Signing off

Folks, this Camino has come to an end. A happy ending at that. In light of the troubles I faced at the beginning this is a very happy ending.Yesterday I saw Hannah again. I walked with her for two days. Big smiles from both of us. Saw the folks from VA who I spent a rainy afternoon with. Saw Sophie from UK as she was waiting to get her certificate. Had dinner with Dave from Rhode Island (spelled correctly this time). We shared more if our past & future travels.The pilgrims are a group of people I feel myself around. What other holiday is there that you make friends so easily? None that I know of.We walk, share our story with others, listen to their stories, and we are believers.I’ll be back in the future. I like me here ūüėĀThe “Dave’s”

Hannah – I think she is “stalking” ūüėĀ. I saw her this morning at the square. We are meeting for dinner later.

Walk to Santiago de Compostela

I did it! Again!

Day started like normal for me. Lost at first. Found the path within the first mile or so.

At first limited number of pilgrims however the changed quickly. At second stop met a gal from Mexico. She was born in the CA, worked most if life in Oregon. Moved to Mexico and met her husband. Loves the life there. It’s a bit easier I believe.

Parted ways for a but. Thought I was lost but found her heading my way saying, “you’re on the path. Have faith”. Not something we techies believe in if our tech does not agree. I followed her again and was back on track.

Once in Santiago found the pilgrim office. Received my number to be processed. My wait will be 6 hours.

Eat lunch, showered and rested. Heading back to Santiago cathedral to hangout with other pilgrims.

Walk to Padron

Started at my normal 6:30. Light rain so I wore my rain jacket. Walked the whole day by myself. Nice change.

Got into town by 12:00. Hotel was about a 15 minute walk out if town. Darn, I do like being closer.

Good news; bad news. Did my laundry ūüėĀ however I did wash my MP3 player. It might not work again ever. Darn

Met Dave from Road Island at the laundry. We met later for dinner. Had a delightful chat. He did everything before settling down. Worked in a fish processing plant in Alaska, worked in the Grand canyon, hichiked across the USA.

I like this type of trail.

My walk to Caldas de Reis

Started around 6:30. City was still asleep & do was I. Missed a turn it two before making it out of the city. The countryside was a welcome change.

Met a gentleman from UK. We shared a few stories. His goal was 40km for the day. Needed to.be in Santiago a day earlier then me. So, we walked at a good pace.

Lost him at first breakfast spot. Enjoyed eggs & potatoes, coffee, and the rest. Just I’m getting ready to leave Sophie walked by.

I meet her on and off over the past few days. Sweet gal from UK. Once again we talked about work, life, and just interesting subjects.

We stopped for a quick refreshment. Off again for she too needed 40km today. Once she is done she is heading to a wedding in South of Spain.

Was sad to part ways. Gave her a Camino pin, a smile and I headed to my hotel. Short rest, off for the worst lunch, and back to hotel. Hope dinner is better.

Nice walk on this part of the trail. No rain for the morning walk.
Need to share this picture of tomatoes. Wish mine looks like this. Next year I’ll learn how to get mine to look like this.

Walk to Pontevedra

Started after breakfast in hostel. Egg & potato. At first it rained a bit. Enough to require rain jacket. Stopped with one hour. Removed rain gear & long paints.

Meet a mother & daughter team walking along. We shared stories, stopped for coffee a few times. Chatting with them helped the km pass quickly. Nice.

WOW!! Where did all the pilgrims come from? It felt like the number of pilgrims increased 10 fold. It was like bus loads showed up instantly.

I became bed concerned. Booked out the rest of my nights. I don’t really have a problem for I’m not on a limited budget but still don’t want to over pay.

Heading out for lunch. Dinner here starts at 9:00. Too late for me.

Bridge we walked over. Nice view. This the back of the mother daughter team I spent the day with. I liked this view. Umbrellas? Long story for another time.

Yesterday walk to Redondale

What a day!  Light rain the morning so I decided to walk the hill route. Rain picked up and it slippery. Bad call.
Headed back to the coastal route. Good call. Rain for the most part would start & stop due the whole day. At times hard. I had 35km to make today. So I focused foot after foot I made my way. Around noon I spotted a couple I had spoken with the day before. Spend the whole afternoon chatting. Made the walk so much better.

Found hostel acceptable. Spent the evening over dinner chatting with some folks from Germany. Enjoyed their company and stories. Hope to see them again.

Glad yesterday is yesterday.  Hope today I have better weather.

Yup – WordPress & JetPack are down. I’ll upload later.

Moug√°s to A Ramallosa

Nice day. Started at 7:00. Walked again with Hannah. The walk took us through the hillside and more of a wooded trail.

Only drawback was no services till 11:00. In other words no breakfast. I almost ran out if water & food.

Once we made it to town. Had egg & potatoes omelette.

Meet a couple from Canada that joined us. Stopped for lunch. Shared a few good stories. At that point Hannah headed towards her hostel.  The rest of us headed on to our hotel. I gave Hannah one if my yellow arrow pins. Big smile. Nice kid. I hope to see her again. Maybe Santiago.

No internet at hotel. So unacceptable.

Caminha to Moug√°s

What a nice day. Last night was weird. Stayed in one room of a house shared with other people. Never bumped into them but could hear them. Not my style. Plus, I had to take a taxi for food. None the worst for the experience.

Today I started around 6:30ish. Walked a mile or two to the ferry building. Ferry did operate until 9 so as I was asking about the ferry the gal said the small boat is about to leave. 5‚ā¨ later I was seating on the small boat with 3 other pilgrims.

Once to the other side 10 or so minutes later. I started walking with Hannah from Germany. A young gal who works as an anesthesiologist RN. We shared stories all day. Enjoyed coffee & food. Nice day talking. Time went quick.

It was overcast all day but the lack of sun made the walk a bit easier.

Viana do Castelo to Caminha

Nice start to my day. Left hotel at 6:30. Got lost in the city but still found my way out.

More trail walking. Which I like. Still spent a fair amount of time in suburban part of town. Or maybe beach or second homes. Not sure but they were big.

Saw a few churches along the way but no real sign of life in them.

For some unknown reason I booked a room in a shared house. Hard time connecting with owner. Once we did connect all is good. Once issue is I’ll have to taxi to town for food. Minor issue.

Plus tomorrow I’ll have to taxi to ferry. Tomorrow Spain.

Esposende to Viana do Castelo

I feel like I spent the day walking through either everybody’s summer houses or long commute housing.

Day started late. Had breakfast at hotel. Ham & cheese is clearly their staple.

Enjoyed coastal fog for most of the morning. Thought I’d stay on the coast but there was no services. So, I headed back to normal trail.

Chatted with a few other pilgrims. Was glad to see hotel. Note, I have been staying in hotels for the most part. With my feet still killing me I need the space to deal with my medical needs.

I do like the softness of a foggy morning.

A good sign.

Vila do Conde to Esposende

Nice day. Left the hostel at 6ish. Streets quite and empty. Nice. Only issue there is still limited services at the hour. 8 o’clock is when I found a cafe that was open. Eggs? Nope. Ham & cheese yup. Third one in two days. I’ve had enough.

Walk was mostly along the coast. Did some time on elevate woods walkways. Not sure I liked them. It does show the locals are investigating in the pilgrim community. Nice.

Like the Beatles pilgrims in upper left.

Sign sign everywhere a sign.

Sé do Porto to Vila do Conde

Much, much better day. Awoke at 6:00. Took care of morning needs still not feeling 100% but much better. Eat at hotel, grabbed a cab to Matosinhos. A nice starting point.

Walked a few hours just spending time with myself. The air was just coming off the ocean. Cool & damp. Wide walkways and easy walking.

Meet a gal from Graz Austria. We shared the trail till I stopped at my hostel.

A few more pictures are warranted.

Feet still hurt, lower back still not happy but a much better day. Off to shower. Dinner around here is 7 maybe. I think 8 is more normal.

Porto update

Took a down day. Vital signs have improved. Feeling much better. Spent the day laying around the hotel room.

Tomorrow I’ll get breakfast here then taxi to a cool starting point for the coastal Camino. Matosinhos crossing. Here’s hoping the worst is behind me.

Stay positive, stay strong.

Major plan change

My third day on the Camino was the worst day trekking I’ve ever had. Between the heat and the sun and my blisters and the lack of services on the trail was too much for me.

Started my day at 6:00 in the morning. I head over 2 liters of water and a bunch of snacks. I thought this would last the day. It didn’t.

Due to the blisters I was walking about 2 minutes slower per mile. Plus, this was going to be my third day of over 20 miles.

Regardless, toward the end of the trek (8km) it appeared my water would not last. I found myself stopping every shady spot, drop my pack and rest. This worked for while. Within 3 km even this stopped helping. No water, no protein, sun, heat and exhaustion took off.

I hitchhiked the last 1km. Big thanks to driver for helping. Dropped me at pastry shop. Got water & taxi to train station. Took train to Porto. I’m going to stay for two days before heading on to the coastal Camino.

Im hopeful there are more services. More opportunities to stop of stage.

Why? Walking into Santiago de Compostela is so rewarding. I’ll know more about my condition once on the trail.

A nice public art.

After seeing all these Roma tomatoes I as hoping for pizza for dinner. Sorry that did not happen. Darn.

Tomorrow I’ll know more. Hum, life is like that always.

Alverca do Ribatejo to Azambuja

Not a good day per se. I have a big blister on my left foot. It was a hot day with lots of street top, cars, trucks, and boring walking. Did not take many pictures for there was nothing of interest.

That’s it. Only picture.

To have this day to do over I’d nust take the train from Lisbon to here. Maybe even farther north.

Tomorrow I was told there is 18k stretch of no services. Need a trip to pharma and supermercado.

Today I did a major reduction in stuff I’m carrying. Hope I dropped 5 pounds. Might help with sore feet.

Lisbon to Alverca do Ribatejo

A long day. Did not sleep well again. Between trash pick up, airplanes landing, and late night folks I just drifted in and out of sleep. Tonight will be better.

Hit the trail at a bit after 6 am. Half of the day I was walking on stone walkways or asphalt. Hard on my legs and feet. Overall a nice but long walk. Temperature okay but a bit windy.

Got lost 3 times. No real surprise. App Maps.me & overlay saved me. I’m a real fan now.

Tomorrow should be shorter day. Only 14 or so miles.

Internet to slow for pictures. Maybe later.

I’ve started, kinda

Found it hard to sleep much last night. Had jet lag, glass recycling picked up at 1:30 am, and new digs. Normal.

This morning found the cathedral. Got my first stamp ūüėĀ. Saw a few groups of pilgrims hitting the way. So good to see. As my hostel is on the way I walked the first part already. Tomorrow I will not back track. So, first thing in the morning I’ll take off where I ended.

Note, without maps.me and an overlay I would have been lost. Marks are limited and small.

Example – easy for me to miss.

Lisbon hostel

Arrived around 11 pm. Very long day. Getting around Charles de Gaulle airport was trying. Two shuttles, passport control, security, and long lines. What should have been a 5 hour layover turned into 30 minutes to spare before boarding.

Today it’s get my pilgrim passport stamped, buy some walking sticks, and see a few sights.

Should be an easy day.

At OAK

Passed through security without any issue. Note, I did leave my favorite walking sticks at home. Not sure they would make it through Paris. Not worth the risk.

First flight is almost 2 hours late. My connecting flight would have been with a 5 hour layover however now it just 3 hours. Some much for a lazy bite to eat at Charles de Gaulle airport.

I’m beginning to believe in longer layovers. On my outbound flight to Nepal I have a 10 hour layover. So when arriving 7 hours late – no problem.

Packing

Packings about 95% done. I still need to pick up some toiletry and travel related items. Note, I have decided to leave my walking sticks at home. I’ll just buy some new ones in Lisbon.

Itinerary

Sorry about the formatting. I've worked on this part of the blog for way to long.  It is what it is.

Date Km Miles
1 Sept 10 Lisbon to Alverca do Ribatejo 32.2 20.4
2 Sept 11 Alverca do Ribatejo to Azambuja 29.7 18.5
3 Sept 12 Azambuja to Santarém 33.9 21.1
4 Sept 13 Santarém to Golegã 36.6 22.7
5 Sept 14 Goleg√£ to Tomar 31.1 19.3
6 Sept 15 Tomar to Alvai√°zere 32.5 20.2
7 Sept 16 Alvai√£zere to Alvorge 23.7 14.7
8 Sept 17 Alvorge to Condeixa-a-Nova 23.3 14.5
9 Sept 18 Condeixa-a-Nova to Coimbra 19.2 11.9
10 Sept 19 Coimbra to Mealhada 25.6 15.9
11 Sept 20 Mealhada to √Āgueda 25.3 15.7
12 Sept 21 √Āgueda to Albergaria-a-Nova 21.2 13.2
13 Sept 22 Albergaria-a-Nova to S√£o Jo√£o de Madeira 24.4 15.2
14 Sept 23 S√£o Jo√£o de Madeira to Porto 35.6 22.1
Coastal Route begins 394 245
15 Sept 24 Sé do Porto to Vila do Conde 33.9 21.1
16 Sept 25 Vila do Conde to Esposende 24.2 15.0
17 Sept 26 Esposende to Viana do Castelo 25.6 15.9
18 Sept 27 Viana do Castelo to Caminha 26.9 16.7
19 Sept 28 Caminha to Moug√°s 23.2 14.4
20 Sept 29 Moug√°s to Baiona & on to A Ramallosa 16.3 10.1
21 Sept 30 A Ramallosa Nigran to Vigo 20.9 13.0
22 Oct 1 Vigo to Redondela 15.7 9.8
23 Oct 2 Redondela to Pontevedra 20.2 12.6
24 Oct 3 Pontevedra to Caldas de Reis 22.2 13.8
25 Oct 4 Caldas de Reis to Padron 19.1 11.9
26 Oct 5 Padron to Santiago 25.6 15.9
273.8 170.1
Total 668 416

 

First post at new site

Blog post One – New beginning

On September 8th I leave from OAK via Norwegian Air to Charles de Gaulle airport. After a 5 hour layover I head to Lisbon airport, If all goes well I’ll arrive at 10:10 pm.  Just 10 minutes after the hotel I’m staying in closes registration.  Darn.  I spoke to them earlier. They indicated I should call the day before seeking some help.  We’ll see.  Fallback plan is to get hotel near airport and head in in the morning.