Dia Doce – Palas de Rei a Arzua – 091113 – I Can Fly

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This morning I had so much energy I told Angelica and Mark “I feel like I can fly”.

The weather was cool and windy with sunshine almost all day. The clouds are gone and it’s a new day. We seem to have experienced all kinds of weather in the last 15 days. Heat, rain, and now the wind. But it was the kind of wind that makes the beautiful sounds through the trees and there were lots of trees. It was an enjoyable day, no music required as the trees provided the songs.

20130911-173850.jpgI saw the cutest little lady walking today and so slowly. As I passed her and noticed she was much older than my Mom I had to turn around and took her picture. She looks to be about 85 right? I waited for her to catch up and asked her how long she had been walking. She said two weeks. She is from Sussex, England and very soft spoken. I wanted to ask her how old she was but I didn’t. So cute.

20130911-174454.jpg FUN FACT: I have been seeing these little houses on the Camino for quite a while. Can you guess what they are used for? They are up on a stand outside of the house with a little ledge all around.
If you guessed to store corn you would be right. They store the corn in here so that rats can’t get to them. I finally asked a guy who happened to be from Portugal.

20130911-175303.jpgThis one above is used for mail and bread delivery. Cute idea.

20130911-175754.jpgAngelica, Mark and I sharing lunch. Which brings me back to flying. I was feeling so energized today, I kept up with them for a good part of the day. I was still the last one in but not by much. We ended walking 18 miles in about 7 hours. We were only scheduled for 16 miles, but the rooms were better in Arzua.

20130911-154013.jpgA cute little house outside of Arzua.

20130911-181353.jpgEarly this morning leaving with the crowds and a quick pic by a really cool bridge.

Dia Once – Portomarin a Palas de Rei 091013

The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise man grows it under his feet.

Today found us walking in the clouds all day. The sun did not come out until we reached Palas de Rei.20130910-155301.jpgRemember I told you we talked to two different people who fell out of bunk beds. Well, we ran into the second one yesterday and today. The Hungarian has rigged his cart so he no longer has to pull it by hand. This guy turned his negative into a positive. He has removed his cast and is walking on.

It was pretty dark this am when we started into the woods. Thank goodness Mark was with us as we sent him ahead to check for giant Ants…. 20130910-160658.jpgYou can see from the picture above I am not kidding.:-)20130910-162030.jpgI walked most of today alone, which I don’t mind at all. I ran into the Deaners in a few towns along the trail for breaks.

I must be finding clarity as I was able to enjoy some of my favorite music without thoughts bouncing around in my head. 15.4 miles was completed in 6 hours.

One of my favorite pictures of the day.

20130910-162446.jpgI finally win a game of rummy.

Nilda found us a brand new Alburgue complete with a washer and dryer. I have clean and nice smelling clothes for 8 euros. I had been hand washing and line drying. Not even the same thing.

Three days left and 42 miles. We will walk 16 miles tomorrow .

Dia Diez – Sarria a Portomarin 090913 – Forgiveness

20130909-204530.jpgThis is the view as we depart from Sarria.

I met up with Mark and Angelica at 7:30 am as we were separated yesterday afternoon.

Nilda went off to find the bus station as she was going to rest her leg. Let me just say that she has made the best of the situation and she is in good spirits under the circumstances with her leg. She is in quite a bit of pain, however she is still participating in the afternoon and evening activities. I love her spirit and heart.

20130909-205347.jpgA couple of days ago I met Barbara from England. I ran into her again while she was having a breakfast break with the Deaners this am. She is 69 years old, traveling alone without a cell phone. Brave women and funny too. I walked with her this morning for about an hour and a half. We saw her at the end of the day and she had dinner with us, and then her and I went to mass at 8 pm.

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After I left Barbara I walked alone for a long while. It’s funny the things that come to you when you are walking alone amongst other Pilgrims. I am usually eavesdropping on other conversations but I haven’t done that here. Interesting. 🙂
Anyway I started thinking about some things I could’ve done differently. I wasn’t walking with God at the time. Hence I made some mistakes. I thought about them and asked for His forgiveness and I suddenly felt lighter. I hadn’t planned on letting those things go while I was here, but I have. You can’t imagine all the little confirmations I have been getting while I am here. If you are open to it you will get those special jewels from Him. He forgives all, all you have to do is ask.

20130909-212105.jpgThe church where I went to mass tonight. Very simple.

20130909-212519.jpgI reached Portomarin in 5 and 1/2 hrs after 14 miles.

Four days of walking left and 57.7 miles. I can’t believe it’s coming to an end. This has been a overwhelming and life changing experience for me.
I miss you all. You are in my thoughts and prayers all the time.

Dia Nueve – Triacastela a Sarria 090813 – The Lord’s Day

20130908-145751.jpgAfter a light breakfast of toast, OJ and tea we head out for our 11.6 mile hike.

20130908-150715.jpgNilda will join us today as she took yesterday off to give her leg a rest. Off in the distance you can see a young man from Germany who has passed us walking at a quick pace. He decided to try some Turkish Coffee this am from a man from Israel who is making his own coffee every morning. The German kid said he felt like he drank 6 espressos. He made it to town way before us. Haha.

20130908-151346.jpgIt’s Sunday and I don’t realize it at first. I am walking alone and I decide to listen to my Christian Worship music. First time I have listened to music on the Camino. Coincidence, I don’t think so. Since I don’t know if I’ll make it to mass today, I decide it’s the perfect way to spend the entire morning. Walking with God and Gary.

20130908-152354.jpgMore awesome views. Anything look out of place in this set of pictures?

Nilda and I made it to town in 4.5 hrs. Pretty good time as I have decided to slow down a bit. I just can’t keep the pace with the Deaners. 😉

By the time we got to town all the good rooms seemed to be taken. A nice girl at one of the hotels called a Pension about 4 Kilometers outside of town and off the beaten path. We were picked up by a couple of young girls in there personal vehicle and taken to our habitaciones for the night. They will drive us back to the Camino in the am. Living on the wild side again. 😉 So many nice people helping the pilgrims.

Off to wash clothes and relax.

20130908-153736.jpgBy the way if anyone is keeping score. Mark won the first game, Angelica the second and the third game is on hold until we meet up again. Angelica and Mark found a room in downtown Sarria.

Dia Ocho – O’Cebreiro a Triacastela – Misty Day

20130907-144716.jpgThe day is cold and misty. Much different than a week ago. We are in the mountains for now, but the day has us headed down again. There is a chance of rain and the clouds hang out for most of the day.

20130907-152410.jpgThe animals caught my eye today, they reminded me of a good friend.

Other than the beauty with the mist mixed in, this was not my favorite day. Lots of cows walked the trails we walked so the scenery and smells reflected that. If you get my drift….

I arrived to Triacastela after 13+ miles and 5.5 hours. Angelica and Mark probably a half hour a head of me as I take longer on the downhill. Those extra 4 miles left my legs a bit tired and achy and with a huge appetite. My lunch was healthy except for the fries. They serve fries with almost every meal. The tomatoes tasted homegrown. The chicken was very juicy, tender and fresh.

20130907-152526.jpg No rain, I am so glad as it’s still cold.

20130907-154730.jpg Cool statue on the trail.

Dia Siete – La Portela de Valcarce a O’Cebreiro 090613 Up, Up and Up

20130906-153336.jpgAnother cool day, another short day. We completed about 9 miles in a little over 4 hours. The views spectacular. We entered Galacia today. It’s so green and lush with lots of vegetation. This region shares many historical and physical similarities with other Celtic regions particularly the west of Ireland.

Pulpo/Octopus is very popular here. I personally do not plan on tasting it.

20130906-154110.jpgHorses were definitely calling me today. By the time we reached the stable they seemed to be gone. Probably a good thing I was super tempted. I did see these two while hiking today.

20130906-154541.jpg A few more photos.

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Dia Seis Part 2- VillaFranca a La Portela 090513 Let’s Take A Break

I know I keep saying today was the best day. But each day gets better. This afternoon was spent playing cards after lunch and before dinner. Some took naps while others relaxed.

20130905-205254.jpgAs you can see I am embracing no makeup and the lack of a flat iron and blow dryer. My updo for the duration.

20130905-205525.jpgThe Alburgue we are staying in had a nice private room for 35 euros and a nice restaurant with a nice 3 course meal for 10 euros. Eating like kings again. After we need to keep eating the calories we are burning. Right?

Don’t we looked relaxed and ready for another day of hiking? Tomorrow brings another 9 mile day with lots of elevation.

Dia Seis Part 1- VillaFranca a La Portela 090513 – Morning Has Broken

20130905-163208.jpgUp at 6 am, meet at 7 for a quick breakfast and on the road by 7:30. We decided to take it easy today and tomorrow as the last two days have been brutal with the heat. The morning was cool and the town looked beautiful.

20130905-160628.jpg Today would be a 9 mile day which would take us 4 hours. We knew it was an uphill climb out of the city but didn’t expect it to be quite so steep. I had sweat dripping from my forehead in less than half an hour and I had a head band on. I added my bandana and continued the climb. Our training in the mountains of Wrightwood helped us today.

20130905-161155.jpgNilda, with a day off yesterday and was sowing her oats and passed up all three of us this am. She reminded me she was not carrying her big pack.

20130905-161429.jpgThere was 40% chance of rain forecast for today. I thought great, a break from the heat. About 2 hours into the hike it starts to sprinkle big drops. I am wearing a sleeveless shirt and the cool rain feels great. I stop to cover my back pack, which by the way has been a great purchase. It has been so easy to carry, lots of pockets and a built in rain cover. By now it’s raining pretty good. I put on my hat and we keep walking. I wish I had photos but we had to put our phone/cameras away to avoid getting them wet. Now as I walk in the rain, I am thinking I am soaked, so….. I don’t have to take a shower, wash my hair or clothes. Haha. It was a great day. The best yet and it’s only 11 am. We have the rest of the day off to relax.

NOTE: We have walked 91 miles to date.

Shout Out To Nilda

I just wanted to say how proud I am of Nilda. Yesterday’s hike as I mentioned was pretty difficult and through a mountain range. We went up, up and up and then down again through some pretty tough terrain and she did it all alone. Even though she missed the special rock pile for intentions she persevered and dug deep to finish that hike. She was amazing.

It’s nice to be sharing this journey, even though we are walking our own Camino.

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Dia Cinco – Molinaseca a VillaFranca del Bierzo 090413

Have the day you have …. Comes to mind today.
We started early today as we had a long day ahead of us. The plan was to drop off Nilda in Ponferrada, have breakfast with her and then continue walking without Nilda as she planned a day off. Mark, Angelica and I got ahead of her and headed in another direction. Yes we were lost with me in the lead.
I finally stopped this old guy and found out we were a few miles off course. Mark and Angelica kept on while I decided to turn back and get back on course. Another nice man also named Joaquin offered to get me back on track. I accepted a ride from him to the Templar Castle which was near the route I should have been on. We missed breakfast with Nilda.

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Joaquin, My Knight in Shining Armor – above
The backside of the Templar Castle – below

20130904-214530.jpg The front of the Templar Castle

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So here I go alone to VillaFranca. I had been thinking it might be nice to do this alone today. He heard me and obliged. Definitely a lot more work alone. You really have to pay attention to the way markers. I asked for help when I was unsure. I walked with conscious unconfidence or is it unconscious confidence. I acted like I knew where I was going, taking pictures along the way. Lots of cities, churches, beautiful homes and grapevines.

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After about two hours I decided to take a break. I look up and who should I see but Mark and Angelica. Reunited. If you are familiar with the Camino you know this is not an unusual occurrence. We continued on our way and made it to VillaFranca after 8.5 hours and about 20+ miles. Another grueling and hot day. Before we got into town there was a vending machine in front of someone’s home loaded with soda and BEER. No id’s were checked.

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After Nilda and I finally reunite I am treated to a beautiful room Nilda carefully picked out for us, including air conditioning. It’s so nice she is tempted to stay another night.

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Another great day on the Camino. I can only say that after a nice meal, a shower, some rest and two desserts.

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