September 2017
  • Day45

    Lavacola to Santiago de Compostela

    October 21, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 52 °F

    10 23.2017 Monday 6 miles 10k

    "It's good to have an end to journey toward but it's the journey that matters in the end."

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  • Day45

    Selceda to Lavacola

    October 21, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 50 °F

    10.22.2017 Sunday 11 miles

    Last walk before Santiago. Took it slow so we could enjoy the beautiful path through unusually large eucalyptus trees. Always a few hills to climb.
    We met two pilgrim women at our hotel and enjoyed talking about the Camino places and people we had met. The Camino is very much about the people you meet along the way.

    Ready for our final leg into Santiago tomorrow. 10k
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  • Day45

    Melide to Selceda

    October 21, 2017 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 52 °F

    10.21.2017 Saturday 16 miles

    Because of the dark mornings, we have had to start our walk a little later each day. Today started about 8:40 and just light enough to see the trail markings. A wide trail today, but steeper hills very wet and muddy but easy on the feet. Still was a long 16 miles.

    Today we saw a donkey on the trail next to a stand with stuff to buy and feed the donkey! Most memorable and emotional was two women pushing an elderly man in a wheel chair. What strength. I felt I truly suffered nothing on the way. Also met someone who was doing the Camino for the third time and another walking back from Santiago after having walked to Santiago, taken a bus to Oporto and walked to Santiago again. Amazing.

    So here we are, near the end of our journey. Shorter walk tomorrow and Monday when we walk into Santiago.
    Speechless.
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  • Day44

    Airexe to Melide

    October 20, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 61 °F

    10.20.2017 Friday 14 miles

    We all believe this was one of our easiest days despite the distance. The entire mostly small gravel unpaved trail was virtuesly down hill. Since the 100k make in Serria, the trail appear to be wider and better groomed.

    In Melide, we found another great restaurant called Casa Alongos. Delicious octopus (for those who like it) (a speciality in this area), incredible scallops, grilled goat cheese salad, grilled vegetables, blank Angus burgers and homemade rice pudding. Not your typical Spanish meal. And of course, to top it off, a great bottle of Alvarinho (Albariño) wine.Read more

  • Day43

    Mercadoiro to Airexe

    October 19, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 55 °F

    10.19.2017 Thursday 14.5 miles

    A cool morning that hardly warmed up. Up and down hills, cool wind with on and off rain. A day that reminded me of the cool days on the Pyrenees.

    We met one of our Canadian friends who was taking a bus to meet her friends ahead. She had hurt her knee running from the fires on the Camino.
    We later passed through some areas that were totally burned.

    Today we passed through one of the more treacherous area of the trail. No alternate path, we had to pass between two stone walls with very steep wet rocks. Debbie traversed part way sitting down! Check out Manny's video in Facebook. We were happy it was only a short distance.
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  • Day42

    Pintin to Marcadoiro

    October 18, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 54 °F

    10.18.2017 Wednesday 15.5 miles

    Leaving at 8:30 we had cool temperature that required an extra layer under the rain coat. The trail through old farms was relatively easy compared to what we had been walking the last 2 days.

    Today we were happy to arrive at the100k mile marker to Santiago de Compostelo. Serria is the 100k town where many pilgrims start their Camino. 100k is the minimum required distance for a certificate from Santiago.

    We noticed the trail appeared much more groomed when we left Serria. Mostly wider and easier to travel. There were many fruit trees and thousands of chestnuts. A couple houses had set up food stands with fruit, cakes, drinks that were supported by donations. It's a welcome treat on the Camino. We were lucky to walk through only a few rain showers that lasted 10 minutes.

    Our auberque is Abergue Mercadoiro and we have an unusual private suite in a stone house with sitting room and 2, step down to "cave", stone bedrooms!
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  • Day41

    Fonfria to Pintin

    October 17, 2017 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 54 °F

    10.17.2017 Tuesday. 13 miles

    Today we elected to start out after 9 due to the rain and steep decent ahead. Light rain and dense fog covered the area (and light smoke). The long down slope was rocky but not nearly as bad as expected. The fog and smoke lifted and we could finally enjoy the hillside views. The ground was covered with lots of chestnuts and we came across an 800 year old chestnut tree. We met a lovely South Korean pilgrim who was traveling alone. He was fascinated by the large trees and beauty of the landscape.

    We expected to have an easy day after the downhill but it turned into more steep up and down hills on wet paths that pushed us to our limit.
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  • Day40

    Las Herrerias to Fonfria

    October 16, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 54 °F

    10.16.2017 Monday 13 miles

    13 grueling miles today! Woke up smelling smoke and discovered it was from the fires here in northern Spain. 8:30am - After making sure the fires were not on the camino, we headed out. At least the temperature was in the 60s.
    This was supposed to be one of the most beautiful parts of the Camino with stunning mountain views which would make you forget the 10 mile uphill climb. Much to our dismay, we were not able to see anything but smoke. The climb was our second hardest climb (after the Pyrenees) but most difficult due to the smoke - making it hard to breathe.
    No beautiful views, just smoke. We passed through a few nearly deserted towns and O Cebreiro which had a nice church. It is the first town in Galicia region. We were exhausted when we arrived at our stop for the day, Fonfria, at 3pm.

    Fortunately the fires are on the other side of the mountain. Tomorrow we will be checking if any parts of the Camino are closed.
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  • Day39

    Villafranco del Bierzo to Las Herrerias

    October 15, 2017 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 77 °F

    10.15.2017 Sunday 12.5 miles

    8:00am still dark, cool damp upper 50s .morning, Walked between beautiful mountain valleys along paved road less traveled. Many old, nearly abandoned towns held an eerie beauty. i tried to imagine what it was like before the highway that now hung between the mountains by enormous pillars.Read more

  • Day37

    Ponferrada to Villafranca del Bierzo

    October 13, 2017 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 64 °F

    10.14.2017 Saturday - 16 miles

    One of our earlier start days, on our way before by 7:45. Temperature expected to go to upper 70s which is quite warm for walking. We did arrive in Villafeanca early enough to walk around the old town. Manny's cold had returned so was a good relaxation evening.