Mike Savage

Pilgrim, husband, father, grandfather, & photographer. Peregrino, esposo, padre, abuelo, y el fotógrafo.
Living in: Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

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  • Day24

    Today was not particularly tough but after yesterday it sure felt tough and a couple of miles longer than the guide suggested. I had a nice conversation in Spanish with an older couple. They had walked quite a few different Caminos and wanted to know which ones we had walked, where we started, etc. The weather was mild and misty but it did not start raining until about 1/2 hour after we arrived which was a blessing. Dave feels better today too. I startled an Iberian Boar this morning and he squealed and grunted and ran a short distance. Seems he was content to eat acorns and grunt at me. I could see both tusks and they were not more than a few inches so maybe he was young. He sure looked well fed and I did not want to be part of his diet. Dave was a ways behind me so didn't see him. There were some beautiful Roman Bridges today too.Read more

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  • Day24

    Dave was sick last night and today so he could not walk. He thinks it was something he ate but who knows for sure. I got a late start then covered the first 10 miles in just over two hours. After waiting for Dave for a half hour without internet I walked the remaining 5 miles to the albergue where I still did not have internet. Internet is our only way of communicating. I finally found a place about a half hour away that had internet and got a message from Dave that he was still waiting for a taxi. By the time I messaged him back he was in the cab and had no internet. Finally about two hours later he found me. I knew he would get the message as soon as he had internet so I did not leave so he could contact me. He expects to walk tomorrow so we will see how it goes in the morning. It is a little shorter distance but I know there is a 70% chance of rain tomorrow. Lots of climbs today but pretty trails so it was nice and there was not any fog.Read more

  • Day22

    Just to clarify things. After O Porriño Spain I left the Camino Portugues Central route and took the train to Ourense Spain to walk the Camino Sanabres. I walked the Portuguese Coastal Camino last year and it joins the central route at Redondela which is just above O Porriño so I have already walked into Santiago de Compostela from there.

  • Day22

    I am definitely back in Galicia. Cold foggy morning,still very foggy at noon then about 1:00 no fog and immediately very warm. Quite a few towns of 100 people or less today. Typical Albergue for this region with large stark rooms with many bunk beds and communal showers where you have to hold the button in for water to flow and it never really gets warm enough to make it enjoyable. There is the typical laundry tub for washing by hand then hang dry. I was showered and had laundry hanging by 3:30 so if the weather holds out it should be dry by bedtime. Still it is home and for 6 euros a night is a great value. They even have kitchens and sitting areas but no heat or blankets. You normally have to call the hospitalera in this region to have them come unlock the door and they come by around 6pm to collect your money and check your credential to see if you are really a Pilgrim and allowed to use the albergue. Fortunately it was open when we got here today as we have no phone service nor do we speak Gallegos. (Many of the people in Galicia speak Spanish as a second language)Read more

  • Day21

    It is good to be back in Galicia! Portugal is wonderful but I am tired of walking on cobblestones and the albergues are full. We took the train to Ourense this morning and started walking to Santiago. Light rain today but everything is pretty and green with soft trails and lots of shade. So far only 4 of us in the albergue and we only saw two other people on the trail. No internet again tonight.

  • Day20

    Mass was very nice last night and was in Portuguese and harder to follow than last time. The priest that was traveling with my friend's group did not show up for mass. They found that he had had a heart attack and passed away in his room. Her group happened to be in O Porriño tonight too so I was able to go to the memorial service they had for him.

  • Day20

    It was very cold this morning and I was wearing three shirts as well as my hiking shorts and pants. It did warm up in a couple of hours fortunately. We had planned to go to Tui Spain today but the albergues have been full so we stopped in a less popular spot just two kilometers sooner in Valença Portugal on the south side of the river which is the border of Portugal and Spain. Plenty of room here and Dave's legs need a rest after climbing the mountain yesterday then cobblestones all day today. My legs are very tired and a little sore too but not too bad.

    Sybile happened to be at the same albergue as us as the group she is leading is staying in a hotel down the road. She told me there is a Catholic priest in here group who is saying mass tonight at a local church two kilometers away so I am going to mass at Santa Maria Dos Anjos tonight. (Holy Mary of the Angels) Tomorrow we go to Porriño.
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  • Day20

    What a tough day walking up mountains on trails full of boulders, then no beds so we slept on the tile floor in the reception area, then no internet. It was good to have a warm dry place to sleep though as it was getting cold outside by 1:00pm. As we were eating dinner, about a kilometer away from the albergue, we started talking with the German lady sitting alone at the next table who was also staying in the albergue. She introduced herself as sybile and when she heard I was from Utah asked if I was Mormon. I responded that I was Catholic and walking for religious reasons as many people who walk are just on holiday. She said she was Anglican and also walking for religious reasons. She sure was shocked when I said Sybile Yates? I know her from the Camino forum and her husband is an Anglican priest. She lives in Santiago de Compostela and has two rooms for Pilgrims. I had no idea she was walking the Camino and was already planning to stay with her in Santiago. It turns out that she is leading a group of Pilgrims on their Camino to Santiago for two weeks and will be there the day before us.Read more

  • Day17

    Ponte de Lima is the oldest Vila in Portugal founded March 4,1125. Some cobblestones and hills today but not too bad. Started out foggy again but it warmed up after an hour or so. Made it here by 1:00pm and the albergue didn't open until 4:00pm but I didn't want to push on to the next town as it is over 17km away. (10.5 miles) I guess I will have to do laundry tomorrow as it is too late today for it to hang dry. I guess I can't complain as it is only $5 per night. 24 beds in my room tonight. Beautiful Roman Bridge here that the town is named for. Notice the picture of the exercise equipment in the park. There are quite a few parks like that in Portugal and Spain and I do see people using them sometimes.Read more

  • Day16

    Interesting walk today with bulls, circus tents, Stevie Wonder the dog, Jao the pig, and Fernanda our host. A friend from the Netherlands told me about Fernanda and Jacinto and their home that is open to Pilgrims. They have a room in the yard with 10 beds for Pilgrims and meals are served around their kitchen table. You must call ahead as they are full every day as the word of their hospitality has traveled far and wide. Food is all cooked by Fernanda and grown in their community garden. We met the bulls along the Camino, the circus tents were set up on an empty lot and we could hear the animals in the trucks as we passed. Fernanda has quite a few small dogs including Stevie who only has one eye and a pet pig that was wandering around the garden. I helped her coral the pig as she didn't know it was loose and it will follow Pilgrims as they pass and it will not be able to find its way home. Stevie and I are already best friends.Read more

  • Day15

    Much nicer walk today with very little cobblestones. The rest was a mix of dirt trails and asphalt. Saw very few Pilgrims on the trail but the albergue is over full with many dozen in bunk beds and at least a dozen more sleeping on the floor in the vestibule and common area. There are at least 80 people and Dave and I are the only two from the US and no one else knows much English.

    There is a church right outside our window and the bell rings every 15 minutes. It is loud enough that it sounds like it is in our room. I hope it doesn't ring during the night. The date on the church says 1614 though it doesn't look that old. The local baker came by at 6:30. Two-6 inch rolls/loaves of bread (soda bread?) tasted wonderful and cost 15 cents total.Read more

  • Day14

    Beautiful town and so many churches and a nice historic town center. The walk here was short distance but long on time. Dave is in pain from the muscles in his right leg near where he had his knee replaced a few years ago. I walked around town and visited some churches. The main church I visited was Igreja do Senhor Bom Jesus da Cruz (Good Jesus of the Cross) which has its own legend and also has a statue of the Pilgrim Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus. This is also the town that is responsible for the Roosters in every Portuguese home.Read more