Here I go...

Finding magic under the stars of the Camino Santiago de Compostela

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


The man whispered, "God, speak to me" and a bluebird sang. 

But the man did not hear. 

So the man yelled, "God! Speak to me!" And the thunder rolled across the sky. 

But the man did not listen. 

The man looked around and said, "God, let me see you," and a star shone brightly. 

But the man did not notice. 

Then the man shouted, "God!  Show me a miracle!"  And a baby was born. 

But the man did not know. 

So the man cried out in despair, "Touch me, God, and let me know you are there."  Whereupon God reached down and touched the man. 

But the man brushed the butterfly away and walked on. 

Moral:  Don't miss out on God's blessings just because they aren't packaged the way you expect them to be. 

(Cartel in the Olveiroa Pilgrim Hostel)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Museu de Navarre

The museum is closed Mondays but if you are here any other day, the hours are regular Spanish hours. Open in the morning from 10 til 2 pm then from 5 til 7.30 pm. 

4 floors of art and archaeology. Today it was free!

There is a fantastic statue here of Michael the Archeangel!

I love the faces on these Jacob Bouttats paintings (Sig XVII). 

In the 15th century, breast feeding in public was still politically correct!  Even the Holy Mother did it!

Cool armor!

They have some incredibly well preserved Roman mosaic floors!

On the way home I took a few photos. I love the high narrow-streeted neighborhoods here!

By the way, see the name of the street, 'Zapataria?'  The streets in this area were named according to what businesses were run here. This was where shoes were made, repaired, and sold. Thus, Zapataria. Other streets are Carneceria (butcher shops), Called de Bolserias (purse makers), Calceteros (sock makers), and Pellejeria (leather workers). 

There have always been various ethnic neighborhoods - the native Basques, the Jews, the Francos, the Mudejars and they feared and hated each other which is one reason Pamona doesn't have a lot of medieval architecture. It constantly was being destroyed by fighting!  It's another reason the city streets are like a maze. Each neighborhood was walled and had its own plan. Now those inner walls are down but the chaoatic streets remain. 

I suggest you take a day and go get lost in Pamona!  As long as you stay inside the old city walls you will never be more than a 20 minute walk from your Hostal. 
Soon, you will recognize landmarks and will be able to find your way around like a local!

Buen Camino!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Hostal Arriazi

Sunday May 18

I can't believe I have been in Spain 18 days!  But it's true. 

Today I moved to Hostal Arriazu where my group will begin arriving tomorrow. 

This little Hostal is just up the street and around the corner from our regular place, Pension Sarasate. Sarasate is being totally rebuilt. In fact, I took this photo yesterday of the construction site. Just a big hole in the ground!

To find Arriazu, continue walking up the side of the triangular Sarasate park and turn left on Calle Comedias. Arriazu is just down past the first walkway to the left. Here are some photos. 

My room is spacious with three balconies!  The street below is packed full of tapas bars and coffee shops and old center is 3 minutes walk away. 

The new part of town (and Vodafone) is to the right. 

I hope my Anniewalkers will enjoy this place. I think it is quite nice. 

Hotel Enslava

For 38 euros per night, I'm booked into the Hotel Enslava tonight. 

This little hotel is located in the very northwest corner of the old city walls. 

It is near the Museu Navarre and Parque de la Taconera. You can book via

My room is cozy and sufficient. It is clean. I have a twin bed, a desk, a television, and the bathroom is really nice and clean and bright, though small. There is a wardrobe where you can hang your clothes or put your backpack and I have windows that open to the outside. 

All in all I think this is a good value for the money.   

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Train to Pamplona and Cassa Ibarrola Albergue

This morning I took the train from Sahagun to Pamplona to meet and pick up my group.  The train left at 11:10 and arrived at 2:45. Cost with my Tarjeta Dorada was about 20,85 euros. 

I booked lodging for 2 nights at Casa Ibarrola Albergue. I've always wanted to stay here. My bed is 18 euros per night. 

This a cool little place. The beds are capsules with a bit of privacy. There is a curtain you can close. Each has a private locker with a key. The locker is right in your sleeping space. 

Each bed has two electric plugs and a shelf where you can put your electronic device, although it is possible for your neighbor to reach over so I wouldn't  leave things unattended. 

The front door can only be opened with a key. 

The hospitalero asks that you empty your mochila into the locker and put your pack in a special room. This is to prevent bedbugs and feels like a good idea, although I'm weird about leaving my 'stuff' -  that little Arcteryx pack has been on more than 7 Caminos with me.

Boots are also kept in another room for the same reason. 

In that room is a washer/dryer. I believe it is 3 euro each for wash and dry. 

There is a nice well-stocked kitchen, stove, microwave, and plenty of markets around town. 

The showers are modern, clean and large. There is one for women and one for men. Each has two toilets and two showers. The women's bathroom has a hair dryer!

The hospitalero is very nice. 
Breakfast is included in the price. 
The location is great, in old town and near all the tapas joints. 

All in all I think this is a good choice. 
If you're in town, give me a hollar!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

May 14 to Sahagun

This morning I made the decision to leave the Madrid route. I thought I would spend a day or two in Vallodolid. But the honest truth is the minute I saw how large and busy the city was, I became overwhelmed and knew I had to go back to crowded civilization in smaller steps.

So I've taken the train to Sahagun and found a very sweet Hostal for the night. 

I found this room walking into town from the train station. It is on the left hand side as you go toward town. The name of the Hostal is Hostal Pacho. They have a website at and also have a Facebook page

The cost is 15 euros for a single, and 25 euros for a double. My room is ensuite. 

When I rang the bell, the door was answered by the SeƱora, who escorted me up the stairs to a bright sunny room with twin beds, a balcony, and a BATHTUB! 

I was asked if I would like dinner and agreed. Dinner was at 3 pm and cost 8 euros. Breakfast tomorrow is 2 euros. It's a very good value!

Lorenzo y Pilar have been married for 61 years!  A lovely couple, they are very friendly and youthful!  They ran a bar/Hostal here for many years. 

The dinner was home-cooked and quite good.  I had macaroni, salad, beefsteak, and potatoes. I finished with an orange, home made 'iron cookies' and coffee. All for 8 euros!

The couple's granddaughter, Irene, showed up for dinner and we laughed as both Lorenzo and Pilar kept insisting we eat more and more!  I finally had to push away from the table and find my bed for a nice siesta.

If you are in Sahagun and want a break from albergue life...  If you'd like a home cooked meal and a personal touch, Please try Hostal Pacho!  For me, it is perfect!

Oh yes, and they have free wifi!!

Buen Camino!

Photos of Cignuela

Yesterday we bought a half dozen eggs , intending to boil them. 
But we couldn't get the stove to light. 
So I scrambled them in the microwave this morning 
and we made hot egg sandwiches for breakfast. 

If you do this you must watch the eggs carefully, 
because once they are done, 
if you don't take them out, 
they will explode and make a mess! 

I'm going to miss the Camino Madrid.
Joe has photos of the rest of the trip.
I will post them at a later date.

PS:  I continue my walk on the Camino Madrid in 2016 here: