Here I go...

Finding magic under the stars of the Camino Santiago de Compostela

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Getting to the Top

Getting to the top of a long climb is always so satisfying!
I think that's why I love long treks.
There are so many goals to set,
and when you reach them,
you feel so much better,
emotionally, spiritually, and physically.

Here are a few photos of me
upon reaching the top -
Some are from 2006 and others from 2009.
It's good for me to see how out of shape I was in the beginning,
and how much better I looked and felt at the end 
of the 3 months of simply walking.

Exercise does not have to be strenuous to work.

Some great memories!
Oh wait! That's not me!
Getting to the top of the Pyranees was a great achievement for me! 
The walk, while grueling, was ethereal. 
And reaching the top felt like a great accomplishment.
At the top, beginning the descent.
The descent was worse than the ascent!
At the top of Alto Perdon

Alto Perdon is out of Pamplona. It's not so much the length of this climb, but the steepness that is difficult.  By now, however, I'm beginning to lose weight and feel less winded.

This next photo is of me in the ruins of San Anton.  This is not at the top of a hill, but me at the top of my game. After only 3 weeks of walking, I've lost a lot of weight, and am feeling healthy and fit again!

Me at San Anton

Close to Monjarin is the Crux de Ferro. At the top of this hill is a cross, where you leave stones and wishes. I missed this on my first Camino, so this little climb was important to me in 2009.

The next hill was from Monjarin into Molinaseca. The scenery was fantastic!

Next, the dreaded climb into O'Cebreiro! This is a deal breaker for many pilgrims. Beginning in Vega del Valcarce, the scenery was beautiful and the walking easy.The track was smooth, winding past villages that seemed to have fallen out of a history book:

And then, the trail became a bit more rocky
And then it became downright "stony and steep!"

Up... up... UP  we went!
My thighs burned.
It was a matter of walking 10 steps, then resting... walking 10 steps, then resting.

Then, when I thought I couldn't make one more step
TA DA!  I made it to Galicia!

A few weeks more of walking, and reaching Santiago was the biggest thrill of all! Here I am coming out of the Pilgrim's Office where I received my Compostela for walking the Camino. Can you tell I'm pleased?
I'm also 20 pounds lighter! I no longer ache in the mornings and I don't get winded.  I guess my point to this post is that a person does not have to go on a special diet or take pills to lose weight. Just get up and MOVE!

Here I am a few months before my walk. 
It's embarrassing how out of shape I'd gotten:
Here is me after returning home from my last trek:
Quite a difference, right?

The sad truth is I'm back to about the weight I was in the first photo. No excuses except menopause and inactivity. This is a MAJOR reason for planning my next walk, which hopefully will begin May 2012, if the world doesn't end    

I'm ready to get back into shape!
Are you?

For now, I'm walking in Forest Park and the Arboretum. 
Oregon offers many wonderful hiking trails 
for anyone who has the desire.

My point is... if I can do it, you can do it!
It's simple.
Get off your duff and walk!

* * *
Note:  If you are interested in walking the Camino Santiago, 
but are not quite ready to go it alone, 
consider joining Annie
on one of our small, affordable Camino walks. 
For more information see our website 
at this link: AnnieWalkers Camino