Here I go...

Finding magic under the stars of the Camino Santiago de Compostela

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Just 4 Spots Left for Our 2016 Accompanied Walks

This year, we are offering several options for people to walk with us to Santiago:

Option 1:  St Jean Pied de Port to Santiago (group of 8)

Option 2:  Pamplona to Santiago (same group of 8, but meet us in Pamplona)

Option 3:  Sarria to Santiago (meet up with our group in Sarria)

Option 4: Sarria to Santiago (self guided but we book your lodging)

Option 5: Kick Start - consulting

Option 6: Kick Start Plus - consulting plus walk with us for 3 days up front

For Option 1 there are 4 spots left.
For Option 3, there are only 2 spots left,.

For more information, see my website at

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Come Walk our SLOW CAMINO!

Sarria to Santiago
Would you like to walk shorter stages?
Join us on our SLOW CAMINO.

June 3 - 13, 2016
Sarria to Santiago
With Annie
12 days/11 nights
On this trip, we will walk short 1/2 stages,
averaging from 8 to 13 kilometers per day.
This will be a very small group of 4 pilgrims plus Annie.

Only 4 spots are available for the Slow Camino

For more information, go to this link:

Friday, November 27, 2015

To San Antón

In 2006, San Antón was one of the highlights of my Camino. We arrived in the late afternoon and were greeted by Marina, our hospitalera. The regular hospitalero had been killed in a train accident the day before, and Marina was an emergency substitute, and what a sweetheart she was!

San Antón is beautiful. Built into the ruins of the ancient convento de San Antón, 16th century, it is only open in summer because the rooms are not enclosed. You sleep in a 3 walled room, with a heavy plastic wall that is dropped at night after everyone is in bed.

There are 12 places and Marina cooked a wonderful communal meal from things she found in the kitchen. As it grew dark, candles were lit all around the ruins, and we drank wine and shared stories. It was a very special experience.

Joe washing his clothes
San Anton was the monastery and hospice of the Antonine order founded in France in the 11th century. San Antón Abad is the patron saint of animals and he is often shown with a pig at his feet. If you look close, you will find the pig built into the ruins.  The Order's sacred symbol was the Tau, a T-shaped cross. Brierley says the Order was known for its ability to cure St. Anthony's fire, a fungal skin disease that could be fatal. The disease could often be cured or at least helped by a change of diet, increasing wine, and vigorous exercise. A pilgrimage was just what the doctor ordered!

The bathrooms are even beautiful here. 

Dinner with our fellow pilgrims
People often ask if you can camp along the Camino. The gentleman with the white hair and red vest and his wife were camping. They set up their tent in the yard and were welcomed.

Drop down plastic wall


Leaving San Bol in the early morning, the walking was quiet and perfect:

Next, I would pass through Hontanas, tucked down in a dip in the meseta. A quick breakfast there, and a stop for some groceries, and I was on my way again.

I had to have a photo of the peeing man statue!

Soon I was at San Anton, passing under St. Anthony's archway with its alcoves where bread used to be left for pilgrims. Today, people leave messages and prayers here instead.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

To Hornillos and San Bol


In 2006, we stayed in the Hornillos Municipal Albergue. 
It was tiny, cramped, and dirty.
The attendant was a kind old man.
This was my first experience with bedbugs.
The albergue filled up quickly,
and people were then given mats to sleep on the floor
in a nearby building.
Many of them came out the next morning 
covered in bites.
I had never seen anything like it before,
lumps as large as apricots on people,
red an inflamed.
I felt lucky I didn't get bitten,
and have never again tempted fate by staying there,
as I have met bug-bitten pilgrims over and over,
who got their case of bedbugs at Hornillos.

The church was very pretty,
and if they clean the place up and get rid of the bugs,
I think it will be a nice place to sleep,
but I went by there in 2013,
and found bedbugs again.

Inside the Church

Drying laundry

San Bol

In 2013, I stayed in San Bol. This was a beautiful albergue with a sweet spirit.
The floors were warmed and there was only electricity for 1 hour in the evening so people could charge their phones. The rest of the time, it was blessedly quiet.

To Burgos


In 2006, once we reached the outskirts of the city, 
the walk into Burgos was through 
a heavy industrial area where they were doing a lot
of earthmoving and dumping.

The first night we stayed in Casa de Peregrinos Emaus.
It was clean and comfortable
and the people there were very kind.
There were hours of silence,
shared meal, and Christian prayer.

The second night, we walked to the municipal 
which was in a park, Albergue El Parral.
It had 96 places and 15 tables outside.
There was no kitchen
and it was really not a very good experience.
The beds were crammed close together 
and it was very noisy.

We spent almost 8 hours visiting the Cathedral that year.
As you can see, it wasn't very busy.
I think there were may 10 people inside.
Outside, they were cleaning up the facade.


El Cid and his wife Jimena

Some say this is Mary Magdalene with HER child

Chairs in the choir

Lots of vegetative motifs in these Cathedrals. 

2012 Spring
In 2012, we took our Spring group of pilgrims to Burgos via Autobus.
We had to leave quite early in the morning to make the connection.

Waiting for the bus. Teresa looks sleepy.

Once we arrived and got everyone checked into their rooms,
I took a walk for about a kilometer
to a park, right on the outskirts of town,
where a huge fiesta was in full swing.
The people were packed in tight
and the cottonwood trees were dropping so much fuzz
it was difficult to breathe.
But it was fun,
walking around and trying the food.

Yes, they are pig's ears. No, I didn't like them!

Just a note, the choo-choo train ride is worth the cost.
The wee train takes you all around the city
to see things you might otherwise miss.

Joe and I had a quiet dinner in a local bar.

The Autumn trip was nice,
but as you can see, it was much drier.
Between Logroño and Burgos

Beautiful Burgos

The statues in Burgos are so cool!  Here's Joe between a fife and drum!

More statues.

The Museum of Evolution here is a World Class Museum and worth seeing.

Joe drinking at the Lion Fountain

This is a typical hotel bathroom. Love the tiny tubs!

In 2013, I walked alone and I spent 2 days in Burgos. 
I have so many photos of the Cathedral,
I will make separate blogs with those photos.
But here are a few of the museum and of Burgos.
Once again, I was there during a fiesta
and los gigantes were out and about.
It was fun watching the children watch the gigantes!

Looking at Burgos from the Museum steps

2014 Spring/Summer

In 2014, I decided to visit the Museu de Burgos,
which is worth seeing, and pretty much unknown
in the Camino community.
Hours are: 
Winter (October to June) :
  • Tuesday to Saturday: 10 to 14 and from 16 to 19 hours
  • Sunday / Holiday: 10 to 14 hours
Summer (July to September) :
  • Tuesday to Saturday: 10 to 14 and from 17 to 20 hours
  • Sunday / Holiday: 10 to 14 hours
Closed: Mondays, Sunday afternoons and holidays

It is on Calle Miranda 13, near the bus station.

Admission with my Credential was between €2 and €3. 
Here are a few photos.

Statue of Chestnut Woman

In the back you can see the mosaic floor from a Roman Villa

That year we stayed in the very frilly hotel,
Fernan Gonzales.
It was clean, and fun,
and the location was excellent.
It was a little run down, and I doubt we'll stay there again,
but I'm glad we tried it.

Policeman statue

Joe and his group enjoyed Burgos, but took no photos.
Nothing really had changed.
They stayed in the Londres y Norte Hotel

Los Gigantios