Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Happy Birthday Party...

Happy Birthday, Little Lawly!!!

This past week was our little Lawton's 3rd birthday. I think the last time I blogged about him he was a newborn.
 His mom threw a great party. We had all the taco salad and tacos we could eat. Afterward, we had cookies and cake with little Lawly being the center of attention.
 He loves Mickey Mouse, so of course, that was the theme of the party.
Blogger won't let me upload anymore pictures, so
Have a great rest of the week!!!


Monday, November 9, 2015

My Camino (pt. 7) Conclusion...

At the Cathedral in Santiago at noon each day there is a mass held honoring pilgrims. This cathedral has the largest Botafumeiro in the world. The Botafumeiro is the most famous and popular symbol of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. It is a large incense burner that hangs from the ceiling of the Cathedral and swings back and forth during mass. It takes eight men to swing it using ropes four on one side and four on the other. The men pull on the ropes. You can see the fire burning inside of the Botafumeiro.
I decided the night before reaching Santiago that I would need to leave by 4:30am if I was going to reach Santiago in time for the pilgrim's mass. The lady I had been walking with didn't think she wanted to get up that early, so a man that I had met several times in the past week said he would like to go with me if I would wait until 5:30. He thought we could make it by noon. It was 12 miles to Santiago and raining. I said okay.  
I woke him at 5:00am and we prepared to leave. He was from Budapest, Hungary and had blisters all over his feet. He had to stop walking for three days and that's when I caught up with him. We left the alburgue at 5:30 as planned. It was dark outside and raining. We arrived at the Cathedral in Santiago at 11:00am. I went immediately inside the church and sat  down on the third row, directly in front. I sat there one hour waiting on the mass to start. I sat there and rested and thought about the walk and how I had actually completed it. My journey was over. I took my shoes off and rested my poor feet. When the mass started and we had to stand up I had to put my shoes back on. I couldn't stand on my feet without my shoes on. They hurt so bad.
After the mass I hooked back up with my friend from Australia. For the next week we shopped and enjoyed Santiago. We rode the bus to Finnesterre and saw the ocean. I returned home on May 5, 2015. It took me 44 days to complete my walk. I started on March 14th and reached Santiago on April 26th. It was an experience of a life-time.
 You can see the steeple of the Cathedral. This is the first glimpse I got of the Cathedral. I had been walking for 44 days and the site of this steeple was something I can't explain. I had to stop and take this picture. The steeple got larger and larger it was awesome.
These two pilgrims had been walking ahead of me for at least 5 miles.
 The back of the Cathedral.
 I sat down on the third row right in front

Cafe' con Leche-coffee with milk
Many pilgrims drank this all a long their walk. I didn't drink it until I reached Santiago.
Cafe' con Leche was good, but nothing like Café Americana.
Café Americana was black coffee.
Everytime my friend and I would order a coke or coffee they would bring a snack with it. This was our table after we had sat for a while. Some of the snacks we had already eaten. It was comical. There is no way we could eat all of the snacks they brought us.
We rode the bus to Finnesterre and saw the ocean.
This is the café across from my room where I ate for the week I stayed in Santiago. Most of the cafes, also called bars, were long and narrow like this one.
 Another tuna salad. They were so good.
 The street my room was on.
My room in Santiago where I spent the week.
Looking out the window of my room to the street below.
I hope you enjoyed my walk to Santiago.
It is also called the Way of St. James.
It's an adventure of a life-time.
It's a tremendous challenge, but anyone can do it.
I can tell you, determination is more than half the battle.
Have a great life and remember it's never too late to plan an adventure.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

My Camino (pt. 6)

When we left Sarria we had roughly 62 miles to go. The goal for some is Finnesterre and Muxia, these are towns three to five days from Santiago. They are on the ocean, but for me it had always been the cathedral in Santiago. I thought I might ride the bus to the ocean, but I had no desire to walk farther than Santiago.
When I got to Sarria I crossed paths with a lady from Australia that I had met somewhere earlier on the trail. I think it was maybe the night after I left Sarria that she and I actually started walking together. We didn't walk together on the path necessarily, but we kept track of each other the last week by staying in the same alburgues at night. We walked at our own pace, so we would catch up with each other when we stopped for a break, and agree to stay in the same alburgue. She was faster than me. I enjoyed her company. You meet a lot of interesting people along the way, but once your journey is over you don't expect to ever cross paths again. This journey, these people, and experiences become distant memories, and that's okay. That's the way it was meant to be. 
 Here we are one bridge and 57 steps to Portomarin.
If you look closely you can see the stairs at the end of the bridge.
 If my memory serves me correctly I counted 57 steps.

 You were always exhausted when you reached your destination, so when I saw this staircase, I doubted for a moment that I could do it. Counting seemed to help me when I was going uphill, so I just started counting and before long I was at the top. 

 They say, "rain, snow, sleet, or hail cannot stop the U. S. Mail". I thought of that quote several times while walking.

 After leaving Sarria we encountered more and more pilgrims each day. As long as you walk the last 100 km from Sarria you can still get your compostella, so some people will start their walk in Sarria. 

 These giant ants were interesting.

 I didn't see cattle through most of Northern Spain. Finally they started showing up.
This is a stork nest from what I was told. Some of the cities had huge poles erected especially for these nests.

Another stand along the side of the road. It was always refreshing to come upon one of these.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

My Camino (pt. 5)

In these pictures we are getting so close you can almost taste it. Finishing is becoming a reality. Here are some pictures along the way.

This is one of the rooms I stayed in.

 This is looking from above at the town of Sarria. I said when I got to Sarria I would know I was going to make it. Sarria is the last 100 km from Santiago. That's approximately 62 miles. Sarria is what everyone looks forward to. You feel recharged and determined once you reach Sarria.

It's on to Santiago!!!
To Be Continued...

Friday, November 6, 2015

My Camino (pt. 4)

On the road to Santiago we walked past many vineyards and olive groves.
The olives were different from the ones we get here. They were so good I couldn't stop eating them. The wine was really inexpensive. I don't drink, but it was interesting to see how readily available it was. Beer was sold in vending machines. Sometimes as cheap as 50 cents a can.
This is a statue that told us how far we had come and how far we had to go. You couldn't depend on them being correct, but they did give you a rough idea.
Buen Camino is a common greeting used between pilgrims. It means good walk. You are saying to your fellow pilgrims that you hope they have a good journey.
In the center of every town is a church. As we walked through the towns we would many times go into the church. They were old and beautiful. Some were large and some were small, but every one of them was amazing.
Another mile marker.
A picturesque scene on the side of the road.
There is a mountain called O'Cebreiro. It's one of the last really high mountains. I saw this sign while I was walking.
I rented a horse.
His name was blackberry in English. I can't remember what his Spanish name was.
It rained on us and was very foggy at times. The path was extremely rocky and muddy. We passed many pilgrims that I had met along the way and they would shout and wave.
It took 2 hours and was the best 34 euros I ever spent.
To be continued... 
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