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!

 

Pontevedra To Caldas De Reis

Day Nine. 23.1 K., 14.4 Mi.

Written on May 8, 2014.

There are very few places to stop for coffee or snacks. Yesterday we made sandwiches so that we would be prepared. We left Pontevedra at 6:15 a.m. It was good to do most of the walking in cooler conditions.

Angel and I stopped for a break. That's when we met Daniel from Australia as we were visiting with Donal from Australia.

Daniel writes songs as he walks.

Angel walking on a shady part of the trail.

A creative way to route a stream!

 

Porrino To Pension Jumboli

Day Seven, 19.2 K, 11.9 Mi.

Written on May 6, 2014.

Today we walked from Porrino to Pension Jumboli just north of Redondela, Spain.

The view from Pension Jumboli.

The way marking in Portugal and now in Spain on the Camino Portugues has been exceptional. There are very few opportunities to get lost. The waymarkers are creative and distinct.

Yellow arrow and yellow “clam shell”.

I have mentioned Donal in a previous blog and what a help he was in getting information about where to walk from to receive a Compostela for the Camino Portugues.

Kathy, Nancy, Donal, And Angel.

 

Muxia to Home. Day Five.

Written on July 16, 2012.

Another day to sleep in! We really are on vacation. We take our time waking up and go to the first floor for breakfast. The plan today is to not have a plan. Just walking around Madrid is entertaining, day or night. The days have been so warm that many sidewalk cafes have misters, (water sprayers), to cool off their customers. I bought a pair of jeans yesterday, today I have to buy a belt to hold them up. I find one right away. It seems that Vern, Lisa and I are ready to do a little shopping. We go from store to store and from cafe to cafe. We have now moved into a room for three people. It is a large room right above the street.

There is an incredible market not far from Plaza Mayor. It is full of local specialities and one-of-a-kind delicacies. We enjoy looking at all this market has to offer.

M & M Market, Madrid.
Specialty hams at the market.
Cashews, pumpkin seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, etc.
“Eye-catching” windows above a shop.
 
In Madrid a person can walk 10 minutes back to their hotel or take 3 hours to get there. A corner can change several times a day. The same artist or vendor will probably not be in the same location the next time you walk by.

Muxia to Home. Day Three.

Written on July 14, 2012.

Walking from our room toward the bus stop I feel so much! I feel so grateful to have been able to spend time in Santiago. Also, I know that all of the encouragement that I have received and given is just a small example of what I can experience in my daily life.

We board the bus for the airport…next stop: Madrid. We will take a plane to Madrid where we will meet Lisa from Germany. Lisa, Vern, and I became friends while walking the Camino in 2009…since then Lisa has been to our home in California, and we have been to her home in Germany. We will spend 4 days together in Madrid. Our planes are scheduled to have a time difference of 2 hours. Our plane is delayed and Vern's checked in backpack is misplaced. Lisa's plane is delayed due to a flat tire. The result….we come in just minutes apart!

Lisa and Vern at the Madrid airport.
 

We check into our hotel and take a rest. We walk around Madrid. Madrid comes alive around 10 p.m. Plaza Mayor is a large plaza. All four sides are lined with shops and cafes with outdoor dining. Street performers, mimes, musicians, religious processions, and bands are everywhere in the plaza and downtown area. It is Saturday night. It is a perfect place to celebrate after a long distance walk.

Lisa and Vern with a street “artist” in Madrid.

Vern and Nancy in Madrid.
A street performer.
 
This performer has something in his mouth that makes his voice sound very high and squeeky. Children are attracted to him. Their parents give them I euro coins to put in a basket in front of the “baby”.
People are amazed and puzzled by this illusion.
A giant bubble blower in the middle of the Plaza Mayor.
 
This is my favorite street performer. Everyone was having a lot of fun with him.
The creativity and innovation of these performers is amazing. I enjoy walking through the plazas and streets. I bring plenty of euros so that I can feel comfortable taking photos and interacting with these artists.

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!!

Portomarin to Palas de Rei

Day Seventy Four. 16.7 Miles, 27.0 Kilometers.

Written on July 2, 2012.

We walked out of Portamarin with Louis, Kim, and Scott. After a few miles I started talking with Kathryn from Georgia, U.S. She walked with us all day. Vern was waiting for Kathryn and I. We looked up just in time to see many young people walking over an overpass.

Students on the Camino de Santiago.

Santiago de Compostela is in the Province of Galicia. There are many things that are just unique to Galicia. One thing is a herrero. A herrero is a place where corn was dried in an earlier time. There seems to be a lot of herreros that are being restored.

A herrero near a church.

There are many ways to mark the way to Santiago. Yellow arrows are painted on rocks, walls, and buildings. Scallop shells are used to point the way. They may be brass, shell, or just painted. There are many ways to make a waymarker.

A pinecone waymarker.

 

Villalcazar de Sirga to Terradillos de Templarios

Day Sixty. 20.5 Miles, 33.1 Kilometers. Total Miles Walked to Date: 722.8, Total Kilometers: 1,162.1.

Written on June 18, 2012.

We didn’t realize it last night, but on the way to our room we saw the group of young people from Pennsylvania in Villalcazar de Sirga. We had been hearing about this group for many days. The story is that they had arrived in Spain with very limited funds and are making their way to Santiago by earning money performing. They are said to be juggling and playing music. Everyone who has seen them say they are very good. I saw many young people go by on bicycles on our way to Terradillos de Templarios. I realized that these bicyclists do not have any kind of matching outfits or tight pants. They are not colorful and seem to be very tired. I asked one of them as they rode by if they were from Pennsylvania and they said, “yes”. I yelled back, “Please put it on YouTube so we can see your “act”! This is another great example of the communication and information that is given and received on the Camino.

A mural on a church in Carrion De Los Condes.

We are passing through Carrion De Los Condes. We walk in with Julah from Hungary and see Orla from Ireland in front of a cafe. It is time for Vern’s coffee so we sit for a few minutes and then prepare to move on.

Fuente Del Hospitalejo.

A few hours of walking have gone by in the Plains. The weather is overcast and perfect for walking in an area with little shade. We notice that there is a van in the distance ahead and Pilgrims are gathered around it. There are picnic tables and a lot of shade!

Mairead, (standing) with the group from France.

Not far from Hospitalejo we saw Orla and Mairead. They are at the rest area with a group of four from France. Mairead tells the group that she has the lyrics to Ultreia, a Pilgrim song. Before I knew what was going on they started singing…I quickly took the video shown above.

“Rest” Day in Burgos

Day Fifty Six.

Written on June 14, 2012

Before leaving home in April Vern had started the process of applying for a small pension he is entitled to at age 60. By the time we reached Burgos he had received emails with the documents that needed to be signed and returned by mail. The documents needed to be notarized so we started the adventure of finding a Notario. The first office we went to was not able to help us because the documents were in English. The receptionist was so determined to help us, though, that she asked her colleagues If they knew anyone in Burgos who would be able to notarize English documents. She then took us to the street to show us how to get there. We were able to take care of our business and send the documents at the Correos, (post office). It was now 2:00 p.m. So we decided to stay in Burgos.

Vern with Pilgrim sculptures in Burgos.

Pilgrim sculpture near the Cathedral.

Nancy with more of Burgos’ art work!

Just one view of the Cathedral in Burgos.

We enjoyed our unexpected day in Burgos. The city is alive with art, architecture, tributes to Pilgrims, etc. As we were sipping our coffees we both realized that the owner of the bar was the same person in the poster right above his head.

Bar owner and White Label poster.

The cafe across from our room was so good that we went there two nights in a row. The first night we ate dinner with Orla and Linda from Ireland. The next night when we returned the waitress was so excited to see us that she said in Spanish, English, and sign language, “The specials tonight are wonderful…I will order for you”. The meal and service was excellent. In those two brief encounters the waitress has left a part of her spirit with us.

A “blessing” to Cafe Cantos in Burgos.

Our day in Burgos was rich with time spent with many Pilgrim friends including “The California Boys”, and others who I am sure we will see more of on The Camino.

Santo Domingo de la Calzada to Belorado

Day Fifty Three. 15.1 Miles. 24.4 Kilometers.

Written on June 11, 2012.

We stayed in a municipal Albergue. There were 10 bunkbeds in a room. The price was good…donation. There was a place to hand wash clothes and a line for drying. There was a computer room, kitchen, and a large area with tables and couches. A Doctor was donating his time, supplies, and knowledge to help many Pilgrims. We heard that he had created shoe inserts for people who needed them and treated many blisters. When we arrived we saw him treat a bicyclist with bruises and a face injury. This Albergue is a refuge for Pilgrims.

Everyone must leave by 8 a.m. We left and found a bar close by to have coffee. We are waiting for the post office to open at 8:30 a.m. I will be picking up another package of supplements that has been mailed to me. Also, I decided that my socks are too thick and heavy for the warmer weather that we have been walking in and will mail them home. There were other Pilgrims sending items home or sending them forward.

We left Santo Domingo at 9 a.m. There are many villages to go through today so we can carry a limited amount of water knowing that we will be finding water along the way.

A field of white poppies with a hint of lavender.

A beautiful home on the way to Belorado.

There were high winds today. Some bicycles seem to be struggling, and the walkers are doing the best they can.

It is beautiful with the shades of green, wild flowers and villages in the distance.

Camino wall art as we enter Belorado.