Here I go...

Finding magic under the stars of the Camino Santiago de Compostela

Friday, May 31, 2013

Cafe Leon

Another blustery but beautiful day on the Camino!

There is a sign that says Belorado 7 k and Burgos 52 k. 
In pilgrim language this translates to  Belorado 1.5 hours and Burgos 2 days!

Check out this AWESOME salad I had in the village right before Belorado. 
This place was very nice. 
They wouldn't allow our mochillas or bastons in the cafe. 
But it was worth it. 
Best ensalada mixto I have had in Soain!

The name of the place is Cafe Leon. 

Star of David in Church window - Trinity inside

A wee short door for a midget?  I like the moon!

One of the best salads I've had!

Santo Domingo to Redecilla

A few photos of the walk. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Santo Domingo del Calzada

The rain continues and we are cold and wet but happy to be on The Way.

Tonight in Santo Domingo, 
I made the mistake of sleeping in the Albergue run by the Cistercian nuns.
 I had not stayed here before. 
And I will not stay here again. 

It was only 5 euros
 but for donativo I could have stayed in
 the nice modern new albergue up the road. 
Several of my roommates have left to stay there.
 I will stick it out but it is cold, damp, dirty,
 and the water is not hot. 

Tomorrow I wanted to stay at Viloria. 
I called but she said it was not possible.
I don't know if that means they are closed or complete. 
So I will walk to Belorado. 
Im still feeling punky so if its blowing rain 
i will bus to Granon and walk from there. 

No problem with breastfeeding in Spain!
Even the  Virgin Mother can do it in church!
Very nice Sun/Moon piece
The church art in Spain is meant to evoke emotion.
It does.

And yes, there really ARE chickens in the church!

Santo Domingo itself is great. 
The church is worth seeing.
 Lots of great art.  

But take my advice and stay at the Municipal. It's a better deal. 

The kitchen was actually the highlight of the albergue.

Waiting to get in.

I shared a spartan room with one bicigrina

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Camino Angel at Azofra

Walking Alone

The woman at the Azofra Albergue seemed to scowl at me as I arrived. 'Put your boots here, come in, sit and wait,' she barked in Spanish, 'We are not open until noon!'

I meekly obeyed her orders. 

While waiting (I was about 45 minutes early) the cleaning lady waltzed through the room, spraying the air with disinfectant. A big whiff and I was in a coughing fit. 

I rushed back outside and leaned over the rail, holding my head in my hands. Each cough felt like a hatchet in my brain. 

The Sergeant followed me out. 'What is wrong?'  She touched my shoulder. 

'I am so sick,' I told her. 

She got hold of my elbow and steered me back inside, marching me to the nearest room, Número Zero. She pushed me down on the bed and covered me with a big wool blanket. She left the room, and returned with a second blanket, unfolding it and covering me. 

'You wait! The doctor comes at 1 pm and he will give you medicine!'

'Ok,' I agreed, although I already have medicine. I wasn't going to argue. I was just happy to be warm

She never smiled. 
But behind that gruff facade is yet another Camino Angel. 

Today I took the bus from Navarette to Najera. Then I walked the 3 miles to Azofra. I have fond memories of this little village as you can find in a much earlier post. 

Still weak from my flu, I will rest tonight then walk to Sto. Domingo del Calzada tomorrow. 

The pilgrims seem to have thinned out. 
Perhaps it is the weather. 

I made a nice lunch then went back to bed. 

Only two beds to a room at this Albergue. Pilgrim Heaven!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

If you are sick in Spain

It is much simpler to be sick in Spain than in the USA. Here, you simply walk into any pharmacy and explain your symptoms. The pharmacist will diagnose you and prescribe medication. If it is serious enough to see a physician, he or she will let you know. 

Seems like I get a bad cold every time I come here. I'd love to break this pattern but for now what I have learned what works for me. These are two drugs I cannot get in the USA to my knowledge. So I stock up on these and Volteran (an ibuprofen cream) when I'm here. 

First is Fluimucil Complex. This dries up your runny nose and makes you feel human. It is like an Alka Seltzer tablet. 

Next is Flumil, which breaks up the crud in your chest so you can cough it up. It is a powder which you dissolve in a bit of water. 

I'd love to hole up here another few days until I am well but my budget won't allow it. I planned on walking to Azofra tomorrow but I got winded just walking to the Farmacia so that is out. I'm just too weak from this cold/flu. 

So tomorrow I will bus to Najera then walk to Azofra. It's a short walk but at least I will get a little exercise.  Azofra has those nice two-bed rooms. Maybe since I'm sick they will let me have one to myself. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Sweating it Out

I'm under a pile of blankets hoping to sweat out this cold. It is in my chest now and moving quickly. I have a headache from coughing. Good thing i have this private room! !I think I may need one more day here. 

A lovely young Brazilian peregrino just made me two cups of garlic, lemon, and honey tea.   The mother of the hospitalero here at Casa del Peregrinos has been fluttering around me like a mother hen, making me eat, giving me blankets. She is a retired nurse and a real sweetheart. 

I feel loved
And that is no small thing

Friday, May 24, 2013

To Viana Camping

There were at least four good camping spots I saw between Los Arcos and Viana. Two near Los Arcos were little parks with tables. Two closer to Viana taking the ROAD from Torres Rio, not the Camino. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

May 21, 2013 - Over Alto Perdon Again!

I think I've lost count how many times I've climbed this hill, but I think next time I will bus around it!

The morning walk was crisp and bright. After walking through the parks of Pamplona I found my favorite bar at the edge of town, open at 6:20, and had a cafe con leche. 

More walking and lots of threatening dark clouds. 

Everything was so green, it was like walking to the Emerald City. 

There were some new sad messages at the fallen pilgrim memorial. 

Soon, after lots of huffing and puffing, Alto Perdon!

Sorry, all I have are iPhone photos...

Monday, May 20, 2013

Up to the Camino Frances: Vitoria to Pamplona

I'm in Pamplona tonight at Pension Sarasate. The trip here was exceedingly long. Ten hours to Vitoria last night where I stayed at Albergue de la Catedral. Then 1.5 hours this morning into Pamplona. Luckily, the bus was well ventilated. I sat in the last seat with the air on. Nevertheless, I'm pooped!

The most memorable thing about yesterday's trip were the clouds!  It reminded me of those 3-d photos we looked at as children through our old red View Masters. Like you could just reach up and grab them. Beautiful. They made me think of Ma, my grandmother. She loved looking at the clouds !  I spent many Sunday afternoons on a blanket in the lawn watching clouds with her.  She would have loved these!

Next, a photo of my lunch. Bread with sliced tomatoe and pâté. Watermelon and my favorite drink, Nestea!  Yes, I know... It is bad ...but I love it!  

Saturday, May 18, 2013

To Vitoria and a few more pics of Caceres

There was a demonstration in Caceres today. People here are suffering the economy as we are in the US. The Spanish are serious demonstrators !

Also, a couple if very nice sculptures.

What I saw from the bus:

I can't wait to walk these sections next year!

And finally,
after a looooooooong bus ride,
I reached Vitoria!

In May, 2014, I will walk the section 
of the VDLP
from Caceres to Salamanca.
Stay tuned...

Changing Routes May 18, 2013 to the Camino Frances

Well, I made a decision. I bus up to Vitoria tomorrow then to Pamplona Monday morning. I will spend one night at Pension Sarasate, then start walking next day.

This section of the Via de la Plata has been an adventure, but once more, it has kicked my butt. I hope to do Caceres to Salamanca next year and eventually complete the route.

Reasons for changing routes:

1. There is construction going on both a Renfre line and a new freeway, causing several inconvenient and longer detours. I don't have the stamina to walk 30 plus kilometers so this is a problem for me. For a stronger walker it might not be an issue

2. The workers on those projects are being housed in the albergues, causing some some walker to arrive, exhausted, to find no bed. I'm not willing to take that chance.

3. The weather sucks. I am aware the weather sucks all over Spain right now but at least on the Frances I will be in familiar territory. There is a difference I walking through a storm knowing there is shelter ahead and walking NOT knowing

4. I am having some problems with the strong smelling laundry detergent used in these private albergues. My cheeks and eyes are burning right now and I'm feeling the need to get out because the lady downstairs is doing laundry. On the Frances, the sheets are not washed every day and I have less chance if a reaction.

Overall, this has been a great experience and I'm happy I did it. I'm also happy to be heading up North.

I will probably not blog every day on the Frances. I imagine plugs will be at a premium. But if I see or hear something interesting I will be sure to report back

Looking forward to Pamplona

Friday, May 17, 2013

VDLP 2013: Just a taste of Caceres

Just a taste of Caceres. Tomorrow I will take lots of photos. It is a beautiful old town!
Inside the Tower 

Spiral Staircase, looking down...

Beautiful stump work


Cistern under the museum