Category Archives: hiking

2020. It is what it is.

2020 life and travel plans may have changed, but that doesn’t mean life stops – it merely adjusts itself.

What a great opportunity to supervise the grandkids’ remote learning program:

Excitement filled the air as we stealth traveled to the mountains of Colorado. Cooler with food and wine-check, hand sanitizer-check, rubber gloves-check, multiple face masks-check, GoPro camera that I need to learn to use-check. A few days in Colorado provided wonderful adventures:

I had fun dressing up for Trunk & Treat in our local community. The kids seemed excited to catch candy from the chute and spooky music added to the fun!
Randy spent many hours working on converting this granary to a pottery studio.
Our pandemic chickens have added personality to the yard. (Along with a few other “treats.”

Another goal has been learning to use GoPro features like time-lapse:

…and time-warp. I am quite awkward in my attempts and have a lot to learn:

Here’s to looking back at 2020 knowing we played it as well as we could.

Game on 2021…

2020: Just Happy to be Here!

Greetings to our family and friends all around the globe. Looking forward to adventures, travels and exploring the world again. Someday…

Hope Around the Globe

This young Korean man was photographed walking the Camino de Santiago for world peace.

This will forever be one of my favorite images as I continue to have hope for future generations.

Walking for Fun

Whatever life may send your way – make the best of it. Don’t waste your time and energy worrying about it. Instead, find a way to do something about it. ~Les Brown

Here I am at St. Jean Pied de Port, near the border of France and Spain, ready to hike the Camino Frances across northern Spain! Too bad Spain is going into another lock down and won’t let me in with my USA passport. Darn Covid! Disappointing, to say the least, but all is not lost. I can virtually walk the Camino Frances thanks to the website walking4fun.com. Sign up, log your steps and trace your progress on one of 26 trails spanning 12,488 miles! Explore your trek through maps, photos and videos. Before you know it, you’ll have walked hundreds of miles and still be itching to get in a few more to see that view around the next bend in the trail! Signing up is easy and free!

Here is my route and current location. Looks like I’d better hop on the treadmill or get outside if I ever want to complete the trail!

I wonder if virtual blisters are a thing?

One last look…


  • Hike Caminho Portuguese ~ check
  • Stay at Casa Fernanda ~ check
  • Douro Valley ~ check
  • Porto, Portugal ~ check
  • Port wine tasting ~ check
  • Eat sardines and bacalao ~ check
  • Experience albergue life ~ check
  • Meet wonderful people ~ check
  • Eat a Francesinha sandwich ~ check
  • Not get fined on the metro line ~ check
  • Arrive home safely ~ check

Another notch in our belts.

Got a Minute?

“Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time Stephen Wright

Joan, Randy & Joyce ~ Porto, Portugal to Santiago, Spain

Caminho Portuguese: Bonus Round #3

Any Portuguese town looks like a bride’s finery – something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.  – Mary McCarthy

August 23-24, 2019

Using old school maps we walk along the metro line in Matosinhos until we need to go away from it to find our hostel for the next two nights. (Actually, Randy and Joan read maps and I just follow.) We manage to wind around neighborhoods, a large hospital, and cross crazy traffic until Randy spies a tiny sign in front of the building – Oportocean Hostel.

A metro line stop is practically in our back yard, so off we go to the old section of Porto, to take advantage of a free Porto Walking Tour advertised. Look for the orange umbrella for a tour in English. The tour guide is fabulous, taking us all around the old city centre, along the Douro River, while pointing out interesting landmarks and sharing a tremendous amount of history for two full hours. This young lady will do very well in life and we make sure to tip her accordingly.

Shame on people that ditch a tour when it is almost over to avoid tipping. Rant over.

Caminho Portuguese: Bonus Round Day #2

Don’t count the days, make the days count. ~Muhamed Ali

Wednesday, August 22, 2018: 12+ kilometers

Short YouTube video of Bonus Round Day #2:

We exit Oporto Brothers Hostel in Porto, Portugal to make our way along the tile covered sidewalks along with a throng of tourists and locals.

Don’t be fooled by Google Map’s estimated time for walking. It’s not an easy task to navigate the narrow streets, alleys and steep steps to reach the River Minho. Let’s just say we like to make things more of an adventure.

First stop is to locate Sao Bento Railway Station (for later reference) and we find it to be an amazing sight to behold. Large azulejo “paintings” representing historical events in Portuguese history line the walls. There are approximately 20,000 azulejo tiles, dating from 1905–1916, composed by Jorge Colaço, an important painter of azulejo of the time.

We continue up the hill to the Porto Cathedral which seems to have been a work in progress for some time as it displays three major historical styles: Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque.

Image from Visit Portugal. No copyright infringement intended.

Construction began in the 12th Century and continued to be a work in progress into the 18th Century which explains the different architectural styles. It is the largest place of worship in Porto and one of the oldest historical monuments.

Now its time to follow the yellow arrows through the maze of narrow streets and find our way to the Minho River.

Fishtail Hostel, our home for the night just a few blocks from the beach.

Caminho Portuguese: The Bonus Round #1~Back to Portugal

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

We bid farewell to Albergue Seminario Menor, Santiago, Spain and hike to the bus station to catch a bus back to Porto, Portugual. It’s kind of interesting to speed past towns and the path that took us fourteen days to walk.

Upon arrival in Porto we fire up Google Maps and proceed to locate Oporto Brothers Hostel. Intersections do pose to be a challenge when there are at least six or eight streets fanning out from the center, but with the help of locals, police and Google Maps we find our way to the correct neighborhood. Things begin to appear more run-down in this section of town… don’t think I’d want to wander too far in the dark around here. Google Maps says we have arrived, but we see nothing as to signage for our hostel. What to do? Start knocking on doors, I guess, until someone helps us. Yep, that works… we find the hostel name on a tiny hand written slip of paper taped to the doorbell.

Great accommodations at Oporto Brothers Hostel and serve our purposes well.

Tomorrow we’ll put one foot in front of the other and walk to the Porto cathedral to start our coastal section of Camino Portuguese. This may be a backwards approach to the camino, but it works for us. Make your own path, hike your own hike.

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.