Thursday, September 15, 2011


Wednesday, May 25 - we walk 19.1 KM to Gonzar - walk down a country road - through the woods, met a Korean man, Simone, who actually knew were we lived - because his daughter-in-law is in the Navy. Met a cow on the loose, in the middle of the road -By 10:30 we arrived in Portomarin by crossing a very high bridge, then climbing a long stairway. There is one church in town call both San Nicholas and San Juan - the old town was flooded by a dam project so the old old church was deconstructed and moved to higher ground. We went back onto an autopista, then through some woods and into the blazing sun - passed a chemical fertilizer plant in a town called Toxico - aptly named. Then we reached Gonzan -2 alburgues and a locked church. We did laundry, had to bring it back in due to rain. Then the sun came out - laundry back out!

Galicia is known to be rainy - so overall we have been lucky.

We ate dinner with Ricardo, a Spaniard from Astorga who is walking the last week of the Camino Thursday, May 26 - Got up and walked on a cold grey day. But eventually the sun came out. We had 17.9 KM to walk to Palais de Rei - not too hilly, just a quiet walk through the woods and several small towns - reached Palais d Rei by noon - visited the church of San Tirso- many saint statues inside.
Delicious tuna ampanadas for lunch in the square - found an internet cafe - caught up on world events (a euro's worth, anyway) - looks at the lastest photos of Lexia.

After lunch we went back to the church for Jim to meditate. The priest was holding a class for a dozen squirming 8-9 year old boys, so it was not exactly quiet. For dinner, I had chicken with brandied cherries and Jim had octopus (Pulpo).

We got a book in English (John Le Carre) with the hope that it will last until Santiago.

Friday, May 27 _we are going 15.3 km today - to Melide - chilly morning -walk through the woods - stopped in at the 14th century Inglesia de Santa Maria. Melide was pulsing with Spanish rap music when we arrived - maybe a middle school or high school was having a field day? Streets were cordoned off for racing, trophies, and lots of loud music and loud children. We ducked into a church for a bit of respite - then found our pension. The church on the square is Sancti Spiritus - formerly a 14th century Augustian monestary - Knights from the 1400s are buried there.
Jim was able to get another International Harald Tribune - so we read the new and went for dinner. No menu al dia in this town so we had a combo platter - french fries and potatoe salad and chicken - Jim had a potatoe omelet.

Saturday, May 38 -Last night - much whooping and hollering -last night - until 3 am - We have a short walking day - 14.1 to Arzua, then 2 more days to Santiago.

Karen's feet still hurt. Jim still has hives. Other than that - a good day. Over an old Roman bridge - another church - a shady lane - Arzua is a pretty big town - stayed at the Pension Frade, con banyo, TV, balcony, complete with clothes line and pins. Tonight there is a big soccer playoff - Barcelona and Manchester United -- we expect some heavy partying tonight outside.

we found the parish church dedicated to St. james with a staue of him on his horse slaying the Moors -- it was on the alter. There is also the 14th cen. chapel d la Mazdelena - but it isn't open.

We ate at the Cafe Mandela - Jim had grilled calimini and spaghetti bolonaise. Karen had ensalata mixt (with beets) and a pork loin in mushroom and gravy. The pre-game warmup was on the TV in the cafe - there was much interest in the teams - the game does not start until 9:15 and we are not sure we can stay awake. But we saw some play - Barcelone was ahead 2-1 - don't know how it ended but we think Barclona won.

Sunday, May 29 - Jim has more hives this morning - no more squid for him. We walk though the woods - 19.2 km. to Arco d Pina - last stop before Santiago. We booked a Pension for tonight at a good place and for 2 nights at a place in Santiago -- one with a view of the cathedral.

Pension Arca - a big room with a bath - with a clothline outside - of course, after washing clothes it started to rain. We hung them inside. It rained all afternoon- that evening -menu del dia - Karen had spaghetti, chiken (and fries). Jim had salad, porkeys (fries, of course). We had ice cream for dessert- walked back in the rain.
Karen talked with a woman from Denmark - she had walked from Pamplona - Karen asked her, "Why do you walk?" She said, "to clean out the corners of my soul."

Monday, May 30 -We ate breakfast with two Swedish women and a Spanish couple - then set forth on a misty morning at about 7:30 AM. All was OK until it really started to rain at about 11:00 AM - pack covers on -- but most soaked clothing.

Some pilgrims waited under trees or sought shelter - but we marched on - who knows when this rain will stop? Before we knew it - we were at the Monte Gozo -- and there was Yolanda - she had met a guy from Israel and they were walking together now - Small world!

Here is something new: we were walking up a hill and pass a whole pack of pilgrims -- yes-- we passed them!!! Karen had gotten her strength now -- and stamina -We walking into Santiago and it stopped raining -- we followed the camino signed into the city !!!

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