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.

 

 

 

 

Villar de Mazarife to Astorga

Day Forty One. 32.0 K., *19.9 Mi.

Written on June 9, 2014.

*I mentioned in an earlier post that I am relying more on my pedometer than the accuracy of the mileage in my guidebook. Today we saw a woman with a spray paint can painting yellow arrows on the road in the opposite direction of the already established arrows….she sprayed silver paint over the yellow arrows already in place. I will no longer make a note that I am using the mileage from my pedometer.

Storks on top of a water tower.

I have heard many times on the Camino that you always see the same person twice. I am not sure how many times we have seen Steve Allen from Michigan but many days have passed.

Vern and Steve Allen.

Vern had just stepped outside of a bar in Hospital de Orbigo to speak to Angel on the phone when Steve walked by. Everyone has a “story” of challenge and triumph….Steve is no exception. He had been dealing with a strained leg when he had devised a system to elevate his leg in an Albergue.

A creative waymarker area.

A donation stand on the way to Astorga.

The man in the yellow shirt on the right and some friends have set up a food/beverage stand for all Pilgrims!

 

Rest Day Leon

Day Thirty Nine.

Written on June 7, 2014.

This was not a planned rest day. Yesterday after arriving in Leon: Vern, Angel, and I met up with Jim from Florida. We wanted to spend some time with Jim. He walks faster than us…this was a great opportunity to see him. There was a festival in Leon. Some vendors were passing out food samples. Vern ate some chorizo from a sample plate. A few hours later he was sick. We had reserved a room for one night, not two. When it seemed that we would need two nights the receptionist said they were completely full for the next night. I did not know it but she continued to try to find us a room in “sold out” Leon. In the morning she informed me that she found us a room…just a 5 minute walk. Thank you La Posada Regia for taking good care of us.

Angel and I made sure that Vern had everything he needed. We went out looking for ginger ale. While we walked around we saw more festival activity.

Festival “Knights”.

An herb stand.

A “ride” for kids.

 

Puente Vilarente To Leon

Day Thirty Eight., 14,3 K., 8.9 Mi. (my pedometer).

Written on June 6, 2014.

We planned on a “short” day of walking today so that we could have more time in Leon, a large city, where many Pilgrims gather. On the way in I saw Amalia. I met Amalia several days ago when I was walking. We spent some time talking and walking together. I was grateful to see her today.

Nancy and Amalia.

There are many ways to keep Pilgrims off of busy roads.

Vern walking on a pedestrian overpass on the way to Leon.

As we were crossing the road into Leon I saw what seemed to be a checkpoint. As we walked closer it was a Pilgrim greeting station. The greeters were the Guardia de Civil, (police). They were offering a sello, (stamp), and a map.

A Pilgrim, Vern, and the greeters.

Not far behind us in line was a Mom and four children from New Zealand. I spoke with her for a few minutes. Her and her children are walking for charity. Check out their blog: http://charitywalking.wordpress.com/

The Mom, third from left, and her four children.

The back of the Mom’s backpack.

When we entered Leon we walked into a festival!

Musicians in Leon.

A parade of donkeys in Leon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Terradillos de los Templarios To Bercianos Real Camino

Day Thirty Six. 25.1 K., 15.6 Mi., (my pedometer).

Written on June 4, 2014.

Not long after we left Terradillos there was a small Labyrinth on the side of the trail. A great way to start a day of walking…walking a Labyrinth. I was focused on saying mantras and being grateful for all of my experiences. Thanks to anyone and everyone who created the Labyrinth.

After our first break Vern walked ahead to Sahagun. While I was walking two women were passing me. I greeted them and noticed that one of them had a very cool band on her hat. I complimented her hat and they both proceeded to tell me what they were doing and why they were walking.

Sidney and Izabela walking for children in Africa.

A placard on the back of each woman's backpack.

To find out more: “like” and follow them at: Facebook.com/walkforhopeofchildren. Also, more info at: clotheavillagenow.com.

A bridge on the way to Sahagun.

Today Angel left Terradillos after us, passed us, and arrived in Bercianos with plenty of time to settle in to the Albergue Santa Clara and get acquainted with more Pilgrims.

A card “magic” trick performed by Ruben. Angel, where is the 9 of hearts?

A sign at a bar in Bercianos.

 

Fromista To Carrion de los Condes

Day Thirty Four. 21.1 K., 13.1 Mi.

Written on June 2, 2014.

We turned around just in time to see the first glimpse of the sunrise.

Sunrise over Fromista.

Vern at the first bar to have coffee.

Stork with babies on top of a church.

At the last break of the day Vern went inside the bar to order an orange juice. Angel overheard the Señora correcting his Spanish pronunciation of orange.

The bar provides lodging, food, drinks and Spanish lessons:)

Vern wearing his “bug hat”. Wish I had mine!

 

Castrojeriz To Fromista

Day Thirty Three. 27.0 K., 16.8 Mi. *(My pedometer).

Written on June 1, 2014.

*A note: when I show mileage with (my pedometer) following it is because I have noticed changes to the Camino that are not listed in my guide book. I trust the mileage on my pedometer more than the mileage listed in the guide book.

This morning we go up, up, and further up to Alto de Mostelares. For those of us who have to take it slow and easy it is a great time to insert headphones into our ears. I am not beyond letting music help me in certain situations. The first song that came up: “It's A Long Way To The Top If You Want to Rock'n Roll” by Lucinda Williams!

Directly above Vern and Angel is the path to Alto de Montelares.

The view from the top of Alto de Mostelares.
Angel and I before we make the long descent into the valley.

Volunteers at a Pilgrim rest…fruit, coffee, etc., for a donation!

Vern on Puente de Itero.

Puente de Itero is a Romanesque structure that has eleven arches. The Rio Pisuerga provided the natural boundary between Castilla and Leon.

Canal de Castilla.

We walked many miles into Fromista today along the canal.

 

Hornillos del Camino to Castrojeriz

Day Thirty Two. 22.4 K., 13.9 Mi.

Written on May 31, 2014.

It's early morning and the trail winds it's way up a hill. When I get to the top I like to look behind me. Some of the greatest photos I have taken are of where I have been.

Theos, Francois, and Angel not far behind me.

Vern and I know of a place in the Meseta between Hornillos del Camino and Castrojeriz. It is a municipal Albergue, San Bol, that has had the reputation of being a hippie Albergue. We are fascinated by the claims of magic water. In our guide book it says, “the waters from the well are said to have healing properties and to cure aching feet”.

Sign and marker for San Bol.

Angel and I are walking together. Vern had said that he was going to stop in San Bol so we walk 100 meters off the Camino to see if he is still there.

Just in time to see Vern put his feet in the water.

Angel doesn't have to say anything. Her face shows how cold the water is!

I take a moment of mental preparation so that I am able to keep my feet in the water.

We go inside the Albergue to get warm and have breakfast that they are now serving.

Today is the first time that I see the Pilgrim dog. He is carrying his own pack. At a break in Hontanas he was even playing with a ball.

A pilgrim and his dog.

San Anton, ancient monastery. A road goes through the ruins.

There is an operational private Albergue here.

Lots of flowers on the path today.

 

Burgos To Hornillos del Camino

Day Thirty One. 19.5 K., 12.1 Mi.

Written on May 30, 2014.

The walk out of Burgos is like an art walk, much like the city itself is.

A sculpture near the University.

A fountain on the way out of town.

Pilgrim creativity!

Pilgrims have told me that their guidebooks suggest that they take a bus and avoid the Meseta, (high plains). I love the vastness and solitude of this beautiful area.

Welcome to the Meseta!

On May 20th I had first mentioned Theos, the donkey and Francois. We had first seen Theos when he was crossing the bridge in Puente La Reina. Today I was grateful to see this beautiful animal in the Meseta!

Theos at a Pilgrim rest stop.

Chris and Ursula from South Africa walking backwards down the hill!
 
 

 

Day Off In Burgos

Day Thirty.

Written on May 29, 2014.

A great day to sleep in, go have coffee, and take care of errands. One of the most important things to do today is have my clothes washed in a machine. Since April 30th I have washed my clothes by hand. I found a dry cleaners who would wash them in a machine and not dry them. Two years ago on the Camino I had my clothes washed and dried…they shrunk. Now it's time to go explore.

Nancy, Vern, and Jim with one of our favorite sculptures.

Today we saw many Pilgrims that we know in Burgos. It was fun getting together without being tired after walking all day.

We found a sporting goods store and bought Vern a pair of sandals. I went to the library and printed boarding passes to be used at the end of June. As we were walking around Burgos we kept seeing more Pilgrims and started making dinner plans. When we did start to gather to make our way to a place to eat I noticed that another group was forming close by. I heard someone say that they were going to Dane's concert. Dane had walked by me several days ago with a cello on his back. I had been wanting to see him play. This was the perfect opportunity. I told Vern and who could hear that I was going to the concert and took off to follow the people who knew where they were going.

The line for Dane's concert in front of Monasterios de Huelgas.
Dane and I after his cello performance.
For more information about Dane, the Pilgrim cellist, go to walktofisterra.com.