Day 22 of our 2nd Camino

We walked out of Triacastela heading towards towards Sarria

We left town with the sun coming up. Not as fantastic as yesterday. More rain and a couple big hills again. I dread the hills. We have been in albergues with no WiFi again. It makes posting difficult, i can write stuff I just can’t stick pictures in. Then when we stop for something warm or just to be dry for a few minutes if the place is crowded, difficulties again.

The hills do give you nice views. We walked along woodland trails again, water rushing by the side and switching back and forth.

Check out this tree! Kinda spooky right?

Our way markers our more noticeable now.

We have still come across a few that are side by side pointing in different directions. Then it’s time to pull the guide book back out of the backpack. The guidebook has the historic trail, there are little side trails called the mystical path. We don’t want mystical, straight as the crow flies is what I would prefer at this point.

The trail veered off into the woods which we thought was the right way, but no one in front or in back. It’s funny because you think your all alone but just then you will hear someone coming up behind you. This morning it was like a conga line passing us. Very annoying. Then all of a sudden, no one, for a very long time!

The trail kept deteriorating, we weren’t sure if somehow we got onto someone’s private land.

We kept going, pulled out the guide book again, it said you would leave the road, well that was for sure.

Finally civilization in the distance!

The sun cant decide to come or go.

We actually don’t do a long day, only 18kms, but we had two big peaks, one at 680m and one at 910m. We would leave the woods then the road, then cross right back into the woods again.

Then around the corner, a house and church, in the middle of the woods.

I liked the flowers matching the houses color.

Finally out of the woods and onto the senda, beside the road.

I had to get a picture of this it looks like a cross between an evergreen and a cactus!

More to follow, until then be well!

Day 21, hanging in there and loving our 2nd Camino

We left Laguna de Castillo walking to Triacastela, about 23km.

The views when we walked out this morning about 8am were incredible! It just kept getting better and better.

That’s a hill top in a sea of clouds!!

Our trail starts with a climb and a scary edge. Those are clouds not snow in the background!

We take a selfie at what we believe to be the summit. Nope not yet.

I’m telling you, it was just fantastic, we were loving it, hills and all! Clouds looked solid enough to take a walk out on!just breathtaking!

We reach the next town and decide to take a break.

We stopped here last time also, but this time of year only one place open. I just get a coffee and Al a soda. We left without eating this morning but felt ok. Another pilgrim was raving about the cheese and said we should try it. Well Al got an omelette and I got an order of cheese and bread. Oh my goodness!!!! The cheese was something they make themselves, soft, sweet and yellow. Then they drizzled honey all over it and served that with fresh crusty bread! Oh I ate every bit and I didn’t even think I was that hungry! It was fantastic!

There were functional Galician palloza’s, they are traditional buildings built in the round and topped with straw.

There was still a lot of ups and downs, we can now see the next village coming up in the distance.

Al was in front, hills are still a little tough for me.

Again weaving in and out of towns. All have a church and a cemetery.

Off in the distance.

We were still kinda high and had several patches of snow.

The trail today was truly lovely. Weather just beautiful. We had a marvelous day walking and talking.

You can see the graveyard behind Al in this picture.

I loved this part of the trail, it was cooler and I just liked the moss and the soft ground. Sometimes there may only be a few houses, but you will still see a church.

Next town in the distance, the one we are walking to. This is a hundred year old chestnut tree! Tomorrow we plan on an even shorter day. We are in a spartan Albergue tonight. No kitchen, no WiFi, just cubicles with 2 bunks each, I got the short straw again, top bunk.

More to follow, until then be well!

Day 20! Already of our 2nd Camino

We left Villafranca del Bierzo and are trying for Laguna de Castilla

We left a little late again today, the albergue we were in did not have the typical breakfast. So far breakfast at albergues is coffee and toast with jam. It’s also on a lot of the menus. Most times we eat on the road, I always have fruit in my backpack, Al carriers olives. This albergue had a cheaper breakfast, but it didn’t start till 7:30am, 2e and yes there was coffee and toast but also cereals, milk, hot and cold, coco, buns, cakes, and then sweets you could take in your backpack. Really a nice place!

Pretty much all the walking today was flat and beside the road until the end. We’ll get to that.

There was interesting things still to look at. Like these blue bushes, what the heck, never seen anything like it.

It rained on and off but not so bad we had to get out the rain gear, then the rain bow!

The trail would leave the highway every time we came across a town, then out again.

If there is a chance to go inside and use the W/C, always preferable.

There’s still snow at higher elevations and it is November but there are still flowers and gardens everywhere.

Collards I think, I’ve just never seen them so tall. No idea what this was, but I liked it. We are it taking it slow and easy today, with lots of small breaks.

There is a big hill/mountain at the end of the page. We pass by lots of farms and even a wood mill at one point.

You can see one of those high bridges in the background of this picture that Al was talking about yesterday.

Next town around the bend.

We have been following this river all day. Sometimes it’s gently, very clear, and sometimes we see waterfalls through the trees. We are now starting to climb.

lots of hills. Then off road, where it really got tough.

Parts of the trail were very narrow and it was like step climbing for a few hours. Also there were horses. Some people take horses up this part. The end of today was mostly all woods. Then all of a sudden there were gardens and houses. People picking up chestnuts, which were everywhere. Walnuts too! I had a pocket full and every once in awhile would smash one with a handy rock.

Almost at the top. Still gardens!

Starting another climb.

Well I guess we climbed a mountain today. The views were amazing, crystal clear skies. And there’s still snow up here!

Well we may have bit off more then we should have. We actually climbed 3600feet! We did book a place ahead, so with having a reservation you get there when you can and know you at least have a bed. We asked at an earlier albergue what’s open ahead, because there’s less places to stay, I didn’t want to climb up there and find out then, they are closed. It turned out that it was, so she called the next place, really can’t say town, it’s just 3 houses, one of them an albergue. It meant another 2.3km climb, which took us over an hour but that’s ok.

We are still not yet to the top, 2.5km more to go, then down, hopefully gently.

More to follow, until then be well.

Day 19 of our 2nd Camino

We left Leon and rode a bus to VillaFranca del Bierzo

Leaving Leon we passed by the Casa Botines.

We we’re moving kinda slow today, but I saw this lovely door. This reminds me how I told AJ the other day, how I can’t look down when I walk, cause I keep getting distracted by rocks.

This is craftsman ship! I want to be able to do this! Which leads me to this,

I think I need to live really at least 100 years to do all I want to do!

So we get to the bus station early and wait till 1pm to board our bus to VillaFranca. We manage to jump 5 days and 125km in about 2 1/2 hours.

On the bus we pretty much follow the Camino, so in the beginning we were on the lookout for pilgrims we knew. Then we just enjoyed the ride.

I listened to some podcasts which reminds me of another conversation with my son. I forgot what we were talking about but I mentioned how I talk to myself. Like, “Dorean get moving” . He was like wait a minute, you call yourself Dorean? Well ya, that’s who I am! But you actually use your name? Ya, doesn’t everyone? I say. No mom! Then he gives me the look, like your my mom, but your a crazy person. Ahh, no.

So anyway this is where the podcast ties in. I listen to a lot of podcasts from the Quick and dirty podcast network. One I try not to miss is Mignon Fogarty, Creator of Grammer Girl and the founder of Quick and Dirty tips. Well I was blown away the other day when she spoke about Illeism, Speaking about youself in the 3rd person instead of the first. Like Elmo saying, Elmo wants to be friends”. She mentioned a research study that found out that people who self talk like this are really more in control and more likely to follow through with what they say. As in me saying to myself, “Dorean, get your butt out of bed” . If I just said to myself, ya I should get up. Chances are I won’t. So this is long I apologize, but I told him later, see I’m not a crazy person. I am normal, mostly.

I do enjoy podcasts whenever I have time, so there’s a lot I listen to from this group, the nutrition diva, get fit guy, the money girl, just to name a few.

Then I fell asleep on the bus which Al later told me was a good thing. High rise bridges, hair pin turns and tunnels, ya wake me when it’s over.

After we arrived in VillaFranca, which is right on the Camino we needed to find an Albergue. The 1st one we went into was Leo’s. Filled up, but Maria was so helpful, calling another Albergue for us so we wouldn’t have to check everywhere. Then she gave us a map and sent us to de La Piedra. One of the best we have been to. They actually offered us tea or coffee when we arrived. What? Are we still in an Albergue? Then a single bunk was 10e or a double private room 12e? Yes we will take that. They were also just so nice and helpful. Take your time, get cleaned up, check in when you get a chance.

Well we checked in right away because I wanted to see the town, which was beautiful.

I pretty much walked Al all over town.

It was beautiful, Al’s leg was hurting so I went on by myself.

I ended up in this church

Which was very modest and truly stark. No photos allowed. It was just a stone church, unadorned, wooden pews, and then an altar. I found myself at the front and sat down. There is a Cross in front with Jesus on it, and I find myself crying, shoulders shaking, and my 1st thought is no one come out and talk to me, please, and they didn’t. This was between me and God, and I felt horrible about myself, so unworthy of all that I have. I am truly blessed in so many ways, I forget in the rush to do all the things I want to do and all the things I want to accomplish, what I already have. Instead of always rushing ahead, I need to slow down and be more thankful for all that I already possess. Kind of an epiphany I guess. I make my way back to Al, who declares how hungry he is, we tend to overlook lunch.

Have I mentioned my new love of tapas yet. I now love figs and tapas, well and Spanish wine of course.

Tomorrow we start walking again.

Until then be well!

Day 18 of our 2nd Camino

We never left Leon, still trying

Today not so good. We still have our son with us until after breakfast, then the plan is to explore Leon and tour the cathedral. Well first I want to let you know AJ feels better!

Then he discovers that at some point in time the instant coffee he has been carrying in his backpack opened, and it’s a wet sticky mess everywhere. Mine, never go on a long trip without it is in a small pocket with my granola bars. Some he could just shake off, but his backpack itself needed to be cleaned. So he spent some time in the shower with his backpack.Then wiping down all his stuff.

We have breakfast and he continues on walking out of Leon. We head to the cathedral.

The Cathedral of Leon, also called the house of lights. It seems that a lot of historic places are built on top of others. We saw that in Burgos also. This was built upon old Roman baths. It was built in the gothic style in the 13th century. The doors are incredible.

Above the door, you just cannot fit some of these images in the same frame.

We pay our money and get inside.

Sorry this one was blurred a bit. It shows the inside from where we come in straight back, but separated by chorus area.

One small window out of many.

The white virgin.

This one was smaller but I liked all the animals on it.

The doors, I just love them!

The cathedral was big we spent over an hour in there listening on our head sets. I couldn’t capture the majesty of the place. It was incredible!

I was coughing a bit on the inside, I noticed people giving me a wide berth. AJ had said that morning and Al had agreed, I really should see someone. So right after the cathedral I said I would go get checked out. Well that took a very long time and I will give you the condensed version.

I have a respiratory infection. I had X-rays, tests, a shot, several treatments and I had to promise to not walk, not carry a backpack for 3 days. Got several prescriptions and I was cut loose.

Something good to know, the prescriptions, cost me less then 1 co-pay of 1 it would cost back home. Also, I should say last time I was prepared for worse case scenarios. My Doctor gave me medicine in case I got sick, October has historically been a bad month for me. I have had a good year and was cleared to go. And of course when I had the medicine I never needed it. That just seems to be the way of it.

The pharmacy was incredible also! It has been a working pharmacy since the 1800’s.

We did try to take a train out last night, they are fast and not that expensive. It just wasn’t working out for us. Then we tried the bus, we wanted to find a place out of the damp weather for us to rest.

We can stay at an Albergue if we are walking but there are rules. In by 10pm out by 8 am, and you can’t check in till 2 or 3. So that makes it complicated. Doctor said I could show all my private medical documents and get them to let me stay. Well Albergues are big and crowded lately, Al didn’t want to stay in one because he said next I will have the stomach thing to go with everything else.

Well after lots of round and round, we hadn’t eaten since breakfast and I was exhausted. So we found an Albergue. This was supposed to be an inexpensive getaway. I haven’t given up yet!

This was crossing the bridge back towards Cathedral area and hopefully a bed.

By the time we found an Albergue it was close to 8pm, very late but a huge place so we got two bottom bunks side by side.

Tomorrow we will try to catch a bus again further up the Camino and take it slow, see how it goes.

More to follow, until then be well!

Day 17 of our 2nd Camino

Left El Burgo Ranero, we are now walking to Reliegos

Not good news, now AJ has that bug Allen had. We did not eat together or sleep near each other. Rooms fill up, usually everyone gets a bottom bunk. Sometimes people choose top and bottom to stay in the same room, we have done that. AJ had one room with a bunch of bunks, we were in another. He told us later that all of a sudden he had this bad feeling in his stomach, nothing more, then eruption. Spent a lot of time that night in and out of bed.

He felt so so, definitely didn’t want to risk eating. So we left without eating, in the rain!! I mentioned to Al today that we are leaving at the same time but it’s not dark anymore. The time got turned back and I didn’t really notice till now!

Love the doors here, you cannot get these at Home Depot.

Passed some more Passion flowers and wanted to pick some of the fruit, but wasn’t sure what color it needed to be. There is an unspoken rule on the Camino, fruit in yards, plots, gardens, stay out. Over the fence on public land your good to take. These were on my side of the fence.

We are again walking on the senda, beside the road.

Eventually we hit a wooded area and Al decided he needed to use the woods. On the way out, it being slippery with wet leaves, he twisted his ankle. Not much to we could do, but walk on. Which we did at a slower and slower pace.

We made it to a town and realized AJ needed to walk on he has a tighter time schedule and we needed to rest. I still wasn’t feeling super either. So we rested tried to walk more that was rather painful for Al so we pulled into a bar. I got a coffee and Al pulls out our book to figure out what the heck we are going to do, bartender tells us, she will call is a cab, only cost about 6e. Man! The Camino is changing before my eyes, so we get a cab to next big town we were trying to walk to. What would have taken us the rest of the day, now took 15 minutes. We flew past pilgrims, I saw our son as we whiz by. We are now in Mansilla de las Mulas. And find out we can take a bus to Leon in about an hour and a half. We decided to do that, because even though AJ feels awful that’s where he wants to get to.

This is just one of those wired things that happen I say to Al, well we have almost two hours, let’s see what we can see. I see a sign for Biblioteca, the library so we head in that direction. At the córner AJ crosses the street in front of us, he is stunned to see us there! We talk, we tell AJ we will find a place in Leon, just get there. Which he did, he walked 37km!!! Oh to be young! Not really, I like where I’m at, but that’s another whole conversation.

So we arrived back at bus station for bus and what do we see, oh more pilgrims taking the bus. I am telling you, I never knew this, walking it once before, I follow the forums, i never knew pilgrims took taxis and buses, maybe it’s new?

From bus station it was still quite a hike to where we would be, by Cathedral. It took us a couple of hours. We end up getting a hostel room, a step up from Albergue. Just us in a room with a door, that’s locks. Al made a mistake the other night going into a room that wasn’t ours, what he did not make was a new friend. 😳

So we went to a store, bought some frozen stuff, some pre-made stuff, some wine. It was all good.

Tomorrow Al and I plan to tour Cathedral.

Until then, be well!

Day 16 of our 2nd Camino

We walked from Terradillos to El Burgo Ranero

We all left together, which is good, and mostly healthy.

I’m not sure if they live in these little hobbit houses or not. There are chimneys. This was at the 1st town we got to. Today is chilly and windy, we are bundled up with winter hats and mittens. Even the trees were bundled up in the 1st Pueblo we got to, Moratinos.

We kept walking, it would be a long day. My camera couldn’t seem to stay in my pocket today.

Some call this the half way point on the Camino, I couldn’t find anything to back that up. I think because so many people start in different places.

For us we are about halfway!

After we had walked about 12km I was officially starving. We packed our stuff, granola bars, fruit, I also have some carrots. I’ve been trying to find peanut butter, so far no luck. You do kinda get tired of what’s in your backpack and either trade people or eat somewhere. We had arrived at a pretty big town,Sahagun, and had a fantastic lunch there. We walked into this place, from the outside it doesn’t look like much, but man, the food was fantastic! All we had were hamburgers, but they had eggs and bacon on them, lettuce, tomato and onion. AJ tried to order fries but we ended up with shrimp cooked with garlic. 🤗

AJ sent me this picture, it could have been because we were so hungry, but I thought it was the best burger I ever had! After lunch we worked our way out of the city.

Ok Ed, there were a couple of these smallish trees by a fountain we stopped at, not sure if that’s a fruit or not.

Once we crossed this bridge we were officially out of the city and back onto the senda.

We passed through a couple more towns. It is nice to walk with people you care about. I may have said this before, sorry, but I really treasure it. Walking with our son, no distractions except the scenery. Even back home, I love walking with our kids, or grandkids, they just tell you everything, on and on sometimes but I treasure it still. So my advice to everyone, go grab someone to walk with today or tomorrow or soon. You may find out things you never knew or gain a greater understanding of someone you love. Ok off the soap box and back onto the Camino! Where the wind is ferocious! Seriously! It blew in our faces all day, and it felt like it was directly from the arctic.

These clouds looked different to me, can’t explain it.

Check out these window screens.

And on the door too, someone has talent.

We made it to the town we thought we were staying in, AJ walked on. Al and I were both tired we had walked 26.7km but after a rest we walked on also. Which was kinda dicey really, if you get in late, which we would, too late for laundry. What we didn’t realize was next town only had one operating albergue. This time of year there are less open, November will be have even less in operation. After another 7.4 km we arrived, only 4 bunks left, all on the top. Not a fan, but top bunk is growing on me. If Al and I get assigned a set of bunks, I’m on top. Here’s a picture from the top bunk.

This time no choices. There are other places to stay, they just cost more.

More to follow, until then be well!