Here I go...

Finding magic under the stars of the Camino Santiago de Compostela

Monday, June 25, 2012

An ethereal walk but...

The walk today from Amsterdamse Bos to Alsmeer was beautiful. We walked through fields, forests, along canals and through pretty neighborhoods with gnomes in the yards. We saw two working windmills and passed the famous flower market.

The scenery on this route is nothing short of ethereal, and I know whoever walks it will be happy.

I just don't think it will be me this trip.

It took us over two hours to get out of Amsterdamse Bos, due to a typo in the walking directions. Though a beautiful walk, it was stressful not seeing waymarks for so long and backtracking took energy I'm not feeling this trip.

Speaking of waymarks, this trail is not marked as clearly as the Camino. You really REALLY have to watch for the marks. Some are on trees, some on signposts, some are large, some are tiny, and some are just confusing.

They also can be quite a distance apart. On a bike they would feel closer together.

Once we reached our destination we were exhausted, very cold, cranky, and bleary-eyed. On top of that we were unable to find lodging or even a taxi.

Lodging is a problem on the Pelgrimspad if you do not speak Dutch. We found it quite limited. Camping spots are not as common as we thought and lodging runs on average 60 to 85 euros and up for double rooms. There are no pilgrim albergues. This makes it much more expensive.

The camping spots are few and far between. They are inexpensive but with rain every day, I'm not willing to get drenched in my little 2 man tent and not have a way to dry out

We just did not come prepared and it's our own fault. For some reason I thought it would be sunny in June. Joe reminded me in Portland it rains until July 4th! Duhhhh!

Food was not easy to find either. There were no restaurants or bars on the trail. We did manage to find a market, but a hot coffee sure would have been nice after that merry chase. Where are the coffee shops??? Bars???

I admit it, we are spoiled by the Camino Frances. We were totally unprepared for this trek and I'm not sure when we will finish it. But I'm sure it won't be this trip.

Between our unpreparedness and the weather, I'm tossing in the towel after one day. I have shin splints and my bones ache from the cold. I need a hot bath and a massage. I need a heated house.

Sad, I know. But I'm learning a LOT about myself on this trip and the second lesson has been "There's no place like home!"

Now where'd I put those ruby slippers!? ::: digging through her backpack ::::

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