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