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!!!

Another cold and chilly day

We had a wonderful breakfast at the albergue in Miraz.  Almost everyone was up and ready for the 7 am breakfast served for the pilgrims. Everyone was hopeful for a bright and sunny day. 

When we stepped out, it was cold! We put on our ponchos as an added layer for warmth and protection from the cold and possible rain. 


It was a cat and mouse game between the clouds and sun for a bit. The view was fabulous.  This was going to be probably the last stretch in true nature as we neared Santiago. 


After a brief battle the sun succumbed to the insistent clouds and wind, and  the sun said goodbye to us for the morning. 


 We continued on to the town of  Roxica ( 11 km away), where there was an albergue and an opportunity to take the cab to Sobrado dos Monxes.  The choice was made easy, as the albergue was “completo”and the 10th century monastery at Sobrado was waiting for us.

This monastery was restored in 1954 and now serves as pilgrim albergue. We were greeted by a wonderful gentle monk, Julius. He is a delightful man who speaks English eloquently, is author of a few books and is a man of spirituality (focused on spirituality rather than religion). 


Zest for life

The real fiesta in Spain does not start until late. The fiesta we walked into yesterday afternoon was just a preview. We found out that the real fiesta would begin at 10:30 pm and would go on until 4 am.  They lied, it did not end until 5 am. Fortunately, we had our ear plugs. Unfortunately, we had another stage to walk, so we could not indulge in the fiesta. 

Marc was still hot and cold, so Sakkar and Marc took a cab to Santiago. 

We left early morning to enjoy the play of life. When we stepped out,  the air was filled with mist and cold. We stepped back in, dawned our Galicia garb (poncho) and were out again. The show must go on!

We started on a small highway. Two kilometers into our walk, it began pouring.  At 3 km, we left the highway for a beautiful path. 

We were in a different world immediately. We crossed the rio parga, which signaled that we were less than 100 km from Santiago. 

Right after that we passed the 14th century chapel of San Alberte. 


We met James from South Africa. He is 81 years old and doing his 4th Camino. 

An hour into our walk, finally the rain stopped. 

The dance between the sun, clouds, wind, and rain has been going on all day long. Just when you think the sunshine is here to stay, the rain or clouds take over. 

At about 10 km we found this cafe in the middle of nowhere. It was an oasis for pilgrims–to relax, have coffee and orange juice and some cake (Torta de Santiago). 

We continued on for another 6 km to the cute little town of Miraz. 

The albergue here is managed by volunteers, mostly from the Confraturnity of St. James based in London, and they have made this into a nice sanctuary. The Confraturnity of St. James publishes and revises each year a guidebook to the Camino Frances, and they update their guidebooks to other routes, as well, when they can get to it, such as Camino Ingles and Le Puy to Puente La Reine.  The website for the Confraturnity of St. James is  

Outside the cloud, rain, and sun dance is still going on as each one takes its dominion over the other for a brief period. 

We have been cris-crossing our path with these two German sisters for last three days (Theresa and Rosa).  

James, also, has just arrived here for the night.  He has made a delicious spaghetti dinner to share with the other pilgrims. Inside in the dining room there is a wood fire burning as I write this blog.