Monthly Archives: September 2015

Grateful and Blessed

Today marks the end of our Camino walk. We made it to Santiago. We feel so grateful and blessed to have the health and the energy to undertake such a journey, and the good fortune and blessings to complete it. 
We appreciate also all the support of our family and friends. Words can’t express how blessed we feel. 
We started at 8 today and enjoyed a dream-like walk in the morning. Clouds, fog and sun were all cooperating with each other to create a mosaic of beautiful vision. 

I will let the pictures do the talking. 

   
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
   

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

   

   

We loved our journey. This quote we found expresses our feelings,

“Once you achieve a significant goal, you will not be the same person you were when you set out on the journey. The process of achieving your goal and the experience you have gained will have changed you. This is why the journey is the reward.”

Down memory lane

Today was a day of nostalgia. Just about a year ago we walked this same stage. 

It is nice to leave the extreme weather we experienced over the last few days.  During the journey we had to deal with sharp ascents and descents, muddy conditions, and long stages.  The final chapter was the unseasonable weather.  Through it all we saw some great scenery and coastal views of beautiful Spain. 

We had a 20 km walk today to Pedrouza. There was no rain in the forecast for the morning, so we decided to leave just before sunrise. 

  
It was a brisk morning but we were prepared for it. It was amazing how some landmarks  were vivid while others had faded away. The countryside was beautiful and the path very serene and peaceful.  

    
    
  
Pat was so happy to be back on the Camino Frances with so many other pilgrims, places to stop and drink coffee or visit with other pilgrims. That is one thing we had missed on the Camino del Norte. We saw more pilgrims this morning than our entire six week journey on Camino del Norte. 

   


The trail was nice and the scenery beautiful. 

   
     
     
   
   
    
   
We stopped and visited the spots for breakfast and lunch that we had stopped at last year!

   
 
We are now settled in the same albergue we were in last year. 

   
    
   
Tomorrow will be our last stage of 19 km to Santiago.  

  

Merging with Camino FrancesĀ 

Our goal today was to reach Arzua. Camino del Norte merges into the Camino Frances here. We were here just last year as a group of 10. 

Today’s journey would be just the two of us with Galician rain and wind. The forecast called for 100% chance of rain with temperatures in the fifties all day. Since there was to be no sun in horizon, we decided to start later than usual. As we were stepping out of the door, torrential rain began. 

  
We decided to wait it out indoors rather than get drenched right of the bat. We had to wait a half-hour for the rain to turn into mist. We decided to skip breakfast and make as much progress as possible before the next downpour. 

   
    
   
It was very windy, but we managed to stay dry for the first 4 km. The sky was looking hopeful, as the sun was trying to find a way to breakthrough the clouds.  

   
    
   
We ducked under the trees a few times to avoid the short-lived downpours. The wind was working like a wind tunnel in the car wash. All we had to do was twirl around a few times and our ponchos would be dry again. 

   
   

A few pilgrims had lost their hats along the way due to heavy winds (flying around). We saw an apple tree and a chestnut tree with their branches broken off. 

   
 
This lady was busy picking up all the chestnuts that had fallen off the trees. 

   
    
 
Yes, it was cold, it was rainy, and most of all it was very windy, but through it all we managed to stay warm and dry (we used all the layers we had brought wit us). Thanks to all your best wishes, we made it, tired but satisfied, to Arzua.  Even the sun managed to breakthrough few times. 

   
 
We were here last year, 10 of us, at the brink of finishing the Camino Frances. I found the same bench where we all ate gelato last year. This year with the cold, Pat and I will pass on it. 

   
 

No end in sight

It just keeps pouring and there is no end in sight. 

Last night we had the opportunity to walk around inside the 10th century monastery and church (since we were staying there). It’s hard to imagine a world back then which required such a large structure (the current population of Sobrado is 349). 

   
    
    
   
It was cold and damp outside at night (we were nestled inside), and we woke up to rain, wind, and clouds.  We had to get out of the albergue by 8. We walked across the street to a cafe which was full of pilgrims. 

   
    
 
We had gotten used to the rain and clouds, but now it was cold and windy, also.  One by one the pilgrims began fileing out for another day’s adventure. Our goal today was a modest 10 km to the next town. That still translated into a few hours of cold rain and high winds!

   
    
 
We were fortunate to walk through some forested areas where the canopy of trees provided a brief shelter. The rest of the time it was just one foot in front of the other to stay warm and make progress. 

   
    
   
Views were great, but taking pictures meant getting the iPhone wet. Pat decided to be my cover from the blowing rain. 

   
 
We are settled in a casa rural for the night. It has been raining all day and the rain is in the forecast for next three days! We are three days from Santiago. Looks like Galicia is hell-bent on making this trip a memorable one!!!