This morning we shared a taxi with a man who had walked every step of the camino starting at the Pyrenees. He had hurt his hip on the assent from the mountain we walked yesterday. He told us another woman had fallen and broke her arm. Today would have been many more mountains, so we opted for the taxi. As we drove though, the area looked like the Scottish highlands mixed with forest.
A few photos of Ponferrada where we were last night, and the tiny village where we are now.
The promised rain is due any minute and will last up to and including Santiago and Madrid. We’re putting on our rain gear already. Buen Camino.
The casa rural (a house in a rural area) we stayed in had all kinds of animals. Early in the evening we heard a cow bell and one of the large males was bringing them all home from the pasture. It was so cool to see and hear. Early evening could be 8:30 pm because it still looks like noon outside. It gets dark at 10pm.
We left our casa rural and began walking, waiting to come to a forest region. We never saw a forest, but it took us 7 1/2 hours to walk 12 miles. Seven and a half miles of it was uphill on rocks or through mud. Walking on rocks down the other side was more difficult than going up. it was the warmest weather we’ve had, about 75 degrees.
We have only five more days of walking until we reach Santiago. I say that wistfully, with the exception of today. Walking these long distances becomes rhythmic. The colors all around us are so bright. Seeing other people walking, many older people, gives you an unspoken sense of community. Knowing that there’s something you are walking towards creates a sense of calm. And sometimes looking out at an endless stretch of road keeps you in the moment. You just walk.
Yesterday we were in Leon, a very big city, but no working internet. We stayed at the monastery that was in the movie “The Way.”
I’m loving the storks. The nest in the photo from 2 days ago had been rebuilt after falling down a couple weeks ago from heavy winds. We were told it had been there 15 years and the storks would return every spring. We saw one that fell and it was huge, made with heavy branches. They said if it had fallen on someone it would have killed them.
These cathedral photos are of Pulchra Leonina built in the 13th century
Today we entered the Cantabrian Mountains. We’re staying in a “Casa Rural” in the town of Rabanal. It’s like a little mountain town. Forests are coming up next
We’ve taken a bus a couple times or we would be walking for two months. We have six nights before Santiago and then a few days in Madrid.
Today was a long straight rocky road built by the Romans. We walked 10 miles before we came to the first small town. Then 4 more miles to get to the town we were staying in.
We started out the first couple days seeing the same Pilgrims, but then it got a little more sparse. The last 100km are essential to get your “pilgrim certificate,” so we’ll probably run into the same people each day.
Here are a few answers to questions left in the comments. We wake at 6am, eat breakfast and then start walking at around 7:30 – 8am. We walk about 6 hours per day. Sometimes we eat only Tapas, but usually we eat dinner at 8 or 9pm and get to bed by 9:30.
We were on flat terrain today, but very cold wind.The snow covered mountains are still in sight. We’ve been told it is unusually cold for this time of year. I lost my beanie so I’m using my scarf to cover my ears. (and looking like a real pilgrim in the process)
More stork sightings. Its hard to get good pictures of them when they like to nest on tall buildings
Tonight we are staying in a huge old reconstructed house. It was originally owned by some monks, but it is now owned by the 3rd generation of the family who purchased it from them.
Thank you all for the comments. The places we stay have wi-fi so I am able to read them.
We took a bus and a little break today. We are in the Meseta region but soon will enter beautiful Galicia.Tonight we are in Sahagun – a halfway point. It’s been in the low 30’s the last couple mornings, but hot right now at 6pm.
How about a dancing class after a 15 mile walk?
A little glimpse at our typical day:
We wake up at 6am. We walk. We talk and walk. We walk in silence. We greet fellow pilgrims. We eat where we find a place to sit on the camino or in a bar/cafe. We’ve fallen, lost a toenail and endured knee pain. We climb steep hills. We encounter sad dogs and happy dogs. We put jackets on and take jackets off all day long. We are happy and exhausted at day’s end.
Strolling through Santo Domingo and Belorado.
Martin Sheen left a hand and shoe print. He was in a movie about the Camino called The Way.
Cloister at a converted monastery we stayed at.
We stopped for tapas, a snack food that is served in cafes and bars in the late afternoon. Dinner isn’t served until 8pm.
Lots and lots of red soiled fields with grape stalks yesterday, and our first really cold weather. 43 degrees and windy. Mucho frio. Today the fields switched back to yellow and green. We see snow capped mountains in the distance. We’re hoping we don’t have to encounter them. Tonight we are staying in a converted sixteenth century monastery in Santo Domingo de la Calzada. Enjoying our experience. No blisters. Buen Camino.
It’s amazing to be out on the Camino. This time of year there are not too many pilgrims, but it’s enjoyable to see others at different stops along the way. Being that it’s spring, everywhere has been green. Yesterday the crops were rippling across the fields in the wind.
Today we entered a new region called La Rioja, so the green hills have changed to fields of grape stocks. Sightings of stork nests, one with a stork. The food photo is a Spanish staple, a bocadillo.
We reached Logrono, which is much larger than the small cities we have passed though so far.
There was also this adorable baby goat
Last night we stayed at a hotel that was once used as a mill
The rain is still around but it makes for some beautiful sights.
Every town has an old cathedral in it
Still following the arrows.
We have been having lots of good food. Yesterday we had a liquid Spanish omelette.
That’s all for today.