Sunday, September 30, 2018


Day 9. Scotland tour
Our last day and we started with a view of Inverarry Castle where Downton Abbey filmed the Christmas party.  We were in the heart of the  Campbell country in the Highlands.
By 12:30 we were finally out of the mountains and visiting Stirling Castle, home to the Stuart Kings.  Now we were also in Robert Bruce country.  A huge and very old castle that was ready for tourists with costumed guides and many artifacts and helpful story boards.  I walked most of the outside wall and we both loved the tapestry display about the recreation of the unicorn tapestries that took 13 years to make and are now in NYC.
We spent nearly 3 hours there before stopping at Bannockburn to view the battle monuments.   Then on to Edinburgh and our original hotel for our last night and celebration dinner.  Tomorrow we fly home.  Thank you for joining me on my travels this summer.

Saturday, September 29, 2018


Day 8 Scotland Tour
Isle of Iona

Iona is the birthplace of christianity in Scotland.  In the year 563 St. Colbumba established an abbey here and kept this as his base as he traveled spreading the gospel throughout Scotland.

Today we traveled from the mainland for an hour on a large ferry boat to the island of Mull.  The wind was extremely strong driving the soft rain into daggers, so most of us stayed inside for much of the ride past castle ruins and lighthouses.
Arrived on Mull and boarded a bus for an hour long ride of the heavily traveled  single lane road to the opposite side.  Along the way we finally saw a large group of the famous Scotland Highland Cows known for their long shaggy coats and long horns.  And many vistas of ancient ruins and glorious bays.  The driver gave us a running narrative of the island history and customs while navigating the single lane road with constant oncoming traffic.
We safely arrived and boarded a smaller ferry for the short trip over to the Isle of Iona.
There we had a guide for the tour of the 800 year old abbey built on the site of St. Columbo's wooden abbey.  It has had many restorations and changed over the centuries but has survived through viking masacures, wars and also good years.  Very beautiful Celtic crosses, some very old and some not so old.   There are also ruins of a convent on the island that is only 3 miles long and 1.5 miles wide.  We had 2 hours to explore and then it was back on the small ferry to the bus and a return trip on the single track road.   On the large ferry for the last leg the weather turned very nasty and the long walk to the hotel was bitter cold in biting wind driven rain.
But returned in time for the 6 PM mass at the cathedral that was about 2 blocks from the hotel.  Then we walked into the first hotel and had soup and sandwiches for a filling dinner without walking back into the commercial area of town.
Tomorrow we travel back to Edinburgh for our final night.

Thursday, September 27, 2018


A very rainy day but so enjoyed all of our activities.
We drove to Loch Ness, the home of "Nessie", the monster who everyone looks for.  There we boarded a boat and headed across the loch to the ruins of the Urquhart  Castle.  After walking the site we visited a museum about the site that dates back several centuries.
From there we rode in our bus that had driven around the loch (lake) to meet us.  We drove to prehistoric burial chambers.  There were  three large round made of stones and each were surrounded by large stones standing upright in circles around the chambers.
We enjoyed a picnic lunch in the park even though it was softly raining off and on with a touch of sunshine now and then.
From there we drove to the beautifully maintained Cawdor castle and gardens.  Now part of the Campbell estate. So enjoyed walking through the rooms. 
Soon we were back in Inverness at our hotel.  Tonight we had dinner together in a restaurant on the river.  Good day ..
  and tomorrow we move again.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018


Day 5 Scotland tour
Sheepdogs and the Highlands
It was an hours drive north to Leaults sheep farm where  the Shepard Neil put on a wonderful demonstration of how a team of Border collies control a herd of sheep.
He then showed us how to shear a sheep and then six of us took turn with the shearing siccors including yours truely. 
It was amazing and then we got to feed the sheep using large baby bottles before he brought out two tiny puppies for us to cuddle.
We had soft rain most of the day but managed to avoid using umbrellas.
As we drove into the Highlands our guide Helen taught us about the historic battlefield that we would visit today as we watched the leaves on the trees  creating artistic designs as they continue to change from green to gold and red; but the heather and bracken on the hills are dark brown as they've reached the end of their season. 
Our lunch was a delicious hot shepard's soup followed by homemade scottish scones.  Before leaving the restaurant the cook gave us a demonstration on making scones and shared her recipe.
Our last stop was at the battlefields of  Culloden where the fate of England and Scotland was determined in 1746.  Very reminiscent of the civil war fields at Gettysburg in the USA.
Dinner was on our own after we arrived at our hotel for the next two nights in Inverness.  We did fish n chips at the Castle Tavern around the corner.  We've got our third, first floor room!   Maybe because we're the oldest members of the tour?   We don't question why but just say thank you.


Day 4  Scotland Tour
Kenmore area
Skys were dark with rain  clouds this morning with only  spots here and there of sun.  Off and on soft rain throughout the day.  But managed without umbrellas.
We started the morning with a walk of about a mile around the end of the lake to visit the Crannogs Center.  They are prehistoric homes build over water.  We spent over an hour there learning about the construction, how they lived and tools they used.  Informative and fun.
The bus picked us up and we were off to the Hermitage where we walked another 2 miles through the forest among giant Douglas fir trees along a roaring river full of Rapids.  We reached the falls and enjoy another spectacular vista created for the wealthy to enjoy many years ago. 
Off to the village of Dunkeld to visit a medieval Cathedral    and enjoy lunch on our own.
The rain came a bit harder after lunch but we managed to stay dry and enjoy our stop at the Dewar's Whiskey Brewery in Aberfeldy, the home town of the actor Allan Cumnings, where we tasted a 12 year old brew and toured the facility.
Home to Kenmore and the oldest Scotland Inn, Established in 1572.  
Many of us spent the next hour walking out to see the Taymouth Castle.  It has a private golf course and it spectacular.  I heard a rumor that  Victoria and Albert spent their honeymoon in this castle  but our guide had not heard this... so need to do some research.   But a grand day it was that closed with a delicious dinner.  Tomorrow we move to another city.


Day 3 Scotland tour
On the bus early this morning we'll be driving at least 5 hours today and spending 3 hours in the town of St. Andrews, the birthplace of golf.  And, more recently the University where William and Kate studied.   A beautiful town on the shores of the North Sea.  Castle ruins and Cathedral ruins to wander through after taking photos in front of the club house at the golf course where the famous play a round every year.
On the way we visited Culross where the popular Outlander series is filmed and had a fabulous tour of the 17th century Palace used in the filming.  The guide has seen the ghosts that live there and kept our attention with her tales of when they appear to a few of the  visitors. 
We crossed to large rivers and visited the town where Andrew Carnegie was born and saw the first library he built after making his fortune in America.
We are spending two nights in a tiny town, 1 hotel, 1 castle, 1 church and less than 10 houses.  That's it.  Wifi is very.weak but will stand in the lobby and try to send this.
We also saw the brand new Victoria and Albert Museum that opened this week in Dundee.  It looks like a ship setting out to sail from a distance. 
After a group dinner in the hotel we had a woman piper who played her bagpipes, taught us the history and even had a few of us playing them.  Lots of fun.

Sunday, September 23, 2018


Day 2 of the Scotland Tour..

Early breakfast and out the door  by 8:30 am for our tour of Edinburgh with a local guide  by the name of Rita, excellent!  She was well versed on local lore and full of stories as we walked the streets up and down the hills  until noon.
We briskly walked up the long hill known as the Royal Mile, to old Edinburgh and the two castles.   Along the way we explored hidden courtyards, narrow passageways and quaint shops.  Today we explored the very old Edinburgh Castle from top to bottom. We saw the  crown jewels, and the famous Stone of Destiny that over the centuries has been placed under the throne when crowning a king or queen .
The views were spectacular.
We then wind our way back through medieval streets as we listened to more Scottish lore from Rita about Harry Potter being written here and many of the names she used were found on tombstones, the story of Bobby the loyal dog who visited his masters grave every day for 14 years. Both are buried in Greyfrairs cemetery.  We ended at the National Museum of Scotland.  Oh, must not forget the wee bit of whiskey tasting here and there along  the way!
We were on our own all afternoon and gathered at 5 in The Conan Doyle Pub across the street from our hotel where we shared stories and raised a pint to our tour guide Helen who is doing a marvelous job!
Made it to the 7:30 PM Mass before calling it a day!


Day 1 of Tour of he Best of Scoland ...
Saturday ... Moving Day
Clear weather, cold but lots of bright sunshine.
Packed our things, had a good breakfast and made sandwiches for lunch to take with us.  By 9:15 am we were downstairs with our luggage and called the number we'd seen on a taxi yesterday.
Within 5 minutes we were on our way to the Queen Street Railroad Station in downtown Glasgow.  Since we'd had trouble with the ticket machines yesterday, we asked for and found the of site ticket sales with live clerks who you could talk with!  Purchased tickets for the 10:15 train and the train people put us on the platform early... Jim's cane wins again.
By 1 PM we were at the The Place Hotel in Downtown Edinburgh. Checked in and left the luggage. 
We had until 3 PM to explore the city.  We managed to visit both the nearby Scottish National Protrait Gallery and then the Scottish National Gallery where we enjoyed a special exhibit of the Best of Rembrandt. Museums are donation only entrance fees but we paid dearly for the special.  But, Jim said it was well worth the price as it was the largest display of Rembrandts work in one place that he'd ever seen. They had gathered his work from all over the world for this exhibit.
Walked back to the hotel and found we'd been assigned to a huge suite with two large beds and a view of the rooftops of Edinburgh all the way to the mountains with the Firth of Forth in the center...a large bay off  of the North Sea.
We later found that several of the tour members have large rooms like this. 
At 4 PM our tour group of 27 met to learn the rules, schedule and each others names. No name tags and we each chose another person  we didn't know as a buddy.
Instead of counting noses, a buddy check is called and we are each responsible to verify that our buddy is with the group.
We then went on a walking tour for about an hour through the local neighborhood to see the Georgian homes including the childhood home of the author  Robert Lewis Stevenson.
Soon we were at a beautiful restaurant called Harvey Nichols (since 1831) with a nighttime view of the city from the top floor location. 
Wonderful dinner as we continued to work on learning names.  A great first day.

Friday, September 21, 2018


Day 4 Scotland
Some wind, rain now and then but mostly sunshine and cold.
We used the bus again and first visited the train station  to plan for tomorrow, then to the Catheral and cemetary. Back on the bus to the shopping streets where we walked for a mile or so.  Back on the bus to the transportation museum.  Our final stop was a second trip to the Kelvingrove Museum to see the Dali painting of christ and another area we'd missed before.
Enjoyed the evening with a couple of movies on the television.tomorrow we move.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

DAY 3 Scotland

Day 3 Scotland... we survived yesterday's storm "Ali" that made news headlines in Europe.  Winds were up to 100 mph and several people were killed.  We knew it was strong wind but never dreamed it was so strong.
Today we woke to sunny skies and milder winds, but COLD.

  Used our marvelous kitchen to whip up a hot breakfast and then we off to the Hop Off and On Bus to tour our  city of Glasgow.

We did two trips around, scoring the front seats up top for the second round.  Chose to get off at Glasgow University and visit the Hunterian Art Museum.  Bummer... the art was missing and we found stuffed animals and other museum pieces.
Disappointed and hungry we walked back towards the apartment and stopped for fish and chips.  Great day.  Tomorrow it's back on the bus with planned hop offs to visit.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

DAY 2 Scotland Kelvingrove

Day 2 Scotland...
EXTREMELY windy day in Glasgow with light rain.. good because using the umbrella was impossible. 
But, we prevailed and walked about half a mile o the Kelvingrove Art Museum.  Fabulous building housing a wealth of eclectic collections of all periods of art, sculptures,  preserved animals and other collections.  The most important piece was one by Salvador Dali: Christ of St. John of The Cross.
We spent several hours touring the creatively displayed art and then enjoyed an half hour concert by Christopher Nickol.
We then finished with viewing a Spitfire airplane hanging from the ceiling above elephants, giraffes  and other animals.  Out into the wind, as we headed home we saw a hop on off bus and have decided to take one tomorrow. 
Stopped at the grocery store across the street and picked up fixings for our dinner in the apartment.   Pizza, ceasar salad and soup. 
We finished our day with two Netflix movies on the television as the rain and wind continued  outside.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018


Day one in Scotland ...
Long day of travel from Paris to Glasgow .  Delayed planes and long taxi rides complicated by traffic.
One of the more interesting things occurred as I went through customs in Paris.

We don't have to have a Visa to visit many countries in Europe because of the Schengen Agreement.  This allows Americans to spent up to 90 days in the countries that are a part of the agreement during a six months period.  Oops... he asked me if I realized I had exceeded the 90 days.  I said no, I'd arrived on July 11th and had only been here  for about 70 days.  I really had not thought about it.
He pointed to my passport where I'd gone to Amsterdam in May for 24 days.  He said I was 2 days over my limit!  Wow!  But I was leaving the agreement area  as the UK is not part of the agreement.  He hemmed and hawed...  but finally stamped my book and let me proceed.  So... lesson learned... watch your dates when doing months of travel.
Love our new Airbnb apartment in the west end of Glasgow.  Walking distance to the museums we plan to visit in the next three days.  Very modern and all the amenities.  Plus many different restaurants and a grocery store across the street.  Good to be here.  Expecting some rain but the plus is everything is Green!

Monday, September 17, 2018


Day 8...last day in Paris
We enjoyed our morning after breakfast with a long walk.  But first I spent a couple of hours at the laundromat across the street.  Met some Australians who had just come from Scotland and are now heading for the south of France.  Rare that we don't meet interesting travelers in the laundromat!
Jim did some walking in the park and then we finished our six miles by walking to the Pantheon and down to the shopping street of Rue Mouffetard... think of Julia Childs.  Got lost several times and in doing so  visited the Roman arena of Lutece.  Amazing condition and is used today for local activities.  Yes, built by the Roman's in ancient times.
Arrived at the top of rue mouffetard ..
thanks to GPS .. and enjoyed the many delicious aromas emanating from the delightful shops as we strolled down the street.  Turned around at the church and walked back up to the area of the Pantheon and our hotel. 
Enjoyed another Chinese lunch with roasted duck this time.  The afternoon has been mostly resting for the journey north tomorrow.
See you in Scotland.

Sunday, September 16, 2018


Day 7...Sunday in Paris
Last Sunday I flew from Madrid and met Jim from California here at CDG airport. It's been a grand week with visiting friends and enjoying our favorite places in Paris.
Today we continued as we went to a village just outside of Paris, stopping along the way at La Defense for a photo of the most modern of the three Arches in Paris.
We enjoyed a beautiful lunch at the home of friends and then walked with them looking for bargains at their village flea market held once  a year on the weekend celebrating French Heritage .  One never knows when there might be an old painting from someone's attic that is worth millions!  It has actually happened in the past.
Back in the city we said goodbye to another American friend before collapsing at our hotel to enjoy the package of slivers of cheese sent home with us.
A fun day... tomorrow is laundry and packing along with another area to visit.

Saturday, September 15, 2018


Day 6 in Paris was dry and comfortable.  Today and tomorrow is the celebration  of the National Hertiage of France.  Nearly all museums are free and many public buildings are open to the public.  Thousands of people participate and the wait lines are long for the most popular events.
Jim and I chose two and did both of them.  We arrive early for the Ecole des Beaux Arts that opened at 11 am and were in the first group admitted.  The line was four times longer when we left.  This is an art school that has been attended by most of the most famous artists over the past 300 plus years.  Never open to the public; Jim was thrilled.
Our second building was my choice, the Senat is housed in the former Luxembourg Palace.  Built as the home of Marie de Medici and once a museum it is now full of guards as the government conducts much of its business here.  Rumor has it that the secret service is housed in the basement? 
So, we enter two hallowed halls today that we've never seen in the nearly twenty years we've been visiting Paris.  And...without our friends Nicole and Maeliss we probably would not have known about the special events.
Made it to the Chinese restaurant on the dot of 2:30 PM and were the last admitted for lunch.  Restaurants close from 2:30 to 7:30 PM.  Jim had his duck dish...a must do for him in Paris.  Visited the park to finally see the children sailing their boats in the fountain.  Must only be on weekends after school begins. 
Tonight is mass at st. Jacque down the street.  Tomorrow is a visit to Maisons-Laffitte, a village outside of Paris....
Only 2 more days left to enjoy Paris!

Friday, September 14, 2018


Gathering of Eastlake Neighbors in Paris

Seven of us gathered for crepes at Ulyssas on Rue Cler near the Eiffel Tower this morning.  Ken & Annette Darby traveling with Kjell & Mayola Taylor who had scheduled a date with us this morning .  As a surprise Angela Guerrero also joined the party.  We met with Angela and her son Michael yesterday for an hour and decided to surprise everyone  today.  So much fun meeting friends in Paris! Marty, You were missed and we saved you a chair!  Enjoy photos from both days.

Thursday, September 13, 2018


Day 4 in Paris and it rained lightly most of the morning and  throughout the day.  Not enough for an umbrella but it was definately a much cooler day.
While walking in the park we found an art exhibit of sculptures in iron displayed in the orangerie that is used in the winter months to store the palm and fruit trees that are moved outside in the summer months.
  This weekend many public buildings that are normally closed to the public will be open for Heritage Days and we're looking forward to visiting several of them, but most of all the Les Beaux Arts where three centuries of famous artists have studied.
Today we walked to the Pantheon where they had a large exhibit about Simone Veil, a French women politician who eventually became the president of the Europeon Union and as a young woman was in Bergen- Belson concentration camp during WW II.  Next door was the beautiful church of Saint Genevieve.  In the movie "Midnight in Paris" he waits on the church steps each night.  Always fun to visit that curvy little road.
We have figured how to get CNBC and CNN on the TV so that's been a real plus.
Late this afternoon we walked to the far end of our park to view the magnificent fountain that Jim remembers seeing in photos as a small child. There are human figures in the top surrounded by rearing horses that appear to be jumping off.  A very impressive piece of sculpture.
A good rainy day in Paris and we've figured out the bus route to go visit the Rue Cler area tomorrow.  Road closure for repairs created a changed route but we finally figured it out.  Persistance!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018


Day three in Paris...why is it the older we get the shorter our touring day becomes.  It's not quite 4 PM and we're in for the day!
After a leisurely breakfast we board the bus that stops right outside our door and headed towards the Louvre Museum.  Jim and his cane moved right to the front of the line and I started my walk to the Eiffel Tower.
Along the way I visited Princess Diana's memorial by the people at the golden flame above the tunnel where her accident happened in 1997.   Still has a constant stream of visitors and new flowers.  Someone had put up a heart cutout with photos of Diana and one if each of her two oldest grandchildren. 
Stopped at the new Russian orthodox church ... very modern with gold topped towers.
And finally the Eiffel tower
...a disappointment as it is totally fenced in with very limited access.  But always nice to see the grand lady where I fell and broke my arm on our very first time in 1991.  Walked back on the left bank to the walking bridge.   Crossed over noting that the romantics are still attaching love locks to the bridge.   Found an exhusted Jim after three hours in the museum halls.  He was more than ready for the bus trip back to the hotel.
Another early dinner and we're enjoying a French movie on the television.
Thanks for continuing to tune in for the daily updates.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018


Day two in Paris.  So nice to start each day with a delicious French breakfast included in the cost of the room!
Another beautiful day weather wise and we enjoyed walking over a few blocks to Luxembourgh gardens where we watched the children playing, but no sailboats in the fountain today.  Only two tables of chess in progress but several very determined people getting suntanned.
We walked all the way around the palace of Catherine de Medeci who was married to HenryIV.  It is now a Museum but we could never find the entrance.  Jim stayed at the park for another hour while I went back to the hotel to work on organizing the suitcases so that my Camino backpack and equipment fits into the suitcases. 
Short naps when Jim returned and then we enjoyed an early dinner around the block at the Du Dim Sum restaurant. 
When the day cooled,  we put on our walking shoes and headed for Notre Dame, no lines so went inside.  Then over to the Ile St Louis where we stayed the first five times we visited Paris... lots of good memories.
Enjoyed the people sitting along the river and then walked home through the Sorbonne in the Latin Quarter to our hotel .  We love the vibrant life here in this quarter.  Bonsoir

Monday, September 10, 2018


Monday in Paris with rain predicted has been  a beautiful day full of sunshine.  The travel day on Sunday was long, but uneventfull.  Saturday night in Madrid was LOUD!  It was a hot night so windows were open and the never ending party on the streets was still in full swing as the taxi took me at 6 am to the airport.
My flight arrived in Paris at CDG Airport T3 at noon and I waited until nearly 6 PM for Jim to arrive from the USA in T1.  But plans do work and soon we were headed by taxi to our hotel near Luxembourgh Park on the Left Bank.  Cute little 2 star hotel A/C but thankfully a tiny elevator as we are on the 5th floor with a view of Paris.
Today we navigated our way by Metro to our friends office near the Arch de Triomphe to pick up my suitcase that I left with them back in July.  I now have more than 2 shirts and 1 pair of pants! 
While there we visited a church we've never seen before.. still trying to figure it out.  Appears to be Roman catholic and possibly American?   But always fun to find new places to explore.  Arrived at our hotel and enjoyed Chinese food lunch around the corner.  So good to be in Paris for a week!

Saturday, September 8, 2018


My rainy day in Madrid.  Finally got to wear my giant yellow raincoat again. Only wore it once at the very beginning of my Camino.  But it was perfect today for tramping around in the rain in Madrid.
First I walked to the train station to find out about transportation to the airport tomorrow.  Have now decided to take a taxi.  But it was good to visit the train station that is full of historical events.  Then I walked to the Cathedral and the royal palace.  Walked through the church while the Bishop was giving a sermon. Place was packed with important looking people. Then viewed the palace from the outside... thought about standing in the very long line to see it again but instead walked back up Calle  Mayor to Puerta del Sol where the marker for measuring all distance in Spain is located.   Also saw the covered shopping side streets and the Tio Pepe sign.  Renewing good memories of past trips. to the airport early in the morning for my flight to Paris!


It's a new journey today.... still in Spain but on a 10 hour bus trip to Madrid.
As we travel the interstate there are some large cities but mostly views of villages similar to those I've been walking thru for the past fifty five days.  So much so that I keep looking for pilgrims with backpacks on the tiny roads  bordering the fences.  We are traveling mostly downhill as we leave the gallic mountains of the north.  Occassionally a view of the ocean on our right as we wind down the path towards Madrid.  We stop about once an hour to add passessgers.  What started as a nearly empty bus is slowly filling.  Seats are assigned with your ticket. I chose mine months ago.  Right behind the rear exit door so no one sits directly in front of me.  I have a very quiet Spanish girl in the seat next to me.  There is wifi but my phone says it's not safe?  I have a Screen that offers movies, music, games, etc.   But, all in Spanish!  There a charger outlet that works which is really nice. Watching a movie  about circus de sol.  Still hours to go... we left Santiago at 9:45 am and expected arrival in Madrid is 7:30 PM.  It's only 11:15...seems like 3 pm. As we head south it's getting warmer. ....
It's been 3 hours now and we're heading towards the  center of Spain.  In the center of the square at the city hall in Madrid there is a marker that all distances are measured from in Spain. 
The center of their universe. Going to try to post this ...

Thursday, September 6, 2018


Day day on Camino
Will continue to post most days in Paris and then Scotland.  So you'll have 3 more weeks...
Last night I went to the hippy restaurant with other pilgrims for drinks, entertainment and finally dinner.  Very good vegetarian, home cooked from the garden.
Also posted a photo of one of the best dressed and fully color coordinated pilgrim I've seen on the Camino. His poles, hat, socks and books all matched his clothes and backpack! Thought you'd enjoy.  And even though he'd just completed a long hike...neat as a pin!
Woke up very early this morning and walked with my backpack on... felt good... to the bus stop for the ride to Santiago with a pilgrim friend from Australia who is my daughters age.   We were the first ones so went across the street for coffee while we waited.  By the time we returned there was a bus full waiting but we all fit. It was the long but scenic route all along the beautiful coast for over two hours.
Arrived in Santiago and used the GPS on my phone to get us to our albergues with only about 30 minutes of walking.
Said our goodbyes, took a photo in front of the Cathedral to commemorate the return and checked in early enough to make the noon mass.  The botafumeiro did not swing to the disappointment of many with cameras ready. 
Back to the albergue with a burrito that I picked up at the nearby restaurant.   Split half for lunch and the rest for dinner.  Spent time sorting, purging and getting ready for our next adventure.  Buen Camino... soon to be au revoir

DAY 54 FINISTERRE Lighthouse

Day 54...Finisterre light house
My day began with  a very special post from Pat Veling. Thank you Patrick.
From there I found a walking partner to go out to the lighthouse this morning.  It's about 2 miles each way.
Cloudy but no rain.  Going to dinner with a group tonight..
Tomorrow early bus to Santiago.   Buen Camino

Tuesday, September 4, 2018


Day 53 and I'm enjoying the view of the Atlantic Ocean from finisterre,  also known as the end of the earth as in ancient times they thought the earth was flat and this was as far as they dared to go.
I walked nearly 9 miles this morning in under 5 hours.  The strong winds last night blew the rain clouds away and I walked in clear weather all the way.  But I did walk without my glasses as one of my lens fell out during the night.  That was spooky.  Also in those five hours I saw maybe twenty five people.  But had fabulous views all the way.
FYI...I did some research and the Spanish name for those corn cribs is "horreo" and it said they were granaries.   That should help some of you learn more about them.  I got a good photo of the glass door in one this morning.
Arrived to a beautiful new albergue with ocean views.  Will be here 2 nights.  Weather keeps predicting rain so washing my clothes today and tomorrow I will explore .  Jim and I came here in 2015 so its a revisit.  But town is bigger and so many people!
I was directed to a pharmacy that also offered optometry services and they put my lens back into the frame at no charge.  People are so nice.  Time to shop for dinner.  Buen Camino

Monday, September 3, 2018


Day 52 and I'm in a small village called Lires, half way to Finesterre.   It was raining when I got up this morning, so I was glad I'd made a decision yesterday to take the truck with my pack transport.  Sometimes you can get a ride with them but not always.  Paid a fee but probably not as much as a taxi would have cost. But it was 12:30 before they arrived to pick me up.  I'd been warned yesterday that they could arrive anytime between 8 and 1.  But I'm here... the sun is now shining and I'm having a freshly made Spanish omelet for lunch.  And I had a nice familiar place to wait in comfort.
CORRECTION:  I was wrong about the large stone with the crack... married couples like to pose for photos there but it actually commemorates the  70,000 gallons of oil that were spilled in this area by the ship Prestige in 2002.  And the fact that the citizens came from far and wide to clean the rocky coastline. And, the rough seas helped also. 
That said I watched our group of 21 teenagers head out this morning towards Finesterre, they will stop half way and camp even though more rain is predicted for tomorrow.  I've decided rain or not I'm going to walk the last ten miles tomorrow.  I have a fantastic raincoat and the terrain is rather level compared to today's.  It Will be fun to finish on my feet.
Buen Camino


Day 51... Muxia
Taking another vacation day here on the edge of the continent.   I woke about 6 am after a good nights sleep.  Quietly I dressed and headed for the door along with half a dozen pilgrims who were catching the one and only bus to Santiago this morning at 7:30 am. 
It was still dark but enough daylight to walk without a flashlight as I made my way along the shore to the church at the far end of town.  My goal was to take a photo of the sunrise.  My problem was twofold.  First I was turned around and thought it might be hidden by the hills and secondly it was not scheduled until 8:04 am.  I did little walks but finally got antsy and headed back into town.  Watching both the hills and my watch I nearly missed the beautiful sunrise behind me as it rose over the water.  I hope you enjoy what I captured.  Not what I'd planned but even better .
Returned to the albergue that was still waking up.  Enjoyed my breakfast and then headed back to bed for a few more hours of restful sleep.
After lunch I could hear bagpipes playing in the port so walked over to catch the end.  They had a large group of dancers in costumes of native dress and the music was definitely Celtic.  A fun diversion in my relaxing day.

We have many  new pilgrims tonight so it probably won't be as quiet as it's been.  Very young and energetic. 
Tomorrow I leave for Lires which is half way to finisterre by taxi.  Will decide whether to walk the last 10 miles into finesterre on Tuesday tomorrow. A lot depends on the weather.  Some rain is predicted.  But the rest has been good and I've enjoyed my down time here.
Buen Camino

Saturday, September 1, 2018


Day 50...  still in Muxia.  Slept in this morning and then put my walking shoes on and hit the trail without walking sticks.  I walked for a mile on the trail outside of town and then turned around and walked back and continued on the trail inside of town to the Camino Marker with milage at 00.00 km at the site of the 12th century church commemorating the miracle of the virgin appearing to st. James to help him in his ministry.  His body also washed up on these rocky shores and was here many years.  The first church was destroyed after it was struck by lightening and it was rebuilt. Also in this location is a miraculous stone that has produced healings per the legend. The tall cracked stone monument is called the lovers stone??  Couples come there to pledge their love the book says.  Also nearby is the lighthouse.  So I did all if the recommended things today and logged nearly 4 miles.   Will walk back to the church for 7 PM Mass and maybe some good sunset photos.
Last night a girl who works here at the Albergue drove me south to see the 3rd lighthouse that is between Muxia and Finesterre.   Also to see their favorite surfing beach and a fabulous sunset at 9:30 PM.  Another unexpected adventure.  Buen Camino

Friday, August 31, 2018


Day 49 and my schedule changed.  I left at 7:30 am and walked  for two hours...very lonely as I only met a couple of people.  It was an extremely steep downhill...see the photo of that section of the map..
Some on roads but mostly on logging roads in the forest.  By 9:30 I'd reach the village where I'd planned to stay. Only a municipal albergue available so no reservation.  What to do?  And, it didn't open until 1 pm.
I found one bar and stayed there until 11 am.  Walked back to the albergue and still no staff.  Just about that time the driver showed up with my backpack .   There was also a company sitting up a sound system at the albergue that looked like they were going to do a concert.
I told the driver that I would probably be going to Muxia instead of staying here.  He gave me a taxi phone number and left.  I called the albergue in Muxia where I had reservations for   Saturday and Sunday nights.  Confirmed I could come a day early.  Called the taxi who arrived within 5 minutes and I was off on a wild ride over hill and dale until we finally reached the coast and the beautiful town of Muxia.
It reminds me of the east coast.  It's full of history and legends about St. James.  The Blessed Virgin appeared to him here and also his body was found on the shores and was here until they moved it to the cathedral in Santiago de compostela .   That and more legends keep people coming but also I think for the shear beauty of this place.  I walked around for an hour after I settled in.  Tomorrow I'm putting on my walking clothes and heading out along the coast for a few miles to really enjoy the views.
I'll be leaving on Monday for my last two walking days that will take me to Finisterre .  Buen Camino

Thursday, August 30, 2018


Day 48... days are moving fast.  I'm in another little mountain albergue in the middle of nowhere called Logoso.  Today I walked nearly 11 miles in 6 hours, up and down hills and over two good sized mountains.  Well, maybe just bigger hills but they seemed to take forever.   When I saw a row of wind machines I said to myself, I bet I'm gonna be walking under those in a couple of hours.  It was about two miles before the albergue.  I talked to myself a lot today, rarely saw anyone and then they passed me by.  But it was always good to see a person  as that indicated I wasn't lost!  LOL
Last night enjoyed the evening with Sonia and Lisa from Napa Valley and today I met a couple who live in Las Vegas.  They were thrilled when I shared info on the pharmacy.... they are both struggling with injury pain.
The number of pilgrims has really thinned out.  Many who take time for going to finisterre go there by bus like Jim and I did three years ago.  But the trails are well marked and the weather has been beautiful.
Buen Camino

Wednesday, August 29, 2018


Day 47 and I walked 13.4 miles today in 6.42 hours.  Actually had drizzles for a while but the sun was out before 10 am.  I'm in a farming area...very aromic.. 
The albergue is called Casa Pepa and is across the street from a very old church and still very active cemetery in Santa Marina.  No ocean views yet but did have many hills today.
Several people here from last nights dorm.  And met many new people on the trail today.  Two Irish fellows wanted to talk about Trump and I eventually turned it around to Brexit... we all have our political problems.  Have gotten to know two women from Napa Valley.  One walked last year and came back to walk to Finisterre with the other friend who walked this year and it's her birthday.  Nice ladies.  Overall a good day, had my backpack carried and am going to continue.  Hopefully  will be in tip top shape by Paris.  In talking to people many are on pain meds for various reasons.  Biggest is feet and then knees.  Pain is part of the Camino.
I wore my drawstring bag on the front today which was better than it bouncing on my back.  Day by day ...
Buen Camino

Tuesday, August 28, 2018


Day 46 and I'm in a town called Negreira about one hour by bus west of Santiago de Compostela or fourteen miles if you walk the trail.
I decided to walk but then changed my mind  and do this on the bus as a very long portion is walking through the city of Santiago.
Ironically, as I waited for the bus to unload passengers from Muxia; to my astonished amazement I saw two of my favorite and longest running "Camino friends", Kevin and Linda from England.  We first met way back on July 19th, and have been meeting regularly with no plan ever since.  I last saw them in Leon and they are now finished and flying home tomorrow.  As I was running for my bus we  realized we'd never exchanged contact information even though we'd shared meals and walked miles together.  They got me over some tough mountains.  So we did it ..
Finally.  Of course those cards I've carried the whole trip were buried in my bag when I really needed them!  We put phone numbers in the cell phones that were in our hands.  Technology wins again!
The bus ride was great and when I got off in Negreira I had no ideal where my albergue was located so I was checking GPS when I heard someone calling .Martha ... I turned around and hanging out the bus door was a young girl with her cell phone saying hi Martha.. I'm Marta.. I want to take your photo.  I have no ideal where we met, but it was somewhere on the camino.  So much fun.  Because of the gray hair in pigtails they all remember me.  Amazing. 
My albergue was only a block from the bus stop.  Tomorrow I walk across the street and I'm on the trail.  Still looks like rain outside...another reason I took the bus today. Have arranged bag transport for tomorrow and rain or shine I will walk the 13 miles to Santa Marina. 
I've attached photos of the map pages for today and tomorrow.  Buen Camino

Monday, August 27, 2018


Wow.... day 45... a real day off.  Enjoying doing much of nothing.  Met up with a friend of a Camino friend from 2015.  We actually realized we've talked to each other on the trail. We attended the 10 am English mass on a small side chapel and then spent sometime together before going on with our days activities.  Good to meet DIDI and I also talked with my German ladies who introduced me to their friend who they met on a camino ten years ago.  He flew from Germany to be here to greet them yesterday.
Have been busy repacking for my ten days to the Ocean before leaving for Madrid and then Paris.
Leaving everything that is extra here at the hostel in Santiago, I'll be spending one night here before going to Madrid.
Twin sister is moving into her apartment in Indianapolis, and daughter Jenn is recovering from the first of two foot surgeries to correct bone problems. Nothing to do with her walk. Jim is busy with last minute problems that always seem to happen when you are leaving town.  But he's looking forward to a visit from Jay and Holly who have a wedding anniversary tomorrow.
Keep Jon Davis, a friend from real estate days, in your prayers...very seriously ill...     Life continues..
Buen Camino

Sunday, August 26, 2018


Day 44 and I walked into Santiago de Compostela at noon today in time to attend the noon pilgrim mass and video the botafumeiro swinging at the end of mass. Was met by many smiles and hugs of people I have met during the past week on the Camino.  My newest friend from San Franscisco walked into the city with me and it was wonderful to have someone to share the experience with..
Thanks Yuning.  There were many special moments but those that stand out were the orange shirt family.  The large group from Mexico City and the Italian couple that I shared my story with as we stood in line to receive our certificates. 
Our dorm had alarm clocks going off starting at 2 am.  By 3 am I was wide awake.  By 4 I was getting ready to walk and I left at 5 am..
Full moon and stars were beautiful.  I left Yuning a note as I didn't have the heart to wake her.  She woke as we scheduled and was out the door by 6 am and had
caught up with me by 9 am.  We walked the rest of the way together and entered Santiago together.  We headed for the front of the cathedral for photos and met many friends.  Then hurrided to the side door and a very long line of pilgrims going in for mass.  We got inside and worked out way over to the far exited and attended mass.  At the end the robed men came out to swing the botafumeiro and I was able to get another excellent tape.
Meeting Yuning for dinner at 7 PM.  Have done the long line for the certificate.  I'm all checked in to my albergue close enough to hear the bells.  I also have a huge group of Italians here tonight.  Tomorrow I finalize my additional hike to the ocean.  Stay tuned...
Buen Camino

Saturday, August 25, 2018


Day 43 and I am in the town of O'Pedrouza at a new albergue by the name of Albergue Cruceiro de Pedrouzo.  It has beds for 94 pilgrims in eight rooms.  Some are small but the majority are in huge rooms.
I walked 15 miles today in 8 hours with full sunshine all day, but for the most part the trails were shaded by very old trees and it made for cool walking considering how hot the sun was.
My walking improved tremendously today... mostly because I had American walking partners almost all day.  I had seriously thought of doing at least half by taxi today but walking and talking made the day fly!  We made three rest stops and my German ladies were at the last one.  So good to see people you know.
My Americans were a mother and daughter from Long Island New York and a young woman from San Franciaco who is actually staying in my albergue and we're going to do dinner together.  We'll probably walk into Santiago together tomorrow.  She travels extensively both with her job and personally. 
Tomorrow is the BIG DAY and all three of the Americans are staying two nights in Santiago so hopefully I'll get to see them again after we arrive. I've added the map pages from today and tomorrow for you.
  Buen Camino

Friday, August 24, 2018


Day 42...a short walk of 7 miles in 4 hours.  I'm in Ribadiso.   Stopped three times for coffee.  Arrived at 11:30 am.  Weather overcast; no bright sun until noon.  The trail was sharp uphill and then down and up and down..  continued that way all morning.  Saw lots of new people and many repeats.  The father and daughter from Valencia, Spain walked with me for a while.  Yesterday we talked about their annual festival with the giant paper machi people that parade.  We were there in 2010 and saw them parade!  Nice to be able to talk about something when I learn what town they are from.  Saw the large family with the orange shirts again and another large family group including grandparents... but no matching shirts. 
There were two young men who are running their pilgrimage.  Not sure if they get extra points for that!
An Italian girl in my albergue last night had a very unusual walking stick.  This morning on the trail we talked about it.  She had a much small one when she started and one day an older Spanish man approached her and asked if she would exchange walking poles with him and take his to Santiago for him?  When she agreed he told her it would  carry special prayers for himself and his wife.  So it carrys a great deal of responsibility to make sure it and the prayers arrive in Santiago.  See the photo and you'll see the size of the staff.  Not sure I would have agreed to do this but she is young and strong and I'm sure she will finish with it in the next two days.
Feeling better today, but still taking it easy.
Buen Camino

Thursday, August 23, 2018


Its day 41 and I'm in the town of Melide, yes we have ATM and pharmacies!
It was a very long walk of 15 painfully slow miles over 9 hours.  Left in the dark at 6 am and had a walking partner until day light two hours later which was great. I finally relented and got some 600 mg Ibuprofeno pills when I arrived at the pharmacy...I'm a new woman this afternoon.  I can walk without pain. But no beer or wine until I don't need it any more...strong motivation.
The crowds were less today as I began and ended mid-stage.  But we had a group of twenty from age 3 to 50s.. appeared to be brothers and sisters and their children.  They had 2 "buggies" with them for the little ones when they got tired.  Everyone was in an orange shirt with their name on the back.  They all live just north of Madrid and this was their third day of walking.  Yes... I found one who spoke English and asked questions.   Met 2 German ladies who spoke English and we stopped several times for coffee...  they for beer.   My Canadian sisters were on the trail with me but the last time I saw them the older (6 years) one was desperately looking for the younger one who had stopped.  The younger one is a smoker and overweight... definitely not her ideal to be doing this trip.  Their mother paid their airplane tickets and thought this trip would bring them closer together.  Reminder:  this is a trip that EACH pilgrim must WANT to do!  I walked to the grocery store and purchased things for dinner.   My alberge is very new and the bed price included top/bottom sheets, pillow case and a towel!  Living in luxury tonight.  Buen Camino

Wednesday, August 22, 2018


It's day 40 and I'm in the village of Airexe.. blink and you'd miss it.  Two albergues and a bar on a corner of the trail.  Today was two tough long uphill climbs during the 11 mile walk for six hours.  I left in total darkness at 5:45 am... but I was never alone on the trail.  Amazing the number of people who were already out long before me.  Just before leaving I checked message .. which I rarely do .. and received some very sad news.  Little Joe McCann died suddenly this week.  He was a giant among men and thus his nickname from childhood stuck as an adult.  He was like a son to us as he was always with our boys all the way through school and has continued to be part of our lives.  He and our son Russ are the same age and best friends.  His service is Saterday.  He will be missed by many in our community.  My prayers today as I walked were for Joe and his beautiful family. 
As we walked in the dark this morning there were several groups saying the rosary together as they walked and others filling the air with songs.  All of this as we carefully stepped around the droppings from animals as we are using their trails most of the time out here amidst the farms. 
The man from Scotland walked the last three miles with me and it was nice to have someone to talk with as we walked.  I first met him 3 days ago before Sarria.  He is a bit difficult to understand with his accent.  Met a group of 12 from Mexico City today and a group of 25 from eastern europe.   So many pilgrims.  Finding beds is becoming difficult for those without reservations. Today  was easy.. tomorrow will be a bit longer but hopefully the Scottish man will walk part of it with me. Buen Camino

Tuesday, August 21, 2018


Day 39 and I'm at the albergue Ultreia in the town of Portomarin.  This was to be my longest day of walking but thanks to a Camino Angel.. I arrived early enough to get a regular twin bed rather than the dreded top bunk bed that I'd expected due to a very late arrival.  I left at 6:15 am in total darkness for my 15 mile walk.  Because of the hip pain I'm walking much slower than I generally do.  So my planned arrival would have probably been 4 PM or after.  But I was determined to walk the distance.  I arrived in Sarria, 2 miles, by 7 am. Stopped for some breakfast and was out of the city by 8 am.  The next five miles to Morgade was mostly uphill. I was never alone.  I probably had seen about 100 of them in the past two days. Everyone else was new... pilgrims beginning their journey from Sarria to Santiago.  If they get two stamps per day that proves that they have walked and they can request a Compostela certificate when they arrive.  Today there were large groups, families, one couple with their dog, and a donkey carrying goods.  The weather was perfect.  Remember those clouds I showed you yesterday?  Today we were below them and it was nice and cool, and a bit damp, up until 11 am when the sun broke through.
I stopped for lunch and took my shoes off at Morgade.  Leaving there I walked the next of mile of the remaining six of a total of 15 for the day.  I'd finally taken two aspirin and at the next time the trail crossed over a road.. there sat a taxi!  He motioned, I smiled but shook  my  head no, as I limped past him.
Suddenly out of the trail popped a husband and wife from Madrid. I'd been walking with them on and off for two days.  They asked me to share breakfast on the trail earlier but I said no that I was doing lunch at Morgate.
They'd decided to take the taxi to Portomarin.  They grabbed my arm and pulled me with them to the grinning taxi driver.  When I took out some money they immediately said NO.  They spoke very little English,the wife none at all.  I kept quiet, felt a bit guilty as we contined to pass group after  group of pilgrims.  After many thank you and gracias the husband looked me in the eye and said "your welcome". I told him that they were Camino Angel's today.  I've only been able to be one several times, but on the receiving end over and over by so many wonderful people. 
Enjoyed our community dinner last night.  Tonight will walk to the restaurants that are nearby.  This is a very interesting town, they rebuilt the entire town on high group when there was a dam built that caused it be covered in water many years ago.  Only the church survived because it was already high on the hill.  Tomorrow is a much shorter walk .. see the photo of the map page.  Enjoying all of the new pilgrims but so glad I have all of my reservations for beds every night.  So today I only walked 10 miles instead of the planned 15.
Buen Camino.


Day 38 and I'm at an albergue 2 miles before Sarria.  Should have gone further today.but had good memories of this place and wanted to stay again.  So tomorrow will be extra long.  Today was 9 miles in 6 hours.  But no aspirin for the hip so that's good. 
I made 2 stops, the first at what one would call a hippie stopping point... offered free coffee, etc. For a donation.  I said a toilet would be nice and yes,  they had a glorified toilet out back just for women.  So the donation was worth it.  See the photos.  The 2nd stop was a regular bar but enjoyed the coffee, pastry and a regular bathroom!
The numbers of pilgrims is increasing drastically.  I was never alone on the trail.  I will post separately a video of a young nun playing her guitar and singing as she led her group.   Did another cow
Video but no good.
one bull  stopped to sniff me until the woman farmer shoved him away.   Not seeing any of the earlier pilgrims, all new from yesterday.  Tomorrow will be interesting as Sarria is where they must begin walking to qualify for a compostela certificate in Santiago.  I posted a photo of today's map so you can see the up and down of my walk... good workout, but most of the trail sections had good shade.
Buen Camino

Sunday, August 19, 2018


Day 37 and I had a short walk today of only six miles to Tricastela.  But, 90% downhill.  The next two days are both long ones.
Nice mountain town with a very old church that had a mass at one o'clock which was two hours after I arrived. Tonight I have to find my own dinner but last nights dinner was wonderful.  Sat between a French history teacher in middle school and a German  Male nurse who worked  a year at half pay so that he could take this year off with like pay to walk the Camino.  He started in Berlin and is camping most of the time as in the beginning there were not may places to stay like Spain has.  Both very interesting and the food was extremely good.  We were all seated at one very long curved table.  There were at least forty of us or more.
Mass thismorning did not have a sermon and a fun part was the sharing of one pair of eyeglasses by the priest and the lady who did all of the readings. The host was dipped into wine before being handed to us.  Nice custom which I've seen in several of the churches. Today's walk was very solo but pilgrims passed me on a regular basis.  About half way here I suddenly had a thought that I did not complete the paperwork on my pack for Jacotrans.  Fortunately I was here when they arrived and he held up my blank envelope.  I immediately got his five euros and apologized for my mistake.  We had a good laugh and I immediately did the one for tomorrow. Hard to believe this time next Sunday I'll be in Santiago.  My plan it to take another week and only pack bare necessities to hike to the ocean ar Muxia and then to Finisterre.  I'll take a bus back to Santiago. The map page today is for tomorrow..long day. 
Another day completed
.. buen Camino

Saturday, August 18, 2018


Day 36 and I'm in Fonfria tonight.  I was able to post a video of the cows walking past me this morning. Hope you enjoyed it.  I actually left in daylight this morning for my walk over the top of O'Cebreiro... it was a mile of a rather steep road to the village where I was able to visit the Church and then had breakfast before continuing on to the actual top where I stopped to take photos at Alto San Rogue with a large statute of a pilgrim.   I walked a total of 9.74 miles in 6 hours with two rest stops.  Arrived here at 1 PM.  Tomorrow I start with a very steep descent so I'll once again wait until morning to begin my walk.
This was a day of solo walking; sometimes I would go for a mile or more between pilgrims. I did meet a Sophia from south carolina; but it was a hi and bye type of meeting.  Tonight we will all be eating together in a very long table as we are out in the middle of the country.  Should be fun.  My sister Mary is winding down her trip; she will be flying home from London on next Wed.  So glad I brought my fleese jacket with me as it feel good early in the morning.  I'm still using just the drawstring stuff bag with a bottle of water clipped to the top.  May continue to do this all the way to Santiago.  When I take off the fleese jacket I tie it around my waist.  Enjoy your day.  Buen Camino

Friday, August 17, 2018


Its day 35 and I've lost my post so will try to recreating it.  I tried to post some  videos and it did not work.  Last nights dinner at casa susi's was fantastic.  There were 14 of us representing ten countries. The food was all prepared from the garden except for the seasonings and the rice. The salad even had eatable flowers.
My day today began at 7 am when I left in the dawn light and 5 minutes later realized I'd left my walking poles.  Back to get them praying that someone was eating breakfast and would let me in the locked door. Thank goodness there was someone.
It was nearly 11 miles and took me 6.5 hours.  My mind was wandering twice and I missed the yellow arrows.  The second time I'd nearly given up when a group of Spanish pilgrims pulled me into their group and got me back on the trail.  In one village a group of women were doing individual prayers for pilgrims and it was an emotional high with tears rolling by the time I left the church. 
The last 3 miles were at about 45 degrees up, rocky and full of horse apples and cow pies.  Now you know why weremove our shoes before entering the sleeping areas.  Lots of work but inch by inch anything a cinch!  Arrived about 1pm
And am Staying at Laguna de Castilla; only 1.5 miles from the summit.  Tomorrow will be mostly downhill.
Today was cloudy for the first few hours and the sun for the rest.  Cow bells all the way  often accompanied by the sounds of the mountain river.  Its been a cool and very windy afternoon.  Sorry,  no videos..had a great one of the cows walking in front of our alburgue.
.... buen camino

Thursday, August 16, 2018


Its day 32 and I went swimming...sitting... in the ice cold river flowing in the mountains in Trabadelo at Casa Susi.  Great after a 12 mile hike over 6.5 hours.  Beautiful sunshine day with brisk winds as we wind our way up the mountains heading for O'Cebreiro.  I will actually walk over the top on Saturday morning. This is a new albergue owned and operated by Susi from Australia.  Dinner will be a community style ... hopefully something we all like.  No bunk beds.. just 12 single beds.  I'm in the penthouse... separated by a short wall and 3 steps up because I reserved last March.  I feel very special.  I slept in this morning and didn't begin walking until 7 am... earplugs and a benedryl nightcap with sangria after a special dinner of pulpos. Octopus.  Met a Polish couple who crossed my forehead with a blessing, 2 Australian girls, a young girl from New York and a French family from Versailles.   Walked several times with a swedish man from Stockholm  who has injured his knees and is walking slowly.  He is staying at this Albergue also.  Enjoying meeting  new people every day.   And, greeting old friends as they walk past me.  I'm going down to the river now to take  a photo then will post for today. Almost forgot about the lady who invited me into her home and wanted to give me a huge bottle of water.  I thanked her and in broken Spanish explained I could not carry such a big bottle; so we filled my little bottle which was almost empty.  She didn't speak English and you know my Spanish limitations.. but it was a beautiful and very special moment for me.  Buen Camino

Wednesday, August 15, 2018


Day 33 and I'm in Cacabelos.  A quaint little village that has been here for hundreds of years on the way to our last big mountain ... O'Cebreiro ... not as tall but much steeper climb.  I plan to do the accent over two days and another going down the other side.
Last nights dinner was another fun evening.  There were three Italians and me.  One from Sicily, one from Milano and the third from Rome.  Italian flew around the table and then suddenly they would pause and give me the English version.   We got on the subject of the repairs on the cathedral in Santiago; they've now finished the outside and are beginning the inside.  Rumor has it that the botafumeiro may not be swinging at Mass soon.  They were very disappointed and then I remembered my UTube video that I posted three years ago.  Since I've only posted a couple of videos, it was very easy to find.  They seemed to have loved it and unfortunately they now know what they probably won't get to see.  But they were impressed that I've posted something on UTube and then they discovered my blog.
  Oh dear... will be a tough act to follow for parents at home in Italy.  But I do have fun with their enthusiam.
This morning I was ready to go at 6 am.. still dark.  I asked a young Spanish couple who walk holding hands and were just leaving from our albergue if I could walk with them to the edge of the city to the trail.  They agreed and slowed down and I picked up my usual pace.  They actually stayed with me for all two miles which took us to the trail and daylight.  By the time we separated there were large groups walking out from the city.  it was a good walk, 9.43 miles in just under 5 hours.  Light hills, lots of country roads and a portion through vineyards. It was 90 degrees yesterday late afternoon and more of same expected today.  But mornings are perfect for walking and I was finished by noon.
Must mention Gil from Brazil.  Now lives in Verona Italy.  We talked, music and life.
  I would say he's nearing.30.  Delightful young man.
    Buen Camino

Tuesday, August 14, 2018


Day 33 and I'm in a delightful family owned and run Albergue in Ponferrada. It features all bed linens (so no one uses sleeping bags or sacks of there own) for the regular price of 10 euros.  I reposted the map page so you can visualize my walk today.  I began in daylight at 7 am and walked nearly 9 miles in a little less than six hours.  The first mile was downhill on a country road; the next four miles was an extremely steep downhill in what one could characterize as a stream bed more than a trail.  It is notorious as one of the more dangerous sections of the camino.  One you definaly don't walk in the dark.  And, rarely will you see a bicycle on this trail, but this morning I did see one!
Reached the town of Molinaseca just after 10am, sun out and getting warm. I took off my fleese jacket, put on my hat and white sun shielding Cape for the last half of today's journey which was uphill all the way on a broad sidewalk along a busy road to the large city of Ponferrada.   Nice to be here about noon.  My bunkmate is David from Spain who speaks excellent English.  The other 2 bunks in our room are still empty but the day is young.  Looking forward to a delicious community dinner tonight with home grown ingredients from the family garden.
Last night in the hotel dining room there were six at our table, 2 germans, a French couple from Paris and  my south Korean friend Seulgi... I finally had her spell it for me.  We all spoke English which was great for me.   Back feels better today after some treatment yesterday at the hotel spa.  Also picked up 5 patch treatments to stick on the skin at a pharmacy as I walked through town.  Best thing was adjusting the straps on my backpack that I carry.  Looking forward to meeting more new people at dinner tonight. Tomorrow I begin walking in the area of Spain known as Galicia... a touch of the Irish and very green mountains due to more than average rainfalls.  So , I'm now carrying my new raincoat in my backpack as one never knows when there will be a surprise shower!
Buen Camino

Monday, August 13, 2018


Its day 31 and I'm in a mountain village town named El Acebo... we overlook the large city of Ponferrada.  I'll bewalking there tomorrow.  I'm in a beautiful hotel that offers bunk rooms for pilgrims. Plus the pilgrim meal will be the same as the regular guest but at 12 euros for all 3 courses and wine.  We also have use of their facilities. 
Two of my recent pilgrim friends are here also. I stayed here in 2015. 
I had planned to sleep in this morning... didn't happen and I was on the trail at 6 am.  It was a mile further up to reach the top of the mountain and the Iron Cross.. Cruz de Ferro. The photo is difficult to see as it was still dark and their was a heavy layer of fog all morning.  Sad as the views  are phenomenal all along the seven mile trail.  And yes , like many of these iconic items we visit on the can actually drive right up to it.  I knew a third of the people who passed me this morning.  It was rare that more than 5 minutes passed between.  One fellow said, "you must be Martha?"  He was from Chicago.  I took a group photo for them before moving on.  We commiserated about the view we were missing and agreed the weather doesn't always cooperate to give you the expected views of God's creations.
Took advantage of the hotel and finally got a massage ..
Back should feel much better in the morning.
Jenn arrived home last night and Jim went with Kelly to pick her up at LAX. He said she looks great and is full of renewed energy and stories. She is back at work today.  By the way my south Korean bunk mate is here again.  I really enjoy her wonderful sense of humor.  Her job at home is makeup for movies and photographers.  Sounds like some great stories.  Also the 7 mile trail took me 5 hours..
The mountain is mostly shale and makes for difficult trails.  Especially down in elevation over a thousand feet mostly in the last two miles.
Buen Camino

Sunday, August 12, 2018


DAY 30 and I'm in a mountain village called Foncebaden .  The walk today was tough.  Left at 5:30 am in the dark.. no moon but the stars were brilliant in the black sky.  I knew it was going to be a tough climb.  Went from 2910 ft attitude to 4890 ft.  It took me nearly 8 hours to do a little over 13 miles.  But I did it.  Mountain trails and no taxi even if I wanted one!  See the photo of the map page.  I'm definitely into the mountain stage of the camino.  I will finish the last bit tomorrow as we go another short hike up to Cruz de Ferro ... the iron cross.. where one leaves a token.  That is the highest point of the Camino trail. 
I have a very small rock that my twin sister gave me to leave. The rock was brought home with us from Medjugorje from our pilgrimage in May.
One thing that has been fun has been all the photo request when they learn my age.  And new people already know my name from other pilgrims. Today a group of bicycle riders insisted that I pose with them on the trail.  We'd all just competed a very difficult section.  One of their group was 60 years old.  I can't imagine pushing a bicycle over some of these trails that I can hardly walk!  Some ride the roads but many walk and ride the trails with their bikes.
Last night was a community vegetarian dinner of a group of 20 pilgrims.  Lots of fun, met many new people and the south Korean girl was again in our group.  One fellow from Germany picked my mind once he found out I'd owned my own business.  He has a company that does tutoring for students .  Such delightful young people.  And there are older ones also but have only found one at the very beginning that is near my age.
I've discovered why I have a nagging pain in my left lower back on long days.   I've been tightening the hip belt at my waist. Lengthened my shoulder straps today and it made a difference. It's the little things. 
Jenn is flying home today. Last I heard she was all checked in at Gatwick for the final flight to LAX. 
FYI this afternoon I'm the keeper of the cell phones..  the charging plug is next to my bed and they are all very comfortable leaving them with me!
Buen Camino

Saturday, August 11, 2018


Its day 29 and I'm in the village of Murias de Rechivaldo, just west of Astorga.  It was a 12 mile walk through the hills instead of along the road for most of the way.  The walk was about 6 hours including a short look around Astorga.  I spent a few hours there 3 years ago and toured the bishops house that is now a museum and designed by Gaudi at that time.
There are buildings designed by Gaudi in many major cities in Spain but his most famous ones are in Barcelona.  Met John The Scotland man who has very bad feet and walks about 1 mile an hour out in the middle of nowhere.  Then there was David who for 9 years has lived in the middle of nowhere and earns a living by donations for offering pilgrims free food, mostly fruit, and a shady place to stop and put your feet up for a spell. There are many such stops all along the camino.  Lemonaid stands, food, handmade trinkets. Etc
Last night was a delicious dinner cooked with homegrown ingredients and served in the courtyard.  About 8 PM we started hearing very large firecrackers ... the frequency increased as the night progressed.  We learned that is was a bachelor party and would last for many hours.. this Spain and their life happens at night mostly. 
I changed to an inside room, used earplugs and took a benedryl... slept like a baby. They said the last one was about 2 am.
I woke at 7 am, had breakfast and got a late start at 8 am.  Tomorrow is a long walk, heading into the mountains so plan to set my alarm for 5am.  Many do but I usually don't but I want to be on the road early.
Tonight is a community vegetarian dinner at 7:30 ... then off to bed.  Jenn is on an all day bus ride to Madrid, due to arrive at7:30 this evening then she goes to the airport to wait for her early morning flight to USA.  Buen Camino

Friday, August 10, 2018


Its day 28 and I'm in a beautiful village called  Villares de Orbigo just east of Astorga.  The Albergue has the name of the village and is owned and managed by a lovely woman from Belgium.  Creatively decorated and extremely clean.  So enjoying my afternoon after walking ten miles in 5 hours.  It was cold this morning but is quite warm in the sun this afternoon.  While walking through Hospital de Orbigo I walked across a beautiful and very old stone bridge, said to be the longest bridge on the camino frances. 
I'm sure you saw my earlier post that Jenn has completed her camino and will be headed home tomorrow.
Met interesting people as I walked today.  Audry from Germany, a father and 10 year old daughter walking the camino together and camping at night along the way. My roommate from last night Sieligee from south Korea was headed much further than me but I kept catching her as she took short breaks to rest her feet.  Also I think Tevo, the Australian from China who was born in Denmark, may also be staying here tonight.  Seeing more and more pilgrims every day.  New drink that we find refreshing is beer with lemonade.  Gives it a nice tangy flavor.  
Life is good on the Camino...tomorrow is a walk through farmland and meadows with slight hills.  Getting me ready for the mountains to come. Keeping all of you in California fires in my prayers.  Buen Camino


Day 27 and I'm in Villadangos del Paramo about 13 miles east of Leon. Left there at 5:30 am this morning and was never without pilgrims in sight in both directions.  Unusual but a pilgrim slowed to walk with me and I picked up my normal gait and he was very impressed with how well I really can walk when motivated... 20 minute miles.  We walked up and down the hills leaving Leon until I asked for a break for breakfast 4 hours after we  started.  I knew he was losing time and he had many more miles to walk today than I did.  I've taken photos of the pages showing distance and hills for the past week to help those that are interested see what this is all about.  Colin was 67 years old and in good condition.   Two funny stories; we both have problems with drippy noses.. but only when walking?
And at one point suddenly  he said,  he really would like to pack it up and go home but coming back to finish is too long of a trip.  We all envy the Europeans who do it a week at a time.  I reminded him that we all question our sanity and reasons why... but that's all part of the journey.
I was in a large convent last night in Leon...I was so blessed to be there.  There is something special about all of the volunteers who give up time in their lives to help pilgrims complete their journey.  Jenn is in a religious house tonight and has a short walk in Santiago tomorrow.  Hope you enjoy the extra photos of flowers today... the trail was filled on both sides and I couldn't resist sharing. Buen Camino

Wednesday, August 8, 2018


Day 26 and I walked into Leon today.
A bit over 12 miles including some pretty good hills in 7 hours.  There were several detours that were surprises.  But when I arrived at the convent where I am staying I was greeted by my dinner companions from last night. Zack from Texas had already shared my history and the fact that I like a touch of Fireball to spice up sangria.  The nun looked at my birthdate on my passport and asked if it was correct!
It's been a fun day.  One of the volunteer workers who is from New Hampshire brought me a small glass of a tasty orange liquor as he said they didn't have any fireball.  We all had a good laugh.  Yes, the community dinner last night was great fun and I have many new friends.  And when  I went out later in the afternoon to see the cathedral, I found old friends Kevin and Linda who helped me get over many hills at the beginning of the meseta...  actually I originally had dinner with them while Jenn and I were still together.
Another beautiful mass tonight in the convent followed by individual hands on blessings from the priest.  Having a delicious dinner for 10 euros in a restaurant with linens!
The wifi is not too good tonight...hoping this posts okay.  I'm walking 13 miles tomorrow.  Feeling really good.  CORN CROP HAS BEEN FOUND! Jenn is okay...excited about being so close to santiago...
Buen camino

Tuesday, August 7, 2018


Day 25 and I'm at the Municipal albergue de Mansilla de Las Mulas.
I had a wonderful evening at my hotel.  Enjoyed going to bed early and planned to be up to walk by the pale light of the silvery moon.
Woke at what I thought was 6 am.  Hurried to get ready before the daylight arrived..I was an hour late.
Almost out the door when I noticed the time on my phone as I was preparing to send jim a text that I was walking.  OOPS... it was12:30 am not 6 am.  Old eyes do not always see things correctly.   LOL. Set the phone alarm for 5:15 and went back to another 4 hours before the alarm rang. Quickly dressed and headed out into the dark.  As I was leaving town there were five dogs barking and daring me to pass to get to the trail.  I backed off. Looked at GPS and found another route along the highway.  Bad move as I hit one barrier after another forcing me to finally turn around, backtrack and find another way. I was within a distant view of my goal when I found the entire trail flooded.  It was give up or tread deep water. I turned around...walked into the sun and returned to my starting point.  They called Jacotrans who agreed to pick me up when they picked up my bags and take me to my destination. The good news is that I did get an eight mile walk this morning.
Tonight I'm back in a dorm room, only 12 beds in our room. Its market day here  and I enjoyed walking through after I arrived in my new town. And this town even has a store and a Bank!  Tomorrow I go to Leon...big city.
Jenn is doing great, she is right on target and has developed a "Camino family" of friends that she is traveling the same pace  with.  This means that she will walk into Santiago with others to Celebrate the  journey together. She will be home teaching school this time next week.  Me... I'll just keep moving along day by day.  Tomorrow is the end of the masetta.  Looking forward to cooler country but  more hills. Buen Camino

Sunday, August 5, 2018


Day 23 and I'm in a town by the name of Sahagun.  Its claim to fame is that it is half way to Santiago de Compostela.  A certificate is available at the museum. But I got one last time.  This year my walk is more about making the trek than certificates.  I'll know if I've met my goals.  Based on that premise... taxis are okay if they make destinations possible... today I did 6 by taxi and walked 10 .. a total of 16 miles in 5 hours.  Tomorrow is only 13 total... if I get going in the dark I may  try to do it all.  Waiting for the taxi makes me leave after the sun is up. Saw an American priest walking do I know?  Black shirt and carrying a rosary in one hand.  Also he only talked to men. LOL

He was in a hurry as he wanted to make mass in Sahagun... don't think he did as I stopped at every church ... open, but no Mass.
I'm across the street from a huge Benedictine Convent... stayed there last time..  and there is a sign on the door that there is a Mass every evening at 6:30 so I will make my Sunday Mass. 
Good day, walked with a young Italian boy who was singing as he walked.  Group of five from Benging.  One woman spoke excellent English and remembered meeting me two days ago. We talked for a long time while we all ate lunch .  They were off to walk another 13 miles.
Life is good.  Across the street are the ruins of a huge church originally build around the year 1000.  At one time this was the most important Benedictine monastery in Spain.  Life is good .. stay cool.. the world is hot everywhere.. buen Camino

Saturday, August 4, 2018


Day 22... we are in the middle of no where.  In a tiny village called Calzadilla de la Cueza.  This is one of the hardest portions of the camino to walk especially in July.  Last night Tove and I decided to share a vegetable paella for an early dinner before the guitar concert by university students in the church.  We also made plans to met at 6 am and take a taxi for the first 5 miles of the 15 mile track across the Masada..there are no rest areas. The concert was great and the mass was a full house. The convent was  overflowing with extra mattress everywhere.  After mass we all came forward for the pilgrims prayer and then the head nun and the priest laid hands on each of  us for a very personal blessing when they gave us a small paper star to remind us as we're walking in the dark to look at the stars and think about the reasons we are walking. The night was miserable as I continue to run between the backpacks in the dark to the bathroom. Both end were running.  Well at 6 I found I'd not been alone.  Tove immediately said she had also been sick and we agreed to share a taxi for the whole trip.  Both are better now and will be walking tomorrow. I'm being very careful what I eat and drink today.   Some will say too much info but it's part of the camino.  I was concerned about dehydration... but seem okay today.  Pilgrims are still arriving and its 90 degrees. Buen camino

Friday, August 3, 2018


Its day 21...3 weeks.. and I'm in Carrion de los Condes
I thought it was a 5 mile walk  but was only a bit over 3! Good news is I arrived at sunrise but can't check in until noon. It's a convent so basic and no wifi so I'm drinking more coffee where I had breakfast when I arrived to use their wifi.  After breakfast I went into the church where they were having morning vespers.  Posting my first video of the service.  Nothing quite as pure as nuns singing their prayers.
Feeling great...looking forward to another early start tomorrow and a 12 mile walk.   This is another very old town that had over ten thousand citizens at one time and now are around two thousand.  Economy is farming and tourism... pilgrims especially as most all stop here as its wicked out there for many miles with no shade.  Jenn is over the top of O'Ceberio and probably nearing her stop for the day.  She began before 5 am.    Buen Camino

Thursday, August 2, 2018


Day 20 and thanks to a 13 mile taxi ride I am safely in Villalcazar de Sirga.
I think waiting for the taxi was harder than walking as the entire dorm was up getting ready to walk  before  5 am.  We are in the midst of a record breaking heatwave in Europe.  But it supposedly peaked yesterday and each day should be a bit cooler.  Jenn started her walk at 4:30 this morning with another woman... to beat the heat. She has arrived already and tomorrow she climbs O'Cebreiro ... the last big mountain.
Must admit, when I arrived yesterday I was ready to quit...but after a shower and a long nap I had some soup for dinner and arranged for a taxi ..
All is right again.  Love hearing the multitude of languages in the room.  Tomorrow I will be up before dawn to walk the 5 miles to my next destination.  The next day  is 12 and that's about the  max I plan to do each day.  Looking forward to a light but  complete meal tonight!  See my photo that a friend took of me after dinner...note my pouch peeking out.  Only take it off for showers... has my passport and extra money and cards... the purse has rosary, Camara and pocket change.  It's usually well hidden under my shirt.  Note the photos of the wheelchair pilgrims.  There was a group of four that came by.  The church in this village goes back to 12th century...Knights Templer... there are tombs of nobles and royals here... but no kings or queens. 
Buen Camino

Wednesday, August 1, 2018


Day 19.... Boadilla del Camino
It was a tough day...had a fabulous dinner last night and about 5 am everything went south.  Have been living on water and bread today while walking 12 miles in extreme heat.  I think I've met my match.  Have been sleeping most of the time since I arrived. 
The first six miles was a very long uphill followed by a steep descent.  Then we went across the Mesata for another six miles in the heat of the day.  Planning to take a taxi tomorrow to my next albergue.  Jenn is doing well.. she had a mountain today and has another one coming up.... even bigger .. in a few more days.  We walked this afternoon and she looks great.  She has developed a cadre of friends that are working together on conquering these mountain.  Hard to believe she will be done and leaving on August 10th
Buen Camino

Tuesday, July 31, 2018


Day 18... and I'm in Castrojeriz.  Left the albergue at 5:30 am
in beautiful moonlight along with about six other pilgrims including 2 south Korean sisters who look to be in their 50s or 60s.  Once when I got a rock inside my shoe they helped me balance so I could get it out.  No rocks or places to sit!  reached the first village in about three hours and stopped for  breakfast.   Finished today's  12.5 miles by 11:30 am.  Good to stop as getting hot. I wore my backpack today...  nearly empty but.allowed me to carry water on my hips which took pressure off of my back.  The things I normally carry in it went in a rucksack and Jacotrans took it with the little bag that automatically goes daily.  Chatted with several new friends that I've met in the evenings along the route today.  Just heard from Jenn and she is safely in Rabanal.  She saw the Gaudi house today in Astorga on her way through the town. She's walking double the miles or more than I am each day.
Buen Camino

Monday, July 30, 2018


Day 17, I'm in Hornillos del Camino.  Small village at the beginning of the.Meseta.  claim to fame, Martin Scheen has a grandson who owns a Casa Rural in the  village.   I'm in a  beautiful albergue called El Alfar. Eating in house tonight...main coarse is paella.  Have showered, washed hair and clothes and said goodbye to my old and new friends as they continued down the trail. I was very happy leaving Burgos at 6 am and arriving here before 1 PM. 13 miles
Stopped for a good breakfast half way here and enjoyed the company of 3 Italians at my table.  Walked some with a south Korean lady who is completely covered including her face.  But she walks about my speed and we had some good conversations on the trail.  I was beginning to hurt when a Spanish family (2 brothers and their mother) started walking with me.  They  stayed with me for over an hour until we were within sight of my stopping village.  They took the photo ofme before they left... its of my back...
I look like a flying ghost with my jacket; but it keeps the hot sun off of the backs of my arms . 
I met a man who is carrying a French horn and.plays a short tune every ten minutes or so.  Another man is riding an electric unicycle. Always something new every day.  Jenn had a long walking day but is also settled in for the night several days ahead of me. Enjoyed mass in the cathedral in Burgos last night.
Buen Camino.

Sunday, July 29, 2018


DAY 16 and I'm in Burgos.  15 miles in 8 hours.  Left at 6 am with a full moon and a fantastic sunrise.  My planned walking partner didn't come at 5:30 to tape her toes so at 6 I left.  Sad as it would have been a good day...but I needed to get moving as I'd been awake since 4 am. 
Long hill at first then a long.downhill.  we could see Burgos in the distance. I found another flower gift that Jenn left for me on the trail several days ago.  So much fun.  After walking.around the airport I chose the green route along the river.  beautiful but very long. A bicycle rider spent 5 minutes explaning the direction ..
all in Spanish.  Many people stopped me in the.park to encourage my progress.  Going to mass in the cathedral tonight.  Also..
In an all girl dorm tonight. Should be less snoring.
Jenn is done with the bike and will begin.walking 20 mile days.  Oh young again.  Buen Camino

Saturday, July 28, 2018

DAY 15 postscript..

This afternoon I found the wood craftsman who mades working models  of everything.  Gave me the whole tour in Spanish and lots of sign language.  Wonderful old man...sharing the history of his village.
Then back to the church to see the.baptismal font and window that I'd the.storks nest on top of the bell tower.  I've also made a new friend and we're walking to Burgos together tomorrow morning.  Salad and paella for dinner. Yummy
Did I mention, Jenn had a fantastic day on her bicycle!


Day 15 and I'm in Ages, a very old village full of half timbered buildings and a very old church.  Allan from England is here and also Tova who I met through Reka from Budapest.  Very hot now but I walked the whole ten miles this morning without sun.  There was only one stop in San Juan and I took my shoes off and enjoyed an Americno coffee .. 3 euros... and met more friends.  Mother and daughter from Denmark but they return home from Burgos which is tomorrow.  Allan from England also goes home tomorrow.   Last night was okay, lights out at 10 and only giggles and whispering after 11 PM.  They took them away for activities in the afternoon which helped.  Woke at 5 and was on the road by 5:30 am in the dark.  But trail was well marked and people passed regularly.  Got one scare when dogs began to bark in the dark,  then I saw the owner's light in his tent telling them to stop barking.  Then I saw the two donkeys grazing nearby.  Passed several unusual things today but best was a love note from my daughter posted on the albergue bulletin board when I arrived.  She was here two nights ago.  She will be in Shangun tonight...half way to Santiago.  She's on a bicycle and is doing three day every day.  Tomorrow will be her last and then she'll be walking again.   She had a really tough day yesterday but today should be flat and easier.  My day isn't over until I hear from her.  Jim returned from visiting a friend in Mammoth yesterday and today is saying goodbye to a dear friend.  Buen Camino Foster, you will be missed by many. Condolences to Lorie and the family, I will remember him in my prayers today.

Friday, July 27, 2018


Day 14 and I've arrived in villafranca de monte de oca.  Had looked forward to this quiet oasis but they have filled half of the beds with teenagers.  Going to be a long day and night.  Last night was special.  I ate early as the communal dinner was not until after 8 PM. Three young men, Swedish, netherland and German...  who all spoke English sat with me while I ate.  Delightful conversation.  The group was so large that they moved the dinner outside.  I have a wonderful photo from my window.  Just after I took the photo they saw me and soon all were waving.  I joined them for the special sharing after 10 PM in the dark cburch... candlelight only... as everyone shared their reason for being on the Camino in their own language.  I was the only one to speak in English.  Then off to our floor mats for a well earned sleep. 
This morning, I walked 3 miles, then took a taxi for 10 miles and then walked the last eight miles...all a gradual uphill.  Lost the route when passing through a village for a couple of miles but stuck to the road as I knew it crossed over at some point.  Just as I reached the top and saw my destination...up walk Reka, my friend from Budapest that I keep meeting along the way.  Good day even though it was very hot walking even though I arrived by noon.  Jenn is riding her bike for the first time in many years and I'm anxiously awaiting news of her arrival in Fromista. Buen Camino

Thursday, July 26, 2018


Day 13 and I've arrived in Grannon.  Staying in the attic of a church tonight... sleeping on a mat.  Sun came out early and it got very hot early.  8+ miles in a little over 4 hours.  No wifi tonight except at bar.  I found my pilgrim friend from Budapest in Santo Domingo and when leaving Santo Domingo I found a rose that Jenn left for me on Tuesday morning.  Lovely day but mostly walked alone.  As I arrived in Grannon I found a field of sunflowers.  Jenn will arrive in Burgos today and begin her bike ride tomorrow. I won't be in Burgos for 3 more days.  Tomorrow is a very long stretch and plan to ride a bus for part of it.  Also only carried a day pack today..much better.  Buen Camino

Wednesday, July 25, 2018


Day 12 and I'm in a lovely albergue in Ciruena...just east of Santo Domingo.  Jenn is miles ahead of me and will be in Burgos tomorrow.  It was an overcast day and I always had people in front and behind me all morning that I could see which was really nice.  I did a bit over 10 miles in 5 hours. Up a gradual but very long hill.  Meeting many new people each day which is fun.  Today they all speak English which is nice.  There are days when no one speaks English. Also noticed a new crop today...kale I think. Hardly any vineyards but more wheat. 
Buen camino...

Tuesday, July 24, 2018


Day 11 .. I'm in Najera. Arrived just after 11 an but could not get into albergue until 1 PM.  I had company in the park across the street.  If you have to wait not a bad spot along a river.Jenn has also stopped for the day and we've been in touch.
Started walking at 6 am. Used earplugs last night and really slept well.  It was a lonely walk this morning.  Had a dozen or so pass during the day, including Joachim from Amsterdam.. dinner in Lograno.  Then in Najera I've seen French girl from Viana and Jesus that we met early on .. he had a leg injury and has had to slow down.  Today was 10.4 miles and took me five hours.  Expecting a thunder storm this afternoon so will get dinner early.  Buen Camino

Monday, July 23, 2018

DAY 10. Navarrete

Day 10 and I'm in Navarrete where Jenn was last night.  She left me a love note in the register log book .  She's doing 20 miles today and I'll be happy when I hear she's arrived.  Being a mother never stops no matter how old they are.  My day started at 6 am and I finished my walk at 10:30.  Glad it was short as it's a hot day.  Also got a tiny blister on my left little toe. 
Enjoyed dinner in the albergue last night with a German man who has bicycled from his home in Germany and will end in Lisbon, Portugal.  And we were joined by a young man from Amsterdam who is only walking portions every year.
Today I walked around a large lake on my route and also saw workers in the vineyards.  It was mostly gradually uphill and an easy walk of 8.5 miles.  Buen Camino

Sunday, July 22, 2018


It's day 9 and I'm sitting in the albergue  Santiago Apostol in Logrono. Jenn went off this morning an hour before me and she is where I'm going to be tomorrow. I will post you the elevation map to show you what I'm going to be doing in the next 2 days from after Lagrono.   It was an easy walk and I carried my backpack ... I left  7:00 a.m. in daylight walked 6 miles to the edge of Logrono to my albergue arriving within 3 hours.  Tomorrow is a bit longer but have decided to carry the backpack but did switch around some heavier things for lighter ones in the minnie suitcase I'm having transported each day.  I found a nearby church and made the 10:15 mass before checking in.  Nice albergue..
But I do have a snorer next to me...he took a nap when he arrived!  There is a group of 20 down syndrome teenagers staying here for a week... they are from Bilboa
.. nice to watch the staff and teachers work with them.  Not easy but wonderful.  Went walking in the city..  ice cream seems to be the big draw .. but am eating my bread left from yesterday with a glass of wine!  I picked up a fresh loaf for tomorrow for 55 euros. Food is relatively cheap.  I had trouble finding electrical outlets near the beds.  That, along with wifi is very important to pilgrims like me.  They are high on the wall with a box to lay your phone in while charging.  Always something new.
I checked out webcam and saw Jim watching TV.... probably Sunday Morning.. but since it was time for him to get ready for church... I did not bark the dogs.  My favorite way to get his attention when his cell phone volume is down.  We'll be talking later... we're learning to use what'sApp for phone calls over the internet.  Jenn and I are also using it to communicate.
I've signed up for the pilgrims dinner her in the albergue tonight.  Should be fun.  Already met a French girl that stayed with us last night.  And...Reka from Budapest just arrived!! 
Take care my friends...
Buen Camino