Lavacolla To Santiago de Compostela

Day Fifty Three. 9.5 K., 6 Mi.

Written on June 21, 2014.

Today is special in so many ways. Yes, we have walked into Santiago de Compostela before this day. Vern and I are now walking in with our daughter who has been with us since April 30th when we first started walking from Porto, Portugal. We have witnessed many transformations in ourselves and in others.
We were walking in at a steady pace when a Pilgrim from South Korea stopped us to let us know that he remembered us from 2012. At that time he had walked with his son, now he walked with his wife. This moment was one of the “treasures” of the Camino for us.
Gregorio, Teresa, Vern, and Nancy.
Vern took a moment to have some fun.
Nancy, Angel, and Vern in front of the Cathedral.
Since 2008 I have explored as many forums, blogs, and Camino websites as I could find. The Camino de Santiago Forum, admin, Ivar Rekve has provided a format for Pilgrims and “soon to be Pilgrims” to obtain inspiration and valuable information regarding many subjects that pertain to the Camino. Ivar also offers a Pilgrim storage service in Santiago. On April 29th Vern, Angel, and I mailed two boxes from Porto, Portugal to Ivar. He emailed me to let me know that he received the boxes. There is a charge for this service. The post office, however, will not store for the length of time that we needed. Check out the Forum and storage information: http://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/
Ivar And Nancy.
Today I saw something that I tried to capture the best I could with a photo. I saw the boots right after a heavy rain….but I knew what I must do.
This photo was taken laying on the ground.

Many bicyclists lined up for their Compostelas.

We saw Dane Johansen's film crew on our way into Santiago. They said that he would be playing inside the Cathedral at 4:00 p.m. This is an opportunity to enjoy his music one more time. The “alcove” where he played was filled to capacity. His father had flown in from Anchorage. It was clear that Dane was filled with emotion.

A Pilgrim who translated for Dane many times and Dane.

Bagpipe music defines, for me, the completion of the Camino. Please check out this short video of what welcomes you into Santiago on the Camino Frances: http://youtu.be/5K8S-vN7gxc

Everyday on the Camino, or not, I am looking for opportunities to have fun. This video shows groups of Pilgrims celebrating and having fun in front of the Cathedral: http://youtu.be/-o4JPAhbGg

Please view and share this wonderful video created by Koala Enarmagnac with his original song/music.

http://youtu.be/o0Pg1FQjH5U

Thank you for reading this blog, sharing it with your friends, your comments, and support!!! Looking for interesting photos, taking the photos, and preparing the stories in my mind helped me during those moments when my body was struggling with one more hill or while trying to stay cool in the middle of a hot day. You are, and have been very much a part of our Camino. Buen Camino!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Astorga To Rabanal del Camino

Day Forty Three. 21.4 K., 13.3 Mi.

Written on June 11, 2014.

Many Pilgrims that we know are leaving Astorga around the same time.

Dane walking with his cello.

Dane and a few of the crew members.

Angel, Vern, and I have all had opportunities to talk with Dane over the last couple of weeks. We have learned that the documentary that is currently being filmed of Dane walking during the day and playing the cello in the evening has been six years in the planning stage.

New today: I saw a “Pilgrim” with a skateboard! This is a first for me. At one of our breaks I heard a noise I don't normally hear on the Camino. I looked up just in time to see the skater.

“Pilgrim” skater on the Camino.

First, also today: a rainbow Camino marker!

One of my favorite places on the Camino to take a break:

The Cowbaoy Bar in El Ganso.

 

Rest Day In Astorga.

Day Forty Two.

Written on June 10, 2014.

Late yesterday we decided to take a day off today. We have decided to “re-group” and explore Astorga. The first person we saw was Russell from the U.K. It was great to hear guitar music first thing in the morning.

Russell, a Pilgrim from the U.K.

There was a large open air market today. There was merchandise, fresh fruit, vegetables, bread, meat and fish.

A volunteer for the Red Cross in Spain.

As we walked around we heard that Dane, the Pilgrim cellist would be playing in front of the Cathedral this evening.

Dane performing one of the 36 concerts he is playing on the Camino. Check out Dane’s website: http://www.walktofisterra.com/

This morning I decided to put on my pedometer even though I was just going to stay in Astorga. Total mileage walking around Astorga: 5.5 K..3.4 Mi.

 

 

 

 

Najera To Santo Domingo de la Calzada

Day Twenty Six. 22.2 K., 13.8 Mi.

Written on May 25, 2014.

Today was another good walking day. I needed a light jacket and some of the time sunglasses. Vern and Angel went ahead to find beds for us. We are staying at Albergue Abadia Cisterciense.

Pilgrims on their way to Santo Domingo de la Calzada.

Today a Pilgrim gave anyone and everyone who walked by an incredible gift: the gift of music and singing.

He was located in a perfect location: right before a hill!

Check out this short video:

http://youtu.be/2vERl8Jga9k

 

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

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.

 

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!

 

Muxia to Home. Day Six.

Written on July 17, 2012.

The first place we go today is Plaza Mayor. We love to see what is going on. The perfect place for a fun photo!

Vern, Me, and Lisa looking our best!

Today we are exploring areas of the City that we drove past on the bus tour last weekend.

Open air double decker bus.

The Cathedral is beautiful from the outside and even more impressive from the inside.

One of the main cloisters of the Cathedral in Madrid.

A section of the ceiling.

I'm enjoying the walk from the Cathedral on the side of the street with the most shade. Fortunately for us there was some wonderful music on that side of the street also.

Thank you for the music!

After dinner we attended a free concert at the Real Basilica de San Francisco el Grande Madrid. A choir from the Rottenburg Cathedral….Rottenburg, Germany performed. The young women had angelic voices. I thought that the best effect was when they formed a circle under the dome…it sounded beautiful! The organist who accompanies the choir has won many awards for his playing. After listening to him for a few moments I can understand why.

 

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.