Category Archives: travel

Day Three – Going the wrong way!

August 8, 2018

 

Oh, my, what a beautiful view with tree silhouettes against a blanket of white.

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Our Finnish friend, Tiina, is walking with us today as we follow Google Maps while crossing the bridge near Vila do Conde. The goal is to make our way to Sao Pedro de Rates via Arcos to hook up with the central route. We see no other pilgrims or arrows so maybe this is like being true pioneers. But when the locals stop what they are doing and violently gesture and point you another way, you’d better take heed. So, back we go across the bridge we just crossed. With the help of some German Jakobsweg Camino arrows we find the correct route and proceed to tackle about 13  kilometers of hot, road walking complete with speeding cars, motorcycles and dogs barking, At least the terrain was quite level.Day 3-0637

The Caminho Central sign at Arcos is a welcome site as it means we have successfully connected with the correct route.

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The lineup begins as we try to score some beds for the night at the donativo Albergue de Pereginos in Sao Pedro de Rates. The young South Korean woman  standing in line is my inspiration today. (white shirt and hat) Smiling from ear to ear, she seems to not have a care in the  world. We do notice her clothing is not your typical hiker quick dry attire and the very small backpack is more like a child’s schoolbag. There must be a story…

Her original backpack was stolen in the Lisbon bus station! It gets even worse as all of her cash, credit card and passport were in the stolen backpack.  Thankfully, the Camino provides and a stranger loaned her some emergency money, her mother was able to send a new credit card and the embassy allowed her to receive a temporary passport to continue her trip. Valuable lesson  learned… My favorite tactic is looking homeless with a “decoy” pouch around my neck containing small bills. The real goods is buried deep where nobody wants to go.

“These days, it’s better to look poor and be safe, than look rich and be a victim.”
Anthony Liccione

Below is a short YouTube video summarizing our day #3 on the Camino Portuguese. Excuse my horrible hair. The light on our deck was so beautifully diffused this morning that I got wrapped up in filming these clips and totally forgot about my previously scheduled and desperately needed hair appointment!

 

 

 

 

Camino Portuguese Day One

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.

~Quote by Melody Beattie

August 5-6, 2018:

We walk back and forth outside the Porto airport while our jet lagged brains and Google Maps try to navigate around the airport parking lot. This proves to be our biggest challenge of the day along with finding yellow arrows. Thank you Camino Angel #1 for showing us the way!port_day1-0426.jpg
Grateful to arrive at the albergue in time for last three beds available and even more thankful that none are bunk beds.

Port_Day1-0419Belly busting Francesinha sandwich is on the menu. Francesinha means little French woman or simply frenchie in Portuguese. Usually, a francesinha is made with bread (the thicker the better), wet-cured ham, linguiça (a portuguese sausage), steak or roast beef, everything covered with melted cheese and a special tomato and beer sauce. Most times it’s served with a fried egg on top and french fries that you can dip in the sauce. It really reminds me of a beef commercial without the mashed potatoes.

Thankful for the opportunity to burn off the calories in that Francesinha sandwich tomorrow while hiking along the coast to Vila do Conde.

Keep on Walking…

I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I know it won’t be boring. 

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Image by Joyce Meyer / Topaz Edit

A pilgrim walks through the cooler air of a tunnel on a hot day along the Camino de Santiago. Impressionistic effect created using Topaz Studio.

The Sun Sets on the Alibi

March is coming to a close and with it the sun is setting on an  iconic establishment located in historic Gary, South Dakota. When Saturday,  March 31, 2018 comes to an end, Bruce and Diane Melby will turn the page of a forty-one year chapter of their lives.

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The Alibi was purchased from Jim and Karen Giesel in April of 1977 and since then Bruce and Diane Melby have dedicated their lives to providing a place for people from all walks of life to sit down, engage in lively conversation along with delicious food and beverages. For this we thank you.

It has been a landmark and meeting place for many purposes (Meet me at the Alibi!) and a safe, local hangout for young and old alike. For this we thank you.

Not only did they provide an establishment for food and drink but jobs for young people in the community, as well. These two are credited with teaching many youthful employees through the years how to deal positively with the public, work hard and still be able to laugh.  This influence has had a tremendous impact on young lives beyond  what a parent may be able to accomplish. For this we thank you.

While slaving away working incredibly long hours, they together raised five children who have grown into personable, hard-working, all-around awesome adults. I don’t know how they did it and I’m guessing they may look back and wonder the same. For this we thank you.

A loyal employee, Sarah Wynn, has been a key factor in the success of this business providing tremendous support with an amazing and diligent work ethic along with tremendous dedication to her job. For this we thank you.

The Alibi is a legend deserving of the Gary, South Dakota Wall of Fame.  I will always hear the thud of cowboy boots walking across the old wooden floor, clink of coffee cups, chatter of lively conversations along with occasional outbursts of laughter ringing in my ears. While the business may close its doors, these memories and everything they represents will live on in our hearts forever. For this we thank you.

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I leave you with this reaction from Bruce Melby when asked about retirement plans:

Looking for a business venture located in a charming historic community with great people? Opportunity awaits you in Gary, South Dakota!

 

 

 

 

Glass Blowing in Mexico

I find myself mesmerized by the process as each step is carefully, yet quickly, completed. Noticing the bare hands, I wonder how many burns occur during a typical work week. I know I would need a first aid kit within close proximity.

Living history…

Because of your smile you make life more beautiful.  ~Thich Nhat Hanh

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While dining at a restaurant near San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, this friendly gentleman (Pictured on the left in the photo) and his wife were seated at the table next to us.

Being naturally curious we ask, “Where are you from?”

Canada.”

Our Minnesota Nice reflex kicks in and we begin to chat, noticing their accents do not sound like your typical Canadian.

I can’t resist… “Have you always lived in Canada?” Thus, begins their interesting tale…

Following the Fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975, the family business was taken away by the Communists and father/son were both thrown in prison. His father spent seven years in prison… Wow.

Fortunately, his sister was able to flee in a boat eventually relocating in Canada. Years later, she sponsored  him, his wife and two daughters creating an opportunity for a new life in Canada. At age forty they found themselves starting over in a new country learning to understand its culture and language. As a welder and chef, they work extremely hard to make the best of their new lives, allowing them to not only survive, but also thrive. Infectious smiles along with a “glass half full” outlook on life touched our hearts. At age seventy they are still employed and have no desire to retire as long as health allows.

Growing up watching the Vietnam War on the nightly news sparked a fascination with this country and its culture. Being curious and reaching out makes history come alive and I walk away truly inspired.

A Pilgrim Rests

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Image by Joyce Meyer

Resting the body, mind and all things in between. Lightening the burdens carried may help, as well.