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Saturday, July 18, 2015

My First Camino - 2006

I was looking at some old photos this morning 
and thought it might be fun 
to write a bit about my very first Camino 
in 2006.

Joe and I had traveled through Spain
 a few years earlier during Semana Santa
 and I remember the train ride 
from Barcelona to southern Spain, 
thinking, 
"I'd love to walk this beautiful country!"

Then when I was diagnosed with MCS 
and long distance walking was one option 
for my therapy, 
I began looking for walking trails in Spain 
and found the Camino.

After much study and planning, 
I decided to walk!  
I asked my friend Joe
 (we were partners at that time) 
if he would be interested in walking with me, 
and the trip was on!

We bought our gear, paid for our tickets, 
and got ready to go. 

We decided to visit Amsterdam, Wales, and Ireland, as well as Spain. 
Once you're in Europe, the rest isn't so expensive.

Our family was concerned because of the Iraq crisis, but we weren't afraid.  
I cut off all of my hair 
so I wouldn't have to deal with it, 
and off we went!

Our overloaded packs!
Annie
Joe
Waiting for our plane
We began our trip by flying to Amsterdam, 
where we spent about a week exploring. 

We stayed at The Shelter Hostal 

A very large dinner!
One of our favorite sandwich spots near the train station 
The canal boats were so pretty

One reason for our visit is the Ritman Hermetic Library
Then there was this, which I'd never seen before in my life
After a few days in Amsterdam, 
we carried on to visit friends in Wales. 
Our friend, Jodye, picked us up in London 
and drove us to Wales. 
But first, we spent a night with her in London.
Jodye cooked us a lovely dinner
and was a sweet hostess.

Do NOT come into the kitchen!
A lovely dinner!
In Wales, we touristed about. 
One of the highlights was our visit to a Holy Well.


The other was a surprise birthday party 
for ME!
YAY!

And let me tell you something,
those Welsh girls can drink you under the table!


After our visit to Wales, 
we returned with some of the ladies 
to the Ritman Library in Amsterdam 
to do a bit more study.



After a couple of days at the library, 
we said our farewells,
and Joe and I took a little bike trip.

The Camino was getting closer...



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