Can’t upload from iPhone to my blog, so here’s an update from my iPhone journal:
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Rest day in Pamplona. Said good-bye to our friends Harriet & Carole and then got up to organize. What we didn’t realize is that it was a holiday and all the things that needed to be done, wouldn’t get done. Visited a lovely museum and church, then walked the route that the bulls run on. Then found an Internet cafe and caught up with emails. Then a leisurely lunch in the big square. My muscles are feeling a teeny bit better. Pilgrims dinner that was yummy and then to bed early!
Sunday, May 2nd
Estella to Los Arcos 23.5 kms, one big climb lots of little ones. Beautiful, ancient monestary just out of Estella. Long forest walk and fields of olives and grapes. The soil and the colors here are so rich! Dinner and bed at the Hostel Suetxe.
Monday, May 3
Los Arcos to Logrono 29.3 kms. News at cafe this morning shows thunderstorms over ALL of Spain and it’s only 12 degrees celcius! With raincoats on, we set out. Today the road mostly hugs the highway, but a couple of lovely forest strolls and 6 river crossings! Lovely lady up on the hills above Logrono with a dog named Lola (who we fed our lunchmeat to) stamped our walk passport and gave us a bit of shelter from the rain. Lovely walk through this pretty town, lunch at a place called Krunch, and now uploading pics via wifi and drying out & warming up. Wonderful, wet and beautiful day.
May 5th, 2010
Today is Int’l Midwives Day! Started the day in cold (5 C) and wet conditions. It didn’t improve at all, but walk we did.
We started in Najera this morning with a breakfast of omelette with potatoe in it and a cafe con leche. After eating we set out on an immediate ascent out of Najera. Our one and only forest walk was early in the day. We battled very strong, cold winds… thankful that we layered our clothes this morning. On top I have thermal underwear, Merina wool short sleeved top and wool vest, with my North Face windbreaker (more on that later!). Bottoms were long thermal bottoms and my hiking trousers. Wool socks and boots.
We walked steady to Azofra, where we stopped for a cafe con leche and banos break and ran into the Dutch guys again. The older one is walking the Camino in celebration of his 70th birthday! He marches past us regularly. Then onward and upward, 230 meters high over a 4 km walk! Tough mountain to climb, but we did it! Just outside of Ciruena we came up on a lovely park that had trash on the ground. It upset me because there were two garbage cans there! I spent 10 minutes of our break cleaning it all up and praying it stayed that way!
After leaving the park at the apex of the mountain we had a slight descent into a “golf community”. 18 hole golf course and 100’s of prefab homes. Looked so out of place! The irony is there wasn’t a single person around. Looked like a ghost town. A couple hundred meters down the road we came upon the real town of Ciruena. Beautiful old homes and a bar for lunch! Lucy had spaghetti with red sauce and I had bacon and cheese on toast. Here’s the more on my NF jacket. When I took it off I was soaking wet! The material doesn’t wick the moisture! I had to remove my Merina wool top it was so wet!
Just 5 kms more to walk. Didn’t run into that many pilgrims today. Had two more good climbs up pretty steep hills. The reward at the top of the first one was stunning views!!! I took the time to savor it and took a panaramic shot of the scene. Just gorgeous. The reward at the top of the second hill was that we could see Santo Domingo, our destination for the night. After walking around town lost for almost an hour we ran into our friend, Henry aka Enrique. He asked the people at his alburgue where our hostel was and then walked us there. He also showed me how to “vent” my jacket so I don’t end up soaking wet again!
We are staying in a hostel run by nuns. After resting for a bit we headed out to explore. Mass at the Chicken Church was at 730 and by gosh there WERE CHICKENS and ONE COCK in a cage IN THE CATHEDRAL!!! During the mass the choir would sing and then the rooster would cockle doodle doo. While the Bishop was speaking the hens were clucking, it was hilarious!
After mass dinner with Henry, Sylvia (from Spain) and Elvis (from Slovenia). How blessed I am to be meeting such wonderful people. I massaged Henry’s sore calf at the dinner table after we ate and hopefully worked out the cramp he had there, time will tell tomorrow when he is walking.
Well Lucy is sleeping and purring (she doesn’t snore, she purrs!) and I need to rest my weary bones!
Burgos… Beautiful city. Lucy and I explored the city and toured the cathedral, took about 2 hours, so much beauty to see! The cathedral was built in 1060. Amazing art work, paintings, tapestries and sculptures. The town square is friendly and busy and I had a lovely early dinner of scallops in the shell served by a friendly and informative server. To bed early!
Friday, May 7
Sitting in Hontanas right now, half way on today’s walk. It’s freezing outside, LITERALLY!! I’m not sure what the message is here. Who knows how much I HATE the cold?!? And add to that the rain/sleet/slushy stuff… I’m starting to question my sanity! I did learn something on the walk today… my rain cape works as a wonderful cover up for side of the road potty breaks, LOL. I’m now fondly calling it the potty poncho! On a positive note, the countryside is pretty and I feel fortunate to be able to experience God’s creations!
Lucy and I made it into Castrojeriz around 230 pm. Pretty village. Checked into hostal then off to discover the town. Met a lovely Irish couple who do about 10 days of the Camino each year. In the pub we met a local guy from Burgos who is walking with his dog, Kenya. He told Lucy that she was prettier than Kenya 🙂 I told Lucy that Kenya’s daddy is an obvious dog lover and this was a mucho compliment! We had dinner with Villem from Holland and then back to the hostal for hot baths.
Mother’s Day and the end of my Camino. I have learned some amazing things about myself and I’m so grateful to have taken the time to do this.
I now feel quite compelled to visit my family for the last 2 weeks of my holiday! I miss them tremendously and can’t wait to see their faces when I knock on their doors and surprise them.
I’m sitting on a train going from Leon, Spain to Hendaye, France. Lucy and I will stay there tonite and then to Paris and London tomorrow. Spanish airspace closed due to volcano, praying that UK airspace stays open so I can fly home to Florida!!
The countryside is beautiful. In comparison to the US, Europe is aged and historical. The hostal that Lucy and I stayed in on Friday night was built in the 14th century! As we walked through villages and as we pass on the train, we see walls built centuries ago to ward off invaders, forts that are remarkably untouched and intact.
Arrived in Hendaye, France and bought Eurostar tix to Paris for tomorrow. Will stay tonight in the Campinale Hendaye.
Monday, May 10
Happy Birthday, Sydnie Renae!! After breakfast, boarded the 0753 train to Paris. Lovely coastal ride for the first hour. Got to Paris a little after1 pm. Chunnel train tix were 362 Euro!!! I said no way. Took air France bus to airport and got round trip to Miami back to London for 625 Euro. Stayed the night at Comfort Inn.
Tuesday, May 11
Happy Birthday, Sadie Rose!!!! Are you going to be surprised tonight! Got to Heathrow Terminal 5 around 8 with no gate assigned… ugh. But, by the time I bought a latte and bacon butty, Gate B37 was announced. I am now sitting on the plane, happier than I’ve been in a long time. I’ve been humming the song by the Black-Eyed Peas, “I gotta feelin”.. Cuz tonites gonna be a good nite, cuz tonites gonna be a good good nite!!!
Plane landed on time, waiting for Charity to pick me up. Then I have to figure out how to get to Stuart… such an adventure, this holiday!