Pamplona to Puente La Reina

Day Twenty. 25.4 K., 15.8 Mi. (Pedometer).

Written on May 19, 2014.

For Vern, Angel, and I this will be our first day walking on the Camino Frances. This Camino is known by several names: one name is the Camino de Santiago.

The view of where have come from.

We walk for several miles ascending up the mountain to Alto Del Perdon.

Angel, Vern, and I at a Pilgrim sculpture on Alto Del Perdon.

A better view of the sculpture.

As we ascended down the mountain we had to be very careful. It seemed to be the same rock filled path for at least a mile.

Angel on the rock path.

A Pilgrim Memorial close to Utegra.

Angel pointing a boot in a garbage can.

I have seen boots made into flower planters. Boots that have been bronzed. Boots caught on fire in Fisterra. This is the first time I have seen a boot in a garbage can.

 

Pamplona: Rest Day

Day Nineteen.

Written on May 18, 2014.

We planned on meeting at 8:00 a.m. to find coffee. There was a place close by. After coffee we decided to walk around Pamplona to see what it looked like the morning after a party. There were several street sweepers and just a few people. As we were walking we heard music and turned just in time to see the musicians.

Musicians in front of City Hall.

A flag draped over a statue.

Vern enjoying a day off:)

We wanted to take advantage of the time we have with Dieter. He will be going back to Madrid this evening for a work conference. We explored parts of Pamplona that Vern and I had never seen before.

Vern, Nancy, Angel, Dieter.

Thanks Israel, O'Nelia, and Diego for taking our photo and visiting for awhile!

We walked Dieter to the train station after a fun day of exploring and relaxing. The next time we see Dieter it will be in Paris, Belgium, or Gasquet, California!

 

 

Santiago To Pamplona By Train

Day Eighteen. Travel by train.

Written on May 17, 2014.

Thanks Kathy for sharing a great three weeks with us. My belief is that the Camino is a microcosm of what we call life. What we tend to ignore or deny rises up. Sometimes it rises up loudly, sometimes in “deafening silence”. I am grateful to have shared this time with you, Kasie, Angel, and Vern. Kathy is starting her journey home to the U.S. Vern, Angel, and I are going to Pamplona today to meet our friend, Dieter from Belgium. Kasie flew out of Santiago on May 11th.

Kathy on the Camino.

Angel and Dieter in Pamplona.

Vern and I met Dieter on the Camino Frances in 2012. He was bicycling and we were walking. It is a miracle that we became friends due to the fact that bicyclists can travel many more miles. Thanks Dieter for taking the time and energy to visit us in Pamplona!

A typical street in Pamplona tonight!

 

Santiago To Pamplona By Train

Day Eighteen. Travel by train.

Written on May 17, 2014.

Thanks Kathy for sharing a great three weeks with us. My belief is that the Camino is a microcosm of what we call life. What we tend to ignore or deny rises up. Sometimes it rises up loudly, sometimes in “deafening silence”. I am grateful to have shared this time with you, Kasie, Angel, and Vern. Kathy is starting her journey home to the U.S. Vern, Angel, and I are going to Pamplona today to meet our friend, Dieter from Belgium. Kasie flew out of Santiago on May 11th.

Kathy on the Camino.

Angel and Dieter in Pamplona.

Vern and I met Dieter on the Camino Frances in 2012. He was bicycling and we were walking. It is a miracle that we became friends due to the fact that bicyclists can travel many more miles. Thanks Dieter for taking the time and energy to visit us in Pamplona!

A typical street in Pamplona tonight.

Check out video below:

http://youtu.be/rJuqKm47T6M

Santiago de Compostela…Rest Day

Day Twelve.

Written on May 11, 2014

Today Kasie has begun her trip back to the U.S. She will have some time in Madrid.

We slept in and were grateful for the opportunity. We immediately looked for coffee. We found great coffee close by and went there twice today. Also the search for “cronuts” was on. In California a cronut is a cross between a croissant and a donut. In Spain they are called Glorias and are delicious. We found them! As we were walking around Santiago we saw a mannequin in a window.

Window art!

Angel, Kathy, and I went to the Pilgrim Mass.

A small view of a huge cathedral!

A mime outside the cathedral. Give her a coin, she gives a shiny rock.

At the same time that I saw the mime Angel and Kathy were visiting with Daniel and Arna. At that moment we decided to walk to the Gato Negro. The Gato Negro (pronounced nay-gro) is a great restaurant in town that the locals love! We saw Donal along the way. Vern joined us. I was so busy eating that I forgot to take photos. The Gato Negro is a must when in Santiago!

 

Caldas De Reis To Padron

Day Ten. 18.1 K., 11.2 Mi.

Written on May 9, 2014

We stayed in the Posada Doña Urraca Albergue. Surprisingly I slept good! Many bunkbeds….no snoring. We woke up early and took off toward Padron. Angel made friends last night with several people. We saw them as we were walking.

Me and Libor from the Czech Republic.

One of the serene spots along the way.

Happy to get this photo of a beautiful lizard.

Kathy on her way to Padron.

A walk along the Rio Sar.

 

Home For Eighteen Hours.

Vern and I arrived home on Thursday, July 19th. The plane from San Francisco to Crescent City, California is not a jet….it is a prop plane and the passengers are directed to board from the tarmac. I was raised near the San Francisco Airport and remember when planes were all boarded in this manner. A shuttle is needed to get from one terminal to another. The shuttle travels in between terminals “behind the scenes”.

“Welcome to San Francisco”.

Thanks for getting us to our gate.

Our fourth plane home from Santiago.

There were many delays from Wednesday when we left Madrid to Thursday when we arrived in Crescent City, California. We had an overnight stay near the San Francisco Airport so that we could make a connection for the flight home from San Francisco. Our friends, Bonnie and Leo, arrived in Crescent City to pick us up. By the time we landed they had been in “town” almost five hours.

Me, Bonnie, Leo, and Vern. Thanks for taking us to the airport on April 9th and picking us up on July 19th!!

Our home.

Louie, our “stinky” friend.

Thanks Barbara for taking care of Louie and our home!

While walking the Camino de Santiago we had received an email that the annual Family Reunion would be held on July 21st….six hours northeast of where we live. We were home Thursday night and then started driving to my cousin's home on Friday.
Vern, Luanna (friend), Dee Dee, Me, Gary, Kaitlyn, Tannis, Seth, Bill, Dolores, Sidney, Jade, and Breckin, dogs: Haley and Bella. Not shown: Louie, our dog, is eating.
 
THOUGHTS ABOUT FUTURE POSTS:
 
For me, walking the Camino de Santiago is definitely an experience that will always be with me. The Camino does not end when I arrive home. The increased peace of mind that I experience while walking and the love that I receive and give in Community is always available to me.
I have enjoyed creating postings and adding photos to this journal, (blog). Any future postings related to our walk from Le Puy-en-Velay, France to Muxia, Spain will be in the form of insights and information.
 
PLEASE CONTACT ME:
 
If you have a comment, question, or concern please email me at: tcbandfan@charter.net. Your emails may help me create the next posting.
 
This blog and two Camino inspired projects will allow me to “stay on the Camino” as I return home.
 
Now that we are home I will answer the emails and comments that have already been sent.
 
THANK YOU!
 
For me, you were just as much a part of the Camino community as the people we were meeting along the way. It was wonderful to know that this blog was creating a “window” into the sights and experiences as we were living them. There were times after 8 to 12 hours of walking that you were the reason that I wrote a rough draft. Sometimes the draft had a few sentences or just a few words and a list of the photos that were related, anything to help me create a post at a later time. It would have been easy to let go of this process in the first few weeks. I did not let go of it because I knew that a classroom, a spiritual group, friends, family and Camino enthusiasts were “walking” with us. Thanks for following.
Nancy and Vern
 

Muxia to Home-Day Two.

Written on July 13, 2012.

It seems strange to not get up at 5:30 a.m. We start the day off with a cup of coffee at a local bar and take a walk around Santiago. As we get closer to the Plaza in front of the Cathedral I can feel the familiar excitement of coming into Santiago. There are many Pilgrims coming in. I am not sure of the exact count but I would guess that at least two hundred Pilgrims a day walk into Santiago during the summer months. Most gites and albergues operate during the months of April through October. There are a few who operate year round. We were walking through old town window shopping and started talking with a young woman, a teacher. We moved into a shop, the young woman working in the shop joined in with the conversation. We had a great time with these two women. We learned more about the legendary Dos Marias and talked about how important it is to walk the Camino. The importance is not the length of kilometers or the length of time.

An ancient monument near the Cathedral.

After walking around I went to my favorite wifi place: Lavor Chocolates. They recognize me and bring me a decaf con leche. This is the same place where we spent time with Ana and her parents.

Vern had returned to the room two hours before. I finished a new posting for my blog and went to our room. We decided to go out and look for something to eat. There are many streets in Santiago and many cafes/restaurants. We are looking for seafood.

One of many seafood restaurants to choose from in Santiago.

Gato Negro is our favorite cafe in Santiago. It is always busy and not easy to get into. We enjoyed a great meal here with Ana and her family. We gave the owner our names and checked in to get a table. A young woman from Switzerland noticed that we were waiting and invited us to join her….great! She was in Santiago to catch a bus the next morning to go surfing in Spain.

We have peppers with sea salt, octopus, and mussels in sauce. We are grateful to have another meal here!

Muxia to Home-Day One.

Written on July 12, 2012.

There are two buses that run from Muxia to Santiago: 6:45 a.m. or 2:30 p.m. We take the 6:45 a.m. When we board the bus I realize that I have not been on any form of transportation since Etienne dropped us off in Le Puy almost three months ago. We see Miguel waiting for the bus and spend some time visiting with him.

It is a great feeling to walk from the bus station in Santiago to the Plaza in front of the Cathedral. It is wonderful to walk with all of the Pilgrims who are coming in from many different starting points.

Now it is time to find Pension Badalada. I had searched “package storage in Santiago, Spain” before we left California and found Pension Badalada. They will store packages for Pilgrims for a fee. For more information: email: @badalada.es.info. Their website is : Badalada.es. We had some extra clothing that we did not want to carry from our days visiting London, France, and Chauriat, but wanted to have in Madrid after our walk.

Vern left the Pension to walk around Santiago. I stayed in the room. He saw Catarina and Nancy and made plans to meet later for dinner. Nancy's husband, Stephen has arrived in Santiago to meet Nancy and celebrate their wedding anniversary together and Nancy's walk from France to Santiago!

Vern, Catarina, Nancy, and Me.

It is now time to meet Nancy, her husband, and Catarina for dinner. We go to the Plaza and see Catarina and Nancy. Nancy takes us to a bar near the Cathedral with tables outside where her husband and a friend are waiting. Her friend, Carlos, has a dog friend and a wagon. It is time to find a good restaurant with outside seating.

Carlos and his friend.

Carlos is a chef and knows just what to order! We love the food here. We decide to order one more dish. Catarina and I watch Carlos as he shows us how to eat the fish with the tail and head still on.

Good job Catarina!

I am having fun and trying not to eat the bones.

 

It is a great evening filled with good food, funny stories, and heartwarming stories. Each person shares what the last several weeks have meant for them. The Plaza and Cathedral seem to be one of the special places for anyone walking into Santiago. Vern and I visit it many times per day and into the evening.

The Cathedral just before the sun goes down.

Finisterre to Muxia

Day Eighty Three. 19.1 Miles, 30.8 Kilometers.

Total miles walked from Le Puy-en-Velay, France to Muxia, Spain= 1,046.5. Total Kilometers= 1,683.0.

Total days on the Camino= 83. Total days walking = 76. Total Rest Days= 7.

Written on July 11, 2012.

We began walking on the Chemin de St. Jacques in Le Puy-en-Velay, France on April 20, 2012. At St. jean Pied-de-Port, France and into Spain the route is referred to as The Camino de Santiago, The Way, The Way of St. James, etc. The “Path” goes through every kind of terrain imaginable and most weather conditions. We have experienced views from brilliant to mundane to desolate with an unmistakeable beauty. Two days ago we walked along an ocean for the first time in months. It has been an incredible journey. It feels so appropriate to be walking the last several miles in view of an ocean (Atlantic). Walking through eucalyptus groves, by the sea, and through seaside villages, this is the grand finale to a grand walk. We are now seeing a new waymarker indicating a new region.

Dolphin, Camino Arrow Waymarker, and “M” for Muxia.

On the way to Lires, a coastal village, marking the half way point to Muxia we see Albert and Ingrid. We stop at the only building for miles, a bar, situated on a bluff with a great ocean view. It is a requirement to get a sello in Lires on the way to Muxia in order to receive a Compostella in Muxia. After a rest in the bar we proceed to Lires, get a stamp, visit with a couple of Pilgrims and continue toward Muxia.

I was looking forward to the stepping stones in the river that I had heard so much about. When we arrived at the spot a new bridge had been built.

Stepping stones in Rio Castro.

New bridge in Rio Castro.

Not far from Lires we saw a man and woman with a plow hooked up to a donkey. They were both shouting commands in Spanish to the donkey. He seemed to be responding well to what they were saying.

A couple plowing their field near Lires, Spain.

Another three or four miles of walking and I heard Vern talking to someone ahead. When I got there I saw that it was Dan and Ellen. We have been seeing them on a regular basis. They are the first pilgrims we have met that live so close to us. (2-1/2 hours).

Vern, Ellen, Me, and Dan.

I love it when I see a first: I mean a first pilgrim pulling a cart, a first pilgrim smoking a pipe, and today the first young Pilgrim on a bicycle!

A Pilgrim from Italy, his Mom is not shown.

At last we are in Muxia!! We are anxious to get to the tourist office and receive our third Compostela, then we can visit the church, the famous rocks along the coast, and other Pilgrims.

Today marks the end of our walking. Muxia is our geographical destination, but as I now know, for myself, the Camino de Santiago journey is the actual destination. The destination is the deep loving connection with Pilgrims, all humans, and all animals. It is the intention and effort to avoid stepping on ants, beetles, etc. it is the respect of myself and of others to leave “no trace”, etc.

My third Compostella of the Le Puy-en-Velay, France to Muxia, Spain Route.

The view walking into Muxia.

We are excited to see this sign!

Church at the headland Santuario da Virxe da Barca.

Me and Vern just after arriving at Muxia!

A few days ago we met and walked for awhile with Miguel from Colombia. It was wonderful to spend time with him in Muxia. Thanks for the photo of Vern and I on the rock!

I will continue this blog, creating postings throughout our trip home.