Day -the end

This Camino has come to an end. I’ve lost count of the days. I have not forgotten the experiences or friends I made.

The weather was better than expected. I had limited rain or gray days. Even on those days I enjoyed the weather.  For as a northern Californian weather is rare. I had thunderstorms, lighting, light rain and gray days. Not normal for me.

I had blue skies, broken clouds, and a bit of fog thrown in. 

What is the mature pilgrim? This is a generalization for sure. 1. They are educated. Doctors, lawyers, engineers (like me), managers, medical professionals and business owners. 2. Have traveled a bunch. One young German gal said, “you sound like you have traveled” to me. I said yes and informed her I had been to 24 countries. “So little?”. Well for an American I think this is a lot. What do I know. 3. And the most important thing is that we like to share our stories. Evening conversation is always lively.

As I sit on the train heading home I’m already missing my friends.

I have started planning my turn.

Buen Camino

Heading to Moxia and Fenistera

My Camino del Norte came to an end the other day. Met up with Paul in Santiago Spent two wonderful days; kinda of hanging out and enjoying good food.

I started walking today to Fenistera. Rain for a little bit on us. No big deal. Really kind of a nice break from the normal weather. The outlook for the next few days is blue sky with a chance of it getting kind of warm.

Choices, choices & choices

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