Tuesday, 31 October 2017

AHhhhhhh - The morning after the morning after in Santiago

October 30, 2017
AHhhhhhh
Towels, my own bathroom     and a certificate.  I'm happy.  And I am not at the mercy of that taxi driver.

The morning after the morning after in Santiago
In every account of the video accounts of people walking the Camino the pilgrims always through a short tunnel and there is always this same bagpiper playing.   As soon as I heard the bagpipes I knew I had finally made it.
I also found that it was almost impossible to walk across the square without coming across some one (and probably several people ) that you have met somewhere on the journey.
The square was full of people, some where dancing, others singing and some just lying on the cobblestones propped up against their backpacks looking up at the Cathedral.
We got our certificates and I finally mailed the postcards that had been riding around in my backpack since Pamplona.
Spain is a late night country.  It really doesn't even start to come alive until 9pm and things really don't rock and roll until midnight. MeanwhIle I was tucked into my albergue on Saturday night sleeping off a long day, a great dinner and a generous amount of Sangria when I was woken by what sounded like a football riot in the streets.  This did not let up for four hous and, apparently this is a typical Saturday night in the old city.
And I thought I was a night owl.
Now nighty night for me.
Love you.

Photos:
Oct. 30 - Three Amigos say Goodbye in Finesterre - This is a time of mixed emotions for our trio. They have made it to the end of their journey together. They have shared the joy of comradeship, the trials of the trail, the pains collected along the way, the feeling of accomplishment, then they must say goodbye and return to their 'normal lives'.
Oct. 28 - Yo sure enough - a Spanish Piper - Enough said, Bagpipes are not my favourite.
Oct 30 - Leslie Made it to Fisterra - Hardly looking bedraggled, but relieved, in a way, that she does not have to pack up and walk another twenty kilometers today.
Oct. 30 - The Sun Sets ovet the Atlantic from Finesterre - What a way to say good bye to Leslie as she heads back to our busy world of buses, trains, and planes on her way back home to provide pats and scruffs to her kitties. Good luck Leslie and "Thanks for sharing your adventure with all of us."


Monday, 30 October 2017

Cathedral Trio

October 29, 2017
Cathedral Trio
The three Amigos at the pilgrim mass
Leslie, John, and Steven take a day to tour Santiago de Compestella.
Photos:
Oct. 29 - Cathedral Trio - The 'Three Amigos' dit it and are looking proud of their accomplishment.
Oct. 29 - Inside the Cathedral de Santiago - A spectacular place, Lots of photos and videos are available 'on line'
Oct 28 - 330 meters to go - Can I Make it - "I'm so tired, but do I want this to ber over yet?"
Oct. 28 - Leslie munching her Tacco and some wine - OH, YA, This is the Life. good food, good wine, and great company.
Week 6 - The last 'leg' of this marvelous journey across the North of Spain. What can I say, that hasn't already been said?
 

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Slouching into Santiago - I DID IT!

October 28, 2017
Slouching into Santiago - I DID IT!
Well, we did it.  Santiago at last - 800 km/500 miles whatever way you want to look at it.  And there are pictures with more to come: the one you may be interested in now show me munching on my sangria.
Last night the girls in my albergue were dicussing tattoos and the ones the planned on getting upon completion of their journey.  Somehow the topic of a  €5 tattoo came up.  My contribution to the discussion was if any artist was offering a €5 tattoo,  he was likely known as Hepatitis Harry.
We went to the Pilgrim office and got our certificates, then to our respective albergues and after that, supper with a lot of Sangria.
Now, I am tired, more than a little overwhelmed and slightly awash in sangria and now it is time for bed.
Love you my Snuggy

Photos:
Oct. 28 - I REALLY DID IT! - Let's hear it for Leslie, She really did it.
Oct. 28 - On to Finesteta - Not Today - Leslie is taking a day off tomorrow and taking the bus to Finestera
Oct. 28 - Leslie in Santiago - Proud of her Accomplishment - Looking really Good Girl.
Oct. 28 - Cathedral under Construction - It really is a beautiful cathedral, once the renovations are done, it will be even better.
Day 42 Santiago de Compestela - WOW I'm really here AND it Feels just GREAT!
Progress Week 6 - Wow What an accomplishment to walk all that way. Oh yes Leslie walked 8.5 km uphill and another 8.5 km down hill on this trek.

 
 
 

Saturday, 28 October 2017

The Penultimate Day - O Pedrouzo

October 27, 2017
The Penultimate Day - O Pedrouzo
Well here it is:  the last day before the last day. And I admit it:  I am tired and I am ready to come home.  I want a long soak in the tub.  I want fresh veggies and the only time I want to see iceberg lettuce again is in a Taco. I want to pet my kitties and scruff my Bear,  not necessarily in that order.

I have at least one pair of socks that I can burn (or safely deposit in a trash bin) at Finnestera.  The wine has been good and so has the Spanish beer but I want a rum. 

Also, this particular town has the last hill before Santiago and by tradition the first one of your group to reach the bottom is called "king".  There is no prize, just bragging rights.

This is one of the places that I will be passing through tomorrow : Lavacolla - the origin of the name is one of the most widely debated on the Camino. The possible origins range from "The field at the bottom of the hill"  to the more prosaic "scrub your scrotum" in difference to the practice of pilgrims bathing in the river before entering the Cathedral.

Then into the city and I am booked into an albergue called The Last Stamp.

At the beginning I truly did not know I would make the entire journey when full understanding of enormity of this undretaking really began to really sink in.  Now, at the end I wonder just how the heck I managed to do it.
Photos:
Sept. 15 - Were off the train now what do I do? - This is where the first doubts hit home, the enorminity of the task ahad, and the setting of the resolve; "I'm going to do this, damn it!"
Sept. 16 - Directions - Here is the first choice - It's up hill either way; Route #1 is a 1,400 meter climb up and route #2 is only 1,000 meters around, both take me over the Pyranese Mountains. Just how much of a masochist am I? hummmmmmmmmmmmmmm .........
Sept. 24 - Wine Fountain at Irache - Well, I can say that this oaisis makes rigors of the trip so far worthwhile. "Drink the wine of the country" they say, so I drank!
Sept. 25 - The path alongside the highway - Oh, such a long way left to go, but this is more like it ..... NO BLODY HILLS!!!!
Day 41 O Pedrouzo - Another Rough day for our intrepid traveler, but that is becoming 'Old Hat' to this rugged adventurer. But it feels sssssooooooo gooooooood when it is time to stop and taste the wine and have a shower - not necessarily in that order!

Friday, 27 October 2017

Arzua

October 26, 2017
Arzua
After a relatively short day I am in Arzua.  I am getting tired of hills but I take comfort  in knowing that we are about 40 km from Santiago.  Tomorrow is the penultimate day on the road.  We plan on going to Finnestera but we will do it by bus.
The pictures yesterday: you are right, one of them was dinner, a local speciality called "pulpo"  or octopus.  It is served boiled with a shot of paprika and a drizzle of olive oil on a wooden plate and eaten with large toothpicks.  Now I can say I have eaten octopus.  The texture is a bit on the rubbery side.  And I believe that the flavour could been improved by a couple of squeezes of fresh lemon.  That said I think I would have preferred a lobster roll.  But maybe I am just homesick.
The little purple flowers that I have been trying to photograph are autumn crocuses:  the pistels of which are the source of saffron.
I have no idea what the wicker thing is but it looked interesting.
The weather has been pleasant and looks Google for the next several days.  So batten down the hatches and snuggle the kitties.
Love you much my Bear
Photos:
Oct. 26 - Supper complete with wine glass - This looks more like a pasta and beef mixture, some lemon, and the stem of a wine glass.
Oct. 23 - This looks like a Crocus - Yes, this is a 'Fall Crocus'. Go figure. It takes a lot of these plants to provide a gram of Safron.
Oct. 18 - Lesslie posing with the Appostil La Portella - No recent pictures of our 'Traveler', so I chose this one.
Sept. 16 - This is more like it - Then this is another aspect of this journey.
Day 40 Arzua - Note the graph of the terrain on the left - 277 meters up hill and 337 meters down hill in this 14km walk. This is tough on Leslie.


 
 

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

In Palas de Rei

October 24, 2017
In Palas de Rei
That tumble I took yesterday had a few aftereffects : the aches and twinges did not make  a good night's sleep so my walking was cut somewhat short in favour of speedier transportation and an afternoon nap;  my right side is kind of tender, but nothing that I can't work with.
It could have been worse:  I might have wound up face down in a cow patty:  cows seem to outnumber people in this part of Galacia and they are constantly being moved from barn to pasture to barn  accompanied by large friendly herd dogs.  The cows are all over the roads and so are their patties.
Sarria being the last 100 km, is the last place you can start in order to get the official certificate in Santiago.   As such we pilgrims were joined by group after group of school children from Madrid, walking the camino with their teachers.  Also, I heard mariachi music coming up from behind.  It was a bunch of Mexican men complete with their priest.
Today I am in am albergue that is much like a Japanese capsule hotel, or a Pullman sleeper car.  Each bunk is a tiny room with curtains, reading light, charger for electronics and a shelf.  I don't imagine that it is for the claustrophobic but it meets my needs.  The curtains give a bit of privacy one usually does not have in a dormitory.
Anyway I need to grab a shower.   How did the 200 night go?
Love you and miss you.  Counting the days till I come home to my Bear.
Photos:
Oct. 23 - The Lonely Burrow - Doesn't look like the source of the cow patties to me.
Oct. 24 - What do you think this is? - Think in terms of sardines. The alternative is open beds in the gym. Which would you choose?
Oct. 22 - Welcome to Sarria - 'The Magic Point', It is 100kms to Santiago de Compestella. This where
many start their journey  along 'The Way'.
Day 38 Palas de Rei - A particularly difficult day following a fitful night dealing with the aftermath of her fall during the day. None the less, 'The March Must Go On'.

 
 

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Just a short note today

October 23, 2017
Just a short note today
Portomarin was the stop today and I made it.  Long day and too tired even to forage for food. Tomorrow I am setting out for Palas de Rei so that will be a long haul too. Smooches my Bear.  I miss you so much.
Photos:
Oct. 22 - A great shot of the Countryside - This is a view of the type of terrain that Leslie has to negotiate.
Oct. 22 - Here is Julietta - It is hard to believe that this lovely little creature snores!
Oct. 22 - Now heres a Fancy Sign Post - Oh ya, it's hard to miss this sign of the Way.
Day 36 Sarria - This is NOT the Meseta. Leslie finds it easier when there are not many ups and downs during the day.
Day 37 Potomarin - This is the track of 'the rough day' for Leslie. The push is on to make it to Santiago de Compestella. I missed a day somewhere.