Tag Archives: hiking

Camino de Santiago: Carrion de los Condes to Ledigos

September 17, 2016:  Pretty level day as we plod along enjoying the company of Alabama John (Hence, the video song choice) and Blair today. Poor Blair’s blisters are becoming quite a struggle, but she is one tough cookie.


Blair, Joan and I are staying in Ledigos tonight while Alabama John continues on to the next town meaning we, most likely, will not see him again. Thank you being a part of our journey.  Buen Camino, John!

We take a stroll around this quaint little village of Ledigos with its interesting buildings constructed with mud and straw. We walk up a hill to the church and discover a woman just finishing up preparing for Sunday service tomorrow. She allows us in and gives us a little tour.

Top three photo picks of the day:

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Camino Day 15: Castrojeriz to Boadilla


hontanas-to-fromista-elevation-mapWe leave Castrojeriz only to see a huge, steep hill ahead of us. What’s up with that? We are in the meseta, so shouldn’t the way be relatively flat?  Trudging halfway up the hill I look back and the view is breathtaking!

camino-1020705eOnce we tackle the hill, the rest of the way is easier and I can see for miles. It’s windy and the temps are cold, so poor Joan is still suffering from Hiking Pants Envy wishing her legs were covered, too.
camino-1020743eOur bed tonight is in Boadilla and many bunk beds are crammed into a room with a ladder leading to a loft above. I feel much younger now having discovered one of our roommates is well into his 80’s and has completed over 20 caminos. He always takes the bed by the ladder in the loft when he is in this albergue, so up he goes.

camino-1020753eThe garden area includes interesting metal sculpture art and murals.
We top the night off with a delicious Pilgrim meal.

Top three photo picks of the day:camino-1020751e camino-1020747ecamino-1020745e

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.


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 12: Exploring Burgos

9-12-2016:  Today we are tourists  exploring the city of Burgos, Spain. Click on the link below for a short highlight video :

camino-1020370Construction on the Cathedral began in 1221 and was completed in 1567 which included a hiatus of nearly 200 years with the work resuming on the Burgos Cathedral towards the middle of the 15th century and would continue for more than 100 years. The work done during this time consisted of embellishments of great splendour, assuring the Cathedral’s continued world-renown status. ~unesco.org  Audio tour is full of historical facts and I find it difficult to absorb all of the grandeur and history. Truly immense and I’m in awe.

camino-1020366eshWe are seeing more beggars in the tourist areas of town.  Scam artists? Hmmm…

camino-1020464We climb the hill and explore massive fortifications of the rebuilt Castillo de Burgos. Dating from the 9th century, the castle has a turbulent history, suffering a fire in 1736 and blown up by Napoleon’s troops in 1813. There’s a small museum featuring the history of Burgos.

camino-1020466The impressive view from the castle reveals an aerial view of our hike yesterday and we can see why the Camino path into Burgos seemed endless. We also view the route we will take out-of-town tomorrow as we face the meseta.

camino-1020443A special happy hour tonight since it’s Randy’s last night with us.  We improvise by making a tablecloth from a disposable sheet Randy saved from a previous albergue. This will aid clean-up since we aren’t suppose to eat in the room.( Sh-h-h-h… don’t tell!) Add bread from a local bakery washed down with very cheap (0.62 euro?) box wine and life is good. Don’t judge…

We meet Jim and Mary Ann (Leascomadventures.com) for the evening meal. Last time we see this lovely pair as they will proceed down the path ahead of us from now on. Buen Camino!

Top three photo picks of the day:

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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 8: Najera to Santo Domingo

September 8, 2016:  A short video of the day…

This morning finds us departing in the dark hoping to find available beds in Santo Domingo. We are meeting more Camino friends as we trudge along and cherish these conversations and chance encounters. You know who you are!!! We look forward to and enjoy the e-mails updating us on their Camino journeys and life in general.


camino-1020049eBest welcoming committee on the Camino with wine in a jug, tapas and friendly staff at the Santo Domingo de la Calzada albergue operated by the Spanish Confraternity. Nice backyard area with outdoor laundry facilities, kitchen and spacious lounge/dining area. A bonus is that many of the pilgrims we have encountered along the way are staying here.

20160908_121838_resized-2ecrApparently, English and German-speaking pilgrims need rules, so we make good use of the wonderful laundry facilities in the backyard. Randy is extremely  impressed with Julio’s Scrubba Portable laundry bag (Click on link).

camino-1020077ecrOur Irish hospitalera enjoys friendly conversation with Randy and leaves him with a bro hug. camino-1020061ecrA tour of the Cathedral of Santo Domingo de la Calzada includes viewing a live rooster and hen. A gothic henhouse was built during the middle of the XVth century to keep alive a hen and a rooster in memory of the most famous of Santo Domingo´s miracles. Click on this link:  Hen and the Rooster Miracle for the full story behind this live display. I was told they switch out the fowl every 14 days, so I’m guessing chicken soup is on the menu every couple of weeks.camino-1020081eAfter wandering down our street we pathetically gaze inside a restaurant at 6 p.m. and inquire as to evening meal service. 7:30 p.m. is the meal time and our sad, hungry faces must appeal to the gentleman’s heart-strings as he pauses and decides to make an exception.  He rushes around and quickly sets a table for us. The best paella EVER!!!camino-1020083eThe Irish hospitaleras invited us to a prayer service in the basement of the albergue, so this early meal time means we return in time to attend.  Hard to stay awake, but glad we participated since we need all the help we can get. Bonus is this piece of artwork on the wall of the prayer room.

Top three photo picks of the day:
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Camino Day 5 ~ Los Arcos to Torres del Rio

Monday, September 5, 2016:

Scroll down for a short video of the day.

We take our time getting started since I (Joyce) added kilometers in my head incorrectly and we have a short day of only about 8 kilometers.  It’s tricky finding beds these days even though it’s beyond the summer rush.  It’s still unseasonably hot and challenging to beat the speedier Pilgrims for the Municipal beds in Viana while Logrono would be a long haul in this heat. We need an easy day anyway, right?  Divine intervention, for sure.camino-1010821eOh, well… on the plus side we stayed in a small apartment last night that  was very nice and we even heated up paella from the grocery store in our cute little kitchen. Not bad at all and easy on the budget.camino-1010827e

camino-1010826ecrI can see why it’s called Church of St. Mary of the Arches.

camino-1010844eSurvival of the fittest in arid, dry conditions; snails crawl up a live plant stem to obtain moisture.camino-1010867e Hey!! It’s the brother/sister pair from Israel! We last saw them in Estella.

camino-1010870eWhat?  We are here already? Cross the river right after leaving Sansol and we find our home for tonight at the San Andres Hostel.

Wikipedia image
Google images

This village is best known for its 12th century church, Iglesia de Santo sepulchre  (Church of the Holy Sepulchre) linked with the Knights Templar and based on the octagonal church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The cupola with its cross-ribbed vault forming an 8 sided star, is particularly notable and emblematic of the Knights. ~ Brierley guidebook (Its locked so are unable to tour the interior.)

camino-1010872eTime for the Pilgrim Menu and we are lucky enough to share a table with a delightful couple from Italy. Thanks to Google Translate we are able to communicate, but I think their smiles say it all… Chow!

Short video of the day:

Top three photo picks of the day:camino-1010834e camino-1010861ecrcamino-1010843e