North America, Europe · 92 Days · 76 Moments · July 2017

Camino Portugues 10th Anniversary 2017

11 October 2017

Northern Sky I never felt magic as this I never saw Moon's knew the meaning of the sea I never held emotion in the palm of my hand Or felt sweet breezes in the top of a tree But now you're here Brighten my Northern Sky I've been a long time that I'm waiting Been a long time that I'm blown I've been a long time that I've wandered Through the people I have known Oh, if you would and you could Straighten my new mind's eye Would you love me for my money Would you love me for my head Would you love me through the winter Would you love me tell I'm dead Oh, if you would and you could Come blow your horn on high I never felt magic crazy as this I never saw Moon's knew the meaning of the sea I never held emotion in the palm of my hand Or felt sweet breezes in the top of a tree But now you're here Brighten my Northern Sky

26 July 2017

This is what 27 hours of traveling looks like!
Parting ways in Amsterdam! My dearest Friend! We've parted so many times in the past, always to reconnect. God knew exactly what he was doing some 27+ years ago when we met! Love you Bertie! Our James loves you too! See you next Thursday for the big wedding! Mark and I made the best of the layover! yummy!
The Botafumeira is unique to Santiago Cathedral. There are other incensories called Thuribles. The Botafumeira burns incense and is swung from side to side in the cathedral. Its original use was to clean the air when pilgrims would arrive. It is now performed one time a year, on July 25, a national holiday, The Festival of St. James. Apparently you can order a Botafumeira service for 450 € per person (approx $550 US). We were so blessed to be a part of this! Sue got a video and once we get back to the US she's going to send it to me. I will try to post.

25 July 2017

Yes, we laugh in the face of exhausting and potentially dangerous situations! Long train ride to last hotel, rough neighborhood, and even rougher food options. Got the hotel and ready to fly home this morning.
Awesome final lunch with live violin music and the streets filled with so many different languages! A taxi ride to the train station, and off to Porto to catch our flight tomorrow. A grateful heart!
Majestic! Magnificent! Humbling! Beautiful! Not only did we make it in, we got the best standing room only in the house! Stood next to El Presidente de Seville (well, he had a seat) but his body guard stood next to us, on the other side of the rope. We had a magnificent view of the procession, the altar, the botafumeiro, the opulence! We were told no photos after the procession. Some of my friends may or may not have followed the rules. I, on the other hand, had to follow the rules. I will hold the memories, the sights, the sounds of the chants and the pipe organ, as well as the scents in my heart forever! There was a reverance for God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit that I was drawn to and appreciate.
The line for Mass this morning. The Botafumeira is only performed on special occassions. The purpose is to cleanse the air as 1000's of pilgrims enter the city.

24 July 2017

Beautiful Evening! Speaking of which, sleep has been difficult for me. It's 3:30 am and I'm trying to get in line for mass at 8:45 tomorrow morning. Duermas con los angelitos a todos!
Happy 10th Anniversary! Where shall we venture next?
Searching for the Compostela Office.
They actually check your pilgrim Passport for consecutive days walking, miles put in and a minimum of two stamps per day. Quite a badge of honor ! * Note: if the people in a certain location are crabby, we wont get a stamp from them. Only light, and goodness, and kindness!
Quite emotional for one of us! Walked a different pace than Tim and Tammy, but really missed them on this part!
This guy and his wife open their shop every single morning at 5 am for Pilgrims! they take one month off in August. Best coffee, homemade pastry, and conversation around. He has over 30 journals stacked on a shelf that have been written in by pilgrims for the last 21 years. As we were heading out, he came from behind the counter to hug us, kiss us on the forehead and wish us good luck. He made me cry - shocker! We've named him DaGasta because we forgot to get hus name and he sonreminds us of our dear friend Rob at home.
July 24th Santiago Bound! We started early and it was the most fabulous of mornings!
Sue had a killer room here in Pousadas - Padron
San Franciso Hotel Monumento Our hotel is actually owned by 8 Franscican Monks who currently live here! There is a section of the property used for homeless people. Pieces of the original monestary still remain (12 th century)
Celebratory bread, cheese, and beer!
This Catherdral of Santiago is immense. Pilgrims lined the stairs everywhere. The scaffolding is for the party tonight! I was crying already!
This line only took 40 minutes. * I notice that I am in line with many who speak English. The man behind us walked 800km...that's 500+ miles!!!! Holy Buckets! I'm eaves dropping again...I was hoping I wouldn't start that up again so soon ! But that's flipping amazing!
Made a quick stop at thus delighful chapel. Mark thinks it was a M.I.T. (Monk In Training) that was greeting us and giving us an additional stamp in our pilgrim passport. Beautiful poem written for fellow pilgrims basically describing much of the Camino experience and reminding the Pilgrim that a relationship with Jesus Christ and love for others is paramount in our daily lives. Amen!
About 2 hours out and we we're SO hungry! Funny, once we ate, Sue and I were like horses heading back to the stable! The adrenal rush was crazy!
Enough said!
July 24, 2017 The Roostered has crowed. We head out early to get into Santiago, out final destination. 24 Km It has been so very good. God is so very good. Buen Camino

23 July 2017

It's really true, 2 minutes with your legs in the air brings immense relief!
July 23 16 ish miles Our walk into Pousades We've had a mix of accommodations, so when we rounded the bend and found this little gem, we were all very excited! Even had a bathtub AND a blow dryer! Parts of the building were 12th century!
A few snapshots of Calda de reis. It is lovey the display of honor for those who have passed.

22 July 2017

Caldas de Reis Smallish city with a lot of amazing architecture and churches. One place recommended for dinner, us Americans showed up 5 minutes before they opened (7:55pm), and within 15 minutes it was an hour wait. The Spanish really know how to relax and enjoy!
This is how we do laundry on the Camino! (Note the hiking poles holding the windows open!)
More Scallops! The whole roof!
New Camino signs we are encountering! LOVE THEM!
Pontevedra to CALDAS DE REIS 24 km walked from 9-4:30, the scallop shell is turning up everywhere! Met lots of English speakers on the road. Met a family from Wisconsin that brought their 10 week old baby. Grandma, grandpa, mom, and dad. They are taking turns carrying her. Super cool!

21 July 2017

Best rest day ever! July 20, 2017 Islas Ciies boat, beach, nap, no walking. quite a relaxing day, finishing it off with an amazing dinner!
One of my favorites in Baiona. Not sure if I already posted.
Mark and his girls!
July 21, 2017 Vigo Maybe the best dinner we've had thus far. A Regueifa
We are starting to see vendors selling jewelry and shells and small monuments pilgrims have created along the way. People are leaving behind memorbilia, you see tears, hear laughter, some singing, small chapels holding mass along the way. Lovely.
Some people go to REI to buy hats for sun protection. Some people use their pillowcases!
July 21st Vigo to Pontevedra 13.1 miles Very clearly marked Lovely walk Amazing how you can look, and think, and feel, and wonder/wander when you aren't constantly looking at directions. It was a very good day. Starting to meet many more pilgrims as we are near Santiago. One observation I have had is that it is so much easier to stay in the present moment when all the people around me are speaking a different language! I can't eaves drop, share my two cents etc. my whole heart and mind are engaged. Interesting tidbit!
Some Precious Moments sharing Owen's ashes with the Atlantic Ocean near Baiona. God's Rich Blessing on Sue and her new journey. She is teaching me much about living today.
Baiona to Vigo July 19-20 A lot of wet, lost miles! Edit ...19 miles! way more than we should have done. Rain, calls for hot chocolate, leads to very wet maps, lost pilgrims, and Olga, our angel for the day! I even kissed her before we parted ways! She walked us a good 25 minutes and pointed us in the right direction. Sometimes laughing is all you can do! Dios les Bendigo a todos!
Vigo July 20 I arm wrestled a woman for a table..not really, I inadvertantly pushed her as I was begging for food during the "no food' hours of 4-7 (had not had anything but a Quest bar all day). We got wine, beer, a bowl of green olives, and some nut mix. Praise God for olives! Interesting, on the Cathedral steps behind us, the young people roll their weed, smoke, drink, laugh, and enjoy life.

20 July 2017

Oia Such a wonderful evening. Got to the restaurant at 7:30, but 'there is no one in the kitchen til 8:30' we were forced to drink wine while we waited. Spent a bit of time at the Monestary behind us. Just grateful for all who came before us and the spiritual work they did in the heavens. We know our battle is not here on earth, and many who walked through those doors stood on truth and holiness to be sure.
Midnight in Oia. So Gorgeous!
First wine stop entering Oia. Stunning.
A few random pics from various days that warm my heart and make me smile.

19 July 2017

Islas Cìes from afar. Traveling to them tomorrow on our day off! More pics to follow! BTW: Sue has a fancy new latest greatest phone camera with amazing pics. She keeps promising to send them my way. She's either lying to me, or have trouble with WIFI, you decide!
Local graveyard. Tried to climb the wall for a better pic, I'm a little old for those stunts. The sepulchre with the cross at the top is usually meant for deceased bodies (I'm assuming this one is), however, we have seen them strewn throughout backyards, even in restaurant grassy patios. In those instances, they are used to store grain or seed! Beautiful!
A few scenery shots. Nice break from the sun on today's walk.
Leaving the castle in Baiona! such a beautiful, restful time. These two have been the BEST traveling companions!
Baiona to Vigo JULY 20 LONG MILEAGE Pack Mule Mark! Lots of rain today, or very heavy mist. beautiful!
July 18, 2017 Oia to Baiona 14+ miles Tonight I shall sleep in a real castle. A special shout out to Mark. He takes such amazing care of Sue and meboth. He walks on the street side, always! He runs ahead after 10+ miles to investigate the trail ahead, he carries our water, medicine, snacks etc. He is patient with our shenanigans, he never tells us to hurry and would never even hint that we shouldn't stop for a bathroom. His Spanish has come alive and he is always available to translate for anyone. He snaps photos when we are laughing so hard we can't stand up straight, and he gently says a prayer or touches a shoulder as we share some simply profound moments releasing more of Owen's ashes into the roar of the Atlantic. This beauty can't be captured. It will always be known and remembered! Longest day is tomorrow and there is a huge concert outside my castle walls. The base is rocking our windows, so with any hope, I really will sleep in this castle tonight! Buen Camino Indeed!

18 July 2017

Day 3 Walking July 17th Caminha through Guarda onto Oia 15+ miles Taped up a swollen knee. Started with a boat ride into Spain. No legal crossing here. Mr. Jose dropped us off on the sandy beach and off we wandered! Spent time in a spirit filled chapel and left a bit of Owen there to enjoy Guarda. Quite emotional, but such a God moment. Beautiful family rushed to the streets to inform us we were very lost! Gave us peaches from their tree and a ride back to the point in which we got lost. Maria Jose was lovely! Walked into a beautiful city fiĺled with lovely people, delicious food, and good fellowship. We are blessed!

17 July 2017

The start of Day 3 into Spain Did I mention we may need some pray...So the ferry never runs on a Monday. We need the ferry to get to Spain. The hotel clerk calls Mario's Boats and schedules a ride for us. We show up outside this trailer and wait for a man named Mr. Josè (with a hard /j/).
"But let PATIENCE have it's perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks WISDOM, let him ask of God, who gives liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. " James 1:4-5 *Don't quit before the answers come *endurance is key *ask for wisdom Not sure if today's message is for the physical, emotional, or spirotual journey. It is my prayer today for us and for you. Sending love! Buen Camino Pictures from Oia. My favorite!

16 July 2017

This little gem hidden along the path is every Pilgrims greatest joy when they are lost and stumble upon it. it tells you, "keep going, you are on the right path". You will find it on tile paths, on rustic stands, on side walls. It brings a gasp of joy. Until today! After deciding to follow the ever true camino yellow arrow, we discovered a hidden phrase in our notes, "Ignore the yellow arrow and do not go through the tunnel and over the railroad track". Only day 2 of walking and my pilgrim security blanket has been ripped from me! Our short day of 5.6 miles wasn't really 5.6 miles. Thinking around 9.
Day 2 Walking July 16 Vila Praia de Ancora to Caminha - 5.6 miles The shorest walk began a little tardy and was very relaxing. We are all finding our rythym, some are morning people, some need more breaks, some want to visit along the way...there is so much freedom, we hardly know what day it is. We began the trek down alleyways, along the boardwalk, through extremely narrow tunnels that cars actually have to pull their side mirrors in to drive through, up to a main road, through the forest, along another boardwalk past old romanesque chapels, farms, and forts. Some moments I can feel the spirit of those that have walked before me. Other moments I am grateful for the laughter and tears we are sharing on the road, praying that those that pass this way in the future will be touched by us and God as well. Mica the sky is still not as blue as the New Mexico sky!
Still Day 1 Mark, the master navigator had the task of deciphering much nonsense. We felt he should enjoy himself more, so Sue and I took control of the situation. The responsible one (who shall remain nameless, Sue), dropped the directions from her pocket, unbeknownst to us. Good thing trusty Mark was there to find them on the path!
Day 1 of walking Viana do Castelo to Vila Praua de Ancora Projected Miles: 9.3 Actual Miles: 14+ "As you leave your hotel start at the Gil Eannes, there's a carpark behind you, walk around the quayway and turn left to the golden lady..." Needlesstosay, most of the day was that clear!
Flashback to Porto. Super old strutcures. These bridges (and many others we have encountered), built by Gustave Eiffle. One in the background being built one year prior to the Eiffle Tower!

15 July 2017

I won't repeat her exact words, but Sue was releived to have some iced tea about mile 10. Still unsure of where we were going!
The five pilgrims are finally together! Tomorrow is the day the actual walking of the Camino begins. We all walk for different reasons, but we walk together; with respect, love, grace, grief, and joy! We have walked through many things together in this life and God continues to do a mighty work in each of us. Prayers appreciated. Buen Camino!

14 July 2017

Lima River, Viana do Castelo. Trying to figure out what "Vino Verde" is. Well, it's white wine, but made from green grapes, thus the name "green wine". Who knew?
View from our room. We were told to use the clock towers as landmarks...there were clock towers everywhere! We were lost a lot! Last moments in Porto. The colors are amazing, the people kind, the streets busy, and the tile work is astonishing!

13 July 2017

What Dreams are made of! Got to Porto and needed to keep ourselves awake so we went exploring. Saw lovely architecture. Climbed to the top of The Clèrigos Tower. It is the highest bell tower in all of Portugal. Then we spotted this super cool (and trendy) rooftop type area that was covered in grass and had a pop up stlye bar in the middle with crates you just pick up and move around to sit on. Had a beer, laughed, yawned, and were hoping our other pilgrims wpuld arrive soon.
Last flight. We missed a night and it's about killing me!
First stamp in my passport! Beautiful Amsterdam. Breakfast of champions, hot milk with a dark chocolate spoon for Sue, of course!

12 July 2017

3rd pilgrim on board...enroute to Amsterdam! Buen Camino
First flight to Minnesota flawless thus far! Picking up Pilgrim #3 in about an hour! So blessed to be journeying with long time friends!
Many say the pilgrim's journey begins as they leave their home. Our pilgrimage begins at LAX at 2am waiting for them to open at 4am, quite contrary to instructions. Buen Camino