An early start this morning. At 5 am I looked out the window to see it was raining cats and dogs. Fortunately ten minutes later when we left it had stopped.
In no time we were out of Lugo,whose streets were still full of revellers, and into the countryside.
Maintaining a good speed I whizzed along passing through villages and tiny hamlets. All the time the rain threatened and drizzled on and off.
By 9.50I had arrived at the next albergue,which didn't open doors till13.00. So had to wait in the cold, but the Slovak girls built a fire in the field to warm us all.
The hospitalero arrived on time and let us in. What a strange place this is. So many things to maked me laug since arriving but if you want to know what you'll haved to read the book of the walk due out later this year...... yes the teasers have started!!
Jan and I are now sitting in front of the fire enjoying a glass of tinto. Life is still good despite the cold.
Saturday, 30 June 2012
An early start this morning. At 5 am I looked out the window to see it was raining cats and dogs. Fortunately ten minutes later when we left it had stopped.
Friday, 29 June 2012
Today was a long one -in terms of kms-but I really found my lace foday and almodst couldn't stop. Despite the wind and rain blowing in my gavee it felt like it was behind me pushing me along. So I arrived in Lugo much earlier than expected.
32 kms in about 6 hours, pretty good going considering just a few weeks back I was pretty much paralised by sciatica and was considering cancelling the trip completely.
It's been a bit of a dog day today. Early this morning I met a little white dog who was helping herd goats he jumpedd up on a wall to be petted. Then later I was cornered by Whiskey and Cuddy lookalikes. They just wanted to say hello and wish me on my way. A little bit later on this huge,and I really do mean HUGE, wolfhound with yellow eyes came bounding at me. Luckily I am a dog person or I might have freaked. Instead I held out one hand and in my most butch voice (yes I do have one) I told him to stop. He stopped and licked my hand looking longingly at my sticks. I think he thought I would throw one for him! Ear and back tickles later I was back on my way.
I'm now on Lugo where I did think I might take a day out, but the Camino and big cities don't go well together for me. Instead I have adjusted my timings to take the next few days at a more leisurely pace,cutting down to 16 - 20 kms a day instead of the more punishing 20-25.
So all is well and I've just enjoyed a plate of eggs and chips for my tea, with a little pilgrims blood of course.
Thursday, 28 June 2012
Walk today as taxing as all the previous days. This area is seriously mountainous!
Arrived in Cadavo Baleira early afternoon. Strange place name- does it really mean cadaver dance?! Comments please from Spanish speakers.....
Hospitalera strict officiious type till I plied my charm now shes all smiles and coquetish!!
Just been local bar to ask about Pilgrim menu. At last something different -a veggie rice dish. I shall report back later on that one. Or just make you wait for the book for my verdict.
Picture is of albergue - New and clean. Nice space but lacking in atmosphere.
Wednesday, 27 June 2012
This morning I started by climbing a mountain. A lttle later on I forded a stream. And yes you've guessed it.... there was sunshine and rain causing a rainbow which I followed. Today really has been like a dream. Wonderful views all the way again, and now I've left Asturias for Galicia with something like 150+ kms to go.
This evening I made veggie spaghetti bolognese for the three of us. Things have workd out really well with Lennie and Jan. We walk at our own rhythm then meet up at our destination.
This evening's albergue is the fullest so far with about 20 of us in all. I am currently in Padron just outside Fonsegrada. Tomorrow's walk shouldn't be too bad - not so much climbing but it's still 25 kms. Today has been baking hot again so we are all hoping for a cooler day tomorrofw which according to the weather forecast should be on the cards.
Tuesday, 26 June 2012
Left the albergue around 6.30 climbing immediately. Up past wind turbines to the peak of the mountain. Looking out over the other side the clouds were way below.
Gradually I descended into the clouds and finally through them to the dam of Grandas. The route went across the dam and up the road on the other side.
A short way up there was a smart hotel overlooking the lake yet in the midst of a deserted village. I stopped here for a cafe con leche and croisant and to pet the big daft lab who made it clear he wanted to share.
Back on my way I bumped into Guillermo and Miquel again, who I thought would have been way ahead by now.
Next town Grandas de Salime where I stoppex for a drink and to call ahead to the next albergue to book. Lennie and Jan caught up but Jan said he wasn't having a good day and was finding it hard going. We sat a while and then I was on my way again.
Just outside Grandas there was a little cafe bar shop where I stopped off to buy some acietunas (running joke with Jan) zzand some cherries.
The rest of the way was through fields and I made the most of being alone by singing at the top of my voice as I walked.
A few minutes later I was in Castro at the albergue. It has everything inc sheets on the beds, towels, a bar, and most important a dog - Boira - a catalan word. The hospitalera is from BCN. Dinner in a few minutes. All veggie again.
Sitting here I am feeling at peace. Amazing location and so peaceful.
Monday, 25 June 2012
After a fairly good night's sleep I was on the road for about 6.30. I ave to admit I wasn't really looking forward to the day's walk as a hard climb was promised.
Yes the climb was hard but stunning. I really felt the camino had truly begun for me. From beautiful views to walking amongst cows to amazing forests the day has been a series of different senations.
I'm now settled into a small albergue in La Mesa once again with Lennie and Jan. Tonight Lennie is making scrambled eggs and I am making pasta. What a feast we are promised.
For the time being i am relaxing flat out on the grass in the churchyard. Ah bliss.....
Today I have been walking with two new and very good friends. My walking poles. And I am getting on with them so well that I have named them. So what have I called them? They have a name each and if you think you might know what I've called them add a comment below or send me an e-mail. The answer will be given in my first blog when I get home. And yes there's a prize if you get it right.
Sunday, 24 June 2012
After being ill dufing the night I was a little later setting out this morning and still not feeling brill. However after a while walking I started to feel better. The views were incredible. The mountaintops poking out through the fog was reminiscent of walking up the Pyrenees.
Before long I came to the point where the camino split into two. Decision had to be made. According to my guidebook the hospitales route was not recommended for anyone travelling alone unless you were an experienced mountainer. So I chose the other route.
Shortly after making my mind up I met a farmer with a soppy golden retriever and he said I would have been fine on the other route as it was going to stay clear all day. Of course I then doubted my decision for a while.
It wasn't much longer before I was in Pola de Allende,where I decided to stop for a drink and cheese sarnie.
Suitably refreshed I started to tackle the start of the big climb which we face tomorrow too.
I am now in the albergue at Penaseita. Shorly after arriving Lennie and Jan arrived. As yet the girls haven't made it and we suspect they stopped in Pola.
I was pleased to see Lennie and Jan as they are great company and in thier mid-seventies they are amazing. Or as Jan would say marvelous. This afternoon they made tea for the three of us -so civilised, and I so rarely drink it at home.
This aftetnoon we relaxed in the bar next door where we are returning for dinner this evening. But only bocadillos because it's Sunday. Nice that some people have a relaxing day!!
Saturday, 23 June 2012
I'm not sure where I left you yesterday so excuse me if I repeat myself.
Dinner in the albergue was excellent. A garbanzos stew followed by tortilla and salad. Washed down with red wine. And yes I slept very well aftdr that, although I was awake early again. Breakfast was in the albergue and then a late start. I left around 7.30
and was well on my way in no time. Shortly I was joined by Ari,a mexican guy from London and we walked together as far as Tineo. Along the way we were joined bya catalan guy too.
From Tineo the 3 of us walked quite a way together until I dropped back bit by bit.
I am now in Campiello in a nice clean albegue,although a little too sterile for my liking. This afternoon I sat outside the village cafe with my new dutch friends and enjoyed a bottle of cider. We've just had dinner together, along with the 2 Canadian girls.... another 5 on the way!!! They've stayed in the bar to watch the football whilst I've come back across the road to the albergue to feed the dog scraps I nicked from the table and to cuddle him up a bit. He's a lovely old mutt.
So why ups and downs as the heading? Because all along the way today I've either been climbing up or walking down mountains,and the descents have really hurt my knees. There are mord to come so at dinner tonight my new chums convinced me to buy a couple of sticks. At just 9€ the pair I think I've got myself a bargain. I hope they help and have no idea what I'll do with them when I get to Santiago.
Friday, 22 June 2012
Leaving in the dark this morning may not have been such a good idea. The first thing I did was take a wronng turn which cost mme about an houts walking tinne and added about 4-5 kms to todays total.
Such a bad trip really shook my confidence and for the resst of the day I followed that up with similar direction panics. In Cornellana I asked a hotel receptionist which way the camino went. He told me straight ahead. Affter a few minnutes i had a sense something was not right so asked a woman who sent me backand set me offf in the right direction. So mr hotelier hold tight for your karma.
To start the day i wasn't feeling 100% so walking at all was a bit of a trial. This I communicated to my whatsapp followers who sent me waves of energy. Janey sent me succh aa wonderfully uplifting message it brougt me to tears and for the next km or so I wept freely. What a wimp!! Lucky I was walking on my own at that point. Janey you really know how to get to me! Not only that I really did benefit fromm your helping hand.
Arriving in the albergue I felt love and despite being so tired that eve crossing my legs is an effort Iam feeling this places recuperative energy. And boy do I need some of that. I've already had a 2 hour siesta and am looking forward to a veggie dinner cooked by the host. With a bit of luck I'll even get a good night's sleep.
Although the day was a hard one as always I was rewardef with some sensational views, and in the last part through a forest some envigorating energy. Now I know some of this came from my amazing friends but I am sure that even the forest was helpinng me along. At one point I had a rral sense that soeone was lifting my rucksack fromm my aching shouders and with gentle hands on my back giving me a helpful push.
So that was todays 30+ km adventure. Tomorrow I have promised mysel an easier day.
Ps... please forgive my wide range of typos in these posts. Partly down to tiredness and partly down to typing on ghis small phone screen.
Thursday, 21 June 2012
What started out as a wet day with torrential rain has ended up bright and sunny as I sit outside the albrgue in San Juan de Villpanada eating cherries and writing this.
Oviiedo at 5.30 this morning was shrouded in fog as I wound myway through its streets trying not to get lost. According to the guidebooks the way is not well signed. Well I had no real problems.
Just outside Oviedo the rain started and gradually got heavier as I climbed. The path got muddier and more and more slippery. At one point I nearly lost one shoe in a puddle - luckily only nearly.
By mid-morning the sun came out and Is started to dry off. Since thdn it has stayed warm.
The views all along the way habe beeb spectacular and breathtaking.... quite literally in places where the climb was a little tol steep for this old boy.
Arriving at the albergue was a blessed relief. Thde last 5 kms were the worst as my leg, feet and shoulders started to complain.
This albegue is brilliant. Only 20 beds but so far there are only 5 of us. The fridge is we stocked for our use (thus the cherries) and at this very moment 2 of my felloe walkers are busy doing my washingin the free washing machine.
Once again my life seems to be full of amazingness and I am full of gratitude for what I have. Not only here on the camino but also at home,and inthe world at large. Thankyou all for your comments, teeets and whatsapp messages. I really do appreciate every one and if Imiss a comment or two please forhive me. Sometimes the connectivity is not so good.
So heres one of the magnificent views from the allbergue.
Wednesday, 20 June 2012
... some things not quite such a success.
Arrival in Oviedo. Succes.
First full blog post from new phone. Success.
Located route out of city and it doesn't appear as tricky as the 3 or 5 guidebooks I''ve read suggest. Success.
Got a bit wet in torrential rain looking for something veggie for dinner. NSAS (not such a success).
Accidentally deleted comment from last blog post while tryinng to find out why it fidn't show up. Sorry Hedwig. NSAS.
So here I am bedding down for the night, reading up on tomorrow's route,in a comfy hotel bed. Tomorrow Camino reality will kick in as I rise with the sun, walk and then settle down to the different luxury of an albergue..... so till tomorrow, buenas noches.
Tuesday, 19 June 2012
So here's the list of things in my rucksack or 'clutchbag' (bum-bag) so far:
Documents & credencial, journal (shiny and new just waiting my thoughts), passport & DNI. debit card and money.
Shorts (x2), t-shirts (x2), nicks (x3), socks (X6), sandals.
washing bag, plus safety pins, plasters, mosquito wipes, toilet roll, painkillers, heat pads (X2), needle & thread, sun-protector.
wet-weather poncho (x2), rucksack rain-cover, cap
glasses and sunglasses,
Camera, Dictaphone, phone (plus all leads and paraphernalia)
cup, camping cutlery, bottle opener/corkscrew, knife, scissors
sleeping bag, pillowcase
And so far my rucksack weighs 7.9kilos - so that good.
Everyone now has the next few hours to remind me of things I also need to take, or comment. Please, as I'm sure I'll forget something without Janey here to check up on me!!!
Monday, 18 June 2012
OMG just one day to go now then and reality is hitting- I'm going on a long walk on me own. Fear not trusty blog readers I'm not wimping out. In fact I'm kinda relishing the idea of being alone out there in the world, especially knowing that experiences, new friends and time for reflection awaits me. Who knows how I may return.
Today I had a wonderful Skype video chat with Michelle, all the way down under in Australia. Chatting to a like-minded soul and sharing our passions is beautifully reaffirming and confidence boosting, so thank you Michelle for the amazing connection this morning. Isn't it wonderful that we can connect so easily, both through the technology and from my heart to yours.
At lunchtime I had an appointment with JanWillem, the Vet who does the magic energy healing. I had decided I would top up on his brand of healing before going, just as a precaution, for I know I am going to be fine throughout the walk, in fact better than fine- I am going to be incredible, just like the paths I will be walking. I came out again feeling energised and 'floaty'.
This afternoon I went web-surfing and found some more info on places along the way. Looking at a couple of the pictures I felt a little overcome- I just know these places have something in store for me. I've also been wondering if I may get to Santiago a little ahead of schedule and then will be able to continue to Finisterre. Or perhaps I'll just find a few places along the way where I'll spend a little more time and arrive to Santiago just in time for my home flight. Whatever, I am ready, willing and able.
This evening I took my books and keys back to school, and said 'au revoir' to Iolanda and Ellen. Ellen & I had previously spoken about putting an excerpt from 'The Magic' on the school's website, so I sent her a couple of files this morning, and she has said she will be uploading it to the school site tomorrow.
After dropping my books and keys off I met up with Sue (and Lily) for a 'see you later' drink. We always have a good old chin-wag and catch up when we meet. On the way back I dropped into the supermarket and picked up a few bits and bobs. Then a little further along the road I saw this amazing tree. Each year it's blossoming takes my breath away. Unfortunately this photo taken on my mobile doesn't quite capture its magnificence.
Sunday, 17 June 2012