Macon County resident and avid hiker Olga Pader will present a picture slide show of her journey last summer on the Camino Primitivo (Primitive Way) in northern Spain as part of the Thursdays at the Library series at the Macon County Public Library. The Camino Primitivo is the oldest of a network of walking paths starting in the Pyrenees at the French border and crisscrossing Spain, all leading to the magnificent city of Santiago de Compostela. Here, in the world-renowned Cathedral rests the remains of St. James the apostle, whose shrine is revered as one of the spiritual centers of the ancient and modern world.
The Camino Primitivo, the first of the Caminos, was established by a Spanish king who first walked from the city of Oviedo to Santiago in 840 C.E. In its remote sections, the Camino pilgrims walk not only through space but also through time, joining the thousands who have traveled on it since then coming from far and near and with motives ranging from a search for adventure to a search for self or spiritual growth.
With her hiking buddy Cheryl Morgan from Tennessee, Pader walked 208.4 miles over 14 days through remote mountains, pristine forests, ancient villages, modern cities, Roman and Celtic ruins, and along a sandy beach leading to Finisterre on the Atlantic coast, the end of the medieval Earth. Their journey began in Oviedo and culminated in the Old Town of Santiago de Compostela, both U.N. World Heritage sites. Halfway on the journey after a very long day, they entered Lugo through one of the doors of its Roman wall, the oldest and best preserved fortification of its kind, that also has World Heritage designation. The Camino itself attained the first U.N. European Cultural Itinerary title because of the artistic and cultural treasures it preserves for all peoples.
Pader will share some of her adventures, experiences with exotic places and people, and an introduction to the planning and logistics for this unforgettable walk. On entering Santiago and showing the stamps accumulated on her walk at the Pilgrimage Office, Olga officially became a "peregrina" (pilgrim) of the Camino de Santiago, receiving a credential in Latin testifying to her journey.
This program is free and open to area residents and visitors and begins at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 9. Donations are always welcome.