One of the highlights (there were many) of our recent visit to Montreal was being part of the Christmas gathering of “The Snails”. The Snails are four women we traveled with on the Camino, in 2011. They became a sub group in our larger group, and would invariably be the last to arrive at our daily destinations, not because they were slow walkers, they really weren’t, but because they stopped to look at everything along the way. It could be argued that their experience of the Camino was deeper than those of us who were much more goal oriented. They also built strong, long-lasting bonds within their group. They gather periodically, and recognized our coming to Montreal as a good excuse for coming together. There was also an ulterior motive….
You see, there is another trip planned, to Ireland this time, and at least three of The Snails have committed to go. It seems they would like us along as well. We received the full force of the creative persuasion abilities of these women. I think they are used to getting their way, but aren’t afraid to put in some effort to get it. There were colourful travel books, Celtic tattoo kits, informative DVD’s and finally, a personalized top ten reasons for us to join in on their merry adventure.
Here are the reasons (as they see them):#10. They can improve their iron levels by drinking copious amounts of Guinness. #9. They can explore modern Irish farming techniques. #8. They will get lots of exercise climbing up and down the tour bus and crawling from pub to pub. #7. They can finally use the rain gear they bought for the Camino. #6. They can sleep together in a double bed, not in separate bunk beds with 50 snoring pilgrims. #5. They can eat supper at a restaurant before 9pm. #4. They won’t have to visit a farmacia everyday to buy blister bandages for their feet. #3. They can wash their underwear indoors with warm running water. #2, They can get a tattoo of an Irish harp on their ankles. #1. They are important members of our communitas– and it just would not be the same without them. (tears fall here) All of the pressure, however, was for naught. We had already decided that we would join the group. It was fun to watch them at work and really nice to feel wanted. The hugs when we revealed our intention to be part of the adventure were really heartwarming. If any of my loyal readers are interested in joining us on this adventure the details are here. One thing I can promise is great company.