The last third…

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hi y’all…so the last third changes terrain again. The middle is flat and less striking if you will than the eye candy that I have seen. And so it begins again…vineyards, villages, mountains. I came over one two days ago and am still recovering the calves from coming down in sandals, in the rain, wind, cold. Having my rainpants would have helped. Thy were in my other bag. I have gotten used to being very wet and cold. Tea helps.

Listened to music threaded blister winefarmerfrom my sister under my raincoat and it carried me. I was happy. We have another one today. I am grateful that this body keeps at this. It speaks mightily. 30k days…over mountains and now I am so slow…the feet take a lot of love to get them to a walkable space-Vaseline, tape, heel guards, in sandals. I am not alone…it is a way of the Camino…

i remain grateful for this amazing opportunity to walk, meditate, connect, explore, enjoy, suffer, appreciate…

yesterday, met this man along the trail who lives simply in a somewhat garage like structure, welcomed us, gave us his own white wine from the vineyards around him, then I saw him in the next village and bought his wine there with his buddy. This is the way of the Camino…connection, love, support. The people are so very kind…

learned today that my dad is going to have some heart work done next week…❤️Grateful that he found what needs to be done…

i am good…thank you for all your support…

i have learned how to thread blisters…

love m

Blister management…

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So it is my turn now to manage blisters…I have seven. The backs of my heels are the worst…wearing the sandals now. Hoping for the best. Tired and the body is tired. It effects everything…had my first nap today after rain and a bath…still eating well and loving the wine. All good…sockfeet

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Carrying the bag isn’t so bad…it really feels like a hug. It is just the feet that have the trouble. On longer days, I have it sent…such a gift. All good here. A boy graces age has been awing me with his little eukele music. Last night it was guitar and harmonica and the United Nations United singing songs…I had chills…hallelujah is my favorite…

love to y’all…

xoxo

mimage

Leon Spain…I rest and people watch!

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hello again…

after walking 35 k for a few days, I took a cab into Leon and skipped the long walk through the suburbs into the old city and am enjoying the lovely town and not doing much. Resting the equipment. I get giddy out on the Camino at 5:00 in the middle of nowhere and beyond tired. It becomes oddly funny. As long as I have snacks and water, a picnic is available at any moment.

Whomknew that I would like octopus? I do! And all kinds of other fish…bring it on. I am so enjoying the whole experience-the walking, the challenge, the people, the food, the villages, the cities, the highs and the lows. It all helps with sleep. I am told that the best is yet to come…we will see!

Tomorrow I begin for a stretch on my own. A bit nervous about that, but here goes. I have had so much support up until this point…a few days finding my way…

One of my images of myself on this trip is that I sit down on the trail and cry when overwhelmed. It hasn’t happened yet…:)

love to y’all…

mleonsign image

The meseta…I am halfway now!

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hello from halfway! The view is wonderful in the middle…the meseta is the middle where it gets flat and more like Indiana. Lots of wheat fields. I am trying to post my first video of the fields with waves blowing from the wind…it is like an ocean. Laid down in one to take a break and it was so peaceful…

the body is speaking. Doin this day after day takes its toll. Some days it is all I can do just to arrive and get my feet up. No exploring. My steps are numbered. It remains a wonderful experience…I love this-sleep, eat, walk. Simple.

xoxo

m

40k…and still a lovely day

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imageHi y’all…

everything here is in kilometers, so I give. It is kilometers now. So, I walked 40k today. The rest day and then the make up day. I am better. The sun is so strong now and a hat is vital…especially walking for 9 hours. Had a lovely picnic in a wheat field and arrived in another lovely town…proud of myself.

I have two matching blisters on my big toes…:)

all good…

xoxo

m

A day of rest…

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view from hotel balcony…what a treat!
restdayview

After 12 days of walking, my body was speaking in various voices…my head was on fire, I had a river coming out of my nose and eyes, a new blister, not much sleep as my traveling companions are champion snorers and many miles each day contributing to a I-can’t-go-on-like-this moment. I said uncle. Some folks have no problem taking the buses between towns and taking a day of rest. For some reason I have always been committed to walking this whole thing. So, many have taken rest, and I have walked twelve days straight. It was inevitable that I get sick as the sleeping arrangements are often like an airplane germ wise, so my number was up. Burgos and a hotel are lovely places for r and r. I got sleep. A decongestant that I hoped was that as it was all in Spanish including how much to take. It saved me. I got a massage today here in the hotel. Ate and rested. I even stayed on a tour bus twice as I did not want to walk anywhere.

I feel like a new woman.

so yesterday, I did the 20k into town sick and miserable. Tomorrow, I am going to try to make some of this up. We will see. My traveling companions are taking the bus and will see me in a future town.

have had more amazing food though. I eat and eat and eat.

I continue to connect with lovely people. See lovely sites, eat lovely food, and talk a lot to God and to myself.

highlight? Calamari salad at lunch, tea on balcony, helping a little Spanish woman with a cane up all these steps and having her talk and talk to me enthusiastically and me not understand a word. I think that she was grateful.

rioja wine continues to be consumed nightly as well as this amazing bread. I truly have never drank so much wine or eaten so much bread in my life. When in Spain…

so grateful for my health recovering and to be where I am and the folks helping me near and far…thank you.

love to y’all,

xoxo

m

Traveling friends Peggy (San Diego) and barb (Australia)

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A day in the life…

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Hola amigos y amigas,dayinthe3

the problem with using my limited Spanish here is that they ANSWER me in Spanish and then I have no idea what they are saying as they think that I know what I am saying. I don’t. Feebly trying.

so a day in the life of a Camino walker?

it starts usually at a time not determined by you. If you are community sleeping, some ambitious person is up rustling about around 5 or 5:30 so that begins to wake everyone up. They is a lot of get up and go in the morning as we have to be out of the alburgues by 8 so that they can clean them for the next round of people. Usually you are out around 7/7:30. Some pilgrims like to walk for a hour or so and get a few kilometers under their belt before stopping for their first cafe con leche. (I still haven’t started drinking coffee but I smell it as often as I can).  A priority is the fresh squeezed oj each day. It is like medicine for me. And so we all descend either locally or in the next village on some poor guy in a tiny cafe who looks like he wasn’t anticipating this. Our capitalistic, efficient American culture does not comprende this one.  He is one guy making all this stuff for a wave of us. I always wonder why they don’t have more help but hey it’s Spain. So, then I start walking. I need to eat so I try in the town where we are which is not always available. And I never know when the next one is. Or if anything will be open.

so it is chilly and we walk. Sometimes rainy. Stop as often as I can at the cafes and the cathedrals. These places also stamp our pilgrims passports with these unique beautiful stamps of their location to prove where you have been. Within the last 100 miles of Santiago we are required to get two stamps a day in order to get the pilgrim credential at the end. That is the only part that some people do. So the closer we get to Santiago, the more people are joining us. Just learned today that this is a holy year (?) too so numbers are higher. Someone shared that there are currently 800 pilgrims entering Santiago each day right now. Many more by the time I get there. My latest date to get there is June 7th so that I can see Santiago and then get some kind of ride to the ocean at finisterre and muxia to complete this journey. I will stop walking at the cathedral in Santiago. I will make it.

back to the day in the life…so we see a whole lot of country and history and nature and wildlife and people along the way. Snack often. Arrive by 2 usually in the town that we stay overnight in and then people like to shower, figure out the wifi, nap, check out the town, have a beer, start drinking the Rioja wine. I usually get on my bed and put my feet up the wall. Haven’t napped yet. The hiking boots/shoes are left at the door of the place and the one other pair of shoes that you brought are worn. For some it is flip flops, crocs, etc.  It is funny walking around the town. It is quite obvious who the pilgrims are. All you have to do is look at their feet as they are wearing socks with flip flops or whatever. It is the give away.

at some point we all emerge from our various abodes to socialize in the bars and then dinner doesn’t open until seven thirty here as the siesta thing happens and shops close in the afternoon. Spain keeps late hours. Pilgrims do not. The alburgues close their doors and it is lights out for us by 10. We all have to do it together.

ear plugs come out, sleeping pills, eye masks, and then there are those lucky tired snoring pilgrims who need nothing and just sleep! I am making it now with just the ear plugs and eye mask.

And so it then begins again…

i feel empowered carrying all that I need on my back. It is not even that heavy now. I LABORED over the decisions about what goes in this backpack (with lots of help) and I am rather pleased with how I did. I did send a few things home last week and I hope that they arrive as the postal system here I was told is questionable. Hmmm. Anyway, I don’t mind carrying it now. I am bonded with my backpack and my walking poles. It is always a challenge trying not to forget the poles at each stop! It happens.

so I am including a pic of this sweet Australian gal who has walked in her moms second pair of shoes/the evening ones for a week now due to her blisters from boots. And the black pantyhose are to hold on her bandages. I told her that Birkenstock needs to know her story…they would be proud of their product.

i made the right shoe decision. No boots. Trail hiking/running shoes. The blisters that people have are from boots. That was another decision I labored over. I went through four pairs of shoes trying to decide. I am so please that I did though. One either laboratory BEFORE the Camino or they labor DURING the Camino. I see people laboring over the shoe thing in each town at these tiny sporting good stores that they sometimes have for us. I am so glad I am not shopping.

also each day I carry one of you with me. If you are reading this, you likely will have a day where I think of you during the day. Thank you for your support, encouragement, and love.

buen Camino! (That is the greeting that is offered to us all day and we offer each other, it means good journey)

xoxo,

m

One way to cool your drinks…in the town fountain…

1,832 Comments

Hola,

my spanish is slow…I am motivated though…there seems to be a lot of “donde Es…?”

sleeping in a new place each night and new town is interesting…letting go. It is like a gift each day to see where this path takes us and where we land.

Today was the first day that I carried all my stuff. I gave myself the first week to adjust and just carried a daypack -there is this service that will take your backpack to your next destination for five euro. I can do it now though…many people are just beginning to use it as they are hurting. Some have been carrying all along. Some stay in hotels and have luggage and real clothes at night!:) all kinds. Anyway, I seemed to do just fine with the extra weight on the knees and feet.

Paella is a lovely addition to my food loves here…

still walking? I am…

Love m

fountain1 fountain3 fountain2