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    • Day 11

      Farms, Vineyards, Forests and Rivers

      October 26, 2023 in Spain ⋅ 🌧 59 °F

      We woke today to the sounds of church bells and more rain, actually a torrential rain! So naturally we laced up the boots, threw on our ponchos and took off heading North! As we get closer to Santiago there are more pilgrims and we are really enjoying chatting along the way with some very interesting people. Funny we’ve met a couple of sibling groups traveling the Way of St. James with us and it’s so refreshing to see other families like us having this bonding time. I have been so grateful to make the journey with Richard because he finds the arrows very quickly and navigates the best path and he’s always there around the corner making me laugh when I arrive thinking I can’t breathe or take another step. We both love animals and it was a treat to have had a little doggie escort for about a mile this morning through the first village until he finally had enough of us and ran back down the hill. Our first stop was at an austere little chapel, St Marta, in a tiny farming community. Even so early the door was open and candles were burning. God bless that caretaker because it gave us a chance to give thanks for our morning as well as to reorganize packs, wring out wet socks and catch a breath before marching on.
      After the chapel there were supposedly two options for the route (Tomaza Division?) but we only saw one and it turned out to be a very difficult stage. We walked through a forest along the rivers Dos Gafos and Pintos and the path started deteriorating rapidly as we made our way. The river was swollen and fast and the paths were just a series of large puddles. At one alarming point we were knee deep in cold water and we considered turning back but then 4 pilgrims popped up behind us and we all made the joint decision to push forward. We were all so relieved to make it to Pontevedra. It was supposed to be an easy day for us- only 9 miles- but probably a day I won’t forget soon because we worked so hard. We were lucky to arrive in town early enough for the menú del diá and had some lovely pasta with mushrooms, some fish and a pork chop. Delicious and only 10euro! The town here is beautiful, filled with shops and lots of people dressed very stylishly. I look a wet, bedraggled mess but people smile and nod and I guess they are used to pilgrims making their way through town. We were able to get into our hostel, shower and do laundry before going out to explore and lo and behold the rain had let up! Praise the Lord- we saw the sun! This was very encouraging so we strolled around and visited the ruins of the church of San Domingos- dating from 14th century and now a national protected monument. We sampled some Santiago tartas which are little almond cakes flavored with orange and lemon supposedly first baked in 1577 in honor of Saint James. They are yummy and of course I will find a recipe to make some when I get back home! We visited the Sanctuary of the Virgin of Shelter and the Divine Pilgrim- it’s square in the middle of town surrounded by modern buildings but it shines like a star and its architecture is breathtaking- we both stopped in our tracks when we saw it! Tonight we went back for a pilgrim’s Rosary and Mass and all I could think when I saw the church tonight was that it looked like a jewel box. Tomorrow we hope to get an early start, visit the Basilica and be on our way. As I close I hear people outside at the bars and cafés laughing and chatting and I hear the rain hitting the pavement- I think I will sleep good tonight!
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    • Day 29

      Getting Close!

      April 13 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 19 °C

      Just 75 km's to Santiago now. In a lovely albergue in Pontesampaio. It was Katae"s last night. Unfortunately she will not go to Santiago, but onto her volunteer albergue job. Rafael , Blanca, and myself are still together. Today's land cross section was very tough. We had a few kilometers of steep straight down. Some lovely forest track tho. Have a look at todays pics.Read more

    • Day 14

      Day 13 - Redondela to Pontevedra

      May 5 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

      I know the saying “only mad dogs and Englishmen” usually refers to being out in hot weather, but I’m sure it also applies to the inclement, pour down, soaked to the bone weather we had today. When we looked out the window this morning, it looked like a drizzle, and then it came down harder. And harder. And harder. So, ponchos on, caps on to save ourselves from the waterboarding ahead, we took to the road.

      Ok, let’s be honest - it was a difficult day. But in a good way, in that, yes there were hills, and paths that became rivers, and not enough cafes to stop at, but none of it was insurmountable. It was what it was. And we did a grand job of it. We laughed, talked, sometimes said nothing, kissed on bridges, held hands, chatted to other walkers (why do they insist on talking politics???), and we made it to Pontevedra. Tonight we are staying in a hostel (Paul’s first), and we had a lovely dinner, even if the waiter forgot to put half our order through, and we had ice cream on the way back, and now I’m tucked up in my top bunk bed with Paul below, and I feel “good tired”.

      We met one cat.
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    • Day 20

      Arcade to Pontevedra

      October 1, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

      We had our second hill after Arcade. This was mostly on soft paths through forests, so I enjoyed the climb a lot more.

      We stopped at a roadside ‘tienda’ for a chocolate bar. It was well set up, with bales for seats, and a friendly dog.

      Entering Pontevedra there is a Complimentario route, which goes along a small stream. It was a bit longer, but was in the shade. It is a very nice path.

      Tonight we are living in luxury with a private room for two. With towels and sheets!
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    • Day 15

      Top of yet another climb!

      July 3, 2023 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 70 °F

      It’s another pleasant day to walk! Feeling much better today! On the way out of Redondela, we met Andrea from Portland who is also a teacher! 😄 I loved the walk through Arcade… although very hilly! And it’s been a steady climb ever since! Love the shaded trail that goes by creeks and has old Roman road stones still in place! Stopped at the top at a vendor for pilgrims and got a fresh squeezed strawberry lemonade! Letting the feet get some air and then we start a steady descent.Read more

    • Day 9


      October 20, 2022 in Spain ⋅ 🌧 17 °C

      Last long day yesterday, and that went together with the last night together with our little Camino Family as we say goodbye to some of them who are off to walk the spiritual route ❤️

      We ordered pizza to the albergue, we chatted and giggled, found a little kitty to cuddle (and debate the possibility of one of us taking her home) and are off for a last breakfast this morning before we part ways.

      Feeling so grateful for these beautiful, beautiful connections this past week 🙏🏼
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    • Day 10

      Tag 9: Camino-Magic!

      September 14, 2023 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

      Es ging heute morgen in einer wahrlichen Pilgermeute von Redondela in Richtung Pontevedra los.
      Das Wetter war toll, die Landschaft wiedermal sehr schön und der Kaffee in unseren Verschnaufpausen ebenfalls sehr gut! 😄 Die Gespräche auf dem Weg waren allerdings nicht so berauschend.... Wir sind nur am Anfang mit 2 jungen deutschen Mädels ins Gespräch gekommen und außer unnötigem Smalltalk gab es da nicht so viel zu holen. 😅 Also ließen wir die Meute einfach entspannt ziehen und genossen unseren Weg in Ruhe.
      In Pontevedra geschah dann etwas absolut unglaubliches!!!
      Wenn mir jemand so etwas erzählen würde, würde ich es wahrscheinlich nicht glauben. Aber Jan kann bezeugen, dass alles so passiert ist.
      Jedenfalls erreichten wir das Hostel in Pontevedra und als wir gerade einchecken wollten, sprach mich jemand auf Russisch an: "Катя...?!" Ich drehte mich um und brauchte eine Sekunde. Aber auch nur eine einzige! 😄 Dann erkannte ich Женя (oder Jeff, wie er sich auf Englisch nennt).
      Ich bin mit ihm eine ganze Zeit lang vor 4!!!! Jahren auf meinem ersten Camino, (dem Camino del Norte) gelaufen. Er kommt aus der Ukraine und wir haben uns extrem gut verstanden und auch echt viel witziges erlebt. Während ich absolut sprachlos und fassungslos dastand, stellte er mir seine Frau Linda vor. Und jetzt kommt noch ein Knaller: Nachdem sich unsere Wege damals getrennt hatten, hat er Linda (aus Frankreich) ein paar Tage später kennengelernt. Sie haben sich verliebt und geheiratet! Und jetzt leben sie nicht in der Ukraine, auch nicht in Frankreich sondern in..... Kanada!!! Und es ist auch sein erster Camino nach 4 Jahren, genau wie bei mir. Solche Zufälle kann es einfach nicht geben.
      Begeistert tauschten wir uns über unser bisheriges Leben und die Erlebnisse auf dem Camino aus und dass wir alle zusammen abends essen gingen versteht sich von selbst denke ich. 😄 Beim Essen war noch der spanische Pilger Xavier dabei, welcher ein spannendes Menü (mit jeder Menge Pulpo (=Tintenfisch) für uns organisieren konnte. 😂 Mir haben daran die typisch galizischen Desserts (Kaffee-Flan 😍) und der Wein am besten gefallen. 😉 Es war einfach so unfassbar krass, dass wir uns hier wiedergetroffen haben und es war so ein perfekter Abend... Leider trennen sich ab morgen unsere Wege wieder, weil Jeff und Linda eine besondere Variante des Weges (Camino Espiritual) wandern möchten.
      Aber immerhin hatten wir diesen einen Abend! 🥳

      Orte: Redondela, Cesantes, Arcade, Ganderon, Pontevedra
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    • Day 13

      If It’s Saturday It Must Be Ponte Vedra

      October 15, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 66 °F

      Well, I thankfully slept through last night’s hauntings. Because I’m sure they happened! And when I got up this morning and went down to breakfast, my suspicions were confirmed. There was only one place set. I was totally alone in that creepy place. Shivers down my spine!

      Today’s walk was fantastic. One of the very best days. The predicted rain held off but it was cloudy which kept things cool. There were lots of pilgrims because Redondela- where I stayed last night- is where all 3 Portuguese caminos come together. So I spent time walking and talking with various groups.
      Heather and Alden- an older couple from the states who did the whole French Camino last year. He just had a stent put in his heart so I felt compelled to share with him that I was a recent graduate of EMT school. I think he felt very reassured.😀

      Then I walked with my Scottish ladies. They are very enjoyable company.

      Then I walked a while with Marta and Madelin- ages 29 and 31 from Portugal. Madelin makes earrings- a thing she started during the pandemic- she markets them on Instagram. Marta is a singer by education but is going back to school to study psychology- having been the beneficiary of several years of therapy herself- the reason many of us enter the field. They both talked about how the rise in popularity of Portugal as a destination for ex pats has affected the native Portuguese and their hopes for prosperity. Ex pats come with all their money and drive the prices up and the low paid Portuguese can’t afford to move out on their own. Both of these women were still at home with their parents. We also talked more about fado singing, as Marta sometimes sings in that style. She agreed with the concept that the more you have lived the more emotive your fado.

      Then I stopped and spoke to Kristen from Oregon. Asking her why she chose to walk she said- “I’m not sure. Maybe because I’m 73 and it’s now or never!”

      Then it was time to break off on my own. I think I’m a recluse at heart. But it was so great. I listened to Bernstein’s Mass- something I haven’t listened to in at least 30 years. It is such a wonderful piece of music and perfect for setting the mood on this cloudy day. When I ran across Marta and Madelin later I asked Marta if she knew of it. She said, “Yes- I have sung it!” Music. Bringing the world together!😀😀

      I’m in Pontevedra tonight in the Parador. Seems to be a happening place. I may even go out and explore after a brief rest.
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    • Day 13

      On our way to Pontevedra

      May 26 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 18 °C

      Our hotel Duarte had our breakfast all prepared at our own table this morning. It was a nice way to start the day. There were at least 24 Camino Walkers staying at the same hotel as us, and we all started off around the same time. It was a very beautiful walk today with some surprises along the way. The first Surprise happened as we were hiking up a very steep rocky trail. About 5 men on bikes rode down the same trail we were on. I could not believe they were riding bikes down this trail. I considered them daredevils. The next surprise was a man on a white horse coming up the same trail. It amazed me how sure-footed the horse was walking on all these rocks and small boulders.
      As we were walking along, we met a woman from Canada named Teri Lee. It turns out she is staying at the same hotel that we were headed for, so we decided to walk together. When we got to our hotel, our luggage wasn't there yet. So we went upstairs and rested until our luggage came. We took showers and met Teri and her friend for a walk through old town. We took more pictures. Michelle and I were getting very hungry, so we stopped at a small restaurant called. Natas D'ouro. The food was good and of course I had my daily cerveza.
      Then we walked through the amazing Sanctuary of the Pilgrim Virgin (pictures). Also, the 14th-century convent of San Francisco. (Pictures).
      Today was another amazing day! I'm looking forward to our walk tomorrow, which will be about fourteen miles.
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    • Day 15


      July 3, 2023 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 82 °F

      After 12 miles of walking we arrived in Pontevedra at Nacama Hostel. A nice number of miles, especially considering the hills. Our feet are definitely complaining these days by the time we arrive! So what do we do? Walk around town for another 4 miles! 🫣🤣 We ate lunch so late that dinner is going to be snacks we got from the grocery store!Read more

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