Leon To Villar de Mazarife

Day Forty., 23.1 K., 14.4 Mi.

Written on June 8, 2014.

The walk out of Leon seems longer than the walk in. Virgen del Camino, a 5.4 mile walk is the first opportunity for a cup of coffee. Many of us stop to rest and have juice, coffee, and a croissant. Shortly after Virgen del Camino it is necessary to decide: go toward Villadangos Del Paramo or Villar de Mazarife. We chose the route to Villar de Mazarife.

A Pilgrim sculpture on the way to Villar de Mazarife.

The first time I have seen this waymarker.

A plaque at the entrance of Villar de Mazarife.

Angel, Nancy, and Vern at a statue of St. James.

We are staying at Tio Pepe's private Albergue in the background.

 

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.

 

“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.

Najera to Santo Domingo de la Calzada

Day Fifty Two. 14 Miles, 22.5 Kilometers.

Written on June 10, 2012.

Sometimes I wonder how do we know if we’re on the Camino de Santiago? Yes, there are yellow arrows pointing the way and since 2009 there are added manufactured signs that are very easy to follow. But today when I saw this ancient marker I knew that we were walking exactly where pilgrims of centuries past have walked.

Ancient way marker.

We steadily climbed today from Azofra to Ciruena. Ciruena seems to be an attempt at creating a suburb. There is a golf course, condos and apartments.

Pilgrim sculpture in a roundabout in Ciruena.

Many days ago between Ronscavalles and Zubiri we had to walk on the highway. As we started to walk on the highway I heard singing behind me. I turned around and saw a group of Pilgrims pushing a man in a wheel chair and walking beside him for traffic “control”.

Not shown: two women with waist straps ready to pull their friend.

As we entered Santo Domingo de la Calzada we heard a marching band and saw a crowd of people. We learned that it was a Corpus Christi festival. Many children participated. Girls were throwing rose petals through the crowd.

The Corpus Christi Festival.

In St. Jean Pied-de-Port, France we stayed in L’Esprit Albergue. That is where we first met Ali and Maire. Later the next day we saw them as we were all making our way through the Pyrenees. Today we celebrate with them their determination and achievement of walking from St. Jean to Santo Domingo in 11 days. They walked in joy, love, and laughter. We are grateful for time spent with them.

Ali and Maire. The best of friends.

Pamplona to Puente La Reina

Day Forty Six. 13.7 Miles, 22.1 Kilometers.

Written on June 4, 2012.

We are leaving Pamplona to begin our walk through Cizur Menor, pass Alto del Perdon and into Puente La Reina. There are many Pilgrims walking this morning. Almost right away I see something that I have never seen before:

A Pilgrim smoking a pipe.

Not far from Pamplona we saw Pierre as he stopped at the bakery to buy his breakfast. We took a quick break and started the long climb to Alto del Perdon.

Vern and Nancy at the Medieval Pilgrim sculptures.

Just after Alto del Perdon it is possible to look out over the valley and see four villages in a row.

We keep moving today. It is tempting to stop for coffee in a village but it is important for us to get to our room. I knew that after climbing the Pyrenees I would be sending home any cold weather clothing that I had left with me from France. I will get my package ready to mail.