Category Archives: Christianity

Camino Portuguese Day 14 ~ Santiago, here we come…

Sunday, August 19, 2018 | Albergue Cruces Inn to Santiago de Compostela, Spain | 21 K

Reservations have been made at Seminario Menor (school, seminary and pilgrim hostel) in Santiago so we allow ourselves time to enjoy breakfast and plan for a leisurely walking day with no worry of racing to score beds. Really? Truth is, we are pretty excited to arrive in Santiago so it seems we keep a steady pace throughout the day.

We enjoy random encounters with friends made along the trail along with interesting conversations with new friends on this final hiking day. This is accompanied with a twinge of sadness knowing, most likely, we will never see them again. But, alas, this is the Camino. We experience a little piece of life together and move on. My hope is that they think of us as honest, decent, and kind human beings.

Thank you to all who took the time and energy to smile, laugh, converse and share experiences as we walked the same pilgrim path for this short while. Truly, the best thing about the Camino is the Camino.

Camino Portuguese Day 13: Night Hiking, Mausoleums and the “Squid.”

Saturday, August 18, 2018: Caldas de Reiss to Cruces Inn, Escravitude, Spain|26 K

We bid farewell to the Lotus Palace (Does the name sound like it should be located in Asia?) at 5:25 a.m. hoping to put in a longer day thus reducing the distance tomorrow as we enter Santiago de Compostela. The past few days have been alongside the freeway N-550 so it is assuring to know we are not lost if we occasionally hear the busy traffic.

It’s always fun to visit with young people as we walk and Randy enjoys learning and sharing special handshakes, such as “The Squid,” with some of the young men we meet. Laughter is also shared along with the handshake.

We cross the bridge and enter the city of Padron which is the legendary starting point of St. James’ ministry in Spain and also the subsequent return of his mortal remains following his martyrdom in Jerusalem. We spend some time exploring the church and find it well worth the stop.

Challenge of the day is finding our destination of Cruces Inn (a new albergue) located past Padron and Escravitude, but asking directions and the prominent signs posted here and there lead us right to the door.

We locate the friendly owner in his office, check in to our lower bunks and explore the grounds. Cute, clean albergue rooms with storage units, bathroom/showers in two locations and a storage shed used for pilgrim overflow. Apparently, no kitchen so delicious food is ordered and delivered from town, while beer and wine is always on hand. Highly recommend Albergue Cruces Inn. Plus, we are promised coffee and breakfast in the morning ~ double hooray!!

These days of hiking have flown by… Santiago tomorrow!!

Camino Portuguese Day 6 ~ Celebrate!

Saturday, August 11, 2018: Casa Fernanda to Ponte de lima. We sadly bid farewell to our new friends at Casa Fernanda and embark on a short, but hot 12 kilometer day. It’s as though the hills are singing to us as we walk from one festival to another.

Below is a short video of Day 6:

 

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A line of RV’s from all around Europe are parked along the river take on the duties of “Welcome Wagon” as we enter Ponte de Lima, so it took a while to visit with the gang. It’s hot and  we have been told the Municipal Albergue de Pereginos doesn’t open its doors until 5 p.m.  All the time in the world, right?

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Wrong… Randy makes the trip across the bridge (While Joan and I have a cold beverage) to check out the bed situation and discovers  Albergue de Peregrino opens at 4 p.m. and he is encouraged by camino friends to get our bags in line ASAP! We quickly get all of our bags across the bridge and get in line for beds. When the doors do open we stand in a long, slow line for well over an hour, but it’s worth it as we do get beds.

All low beds and we have a beautiful view… A-a-a-ah-h-h-h.

 

 

 

Looking Back…

When I first started hiking a number of years ago, a fellow hiker gave me some important advice, “Don’t forget to look back.”  When I see a memorable view I capture it with a camera so that I can revisit this moment in time. If the view is mediocre I turn back and resume hiking along my merry way with camera packed. As a photographer I have found this advice helpful, but even more I find it applies to life.

We all know life isn’t always pretty and we may stumble and step in crap from time to time. Learn, move on, without dwelling on these unfortunate moments. Likewise, there may be some unattractive elements in an image, but look beyond and see the beauty…

Looking back on Hospital de Orbigo, Spain. Image by Joyce Meyer

 

Camino de Santiago: Boadilla to Carrion de los Condes

September 16, 2016:  The way is dark as we slip out of the village of Boadilla. The Camino follows a path along a dike that separates the Canal de Castilla from farmland on the left. Constructed between the last half of the 18th century and the first half of the 19th century, it runs 207 km and parts of it are still used for irrigation. ~Wikipedia

elevation-fromista-to-carrion-de-los-condesThe last stretch of this approximately 25 K day is quite easy and level but seems to take forever. That is, until we start walking with an Australian named Blair (Taught in Spain and Ireland.) and the conversation takes my mind off of the distance. Thank you, Blair!camino-1020819We meet our goal of arriving in Carrion de los Condes in time to get beds at the former convent called Albergue Espiritu Santo run by Spanish nuns. Just make sure you use this front door and don’t try to enter, for the first time, through the back courtyard.camino-1020820Nice clean rooms, clean bathrooms/showers and no bunk beds.

camino-1020847The nuns inform us of a free concert tonight in a nearby church which sounds quite interesting. After running into our Irish friend Sinead in the courtyard, the three of us decide to pursue this opportunity together. The featured musician, James Kline, designed a fascinating instrument that has 2 necks, 11 strings on one and a lute and dulcimer on the other.  Enjoyable, relaxing music.

Top three photo picks of the day:

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The adventure begins…

September 1, 2016: Unfinished business awaits us as we begin our 2016 Camino de Santiago trek across northern Spain. We previously completed Astorga to Santiago and St. Jean Pied de Port, France to Zubiri, Spain, so it appears we have a little over 300 miles remaining. Click on the short “kick off” video as we begin our journey…

We stumble upon the Parish Church of Santa Lucia which has lived through the invasion of the Moors, the Spanish Inquisition, Napoleon’s crossing of the Pyrenees, two world wars and the Spanish Civil War.

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It is rumored to be a Templar church and symbols contained in and around the building seem to confirm this. Few records exist so piecing the building’s story together is quite a challenge ~the abbey.es

The intent was to stay in Arre tonight but we seemed to have bypassed the path through that particular town and, before you know it, we’ve gone 22 kilometers (13.6 miles) and find ourselves in downtown Pamplona. Oh, well… plan B will be just fine and we have a head start on our hike tomorrow. We settle into our little room above a small bar and rest our weary bones.

Below are today’s top three photo picks:

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Miracle…

Brintnall-9981bw3For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

-Psalm 139:13-14