction of Motovun. The first place I wanted to go see was Pazin, the main town in the centre of Istria but my holiday was led by freedom and serendipity. Indeed, the first car that stopped was a lawyer on his way to
Rovinj on the west coast. This friendly man told me that his destination was a much more interesting place for me to visit than Pazin. Leaving me in the harbour, I soon found out I hadn’t been misguided. The city of Rovinj lays along a beautiful sea facing an island. The view of this island had something wonderful. Laying there fix in the middle of an ever moving landscape. Caught in between a reflection.

To be continued

Crveni otok Rovinj