Gonzar to Palas de Rei

Day Forty Nine. 18.5 K., 11.5 Mi.

Written on June 17, 2014.

A few days ago we met Dai at an Albergue in El Acebo. He recently emailed a photo that he had taken of us.

Vern, Angel, and Nancy.

When Pilgrims began to leave the Albergue I was wide awake. I decided to get up and get ready while Vern and Angel were sleeping. When I was ready to go I realized that they were still sleeping. I let Vern know that I was leaving and started walking.

A contrast of new and old.

Some form of a Palloza.

I stopped to take a break in a village and saw Vern and Angel walking so I called out to them. As soon as they arrived Vern told me that he had found money in the bathroom at the last Albergue. Soon after he told me the story two sisters who we had met the night before arrived. They started to tell us that their sister and Mother were behind them. The sister discovered that she had lost her money and went back to the Albergue for a possible 4k. detour. Vern asked them how much money…they said 15 or 20 euros. He had found 20 euros. He handed them a 20 euro bill. They immediately texted their sister. All we could say is, “That's the Camino”!

Pilgrims walking into Palas de Rei.

 

Rabanal del Camino To El Acebo

Day Forty Four. 20.6 K., 12.8 Mi.

Written on June 12, 2014.

The walk out of Rabanal del Camino is uphill and uphill some more! Almost 5 miles of walking uphill. We chose to walk on the road for most of the way to La Cruz de Ferro. While on the road I heard an unusual sound behind me. I turned around just in time to see two Pilgrims using their walking sticks to push a Pilgrim in a wheel chair up the steep hill. I asked them if it was ok to take a photo….they chose not to have a photo taken. As much as possible I ask for permission to include photos of people in my blog.

Cruz de Ferro has become a personalized symbol for many Pilgrims. What I mean is: some Pilgrims walk hundreds of miles with a stone or some other lightweight remembrance of home or of a loved one.

Tony Chapin was my boyfriend throughout high school. We had a son together and over the years we were friends and support for each other. In 2012 Tony gave me a Disabled American Vets Patch to place just below the cross in Cruz de Ferro. For this Camino Tony sent me a custom made bead, locally made where he lives in Alaska. I received the bead in the mail…..Tony passed away four days later. I had promised to leave the bead for him. I believe that it was his way of being a part of our journey.

The bead Tony sent me.

Placing the bead at Cruz de Ferro.

Vern placing a rock from a beach in Crescent City, California.

Barbara and Angel preparing to place their momentos.

Angel and I on our way to El Acebo.

The first sight of El Acebo.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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

 

Pamplona: Rest Day

Day Nineteen.

Written on May 18, 2014.

We planned on meeting at 8:00 a.m. to find coffee. There was a place close by. After coffee we decided to walk around Pamplona to see what it looked like the morning after a party. There were several street sweepers and just a few people. As we were walking we heard music and turned just in time to see the musicians.

Musicians in front of City Hall.

A flag draped over a statue.

Vern enjoying a day off:)

We wanted to take advantage of the time we have with Dieter. He will be going back to Madrid this evening for a work conference. We explored parts of Pamplona that Vern and I had never seen before.

Vern, Nancy, Angel, Dieter.

Thanks Israel, O'Nelia, and Diego for taking our photo and visiting for awhile!

We walked Dieter to the train station after a fun day of exploring and relaxing. The next time we see Dieter it will be in Paris, Belgium, or Gasquet, California!

 

 

Caldas De Reis To Padron

Day Ten. 18.1 K., 11.2 Mi.

Written on May 9, 2014

We stayed in the Posada Doña Urraca Albergue. Surprisingly I slept good! Many bunkbeds….no snoring. We woke up early and took off toward Padron. Angel made friends last night with several people. We saw them as we were walking.

Me and Libor from the Czech Republic.

One of the serene spots along the way.

Happy to get this photo of a beautiful lizard.

Kathy on her way to Padron.

A walk along the Rio Sar.

 

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.

 

Barcelos To Ponte De Lima

Day Five. 16.2 K. 10 Mi.

Written on May 4, 2014.

Today when I woke up I knew what I was trying to deny. Walking, for me, is not a good idea. I know that each day I am feeling more and more sick. I decided to take a shuttle to the next large city while everyone else is walking. Kathy decided she wanted to stay with me. Soon Batista was transporting us and our backpacks to Ponte De Lima, the oldest town in Portugal. My energy level was so low that walking was not an option. Therese of Hotel D. Nuno made most of the arrangements. Her gifts of sandwiches, fruit, and water will always be in our hearts.

When we arrived in Ponte De Lima our rooms were not ready. We took the next logical step and headed for the nearest medical facility. It wasn't far, but not easy to make my way up the hill….all the time wondering what they will be able to do for me. The Doctor evaluated my symptoms and immediately put me on a vaporizer mask. The steam helped my throat. Kathy was there every inch of the way. I am so grateful that she was there. At one point she was carrying both of our day packs and keeping track of what to do next. She is an Angel that I didn't have to go far to find. At the end of the treatment the Doctor told me that I have a virus. I noticed that one of the three medications that we had to pick up at the pharmacy were for the flu. By the time we got back to the hotel we were able to get into the room.

This is a sculpture close to the hotel.

The view from our room.

The bridge over Rio Lima.

Beautiful Knight on horse sculpture near the bridge.

 

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.