DAY 21: Monday, June 15 2015 Rest day in Triacastela

Mountains and rivers isolate Galicia from the rest of the Iberian Peninsula. The terrain is green and hilly, with the greater part lying at elevations between 600 and 2000 feet (200 to 600 meters). Its more than 800 mile (1300 km) coastline on the North Atlantic is characterized by a series of sea inlets called rías . James Michener possibly described Galicia’s coast better than any other writer: “The glory of Galicia is its chain of rías , those fjord- like indentions of the sea that reach far inland with a burden of fish and salt air and noble landscape.” Someone else described Galacia as “a land of a thousand rivers”.
Galicia’s history dates back to around 600 B.C., when Celtic groups settled the region. In the 6th Century, the Visigoths( nomadic Germanic tribes) colonized the land, followed nearly 500 years later by a brief Moorish occupation which ravaged several towns, including Santiago de la Compostela. North western Spain was not under Moorish rule nearly as long as the rest of Spain. It was from here that the Reconquista began.
With the deification of St. James, the Christians found a match to the Koran-inspired fanaticism of the Moors. Santiago became known as “Matamoros” (the Moor slayer).
In the 1930s, the Spanish Civil War devastated Galacia’s local economy; many young Galicians left their homeland. In 1936, the Spain granted Galicia regional autonomy and officially recognized its language. However, Galician-born General Franco outlawed the language and restrained Galician autonomy until his death in 1975.
The Galician language, Gallego, helps set this region apart from the rest of Spain and is a major source of pride to Galicians. Locals generally speak standard Spanish, but about 3 million also speak Gallego, a centuries-old Romance language similar to Portuguese.
Although there are no tartans, Galacia is where flamenco meets River Dance. The strains of music that greeted us atop O Cebreiro were lilting and remarkably Gaelic. We are hoping to come upon a festival or even someone playing the gaita on a village street.
Tonight there is a Pilgrim’s Mass at the Triacastela Chapel— perhaps there will be music, too. 😊

The Triacastela Chapel, originally built about the time of Columbus. There is a Pilgrim's mass held there every evening. We attended along with young and old, from every corner of the earth.
The Triacastela Chapel, originally built about the time of Columbus. There is a Pilgrim’s mass held there every evening. We attended along with young and old, from every corner of the earth.
Set in a huge stone on the outskirts of Triacastela, the symbol of the Templar. Kind of an ominous sign to see, particularly when drawn in red.....
Set in a huge stone on the outskirts of Triacastela, the symbol of the Templar. Kind of an ominous sign to see, particularly when drawn in red…..
Set away from the Camino, this was our home for two nights. Originally a rural manor, housing a wealthy land owner, its main dining room heated by a huge open fireplace, now serves modern pilgrims. Interesting, the local cow's milk cheese called tetilla or perilla  produced the best cheesecake that we have ever had anywhere!
Set away from the Camino, this was our home for two nights. Originally a rural manor, housing a wealthy land owner, its main dining room heated by a huge open fireplace now serves modern pilgrims. Interesting, the local cow’s milk cheese called tetilla or perilla produced the best cheesecake that we have ever had anywhere!
After a long day on the Camino, there is nothing better than to soak away your aches in a tub.
After a long day on the Camino, there is nothing better than to soak away your aches in a tub.
Roses, roses roses everywhere on the Camino. Here outside the manor house.
Roses, roses roses everywhere on the Camino. Here outside the manor house.

 

The iron scallop shell symbol of the Camino in the gate of the old church where we later attended evening mass.
The iron scallop shell symbol of the Camino in the gate of the old church where we later attended evening mass.

DAY 20: Sunday, June 14 2015. Sabugos to Triacastela ( 17km)

Our inn keeper kindly drove us from the valley depths of the casa rural back to the Camino this morning. We were very, very happy as a 3 km uphill in the rain was not appealing. Our walk did continue in fairly easy ups and downs. Galacia is a land cloaked in the greens of pine, birch, oak, chestnut and eucalyptus forests, opening onto grassland where the healthiest looking cows graze contentedly. This pastoral walk would be incredibly calming, however, the weather was like a blustery, wet March day on Vancouver Island. We were calmly trying to keep dryish and warm😊
Today a very nice fellow pilgrim from Wisconsin joined us for the final few kms. We walk the same pace so our paths have crossed before. However, today’s farewells were final as he is continuing on without rest days. Such are encounters on the Camino— moments shared with spiritual understanding and concern.
On one stretch we heard someone calling out, “Canada, Canada!” It turned out to be a couple from Russia who had seen the little Maple Leaf on our packs. They wanted to share that they had visited Vancouver and Calgary and loved Canada because it reminded them of Siberia! We were not sure how to respond.😊
We were passing through one of the ” forgotten” villages when we came upon an abandoned stone chapel with wild flowers peeking out between the stones. It was so pretty, Rod stopped to take a photo. All the while, an elderly villager who happened by, watched us. After we left we saw him standing gazing in bewilderment at the ruined chapel, wondering what we could have seen to photograph…….
Walking into the valley where Triacastela is situated was like coming through a tunnel of green as the tree boughs overlapped above us. Triacadtela translates to “three castles” but it seems they have all been victims of time
and disappeared.
Our casa rural is once again very rural— we met the inn keeper at a local restaurant and he drove us to the casa. Although dressed for the weather, we were cold and damp, but thankful that the forecast drenching did not occur. The casa is a large stone building, once a grand manor house. The heat was not yet on……Brrr.
It was good to see a Spanish couple there who had shared our last chilly casa rural. They spoke a little English and had visited Vancouver. They, like many working Europeans try to walk the Camino in small sections each year. It is their annual spiritual renewal.

The forgotten old slate church that Delana referred to. Walking the Camino, at 'the pace of life'  allowes pilgrams the opportunity and the time to open their minds and discover what has always been there, but never noticed before.
The forgotten old slate church that Delana referred to. Walking the Camino, at ‘the pace of life’ allows pilgrims the opportunity and the time to open their eyes and discover what has always been there, but never noticed before.
It was such a beautiful walk down the last 5 km or so into Tricasela. The canopy of green foliage kept the rain off us, it was like a nippy stroll through a green tunnel.
It was such a beautiful walk down the last 5 km or so into Tricastela. The canopy of green foliage kept the rain off us, it was like a nippy stroll through a green tunnel.
Ancient chestnut tree. How ancient who knows, the sign didn't say! Interesting that chestnuts are not just for human consumption but for animal fodder as well.
Ancient chestnut tree. How ancient who knows, the sign didn’t say! Interesting that chestnuts are not just for human consumption but for animal fodder as well.
Over the course of the past few days we have shared time with a US Vietnam veteran. A gentle man, we enjoyed sharing the Camino together.
Over the course of the past few days we have shared time with a US Vietnam veteran. A gentle man, we enjoyed his company very much.
Grain storage site - as designed in the Middle Ages. Complete with air vents and a post and lip to prevent unwanted creatures from entering
Grain storage site – as designed in the Middle Ages. Complete with air vents and a post and lip to prevent unwanted creatures from entering.

DAY 19 Saturday June 13, 2015 Las Herrerias to Sabugos ( 17 km)

Our casa rural in Las Herrerias was a pretty stone place overlooking the pasture complete with cows. It was a bit noisy as there was also a cycling group from Italy staying.
We awakened to crisp, clear weather and after making certain our rain gear
was in our back packs, we started climbing the O Cebreiro, described as “daunting” in the guide book. The ascent, situated between the Los Ancares and La Sierra do Courel mountain ranges is 600m (2000ft) over 9 km.
The trail was rocky and fairly steep with lots of horse manure left by those who chose to ride to the top. However, whenever we had the chance to look back over the valley, the view was worth the effort. These are very old mountains, their roundness and foliage giving them a soft, embracing quality compared to the ruggedness of our west coat mountains.
We were atop O Cebreiro with very little problem. For some reason the climbs are our forte. It must be because of the hills of Ladysmith😊
O Cebreiro was initially a pilgrim hospital built in the 9th century. Over the
centuries it fell to ruin but has been rebuilt authentically and is quite lovely. Some tourist shops have arisen as there is a highway up there now, but it is
still very nice. Legends abound about O Cebreiro: there is a memorial marker citing the story of a German pilgrim who got lost in the mist and fog on the mountain. In the distance he could hear music and followed the sound to where a shepherd was playing a “gaita”, sort of a Galician bagpipe.
We are now in Galicia in the province of Lugo. Galicia is another of Spain’s unique cultural areas which we will write more about on our next rest day.
After a snack break we proceeded onto our destination of Sabugos. There were several small farm villages enroute with most of the old buildings in ruins. Every once in awhile amidst the shambles there is a jewel to be found.
This day for us it was a tiny stone chapel with candles alight and the wrought iron gate open and welcoming. We ventured into a simple but beautiful sanctuary with polished chalices and candlesticks all entrusted to those who happened by. It was a heartening affirmation of a belief in goodness.
There was another specialness we experienced there. A few days ago we encountered two young women from Slovakia struggling on their first day on the Camino. When we asked if they needed anything they would always smile and shake their heads. We wondered how they had fared. Earlier yesterday coming down from O Cebreiro we could here their chatter and joyful laughter behind us which made us smile. While we were praying in the little chapel the two young women came in, also to pray. As we left they both gave us great smiles saying, “Gracias”. We left knowing the Camino had captured them already😊
Content we resumed our walk to our casa rural in the rain and cold. Meeting our hostess dressed for winter should have been a sign—-no heat was on and the room was freezing. Rod secured us a heater which helped a little. Fortunately, a nice Spanish couple arrived and addressed the issue and soon our radiators were bubbling away.
Actually, our hardy host and hostess were extremely kindly and dinner was incredible, everything from the farm including the beef.
It seems the cows come home very late in Galicia as we were lulled to sleep by a symphony of cow bells clanging and the resident dog barking.

It is tough fighting the wind. Need to stop and think sometimes - of earlier pilgrims without gortex, walking boots, maps and compass.
It is tough fighting the wind. Need to stop and think sometimes – of earlier pilgrims without gortex, walking boots, maps and compass.
The church Delana mentions above, such a typical pilgrim's church along the way. Made of slate they are so simple but picturesque.
The church Delana mentions above, such a typical pilgrim’s church along the way. Made of slate they are so simple but picturesque.
Inside that little nondescript chapel by the road are all the relics and treasures of the church - no guards, no cameras, no attendant. We like to think that they are protected by the spirit of the Camino.
Inside that little nondescript chapel by the road are all the relics and treasures of the church – no guards, no cameras, no attendant. We like to think that they are protected by the spirit of the Camino.
At the peak of O Cebeiro a map showing all the pilgrim routes from all over Europe, converging on Santiago
At the peak of O Cebeiro a map showing all the pilgrim routes from all over Europe, converging on Santiago
A pallo
A palloza. From Celtic times 1,500 years ago, right up until the 1960s, the townspeople of O Cebreiro shacked in these humble, round stone huts with peaked thatched roofs.

DAY 18, Friday June 12, 2015 Villafranca del Bierzo to Las Herrerias ( 20 km)

Being 200 km from Santiago, Villafranca del Bierzo is the closest point from which cyclists may begin the Camino to receive their “Compostela certificate ” in Santiago. (Those walking must walk at least 100 km to qualify.) This morning we watched group after group disappear down the road. We prefer being behind the cyclists as, although most do try to give some warning, it still startles and if the path is narrow walking pilgrims must move quickly off to the side. Today our walk was through the Valcarce Valley, very narrow with steep sides. The whole way we were crisscrossing the meandering Rio Valcarce and listening to it bubbling over weirs and special dam devices. “Valcarce” is so named because it’s steep walls are like enclosures or prison like. It is also an ideal spot for an ambush. Long ago pilgrims passing through the valley were frequently robbed by bandits or charged high fees by locals for safe passage. The Knights Templar were dedicated to keeping pilgrims safe wherever they travelled. As evident by their many castles, they became a welcome presence to pilgrims on the Camino whom they protected. Las Herrerias ( aka Las Ferrerias), “The Blacksmiths” was so named as iron was mined in the surrounding hills and smelted on the river bank in the Middle Ages. Apparently in the early 20 th century there was also a steel mill here. Note: To add to the confusion of travellers, there is another Las Herrerias just a few kilometres before this one……? Now the main industries are agriculture –cattle farming, growing chestnuts, and a little logging. The local sawmill we passed had one man working and many piles of unsold lumber– very weathered as though they had been there a long time. The Camino pilgrims are also a source of income for all the towns along the way, but this is very seasonal. We are seeing fewer pilgrims than we had expected on this part of the Camino for this time of year. Perhaps, the whole world financial situation has affected even pilgrimages.

The Posada Plaza Mayor, our resting very comfortable resting place in Villafranca. Showed you the view from it yesterday, here is it from the street.  Wouldn't normally show our hotel, but this is so typical of our accommodations. Probably cost about $80 including a full and really  nutritious breakfast.  So very friendly and helpful staff, just like most others.
The Posada Plaza Mayor, our resting very comfortable resting place in Villafranca. Showed you the view from it yesterday, here is it from the street. Wouldn’t normally show our hotel, but this is so typical of our accommodations. Probably cost about $80 including a full and really nutritious breakfast. So very friendly and helpful staff, just like most others.
Buildings along the road in the valley bottom leading out of Villafranca. While this is so typical of the decay we have seen across northern Spain, it is everywhere in this particular region and from what we have read, it will continue and worsen as we enter Galicia.
Buildings along the road in the valley bottom leading out of Villafranca. While this is so typical of the decay we have seen across northern Spain, it is everywhere in this particular region and from what we have read, it will continue and worsen as we enter Galicia.
Now surrounded by slate roofed houses, this shows the size of the medieval Templar castle in Villafranca. The location of this fortress was strategically important, the next day's journey took us through a very narrow canyon where pilgrims were protected by the Templar knights from all the bad guys along the way.
Now surrounded by slate roofed houses, this shows the size of the medieval Templar castle in Villafranca. The location of this fortress was strategically important, the next day’s journey took us through a very narrow canyon where pilgrims were protected by the Templar knights from all the bad guys along the way.
Two pilgrims , one kind of stony faced, the other very beautiful.
Two pilgrims , one kind of stony faced, the other very beautiful.
Typical of Camino Entrepreneurship: a small B&B, a coffee stop by day and a garden that is so exquisite
Typical of Camino Entrepreneurship: a small B&B, a coffee stop by day and a garden that is so exquisite
 Thought there no better way to show how steep the sides of the gorge leading  into Galicia that to show this picture. To put the picture into perspective, that white object in the bottom right is a double trailer transport travelling on the main east west trans Spain highway. Those are cement covered sidehills!

Thought there no better way to show how steep the sides of the gorge leading into Galicia that to show this picture. To put the picture into perspective, that white object in the bottom right is a double trailer transport travelling on the main east west trans Spain highway. Those are cement covered sidehills!

DAY 17 Thursday 11 June 2015. Rest day Villafranca del Bierzo

Our little hotel is right on the main square (Plaza Mayor) and is well appointed—meaning we can do our laundry here. Actually, they are doing it for us as I write 😊 which is a wonderful treat on the Camino.
Villafranca del Bierzo is a small village in the valley of the mountains and has retained much of its Medieval and Renaissance character. The cathedral is from Roman times and years ago a pope decreed that pilgrims arriving at the “Puerta del Perdon” ( Door of Forgiveness) would receive the same benefits of exemption in Purgatory as in Santiago itself. Villafranca del Bierzo is considered the spiritual capital of El Bierzo and often called the “small Compostela”. Despite the number of pilgrims passing through or staying over, it is a quiet village, perhaps, because it is at the base of the mountains of Galacia which must be climbed over the next two days.
Unfortunately, we both had the worst meals we have had in all of our time on the Camino. Rod had ordered “pulpo” which is octopus and always good in Spain. His meal resembled old shoe laces and did not taste much better. Delana chose to have a “hamburgeusa” and she should have known better. It was very, very rare even after being cooked again. However, our coffee was delicious as always and the company was great.
There is not much more to say except we are doing fine and having a grand time.

More vineyards  in the hills surrounding  Villafranca. Note how the rows 90 degrees to the slope of the hillside. It was the same in Germany and had to do with improving the irrigation.
More vineyards in the hills surrounding Villafranca. Note how the rows 90 degrees to the slope of the hillside. It was the same in Germany and had to do with improving the irrigation.
A fellow pilgram who stayed here in Villafranca while we were here. Since he seemed such an ancient pilgrim character, he was often asked to pose for pictures.  While posing for this picture a woman asked how old he was.  We were somewhat taken aback when this ancient celebrity turned out to only be 70!
A fellow pilgram who stayed here in Villafranca while we were here. Since he seemed such an ancient pilgrim character, he was often asked to pose for pictures. While posing for this picture a woman asked how old he was. We were somewhat taken aback when this ancient celebrity turned out to only be 70!
Another ancient pilgram found wandering the streets and cafes of Villafranca.
Another ancient pilgram found wandering the streets and cafes of Villafranca.
The mountains are a great source of slate, so unlike the rest of Spain where red tiles are the most economic roofing material, here beautiful and long lasting slate is used everywhere.
The mountains are a great source of slate, so unlike the rest of Spain where red tiles are the most economic roofing material, here beautiful and long lasting slate is used everywhere.
The view from our hotel room window.  Kind and friendly staff, great breakfasts and a view of the main square, set out in typical European style - open air coffee / bar / restaurant fashion. A place for meeting neighbors, exchanging grocery lists and having coffee with friends. Not unusual to see older generation spend hours together in this perfect social setting.
The view from our hotel room window. Kind and friendly staff, great breakfasts and a view of the main square, set out in typical European style – open air coffee / bar / restaurant fashion. A place for meeting neighbors, exchanging grocery lists and having coffee with friends. Not unusual to see older generation spend hours together in this perfect social setting.

DAY 16 Wednesday, June 10 2015. Cacabelos to Villafranca ( 10 km :-) )

We awakened to a dark, cloudy day with rain pounding the slate rooftops. Being west coasters, we know rain, but this was RAIN! Rod was working on an alternate plan for the day, like taking a bus or taxi to the next village. As the following day was our rest day, we would take a bus or taxi back here and walk the distance then. This sounded too complicated to Delana, who said she would rather walk in the rain. So, we compromised and ordered another cafe con leche
After slowly getting our wet weather gear on ( this was going to be a real test of it) we ambled out. The rain had stopped! The skies were clearing!
We walked the 10 Km, outfitted for rain, just in case, and arrived at Villafranca del Bierzo hot and sweating.
Although the whole walk was next to a secondary road, as there was not much traffic it was fine. We enjoyed the vineyards, groves of chestnut trees, and well maintained vegetable gardens. For a short time a young Brazilian woman walked with us. She had gone to North Vancouver a few years ago as an au pair to learn English. She was lovely, but had only 10 days to get to Santiago so needed to maintain a pace much faster than ours!
As you know Spain is a constitutional monarchy. It is dividedp into 50 provinces within 17 autonomous regions. The provinces are then divided into comarcas. Sometimes a province and an autonomous region have the same name which becomes confusing. The Camino passes through 4 regions: Navarra (including the Basque area), the Rioja, Castille a Leon, and Galacia, and 5 provinces: Burgos, Palencia, Leon, Lugo, and Coruna. It is no wonder pilgrims get lost😊 There are unique languages and histories to the areas and in some instances not everyone is content with the political designation. From the beginning we have seen posters and graffiti calling for a republic, independence, or reform.. Generally, from what we have been told none of these are strong movements. There is very high unemployment but not as much social unrest as you might expect. However, we are in a rural and relatively isolated part of Spain, which may temper this.

This is the second floor of our beautiful hotel in Cacabelos, the green  in the foreground is in fact the top side of an 8 foot ceiling of grape vines covering one of the 'outdoor' areas below.
This is the second floor of our beautiful hotel in Cacabelos, the green in the foreground is in fact the top side of an 8 foot ceiling of grape vines covering one of the ‘outdoor’ areas below.
So many of the streets in Europe seem to be faced with buildings that come right to the sidewalk. In fact behind the car and front entrance doors are  entrance eays to beautiful courtyards. Here we are looking into a gardened area that is like a courtyard back garden.
So many of the streets in Europe seem to be faced with buildings that come right to the sidewalk. In fact behind the car and front entrance doors are entrance eays to beautiful courtyards. Here we are looking into a gardened area that is like a courtyard back garden.
Here's a funny one: our hotel was beautiful, meant to be rustic and done in countryside style. The light switches were built to resemble a piece of wood.
Here’s a funny one: our hotel was beautiful, meant to be rustic and done in countryside style. The light switches were built to resemble a piece of wood.
This is to try to show the different styles of slate roofing. There is an old roof on the left with two newer on the right, the newer with different shaped slate tiles.  Regarding the weather,
This is to try to show the different styles of slate roofing. There is an old roof on the left with two newer on the right, the newer in the middle with different shaped slate tiles.
Regarding the weather, ” the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain” wow proved so true. Last night it poured and still was during breakfast this morning.

DAY 15 Tuesday, June 9, 2015. Molinaseca to Cacabelos ( 24 km)

Before reflecting on this day we wish to mention a special experience at Cruz de Ferro. We are carrying messages and prayers from many of you to the Cathedral in Santiago. Some of you also included prayers for us as we walk the Camino. Yesterday, sitting outside the little ermitage by the cross we read your prayers for us. These prayers were unexpected and humbling. They made us feel very loved. Thank you.
Maxine and David ( our minister and her husband) included some beautiful prayers for sharing with other pilgrims. You do not know what a gift this is!  When a group of pilgrims gather in a restaurant sometimes we are asked to identify ourselves by country and then do something representative of our country. This can be a dreaded moment as you can only sing “O Canada” so many times, and besides some other Canadian pilgrim will most likely be before you. The prayers you included have a universality that are perfect for the Camino. Thank you for your thoughtfulness.

The Camino is 800 km long. Today we passed the 600 km mark.  We did 360 last year and came here to complete the pilgrimage by walking the last 440. In fact we know by our GPS distance counter that we walk at least 10% more every day, so the final total will be well over 900 km. obviously these boots didn't have an extended warranty!
The Camino is 800 km long. Today we passed the 600 km mark. We did 360 last year and came here to complete the pilgrimage by walking the last 440. In fact we know by our GPS distance counter that we walk at least 10% more every day, so the final total will be well over 900 km. obviously these boots didn’t have an extended warranty!” 

Leaving Molinaseca we met a young family from France who were cycling the Camino. What was unique is that their child is two years old and travels in a bike seat on her father’s bicycle. We are daily amazed by fellow pilgrims.
On the outskirts of town we had a special local approach us—-one of the town storks who was monitoring our path. When he/she took flight we realized that these are much larger birds than we had thought.
An interesting coffee stop was in Ponferrada across from El Castillo de Ponferrada. This was a Templar castle built in the 12th century and at that time functioned as a self sufficient town within a town. Some people believe that there are hidden messages within the castle’s 3 walls and 12 towers related to the Knight’s Templar association with the Holy Grail and the Arc of the Covenant.
Ponferrada is an interesting town of 66,000 people and the capital of El Bierzo. It’s economy is based on coal mining, engineering,glass making, metal working, agriculture and wine making.
It was a treat to be able to walk through the riverside park to reach the outskirts.—much nicer than the desolate industrial areas or rundown sections we have traversed in other cities.
One of the delights today for Delana was finding poppy pods ripe for picking. We have had poppy companions throughout our walk this year, but back on the Meseta they had not yet gone to seed.
As you may have noticed we take breaks whenever we are able😊.In Spain when you purchase a coffee you always receive a complimentary piece of cake or a cookie. If you purchase any other drink— we especially like KAS Limon on a hot day, it comes with a free tapas with each drink. In this part of Spain, hospitality is genuine and generous..
Another interesting custom: the “Farmscia” is a very integral part of the community. The one that is open on weekends or at night leaves its green sign flashing to identify it. The Farmacia carries an assortment of skin/ beauty care products, foot care supplies, infant needs, and a wide range of medications— many of which are not over the counter medications back home. They function almost as a walk in clinic and the “farmaceutico” seems to be the first health care provider for many conditions. It is an interesting system and seems to work very well in the smaller villages that have no doctors.
Today was a good walk— we met a teacher from Singapore, two couples from Australia and a young man from South Africa—all very nice people. As you can see the closer we get to Santiago, the more pilgrims we encounter.
Upon arriving in Cacabelos we were concerned that our little casa rural looked just a little too rural but once past the dilapidated portion, it was beautiful. The room was immaculate and decorated with interesting antiques of the locale. The outside dining area had a roof of entwined live grapevines which gave the feel of being in the woods. Cacabelos has many bodegas (wine cellars) and produces a red wine from the Mencia grape which was ostensibly brought to the region by a French pilgrim.The white wine is from the La Godello grape. In this area if you identify yourself as a pilgrim, you are given a free glass of wine and a tapas. Ahhh…perhaps, that is why there is an increased number of pilgrims 😊.

Here was the family with a two year old, doing the full Camino... On bikes - most riders do 60 km a day.
Here was the family with a two year old, doing the full Camino… On bikes – most riders do 60 km a day.
This guy is the first stork that we have seen actually walking the Camino!
This guy is the first stork that we have seen actually walking the Camino!
The 7 am view from our hotel balcony.  Note the number of pilgrims already on their way.... For some it is because they are planning long days, for others it is fear of not getting accomodation at the end of their day
The 7 am view from our hotel balcony. Note the number of pilgrims already on their way…. For some it is because they are planning long days, for others it is fear of not getting accomodation at the end of their day
Wine country. The vineyards are so well maintained.
Wine country. The vineyards are so well maintained.
Delana has been waiting to find poppy seeds.  This was the day.... Hopefully next year we will have these same poppies at Forever House!
Delana has been waiting to find poppy seeds. This was the day…. Hopefully next year we will have these same poppies at Forever House!
There is a
There is a “notch” in the tree line on the furthest / highest hill on the skyline. That is the location of the Cruz de Ferro that marks the high point of the Camino. This gives you an idea of the distance of yesterday’s descent.
12 century Templar castle. I cannot imagine standing at the bottom of those walls having been told that we are going to storm them!
12 century Templar castle. I cannot imagine standing at the bottom of those walls having been told that we are going to storm them!