Monthly Archives: August 2015

A tribute to Wayne Dyer

Going through my email, I just discovered that Wayne Dyer is physically no longer with us.  

I met Wayne on three different occasions and saw him teach many times. He was a friend, mentor, and a teacher to me. He simplified life’s profound questions. What made him remarkable was that he took us with him through his life learnings and discoveries.  I will miss him but rejoice in his transition to light. 

I am using Camino Mystic as an opportunity to share the Camino experience.  Last night it poured for a good hour or so. Finally when it stopped raining, we decided to see the 18th century church in town. 


This morning we woke up to discover fog and mist welcoming us. We walked along a country road for a bit as mist turned into a drizzle. 






After few km we began to move away from the road onto a path, walking up and down through valleys and hills, always coming back to cross the road again (the path was more beautiful and shorter than the road, although on the path we ended up going up and down most of the morning). 



As we were sitting down for a picnic lunch, we saw Philip and Martin (of Austria) coming, and shortly after,  Veren, from Germany, joined us also (she and we had met just earlier that day). 


We continued on to our planned destination of Ballota, only to discover there was no grocery store and only one place to eat and sleep. We had just used up all our food at lunch and needed to buy things for tomorrow’s breakfast and lunch.  We decided to walk another 7 km to the next town with all the facilities. 

The cloud was building up, and we were sure it would rain, so we decided to stay along the road rather than along the trail. 



2 km before our stop, it rained hard. We were fortunate to have great panchos to keep us and our packs dry, but our shoes are wet, and at this moment they are drying by in the room. 


We were fortunate in finding our best hotel yet on this trip, with a nice, warm shower and a hair dryer to boot (to dry our boots). 

After 23 km, we are ready for a good dinner at the hotel, but we must wait until 9 when the restaurant opens.

Back in the saddle again

We had two wonderful, relaxing days in Gijon. It was now time to move on. Based on our conversation with the Tourism office, we decided to jump out of the big city by taking a bus out of the suburban jungle back to the villages. 

We met Kathi and Klara, with the same idea in mind, at the bus station.  Both of these German girls we had met in Rebadesella where they started their Camino and were our bunk mates at the beach hostel. We were also in the same albergue in La Isla.  After 3 solid days of hiking they looked to be very seasoned Camino walkers. 

We got off the bus at El Pito in the hopes of visiting the Palacio Selgas where works by Goya and El Greco are displayed. Alas, Sunday got in the way again, as the gallery was closed. 

We met Pepe in the cafe before we began our walk. He had been to America back in the seventies as part of the Spanish navy and was happy to practice his poquito English as we tried our Spanish. 

We were back to our familiar Camino signs and arrows, feeling alive again (it’s amazing what a couple of days of rest will do for one). 

We were once again in the lush green undulating mountains. 


Along the way we met Philip and Martin, two Austrian young men, who started their Camino just yesterday. 

We finally found a nice spot for lunch with a wonderful view of a beach. 

Overall the day was fairly hazy with a few minutes of rain showers and a little bit of sunshine. 

After 14 km, we are now settled in the  small  town of Soto de Luina for the night.  


A rest day in Gijon

We should call it a rest day for the backpacks rather than us, as we walked about 13 km around town.  Not having a backpack definitely helped, though. 

We started by going to the laundromat and then to the beach for lunch. 

 Afterwards we went on a boat ride along both beaches of Gijon. 

 Gijon is having its Cider festival (Sidra Natural Festival) this week.  All along  the Austaria we have been watching people having Sidreria (the name of the poured drink). This is a fermented Apple Cider drink that is about 6% alcohol and supposedly tastes like a combination of beer and champagne. They pour it into a glass held at knee level while the bottle is above the head (see the pictures for the process).  The custom is to share the same glass with others and only pour a few sips at a time.  

Last night at the beach they had a goal of getting 8000 people to pour and drink Sideria, all at the same time, to create a Guinness book world record.  We were at the sideline watching the attendance count rise.

Local reporter posing for the blog

After awhile we also decided to join the festival and be part of the record. That is when we met Leticia and her friends. She is a teacher who is from Gijon but currently works in Vigo teaching Chinese.


After the record was set, we went on to the other beach to listen to a folk music performance


To Villaviciosa- part 2

The light was just beginning to invite the day. 






Our first and only stop of the day with food was after 4 km, and there we had to indulge in our customery breakfast of huevos fritos.

We had left the town with all food packed for the day.  We were mostly walking on country roads for the next 8 km with gorgeous views of the beautiful green mountains. 










At about 12 km, in the town of Priesca, we came across one of the oldest churches on the Camino, the Church of San Salvador, built in 921 AD.

After this junction we moved into a lush green path with shade. 

We reached Sebrayo at 2 PM, the first albergue that we came to.  We had our picnic lunch and moved on. We met Monique and Thierry from France. We were running low on water with still 6 more km to go. One of the Spanish men standing outside his house kindly filled our water bottles from his house while we chatted. 

One km later we ran into them again where we found this pleasant rest stop with a vending machine in someone’s backyard. 

We continued on to our final walking stop of the day at Villaviciosa. 


Instead of staying in Villaviciosa for the night, we decided to take the next bus that afternoon to Gijon, our next stop.

Gijon, the largess  city in Austaria, with 275,000 people, is also probably the largest city on our path.   The approach and exit from this big city is mostly industrial and concrete walkways. We wanted to avoid that and get multiple nights in one place without changing beds or lugging backpacks. 

The bus from Villaviciosa was a 30 minute express to the center of Gijon, where we plan to rest for few days before we take the bus out to our next stage and continue. 

To Villaviciosa and beyond

We had to go a minimum of 17 km to the first alburgue (no food, just an alburgue), or go 23 km to a city with everything. We chose the latter as we needed to take a rest day. It has been about 10 days since our last rest stop. 

We intended to leave early but did not get out until 8 am.

More to follow tomorrow as it’s already 9 pm and we have not had dinner yet! (The connection is too slow to upload pictures from our hotel room, and we need to go eat). 


To La Isla

We needed to break the stages described in the book to something manageable.  Quite a few stages are 30 to 40 km long. Today’s was one of those stages.  Although there would be a few villages along the way, the facilities we would need, such as an albergue, a grocery store, a restaurant, were scarce.  One small village, La Isla, had facilities.

Last evening it was nice to sit in the patio and watch the sunset at the beach. 

This morning as we left, the light was just filtering in. 

The walk started on a local road which then turned into a nice pathway.  Our first beach was 7 km away.     

 After that we found an unexpected opportunity for coffee and juice, and we spent a little time getting to know two Swedish women (we passed each other a few times this morning). 

After the break, the beaches were more frequent, and the trail was grassy.


 The coastal hike was beautiful but arduous with constant ups and downs.    

 After 18km we are settled at a midway point, La Isla, in the town’s municipal alburgue. 

Note: I could not find wifi, and cellular service is too weak to load more pictures. Most of today’s photos are failing to upload! These few pictures were successfully uploaded. 


We feel blessed to have the support of family and friends during this journey. Your comments continue to boost our energy.  You motivate us to continue this beautiful and challenging adventure.

Today we reached another milestone. We have completed 433 km (260 miles) which marks our halfway point to Santiago.  Thanks again to everyone for you support 💕

Based on actual distance walked (including walks after we finished a stage, according to my trustee Fitbit), we have walked 515 km (309 miles.

We left Nueve at 6:40 this morning as the light was just filtering in. 

Our destination today was the beach city of Rebadesella, nestled between the Pico de Europe mountains and the Rio Sella. The route was mostly a country path with almost no villages along the way.

After 16 km we reached the beautiful beach town of Rebadesella. 

We found a youth hostel right on the beach with views of the beach from our window. I was able to do some body surfing. 


To Nueva

Another peaceful and sweet day of walking along the coast and country paths. Our goal was about 16 km for the day. 

We said goodbye to saint Kristin, as we refer to her, the pilgrim who helped us jump down from the brambles onto the path yesterday.

We left later than usual (after breakfast at the alburgue) but still were able to see some nice skies. 

The first two villages were close together, each with its own beach. 








The next few towns were a bit inland, but soon we were back on the coast where there was an old monastery ruin. 
We are settled in a casa rural in the cute little town of Nueva with its colonial houses.  Our payment includes laundry, so we have clean clothes once again without having to wash it by hand.

Playa Poo

We woke up to a beautiful sunrise this morning. 

 We were staying about 2 km from the famous Bufones of Austaria.  It was almost on the Camino path (on an alternate and scenic path). We decided to check it out. While we could hear the roar of the Bufones, the tide was too low for the splash. 

We continued on the beautiful GR 9 route that took us to our next village where we climbed to a beautiful view point. 


From there we were supposed to take another scenic route to avoid the highway. We passed through a pretty golf course atop the mountain plateau. Unfortunately, halfway through the golf course, we realized that we had made a mistake. We did not want to backtrack, so we decided to climb down the mountain to the actual path through a steep slope and sharp bramble bushes. My shorts were not protecting me, so I had to change into long pants and make the tough descent to the path below. The last 4 feet was a straight jump. Fortunately there was a pilgrim down below to help us ease down to the path.  She happened to be an American, and we enjoyed our walk and lunch with Kristin from North Carolina. 

While we were having lunch in Llanes, we ran into Emily from Ireland whom we had met several times on the Camino over the last few days. We enjoyed our lunch and stories. 

We moved on to our final stop for the day in the town of Poo, where we are in a very pleasant alburgue close to a gorgeous beach.  This was a nice day for a 15 km hike with its twist and turns. 


A cloudy and foggy day

We enjoyed a little time at the plaza watching kids play various games last night, including tug of war. 

This morning there was no tug of war between the sun and the fog. The sun decided to follow Spanish tradition and take an early siesta. 

 After a while along the road, we got a glimpse of the ocean at the place  where another river merged into the ocean. 



While it was hard to see the ocean from the fog, the flowers were totally impervious to that. 




Our path eventually dropped down onto the beach by the La Paz Campground. 


After 15 km, we are settled into a casa rural for the night, and we will let the magic of sleep refresh us once more for our hike tomorrow.