Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

Carolena’s pilgrimage

Author: Paulo Coelho

If I’m not mistaken, it was the night of January the 13th when I saw ‘The Quest of the Sword’ on Paulo Coelho’s Blog. I was in disbelief… ‘The Quest of the Sword’ a Challenge by Paulo Coelho… I didn’t waste time reading on. A challenge that required to have read four of Paulo’s books, “The Pilgrimage” “By the Piedra River I Sat down and Wept” “Brida” and “The Devil and Miss Prym,” no problem so far, I’d read them all, and 12 tasks needed to be completed correctly and have photos as proofs in order to win one of Paulo Coelho’s Swords. Photos, this requires travelling, how exciting and how wonderful and what a genius idea. I read on, twelve tasks, Spain and France, walking through Paulo’s footsteps seeing all the places mentioned in the books that inspired him to write the stories, Wow… I wanted that Sword, the Sword that would make me worthy of a Warrior of the Light. But there was one problem that was stopping me, my financial situation. I knew it wasn’t the wisest idea, with the economy being the way it was and still is. Nevertheless, even if I wasn’t going to go, I wanted to solve the Enigma, I wanted to know exactly where all the twelve locations were so I started to delve into it, research it, dissect it, and the more I did, the more excited I became about it. Oh I wanted Paulo’s Sword so badly, I thought for sure I would do it at a later feasible time, perhaps in the summer, when I could walk the Camino instead of having to drive it and especially with the cold weather in the mountains of Spain and France, probably would be freezing cold and not the best time to go anyway. I decided that I was definitely going to do it at a later time. As I solved most of the 12 steps, I got struck by madness. I wanted that Sword with a passion and I thought, if I’m going to get it, I must go NOW. There is no point in waiting, a little cold never killed anyone, and besides, I still have the entire Atlantic Ocean to cross, and anyone who lives in Europe probably already started or would have a head start from me. Even if I didn’t get to win the sword, I might have the chance to see Paulo and that would make it all worth it. It didn’t take long to book a flight and rent a car. The car rental guy told me over the phone that I would need an International driver’s license otherwise they will not rent me a car. An international driver’s license? where in the world am I supposed to get that from? An automobile club he told me. The first thing I did after I hung up the phone was to call my automobile club, AAA . The lady over the phone said, “I’m sorry ma’am, it’s Saturday and all the offices are closed” Closed? No! Ok, Monday, how do I go about getting it Monday, I’m flying in the afternoon, I’ll have time in the morning.

To read the rest of her experience, please click here

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