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.

 

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.

 

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!

 

Pension Jumboli To Pontevedra

Day Eight. 19.6 K., 12.2 Mi.

Written on May 7, 2014.

Today was a good walking day. Beautiful paths, trees, flowers, rock walls, and vineyards.

A Pilgrim Shrine on the Way.

Today we saw a Pilgrim walking the other way…..from Santiago. I love to congratulate them for already arriving in Santiago and now going back from where they came.

Tsubouchi from Japan.

I don't really look for toilet stories….they seem to find me. This story is best told with photos:

I entered through the left door.

This is the women's/men's “restroom”.

 

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.

 

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.

Muxia to Home-Day One.

Written on July 12, 2012.

There are two buses that run from Muxia to Santiago: 6:45 a.m. or 2:30 p.m. We take the 6:45 a.m. When we board the bus I realize that I have not been on any form of transportation since Etienne dropped us off in Le Puy almost three months ago. We see Miguel waiting for the bus and spend some time visiting with him.

It is a great feeling to walk from the bus station in Santiago to the Plaza in front of the Cathedral. It is wonderful to walk with all of the Pilgrims who are coming in from many different starting points.

Now it is time to find Pension Badalada. I had searched “package storage in Santiago, Spain” before we left California and found Pension Badalada. They will store packages for Pilgrims for a fee. For more information: email: @badalada.es.info. Their website is : Badalada.es. We had some extra clothing that we did not want to carry from our days visiting London, France, and Chauriat, but wanted to have in Madrid after our walk.

Vern left the Pension to walk around Santiago. I stayed in the room. He saw Catarina and Nancy and made plans to meet later for dinner. Nancy's husband, Stephen has arrived in Santiago to meet Nancy and celebrate their wedding anniversary together and Nancy's walk from France to Santiago!

Vern, Catarina, Nancy, and Me.

It is now time to meet Nancy, her husband, and Catarina for dinner. We go to the Plaza and see Catarina and Nancy. Nancy takes us to a bar near the Cathedral with tables outside where her husband and a friend are waiting. Her friend, Carlos, has a dog friend and a wagon. It is time to find a good restaurant with outside seating.

Carlos and his friend.

Carlos is a chef and knows just what to order! We love the food here. We decide to order one more dish. Catarina and I watch Carlos as he shows us how to eat the fish with the tail and head still on.

Good job Catarina!

I am having fun and trying not to eat the bones.

 

It is a great evening filled with good food, funny stories, and heartwarming stories. Each person shares what the last several weeks have meant for them. The Plaza and Cathedral seem to be one of the special places for anyone walking into Santiago. Vern and I visit it many times per day and into the evening.

The Cathedral just before the sun goes down.

Finisterre to Muxia

Day Eighty Three. 19.1 Miles, 30.8 Kilometers.

Total miles walked from Le Puy-en-Velay, France to Muxia, Spain= 1,046.5. Total Kilometers= 1,683.0.

Total days on the Camino= 83. Total days walking = 76. Total Rest Days= 7.

Written on July 11, 2012.

We began walking on the Chemin de St. Jacques in Le Puy-en-Velay, France on April 20, 2012. At St. jean Pied-de-Port, France and into Spain the route is referred to as The Camino de Santiago, The Way, The Way of St. James, etc. The “Path” goes through every kind of terrain imaginable and most weather conditions. We have experienced views from brilliant to mundane to desolate with an unmistakeable beauty. Two days ago we walked along an ocean for the first time in months. It has been an incredible journey. It feels so appropriate to be walking the last several miles in view of an ocean (Atlantic). Walking through eucalyptus groves, by the sea, and through seaside villages, this is the grand finale to a grand walk. We are now seeing a new waymarker indicating a new region.

Dolphin, Camino Arrow Waymarker, and “M” for Muxia.

On the way to Lires, a coastal village, marking the half way point to Muxia we see Albert and Ingrid. We stop at the only building for miles, a bar, situated on a bluff with a great ocean view. It is a requirement to get a sello in Lires on the way to Muxia in order to receive a Compostella in Muxia. After a rest in the bar we proceed to Lires, get a stamp, visit with a couple of Pilgrims and continue toward Muxia.

I was looking forward to the stepping stones in the river that I had heard so much about. When we arrived at the spot a new bridge had been built.

Stepping stones in Rio Castro.

New bridge in Rio Castro.

Not far from Lires we saw a man and woman with a plow hooked up to a donkey. They were both shouting commands in Spanish to the donkey. He seemed to be responding well to what they were saying.

A couple plowing their field near Lires, Spain.

Another three or four miles of walking and I heard Vern talking to someone ahead. When I got there I saw that it was Dan and Ellen. We have been seeing them on a regular basis. They are the first pilgrims we have met that live so close to us. (2-1/2 hours).

Vern, Ellen, Me, and Dan.

I love it when I see a first: I mean a first pilgrim pulling a cart, a first pilgrim smoking a pipe, and today the first young Pilgrim on a bicycle!

A Pilgrim from Italy, his Mom is not shown.

At last we are in Muxia!! We are anxious to get to the tourist office and receive our third Compostela, then we can visit the church, the famous rocks along the coast, and other Pilgrims.

Today marks the end of our walking. Muxia is our geographical destination, but as I now know, for myself, the Camino de Santiago journey is the actual destination. The destination is the deep loving connection with Pilgrims, all humans, and all animals. It is the intention and effort to avoid stepping on ants, beetles, etc. it is the respect of myself and of others to leave “no trace”, etc.

My third Compostella of the Le Puy-en-Velay, France to Muxia, Spain Route.

The view walking into Muxia.

We are excited to see this sign!

Church at the headland Santuario da Virxe da Barca.

Me and Vern just after arriving at Muxia!

A few days ago we met and walked for awhile with Miguel from Colombia. It was wonderful to spend time with him in Muxia. Thanks for the photo of Vern and I on the rock!

I will continue this blog, creating postings throughout our trip home.

Rest Day Finisterre

Day Eighty Two.

Written on July 10, 2012.

There are many places to have a cup of coffee this morning and a light breakfast. We chose a cafe near the water. As soon as we walked in it was a time for celebration and reunion! We saw Catarina and Gloria.

Catarina, Vern, Me, and Gloria.

We wanted to spend some time together so we decided to take a walk out to the lighthouse. There are many Pilgrims walking toward the lighthouse, many we have not seen before. It is a beautiful, clear day in Finisterre. We soon met up with Mairead and stopped at a market for water and a chocolate bar. The 12th Century Romanesque Church, Igrexa de Santa Maria das Areas, (Our Lady of the Sands), is on the way.

A statue of Saint Roch and his dog inside Our Lady of the Sands Church.

As we are walking to the lighthouse Gloria and Catarina walk to a hill not far from the lighthouse. Mairead, Vern, and I continue up to the lighthouse and spend time visiting with other pilgrims. I reflect on what Finisterre, (The “end of the world”), means to me. I had spent time considering this thought while walking and discovered that walking to Finisterre is a symbol for me. The symbol is: I can't believe what I think. What I mean by this is: In Medieval times it was believed that the world was flat. Finisterre has its name, The End Of The Earth, due to this belief. What beliefs do I have that will be discounted next year or next century?

The view from Finisterre.

This is such a meaningful day! We walk to the waymarker that reads 0,00 K.M.

Vern and I at the 0,00 K.M. Waymarker.

A better look at the 0,00 K.M. Waymarker.

We walk for a few minutes back toward Finisterre and a miracle! We see the California boys and Perrogrino. We haven't seen “The Boys” in a few days. We have heard about Perrorgrino but have not seen him since June 28th in Villafranca del Bierzo. He has walked at least 469 Kilometers, almost 300 Miles, (that we know about). We think that the first time he was seen walking was from Terradillos de Los Templarios.

The California Boys and friends with Perrogrino.

Perrogrino.

A very eventful day! I was in our room and Vern brought Sophia to visit, another Pilgrim we have not seen for a few weeks.

Thomas is having a birthday tomorrow and has invited Albert and Ingrid from Holland, Vern and I to help him celebrate while we are all in Finisterre together. We are glad to spend time with them. Thomas found a wonderful restaurant with a great view. Happy Birthday tomorrow Thomas!

 

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.