Wow what a day. For the first time it rained and rained. Pretty much on and off all day. I must have looked like a drowned rat. I couldn’t find my cafe con Leche until late in the morning. I was soaked but had to catch up to my back pack or my machilla. I had my coffee and warmed up and then back on the walk. My Japanese friend Rumy told me she had to move ahead for she had to get to Santiago by 9/21. We said good bye and off she went now that her knee was better she was much faster than the old man. A little humbling but the Camino will humble you many times.
About one hour later she passed me and both of us were very surprised. It seems she took the wrong path and I got ahead. Another good bye and off she went in the rain. The Camino makes us bond briefly with many pilgrims and we often must say good bye. At first it is a little unnerving but it teaches us to let go of the past and live in the “now”. In our life back home we are often worrying about the future or the past and waste the “now”. We should try to enjoy the now for we can not impact the past or the future, only the present moment. I have to work on this through out the Camino.
I do look forward to hearing from you guys back home. Some times I write a long story and only get back short comments from some of you. Your support and feedback keeps me going. I have thought of quitting a few times when the path became difficult and I was tired. I’m very glad I have kept going but at times it is hard. When I look back I am amazed I have come this far. Slowly so very slowly but I’m getting closer. For Beckie and Terry who have been bitten by tha Camino bug it is very hard but so worth it. If I finish tomorrow due to an illness or accident the Camino has already changed me. It is difficult to explain but every one I talk to have learned life changing lessons. A pilgrim from Toronto like me down sized her house and still recognized she can live with less. I also will sign up for senior joga to get me more flexible. I’m losing weight I can tell by my pants falling down and I’m at the last hole on my belt.
Finished half a bottle of the wine with my meal. Kind of puts you in the mood for sleep. It’s only 8 pm but I’m used to going to bed by 9 pm. No tv or distractions to keep you from a good nights sleep. I hope the rain will be light tomorrow . No choice I have to select the Hostal to ship my pack to tonight, and then walk to it.
I walked over 6 miles today in the rain so with 3 miles to go I took a taxi to the town right up to the hostel. Boy was I surprised to find out it was the wrong one. I forgot to take a pic of my baggage ticket so the wonderful hotel staff called around and found my reservation and pack in a hostel 1.6 km out of town. Well it started to rain and the taxi was gone so it took me 1 and a half hrs to find the place. The good news was that it was 10 euros cheaper. Now when I place my order to ship my machilla tonight you can be assured I will take a picture so I know where it’s going.
Ok now it’s your turn to write me. The last time I heard from Tom it was one sentence. Not fair, I’m walking and writing. So unless you guys are walking 7 to 10 miles tomorrow- write. I hope someone helps Evelyn to access my blog other wise I have to write two times a day and the wifi is not that good.
Can’t believe it I am in Portomarin. Staying in the Albergue Ferramenteiro for 10 Euros. I will post a pic of an endless sea of bunk beds. I’m surrounded by young ladies Tina’s age so I must behave my self.
Today’s walk was not as hard as the day before but difficult enough. We covered about 1o.3 km. The road and trail was better than before so it only took 5 hrs including rest stops. Mid morning we came upon a farm that had cold drinks, and an amazing display of cakes cookies, fruits etc. The farmer kept handing us samples until we begged no more. The cost a 1.50 donation. At times people here are so kind to the pilgrims passing by. I wouldn’t blame them for getting frustrated with us, but they are mostly kind and generous.
All day we heard about the trail end into Portomarin and worried that we would be so slow that we would create a bottle neck or we would get hurt. A little way before the danger zone we met a very fat French man. I wondered how on earth could he do this. We left ahead of him and I kept wondering when he would pass us slow pokes. Suddenly we could see the city on our right, and the Frenchman caught up. He continued to warn us in French that the way was very dangerous. We read a warning sign that pointed out the extreme danger ahead with scary pictures. I notice an alternative route for bicycles and started to ask about it but only the Frenchman would talk with us. He took off down the road so Rumy and I followed him and were amazed at how fast he walked down the very step hill. We continued to follow but he disappeared waving his arms like telling us follow me! Thank God we did for this route was a little bit longer but much safer. We never saw him again and we tried to keep up. Another angel this time a fat French one. I do not mean to be cruel but he was twice my size and moved like a down hill racer. I am certain he saved our lives or a long hospital stay. I never want to experience that kind of down hill again. If no other choice I’ll take a taxi around the danger.
We have covered 23 km the past two days so I’m proud of our progress. However I have 90 km to go or 56 miles. It is very hard to get accurate distances everyone has a unique number. Tomorrow we plan to walk to Gonzar only 8 km or 5 miles but we know somehow it will be longer than the plan.
Ok I’m going to end this an try to post some pictures. Miss all of you and will be happy to be home with family and good friends.
I need to walk for 14 km today and I’m so pleased to have 3.5 miles completed so far. Stopped for cafe de Leche and met my friend from Japan. Her name is Rummy and has a bad knee so she is slow like me. We plan to walk for a way together. Good wi Fi here so I checked my mail. Thanks for all the encouragement for my decision to jump ahead
For my good health I jumped by bus to Saria the most popular starting points. Santiago is 100 km from here a much better goal for me. I have been warned to get 2 stamps per day from now on in order to get my credentials at the end. I am staying at the Mosterio da Madelena an Hostal for 100 pilgrims. The don’t have Wi Fi so I’m going to out of touch for a day or so. The news is full of pictures of a bad train derailment in northern Spain I have only traveled by bus or taxi so far so I’m ok. Tomorrow I will walk 14 km but it is pretty much up hill so pray extra for me. The good news is I’m much closer to Santiago. I have some wonderful pics but the wi Fi here is too slow. I’ll try to post them tomorrow. I miss you all and look forward to seeing you back home.
I have been planning since March to honor Minnie when I reached the Cruz. I prayed for a long list of supporters and left my stone tat I brought from home. But at Minnie’s funeral I kept a funeral card to place on the mountain place in her honor. Her card is on the mountain top for ever her memory is still alive with Edwin and her children.
My friends from Canada and Australia are with me and we all took our turn praying for our families and supporters back home. My angels that helped me adjust to the Camino are Natlie and Jean (George) and Lese and John. Please excuse the spelling but they are for ever in my heart and the helped me more than they will ever know. Raul Jean is a computer expert and carried a pack bigger than mine, he had a full size computer. He had color maps to follow and when we parted gave me some of his maps. Today I found I left my guide book at the last place but I have his directions to follow. The Camino provides.
I planned a short walk today to get used to the pace. Got on the road at 7:30 am because I was only going to go 5 k. Did fine stopped for coffee and finished before 10 am. Sat in a park waiting for the hostel to open at 12:00 finally at 10:30 decided to go on. It was hot no shade and I was a little worried about my decision when an angel caught up to me (Lee) from Australia. We talked an talked about deep stuff and before you knew it we arrived in Santa Catalina de Somoza a total of 10 K or 6.2 miles. Made it by 12:30. Lee encouraged. To get a private room with my own bath for 20E about $22 but I needed the space to repackage my bag. So glad I did imagine this is like a hotel room and last night I slept in a room with 11 other guys and girls. My money is doing ok so why not go for it. I read about the wonderful green olives so I bought a coke light and they gave me some olives for free. I sometimes run into trouble with my lack of Spanish but some always joins in and helps me out. I will try to upload some pictures but if my blog won’t do it look on my Facebook page. Keep you comments and messages of support it really helps. Most people don’t believe I’m 71 until they see how slow I walk. The young with light packs just pass me by with a Buen Camino. My advice do it when you are young. When I start feeling sorry for myself, I see a lady with MS so some other challenge and I thank God. Of course most of my training has been in the mall or at a casino. Life here is simpler and more like when I was growing up. Ok I’m going to end this thing I need to take a shower and then a holy seesta. I’ll write again later tonight. Not much to do in this very small village of a population of about 50 people. God bless you all. Frank