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!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ferrerios To Gonzar

Day Forty Eight. 18.2 K.,11.3 Mi.

Written on June 16, 2014.

Today we are walking from one small “village” to another small “village”. Why I am putting quotations around the word village is because I am not quite sure if they are villages. They are more like a group of structures. I am enjoying staying in remote, out of the way places. When we decided to walk shorter distances as much as possible we found ourselves walking to the less busy places on the Camino.

A Pilgrim “shrine” on the way to Gonzar.

Portomarin is a town on the way to Gonzar. It is unique and beautiful. Vern is walking into Portomarin to get some Euros and coffee. I am walking ahead to Gonzar.

The bridge on the way into Portomarin.

A view of the church in the center of Portomarin.

Most of the walking paths today were uphill. I was grateful that most of them were also shaded.

A gathering of stacked stones and pine cones.
Many times along the side of the Camino there will be stones stacked on top of each other, way markers made out of stones, pine cones, etc., or even Labyrinths. I love seeing these works of art and love.

 

Sarria To Ferrerios

Day Forty Seven. 13.6 K., 8.4 Mi.

Written on June 15, 2014.

Vern and Angel were ahead of me and I knew that we would meet at the first bar they came to. As I was walking I heard people yelling “California, California”!!!

I am use to hearing bicyclists yelling so I didn't pay much attention. Soon I was being hugged by Fabian from Germany….close behind him was his good friend, Alex from New York. It was so good to see them and I knew Vern and Angel would love to see them, too.

Nancy, Vern, Angel, Alex, and Fabian.

We continued walking. I wasn't sure if the 100K marker was before the Albergue in Ferrerios or not. Soon we found it. The importance of the 100K marker is that if you walk from here you can receive a Compostela in Santiago.

Nancy and Vern at the 100K marker.

A bridge on the way to Ferrerios.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bercianos Real Camino To Puente Vilarente

Day Thirty Seven. 34.6 K., 21.5 Mi. (my pedometer).

Written on June 5, 2014.

The walk today had many benches, some shade and Pilgrim rest stops. There were long stretches in between bars and cafés.

A house built into the hillside.

A statue of St. James on the way into Reliegos.

The wall around Mansilla De Las Mulas.

I noticed today that I had to remind myself to look up. We knew at the beginning of the walk today that we would be walking many miles. I tend to keep my head down, mainly not to trip on rocks. When I do look up I am amazed at the beauty of the sky, landscape, and spring flowers.