Category Archives: walking

End of this Journey… until next time.

The journey only requires you to put one foot in front of the other …again and again and again. If you can find  beauty every step of the way, you are truly blessed.

An early start to a  thirty kilometer walk today with random conversations and  historic villages along the way. I arrive at the steps reaching the bridge into Logrono catching the tourist information office gentleman at the top just as he is about ready to close. The excellent map he gives me makes my journey to tonight’s lodging a piece of cake allowing me time to pay it forward and help another young pilgrim find the municipal albergue in time for her to get a bed.

Seems like I’m just getting my trail legs and this Camino has ended. The departure process now begins with a bus, three planes, my very first Uber ride until my little red car takes me all the way back to the border of Minnesota/South Dakota.

It may be time to go home, but it’s never too early to start planning the next adventure… I am truly blessed.

 

 

 

Camino de Santiago: Virgen del Camino to Hospital Orbigo

September 23, 2016: Two options today ~ follow the highway path or take the longer alternate path. We naturally opt for the longer route since we rarely seem to do anything the easy way.camino-1030256

Short video of the day featuring the inspiration for our morning mantra ~ …Coffee Town:

camino-1030313As usual, we follow an arrow to proceed straight ahead. What’s this?  A set of large railroad tracks loom ahead and we are hesitant to cross since neither of us like to break rules. Hmmm…? Turn around and back we go to find this little arrow pointing to a road that winds us through town, up and over a pedestrian railroad crossing. Safety first and it’s a good thing we like to walk.

Image from Galicia Guide
Image from Galicia Guide

The 13th century bridge taking us into Hospital Orbigo is the longest one on the Camino at 204 metres long (approximately 670 feet) and has 20 arches. The river that it crosses doesn’t seem to appear to warrant such a lengthy bridge, but prior to a dam being built at Barrios de Luna the river was a lot wider. ~Galicia Guide

This bridge has facilitated trade since Roman times including the passage of livestock as part of the cattle trail Camino de la Canada, as well as sweaty pilgrims. ~John Brierly

I see our albergue! A  sign can be spotted from the bridge so we have finally arrived. The albergue tonight is connected to a bar/restaurant which means we have a zero kilometer walk tonight. Yes!

Top three photo picks of the day:

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Camino Day 13: Burgos to Hornillos

9-14-2016:  It’s a dreary Tuesday and we bid farewell to Randy who is taking a bus from Burgos to Madrid to catch his flight home.

camino-1020484We trudge through parque El Parral which, we decided, was the park in the film, The Way.

burgos-to-hontanas-elevation-map

As you can see by the map, it isn’t totally flat terrain, yet. We are expecting much flatter terrain, but find the ups and downs to be just fine.

camino-1020503 This man reminds us of Randy as he is so proud of the hair brush he found along the way. Joan is not jealous as she already has a nice comb.

No reservations, but we have our minds set on Albergue Hornillos so we hustle along and get in line for a bed. Joan and I are lucky and snatch the 2nd and 3rd to the last beds while Alabama John (Young man with the cowboy style hat on the video) gets the very last bed. Bonus is a grocery store nearby and little old church to tour next door.The Camino did provide!

camino-1020558Our beds are near this kitchen where we drink our wine, cook supper  and visit with the other pilgrims.  These experiences are some of my favorites of the camino – listening to other perspectives and journeys in life.

unnamed Joan is in a tiny room with another lady next to this  dorm room and I enjoy this view from a top bunk near them. Nice and cozy. I listen to the conversations in the kitchen from my bed and soon I am lulled to sleep. Buenas Noches!

Top three photo picks of the day:camino-1020547e camino-1020539e2 camino-1020531dmv

 

Camino Day 10: Belorado to Ages

September 10, 2016:  Belorado to Ages ~ 28 kilometersbelorado-to-san-juan-de-ortega-elevation-mapOver-achievers today as we go a few kilometers past the elevation map above.

We find beds in the Ages Municipal Albergue and wander the streets exploring the village.camino-1020241eWhile exploring Ages we stumble upon a small museum of miniatures that Marcial Palacios creates of regional sites, as well as historical methods of labor in the village and on the farm.camino-1020239e The passion that Marcial puts into his works and animated explanation of each miniature  is  interesting as I try to comprehend with my limited Spanish skills along with gestures. Best salesman ever as we purchase a small, lightweight toy.camino-1020229eJunk sculptures line stone fences and fill the yards of this unique street in Ages. I couldn’t find info about these displays so your guess is as good as mine.camino-1020253eShout out and buen camino to Jim and MaryAnne Leas of leascomadventures.com.

Top three photo picks of the day:

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Camino Day 7: Logrono to Najera

September 7, 2016:  Scroll down for a short video of the day.115467

We stock up on water and food because for the next few hours of the journey we will not have much for shops until the town of Navarrete 13 km away.  camino-1010948eThis will be a thirty kilometer day, so we get an early start to beat some of the heat.camino-1010965eRandy finds a little store in Navarette with everything under the sun crammed inside and he needs a bandana to protect his ears and neck from the scorching sun. Hanging around the counter, he takes forever to make a decision… could it be the posters below the counter that distract him? (Click on the image for a larger viewing window.)
camino-1010969ePlump grapes are plentiful and tempting as we pass through numerous vineyards and hear recordings of birds in distress and canon explosions to keep  birds away from the ripened fruit. We have seen many small tractors with spray tanks behind heading out to the vineyards. No wonder there are no flies or bugs of any kind on the grapes. It’s not very healthy to be eating unwashed grapes that have been in contact with a pesticide besides the fact that it would be stealing. Enough said.camino-1010988eInteresting “bee hive” hut along the trail would provide shelter, if necessary. It appears to be of modern construction and quite messy inside from garbage left by people. The mom in me wants to lecture… Pick up after yourselves!camino-1020002eRandy and Joan are strategizing in the cute little Vino y Camino apartment that Joan found in Najera.  We are in heaven with kitchen facilities, washer/dryer provided, our own bathroom/shower and they even provided us with a bottle of delicious red wine. (Hence, the name.) All in all a good value.

Top three photo picks of the day:

camino-1010958ecr camino-1010974e camino-1010990eA-a-h-h! Buen Camino!

Camino Day 6: Torres del Rio to Logrono

September 6, 2016:  Scroll down for a short video with some Creedence Clearwater Revival plus proof that Joan can still stop traffic!

etapa-07-camino-frances

As you can see by the elevation map, we start the day with a hill work-out while the rest of the day appears to level out a little. However, the heat continues to sap our energy as we plod down the path.
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We meet a friendly, interesting young man named Julio from California  sitting by the side of the road switching out socks due to blisters. Conversations flow throughout the day about observations and plans while on the Camino, as well as life, taking our minds off the heat. We often wonder about the rest of his journey to Santiago as we lose track due to a different pace as we do with many people we meet. A good lesson learned:   Live in the moment and make the best of it while you can.

We also meet a new friend, Julius, today and have been in touch with this talented photographer/animation artist from Poland living in Dublin. It was great to talk about photography with someone who understands me.
camino-1010918ecrGraffiti in the tunnels plus the shade provide a little respite from the heat.

20160906_083733rWe find beds tonight in the Apostol Hostel in Logrono with a familiar scene on the wall of our room. I don’t think this means I can cross the Statue of Liberty off of my Bucket List.

Top three photo picks of the day:camino-1010878ecamino-1010915ecamino-1010929e

Day 3 Camino de Santiago: Uterga to Estella

September 3, 2016:

We leave at the crack of dawn to beat the heat today and find the path surrounded by tall plants that look and smell like dill. 
As we proceed down our path we hear the hum of paragliders as they entertain us with dips and swerves making the moment seem surreal. (Included in the video at the bottom of this post.)hennings-1010613eDelicious wild black raspberries are a treat along the trail.

hennings-1010652eThe Romanesque 11th century bridge at Puenta la Reina (The Queen’s Bridge) owes its foundation to Queen Doña Mayor who had the bridge built over the river Arga.hennings-1010699eThis old Roman road is said to be the most important stretch of Roman road left on the French Way. My mind wanders imagining centuries of use and here I am in this moment, right here, right now. Mind boggling…
hennings-1010668eWe take a lunch break next to a water fountain and enjoy the entertaining company of a group from Italy as we communicate using charades and the English skills of the young woman on the right. Why are Italians always so much fun? I may need to go to Italy some day to discover this phenomenon.hennings-1010707e2The final leg of the day proves to be challenging as the high temps and lack of shade takes its toll. Our survival strategy is shade hopping as we slog our way under the hot sun and take short breaks under the shade of the occasional small tree.

 Aa-a-a-r-r-r-g-g-g-h-h-h… So hot!

We are too slow today and there are no beds for us in Lorca, but an outgoing character from Amsterdam is at the bar highly recommending Oceana Youth Hostel in Estella.  Better pick up the pace so we can find nice cozy beds. At this point, cozy isn’t even necessary… just a bed will do.

Top three photo picks of the day:

utergawebhennings-1010630e2hennings-1010620e