Day 15 of our 2nd Comino

We are leaving from Carrion de los Condes walking towards Terradillos de los Templarios

A church leaving town.

This was not a good day. When Al comes down stairs when we are leaving he tells me he was up several times in the night throwing up, as well long spells sitting in the restroom. You know what I mean. During dinner we had overheard a woman complaining about not being able to eat. There were others as well. There is sickness on the Camino. Lots blame it on the water, which I guess it could be. Anyway we urged Al to take a bus today, he wouldn’t. I said at least send your backpack ahead. Nope. So we walked, slowly. Al had to make several trips to the woods. Remember this is that long stretch for 17km. No shops, bars, coffee stops, no nothing but dirt trail for several hours. Our son AJ decided to walk with us, we assured him the night before we are now seasoned walkers and we could keep up. Well we couldn’t. AJ ended up carrying Al’s backpack as well as his own. One backpack in the front and one the back.

Al still couldn’t really walk, constantly having to rest. At one point we got to a place set up with chairs and benches. Al just lays on the ground. Some others come by, they give us some medicine for nausea and a phone number for a taxi. They said one of their group was also feeling ill and the sister at the albergue gave them a number saying no matter where you are they will come.

Well Al took the medicine, and we walked some more. Then he said he couldn’t go on and needed the taxi. Well that was difficult. None of us can really speak Spanish. We each know a bit and get by, but on the phone, it’s not the same. They say 5 minutes, after 15 we start walking again. Then our phone rings and it’s the taxi people saying ok, where are you again? The Camino? It was lots of repeating and saying yes I can hear you, finally they say 15 minutes. We wait almost half an hour. Then we start walking again. Then a cloud of dust is racing down the path, it’s the taxi. Al leaves and I stay and walk with AJ. Al goes to at the end of the page, to Terradillos.

Loved this little guy!

Well what a day it was, snowing when we left and we were now getting pelted with hail. We made it to the the end of 17km and stopped for coffee at a pub. We were soon off again and did ten more km to get where Al is.

He took a nap and was much better. Because he was essentially the 1st pilgrim in, he got to pick us a spot. A room with only 3 beds, no bunks. So we had a private room all to ourselves and it was only 10e for each of us! The Camino is fantastic!

I have seen so many people who are so caring and willing to share with you what they have. When I made the chicken soup, I am used to cooking for a crowd, there was plenty to share. I have also noticed this Camino a lot of people hardly ever buying things to eat, you can get by, by what you find along the road or what you take from the kitchens. We always leave milk behind, we have left eggs and yogurts, lots of things. Everyone leaves bits and pieces. So the next pilgrim who comes along without a lot of money can manage on that. I’ve seen it. There’s bags of rice, pasta, sugar, salt all kinds of stuff. The Camino is not something that costs lots of money. You could certainly spend a lot if you wanted to. We always choose municipal albergues, there’s private hostels, B&B’s, and a few times now we have stayed in ones that are donation only. So for some that’s all they do, they pay what they can afford and don’t spend on anything they don’t have to.

We also cook our own food, choose not to eat out. The other night Al had me go to the store alone, I got milk, yogurt, canned pineapple and juice. I still had some cereal in my backpack we hadn’t finished from before. I was tired and it was easy and cost about 5e, and we still have some for breakfast! Win win!

Tonight we got a pilgrim meal and ate with AJ. It was nice. Pilgrim meals are usually great. They always start you out with, bread, a bottle of wine and a jug of water. Then there’s usually a choice, soup, salad, which is a whole another conversation, or some vegetables. Then the main thing, also sometimes served with a side. Could be chicken, we see this the most, fish, a whole fish, or beef, maybe paella.

And always dessert.

Which is a good place to end.

More to follow, until then be well!

Day 14 of our 2nd Caminó

We left Frómista heading to Carrion de los Condes

I have been a little sick, not a stomach thing again, thank goodness, but a cold. Some of you may not know, I have asthma, I really really try not to get sick, and I do pretty good at it, maybe twice a year I’ll get a cold, hopefully only once. When I get just a cold it’s not just sneezing or coughing, runny nose, and yes I got the whole deal it goes to my lungs. I am slower, constantly searching for a tissue, this pocket used tissues, this one not. Oh, another thing, they don’t use paper towels in rest rooms, sometimes/most times no soap either. Also not in any of the kitchens I have been in. I think it’s an ecological thing. I could be wrong. Some of the W/C’s , restrooms have the pull cord, water tank above or some have a knob you pull up on the tank. Lots have the two kinds of flush buttons that I think we should all have. Very innovative. Anyway weird things I think about while walking, but enough potty talk.

So yes, I am sick, I went to a farmacia, but she didn’t want to give me anything until I saw a doctor. I sounded kinda bad, it’s asthma I said, I’m fine. Nope. Hospital open 24 hours, go! Then she gave us directions and I might have gone if I could have figured out how to get there. So doctor mom that I am, I made chicken soup last night. Got some fresh chicken parts, all the right vegetables and I cooked it all low and slow. And I feel better!!! Amazing! Love it! Anyway I am ahead of myself. This is morning let me back up to yesterday.

I usually write this blog at night after we get in, and I am usually a day behind, today I am talking about the real yesterday. Sorry if I have confused anyone. There is free WiFi in most of the albergues, but when every person in the place is on it,it takes forever to load pictures. So I sometimes get up before everyone, like today and start writing. 👍Al came up one morning and took a snap of me. Any way, gee whiz I got all distracted again.

This is where the real rambling comes into play!

So we left Frómista, another great day! This time Al was sure we were lost. There were no way marks. We were walking a little behind someone which is nice, cause then you can just follow and not worry about it. Unless they are lost also! Yes, it has happened!! Some early morning person pointed us all in the right direction.

We also left in the dark again, the albergue last night had no kitchen, just a little microwave, and this microwave was outside in a shed. So no coffee again either. That’s what you get for 9e night sometimes. The people who work/live at these albergues are mostly volunteers and are usually very nice and helpful.

The walking was beside the road the whole way. Not a lot to say about it, only went thru one town and then into the town we are in now. We had a short day 18km. The next town today is 18km more before you get to a town with an albergue. If it was under 10, I could have done it,18 more, no way. And AJ, our son caught up to us again, yippee! He was only 8 miles behind us. So ya, he has been walking a lot! Al is in contact with his brother who has been tracking our distances every day. He says we need to pick up our pace. Brian, do you know what I think? Come on I am sure you do! …Come walk with us Bri, I double dog dare you!

Anyway back to the Camino,

There is a bird nest on top of this church tower bigger then the bells.

We passed thru this tree on our walk today.

We did stop for lunch, I didn’t even feel like having a coffee, I know! Call the ambulance or something. Al had a coffee and a sandwich to go. What’s super cool about this is we stayed here 5 years ago when they were still stamping out the bricks in the back yard. First let me show you a picture,

So last time these walls and this room wasn’t here, all they had was a picture in their head and what was around them. Which was straw and mud, oh yes and rocks! He had a little pool and a hose and molds for bricks. While we were there he was adding dirt to water to make mud then adding straw and some stones. After filling the molds he let them dry a bit then knocked the new bricks out to really dry in the sun. Then onto making more bricks!

The albergue also had alternative sleeping places, a teepee, cement construction tubes, hammocks and other small outside structures.

This is a nice mural on the wall

entering Carrion De los Condes.

Anyway we are getting ready to head out and it’s starting to snow, I grabbed a quick picture.

More to follow, until then be well!

Leaving Castrojeriz walking to Fromista

Day 13

Honestly today was a good day! We walked out of town straight away was the meseta. these are looking back on the town. I can’t seem to figure out video.

We were waiting for the 1st coffee stop, none before the meseta. It wasn’t awful steep but it seemed to go on and on. In reality is was 1050m up with a 12% grade. It was a cold morning but we were sweating by the time we got to the top.

Once there the view was pretty nice.

Then we were freezing after sitting for 5 minutes. Time to put those backpacks back on. We are much better regarding the backpacks. Can carry it all day now, don’t really notice them al all. Which is a blessing.

Down was as bad as up, only it didn’t go on as long. 350m down with an 18% grade. It was cement with ball bearings thrown on top. Well that’s what it felt like. Once down the terrain was rocky again and then the scenery started to change.

We hit a town and had that coffee I was dreaming about. We decided the scenery was so nice we had lunch here as well. Karen this picture is for you!

We started seeing more crops that were not harvested, canals by the side, then we hit the big canal. The Canal de Castilla.

They had a boat on the canal giving rides, we became an item for tourists twice today. Look you can see real pilgrims walking to Santiago! Lots of Buen Camino!

Then came the lock right before town.

It was a scary walk over.

Then town and bed.

Ed what are these? We saw some again with all their leaves still on, but most are trimmed down to nothing green at all.

They are sometimes all connected by grafting. I like this one that was all alone!

More to follow, until then be well.

I

Leaving Tardajos, jumping the page to, Castrojeriz

Day 12

We left in the dark today with the moon still high in the sky.

We actually thought we were lost. The way marking is sometimes hidden or you actually pass right by it without noticing because your distracted by the scenery.

Well, I’m distracted, I’m looking forward, looking back, walking backwards, which has proved dangerous.

Look at this way mark, Al spotted it, I walked right past. When he said, We just walked past one, I was like, No Way! He was right,

We started out of town on the road and walked right to the next town on the side of the pavement. Not my favorite. We have walked over pretty much everything it seems. Once in the town we are still pretty much filled up from the breakfast at the albergue, 4, maybe 5 cups of coffee, their small, anyway we just walk through.

This fountain was in one of the town squares, if you expand it there are skulls all over it. Kinda weird I thought. Nothing there explained what it represented.

The sun is still climbing in the sky and the colors are nice. We walk around the corner heading out of town and all the buildings had Camino art.

The terrain was mixed today, with a couple of mountains thrown in for fun.

This was growing on someone’s front gate, looks like columbine but it had what looked like little green fruits. Anybody know?

towards the end of the day we came upon these ruins.

It is an old pilgrim hospital and we knew that there was an albergue here so we thought this is where we would spend the night.

Well this albergue was rustic, no hot water, which ok, I can do without. The killer was, no electricity! Umm 😐, sorry, need that.

So we ended up with a 30km day. For us, a lot. We are getting accustomed to the walking. I have heard that after 10 days, your body becomes used to the miles and the backpack. Thankfully no more pins and needles in my feet.

We marched on, 6km more, on asphalt no less!

Finally town,

More to follow, until then be well

Leaving Santo Domingo de la Calzada by bus to Burgos

Day 11

We met Ross and Theresa walking yesterday and ended up at the same Albergue. Turns out they are a military family who live in Hawaii on Oahu. It’s amazing when you cross paths with someone and then find out you have a lot of similarities in your life. Ross ended up taking the bus with us. We intended to get off the bus in Belorado, but once we stepped off we saw it went all the way to Burgos, Impulsively we jumped back on the bus. Some of you may know this, last time we walked the Camino we walked fast to complete our walk to Santiago so we could then walk on to Finisterre, 90 more km. Well we were so beat from getting to Santiago in 28 days we never made it to Finisterre. Huge disappointment! Well this time we are making it. Hence the bus. Which was fantastic! Here we were spending 5e to send just my backpack ahead a few towns and we could ride the bus for less then 2e!! What? How come we never knew that? I think it’s a Camino secret, pilgrims riding the bus, because guess what, we weren’t the only pilgrims on it!

Any way, we get to Burgos we know that the Burgos Cathedral is right next to the Camino. Last time, no time, this time we buy our tickets to go in. Yes, we had to buy tickets to go inside this cathedral.😞 You win, because we got pictures! It was ornate and beautiful! The history of each of the chapels inside would take more time then we have to retell.

The golden staircase;

I don’t know if your able to blow up and expand the pictures in this blog but everything was so ornate a picture just can’t capture it all.

The star ceiling in one of the chapels,

After the cathedral we walked city streets past the University of Burgos. Finally out of the city, The path was pretty easy going, which I love, the hardest part was leaving the city. We ended up in this little town, Tardajos. Which had the most fantastic Alburgue. The man who ran the albergue, a volunteer, spoke no english. He is one of the nicest people I have ever met. I don’t know much Spanish but we were somehow communicating and I was the person who translated for the other people there. Which were a Korean family we had met earlier that day on the trail. So it was fun. He said he would make us all breakfast the next morning before we left. He made pots of coffee and hot milk, and we all ate together. It was truly wonderful. We couldn’t all really speak to each other in sentences but we understood each other! I loved it!

More to follow, until then be well!

Leaving Nájera heading to Santo Domino de la Calzada

Day 10

We started out early today and we all kept looking back for that sunrise shot. We walked past many fields with canals running along side. Those canal pipes run for miles. We walked with a group of Spanish people who were walking as a family. I see them in the cocina, the kitchen early. Everyday they are the 1st ones up and out . I think they must take a break and have breakfast on the trail. We don’t normally run into them again till later.

We run into a town and one of Aj’s friends, José snags my camera and takes this picture of us. No judgement on our breakfast choices. Its like a chocolate croissant and it’s fantastic. We don’t have it everyday, honest. One cool thing this coffee stop has is a wine vending machine! How often do you see one of these?

Too soon we are up and walking again. Oh I should tell you, I am wearing a fit-bit, I am averaging 40,000. steps a day!

So we are walking and I thought they were plowing out all the rocks from the fields. I am thinking good idea. They had collected all these huge piles of rocks beside the path.Then we get a closer look. Some kind of vegetable? We see someone and ask, in our broken Spanish, I have no idea what she said back but it sounded like parsnip, and they do look kinda like giant parsnips, or boulders, right?!

The trail seems to go on and on somedays. You can see it like a ribbon laying across the landscape. Then the town is in sight.

Santa Domingo de la Calzada in sight! I wish I could say that’s it, we have arrived! Nope, first we wind through suburbs, then the newer sections of town. Then the old city, we always try to stay in a municipal Albuquerque. One that is run by the government or church, usually cheaper and crowded. Always clean, lights and Wi-Fi get turned off at 10pm, and at this Albuquerque, wi-fi did not turn back on in the morning. They turn the lights on at 7 and want you out by 8am. I usually get up early to work on blog, no wi-fi messes me up.

This is the Korean girl I’ve talked about before ,Jamimin . We have walked together several times and also always seem to have bunks close together. We said good bye to her last night knowing that we would take a bus in the Am and will be jumping the page. We will probably never see her again. 😞

more to follow, until then be well!

Leaving Logroño heading to Nájera

Day 9

We had such a great day yesterday that today hit us kinda by surprise. We both feel miserable. I woke with a headache and had hoped it would just go away with coffee, which works sometimes, not this time. We must have been near the last to leave the city, which seemed to take forever.

Then on the outskirts of town we hit the path, which also happened to be the towns preferred walking path. It led out of the city, around the reservoir and to a huge park and an animal reserve called Granjera.

Here we were feeling bad and older women, arm in arm out for a morning stroll were passing us! We were trying, I don’t know what it was but we were awful slow.

After breaking to eat some olives and a banana we felt somewhat better. I started out in my sneakers because of the city streets, you really don’t need hiking boots. Then I tried to wear them again once we hit the real trail but they were seriously hurting my feet. So in the vain of striving for total honesty, my feet have swollen maybe 1 size bigger, my boots don’t really fit me any more. I get such pins and needles pain that I can only managed an hour or so. Then that’s it they have to come off, each step becomes agony.

Looking back at Logroño

We had a couple of big climbs today, Alto Grajera at 520m and Alto san Antón at 620m.

We actually got Nájera early, around 2 in the afternoon. We should have kept walking. The Brierley guide, that most everyone on the Camino uses has this at the top of the page. An overnight stop, but a short day is a good place to jump the page and start on the next.

We did not jump the page.

More to follow,

Until then be well.