Day 31

Today received a picture from an old co-worker who is starting her Camino within the next few days. Warmed my heart to see this. I hope her a wonderful Camino .

The bed race continues. We booked 3 days in advance. Tonight. We’re staying at a hotel called 101MK. The end is near.

Our current outlook is to arrive in Santiago on Sunday. We’re looking to book an Airbnb for a few days. I’m looking forward to cooking an American breakfast .

Not sure I’ll be heading to Finisterra, Spain this trip. Paul’s reporting some infection in his foot. Ernst has some personal issues back home and will have to fly home on Tuesday. And Ellen is unsure at this time. Her feet still look pretty poorly.

Day 30 – of walking that is

The bed race has started. I’ve seen more pilgrims today than all the past 20 days or so. Arrived at best albergue in town and it was prebooked. While looking for the next place to stay they had a cancellation.

We have prebooked the next three days.

Still over 100km away – yikes

Day 29 – I think

Today was a bit of a challenge. We had a 630 meter climb from the city. Add to that the fact that it was windy. Ellen from the Netherlands described it as a wind speed 5 day. Not sure what that means but it was windy.

We’re now so close to Santiago that we have to start planning our arrival. It looks like we’ll arrive May 20 or May 21. We need to stay outside Santiago by at least 10K so that we can arrive in Santiago early in the a.m. This will allow us to get our number to get our Compostela certificate by midday.

Lots of windmills turning

Day 24

When we left the albergue this morning we ran into pilgrims I’d met about a week before. We ended up with a group of about seven of us walking down the road .

I spent a delightful time chatting with a gal from England. Her name was Alice. Just delightful listening to her talk. I love that English accent.

Some of the guys headed off to take the mountain route which was an additional 20 km. So I ended up walking with a guy from Italy and two gals from the Netherlands and Ernesto. Wonderful afternoon.

Alice from England
A Pilgrim lunch
Choices

Day 22

Spent the morning digging our way out of Gian. Very industrial town. We got a few hours of walking in the countryside with dual track gravel road. The views were quite nice .

Then we got into this Aviles. An industrial city. Lots of walking on blacktop. Nothing much to report.

So gas is expensive at home. It is but it’s more here. Regular is 1.95 per liter. Using 3.7 liters per gallon = 7.21€ per gallon BUT what about exchange rate of 1.10 (bank rate). The cost of one gallon here is $7.83. Wow.

Spaniards earn USD 37,922 per year on average, less than the OECD average of USD 49,165.

So our gas is cheap.

Day 19

Instead of giving you my normal rosy update, I’m going to fill you in on a few of the things a pilgrim must endure.

Showers – where I’m not sure even wearing shoes protects me from the bugs in there. Plus, while you’re in the shower, the lights go out and you end up having to dance around like a clown hoping the light switch will spot you and go on again. The toilet – sometimes you close the door and it’s hitting you in the face. Plus while sitting in the toilet the lights go out. Again hope the lights will go on again. I dry myself in a towel that best looks like a sham-wow.

I eat food that I’m not sure what animal it comes from. In particular hamburgers. There is never taste of beef there.

I eat at weird hours. Parts of Spain you eat at 8:30 or 9:00. I’m currently in a town where we eat at 8:00 I think.

I walk rain or shine.

However, I wouldn’t change any of it for the world. 🙂

I am iron man

Day 18

Started like every other day on the Camino. I woke with a smile on my face and optimism in my heart.

However, this day it started a bit differently in that we got lost within the first couple of kilometers. We ended up having to plow our way through a cow field. Shoes and pants wet.

Once we found the Camino we spent the day weaving in and out of the coastline. It is stunning here. A lot like the Northern California coast with jagged hills and cliffs that fall into the ocean. Sandy and rocky beaches and you name it. We saw it today .

The weather stayed nice for us for the whole day. The afternoon even started showing signs of the sun breaking through.

Day 17

Everyday so far this Camino has started the same. I wake up with a big smile on my face, excitement in my heart, and looking forward to what the day brings. Today started out kind of rainy & overcast. Yet, we still managed to follow the road, enjoy the day and continue our walk .

For lunch. We stopped at this delightful little cafe with lots of people enjoying the day. Lunch was 15€ three-course meal. Very very nice. Note. I’m eating way too many carbs on this trip and it’ll be lucky if I don’t add 5 lb .

Ensto and I have found each other’s company delightful. His stride and mine is in alignment. However heading uphill he always manages to power up. Note, Ernesto is 4 years older. Not upsetting but of concern. 🙂

Lunch
Halfway there – maybe

I’ve been having a hard time getting pictures uploaded. The problem appears to be in the naming of the files. WordPress does not allow special characters in the file name. Darn.

Day 15

I left albergue at about 7:30 or 8:00 this morning. Spent the day walking with Ernesto. We spent some time walking on the beach. We enjoyed some light food and ended up at a delightful albughie and the top of the hill.

Day 12 & 13 & 14

Both of these days just ran into each other. I spent the day with my Camino family, and from Paris, and Ernst from Germany.

If we weren’t walking, we were talking about this or that. Really nothing of interest to others. However, I did discover that between the three of us, if one of us did something or said something that was funny. The other two just followed suit.

I’ve decided my Camino family superpower was uncontrollable laughter .

We stayed at one hostel. It was just a super super place to be. It had the Camino feel to it everywhere.

Once in Sandander Ann wanted to bus forward to a tourist place. Ernst, due to a bad fall a few days back wanted to slow down so I proceeded by myself.

So I spent the day walking by myself. Basically listening to the dogs bark and enjoying the walk & view.

To my surprise after I found out one albergue was closed and went back to the street; sort of scratching my head thinking where to go. A Pilgrim from a few days before Bilbo popped his head out of the cafe across the street and yelled by name. He put a smile on my face that lasted the rest of the day. Wow. Him and his wife were able to find me an albergue another 4 km up the road and it called to ensure that they were open. It’s so nice to see if familiar face on a long walk day.

Getting closer
Street tile

Day 11

Today started out just quite nice. Went to breakfast down the street with my German and French lady.

After that we started up the hill covered in mud is forever and forever. Once we hit the summit of views for breathtaking and had to work our way down the mud covered tracks .

There was only one hill today for the rest of the day was just super. We ate some light second breakfast in this little town and then proceeded to walk two or three kilometers along the beach .

We found a ferry to take us across to the next town. Met up with a guy from Vermont that we’ve been passing over the past few days. Note he is one of 500 triple crown hikers. Very

He stopped short and I assured him that we would see him again in the next day or two cuz he’s got some legs on him.

So stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A French lady, a German man, and an American man enter a bar. I have so enjoyed the richness of the cultural exchanges I’ve had on this trip. From the French lady to a German guy to folks from the Netherlands to folks from Germany, it’s been wild. I think this is one of the main reasons I enjoy walking the Camino. Not only the views and the solitude but also the in exchange of cultural ideas and histories. And basically what’s going on in the world so thank you Camino

We had a rather long day 24 km. Tomorrow we’re going to shoot for 20. Looks like we’ve got rain in the future.

It’s all good. I’m having a great time.

Ennsteo got tired of walking

Day 10

They started out like so many other days. Overcast damp and a bit on the cool side

As I continue down the trail, I bumped into a lady from France and a gentleman from Germany. They made the whole day just wonderful. The weather approved. I enjoyed the conversation .

The lady from France seems to have a husband and a boyfriend. The gentleman from Germany lived next door to his girlfriend.

Like normal I was the slowest in the bunch. Which was more disturbing than normal for I was the youngest. Oh darn

Regardless, I enjoyed their company in the day. Went by quickly. Tonight I will stay in an Albuquerque

Day 9

The morning started out normal. I left the hostel by 7:00 looking for food at a cafe. Once I finish breakfast I realized I forgot my water at the hostel.

once I got underway this morning it actually gave me a peek into what a blue sky looks like. However, that didn’t last long. I spent the afternoon walking in the rain. I really feel drained for some reason. I hope it’s not the rain.

Today was a day of Americans. Ran into a guy from Vermont. And two guys from Santa Rosa, California. All of what about 2 hours away from us.

Lunch stop
second breakfast- one of my favorites

Day 8 – black top & WOW

Today was going to be a short day so I enjoyed a full sit down breakfast. Coffee and all the fixings.

I spent the day basically walking on blacktop through a very industrial area along the river. Not much to see or do. However– I crossed over the river on a elevated ferry. Never seen one of these before. Needless to say it was the highlight of my day. Got into the hostile around noon. Little bit early but that’s okay.

Day 7 – short & sweet

Today started a little on the rough side. It took me about three or four tries to leave the hotel. Forgot my poles, forgot to put on my rain pants, and a bunch of other minor things.

However, once I got on the road it was rainy and overcast and damp and pretty much a trying day from a weather perspective. It was however, a very short day, only five or six miles. I did one hill and then was rewarded with a view of Bilbao.

Down the hotel. Took care of laundry. Found some good food to eat.

Tomorrow I am a tourist. I’ll be heading to the Guggenheim in the morning. And in the afternoon. I’ll just walk around and see the sites.

Day 6 – rain & company

They give an update on what day five was like. I spent the day going up and down the hills again but the weather was perfect. The views were outstanding. And I had the company of a young Spanish man the whole day.

We shared stories and just had a great day walking along enjoying the views taking care.

That was the good news. For Carlos had blisters that made his feet look like hamburger. He also had sunburn that looked almost level two sunburns.

He was in trouble. When I last saw him. I’d pushed them towards a cab stand and encouraged him to take the taxi to his next hotel. And then in the next day seek either medical help or head home.

I spent the previous night with a whole bunch of pilgrims in the bar laughing and telling stories. It was very rewarding. The morning came and I had it off to get breakfast. First. Note to self you got to do better with food in the morning. You can’t just head over the hill. Hoping to find a cafe.

After I headed out of town, the rain picked up and I spent a fair amount of time on what I consider to be rather slippery slopes. The views were nothing to report about and I think I did not take a single picture.

At one point the choice was going up a slippery dirt hill or head down a bike path. I waited for the Pilgrim behind me to catch up and sought his advice. I said if you head up the dirt path, I’ll follow you. Otherwise, I’m heading down the bike path. So for the next 2 hours, him and I walked along the bike path and shared stories. He’s from Columbia but currently living in Spain and I think he’s a social media influencer with a photography business.

To check out his work.

https://instagram.com/studio.estrada95?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

Finish my walk in the company of a German lady I’ve been seeing on and off for the last few days. I finally got to my hotel and she took a seat scratched her head and said nope. I’m continuing on to Bilbao.

I’m in the hotel relaxing taking care of Dave.