Spain
Orosa

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    • Day 7

      Day 3 - Eirexe to Porto de Bois

      September 30, 2023 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

      We left our accommodation very late this morning and did not start on our way until 9:45. It was quite a hot day, and I really appreciated the wood lined pathways. Not only are they beautiful, but they also provide a much needed respite from the sun. I caught my first sightings of gum trees - I noticed them after seeing gum leaves on the Way. Today's walk for me has been the most pleasant so far. Our accommodation tonight is outstanding. It is such a joy to have a shower after a very sweaty day. At lunch I got to try the lemon beer, Radler, I loved it (photo included). Apparently, it's available in Australia.Read more

    • Day 43

      Camino Rule #1

      October 30, 2022 in Spain ⋅ 🌧 15 °C

      The last kilometer is always uphill!

      We walked 22k today to the small hilltop city of Melide. We dragged ourselvesup the last kilometer. To our Pension, which is run by a Hotel next door. On check-in, we were told we are upgraded to a hotel room! Score!!!

      We are about 52k from Santiago. 3 more days walking. We will split it over 3 walking days, all under 20k. We will arrive in Santiago next Wednesday, Nov 2nd!

      We have heard the city and Cathedral will be crowded on Nov 1st, All Saints Day, so Wednesday is good with us!

      We saw our first grove of Eucalyptus Trees today.
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    • Day 40

      O Coto

      October 14, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

      Rano padało, ale zupełnie przestało w momencie naszego wymarszu, choć zachmurzone niebo towarzyszyło nam prawie przez cały dzień. Góry nadal się nie skończyły z wysokimi podejściami dającymi się we znaki co jakiś czas. Widoki trudne do utrwalenia na zdjęciach ale pozostawiejace przyjemne uczucie w głowie. Dzisiaj było parę niespodzianek. Pierwsza to malutka kapliczka na końcu małej wioseczki Ventas de Naron poświęcona Marii Magdalenie. Opiekunem jej był starszy niewidomy pan który miał swoje zdjęcie w pełnym stroju templariusza. Aby dostać stempel trzeba było jego rękę nakierować we właściwe miejsce. Kaplica pochodzi z XIII wieku i należała pierwotnie do Templariuszy, na jednej ze ścian w kamieniu widać było charakterystyczne krzyże. Była wówczas połączona ze szpitalem dla pielgrzymów. Po rozpadzie Templariuszy przejęli ją Benedyktyni.
      W Eirexee trafiliśmy na otwarty XIII wieczny kościół Iglesias de Santiago z bardzo dobrze zachowanym ołtarzem i rzadko przedstawianym Jakubem na koniu trzymającym miecz. Również tutaj kiedyś był szpital dla pielgrzymów. W ogóle to szpitali było od zatrzęsienia wszędzie, zdecydowanie częściej szwankowało pielgrzymom zdrowie w tamtych czasach.
      Podobno dębowo- kasztanowcowe lasy tych okolic były ulubionym miejscem kuszenia pielgrzymów przez lokalne młode kobiety, mające za dużo estrogenów, a tym których złapano na nierządzie obcinano nosy za karę. Co wiek to obyczaj.
      Kolejna ciekawostka to co jakiś czas pojawiające się krzyże, zwykle przy rozdrożu lub znaczace jakieś ważne miejsce. Pochodzą one z 16-17 wieku, mają dużo elementów celtyckich i zwykle dwie strony krzyża przedstawiające zupełnie różne elementy biblijne.
      Jeszcze mijaliśmy San Xulian , z którym wiąże się bardzo smutna legenda o Świętym Julianie. Nie będę o niej pisał bo jest za smutna.
      Dzisiej śpimy w pięknym miejscu, jesteśmy nakarmieni przysmakami takimi jak ośmiornica, kalamary i scollaps (przegrzebki chyba po polsku😁). A na deser kucharz przyniósł prażone kasztany i szklankę Brandy( dosłownie szklankę, bo mu trochę zostało w butelce i nie chciał jej już stawiać z powrotem na półkę 😃).
      Jutro długi dzień.
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    • Day 25

      Tag 24: Portomarín - O Coto

      March 15 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

      Nachdem ich Mike gestern überrascht hatte, konnten wir heute also zusammen weiterziehen. Es war schön, wieder ein Stück zusammen zu laufen, denn wir waren wohl jeweils diejenigen, die mit dem Anderen die meiste Zeit gelaufen waren.
      Mike ist echt ein Kämpfer. Sein Körper kann mit den unzähligen Knochenbrüchen und Operationen wohl einen guten Bericht über seine Aktivitäten als Marathonläufer, Fahrradfahrer und Rugbyspieler abgeben. Trotzdem hat er eine unglaubliche Fitness, auch wenn sein Gang mit seinem Rucksack eher dem einer Schildkröte ähnelt. Dies hat ihn den Spitznamen „flying Turtle“ eingebracht.
      Es ist etwas Tolles, mit jemandem zu reisen, der das Herz am richtigen Fleck hat!

      Wir verließen ,Portomarín‘ im Morgengrauen, um den immer noch ungewohnt vielen Pilgern aus dem Weg zu gehen.
      So ging es durch das hügelige Gelände, das den Blick zum schweifen einlud, bis wir am ersten Café vorbeikamen, wo Tanja (SPA) auch gerade eingekehrt war.
      Mike und sie kannten sich bereits, sodass schnell ein angenehmes Gespräch am laufen war.
      An die Strecke zwischen dem ersten und dem zweiten Café kann ich mich kaum erinnern. Denn hier gab Juan (SPA) wirklich jedem, den er sah, ein großes Stück grober spanischer Wurst. Was war die lecker! Dazu gab mir Mike eine Cola aus und wir führten unser Gespräch mit Tania (SPA) weiter.

      Anschließend durften wir noch einer besonderen Szene Zeuge werden: Ein einheimischer Blinder, der mit seiner unglaublich lauten Stimme auf sich aufmerksam machte, stand in einer alten Pilgerkapelle und stempelte unter der Führung seiner Hand unsere Pilgerpässe! Passte man nicht auf, hatte er in seiner Dynamik die ganze Seite vollgekleistert! Ein klasse Typ mit ordentlich Lebensfreude.
      Es dauerte nicht lange, da saß ich abermals mit Mike in einem Café. Diesmal revanchierte ich mich und gab ihm ein Cerveza aus. Durch den leeren Magen wurde unser Gespräch mal wieder sehr amüsant.
      In ‚Palas de Rei‘ hieß es dann Abschied nehmen. Mike wollte hier übernachten und ich wollte noch weitergehen. Die Hoffnung ist, am Montag in Santiago zusammen mit Alex und Mike anzustoßen… mal schauen.

      Alleine zog ich weiter und sog die Stimmung auf. Die ganzen Touris waren in ‚Palas de Rei’ geblieben, sodass ich plötzlich ganz alleine war. Der Duft der Eukalyptus Bäume lag in der Luft und ich sog den angenehmen Duft tief ein. Es war sonnig, warm und friedlich.
      Nach insgesamt 34 km fand ich dann ein schönes Plätzchen auf einer Wiese, wo ich Uwe (GER) aus Kiel kennenlernte. Da hatten wohl zwei das gleiche Gespür…
      Wir unterhielten uns etwas, doch waren wir beiden schlussendlich auch froh, schnell in den Schlafsack huschen zu können.
      Ein ereignisreicher und mal wieder schöner Tag geht zu Ende…
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    • Day 39

      Gonzar to Ponte Campana - long and lovel

      June 30, 2023 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

      It was a cold start this morning - I think I wore my jumper for longer than. I have ever done before - apart from in the Pyrenees.
      We left around 7 and soon came to Castro Mayor - named after the Castro, or basically hill fort, which is on the hill just above it. 50m from the Way but basically not signposted or much visited it appeared.
      The situation is very like a hill fort in the UK and really reminded me of one I visited in Devon, but it has so much more. Many of the walls were still in evidence as well as a large number of buildings in one section. I feel there must be so much more to find there (there was a sign which I think said that there was now a project to invest in more excavation?). It was a fascinating site dating from the first century BC and in a classic ‘hill fort’ location. There is so much to see in this area of Spain and I get the feeling that it is really only the odd pilgrim prepared to veer off the track a bit who gets to see it.
      So after the Castro we continued on through the Galician countryside. A quick breakfast at a very friendly cafe was followed by a walk though a gentle landscape. I wanted to see a Romanesque church with frescos preserved from the 15th century so opted for an additional 4.5k to do this, reassured that it would in fact be open by the sign at the start of the track leading to it.
      However after a solitary 2 k I reached the church - whose beautiful doorway was all I got to see as it was closed. I even rang the number of the caretaker but didn’t get a reply. But the walk was lovely anyway and I didn’t feel upset as was happy to be alone in the space with just a buzzard overhead for company.
      The walk into Palas de Reí seemed very quick once I was back on the main path. I met up with Caroline and Anna there who had been searching for knickers (Anna had left two pairs behind by mistake a couple of days ago!). Nowhere seemed to be open for lunch but finally we were given a suggestion for a local bar (by someone at a bar whose kitchen was closed) where we had a delicious ( really) cheese and salad bocadillo.
      After lunch meandered on towards our destination for tonight - an easy walk of about 5k- stopping for an ice cream and to look at local artisan jewellery- where we both bought earrings. So much for my aspiration to be less materialistic. It works as far as absolutely not buying anything remotely heavy but jewellery doesn’t seem to count!
      The Albergue tonight is amazing. Laid back and beautiful. We are in a very old building that I think must be an old mill. Surrounded by water - swimmable - and so quiet. And I have, of course swum. Cold but perfect.
      Now I’m sitting on the terrace with a glass of local white wine feeling very happy! This is a great place and will definitely be staying here next time.
      Just to add: for the first time my blog uploaded quickly and I haven’t finished it! Now I don’t think it will update as the wifi in this building is very poor.
      Anyway delicious vegetarian dinner with lots of new people. Sylvia from Italy, also vegetarian, was particularly lovely and shared some fairly horrendous Camino experiences with us She’s not only struggled to find vegetarian food, like me sometimes, but people have on occasion been really unpleasant to her - very relieved that hasn’t happened to me! She has been walking for about three weeks with a group including two Australians and an American. Sounds as if they’ve got on very well and are continuing on to Finisterre after reaching Santiago so may see them there.
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    • Day 53

      Are we there yet?

      October 3, 2019 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

      We approached Sarria the next morning after San Mamed, and were so happy we chose not to stay there in Sarria. It was a grim town, with lots of flats and busy-ness. We walked quickly through it and out onto the country path once again. We got chatting to a, couple from Mexico well he was english and she was Mexican id heard her drop some words about art and exhibitions and so we spent the day walking with them and their lovely daughter. Discussing art, life and everything in between We said goodbye over a quick lunch at a, bar and headed onto Ferreiros our stop for the night. This is the actual last 100 klms from here to Santiago it was a tiny village with an albergue and a bar and not much else. We had a really nice dinner and Mark finished off with the local arzua ulloa cheese and membrillo (quince paste) the cheese, was delicious creamy and soft with a delicate flavour. Spanish cheese is really very good. There was an amazing sunset that night that had us in awe of where we were and how lucky we were.
      Next morning it seemed to be dark for ages and no coffee in sight. Eventually a place appeared and we had our usual first breakfast of half a slice of potato frittata each and coffees. Then carried on to Portomarin which is a beautiful town on a river. Crossing the bridge over the river into town you are so high above it that we both felt slightly queasy and a bit dizzy. The town itself is pretty too with stone parapets and cobbled streets. We only stopped for an ice cream before we headed on to palais de reí. We booked a private room and the climb up the stairs was so steep we were almost crawling up to our room. We were a bit albergued out by this time and rooms are pretty cheap. A double room(marido or marriage room) costs around 35-50 euros and for 2 bunks in a decent albergue it's about 12-15 euros so for two its not much more to have your own room. Its not the bunk beds that we were fed up with but getting up in the morning and trying to dress and pack up in a room full of strangers, that's the bit we didn't enjoy. We didnt even mind the snoring, in fact we may have contributed to it a little as i had a bit of a cold coming on.
      Now we started to notice the the influx of new pilgrims with very clean clothes and bright sparkly clean shoes. They seemed to travel in packs and nobody said "buen camino" or even a "hola " as they passed by. Greetings which are usually shared liberally as you pass another peregrino. It feels nice and also if anyone is struggling or checking feet for blisters there's always the offer of help with fresh compeed plasters and a kind word. But the new peregrinos havent got that message yet. I began to feel grumpy about it and had a good old whinge to Mark. All day no greetings, no smiles even and it bothered me. We arrived in Melide a biggish town in comparison to where we'd come from we had another cheap private room with an amazing comfy bed and our own bathroom, luxury!
      That night we went in search of Pulpo, the galician speciality of boiled octopus. Mark ordered that and loved it, i tried a bit but it wasn't my cup of tentacle!
      It gets cooked in water then they chop off a, tentacle and add olive oil and paprika. I chickened out and had egg chorizo and chips. Very spicy chorizo it turns out!
      We had a chat about the newbies and i decided i couldn't carry on being such a whinger. I'd change my attitude and try and find a, place of peace in my heart for myself and for them. We also decided to leave a little later once the main crowd had taken off.
      Next day as were walking I got chatting to a, German woman who is walking just this last stretch. She was only about 35 but told me she had had 4 strokes and now also developed rheumatoid arthritis but really wanted to complete the walk to Santiago. She was doing this last part to see how she coped. I felt a bit humbled by her situation and it made me look at the newbies with fresh eyes. A lot of people come and do the last 100klms and then decide to come back and do the whole thing. But really does it matter how far you walk, how fast, whether you carry your pack the whole way or get it transported to your albergue, or even get a taxi now and then, everyday we are, all walking and appreciating the priveledge of being able to do this.
      So I said" hola, buen camino" to everyone and when I needed some space I slowed down let the pack move on, found a, quiet place inside and fell in love with the walk again. It felt to me I was in some hallowed place. We walked through green avenues of overhanging trees and leaf littered paths I was in the church that God (or whoever whatever) made for us not the churches that had been made for him. I felt such a strong sense of connection and reverence as I placed each foot on this beautiful land. Happiness is a, state of mind and we can each find it for ourself if we look for it and allow it to come to us. It seemed to me at that point that it's not a thing you can chase after or grasp it's more a sense of peace and rightness with the world , that develops for me. I felt like I had little bubbles of happiness popping inside my chest.
      Tonight's stop was Arzua the home of the delicious cheeses they also have another local cheese called tetilla which is formed in the shape of a woman's breast, great bit of marketing. We started calling it "titty cheese". It's a bit milder than the Arzua Ulloa.
      Tomorrow is our last overnighter before we begin the walk into Santiago, it seems strange to think we are nearly there. How did that happen!
      The day dawned with an ominous look about it, it was dark till past 9 am and didn't get much lighter. We were headed to Lavacolla, which literally means "bumwash". What a great name for a, town... or not!
      It's called that because it's the place where there's a small river where smelly pilgrims would wash their private bits before hitting the cathedral in Santiago. Can't greet the Saint with a smelly bum!
      Anyway the heavens must have decided we needed a wash as it poured down all day and we arrived in Lavacolla wet and bedraggled but hey we splashed out on a, private room bought some of that yummy local cheese and bread and sat on our wee balcony and ate and it was lovely.
      Next morning we declined to take the peregrino dip in the small river as we passed it by. It looked very very cold. So no thanks.
      Lots of pilgrims today, and I saw 2 buses who dropped off people they got off the nice warm coach and walked the last few kilometres into Santiago in pristine outfits, what's the point really. Apparently they get dropped at each stop to pick up their obligatory 2 stamps in the pilgrim passport and still get a compostela Oh well I think they've missed out on something very special.
      We walked towards the cathedral and could see the spires in the distance. As we walked into the approach to the square I felt a heightened emotion. I hadn't expected to feel overwhelmed like this but it all came back to me. The kilometres we'd walked, the people we'd met, the places we'd seen, how many beds, how many bocadillos, how many potato frittata and café con leche I'd drunk. And how far my feet had carried me. The tears streamed down my cheeks not in awe of any religious moment but in awe of what we'd done.
      We had a big hug and then felt a bit lost so we went and found our hotel and had a rest. It was emotionally overwhelming for me and I was also feeling a bit unwell with the cold I'd acquired so a rest was in order and Mark went and got our washing done, what a guy! . Then we had a little explore. We went to the cathedral which is in a state of repair for the holy year in 2021.
      We climbed the stairs to hug St James whose remains are said to be in the crypt below. We saw his silver coffin too. For me I realised this wasn't my church. I'd spent the last 51 days in the church of my choosing. In nature I felt the closest reverence ever for life and all its wonders than I could in this place of stone and statues of long dead saints and priests.
      The next day we got our compostela although we were a bit ambivelant about that. It's just a piece of paper and it will probably get stuck in a drawer and never see, the light of day again, but Daniel our son had said why not get it, you've done the walk and the thing is free so we did. It just involved a bit of queuing. They spell your name in Latin, so apparently I'm Maryam!
      They couldn't do Mo in Latin or maybe it would have been have been Mo'ium.
      We had a lovely dinner to celebrate our achievement. Mark loved all the seafood choices starting with a plate of Pulpo then a whole sole and I got to have the Spanish lamb. Followed by creme caramel. Can't go to Spain and not try the lamb! (quote from Joost in the movie the way).

      So 800 kilometres and 51 days. It's not easy but it's not hard. You can walk slow or fast you can get a bus or a, taxi in parts, you can get your bag sent on you could walk the last 100 klms only. You get to see so many dilfferent places experience a great camaraderie and live a very simple life. You travel light and you learn to let go of a lot of things. I'm sure I'm changed by the experience but it feels too soon to think about that. We will complete the journey by walking the extra 100 klms to Finisterre (the end of the world) and to Muxia. My legs still have walking left in them so tomorrow we will begin that last part of our journey. It feels fitting for us as Aussies to end at the ocean. I won't be burning my boots though!
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    • Day 12

      Casanova

      October 13, 2019 in Spain ⋅ 🌧 15 °C

      I am not my Casanova, me and Romeo have never been friends,

      Aaa een klassieker nietwaar? Voorderest? Een kutdag. Ik weet niet hoe papa zijn post zo positief kon schrijven maar een ding is zeker: wandelen in de regen is een nachtmerrie! Als je zelf al kijkt naar de fotos weet je dat papa er al helemaal geen goesting in heeft (en ik ietwat gelukkiger).

      Het begon al van smorgensvroeg. Papa had het idee om snel te vertrekken maar ja hij moedt eerst nog mij uit het bed sleuren. Nadat het geplande uur werd uitgesteld voor een uur konde we eindelijk beginnen. En ja toen begon het net. We dachten dat de regenponcho's ons wel droog zouden houden... Ja dat was dus al wishfull thinking. Waarschijnlijk had de fabrikant van die ponchos gedacht "hoe kan ik dit product meer winst laten genereren?". Hij kwam dan waarschijnlijk op het lumineuze idee om de waterwerende laag er niet meer aan toe te voegen. Gevolg was dat we klaar waren voor de Gentse waterzooi. Wij waren het kieken en hadden ook al het water meegebracht.

      Maar allee we moeten maar denkenwe zijn er bijna nietwaar? Nog even doorbijten lezertjes en dan moet je deze afschuwelijk slechte opstellen niet meer lezen ;)

      Slaapwel en tot morgen mijn mooie jongens en meisjes!
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    • Gonzar To Mato

      October 10, 2019 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 8 °C

      A straight forward 22 km walk today. We ended up at the albergue Casa Domingo, which I was at in 2013. Was a bit disappointed that my old manger bed was not there anymore. The have a great communal meal here at night.

      Only 62 more kilometers to Santiago. We don’t want to arrive until Monday, as this weekend is the Spanish national holiday. Santiago would be a real zoo then.

      Anyway a few pics.
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    • Day 13

      Much needed meal in Melide

      June 22, 2023 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

      Halfway through what is going to be a very long day. Last night it rained on everyone's handwashing. So we bunged it all in a tumble dryer for 40 mins. It didn't dry it at all! So everyone has socks and all sorts hanging off their packs.Read more

    • Day 40

      Ponte Campaña to Ribadiso

      July 1, 2023 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C

      A hotter day today. Leaving the pension was hard as it was so beautiful and I do love the sound of water - which was everywhere.
      The first few kilometres were reasonably easy / some beautiful scenery of course and interesting churches.
      We stopped in Furelos where Happy cow found us a fab vegetarian orientated cafe, run with love by a couple of Camino aficionados - they run the cafe for about 8 months a year and then walk caminos the rest of the time (as well as taking a well earned break as they don’t take any time off during the season).
      The food was great - I had houmous and padrón peppers as well as a very good coffee.
      Then on through Melide - famous for its octopus - towards Ribadiso. Apart from a brief stop for fruit at an organic food truck (I had raspberries and blackberries which had been picked from their next door field) it was what seemed like a long and fairly steeply undulating path.
      We were often walking through eucalyptus forests interspersed with picturesque villages.
      I was tired and found the last 10k or so quite hard but still loved it. I ended up ‘counting’ - my way of dealing with long distances when I’m tired, but towards the end met Susie, an American lady who was going at least 3 k further. I felt very relieved when I crossed a bridge to find the pension on the other side, although I was sad not to get to talk more with her.
      Caroline has been struggling today with her ankle so it’s been a very hard day for her.
      The pension is great, with a lovely swimming pool but the food options (or actually the only food available) is very limited. This is not really a village and barely even a hamlet. There is one restaurant which clearly has the local monopoly and is also trying to host a wedding so the staff are under pressure and are honestly quite rude and unpleasant. The food is okay but requires a bit of cobbling to create a reasonably sustaining veggie option and it’s expensive. Not our best evening but the situation is still lovely.
      Managed to use the washing machine - first time in nearly 6 weeks (have been hand washing in a variety of detergent substitutes) which was unreasonably exciting and as the weather is beautiful it’s all dry too!
      Also paddled in the river (was promised a swim but it’s way too shallow) and swam in the pension pool. So a good afternoon all in all - just need to gear up for tomorrow now!
      Finished my evening up with a tot of raspberry liqueur - bought at the organic food truck. Home made and luckily not too strong but not sure I want to carry it again tomorrow as it’s in a glass bottle and quite heavy as a pilgrim luggage item. Still very delicious and not sure I can really leave it behind - it’s just that, as I think I’ve said before, every gram counts.
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    Orosa, 27204

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