About 640 km, starting in Salamanca, heading over to Portugal, and north from Braga to Santiago. I am combining two different caminos, the Camino de Torres and the Caminho da Geira e dos Arrieiros.
  • Day35

    The end.

    October 12 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

    On the flight to Chicago. All good things must end.

    Traveler

    One Camino ends, and another one will start... Safe travels home, Laurie!

    10/12/22Reply
    Traveler

    Looking forward to seeing you soon, Laurie.

    10/12/22Reply
    Traveler

    Enjoyed it all, especially as I did not have to walk to see it! Welcome home!

    10/12/22Reply
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  • Day32

    Back to Santiago

    October 9 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 18 °C

    It seems that even if I’m not getting up to walk, I am incapable of sleeping in. The earliest bus back to Santiago on Sunday isn’t till 9:45, so I had plenty of time to take one last walk around the port and the old town.

    The bus, surprise surprise, went directly to Santiago. What a welcome development! No more 2 1/2 hours of meandering all along the coast.

    After all these years of coming to Santiago, I decided today was the day to visit the Museo do Pobo Galego, located inside an 18th century monastery. Really well worth a long visit. I loved seeing all the exhibits about the traditional professions. A completely in tact bagpipe-maker’s shop, a forge, a basket maker’s shop, etc. Lots about fishing, weaving, lace-making. And the spiral staircase that is actually three separate staircases twirling around each other was awesome.

    Since it was getting close to meal time, I went to two of my old favorites that were nearby. The Bodeguilla de San Roque and O Dezaseis. Both closed!!! Thankfully, Casa Felisa, with its pretty outside garden eating area, is still going strong.

    I had a 5 pm reservation to do the Cathedral roof tour, which seemed like a good finale to the whole trip. It was a bit precarious up there, but I didn’t fall off. In the museum, don’t miss the absolutely beautiful stone choir stalls that have been put back together after they were ripped out in the early 17th century.

    Back in my room for a zoom meeting of my homeowners’ association board to discuss an upcoming assessment for updates to the fire suppression system. Most people probably think being on an HOA board is something to be avoided, but I love it!
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    Traveler

    In 2018, we did the cathedral rooftop tour. It was very interesting.

    10/9/22Reply
    Traveler

    So glad you were able to complete your camino this year. I hope you got everything you wanted out of it and more!

    10/10/22Reply
    Traveler

    July I also finally took the rooftop tour (only took 12 years!). Probably wouldn't have done it if it weren't for the young Norte companion who insisted on going. Definitely glad I did. The museum was also a treat. Safe trip home Laurie!

    10/10/22Reply
    Traveler

    Congratulations

    10/10/22Reply
     
  • Day31

    Muxia to Finisterre (31km)

    October 8 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 15 °C

    I have finished my last day walking. So many times during the day I thought “this is my last…” I of course know I that there is always a last day, but this year I was more keenly aware I think. Not sure why.

    I left at around 7:30 and ran into the only other two people I knew in Muxia. It was nice having company till the sun rose an hour later. When I got to approximately the halfway mark, the town of Lires, I took a detour out to the beach. Very little of this day’s walk is actually on the coast, even though we are walking from one coastal town to another. But this little detour, which swings back up to the Camino, was very nice, even though the café/ bar there was closed.

    When I got to Finisterre, I had a text from a good friend in Santiago that he, his girlfriend, and son were driving out to Finisterre for lunch. I was very surprised but happy to see them again. Then after lunch, they said they’d meet me up at the lighthouse. That struck me as very strange but off I went by myself. When I got up there, I saw that my friend had set up his camino pop-up photography studio. He has done this off and on for years. He sets up his “studio” on the Portugues and takes pilgrim pictures. I’ve seen a lot of the results and he’s very good. So let’s see what he can do with me! He took about 60 or 70 shots, so there must be at least one that’s not awful.

    I was up at the lighthouse for sunset and, truth be told, it was not a terrific sunset. Oh well, but the silver lining was that walking down back to Finisterre the moon came out. And it was a full moon and it was glorious.

    Now begins the journey home. Tomorrow I will get back to Santiago. Lots to sort out.
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    joseph love

    Is this a peregrino?

    10/8/22Reply
    Traveler

    So much to think of at the end - but back to loved ones is super sweet . ❤️. Buen camino Laurie. Thanks for a very moving camino. X

    10/8/22Reply
    Traveler

    Love this little diversion to the water at Lires. Great paddling spot - soaking up the thoughts of the day.

    10/8/22Reply
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  • Day30

    Dumbria to Muxia (23km)

    October 7 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    Short day, not too much elevation and the destination is 5*****. Another day of going through small hamlets, usually connected by dirt paths up and down and around the monte. I met an elderly señora waiting for the grocery store truck. She told me she would not be able to stay in the village if it weren’t for these wandering, honking trucks. And I talked for a while with a man cutting the “maleza” with a scythe. He gave me a few basic pointers, but I declined the chance to whack with it, especially when I saw how sharp it was.

    There’s a beautiful Romanesque church in Moraime, about 5 km before town. My favorite piece is the Last Supper depicted over a side doorway. I have never been able to get inside, but if I had been willing to stick around for about three hours, I could’ve gotten in today with the women coming to set up for a wedding tomorrow. Maybe next time.

    The entrance into Muxia is nice. Truth be told, it’s not a very picturesque place, except for the sanctuary at the tip on the rocks. Very good seafood restaurants, and a pretty lively atmosphere. Since my room in the hospital wasn’t ready when I arrived, I just dropped off my backpack and went out to the sanctuary. Sitting on those rocks and watching the waves crash is a really nice place to reflect on things. Even on a windy cloudy day.

    I will go back for sunset but it might be a washout.
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    Traveler

    I hope you get a better sunset than I did there in May. I enjoyed just being there too. Happy reflections Laurie. The older lady waiting for the truck looks so typical of how I think of the elderly there. (Probably younger than me 🤣🤣).

    10/9/22Reply
    Traveler

    Beautiful!

    10/9/22Reply
    Traveler

    The ocean, at last!

    10/9/22Reply
    joseph love

    You made it!

    10/9/22Reply
     
  • Day29

    Vilaserio to Dumbria (31km)

    October 6 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Just yesterday I was thinking that this has been the first Camino I can remember with no falls. You guessed it. This morning, walking on asphalt, I somehow got my foot tangled up with one of my poles and down I went. It tore a good size hole in my pants and scraped my knee, but luckily I was able to stand up and keep walking. I think I will not reflect today on how I’ve been lucky to have avoided bed bugs this year.

    The walk was pleasant, nothing spectacular. It’s really the destinations that make this so special, so apologies to those who say “ It’s the journey and not the destination.”

    I took a long shoes-off break at 20 km in the town of Olveiroa. This is where one of my favorite little stone house Casa rural/restaurant combination is. They have wonderful food, but unfortunately the timing for a meal was bad. But with my Fanta de Limon, I got several little plates of homemade tapas, which was all I needed to get me through the last 11 km. The split in the camino, left for Finisterre, right for Muxia, meant I had about 4 left.

    I am in an albergue, the one funded by the man who owns the Zara empire. I was told I could have the handicapped room (a single) because of my advanced age. 😀That’s very nice because there is a large group of Portuguese teens who are nothing if not exuberant.

    There will not be much of a dinner tonight. No restaurant, no functioning kitchen in the albergue, but at least there’s a small supermarket where I can buy something.
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    Traveler

    Take care of your knee, Laurie! Beautiful landscapes, but I can't wait to see pictures of the ocean.

    10/6/22Reply
    Traveler

    Advanced age !! In number only - you could outwalk most pilgrims.

    10/7/22Reply
    joseph love

    I’ve forgotten what these raised platforms are.

    10/7/22Reply
     
  • Day28

    Santiago to Vilaserio (34.5 km)

    October 5 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    Harder day than I remembered. I have decided to walk the same stages as I did the last time I walked to the ocean, which must be at least 6 years ago. I think if I ever go this way again, I’ll add at least a day, but I really have to get going and get home!

    I started a little after 7 am. Sunrise in Santiago today was a little before 8:30. But I had my headlamp, and I knew there would be other people out there walking. I started walking with a group of nine, very lively and friendly. Four from the Canaries, two Basques, two from Alicante, and 1 Italian. They suggested that I join them and extend my walk by a few days so that I could go all the way back to Santiago, but I explained that I would not be welcome in Champaign if I kept walking any longer.

    It’s a very pretty day, goes through one of the most beautiful little villages in Spain, Ponte Maceira, and the medium sized town of Negreira. I always stop at the town’s statue of the emigrant. Galicia lost a huge portion of its male population to emigration after the Civil War, and the statue displays the sad reality in a very poignant way.

    The little hamlet where I am tonight has two albergues and one restaurant. I have stayed in both of the the Albergues. Two months ago one of them opened a little building with private rooms, so I took one of those. The albergue is full and I admit that albergue living has lost some of its glow for me. All of us will have dinner together in the restaurant, so really all I’m missing out on is the snoring and the shared bathrooms.
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    Traveler

    I've never been tempted to walk to the sea from Santiago, but Ponte Maceira could change my mind - and those photos are gorgeous! And what immense Hydrangeas - they like a lot of water, so it says something about the climate. : )

    10/6/22Reply
    Traveler

    Gorgeous photo Laurie. You're looking so happy.

    10/7/22Reply
    Traveler

    It all looks so familiar Laurie. I hope the knee isn’t too stiff.

    10/8/22Reply
     
  • Day27

    Rest day in Santiago

    October 4 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

    The city is filled to the brim. So many pilgrims— you see the ones arriving, the ones who have arrived and are spending some time here, and the ones all packed up and on their way to train , bus, or plane. Occupancy rates are the highest they’ve been all year.

    This morning, I had to pack up my stuff and move from one hotel to another. It wasn’t a big deal, but it is amazing that I was unable to get two nights in a row in the same place, unless I wanted to spend €333 for a room in the Parador.

    I went through the holy door, which is only open during holy years and provides a plenary indulgence. A holy year is a year in which Saint James day falls on a Sunday, though the pope extended last year’s I also attended the Pilgrim Mass. and saw the botafumeiro swing. Though I got to the cathedral an hour before the mass, there were no seats left; I found a very comfortable perch at the base of an old stone column. It was a high mass, officiated by one Archbishop, two or three bishops, and about seven other priests. It felt a little weird that the celebration was in honor of international policing day. Some high-ranking officials from the national police made a few statements. And then one of the priests talked to us about how necessary police are and how we should be prepared to give up liberty to ensure tranquility. It was a bit jarring to someone used to the idea of separation of church and state. But then I have often been surprised by how many solemn Spanish religious celebrations include participation by the military, so I guess this is no different. After the mass I lit a bunch of candles and sat in the now almost empty cathedral. I remembered the day about 15 years ago when Dana and I walked into Santiago from the Camino del Norte and ran into my parents in the cathedral. We had known we were close but in those pre-iPhone days we were not in close contact. How I miss them.

    I got a ticket to visit the Portico de la Gloria, the original doorway to the cathedral before they added the current baroque facade. Thankfully, they left the Romanesque in tact. After about a decade of restoration (and 11 million euros), it’s once again open to the public. No pictures are allowed, so you’ll have to Google it if you want to see. I (and many who know a lot more than I do) think it’s one of the most beautiful examples of Romanesque in Spain. My favorites are the 24 elders in a circle around Christ, each one playing a different medieval instrument. And the smiling Prophet Daniel.

    The stars at home have aligned to allow me to enjoy the icing on the cake —walking to Muxia and then Finisterre. I haven’t been out to the ocean in years, and I am so grateful that I got the greenlight. I’ll be doing longer than usual days so as not to abuse their graciousness. This means four more days of walking and then a few days to get home.
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    Traveler

    Wonderful! But my oh my it sounds like a zoo.

    10/4/22Reply
    Traveler

    I have tears in my eyes as I read this. The images are so vivid to me. Enjoy your journey to the sea!! ❤️

    10/4/22Reply
    Traveler

    Crazy to hear about the crowds! So happy you can continue to the coast. I am guessing it will be extra moving for you this year.

    10/4/22Reply
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  • Day26

    A Estrada to Santiago (33 km)

    October 3 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

    The walk was good, I felt good, and so I pushed on to Santiago.

    It’s been years since I felt this good walking into Santiago. Last year, injury; year before, COVID; and several years before that it was just a flat feeling. But today, even though it was a long hot day, and even though I got really messed up coming into the city, when I walked into Obradoiro, I felt like things were soaring—gratitude, happiness to be alive, realizing how lucky I am to be physically able to walk the camino. I sat and watched as hundreds of other pilgrims came into the square, just sat and watched. I didn’t know any of them, yet I think we shared a bond.

    For some crazy reason, I went to the Pilgrim’s office to get my compostela. One more to put in the closet. There’s a new, much more automated system in the office, and I couldn’t help but compare back to my first compostela in 2000. No familiar faces there for the first time in years. Things change.

    This afternoon and evening were for spending time with good friends. And now I’m going to bed. Rest day in Santiago tomorrow.
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    Traveler

    Well done, Laurie! Congratulations!

    10/4/22Reply
    Laurie Reynolds

    That’s Pico Sacro in the distance.

    10/4/22Reply
    Laurie Reynolds

    Pico sacro a bit closer. I would love to walk up there some day!

    10/4/22Reply
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  • Day25

    Soutelo de Montes to A Estrada (33 km)

    October 2 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 24 °C

    Yesterday when I went into the grocery store I asked the woman at the fruit counter about the bagpiper statue. That was like turning on a switch. It turns out that Soutelo de Montes is home to many of Spain’s finest bagpipers, and their band world renowned — in fact, they had been invited to play in NYC’s Saint Patrick’s Day parade in 2020. You can guess what happened to that invitation. I learned that the woman herself really had never been very attracted to the traditional music, but she told me that when her adopted son (born in Siberia) was six or seven, he just got the bug. He is now 18 and a member of the band. She is now a huge fan and showed me lots of videos. And she said something like — it’s funny how it took someone born thousands of kilometers from here to make me feel connected to the place that is my home.

    When I got back to my hotel room I thought I should send a WhatsApp to confirm my reservation for today. I got a response from the owner of the Casa Rural saying that he was flying home tomorrow and would not be arriving until at least 5 PM, so that I would have to sit outside and wait for him. Well that was kind of a dealbreaker, so I decided to turn what was supposed to be a short 20 km day into a 33 km day. Since I arrived at my destination well before five, I figure it was time well spent.

    Whoever put this walk together today had an amazing ability to string little bits and pieces together. The Camino went from village to village on dirt paths, through little rocky green tunnels, through forested land and through wide-open fields. With a few short stretches on paved but on traveled roads. It was really very enjoyable.

    Not sure where tomorrow will take me, but I am getting close to Santiago.
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    Traveler

    I love reading your posts. I feel like I’m there with you. You are so close to Santiago de Compostela. Celebrate your wonderful journey.

    10/2/22Reply
    Traveler

    This is what those of us miss when we have a paucity of Castillian - what a great story! This sounds like a wonderful camino, up there with the best of them.

    10/2/22Reply
    Traveler

    This café looks very inviting to the peregrino/as.

    10/2/22Reply
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  • Day24

    Feas to Soutelo de Montes (21 km)

    October 1 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Another pretty short day with a fair amount of elevation (750 m by my GPS). Just a few small villages with most of the kms in pine forests or those Galician green tunnels with stone walls on either side. I’ve walked in countryside like this many times on this camino and others, but there are always breath-catching moments —like looking back down over Feas as the sun rose, or being in a green tunnel as bright sun dappled through.

    The only town on this stage is Beariz, where many pilgrims stay. Since it was only nine or 10 km from my starting point, I wanted to keep going. As I passed by the municipal building, I saw that the door was open. That was unusual for a Saturday, but I stuck my head in and said —hola? Turns out the mayor was in, catching up on work and being available to citizens who couldn’t come during the week. He was very happy to stamp my credential and to explain how important the Camino could be for his town. He has been mayor for 39 years, which is probably a record of some sort. He insisted on giving me a cultural review from the town, which I have carried with me and will look at this afternoon. But I don’t think it will come any further, because it weighs at least a pound.

    I am in a well-positioned but not very inspiring town for the night. There is a small hostel which is clean and right on the route.

    Three more days walking to Santiago. If the stars at home align right, I will continue to the ocean. But I am nothing if not flexible, and I may be home sooner.
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    Traveler

    Wow those first few photos! Wonderful.

    10/1/22Reply