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Camino de Santiago 2018

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  • Day35

    Last day in Portugal to Home

    May 24, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 7 °C

    As I write this it is 6:30 am on Friday. I have just cleared security at the airport here in Porto and am just waiting to board at 0800. By the time anyone reads this, I will be somewhere over the Atlantic. Yesterday was a rainy day in Porto so I didn’t do a whole lot. I cleared the hostel I stayed at the night before and booked a private room in a pensione that offered an airport shuttle. Of course, not really knowing the neighborhoods in Porto, it ended up being in a run down residential part of town...but what can you expect for $25? Actually, once I got into the place it was actually very nice and clean on the inside. To top it all off, there was no reception so I was let in by another guest and had to communicate via email to get the shuttle service arranged. But, the guy showed up at 0530 this morning and got me to the airport, so it all worked out. I will arrive in Boston at 1:20 after an 11 hour flight time....a bus to Portland where Connor will pick me up...hopefully, it all goes smoothly. This will be my last post in the blog. I very much appreciate everyone following me and commenting...it has made the trip much easier with the almost daily interaction with everyone. I have included a few photos of my last day in Porto. Take care and I will see you all soon.Read more

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  • Day34

    Porto, Portugal

    May 23, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    Good morning to everyone. As I write this, I am sitting in a downtown hostel...literally named “Downtown Hostel”. Not a terrible place but it is still the whole bunk room thing but they are cheap sooo... I walked through the city last evening and had dinner on the river...some local specialty...ham, chorizo and steak covered with cheese and a spicy sauce and of course, Portuguese red wine. The trip down to the river was a bit crazy as there are thousands and thousands of people on the streets and hundreds of cafes, shops etc. This is an extremely busy city. The river walk was extremely nice with musicians playing music. I chose an outdoor cafe next to one of the musicians to have dinner at....all in all, a relaxing evening. Sooo, I fly home in the morning....just trying to figure out where to stay that is close by the airport but still keeping things affordable. My flight is at 830 am so, I should be there at 530-600. Headed out for the day....I hope this finds everyone well!Read more

  • Day33

    Aguda back to Porto, Portugal

    May 22, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ 🌙 14 °C

    Hey from Porto, Portugal! I am a day behind with the whole blogging thing...I do apologize. There are a a lot of things that come into play...mostly WiFi issues. It does not take a strong WiFi connection to blog but it does effect the uploading of the photos....bad WiFi can take up to an hour or more to upload photos. Anyway, I spent the day yesterday on the beach in Aguda. A great day but exhausting as any day in the sun will make you feel. I awoke yesterday morning in the local firehouse as the the guys put me up being am EMS brother and all. I feel bad for them as they are fighting the same battle as we did in the late 70’s and 80’s. I made my way back to Porto late in the afternoon yesterday...not a lot to show you as I hiked from the train station to my hostel with no fantastic photos or anything. A lot of the walk was through residential and blue collar areas. I spent last nightt at a decent hostel called Rock n hostel...a tribute to musicians. Not a bad place. I was bunked with young girls from France and a girl from the US living in France. It’s okay but I don’t have a lot in common with them being that I could be their dad and all....but all n all, okay. I awoke this morning and made my way to the old city....I could have taken a cab but chose to walk as we backpackers or pilgrims tend to do. I find myself in a hostel tonight with a guy from Belgium, a girl from the Ukraine and a couple from Argentina....A great discussion before bed. Tomorrow, I will make myway to a place near the airport so I have easy access to my flight Friday morning. It will be great to be headed home! That’s it for now....goodnight from Porto, Portugal!Read more

  • Day32

    Santiago, Spain to Aguda, Portugal.

    May 21, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    Hello form Aguda, Portugal. I left this morning from Santiago at 615 am. A couple of train rides later, I find myself in Aguda...a beach town that compares to York/York Beach with a little OOB thrown in during the summer. Right now, it is pretty calm....a huge beach and crazy surf but nobody on the beach due to the wind. I arrived at around one and had a talk with one of the Fire/EMS guys at the station on the way into town who offered me a place to sleep at the station tonight. They are way behind us when it comes to protocols which he was very cynical about. I mean way behind like back in the 80’s for us. So, I sit here writing this at a small cafe in town who’s owner cooked me dinner tonight which was special because she usually does not cook meals on Monday nights. So, tomorrow, the beach here and then I will make my way back to Porto and get to know the city. Goodnight from Aguda, Portugal!Read more

  • Day31

    Portomarín to Santiago de Compostela

    May 20, 2018 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 18 °C

    Hello from Santiago. Even though I gave up my quest to walk to Santiago, I ended up here anyway as I needed to get here to get to Portugal so it turns out. I walked into the city...not quite the way I intended but walked in just the same. I think the Camino parallels life in many ways...You start out with a plan, work hard at it but in the end, things happen to change those plans and things end up differently. And, one can only hope that the end result still finds you standing and in good shape. As in my case here...it didn’t go as planned but I still managed to walk into the main square and see the Cathedral all in one piece. I completed 275 miles of the Camino. I have unbelievable respect for anyone who walks the whole 500 miles as it is a daunting task and it is very difficult. I left Portomarín this morning via taxi to Lugo because it is Sunday and no buses were running out of Portomarín. I had a 4 hour layover in the city of Lugo which turned out to be a welcomed stopover. The old city of Lugo is completely surrounded by a 3rd century Roman wall that is upwards to 50 feet high. It is the only city in the world that is still completely surrounded by a wall so I read. It has a walking path at the top and is more than a mile around the old city. So, I say goodbye to the Camino with all its good and bad. The good?...the people, the views, the history, the change in the country as you go from east to west, the food, the wine etc. The other positives is that you realize that you might be in a shitty albergue with less than favorable roommates or slogging through the rain wet and miserable but in a few hours or the next day, you maybe having a great time sitting at a cafe and loving life. The bad?...less than desirable bunk mates. I hate to stereotype but I will say that my worst nights in albergues were spent with the French...It was my experience which has been echoed by many others here that they can be the most selfish, self centered people that you can share quarters with and trust me...their needs come first. I know you can’t say that about all of the French but it has been my experience here. The other bad thing?...toilet paper along the path. It seems that a lot of women simply go, wipe and drop the toilet paper and leave it for the rest of us to pass and enjoy. I am not so sure what is so hard about kicking the toilet paper under a rock or some leaves but that doesn’t happen for some reason. But again, on the Camino as in life, you have both respectful people and non-respectful people. I leave via train for Portugal at 6:15 AM. I will arrive in Porto at 10:15 AM. I am shooting for a smaller town 10 miles or so south of Porto. The beach that I am looking at is called...Praia da Aguda. It looks like a pretty cool place. I am not sure what is there as far as accommodations but I guess I will find out tomorrow. Maybe sleep on the beach? Who knows? I have been told that Portugal is cheaper than Spain and the foods better. That sounds great as I found the food and the prices fantastic in Spain. So, that’s it for now, 0500 will come early but only a 10 minute walk to the train station. Goodnight from Santiago!Read more

  • Day30

    Sarria to Portomarín

    May 19, 2018 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    Hello from Portomarín, Spain. I will start this entry by quoting Forrest Gump when he decided to stop running. “ I’m pretty tired, I think I will go home now....and just like that, my running days was over”. My version: “ I’m pretty tired, I think I will go home now...and just like that, my walking days are over”. So, I left Sarria at around 6:30 am and walked until 4pm. I covered 15 miles...short of the 18 miles that I needed to make reaching Santiago possible. But, throughout the day, I kept thinking about which direction I wanted to head in...keep on as is, or head to Portugal. I have experienced the Camino, the miles, the people, the good and the bad. I have seen the country..from the east to the west. I have found what I needed to find...in the end, I do not need to reach Santiago...it is about the journey and not about any reward at the end. There is a whole other European country just south of me that I have never seen....a great time to see it I think. As I sit here writing this tonight from the veranda of a pensione/albergue in Portomarín. I have a private room for $33 and am sitting on the veranda, sipping local wine at $1.50 a glass, eating local olives which are most likely free and enjoying a great view of the river. And, all the while thinking....I think I will mosey on down to Porto, Portugal tomorrow and check out the city and the beaches before I go home. Who’s the wild man now?! I am feeling like a king as I sit here. I found this place on the edge of town...I should be in the city taking photos but, I have no desire to move from this spot so I think I will order dinner and watch the sun go down right from here. That’s the thing about the Camino, one minute you are slogging through the mud or baking in the hot sun while on the trail but an hour later....you are living life. Yes, my knee hurts and my feet are sore and my clothes have a funky smell by now but hey, sitting out here...wow, I don’t really care. So, I have to plan my travel to Porto...with any luck, Iwill arrive by tomorrow evening. I will keep the blog going as Portugal, I am told is a beautiful place. Goodnight from Portomarín and as always, thank you for checking in!Read more

  • Day29

    Triacastela to Sarria

    May 18, 2018 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

    Good evening from Sarria, Spain. Sarria is the starting point for hundreds of people per day that wish to walk to Santiago and earn the Compostela certificate. According to the “rules”, a person must walk the last 100 km to earn the certificate which is 62 miles. I have already walked around 270 miles but it doesn’t mean anything, I must walk the last 62 into Santiago to qualify. Now, having said all that, I couldn’t care less if I get the Compostela or not...it is in Latin so I can’t read it anyway. I also only marginally care if I see Santiago but I would like to see what all the fuss is about when it comes to Santiago. I am simply interested in finishing what I started. So, here is the deal. I really need to be in Porto, Portugal by next Thursday as my flight leaves for home on Friday morning. I really should arrive in Portugal on Wednesday to give myself some breathing room. Sooo...that means I need to cover 18 miles a day for the next four days so I can be in Santiago on Tuesday. I have been slowed up with my knee issue so it has put on more pressure. I have dumped all of the weight out of my pack to lighten the load. Bare necessities at this point. Anything that I could do without got dumped. Tent...clothes except for the bare minimum...flashlight...anything that weighed anything...it’s only stuff. But, I still don’t know if I can pull this off. I do risk not having a tent if I cannot find a bed but I can find someplace to throw the sleeping bag down under cover if I have to. I will tell you that the past couple of days, with the leg issues, that it has been tempting to jump on a train to Portugal and lay on the beach for the next few days but I haven’t given up yet. So, out the door at 0600 in the morning and we will see how it goes. That is it from Spain tonight, I hope this finds everyone well.Read more

  • Day28

    O Cerbreiro to Triacastela

    May 17, 2018 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

    Good evening from Triacastella, Spain. I left O Cerbreiro this morning around 730 am. It was a painful morning albergue wise as many many people were trying to get ready at once. But, $8/night...guess you have to take the good with the bad. The walk today was a lot of uphills and downhills. The downhills are actually worse. The day ended with a 4 mile long decent into Triacastela. And, to top off a trying afternoon, I got in late and the only bed was in a shitty albergue but hey, it’s a roof, a bed and a shower....trust me, that’s about it. The tent came close to coming out of the bag again. I am in a four person room with a Spanish couple in their 60’s...they speak no English so no conversation. I current am in a cafe/bar in town having dinner...The Galician specialty of Octopus, bread and of course, red wine. Plus, I get to use their WiFi as there is none at the albergue. I am starting to have issues with my left knee...it is pretty inflamed and is becoming an issue for the last couple of days especially in the afternoon. It took me a long time today to reach town and because of it which creates more issues like bed availability because you arrive into town late. Oh well, no one promised me that it would be easy. I am around 80 miles out currently. That is it for now, I hope this finds everyone well!Read more

  • Day27

    Las Herrerias to O Cebreiro

    May 16, 2018 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    Hey, so thank you for checking in. I left Las Herrerias heading west and found myself in a insanely uphill climb through the Galician mountains. Uphill for at least 6 km’s. The plus side was that the scenery was amazing. I landed in the Galician town of O Cebreiro....an amazing town full of history dating back to the Roman Empire. As I came through town, I hadn’t planned on staying here but a group of Australians that I had met along the way convinced me otherwise. So, I find myself in a huge albergue..170 beds..sleeping next to and above many other people. It’s tough but it’s cheap...6 euro, so, $8 US. So after the usual shower and planning for tomorrow, I came to town, had some wine and dinner and will be in bed soon. 10pm...the doors close and lock. The price you pay for cheap lodging. I hope this finds everyone well....goodnight from a small town in the hills of Galacia!Read more

  • Day26

    Villafranca del Bierzo to Las Herrerias

    May 15, 2018 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

    Hello from Laguna de Castille...a small town up in the Galician mountains. I arrived last night into Las Herrerias, a small town of 30. I found a small pensione with a private room for a little more than an albergue so I grabbed it up. The walk was pretty uneventful and not real scenic from Villafranca del Bierzo to Las Herrerias. The hike followed a stream and a highway most of the day. Today is a very scenic day through the mountains and I will send out an update tonight if I have decent WiFi. Take care and thank you for checking in!Read more