Good news from The Camino

Sept. 6, 2013:  This photo was taken at the “Wine Fountain” at Irache.  It was once a monastic winery, now run by the government for the tourists, but still a lot of fun.  Having an absolutely terrific time here.  Image

Until last night I’ve stayed in public or parish-run alburgues or refugios every evening.  But last night a friend traveling in Spain met me in Los Arcos, drove me in the rental car to Logroño where I got a private room & bath in a real hotel!  After breakfast we drove to Navarette where I started walking again. Yesterday I walked from Estella to Los Arcos, about 22 km. & my longest day so far.

On My Way to Sahagún

These are some of the people I met or walked with on my way to Sahagún (the half-way point on the Camino) today (Sept. 17, 2013).  The young man on the left is from Israel, the woman in the middle is from Canada (Toronto, ON) and the woman on the right (with the dog) is from Germany. Actually, this is pretty typical of the Camino: very international!

er  per day!Image

Dinner at the Cathedral

Well, dinner was not exactly “at” the cathedral, but within view. Also, we were treated to a 20 minute carillon (I think that’s the term) some of which I tried to record (with less than stellar quality.) Later I was told that the bells were part of the evening’s organ concert.  The same organ that I heard being “tuned” this morning when I toured the Cathedral.  Did I mention the beautiful, full moonrise tonight over the cathedral too?

Full Disclosure

From Sept. 27, 2013

Almost 3 weeks ago my friend & walking buddy, Colleen, decided to go home after about 2 weeks on the Camino.  Although we trained together for the Camino for 3 months, our walking styles remained pretty different. On the Camino our coping with the challenges also proved different.  More importantly, Colleen returned home early to have some needed surgery and reports from her are good.  I will try to copy some of her latest updates (if WordPress will let me copy & paste!)

After Colleen left Spain, I decided to contact the Camino booking agency: that I’d wanted to use all along. That proved to be a good move.  All the places they’ve booked for me are very nice.  NO more alburges or refugios  for Maureen.  I would have preferred to have a room mate and I’ve not enjoyed eating alone when I couldn’t avoid it.  That said, the privacy has been a welcome relief from the chaos of the youth-hostel-like accommodations we stayed in for the first two weeks on the Camino.  Even more significantly, I’ve used the backpack transport service (Jaco-Trans) that is included in my package and so I’ve had considerably less trouble covering the 20-30 km/day between accommodations.  I’m making better time and getting better quality rest at night.

Early Sept. 2013 on the Camino

From Sept. 4, 2013:

I am in Estella tonight.  Getting the hang of this Camino schedule.  Up pretty early (5-6 AM) & walking no later than 7AM.  Eating breakfast at the alburgue where I sleep, or walking to an open coffee shop for a cafe con leche & a bocadilla (sandwich) or quiche-like thing w/potatoes ( yum!) the pastries are terrific too.

Then I call Colleen & we fill each other in on details. She is about a day ahead of me.  Then I walk until lunch, have a rest & then keep walking until about 3-4 pm.
I check into where ever I’m staying (not been turned away anywhere yet) & have a shower & wash the clothes (by hand) that I’ve just walked in. They dry quickly here on clothes lines or racks.  If not (like when I get to a place too late for 2-3 hrs. of sun) I pin the damp things to the outside of my backpack.

Today was pretty typical & I got to Estella by4pm.

I’ve already mailed home my duffel bag & thinking of mailing my  sleeping bag too.  Need to check on the weather west of where I am now.

Having an absolutely great time.  Blood sugar is fine, feet are GREAT!  That helps a lot.

Contest Winners!

For those of you who are interested, the photo I posted on Sept. 29, is of the inside tub of a washing machine.  It’s the part that spins and the water runs out of those little holes.  Now, that’s my best guess, since I did NOT stop and knock on the door of the house where it was so charmingly displayed, with cactus and other plants, we’ll just have to go with that.

The “winners” of my contest were Lysa (my librarian) in Livonia, NY and John (my cousin-in-law) of Hurdle Mills, NC.  “Honorable Mention” goes to my neighbor Elaine of Conesus, NY who thought it was part of a grape crusher.  I will be dropping off (or mailing) your prizes as soon as I get caught up with my correspondence, Ha!  Never fear, something will turn up.

All’s Well That Ends Well

All's Well That Ends Well

I can’t remember exactly where I saw this, somewhere in Galicia, but I thought then that it would be a fitting end piece for my Camino blog. I’m home now, already immersed in my life & family matters, thanks be to God! I will be organizing more photos of the Camino & providing additional explanations as needed. Hope you enjoyed what was here. I am still “processing” my experience & maybe that will continue for a while. Amen!

Port of Finisterra

Port of Finisterra

Beautiful, calm day here. The lady working at my hotel is from a “fishing” family & says the fleet here is small, less than 50 boats. Nevertheless, that work is dangerous. Over a coffee she tearfully told me (in Spanish) how two of her brothers were lost last winter when their boat went down in the Atlantic. Tourists have little sense of the real life in these tiny Camino towns!