Fisterra To Santiago de Compostela

Day Seventeen. Bus to Santiago.

Written on May 16, 2014.

This is the day that we take the Pilgrim Bus to Santiago de Compostela. One of the buses today leaves at 8:20 a.m. We are up to get ready by 6:30 a.m. so we can have coffee and juice at a local cafe.

Sunrise view from our window.

It was a three hour bus ride along the coast….beautiful. The cost was 13 euros,10! What a bargain. It would cost more for a tour bus without the beautiful coast views.

We arrived in Santiago and walked to our room from the bus station.

Outdoor caf├ęs near our room.

Our family is not able to visit Santiago without having a meal at the Negro Gato! The peppers, seafood, cheese, and bread are excellent!

Angel with Manolo of the Negro Gato, (Black Cat) Cafe.

One of several things that we wanted to accomplish today is: receive a very rare Compostela at the Covento San Francisco. We have been hearing about this Compostela from several Pilgrims. We are not sure of the complete details. It seems that it is only available for two months in 2014. It is not available after May 29, 2014. The next time it is available is 200 years from now. How accurate those few details are…I am not sure. We started out from our room to find the Convento San Francisco. We walked the entire perimeter of Santiago and began asking for help.

Vern, Kathy, Victor, Nancy, Angel, and Maribelle.

Victor and Maribelle are “Angels”! They observed us asking a woman who did not understand. They quickly let us know that they knew where the Convent was and that they would show us. Thank you Victor and Maribelle!!

Convento San Francisco.

My Compostela de Convento San Francisco.

 

Cee To Fisterra

Day Sixteen. 15.3 K., 9.5 Mi.

Written on May 15, 2014.

Cee is a beautiful town to be walking through in the early morning. There is a hill to climb while we were still waking up. It is warm and clear. Not well marked but Vern remembers the way to go from our 2012 walk.

Our shadows on the road.

Kathy, Angel, and Vern on the way to Fisterra.

It's great to see Fisterra!
Vern, Paul the Pilgrim Greeter, Angel, and Nancy.
Thanks to Paul, a Pilgrim volunteer from the U.K. who had information and a place to sit on the way into Fisterra.

Soon after we met Paul we were checking into our rooms. We had something to eat and took a nap. It is now time to walk the 3.5 K. to the lighthouse.

Vern, Nancy, Kathy, and Angel at the 0,00 marker.

A better look at the marker.

Kathy, Vern, and Angel at the “end of the world”.

As we walked down the hill from the lighthouse we met Erik from Belgium. Erik is knowledgeable about the area and the history.

Vern, Erik, Nancy, and Kathy.

We couldn't resist this photo for Angel's surfer brother!

My Fisterra Compostela.

 

Padron To Santiago de Compostela

Day Eleven. 24.9 K., 15.5 Mi.

Written on May 10, 2014.

Before we left the Albergue I looked outside: this is a headlamp morning. It was 6:00 a.m. and dark. I feel good and pretty organized. My mantra as I'm packing my backpack is: light, heavy, light. Packing light on the bottom: sleeping bag, flip flops for shower, sleeping mask, headlamp, etc. next is water bladder with one liter of water, iPad, supplements, etc. toward the top of my bag is lightweight jacket, envelope of important papers, etc. my bag has two compartments that flip over the top. Those compartments have sunscreen, lip balm, buff for my neck/head, pen, etc.

We walked for about two hours. I saw that Vern, Angel, and Kasie had stopped. Angel was asking a cafe owner if the cafe was open. Next thing we knew he was opening the doors and turning on the lights! Yes, the first coffee of the day.

Vern, Eduardo, and Angel.

We saw Daniel walking up the road toward us. Soon Donal was with us…shortly after: Kirsten. Eduardo is a good business man. Soon after he opened the doors his son came downstairs looking very sleepy. They served cake that we did not order and turned on rock'n roll to listen to.

Kathy, Vern, Nancy, Donal, Daniel, Angel, Kasie, and Kirsten.

A few hours after the coffee stop we saw a sign that we didn't understand but followed a well worn path. Later some walkers told us we were going the wrong way.

I named this the b*** s*** sign.

Vern and I love the Dos Marias. The story that we heard is that they were two sisters who loved to walk in the Alameda area of Santiago sharing smiles and hugs with students.

Kasie, Nancy, Kathy, Vern, Angel, and Libor with statues of the Dos Marias.
The path in from Camino Portugues goes right by the Hostal Alameda where we are staying. We stopped to check in and then continue on to the Oficina de Peregrinos to receive our Compostela. I felt strange about going to the office without my backpack. I kept it with me just long enough to receive the Compostela.
My Compostela showing my Latin name.

In front of the Cathedral after receiving my Compostela.

 

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.

Olveiroa to Finisterre

Day Eighty One. 20.3 Miles, 32.7 Kilometers.

Written on July 9, 2012.

The sunrise is later each day. Where we are staying is on the Camino. The tricky part is to find the waymarkers when we leave the village. The closest village to have our first break and a cup of coffee is Hospital. It takes awhile to walk there…we are ready for a break.

At least a week ago, on the way to Triacastela, Vern met three women from South Africa. He walked with them for awhile. I walked my own pace behind them. This morning we took our break with them in Hospital. It was then that I learned that they are walking for a cause: to bring awareness to MSA. Multiple System Atrophy is a neurologically degenerative disease. They are walking in support of their friend, Sonja, and anyone affected by this disease.

Susan, Gerda, Me, and Esther.

Gerda is walking with a MSA card to bring awareness.

Sonja's Blog and more information can be found at: msainsouthafricawithsonja.blogspot.com.

We walked a short way from the village of Hospital and had to make a decision: walk directly to Muxia or walk to Finisterre and pick up our second Compostella. We decided to walk to Finisterre.

A rare waymarker on the Camino.
 
It was a beautiful clear day on the way to Finisterre. We were excited to see our first glimpse today of the Atlantic Ocean. We walked today for 11 hours. As soon as we entered Finisterre we recognized Pilgrims we saw yesterday and Pilgrims we hadn't seen in a few weeks. We walked directly to the Albergue to receive our Compostela.
 
Finisterre uses a Pilgrim's given name, not the Latin equivalent.
 
I have discovered in Finisterre that there are many ways to spell the name of this town.
Peter, Merle, and Vern.
 
The first friends that we saw today was Peter and Merle from Australia. We set a time to have dinner together. They were glad that we were going to take our showers first!
 
Although I experience many different emotions while entering Santiago and Finisterre, they are both very special to me. It is a time of celebration, support, and the honoring of each others journey and of the different ways we arrived here.
 
 

 

Rest Day in Santiago de Compostela

Day Seventy Eight.

Written on July 6, 2012.

Today began with a lot of sleep! We slept until 8:30 a.m. We are looking forward to a cup of coffee and spending time In the Plaza. The Plaza is just a few minutes walk from our room. As soon as we arrived we saw Merle and Peter from Australia just arriving into Santiago. It was wonderful to see them and to share that profound time with them as they entered the City and reflected on what they had accomplished. Merle and Peter started their journey from Le Puy, France on April 19th.

Vern, Me, Merle, and Peter.

We walked with Merle and Peter to the Pilgrim's Office where they will also receive their Compostela. Just across the street we saw Remy and Anna. Marie saw us and we had a great reunion with her. It has been a few weeks since we have seen her.

I feel a strong connection to Pilgrims that I have seen along The Way and a connection to anyone coming into Santiago no matter how many days, weeks, or months they have been walking.

Vern, Remy, Anna, and Marie.

We were very interested in a large market not far from the Cathedral that we had heard about. We were getting hungry so it was time to find the market. As we were walking toward the market we saw Ana and her Mother, Consuelo. We couldn't believe it, we thought they were in Finisterre today. After we chose our raw food at the market we took it to a participating restaurant. For 10% of the purchase price of the food the restaurant will cook it. We had lunch and walked around Santiago with Consuelo and Ana.

Vern had heard a story about statues in a nearby park called Las dos Marias. We went to the park to find them.

Consuelo, Vern, and Ana with Las Dos Marias.

A photo of the actual Dos Marias.

The story we heard is that: The two ladies, both named Marie, were friendly to the University students in Santiago. They always said “hello” and spoke to the students. The students were moved by the women and created the statues of them.

We later had a fun dinner with a group of Pilgrims, including Tom, Kat, Merle, Peter, and two more Californians.

On our way back to our room we saw more familiar faces and good friends.

A group of Pilgrim friends including the California Boys!

Thank you to everyone who makes the arrival and time in Santiago so special!!

Lavacolla to Santiago de Compostela

Day Seventy Seven. 6.8 Miles, 11.0 Kilometers. Total miles walked to date: 969.1. Total Kilometers: 1,558.1.

Written on July 5, 2012.

We have arrived in Santiago de Compostela!! We walked for a short time this morning. We arrived at 9:30 a.m. There were other Pilgrims walking in at the same time. We all seemed to be walking at a fast pace. There was definitely excitement “in the air”.

A sign at the entrance of Santiago.

Many people were going to the same place: The Oficina del Peregrino, (Pilgrim Office). We were at the office for approximately thirty minutes. The volunteer helping me looked up my Latin name and added it to my Compostela.

My Compostela.
 
We left the Pilgrim Office and saw many people either coming into Santiago or were already here. We wanted to leave our backpacks at our room so we could go to the Cathedral for the Pilgrim Mass by 12:00 noon.
We heard from many people that today the Botafumeriro will be used. It is a giant incense burner, a symbol of an ancient tradition to fumigate Pilgrims.
The swinging Botafumeiro.
 
The Plaza in front of the Cathedral is full of excitement, contemplation, gathering of friends, and a wonderful view of the Cathedral.
 
Vern and I in front of the Cathedral in Santiago.
 
We saw many Pilgrim friends today, some who we have been seeing everyday, and some who we have not seen for two or more weeks. We were at the Mass with Tom, Kat, and Robbie. We saw Barbara and Jordan before Mass and Dieter shortly after.
 
Barbara and son, Jordan, from Texas.
 
Vern and Dieter.
 
Vern and I last saw Dieter as he rode by us on his bicycle many days ago. It was very special for us to see Dieter at the Cathedral. We have known many Pilgrims who walk the Camino de Santiago, but have never known anyone who is a bicyclist. We are grateful for the time that we have spent with Dieter and that the perfect “timing” of the Camino allowed us to see him before he left for the airport today.
 
A few days ago we met Anna, her parents, Jose Miguel, and Consuelo. We saw them yesterday and made a plan to meet for lunch after Mass. We ate at a very good place in Santiago….Gato Negro.
 
Vern, Consuelo, Jose Miguel, and Ana.
 
We had a great lunch and a fun time together. We decided to go back to our rooms and then meet again at 7:30 p.m. We were in the Plaza and saw Jose Miguel. He proceeded to take us on a wonderful tour of the Parador, Hostal dos Reis Catolicos, built in 1492.

One example of the exquisite beauty of the Parador in Santiago.

After some time together in the evening we were walking back toward the Parador and discovered that a band was playing.

A Tuno Band.

We had a wonderful time singing and dancing to the music of this band. What a great way to say hasta luego after an incredible evening!

Tomorrow we will stay in Santiago. On Saturday we will start walking toward Finisterre.