Sunday, September 30, 2007

That's ME You're Talkin' About

I just received this Santiago update: The people at the Pilgrims' Office in Santiago have just informed that the number of pilgrims receiving the Compostela as of last Wednesday has surpassed 100,000.

It is very cool - they list your first name in Latin!

I got mine on Tuesday afternoon! How exciting that it was so close to this milestone!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

I Have Issues

I'm home. It's 4:30 am in the morning here (UTAH) and I'm wide awake because it is 12:30 pm there (SPAIN). You'd think after being in bus stations and airports for 48 hours I'd want to sleep, but I don't, I want to walk. My body is literally aching to propel itself forward and make distance somewhere.

I've been unpacking, happily putting this away upstairs and that away downstairs and up and down and up and down. My house has become a Teri treadmill! (Or Teri has become a gerbil.) I'm still thinking to myself in Spanish. And I do realize this awake stint has to last in until 9pm or so tonight (UTAH). No siestas for this girl.

I tried to put one of my dress pumps on - hahaha. I won't be doing the "proper" shoe thing at work for a few days. It will be ahwile before I can be Cinderella.

I have some walking things I can do today...wash the car (boy does it get dirty sitting in the carport for a month), walk to the runners store (that sounded funny) and thank them for their assistance with stuff for the trip and walk to the outdoors store and RAVE to the man that sold me my pack and later helped adjust it. That pack was totally an appendage of me during the trip. It carried a great load at times and very, very well.

My hiking sticks made it back to the US. The other things in the box (which I smartly put in a plastic bag) had leaked and melted all to heck. I didn't even try to work with them - straight into the trash. My hiking stick from Spain made it to Newark, but not to Salt Lake City. I PRAY that they find it and get it to me. This stick was the saving grace of my trip.

This weekend I plan to PARTY with my friends (they had one ready for my arrival until my plane was way way way delayed), fix the spelling errors and update this site with some details that were too cumbersome to outline on the Treo and of course, add pictures!, chat with the kids and Julie and little Miss Nora.

I keep wanting to eat, eat, eat. Gonna have to nip that in the bud starting NOW! I made coffee - yuck. Get this, I sit down to look up a recipe of the tortilla de patatas that I fell in love with and Pieter had just posted it in the last few days. No hunting there. I went on and hunted down some other tapas recipes. I promised the wine club that I would do the honors in Oct. or Nov. and we'd have a Spain theme. I'm ready!

Happiness: Toilet paper and hair conditioner and water in a glass.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Adios Santiago de Compostela

I'm at the bus station, leaving in about an hour for Madrid. What a beautiful adventure this has been. I read my journal today and even with "re-living" it, it doesn't seem real.

I never felt alone on the Camino even though most of the 270+ miles were solo. Faith and my friends & kids back home filled my heart and my head. I feel absolutely isolated in the fact that so few people in the US have done this and I feel like I have a big fat secret. I'm not sure I will ever be able to adequately share the mystery (without sounding like a lunatic).

I had too much time on my hands today and found an antique bookstore. My achilles heel. I found the Codex Calixtinus in Spanish, a perfect, unworn copy. (I'm always carting books home!) The shopkeeper gave me a 1911 printing of Austen's Persuasion (Spanish) as a gift.

I went to the Cathedral early this morning to offer my thanks for the Camino, Nora, Dwight's healing, my friends, family, etc. I saw the full moon set and the sun rise. I sat on the church steps and felt the sun's warmth and later the heavy clouds racing by overhead. I watched the pilgrims arrive, seeking the church and pilgrim's office as I had.

Every day I loved greeting the elderly locals in Spanish and watching their faces light up in surprise.

Yes world, I am the luckiest girl alive and I give much thanks!

(From my Treo)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Buenos Noches Santiago

My "apartment" is part of a semi-open air collection of the same. There are kids next to me with a guitar. The music is festive and joyful. They've been yelled at a couple times by the real residents, but I'm enjoying their obvious joy and bohemien-ness of this whole adventure!

I finally managed to get a hot meal tonight when I wanted it. I used the system-ordered lunch late. Pimientos de Pardón. I ordered my entire meal in Spanish (and knew what I was ordering) and responded to the questions. I even correced the owner on the bill because he was undercharging Spanish!

Two things have changed with the region change..tortilla (which is different than the US version too) and pimiento which was a red pepper in Navarra and is now a little green chili in Galacia.

I bought some relish picks today that represent Galacia. The shopkeeper wrote the names of all the items for me. An explained what each item was used for in the home or while farming.

I'm obsessed with the horreos and actually bought a figurine of one. I I was almost a German Shepherd's lunch yesterday for stopping long enough to shoot a pic of one with a date on it. I sat by the gal at Mass today that was walking by a the same time - by the way how does that happen? 500 people at Mass and we find each other. This has happened a thousand times on the Camino.

I've run into a handful people I met on the first part of the trip... how did we all get here at te same time? And then there's all the others I've met in the last week.

My last night here. Tomorrow night is bus sleeping.

Thanks to all who did and tried to join the webcam jam that was fun! (I'll add the video eventually!)

(From my Treo)

Santiago Dias Dos

I'm keeping close to the Cathedral today - it is very much a CamIno area and let's me hang on just a bit. I love my room and the fact it is in the heart of it all.

I did laundry this morning for the last time by hand. I took that in too.

I bought probably the last amount of mystery food from te trip - looked a bit like potato salad. It was that and more! It included tuna, surimi, green olives, egg, carrots, corn, peas and God knows what else. I found my beloved cookies yesterday on the way into the city. I have to be careful now, I can't keep eating like a pilgrim. I'm not walking 10-20 miles a day!

I have my bus ticket o Madrid for tomorrow night and Friday afternoon I fly home. PS Delta has been WONDERFUL to me on this whole trip. 

My three days in Santiago will have been a wonderful, relaxing ending to the experience of a lifetime!

See you at the fountain in a few!

(From my Treo)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

iPods on the Camino

1. Because the sleeping arrangements are so public you really have to take all your electronics to bed with you.
2. If the nearby bunkmate is noisy, you'll break an eardrum with the iPod before you can drown them out.
3. Music can put a nice punch to your pace, but you just get hungrier sooner and then have to STOP and get food out of your pack.
4. Miracles of Santiago and John Denver's nature and love songs are great for "the hike".
5. I had several clocks for the various timezones. It was nice coming home to know Spain, East Coast and Mountain Time.

But...where it was almost a catastrophy was when I was near Santiago and I was be bopping along. I jumped out of the way because I thought a car was bearing down on my behind. It was loud and fast! It wasn't a car it was a jet...we were were next to a runway that was obscured by a little forest. Thought I was toast there for a moment!!

(From my Treo)


I'm here, I'm Compostelled, I've hugged the statue of St. James from behind the altar, and I've visited his tomb (the purposed of this little 400 km stroll).

I did the cool thing and let one of the local ladies find me. They find the Pilgrims near the Cathedral and offer to rent rooms for just a few Euro a night. I still have to forage for my own food and do laundry in a tub, but the bathroom is next door and I only have to share it with a couple of rooms.

Speaking of food. I tried to eat at 7:00 and the place wouldn't do dinner until 8:00 so I tracked down a grocery store and still had ham and cheese on bread. I'm so tired and cold that I just want to snuggle down and sleep until daylight. (A camino joke.) The HOT private shower was a treat too!

Tomorrow is climbing to the top of the Cathedral, the Pilgrim's Mass, touristy stuff, SHOPPING, hot food and travel arrangements.

AND at 9am Utah time I'll be at the fountain on the webcam. If you want to see proof of destination, please join

Thanks for all your support. I couldn't have done it without you!

(From my Treo)

Monday, September 24, 2007

My Journey

Last Taping

I think that was the last toe taping I'm going to have to do. 21 km to the finish line.

(From my Treo)

Santiago Manana!

I couldn't stand the thought of sitting the bulk of the day in the alburge in Arzua so I kept walking, right through to tomorrow's destination, Santa Irene. So tomorrow is Santiago!

I am excited. This has been the bestest adventure ever! Thanks to all of you who have been posting on this site and have been sending me emails. I couldn't have done it without your support.

(From my Treo)

Sunday, September 23, 2007


I ate at the famed Ezequiel, a pulperia. Translated..octopus. Yup folks, they pull them out of a boiling vat of spiced liquid, chop them up, sprinkle salt, paprika I'm guessing, wine and olive oil. Very good! The bread was awesome too. I ordered some wine and it came in a pitcher with a bowl! (A closer look at the sign would have given me a clue that this was how it was served.) I gave some to the locals and the gal that split the order with me. There were probably 200 people in there all doing the same. I made the comment that I thought it was odd that there was all this octopus being featured so far inland. Martina pointed out to me that while we were six days away from the coast, by car or truck it was about an hour or two.

This morning I got to be a part of moving the dairy cows from the barn to the pasture. The guidebooks ask us to wait for the animals. The owner told me to go. So the Bessies and I wandered down the road together. Cows weave. The woman was concerned, since it was early, that I hadn't eaten. I didn't know how to tell her I had...twice already.

If I knew there would be places to stay, I would crank my mileage and finish Tuesday. Each day, pretty much, I still find a Camino gift along the way. The pilgrims are different now and there are more: those that only had a week or two. They don't have the same "I got broken and healed" manner to them. This is hard for me to adjust to. Example: the bunkbed slats and bathrooms have graffiti, sometimes very crude. I guess I'm just saying I have to look harder to find the simple graces. They are still here and I have found them, but they aren't "presenting" themselves as they have the last few weeks.

Down to 50 km to go!
(From my Treo)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Palas de Rei

I think I earned to say "oh crap! " in 10 languages this morning. We all slept until 7:30. The alburges close at 8! Today was un eventful other than my weekly Saturday call from Louise. I look forward to these! Her first was so appropriately timed, as I would have bailed this adventure the first week if not for that call.

Tomorrow is Sunday which means today required grocery shopping. I have been looking for a bakery to get those great cookies that Jurgen kept buying for me in Burgos.

My shadow is smaller. I gave my shorts a hitch up today and could see my whole feet down through the waistband.

I should be to Santiago on Wednesday!

Blessed Domingo/Sunday to you! (Manana)

(From my Treo)

Camino Karma

I was picking my bed today and found one that I liked. A man literally stepped in front of me and threw his pack on it.


I found another one. The guy came by later and was mad...I had a lamp in my bunk!

(From my Treo)

Friday, September 21, 2007


Daylight is coming later and later. We're in a rhythm that is difficult to break. Asleep at 10pm, awake by 6, out the door by 7. But you get more efficient and it becomes out the door by 6:30.

I learned night hiking last year with Pat and Mt. Timp. Itls funM but a little daunting alone. IF, in my case, I remain open in thought, I lknow when I need to be looking for heart tells me there's an arrow I need to find.

This morning was a combination of road and forrest hiking in the dark.

I saw the Milky Way for the first time in my life. In perfect silence and crystal clarity in all its glory, with no city light competition.

In the forrest there were owls hooting..

I heard the morning first crow of the rooster in a tiny hamlet.

And I saw the morning mist form and begin to rise out of the valleys, all in perfect silence. Did you know that when one is still and not moving, the mist will surround you (for me it was like an embrace)?

And I got "footprinted" yesterday by an exhausted woman -I just held her while she was cying. Another couple doule bunked so she could have a bed (the albruge was full). She made braided bracelets for her angels. I wear it with great love and understanding.

(From my Treo)


OK boys time for a chat. The only Speedo exceptions are lovers and Hawaiian beaches (where everyone is stuffed onto a too small unflattering swim suit).

Share my vision folks: between 10 and 100 men every night and most are running around in their skivvies. Now imagine Hagreth (sp Harry Potter) and Jack Sprat wndering by, lower bunk eye level. See what I mean? It is a bit disconcerting when one of the wearers is your bunkmate and you've only just met over unpacking you mochillas.

OK so the view is sometme OK, but the math favors "eeeew".

(From my Treo)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Lucille on the Camino

Damned if I didn't manage to order what Mom called goulash tonight. Her goulash wasn't goulash and this wasn't either. My least favorite meal on the planet found me in Spain. Hi Mom! I thought I had snuck out of the house being a solo peregrina en Espana without you knowing it.....guess not! Love you! Miss you! Tomorrow is walking for YOU!

(From my Treo)

Camino Pedometer

I'm loving Galacia. Country roads, stone fences, rolling fields of farmland, forests, birdy calls, livestock perfume.

Every half kilometer there is a stone marker stating the distance to Santiago. Kind of like a New Year's countdown or a Spanish version of 100 bottles of beer on the wall.

It is early in the day. I am in Ferreiros. A little nowhere village with an alburgue. I am NOT going to pound out the km...I have time to take in every birdy chirp that is sent in my direction.

Earlier today I left a note in the stone hermitage for my Camino friends. Hopefully my spirit will call to them to stop and read my note as they pass by and know that I, in turn will be cheering them on.

This photo was taken at the 100km marker. The OFFICIAL spot marking the 100km's to Santiago that earn a Compostela.

(From my Treo)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Ready, Set, Go!

Tomorrow (i honestly don't know what day of the week it is) I start the last 100 km (Dwidget I think has the inches and EXACT mileage) of the remaining Road to Santiago. I'm going to do it at my pace, listening to my breathing and my feet, and my heart. I only say it this way because all my Camino friends are behind me, finding their way. They have lit my path and now it is mine alone to complete - with their love and yours surrounding me.

I passed some beautiful scenery today on the train. I know I'll return to do this some more and again. This is peace. I have found me.

Sometime between know and then I'll find the Santiago webcam site so I can coordinate a time to wave at all of you!

(From my Treo)

Beat It Into Me!

i'm surronded by religious the last couple of days. Two sister missionaries yesterday, three elders today (and I have a message to take home for one). Nice to talk with them because they all know Provo/Orem. One asked me today about if the Camino was hard? I reminded him he walks all day everyday...I thought it would be similar. He said "but I have a home to go to each night." But mine is for a month and his is for two years. Interesting this God stuff.

Now I did not attend Catholic school, but I can say, I've been smacked up the side of the head by a nun. My Spanish enunciation is not up to snuff. She made me read the newspaper out loud. To me, that's the easy part. I haven't a clue what I was reading about! When two more nuns joined her, I offered my seat. No way was I going to subject myself to a triple training lesson.

(From my Treo)

Fast Forward

Listen Grasshopper and you shall learn.
No bus to where I wanted to go. I had briefly spoken to a girl who was going to Sarria. She bolted out of the bus station after going to the ticket counter.
When I found out that I could only go so far, I checked HER destination in my book. 2 days west. Ah hah! I went back to the counter and asked for her destination. I still got a "no" but got what I was looking for....why she left. The train! Then I had to find the station, which was easy by looking at the mapa outside the autobus estacion. A quick check in my phrasebook and I had the train schedule and ticket
The train doesn't leave for 6 hours and then has one change later in the day. So I'll cover two weeks of footwork today.
It is very cold here. Hearing utterances of snow. But the sky is clear. I bought pants last night so I'm ready should this become part of the adventure.
112 km to go! While I will have NOT done 800km, I will have over half. That is nearly 300 miles! Can you freaking believe it. At a miracle a day that isn't bad at all!

(From my Treo)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I'm A Big Girl Now!

I found the tourist office. I got the bus schedule and had the lady mark rhe station on the map. I walked there this afternoon Jurgen insisted on going. (I insisted on navigating). He sggested I buy my ticket today (Good idea!). He got made because someone stepped in front of me. It was for a bs leaving in a few minutes. I told him it was OK and he reminded himself we're on the Camino. As I got to the counter I blocked his access to the counter andexplained, in Spanish, that I spoke only a little Espanol and had written the time and destination down. I had successfully requested my own bus ticket!.

Because I need to be there so early tomorrow and it isn't on the camino route where there will be a lot of pilgrims roaming about early, Jurgen will walk me to the station and then restart his camino on foot.

(From my Treo)

Special Recognition

I have so many surrounding me who are keeping me on the road. I need to especially recognize three: Mr. Droopy Face and my Evil Twin and Jules have been so supportive. They all seem to know exactly when to say what (I think they are tag teaming sometimes). Please take time to all hug each other and pass my love around. I will give you each a big slobber when I get back.

Mr. D - has known me the longest, the best, and loved me the most! Every day of knowing him is a gift and a joy.

The other I look forward to our Saturday calls! I miss you so very much. Thanks for all your support, long distance hugs and´ve listened to so much.

Congratulations to Jules and Brian for bringing little miss Nora into this world. She is blessed by having two of the most loving people I have ever known for parents. Jules....I hope she gives you all the joy you have given me for the last couple of decades.

Randi, Diana, Blaine, Brian, Steve, Julie B, Gina, Daniel, Denise, Shanna and everyone else....thank you so much.

To everyone - the humanity present on the Camino gives me hope that we can save the world!

Burgos Cathedral


I went to the cathedral today. It has been spruced up to say the beautiful. There were a couple of parts that were visible that had not yet been was due for it´s facelift. It is impressive and very, breathtaking.

I needed some things in order to continue my journey. I DID NOT seek out the airport today as I was ready to do. I did get the bus schedule to Leon and from there will find something (donkey?) that will take me to the finishing line starting point.

Because I have to haul all my shopping treasures (no Paul) there a few things I have purchased. Along the Nativity line I have two that I´ve collected along the way....a postcard of a nativity scene and the tiniest nativity scene I´ve ever set eyes on. Smaller than a thimble full of the familia and 2 donkeys.

Thanks to my "almost bailed again" supporters and the peregrinos who show up just in time and know just what to say ¨you´ll be in Santiago inside of a week - how wonderful!¨ I get all the comments you´ve all posted on here. They are my strength and either end my day filled with joy or start my morning with smiles and hugs. I love you all so very, very much. And I truly think of you every inch of the way!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Cool Thing

In order to use the hotel room's electricity...chargers, lights, etc., your doorcard has to be inserted in a special slot. So when you leave your energy is wasted.

Fortunately the Princess know knows enough Spanish now to ask the maid how to turn on the lights!

(From my Treo)

Favorite Picture

Juergen took this picture of me, just before the electrical storm let loose. Between San Juan de Ortega and Burgos. I absolutely LOVE IT! It captured my whole camino in one click

Rough Day

I let too many influence my day today and ended up not only messing up a healing blister, but being very annoyed at someone and mostly with myself for not drawing a line in the mud and saying MY CAMINO! But one also learns on the Camino that you might be needed more FOR someone than the reverse. Which turned out to be the case today. So I was the lesson for someone today and the one I received is...haven't a clue.

Neat isn't supposed to be outside in a lightening and thunder storm right? What happens when you have no choice? You're literally in the middle of knowhere? Trust God and enjoy the show! I took this picture just before the rain started falling. The light is the hill we were walking beside the dark is the sky ready to give us its show.

I'm in a little hotel in Burgos. For two days. I swore I wasn't going to do this. (Hotel.) But here I am. Will plan tomorrow flight home, bus to Tricastelera or feet to Leon.

This afternoon it was "outta here" (again). Tonight over tapas with Jurgen, I saw Marlena walk by. I went out and Tanya was with her (met both in separate cities). I'm inspired again. Marlena in the middle, Tanya on the right.

Love/hate hotel. Have power, shower, etc. Have windows open for street noise. 149 short of sleeping companions. All the toilet paper I want. Weird not wearing tomorrow's clothes to bed. I kid you not - it took THREE baths to get the water to run clear and not brown. Not wearing my contacts or putting the case in my shoes at night is new too. Guesses that I'll wake up at 5:30 with nowhere to go?

Still playing the Jeopardy theme song!

(From my Treo)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

San Juan de Ortega

I didn't feel like stopping at noon today so.....24 km today. Glad I didn't stop or I would have wasted the forest shade on a morning. And....I caught up with Juergen by making it here.

Just patted the famed Calixto the dog, who picks pilgrims to walk with. He smells like a donkey!

This priest, photographed with Juergen, was integral in getting the Camino revived. After Mass, he serves garlic soup to the pilgrims - a well known ritual for pilgrims.
One note I need to add here (November). The accomodations here are not as "pristine" as other places you may have or have yet to stay. In fact some guidebooks will say there is no hot water. If you truly faint of heart - I'd recommend going on. There is a great restaurant/bar attached to the property with some really cheap, but good wine. There is no village to visit - you are there for the evening. My wonderful friendship with Juergen was forged here. I met him earlier, but the afternoon and evening spent together, going to mass and walking the next days built a bond we won't soon let slide

That said I would stay there again. And I recommend it for the fact he has worked hard to restore the Camino and actually the unkempt conditions are probably what pilgrims of the past had to endure.

Back to September's post: Not much to report other than distance. Tomorrow or Tuesday I will have my exit strategy. It changes daily so I have no clue what the "final answer" will be. Jeopardy music here.

(From my Treo)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

All Gain, No Pain (Belorado)

A grand day on the Camino! I'm in Belorado, sitting on a parkbench at dusk, listening to Mass being said. I'm parked on the bench because it is time for the storks to come roost. The nests are bigger than the church bells, some bigger than the belfries they are perched against.

The Camino takes us through the original part of every village, always past a church or two. Most of the churches were built in the 12th century (and the nearby building's skeletons).

Javier sent me off with a sunflower in my pack today. (My laundry hadn't dried the day before so the sun and I needed to work together.) I promised myself to leave it at a Mary statue at one of the churches. It stayed pretty perky all day. Where did I stop tonight? The church of Santa Maria.

The storks came just as Mass concluded. Huge, 5 or 6 of them, sailing up to the church's bell tower. Once in the nests they started clapping their beaks. It sounds like broomsticks being smacked together. This was my only request of the see the storks. I have been given a hundred gifts from this journey, but also my single hope.

Hello wine club. Please hug Louise for me!

(From my Treo)

Friday, September 14, 2007


This is the place and the people that took such good care of me the day I heard about Ray passing away. I had heard that Granon was a special place to stay. I had no idea how special it would be for ME!

Jerry walked me to the door that morning and handed me a prayer card. He doesn't know how much it meant to me - the times I walked with him were so special. I will never look at a rose the same way again. I swear that everyday after we parted a rose presented itself to me. I came home to mine, unattended for a month, blooming in full glory! (Jerry, I didn't get your email - let me know how you're doing!)

Zammy was my mat mate that night - he is Israeli. We talked at length about his ideas for ecumenical peace and understanding. I like his ideas! I wish I could talk to him more! La kayim!

Javier and Rosa pulled me in, let me cry, let me work, let me sit, let me help. I will be forever indebted to their hospitality and love.


I received word today that my brother Ray, passed away Sept. 3rd, the day I began my camino. He exemplified making family out of gene pooling. The church people in Granon have been very kind in letting me come in early and stay all day. They are also letting me assist with greeting other pilgrims. Javier took me to the bell tower and did a mini ding of the big church bell. Rosa keeps the refugio and Javier in line - I will help cook tonight - many mouths to feed..

I found a stork feather this morning in front of the church in Santo Domingo. A new stowaway, like my ring :)

Know that I am in good condition physically and mentally. I feel like I am with family today-much love, warmth, and compassion. Tomorrow - march on pilgrim!

(From my Treo)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Santo Domingo de Calzada

Chickens in the chuirch! Legendary. Sleeping in an enclosed (barely) area outside/next to the church. 100 beds upstairs and probably near the same down here. Since exposed to the night air we have really nice wool blankets. I have a very cushy soft cot. Cozy warm.

Special people of the day? Jorge and Anne. Jorge is teaching us all the roadside food we've overlooked. They were also my bunkmates lastonight.

Tomorrow whort walk, had to go further today than I wanted to. 4-star church loft calling my name for tomorrow night!

(From my Treo)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Oh yeah

And laundry by hand - hope it is sunny!

Meals from a can - mystery meat. Bread strapped to your pack.

No need to dress in the morning - your pajamas were today's clothes.

You find your best from last week 10 ft. from you TODAY hen again you weren't going out, but did.

You're actually disappointed to meet someone from the States - there is nothing new to learn! The sound of all the languages is like a beautiful symphony to me!

(From my Treo)

A Pilgrim's Day

Up at 5:45 if you want access to the toilet and sink. 6:00 if you want the lights and plastic bags to wake you and you want to prance while waiting for a toilet.

Check to see what hurts less and what might hurt new.

Toilet, teeth, face, hair optional, tape toes. Food. Go. Probably still dark if you avoided toilet prance.

Having checked for yellow arrows the previous night, head out carefully because arrows don't glow in the dark. Walk.

In about an hour turn around and see a glorious sunrise! Have a bite of chocolate! Walk.

Village and cafe con leche. Walk. Smile at locals and say "buenas dias", get "buen camino" and figs. Walk.

See vineyards and churches and very old buildings and children and very old wrinkled people whop will give you blessings.. Eat fabulous food. Walk.

Get to alburgue. Wait for opening. Talk with other pilgrims. Pay 3-5 Euro ($5-7), get bed. Lay out sleeping bag. Get iin line to shower 70-140 wanting same. If staying in churches, sleep on floor (really very nice), and cook and eat and clean up together. Siesta (everything is closed). Walk to see city (always in the old part - beautiful!)

10:00 lights out.

Everydays brings a new miracle to experience! Everyday some new Espanol and food and kindness and old friend and new friend. Absolute joy!

Rinse, repeat!

(From my Treo)


Today I was strong.

Later today when I was tired, but holaing and buenas diasing the entire countryside, a local gave me two figs (off his neighbor's tree I think) and walked with me for a bit until we got to his street and then said adios.

I now understand why people do the camino over and over again.

And then there is tapas e cafe con leche!

(From my Treo)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

200 km, about 120 miles

Navarette. Was given my first fresh fig ever! Newtons move over! Special people of the day...Baltazar and Stephen. Tomorrow Najéra.

(From my Treo)

Monday, September 10, 2007


Another "camino'. I was walking down a side street, not the right one, but knowing that I was heading in the right direction. There is Harold.

In church praying this afternoon, and priest comes over and greets me. Pats both shhoulders and blesses me.
I should have raised my feet perhaps?

(From my Treo)


In a church again! Navarette tomorrow I think.

(From my Treo)


I met Dominique today. He is from Provence, France. Today was a lot of uphill walking and I was going very slow. He walked with me much of the day and introduced me to olive trees (and how olives are processed) and grapes! His son works in the wine business in California and his daughter is in Pennsylvania (if I remember correctly).

Later on The Camino I met up with him again....over a display of raspberries and again the morning we were nearing Santiago. We walked into Santiago together. Later, again, we ran into each other at the fountain. We had some wonderful conversations. I enjoyed walking with him very much!


Viana was having a fiesta for Mary yesterday. I stayed at the church on the hardwood floor. No room at the alburque. Awesome. Helped fix dinner for 12. One of the bars gave me one of the "local" red scarves. I was too late for the bullfight. I did get to see the bulls run through the village street from the balcony of the church.

New day, new blister. We all have noticed what hurts today won't tomorrow, but something will. At least today I could use both feet normally and not walk like an ape. I still don't have speed because of today's blister, but that's OK to.

I found Joop finally. Walked past a bar and saw him. I went up behind him "what's a girl gotta do to get a drink around here?" He and I both burst into tears. He'd been leaving me notes at the side of the road under rocks. Had missed him by 10 minutes and probably 20 meters in Los Arcos the day before.

The footprint pins have become the craze of the Camino! People see the pins and meet and pass messages back and forth about and to me. "You know Theresa"?. I heard Teri for the first time in days last night. The hospitalario of the refuge gave me a place to sleep when the spaces were all gone. He said "Teri" was used by close friends and family. For him to use it said a lot.

I will need to leave before I can finish. I can't hopscotch.....too much to experience every place, every day. Will pick a stopping point, come home and come back again.

My view of life and the world and myself is forever changed. Every hurt and doubt and fear has been neutralized. I know who and what is important. The rest is finito. And when I lose sight of that again, you'll find me back on the camino....where there is always a place to sleep and someone who knows EXACTLY why you're crying.

(From my Treo)

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Los Arcos

The the two can you say "hamburger" blisters that I have about made me give up today. I walked 9-11 km today, bought nuavo botas, taxied here and met up with almost everyone. That andd Louise called, IMed with Wendy. Will press on manana.

Still searching for Joop tonight.

This is still all so still surreal. Speaking more Espanol than English.

The footprint pins have become a cult!. People are greeting each other because they have seen the pins and know ME! Dwight, what a facinating phenomena you have started! Mucho gracias me amigo!

(From my Treo)

Friday, September 07, 2007


I´m in Lorca tonight. I am not making the speed I had hoped to, but I don´t care. I will bus some distance if I need to. I need to catch up with my friends at some point so they don´t worry and I hit my end date.

The alburgue last night only allowed seven total. Tonight my room has four. The 120 has been interesting. I´m listening to opera Pavarotti as I type as Jose is an Opera fan. He was tending to the alburgue for his father Jose, Sr. (During the trip Pavarotti passed away.)

Tonight I´m helping cook dinner. Nothing is a problem, every thing just works out. I mean, heck, I´m helping cook in Spain! Jose sent me limping up to the "store"...the last house on the left up the hill. I knew what I had to buy, but didn't know exactly how to ask for it....but I did. The alburgue wasn't certified or whatever to serve food, but Pilgrims were allowed to cook. Hence our plan. And at one point I asked Jose if he had the same meal served EVERYNIGHT and he said, yes. (The crowd turned over every day, who would know?) And as you can see below, the outcome of the cooking left them smiling. Or maybe that was the wine...whatever!

Oh and every village is on a hill...that being able to see your enemy coming thing.

Here are the coolest things I´m encountering: I´m totally FREE! Chocolate is energy! The food is fabulous! The world is kind and wonderful-I have witnessed it every hour of every day. Blackberries off the vine are divine! God is ever present...with the people, the alberques, the signs, rocks made into arrows, the food, the wine, the new friends.

This is the geatest thing I´ve ever experienced. I will NEVER be the same.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


Obanos, after seeing it for myself, is the final destination of two people in my lineage. While the story is said, the outcome is the sainthood of St. Felicia and San Guillén. Did I mention saints in my lineage?

I particularly loved the archway leading out of the town. Notice the color of the sky. So very beautiful.

You can read about the Mystery of Obanos here:


I had original heard this was the church built by St. Felicia- from my family line. I'm staying at the refigio here. Gourmet dinner cooked by he caretaker and a private candelight prayer service including a reading that I did about...foosteps, followed by Ave Maria - more signifigance. I was asked to say grace at dinner. This place was too moving for words. The Mother and Child at this church is very unique to me, but much like others in the area (almost Egyptian-like) in their representation.

Update....So the church of St. Felicia is actually in Jean....made a gourmet dinner, so wonderful. The prayer service was by candlelight. We each read a portion of the service in our own language. My portion was the prayer about footprints ... a favorite of mine and especially important because of the footprint pins that Dwight sent me to give out on the Camino.

Ave Maria was sung at my mother´s funeral and at Robert's. It means the world to me.

Desert was a custard with a little kiwi slice and the ever familiar (and much needed) yellow arrow. With our breakfast setting, Jean had a little polished rock with "Eunate" scripted on one side, the famous yellow arrow on the other. The detail to which he went to was amazing. The arrow pointed the direction of the Camino based on where the place setting was located in relationship to the trail.

I passed six nuns on the side road to get there (2 km out of the way). The first three tried to talk to me in Spanish. We did not do well, however they wished me buen camino. The 2nd set of two were patient and we got a lot shared. They told me there were several chicas at the church refuge. They looked at my necklace.....St. James, my Paris angel and my Miraculous Medal and then began hugging and kissing me and wishing me well. The 6th nun saw me crying (overwhelmed at the love of the two previous) asked me about my condition and also, wished me well. I love nuns, always have. Mother Anne´s warm hands are universal and very comforting to me. Then I get to Eunate and Jean is French. I lost my French over El Perdon. Spanish is all I speak now. Rudamentary, but it is what it is. This is a picture of Jean and me in front of the church.

Wikipedia sobre Eunate:

I am very happy to NOT see El Perdon´s windmills any more. I thought I´d never lose that damn mountain range.

Alto de Perdon

Alto de Perdon is the mountain range just after Pamplona. It is where the famed windmills are perched (there are more places in Spain, but this is the "big one"). It is also where the Pilgrim memorial for Navarra is located. As you can see, I'm part of the pack!

The climb from the Pamploma valley is long and longer to get to the top. This is where Aleix got his "turbo" and I lot him but met up with Denise again! Remember, she's the gal I met at the airport and train station? She started her camino a day sooner than I did, so I hadn't seen her for awhile. We ran into each other again a few days later, then again a few after that. Right place, right time happened so many times on this trip. It was erie.

And after you bust your you-know-what to get to the memorial and the windmills....down you go. This is a picture of "the other side" . That's Denise heading down. I liked her attitude...."I'm not getting any further just standing here."
After abajo (down) I was at Eunate.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


My apologies for yesterday. I was staying in a stone building and lost my connection. I thought I had lost my camera (found it in the pack) so there are no pictures between Roncevalles and Pamplona. This picture is Joop and Harald discussing where we should seek out the vino in one of the plaza majors in Pamplona. Harold and I crossed paths (many times really freakily - like I'd walk out of a building and he'd be standing in front of it) right up until Burgos when I jetted ahead to Sarria.

I stayed in the new alburque in Pamplona: Jesus y Maria. Muy Buen! Joop and Aleix are here. They and some Germans have made me the princess of the Camino and are disappointed I won't give them more stories to tell!

I'm partiial to the Basque pimientos (red peppers). Some things now are in my head in Spanish - after just two days of being in Spain! And I learned to order a sandwich as Bocadillo doesn't cut it.

I have met no Americans. Aleix has spoken rapid Spansh to me for several days (since St. Jean). He never gets impatient. "Como se dice" ("how do you say" in Spanish) and point and I get my new word of the hour. Aleix is my frequent bunk partner (don't read more into that than there is). NOTE: After Pamplona Aleix got his turbo pilgrim power and I didn't see him again until I motored forward out of Estella to Los Arcos. There, he had his new friends work on bending my boots to break them in for me.

A few blisters, a couple of aches, no ibuprophen needed yet. Yoga yay!

We started to head in the wrong direction early on in Pamplona today. A man shouted, grabbed Aleix's pack and turned us to the right.

I've seen more men in their underwear in four days than in my ENTIRE life. And a few lilly whites arses hanging out the shower. I brought my sarong and clothes pins with hooks!

Off to the Cathedral and some vino tinto (red wine - wine here is less than a $1 a glass and cheaper than water)!

What a beautiful city! I have seen where the bulls run for San Fermin.

Much love!

(From my Treo)

San Fermin - The Running Of The Bulls

And the best collection of clothing to represent it: I bought a t-shirt with this print on it.

Monday, September 03, 2007


In Roncesvalles last night. (Wikipedia notes that in the year 2002 the population of Roncesvalles was 27. Then note that AT LEAST 120 people sleep there each night.) An alburgue of 120. THE SNORER that was in my room the night before was at the front of the room and I slept like a baby. This is what the "daily accomodations" look like on the Camino.

Yesterday was misty and foggy, which upset a lot of people. I like fog. I did not see Pyrenees scenery for all but five minutes in the afternoon, but I was reminded of hiking in Washington. This picture is of me, in the Pryenees, in the fog at the France/Spain border.

Friends: Denise, English living in Ireland; Eva, Sweden; and Joop (pronounced "Yope") from Netherlands.

Lots of stories to tell!

Wikipedia sobre Roncesvalles:

My View of the Pyrenees

This was my general view during my day through the Pyrenees. Remember how I noted that I only got a five minute glimpse of "what was out there? Here are the before and after's.

I love hiking in the mist/fog, so my trek through the Pyranees was to my liking. Many complained about the weather and/or loss of view. But I was granted, late in the day, a glimpse of what everyone else in the days prior and preceeding had experienced.

At one point I just felt I needed to slow down and look around (this feeling/message happened a lot on the Camino and by following it, I was always rewarded with a little gift of something special to see or experience). It was like the sunlight and fog were having a battle of wills. I pulled out my camera. I turned around (stopping and looking backwards was another habit I developed early and did often that served me well on the Camino) to see that some very thick clouds part (yes, "part") and reveal (yes, "reveal") the hills and valleys in their exquisite verdant-ness.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

St. Jean Pied de Port Deux

I can pronounce it now. It feels like a 2nd home. It is 4pm and no poles. That also means no deodorant either. I did finally get a shower today - hot and with a locked door. Waiting outside the door was an "older" gentleman in his black Fruit of the Looms - could have been worse - white and/or Speedo and/or thong. I'm getting an education folks. There is one wish - I hope I start stinking soon - it will mask the other stinkers I have to sleep with. Whew! The same guy asked me a question today, not knowing exactly what language he asked in (I understood douche AND the fact he was only in his underpants) I answered in English, French and Spanish.

Now the good part is that I have good bread and very small containers of camembert cheese, orange maralade (my favorite French brand), and Nutella and BIG Milka bars - my favorite chocolate for my day meals tomorrow.

I will leave in the mist early tomorrow morning and be on Roncevalles (Roncevoux), Spain, manana noches. It is the biggest climb and descent of the trip tomorrow. I'm secretly glad I was able to rest today. It is beautiful here. I love France, but was able to love it more having been in this beautiful mountain village and scoured every inch (and wall of it). It is a citadel.

Bon Sois (?) or Bon Jour.

St. Jean Pied de Port

I'm sitting beside a stream, in a misty village at the base of the Pyrenees having just eaten half a petite loaf of bread from the boulangerie. The hymns of the nearby stone church barely rising above the gurgle of the stream. Do I need to articulate my happy?

The airline called and the poles will come later today. No sweat, it is beautiful here. I'm in France, won't complain. I just secured a room at a refuge tonight so I have lodging.

Learned something new today. That universally women turn the map around to navigate. It isn't just me nor being an American.

Wikipedia au sujet de Saint-Jean-Pie-De-Port:

(From my Treo)

Saturday, September 01, 2007

No Place To Crash

No room in SJPP sleeping in gym at JaiAlai court. I won't shower because the other women are still out and door doesn't lock. Can you say donkey already?

Poles won't arrive until tomorrow PM. I can't start until Monday. OK though, will let the crowds thin out and I can explore this beautiful hamlet. Another day in France! I already found the cemetery.

Ate Basque tonight. The best fish in red peppers, green beans, frits, wine and a fresh French restaurant owner who plied me with an apple appertif and offered "chateau him".

School just filled up with Brazilians. Chantrelle, the hospitalrio, laughed and said I was one lucky girl!.

Met a WONDERFUL Irish woman named Denise at the Bayonne train station (I took a picture of her at the Bairritz station though - she looked so freaked out. She was afraid to start. We're strong, mad (as in crazy) women we decided and on we go. She bought drinks in Bayonne. She has the first set of footprints.

Most important today: I got my first sello (stamp) with 9/1 as starting my camino. It couldn't have been more important than to have it be THIS day.

(From my Treo)

Did You Say Paris?

My poles and liquids went to Paris. I'm in Biarritz (which was the plan for this trip anyway). I need an early start tomorrow because of that mountain range that I could see above the cloud line the whole way here. If not may try to wait one day. Those are my favorite poles + other trip stuff.

D - people have already picked me out an American Christian. The patches have been a help. Thank you.

(From my Treo)


I'm back in the land of Kinder candy and paprika Pringles. I just got a cafe (coffee) out of a vending machine. It was served with a tiny spoon and more flavor than what I make at home.

Asked a question twice and get three answers. I think I'm glad to have gotten this far... No pasport screening when I got here and a very confused man at security (planeside checking turned out for pickup in baggage claim). POSTSCRIPT: This is why my poles never made it.

Without a travel partner there is no concensus...only faith, guts, and guessing!

(From my Treo)