Arzua to Lavacolla

It was a very difficult day today in many ways: 30 km in the rain, got lost, got soaked, got tired, legs starting to bread down, decided to stop at Santiago. 


About 10 km into the walk I started to get shooting pains in my right shin. Of course it’s 5 km until the next cafe, so I keep walking. The pain turns into an ache, but when I stopped walking for coffee, the pain stopped. I hoped that was it, but as soon as I started walking again, the ache returned eventually moving into my right knee.


I spent the day going back and forth about walking on from Santiago. Although I think I COULD keep walking I finally decided that my body (or the universe, or God) was sending me a message and perhaps I should listen.  Worn out shoes, heavy rain, bad shin. Yes, it’s time for this old guy to stop the Camino and declare victory. 10 more km tomorrow morning walking with my friends and a nice celebration of my 1000 mile walk. 


It was a tough decision, but I will take a bus to Finesterre. I really need to be at the ocean, and it will still mean a lot to me to visit Muxia. 



Even though my active walk is almost over, I have learned a lot which I intend to write about in the coming days.

I didn’t recognize much from my previous walk, but I had lunch here with Marie-Jo

Palas de Rei to Árzua

I’ve been looking forward to arriving in Arzua for some time since it’s the first time I’ve been in a place I visited during my 1st Camino 2 years ago. I don’t think I’ve gotten far enough into town since I don’t recognize anything. 


Tomorrow another 29 km walk to a spot only 10 km from Santiago. This will give me a chance to enter the city in the morning, and hopefully attend a noon pilgrims mass. I’m pretty excited!


I’ve been thinking a bit more about my slip the other day. I don’t want to give the impression that the walk is dangerous, or that older people shouldn’t walk because they might fall and hurt themselves. Of course a fall is a possibility, but I will lay the blame for my slip primarily with my failure to get new walking shoes at 1000 miles. The gripping tread of my great walking shoes is pretty worn down in some places. I believe that if I had better grip on my shoes I would not have slipped. 



Of course, I’m also stubborn enough to keep on walking with these shoes  until I finish this Camino. But I will be cautious though.

Portomarin to Palas de Rei

A 25km walk mostly in the rain today. The last sign I saw was Santiago 65km. It’s starting to seem real. Had a chance to take some photos of my walking crew. 


An interesting thing is that one of the German women is Katrin Briese (bree-suh). I’m calling her cousin because my the relatives of grandfather on my dads side reportedly came to the US from Alsace-Laurain in Germany. I may need to join to find out.






Sarria to Portomarin

A rainy and pretty short walk from Sarria to Portomarin. I’ve been looking forward to this stop because I thought I’d see some boats, but the only water is a wide stretch of river. I haven’t seen anything other than a few kayaks and a couple of canal boats since I left Paris.


At dinner last night Ute marked the presence of 5 pilgrims from Germany Finland and USA in a nice Albergue with a staff who seems to enjoy their work and have fun. There are a lot of places along the Camino where sentiments resemble the peace and love days of the hippie era. It’s one of the things I like most about walking the Camino. Raw emotions are close to the surface, yet almost everyone is totally polite and looking out for each other.


I was asked about pilgrim meals. Actually many places in France and Spain serve Menu del Dia (menu of the day) with limited choices for dinner. A pilgrim meal is like this at an Albergue or hostel. Lots of high calorie food bread wine and dessert all for €9-12. 


I passed a marker showing 100 km to Santiago today. This is the closest you can start to complete a pilgrim walk. Anyone who can walk 4 miles a day at home can probably walk 7-10 km on this trail to become a pilgrim. I hope to convince lots of Old Guys (and the women they’re trying to keep up with) that it’s a real possibility with a good daily effort at increasing walking distances. 


Hasta mañana

Beduedo to Sarria

It was a day jam packed with everything one could want. It had a menagerie of animals, stunning views, old cities, a slip and fall, extra distance, and more.

8 AM was daylight this morning after the time change. Fresh legs made a 7 km downhill pretty easy for a nice breakfast in Triacastela. The signs out of town were not so good, so I added 7 km to my 27 km walk but got to visit Samos. A beautiful town with one of the largest monasteries in Spain. Samos is a town I’d like to go back and visit.


I needed to stop to make repairs to my left thumb which got cut up a bit when I slipped and fell. More than 1400 km with no falls and I go down on a paved road with wet cow dung. No big deal, falls can happen to anyone but I also came over my right knee just like I did 13 years ago. The only thing that kept it from being a major injury was that my shoe heel didn’t catch. I pulled my heel up really high against my back but I guess my fitness saved me again since I didn’t even pull a muscle.


I had just photographed a herd of cows marching down a road so you would think I’d be more careful. Just a cut on my thumb and a lot more caution from now on.


Sarria is one of the towns often used to begin a Camino walk. It’s a little more than 100 km from Santiago. For a beginner or very slow walker it would be a nice choice. One could walk 10 km a day (or less) and get a compostella certificate within 2 weeks. 



I missed my crew last night but they caught up with me in time for a pilgrim meal tonight..