Fridays of Bureau Chiefs: Today from the east coast of Spain

A pict from my new home (Valencia, Spain)

Dear all,

If I apologize one more time for not keeping the consistency on writing and then failing again, I will lost the 0,001% credibility I had remaining! So instead of that, I will write about me and these times I am living.

Yesterday, Thursday 9th of June it was 3 months since I put a foot in Spain to consider it “home” moving forward…  “3 months” of this new project growing in my soul and mind and heart, and probably this is why I am feeling more comfortable sharing about it. Some of you know that this has been a long LONG road that started actually in 2019 before the pandemic, was on hold during the pandemic, and then had a million of obstacles even until the day before I had my ticket, until it finally happened.

I never thought of living in Spain. I always thought I would love to live in another country at least for some time, and I actually lived in Brazil for 1 year and a bit in 2004-2005 when married; and when I divorced, I thought it was the time to do it, but I come from the culture of  “you have a career”, “you have to stay close to the family”, “you have to have a house” and my rules compliant personality made me worked like crazy in my job and a private practice, live as simple as possible to save money to buy my tiny apartment, and dedicated most of the time to spend with my nephews who were very young and my uncle and aunt. When the wish to move rekindled again,  my uncle passed and my aunt after 60 years with my uncle as a partner in life, needed support, so she moved in with me. Then I blinked and her cognitive health declined and she was the one in need of a caregiver now, and well, again some years went by…

Few of you knew that days before going to the Veranda in 2019, my life was turned upside down. Both for decisions I had to make and for the reactions and long lasting (still now) ripples these decisions had. I came back from the Veranda to a new life at home also, but also with lots of work that I had set aside for that month, a working trip to Poland and friends from England coming to stay with me. I blinked and the pandemic started.

The rest, is how this post started… and long LONG long road, but maybe it is like the Camino… that the way starts once we arrive to Santiago… so maybe this is why it is so significative for me to be here today, one day after the “3 months” timemark, just in case there was any risk of miscarriage.

The first time I travelled my myself was in September 2011 when I walked the Camino from Leon to Santiago. In the train from Madrid to Leon, I flipped the book I was reading -The Elephant Journey, from Jose Saramago-, and for the first time I realized what was written on the cover (obviously since the day I bought the book!!!)… it read: “You always arrive where you are expected (The book of the itineraries)”.

We all know what means to arrive to Santiago Loves,



On a day like today in 2015…

It seems that Phil was being Phil and Rebecca was coping with Phil being Phil…


Dear Caminoheads,

I am sure you know what I am talking about, right? Those of us who were super lucky to spend some time with both of them together, know that sooner or later, they would have exchanges like the one of the post below… It is so nice to bring Phil back to mind and imagine him telling “his vision” of what was needed and “his plan” to make it happen… and it is equally nice to think of Rebecca sitting in the hammock in the deck, doing “palm face” emoji, and rolling her eyes, expressing the best of the best of Rebecca’s sense of humor…

Nothing else to say, just a bit of what was going on at the ranch 7 years ago for you to understand!

Just be yourself Loves,



Post below was written by Phil/Felipe/The Boss/The General and reposted by Cris


Bambi Versus The Felipe Scarcrow

Just a little drama here at Phil’s Camino.  Can Felipe keep the deer out of the corn long enough so that it can be big enough where it won’t be tender enough for them any more?   😳😳😳😳  How can Felipe have his corn and sunflowers, to remind walkers of Spain, if it’s all chewed down to the dang ground.  😁😁😁😁!   But it’s been four nights now that there is no damage due to deployment of Felipe the Scarecrow, Felipe thinks.  😃😃😃😃.   Check out the pic.  Felipe’s Rebecca thinks this is dang silly.  ☺️☺️☺️☺️.

He looks whimpy but he's not. 😉
He looks whimpy but he’s not. 😉
Bambi in Felipe's Rebecca's flowers instead of Felipe's corn. 😄
Bambi in Felipe’s Rebecca’s flowers instead of Felipe’s corn. 😄


On the 8th of June of 2019…

Phil/Felipe/The Boss/The General wrote the below.

And what a joy to be able to log in today, and hopefully to be able to make this post “alive”, and hopefully to “keep walking” as Phil wanted us to do here, with our heads in the Camino.

We have been facing some challenges with the blog, and we have been trying to be as careful as possible so as not to lose all that Phil created here, but the website needs serious updates as it is leaving a huge amount of holes for malware and right now all we have is a temp fix (which means, something like my computer now wears a mask when comes to visit the blog, but the blog is still infected). Yet, today is an important day for me… 3 months ago I was on my own in Buenos Aires International airport waiting for the flight that would take me here. Today, other things happened too, but more tomorrow, as the important thing today is to read what Phil was reflecting on our behalf 3 years ago.

I miss him.

I miss you all too.

Joy and missing others coexisting loves,



Post below was written by Phil and re-posted by Cris.


All happening on Vashon Island this weekend!

The sun is out and I have to get out in the corn. Maybe fertilize today. But first to be with you. Everything pretty much going along well where you are?

We had Bible Guys class this morning. I was in Orlando last weekend so I missed it but not a problem as there is nothing really to miss in a sense. You jump back in the flow of it and off you go. We had seven guys show up this morning. I think that we have twelve that come total but they are never there all at once. It always reminds me of the twelve apostles in that we are in some ways so alike and in other ways all so different. Again, a motley crew for Jesus.

We are supposed to be studying the Bible chapter by chapter but occasionally we fall into a conversational mode that leads us astray. We try and try to hold to the line but it was one of those days where every question spawns another. And that is what I am calling the flip side. We need the structure and discipline of the study but we also need to do whatever else comes out of that.

But ultimately it is all fun and I always miss it when I can’t make it for some reason. I remember when I was younger and I was talking to an older friend that said that he had been going to a class for nine years and I was amazed at that. But now I have been going for at least fifteen years to this one, time flies for me.

And here at Phil’s Camino we do a lot of flip side work as we walk and tapa along. We tend to talk out a lot of questions that come up in our lives. That is what I meant one time, “that we figure things out”. Somehow we manage to whittle out little building blocks that we can fit into our story to make sense of this or this. Nothing earthshaking but nonetheless vital in keeping things going in our journey. We seem to keep moving inspite of the standard obstacles.

This whole thing I realize is slightly on the vague side today but hmmm what to do? Maybe tomorrow things will be more in focus, that happens. The important thing is to get something done today even is it isn’t complete.

We have the Sheepdog Trials happening on Vashon this weekend and people come from hither and yon to watch. It is a crazy time when our population doubles. I’m going to hunker down at the ranch and wait for it to blow over.

Hither and yon loves, Felipé.

On a 21st of April 2015…

I discovered that our Catherine and Dana were here… already baptised as pilgrims…!!!!


Dear Caminoheads,

Following Ryck’s, I closed my eyes and pointed to a year, and 2015 came up. I looked at the 21st post, and… here it was this lovely gift… A sweet memory is always a gift… and memories from the Camino, and especially when they come like images from the early foggy mornings, the shared meals, and the sounds of conversations we had, they are not just a gift, but the best gift ever!

This is what Catherine sent to Phil 7 years ago, and what Phil shared with us… I feel privileged to be able to repost it again!

Thank you Catherine and Dana!!! We LOVE you!!!


Pilgrims loves,



Posted by Phil/Felipe/The Boss/The General, reposted by Cris


Here are some Meseta pics fresh in from the gals:

Here's a pic!
Here’s a pic!
Even though I don't know these people this is my personal vision of heaven right here.
Even though I don’t know these people this is my personal vision of heaven right here.

The miles roll by. I write you every day as I walk but when we get somewhere with “wee fee” the vino comes out, conversations start, and well, you know how it is. All wonderous. Covered over 200 miles of amazing country and great souls. Good humans and one fine dog. Think of you every day. Buen Camino!
Dana and Catherine

On a 20th of April 2020…

Dear Caminoheads,

Phil/Felipe/The Boss/The General wrote the post below… (I have pictures from William also, sent on the same date he sent these ones to Phil 2 years ago and I was going to post them today… but then it got late here -just got off the phone for a work call- and Phil has been in my mind the whole day (Rebecca’s fault!!! She said Phil had a present for me and that is all I could think about!!!!) and so I went to see what Phil had posted on a day like today…

And it was a present…

I don’t know about you, but I needed to remind the below… Thank you Phil! You keep doing it!!!


Everywhere loves,




The below was written by Phil/Felipe/The Boss/The General; pictures by William, our Canadian Bureau Chief; reposted by Cris

One of my original nurses at the Institute whose idea it was for me to write a blog sent in a comment on yesterday’s post. It was calling for more moments of beauty in her life to push aside the “intrusion” even if just temporarily. And as synchronistically as possible William our CCBC picks today to send in a bunch of wildflower pics. I think I will just put them up and call things good.


Thank you Bonnie for expressing a need and thank you William for doing what you do just naturally. We can buoy each other.

happy Monday loves, Felipé.

The “Calima”

Granada, with an orange tan.


Dear Caminoheads,

Thank you all for the stoicism! What a cool thing to post after so long and get comments! You made my day!!!

I had something interesting to share with you from my vacation time; maybe you already knew it, but to me, it was an unknown fact although it is a pretty obvious thing when stopping a minute to think about it. There is a phenomenon called “Calima”, it is a meteorological phenomenon characterised by the presence of sand, dust and clay and at times also ashes in the atmosphere  and the environment becomes “opaque”.

Here in Spain, and mostly in the south, it is the product of a storm in the Sahara. When on vacation in Granada, in addition to experience rain to no end, we experienced a Calima. At first, I thought the soil in Granada was clay like and the red color everywhere was coming from it, but I had been in Granada before and the red clay soil was not a memory I had. We stayed in Granada 3 days and the 3 days we complained about the red-dirt in our shoes and trousers, but what was odd was that our jackets, raincoats and our hair too had red spots… Then, the last day, walking under the rain in search of a gluten-free bakery for my friend to get some goodies, the mystery was solved: we stopped in a newspaper shop to shelter from the rain and the cover of the newspaper was announcing: “El Sahara en España” (The Sahara in Spain) and I kept reading the news and then it was when I learned that with a dust storm in Africa and a Southern wind, the Sahara sky relocates to Spain.

It was a cool thing to see, and to think about; it made me realize how close I am from places I was so far away before, and it also makes me think how interconnected we are, how true it is that the minimal event in one place affects all the rest of the world… People in Granada were not happy… the owners of white cars and houses painted in white were the most unhappiest of all! In my case, it was helpful to make the decision that my Nike shoes needed a replacement. And definitely, it made me realize that nature is way more smart than any filters…


Orange loves,


There is a time for every thing under the sun…

Busy Spanish night (Ph by me)


Dear Caminoheads,

Thank you all for your patience while this blog has been literally unattended by this Caminoheads Bureau Chief… I feel terrible for not posting as Phil used to, but also, I feel I am not betraying his trust because Phil knew about my move to Spain, he was so happy when I told him, and he was the one suggesting me to take a “Sprain break” (not sure if that is what he thought the word should be written, but makes sense as it was all about a “Spring break as I moved to Spain” despite the medical meaning!)


The reality also is that I needed time for myself; I stayed away from social media, have stayed away from the phone for instant messengers and chats as much as I could, and have tried to focus on exploring how is that I feel doing this transition… With a very busy job (and some changes that have made things more complicated than what they already were), I have not been successful at exploring that question… yet, there are a few things that I can already tell: life has a different pace here, it is slower, maybe it is slower because Spain has mostly aged population and low birth rate, whatever is the reason, this pace goes more with my personality… I cannot do things fast; I am a walker, not a runner. And talking about walking, here all is walking distance if you have the time. It is lovely to see the older people walking at “their” pace… which not only is the result of “physical limitations”… it is who they are too…


But, there is a time for everything under the sun, and today sounded like a good time to resume my duties here as the working week starts after the Easter extended Bank Holiday (we have had off Thursday, Friday and Monday) and after these, there are no more BH until June, and let me tell you: if I should grade Spanish people attitude to have fun and make the most of the days off work, 95% of them got a 10/10 (or A+++++++)… there are certainly lots of tradition around the religious celebration, but also, there is a sense of family and friends gathering that I love… like being back in time when my grandparents, my uncle and aunt, some of those distant relatives they were friends with, would come for Easter and the days used to be like this: religious, tradition and gathering around the table… Likely, it is also true that there was a moment for that under the sun and these days, it is time for something else…

Well, I guess I will figure as I go, right? Just have to follow the yellow arrows!

Hope you had a nice Easter wherever you are and plans were! Thank you for being here!

Buen Camino loves (in Spanish!)






and going a bit more south…

The Camino is everywhere


Dear Caminoheads,


Today, the trip continued to Lorca, Murcia. The only reason we stopped here is because we are trying not to drive a lot, and while our destination for tomorrow is Granada, we didn’t want to get there on a Sunday. Lorca however, had a lovely surprise hidden for us: the whole town is dedicated to Santiago: the Camino (“Camino de Levante”) passes by this town, and there is a whole church dedicated to Santiago, there are associations of pilgrims, homages to different pilgrims and others who have supported the Camino, spread all around the town. Pretty cool. And such a feeling of nostalgia… the place indeed seems like one of those towns we walked by when walking the Camino… (nevertheless, we have not yet seen any pilgrim).


Like almost any town in Spain it has its old center, but sadly lots has been destroyed in an earthquake that happened in 2011. Today there was a procession and the streets where crowded (not crowded really, but crowded in a “post pandemic” use of the word), there was a band playing music all around following the procession, people all dressed up with typical band suits, and there was a cheerful spirits in the people in the streets.


Today we are in a fancy hotel outside the city, a last minute booking that ended in this place way too much out of the standards for pilgrims, but let me tell you: I will enjoy a wonderful hot shower and a lovely bed.


I trust all of you are doing good!

Vacational loves,


Going south

Blue sea in Torrevieja, Spain.

Dear Caminoheads,


Thank you all for staying around, commenting and sending such generous thoughts and good wishes to me, it means a lot when my mind goes into the mood: “This is crazy!” In any case, as of yet, I am still on “vacation mode” and the idea that I am not going back to Argentina “once my vacation ends” has not kicked in… I will see what happens once I am back to Valencia, settle in the apartment and start working… but for that, I still have a number of days.


These past two days we drove by Alicante and decided to be away of the big city and went on to Torrevieja. Torrevieja seems like a coastal summer location from the 60/70ies in Argentina, the housing mainly is big apartment buildings inside a gated small community, all painted in between a yellowish and a tan color, lots of ceramics in different shades of blue, lots of lemons and oranges in the trees, and lots and lots and lots of palm trees. These palms trees are called “Palmeras Levantinas”, because this area is called “Levante”,_Spain … should we weren’t in Spain, I would say you could be in an all inclusive hotel in Cuba (and interestingly enough, the main street of Torrevieja is called “Las Habaneras”…)


This location though, has nothing to do with Cuba, in fact, you could say it has nothing to do with Spain as most of the people are British, German, Danish or from any other of those countries. I think the only Spanish speaker was me!!!


We had a great lunch, and we also had a great sleep… so I will consider another day of vacation accomplished!!!


More tomorrow!

Levantino love,



The Camino is all around…

Camino sign in Xativa.

Dear Caminoheads,

Thank you for all the messages and the confirmation that you are still around the neighborhood!

I need to tell you about yesterday, but today let me share that I am in a place called Xativa, 45 mins south from Valencia. I could say that it is one small city but at the same time that it is one of those tiny towns that we walked through  when walking the Camino… lovely people, everyone in the streets having coffee, or beers, or just reading the newspapers, greeting each other and talking loud from table to table, I saw lots of smiling faces… and you surely can picture the location:  small houses painted with different vibrant colors and balconies with flowers, super narrow streets, kind of hilly, the best “cafe con leche”, and as you can imagine… CAMINO SHELLS!!!!!!


How can the day be other than great?

Smily Spanish loves,