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Camino de Santiago

Day 25: Melinda to Salceda

Another leisurely start to the morning. I think we are becoming civilized again. We have 30 km left. Today was a 25 km hike just short of 6 hrs. Early in the day there are some good up and down sections but for the most part very nice shaded trails. During one section this morning one village has no cafes. We walk better than 2 hrs without a break. At one point Hans says , I need a break my feet are killing me. Shortly after we walk by a cafe -- Marty and I have a small beer - Hans a coke. After a good 15 minute break we head out. Soon Marty and I realize Hans is out is site -- a head of us. We laughed, " a coke, a whiz and saying back to the barn really energized Hans". We found him an 1 1/2 hr later waiting at albergue.

We saw Erica again, young lady from Michigan working to become a brew master. She works at micro brewery in Michigan - heading to Germany for serious training this fall. Amazing - she had no idea studies in chemistry would take her down this path. I believe here are a lot of astute and interesting young people,e in our world ---- once they engage we will see some amazing leaders. I think we I'll be in good hands.

As I write, Ryan from Montreal comes in - travelling with Erica - Michegan and Antoine from Denmark. They are all so different - interesting to see how they have become good travel friends looking out for and helping each other,

As we near Santiago I can not help but wonder about some or our earlier Pilgrim friends: Mary Ellen and Barrie from Hamilton; Corolla and Mark from Sydney, AZ; the twins Jessica and Katrina from Thunder bay; Alice from Nevada; Becky from England; Oivin from Norway; Oke and his daughter from Denmark; Vicki the Hungarian event organizer; and Klaus and Tony. I really hope we see or hear from some of them before we leave Spain. It is hard to explain - but you get close to some people quickly. It seems to be part of the Camino spirit.

As I mention Becky's name it reminds me of our meeting early in the trip. Her friend Helen did the first 10 days. I saw Helen and Becky a couple of times in the first days. As I caught up to them in a village I said to Helen (didn't know her name then) - tell me tour name is Alison - she said sorry its Helen. I said -- at least tell me your are dutch - again she says sorry - I'm English -- but my husband and I currently work in Holland so it counts as half point. Then she says - why all the questions? She is a mirror imagine of my cousin Alison. Really!

There are so many people on the trails now - many doing the last 100 km or so. The bicyclist still the most frustrating -- no bells - seem to think trai, is for them. Many are not confident cyclists - you can see it in their face. I wonder how many incidents occur between walkers and bicyclists during a season?

Only two more mornings to load the back pack --- Saturday will be a wonderful day and every day after it.

Hasta Luego!


Posted by al poole 07:39 Comments (1)

Camino de santiago

More pictures along Camino

Posted by al poole 07:34 Comments (0)

Camino de Santiago

Day 24: Palas De Rei to Melida

Another great morning - coffee, toast and an orange before we hit the walking trails. Today is a short day - 15 km. We are at a our albergue by 11:00. We drop our gear and go for a beer. We picked a great spot - watching all the pilgrims parade by. Some of the ones we met recently stop for a rest/visit and then depart. We end up in a larger room - 6 bunks - but facilities are great.

I just stretch out around 2 pm for siesta when new bunk mates arrive. A lady from Seattle is one - I can see the disappointment at having to take a top bunk. She takes the one above me. I'll snooze first then chat to her. Later I ask if she would like a bottom bunk -- I don't think I've ever seen such a happy face. I switch. She is wearing blue jeans and her two piece jacket is heavier than any jacket I wear in winter.she is close to the and but she looks worn out.

We head out around 4:30 for a walk/glass of wine before dinner. We join a Swiss mom, Clorise, who is walking the Camino with her daughter Sylvie (they started at Astorga). The daughter speaks English - mom speaks French and German. Sylvie is going to Peru and other spots on South America this October with her Argentinian boy friend. She is interested in what Hans and I think of Peru. Also, we invite Ray a young man from USA to join us. We had not seen him since the early days. It turns out to be a wonderful afternoon and we all have pulpa (octopus) for dinner, it is fabulous. During dinner we enjoyed the company of four Spanish ladies all under 5' tall - we take pictures for ea h others group. We see them the following day on the trail -- still talking and laughing.

All in -- a great day.


Posted by al poole 07:00 Comments (0)

Camino de santiago

Picture about 1 1/2 hr from Portomarin in province of Galicia, Spain.

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Camino de Santiago

Day 23, Portomarin to Palas De Rei (by taxi for Al)

Buenos Dias to a spectacular Monday, May 25, 2015.

Hans and Marty are up 06:30 and loading packs for the days walk. They gotta be envious of my day -- I'd know by end of day. Apparently I coughed a lot last night - sorry guys. The good news it feels like it broke so hopeful it is gone. My eyes are back to normal - no runny eyes last night. Its weird waking up with eyes stuck shut until you clear away crusty stuff!

I had choice of bus or taxi. The bus, approx 10 euros, involved a switch and as best I could determine would not get to next destination until late afternoon. I chose taxi for 25 euros. Pick up in just over an hour.

What a glorious morning -- enjoyed a couple of coffees while reading news and sports and occasional chat with other pilgrims in the cafe. This is only 3rd such morning in the past month. The taxi picks me up and we are off to Palas De Rei. I'm so happy I picked taxi as he follows Camino route which tracks along this small paved road. It us about 25 minute ride and I pass dozens of walkers. I feel great,

I'm thinking it smart to put some reasonable planning into a trip this long. I didn't - just showed up and started walking - at times marching day after day. Whether you are alone or in a group (more important for group) one should think about what you want to accomplish and how you will go about executing the plan. Obviously it should include some contingency/alternatives. Im not suggesting a daily plan just broad goals and strategies. In our case we did not spend any time talking about individual goals or group goals. I believe the overall experience will be enhanced by some upfront work. For the most part we fell into early morning marches - as it seems many do. Without the planning - it can turn into a grind instead of a vacation. There will still be many good memories and experiences -- there could have been many more. I will wonder about what I missed - left untouched.

It leaves me wondering how many other things in life I just worked through without stopping to really 'smell the roses' ? I am so happy I had the few hours in Pamplona and then the time in Logrono and some time in Burgos.

In Sarria, Marty and I chatted to two ladies doing the Camino together. Claire was from northern England and Carol from Quebec (near Ottawa). I'm not sure how they know each other -- so different. Claire had severe foot pain from improper footwear but would not change because she had not gotten the value of money spent on them. She seemed generally crusty - has to be a long journey. Carol on the other hand very upbeat and positive. She was in no rush and will find ways to enjoy every moment. She works on womens rights around the developing world. I really enjoyed listening to her experiences and insights. She emphasized the importance of working with different cultures - on their terms - not trying to impose our way on them. I could relate to what she was getting at from the short time I spent in Kenya. This could lead into some interesting debate - for those with open minds.

Well, its 11:15 here and I've enjoyed my 4th coffee this morning and only walked to the taxi and to the toilet. I will do my best to keep repeating for the rest of this fine Monday,



Posted by al poole 01:52 Comments (0)

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