Joined May 2017
  • Day3

    Phasing out.

    September 26, 2017 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    I realized yesterday that my last day of work was June 21, the summer solstice, and September 21 was the autumn solstice, so I did indeed have a summer holiday. It has been very satisfying on many levels for a multitude of reasons.
    Stepping out of the rhythm of your daily life can let you relax and unwind. You become aware of the stress and pressure you live under, be it self inflicted or from outside forces.
    Life is for looking and living, and for me, looking and living in other countries is very satisfying.
    I am glad to have a job I like, it is more like a vocation really, but I am also very glad to have the summer to fully indulge in the things that get me excited and bring me joy and peace and quiet.
    It has been great fun this summer. I was lucky to have Keera'company for all the road trips, my cousins and sister in law here in Dublin, and all the peregrinos and citizens I had the pleasure to walk and talk with in Spain.
    I am grateful and thankful for the experiences.
    Now, back to work and to make plans for next year.
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  • Day27


    September 24, 2017 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C

    We stayed in a old BnB in shabby Bundoran. The decor was typical of an old place, huge flowery wallpaper in three shades of lilac, with a clashing paisley pattern duvet and some diamente throw pillows. The owners were delightful and sat and chatted with us at breakfast. She is an expert knitter and said that is what gets her through the long winters.
    It was overcast but not windy. K&C rented surf boards and I walked the long empty beach. The sun came out, it was really lovely. We drove to Donegal, had a scone and tea and headed back to Dublin by a different route..
    It gets dark earlier each day and it takes longer to get light in the morning. The sun is getting lower in the sky. We did get to see it all day today, what a bonus.
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  • Day1

    The West

    September 24, 2017 in Ireland ⋅ ☁️ 12 °C

    Mild weather,a really strong "breeze" friendly horses, a band playing music in the book shop, fans celebrating the win, really good seafood chowder and brown bread, and the always stunning scenery. I like the West of Ireland.Read more

  • Day26


    September 23, 2017 in Ireland ⋅ ☁️ 13 °C

    Quick weekend visit with Kevin and Chelsea. Beautiful day yesterday, Walked on the beach, and went to a free not Irish music concert at the theater. It was culture night in Ireland so there was a lot of things on offer. . A wander about town today, a coastal drive, then back to Dublin
    I read a yesterday that 39 percent of the people in Donegal are immigrants. 934 of them.
    Ireland is small.
    The sun has been out for 3 days, but there is a chill in the air. First day of autumn yesterday and my last day of work was June 21, so it has been a real solstice to solstice summer holiday this year.
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  • Day23

    Back in Dublin.

    September 20, 2017 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    Back art the flat, uneventful flight.
    Kevin and Chelsea are here as they start their own European wander. We wandered in the rain. Ate chips and ice cream, threw raw fish to the seals in Howth and drank Guinness in pub. That takes care of Dublin.
    I have had the National pfloufhinf championships on my list for years but I have not been able to be here in Mid September. The thrill of the ploughing was calling me.
    So here I am this year and it has been washed out by heavy rain., so it is still on the list.
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  • Day22

    Last day in Spain

    September 19, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    22 days in one of my, well actually, my favourite place. It has been a great visit for me. I like it here.
    My last day was well ended with a conversation with my favorite group of Spanish people, old men.
    I was wandering in the bus station in Santander, waiting for my bus. Up toddles an old man, smaller than me. He was well turned out, tie, cardigan, jacket, hat as the people seem to take pride in their appearance. Here was me in my ratty hiking gear and backpack. .. Anyway, "que buscas " he asks, and from there I got to spend the last 20 minutes in Santander chatting with him. He told me it was "una ricesa" to work with children. He also asked "what kind of person does that? When talking about the police in America shooting people . I wonder what the answer to that question is?
    So back to Dublin I go with fond memories and plans to return.
    Fue un buen viaje.
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  • Day21


    September 18, 2017 in Spain ⋅ 🌧 16 °C

    I got to know this place well, waiting for my plane to go back to Dublin. Ryanair offered no recompense, and after going to the airport, as directed by an email, the girl there said Dublin told them to offer nothing, just tell customers to save receipts, to submit later. Really typical of Ryanair, but outrageous all the same.
    I have done a grand walking tour all around the city. It is quite small, and strolled the beaches, there are 3 right in town.
    It has been cool and wet most of the time. I have wine at lunch and dinner and croissant and coffee at breakfast, so there is no harm in being here, that is for sure.
    I went to the cathedral today, there was a service going on, nuns singing from up in the rafters. Very traditional and quite an experience. Of course at night families come out for walks, dressed up and looking very posh. I am enthralled with the children and their very long held traditional dress style. It is beautiful. The family, and socialising are important here in Spain. It is very nice to see people out walking of an evening.
    There is a non stop parade of dogs too. Small dogs. Ugly small dogs. Vicious, ugly, small dogs. Keeps me entertained as they bark at each other as they pass by, embarrassing the owner. Who needs telly with all this going on.
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  • Day19

    San Vincente de la barquera

    September 16, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    And it ends here for now.
    Yesterday, once again I walked far. The planned stop had no beds left. I could have got a hotel or hostel but I wanted my last night to be with other walkers.
    I met up with two Polish grandmother's, my age as we walked into the town we hoped to sleep in. One had a little English and the other backhanded my arm and said, ", food, tired, you ask".
    She was great and I walked the extra 7 km with them to the next available bed. We were tired at the point and hungry too. That was the plan to go right to the next available bed, , but we got off track, or rather we stayed on the track, which was winding and long, instead of the more direct, shoulder of the road route. . The rain was relentless and the wind was harsh. They both hand on ponchos which flapped and made noise like sails. I was singing, yes, singing, to try to lighten the mood. One of them was exhausted, I could not pronounce even an approximation of her name. When she was just about on her last footstep, and after many backhands from Ana, pointing to houses... "you go there, ask where albergue", as she points to a house with rabid, foaming at the mouth dogs, barking, growling and hitting the end of their chains trying to get at us.
    I said "no, we walk, will find bed"
    Then a double rainbow came out, and Ana blocked a cars exit from their driveway, motioned to driver to the driver to put down window, backhanded me "you ask where Albergue"
    I did, she gave us a lift. Less than a 2 minute drive, but it felt like heaven.
    Got a bed, dinner and breakfast this morning. Ana and Bodu.....? were great company. It was a huge challenge for the last few kms in the wind driven rain. We drank wine and ate dinner together and slept well.
    The Camino is a very personal journey, shared with so many others. No words to describe what it means. I will be back
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  • Day18

    Sontonio, SANTANDER, Santilla del. Mar

    September 15, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    This is a beautiful lille place. No words to aptly describe a medieval village. It was enchanting to arrive here yesterday evening after my second day of 40 km walks. I don't set out everyday with a plan, I just follow the arrows. However that was a bit of a wobbly plan the day before when I apparently followed the less well marked trail along the coast.
    I left Sontonio to the smell of fish offal being pureed into pet food. There were large vrates of fish stacked up along the pier, well fish bit really, and when I asked man what it was for he showed me the big grinder and explained the process. I was very appreciative of the information, but blimey, the smell.
    Anyway I walked briefly with an English woman who had rented her house out and was walking all about the world. She had me in hysterics telling me about using the bathroom in various hostels etc, and how you just let go of your inhibitions. Then she said ",I have to wee," she dropped her pack and her shorts and proceeded to do so! I walked on.
    The day was long, hot and magnificent. However a was tired and hungry and was distracted from that buy the scenery. Cliffs, huge beaches and big waves. However there were no other walkers about and I was hoping for a "fletcha amarilla " (,yellow arrow) to show me the way when out of the blue on a cliff above a beach full of bronzed naked bodies I came upon an ice cream truck!!, I talked to myself as I got closer, in case it was a mirage, but through theagic of the Camino it was real. I got ice cream, direction, energy and joy beyond compare as I continued on my way. A boat trip across the bay, in the evening sun, and with directions from my favorite tour guides, senior men, I got to the hostel after 10 hours of walking. To end it all I was the last one to check in so I had a room to myself, with a bathroom and coffee and bread for breakfast.
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  • Day15


    September 12, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    In a hosteland there is a man from Leeds talking to me even though I have turned away from him. He is nuts. The walk today was glorious, fantastic scenery. I got off the trail a few times but elderly men are friendly and helpful, so they are my go to all the time.
    This qtown is famous for anchovies, it smell like it. There are shops that sell only anchovies, in many forms. Fiesta going on, I watched what appeared to be an intense game of bols. I could not figure that out at all, but people who were watching were riveted.
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