My Camino Route in 2017

My Camino Route in 2017
This year (2017), I will be walking most of the Camino Levante from Albacete to Zamora I've alloted three weeks in September and October, but may have time at the end for more walking.

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Coruña, Madrid, and Home October 5, 6, 7

My dinner at Galeon Rain on October 4: Zorza (ham with lots of paprika) and ensalada mixta.

Foggy A Coruna

Clearing up a bit in A Coruna

October 5 dinner at Galeon Raina: Tortilla, raxo, Albarino wine, ensalada mixta, and pimentos de Padron.

October 7

Here are my last few days:

A Coruña  October 5

I was up just before 7 am for the 1/2 hour walk to the train station, buy my ticket, then a cup of coffee with tortilla and fresh bread. Yummy-who would want a sugary croissant when you can have a breakfast like that?

The train was fast, travelling at 100 miles an hour. It covered the 75 km in half an hour. This would have taken three days of walking on the Camino Inglés between the two cities.

I arrived in the city without knowing which direction the harbor and the old town were, but it seemed logical to headboth in the opposite direction of the rails and also downhill. Problems were the heavy fog obscurring any landmarks and too early for any information offices to be open. My instincts proved correct and I soon arrived in the port area. There is a maritime walk about 5 km long encircling much of the city and I followed it aroundd as the fog lifted. The walk included the Tower of Hercules a large lighthouse. The maritime walk and many ancillary walking, jogging, and bicycle paths are an integral, beautiful, and well used part of the city. Next, I wandered around the old part of the city, looking for the Iglesia Santiago. I had no map, but enjoyed bumbling around the narrow streets. I came across four other churches before I found the Santiago church. This is the start of the Camino Inglés and I duly noted the scallop shell directonal marker just outside the church. Next was the walk back to the train station for the mid afternoon train back. I think I must have walked 10-12 km. during my visit, plus another 10 km in Santiago. So still did a bunch more walking, though it was without a backpack. That evening back in Santiago, I looked around for Greg, but did not see him. Instead, I rab across Shirley, a Brit, who has lived in the US, Ecuador, and now south of Seville. We shared a dinner at Galeon Raina.

Madrid  October 6

I took the Alsa Supra bus to Madrid, left 7 am and arrived 3 pm. By the time I took subway to Tirso de Molina and found a room at Pension  Florida, the same place Marge and I were last year, it was 4 pm. I visited both the Prado and Sofia Reina museums as they were both free admission in the evening. Of course I had no time to view everything, just some of my favorites. That would be El Greco, Velasquez, Goya, and Bosch in the Prado and Picasso in the Sofia Reina.

October 7

My looooong flight home day. Up at 7:30 to repack, then take the subway to the airport-what a great transport system they have in Madrid. Check in and wait. 7 hour flight to Philadelphia then wait. 4 hour flight to Denver then wait. As I post this, I am waiting for my 2 1/2 hour flight to Sacramento. I've been up about 20 hours with no sleep, just dozed a little on the last flight. I'm ready to be home and go to bed!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Finisterra and the Finish of Our Caminos October 3

The Rio Castro had to be crossed on these stone blocks before the bridge was completed last year.

How about this for a breakfast after the first 7 miles of the morning walk. Cafe con leche and one of the best tortilla ever. Nice sunny day and my ever present iTouch at my side to take advantage of the free wifi. This wasin the delightful village of Lires, halfway between Muxia and Finisterra.

After we finished walking, I took a photo of my Hammers trekking poles, After 800 plus miles on several caminos, I figured I ought to write a positive review on Amazon.

Six weeks of walking. 930 kilometers (575 miles) walked. Another 30 km today south along the Atlantic Ocean from Muxía to Finisterra. Finisterra is literally the "end of the world" and it is also the end of our walk. Today we were pilgrims, tomorrow tourists. Still, it feels good to know that we will not need to put on the packs tomorrow and walk for 5 or 6 hours.

Tomorrow morning, I will take a bus back to Santiago, then on to Madrid and home. Greg will stay here in Finisterra another night, then on to Segovia, then Madrid.

I will post photos but it may not be for another week or so. 

Muxía    October 2

My sopa de marisco, seafood soup, wow!

Greg's rice salad

Legend has it that this is the sail from the Virgin's stone boat when she came to Muxia to tell St. James that everything was okay. Whatever.

Today was the final 22 km. stage to Muxía. The final half was reminiscent of the Camino Norte with lots of up and downs along the coast. Lots of eucalyptus and pine forest. After almost three weeks, it is nice to see the ocean again.

We arrived about 20 minutes before the albergue opened at 1 pm. Not only did we get our usual stamp from the albergue, but also a nice certificate, the "Muxiana", stating that we completed the walk from Santiago. Muxía is a fishing city, also nice beaches. It is across a bay from Camireñas, where Kathy has fond memories of eating pulpo a few years ago.

For our afternoon mrnú del día, I had a really good sopa de marisco, seafood soup, very much like ciopino, with seafood in a tomato base soup, followed by a whole fish of some kind, and two fresh pears for dessert. Oh, and we had pimentos de Padrón for an appetizer.

One more day of walking to Finisterra tomorrow, then we will become tourists.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Observation on tortilla, tapas, and albergues October 1

We learned  that sometimes tortilla does not mean that quiche-like concoction we have become used to. We ordered tortilla bocadillos for mid walk break yesterday and they were more like scrambled eggs in a sandwich. And I ordered tortilla con jamón today and it was scrambled eggs and ham. Wonder if this is a regional variation in this part of Galicia?

Also, the bartender brought us a delicious unasked for tapa with our wine and beer. Small cubes of beef wrapped with onion. They were raxos, something we had not tried before. A Galician specialty- I don't know what was in the sauce, but delicious, melt in your mouth flavor. Gotta try a whole plate of them next time!

Finally, an observation about our albergue for tonight. It is a new building and  Galician government owned. It probably cost millions to build, is spacious and well designed, and also, very well laid out and functional. It is one of the nicest albergues ever and only 5€ per person. With 26 spaces, they could never pay for it if it was full every night. And we are the only two people here. Weird!

Dumbría    October 1

A beautiful cemetary in a small village.

The problem with crossing a bridge and a river is that you always will be going uphill afterwards!

A good example of an horreo, the raised granaries common in Galicia. The toadstool like stones are to keep the rats out.

Greg and I at the point where the camino splits to Finisterra or Muxia.

Another pretty easy day, 22 km of relatively gentle slopes. We walked past a lot of wind turbines, a resevoir, lots of dairy farms. 

 We got to the new albergue here in Dumbria about 12:30 but it does not open till 3 pm. The doors were not locked so we went in, found bunks, took showers and washed clothes. It is 1:20, so we will go out to try to find groceries, restaurant, and wifi, hopefully. And hope they won't mind that we let ourselves in early.

This building was just completed last year, very sleek and modern. It is very well designed and nice compared to most albergues.

As Maroñas   September 30

We are just coasting along with a few easy days, before the last difficult day, three days away. Today was about 22 km of mostly gentle slopes. Two more walking days until Muxia and the Atlantic Ocean.

This private albergue is just the right distance for walking, but there are no stores, etc. around here. Luckily they have a restaurant, but the menú del diá was a mediocre salad and breaded veal with a canned yogurt for dessert. They also had wifi but would not give a password, so John was not a happy boy about that. Oh well, hopefully better services tomorrow.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Negreira  September 29

Looking back over Santiago and the cathedral as the sun rises on our walk.

The picturesque medieval bridge at Ponte Maceira.

El mejor!

Well, we got to sleep in just past 7 am, a good night's sleep without a bunch of people getting up at 5 am making noise. Although Greg said that I was snoring a couple of times. Sorry!

We walked out of Santiago and were soon out in the countryside. Our plan is to take a relatively easy four day walk to Muxia on the Atlantic Ocean, a total of 90 km or 55 miles. Then another day's walk to Finisterra. Today we walked about 22 km (13.5 miles) to Negeira. Much of it was through eucalyptus forest, some gravel path, but some paved road. We had rain showers for a while when we started, but they were light and required only a pack cover and hat. The sun is shining and it's nice and warm now.

We saw our Camino Primitivo friends one last time last night in Santiago. Most were headed back home today and back to work. We passed on the 9:30 pm dinner invitation- I'll bet they were celebrating till 3 am.

I was going to get a 4 euro Albarino wine for this evening's snacks, but Greg convinced me that we deserved the 12 euro Vina Pomal Reserva 2004. He was right, it was the best along with some olives, fresh bread, and aged blue cheese.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Santiago or Old Guys Rule!   September 28

This was our afternoon meal at Galeon Raina: ensalada mixta, tortilla, empanada de atun (tuna), pimentos de Padron, and calamari.

Greg and I in front of the cathedral.

Hospedaje San Roque where we stayed.

This bike pilgrim and her husband got a lot of attention in the cathedral square with their baby who was also a part of their camino.

We walked into Santiago this morning, after over four weeks of walking and over 800 km or 500 miles. Not bad for two old (69 and 62 years) guys! Just shows what positive attitude, proper equipment, good training regimen, and persistence can accomplish. Neither of us has any injuries or problems, besides maybe a little sore and tired, Greg is taking a nap while I write this up. 

Today's walk started with light rain and we needed the raincoats the entire walk of 18 km or 11 miles. Tomorrow we will start the minimum four day, 120 km walk to Muxia and Finisterra.

We checked into an hospedaje (pension) about 11:30. After showers and clothes wash, it was off to the area around the cathedral to do sone exploring. Hunger soon got the best of us so we went to my all time favorite Spanish resstaurant, Cafeteria Galeon Raina. Our afternoon comida included a large ensalada mixta, pimentos de Padrón, calamares, empanadas de atún (tuna), and tortilla. Empanadas were great and the tortilla was the best ever-not overcooked so it was moist and flavorful. A couple glasses of Albariño wine helped, too. By the way, a few of the peppers were hot, but that happens. Eating that meal was like dying and going to heaven!

We are resting up now, but will be out again later. By the way, our Spanish friends have new names for us. Roboyohn for me because of my fast walking pace and Biutiful Boy for Greg because of his haircuts and beard trims.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pedrouzo September 27

First, I need to update you on last night. A group of fifteen of us who completed the Camino Primitivo got together yesterday afternoon in a bar to celebrate with gin and tonics. All were Spanish, except for Greg, I, Kristina, the Hungarian woman, and Ernst, the German man. We didn't get a lot of the conversation, but one of the Spanish women works as a multi-lingual interpreter, so that helped. All were much younger than Greg and I and I think they were surprised that we were able to complete the camino as well as we did, finishing more rapidly than them on many days. They called Greg and I the smiling men, they said we always had smiles on our faces. I told them in my poor Spanish that they spoke so rapidly that when we could not understand, we just smiled. Anyway, afterwards, we went back to the pulperia and had several plates of pulpo (octopus), shrimp in garlic, beef ribs with potatoes, and finally, boiled pigs ears with potatoes. We tried the pigs ears, but have to admit that Greg and I did not like them. They were kind of greasy and slippery without much taste. Anyway a good afternoon and evening to cap off the Camino Primitivo. We saw some of them on the walk today, but the group will only be together now in memories.

Walking today was like being in a cattle drive, with all the Camino Francés pilgrims, must be hundreds of them. And so many of them poorly prepared for long distance walking with swollen legs, bandaged feet, walking in flip flops, just limping slowly along. It was quite a contrast to the disciplined and experienced walkers we have encountered on the Norte and Primitivo.

Our walk today was 33 km or 20 miles, but the path was easy without any serious elevation changes. I think we will walk into Santiago tomorrow as it is only 18 km, then on the next day to Muxia and Finisterra. We are staying in a private albergue here tonight, the same one I stayed in two years ago, it has a bit more room than the public ones plus wifi.

Another contrast with the Camino Francés, is the number of older walkers such as us. Also many English and German speakers, plus many Asians. The Caminos Norte and Primitivo had primarily younger and Spanish speaking pilgrims.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Melide    September 26

Lots of wind generators (eolicos) in Spain. This area was not an exception. They are always on the ridges, where the wind is strongest.

Melide was like a mirage in the distance. We first saw it about 10 or 12 km away, but it seemed to take forever to walk there.

In Galicia, many of the camino markers also have the distance in kilometers to the cathedral in Santiago.

Greg's lunch of pulpo (octopus). I tried some, too, and it was delicious!

First, Happy Birthday, Matt!

Like a cattle drive here! Crazy lots of pilgrims! After more than four weeks of walking the Camino del Norte and the Camino Primtivo, we rarely saw more than 20 pilgrims in a whole day. We arrived at the 140 bed albergue in Melide and pilgrims all over. Greg counted at least 45 walking past in the hour our mid day meal took. It is like culture shock for us. By the way, we went to a pulperia and Greg had the best pulpo ever (I had a taste). We watched as they cooked it fresh, then covered in olive oil and paprika. I opted for the menu of the day, which included caldo gallego.

We did walk 29 km today or about 18 miles. From here, it should be pretty easy going, just lots of foot traffic.

I was in favor of taking the bus from here to A Coruña to walk the Camino Ingles, but Greg wants to finish this path into Santiago, Wednesday morning we should arrive. I think we will keep on walking right through Santiago to do the camino to Muxia and Finisterra.

Our little group had an interesting get together last night as our hospiteleria made a flaming Galician drink with 95% alcohol, sugar, orange, and who knows what else. After he doused the flames, we enjoyed it till it was gone.

San Ramon da Retorta   September 25

Sometimes you just have to stop and wait for the cattle to walk by.

What to do on a Sunday afternoon in the middle of nowhere. I think the table speaks for itself. This is part of the Spanish bunch that we got to know. Greg is in the back on the left.

We had an easy 12 mile walk today, almost like a rest day. Tomorrow will be a longer and harder 18 miles. We are in a little village, in the middle of nowhere. No restaurant, but the albergue here has a take out menu that if you order yor meal by 1 pm, they run to Lugo, pick it up, and serve by 2:30. In the meantime, we visited with all the other pilgrims we have come to know, all Spanish speaking, except for the German man and Hungarian woman.

Tomorrow we will be in Melidé, which is where the Camino Primitivo meets the Camino Francés. It will be like joining a huge herd of driven cattle. We have been used to small albergues of capacity 10 - 20 persons. The albergue in Melidé has room for 130 people. On the bright side, Greg says he remembers a pulperia there that has a good octopus dinner for 8€.

We are still uncertain if we will take a bus from Melidé to A Coruna to walk the Camino Inglés or if we will just walk into Santiago then continue with the camino to Múxia then Finisterra.

Later, 7 pm:  Very quiet here. I got tired of reading, so spent the last hour listening to Bob Dylan and Neil Young.

This looks to be a rundown, maybe abandoned country property, that the new owner is cleaning up and renovating as a new private albergue. Hope they make it. I, of course, would suggest adding wi-fi. But that's just me.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Lugo   September 24

Public art in Castroverde. I thought having the water fountain pouring over the umbrella was clever.

A 30 km (18 mile) walk today, but only one steep uphill and downhill today. We are pretty much out of the mountains today, so the walk was fairly easy. Lugo is a large city and the only problem was that I had a hard time finding the albergue in the old part of the city. Greg and I mostly walked separately today, but both of us got lost at the end. 

I finally had caldo gallego for my first dish at midday comida. Caldo Gallego is the regional soup with kale, potatoes, and ham hocks. Greg had a delicious paella.

Afterwards, we went to the cathedral. We asked the volunteer there if it was okay to take photos. He saw that we were pilgrims and offered to give us a personal tour of the various altars and other features of the cathedral, which dates from the 8th century. The tour lasted 45 minutes and was fabulous. Not the biggest cathedral in Spain, but one of the oldest with lots of interesting features, including one altar of the Virgin with the Large Eyes (Osos Grandes).

Back to the albergue, then grocery shopping for tomorrow. Afterwards, Greg and I went to a café on the main square with a German man and Hungarian woman for pulpo and beer (them) and a half bottle of Albariño wine (me). The pulpo (octopus) was the best I've had yet and the wine was fine, too. Gotta get this posted at the fee wifi that I found so I can gat back to the albergue before it locks the doors at 10 pm.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Cadávo de Baleira      September 23

25 km (15 mile) today and it included some steep up and down. Still, not too bad as we are getting used to this type of terrain. I had read before how difficult the Camino Primitivo is. It certainly is more difficult than the Camino Francés, which most people take. But I didn't think it was so hard, especially compared to the first stages of the Camino del Norte in Basque country. We will have two more mountainous days on the Primitivo before it ends on the Francés at Melidé, then two days on the Francés into Santiago. By the way the Camino Primitivo is the first and oldest of the caminos. It has been in existence since around the year 900.

Back at an albergue tonight- I like that. We have the same group of about 20  people that we have been with the last week or so, so stopping at the one cafe/bar late morning on the walk is getting to a real social occaision. As is this restaurant this afternoon, where over half of the pilgrims are gathered for the late afternoon meal.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Fonsagrada     September 22

The slate marker telling us that we were entering Galicia."Camino de Santiago, Encuentro Asturias-Galicia"

A short while later there was a bar/cafe in the valley between two mountain peaks. We stopped for a cafe con leche and most of the other pilgrims we have come to know day after day also stopped here.

We walked out of Asturias and into Galicia today. All of a sudden all the place names are in Gallego rather than Spanish. It was a longer walk at 28 km (17 miles) and still a lot of elevation changes as we are not out of the mountains yet. According to the distance markers on the camino, we have 159 km (100 miles) to the cathedral in Santiago.

The albergue is over a mile out of the city, so we are staying in a pension here. It is more convenient than walking back and forth a few times in the afternoon and evening.

I keep tightening the hip belt on my backpack tighter and tighter. I am afraid I may run out of slack as I continue to lose weight walking. I am eating a lot, just this afternoon had pasta with tomato sauce, 2 1/2 pork chops, fries, bread, and wine.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Grandas de Salima September 21

Most mornings we started walking while it was still dark, It was not full daylight until 8-8:15 am.

Slate is a native building material in Galicia with many slate roofs. Here is a fence built of slate slabs.

Greg and I wnet to a really great ethnographic musem in Grandas de Salima. This is an enclosure built of rock and slate to keep bears out of the beehives.

And even a few old engines in the museum.

Today was an interesting walk as the terrain was different from that of the last few days. We started out with the usual dairy pastures as we climbed 250 m in the first 6 km. to arrive at a mountain ridge dotted with many wind turbines. From there it was a steep descent with a drop of 800 meters or 2500 feet in the next 7 km. Very hard on the knees. This was through mixed forest starting with pine at the higher elevations and descending through oak, birch, and chestnuts. The interesting thing was the clouds below us at the ridge, then walking through the cloud layer, and into the overcast conditions below. The overcast lasted most of the, but a wind picked up and it us mostly sunny now.

The bottom of the valley is a 35 km long resevoir (Embalse de Salima) and it's attendant dam and hydroelectric facility. We walked across the dam, then another ascent of 400 m in the last 6 km. Greg is now pretty well over his cold, so we both felt good today even though it was another difficult walk.

We were walking around town and looking for a place to eat when we ran across a German we had met several times over the past two weeks and also a Spaniard in his mid 60's who spent most of his life in South Africa and Canada. Had a mediocre lunch, but the conversation was interesting. The Spaniard left Spain at 16 years old so he would not have to be a soldier in Franco's army. He said the 1950's were known as the decade of famine because the country was so poor. He was in Spain visiting his sister but got bored with her and is now walking on his third camino.

Greg and I also went to the town's ethnographic museum. We were not expecting much, but there were a wealth of very well done displays depicting all aspects of Spanish rural life from the 1850's to the 1950's. It was very impressive and I got a lot of photos.

Anyway, the albergue here is decent, I have wifi from the bar down the street, and the supermercado opens at 4 pm. Life is good. Tomorrow we will walk from Asturias into Galicia.

Berducedo     September 20

It was a long steep climb, but here we are on the top.

And more up and down.

Up above the clouds in the valleys.

Another tough walk today. 18 km or 11 miles. The first 8 km were a continuous, sometimes steep, climb of 600 m. That put us at an elevation of almost 1200 m or 3600 ft. From there it was a steep decent, more climbing, then up and down for the rest of the day. We are crossing the Cordillera Cantabrica range. While not mostly as high as the Sierra Nevada, they are still steep. There are pine, oak, and eucalyptus forests and open pasture and farmland. Dairies rule here and it seems like Asturias supplies milk and dairy products to much of the rest of Spain. As I write, a cow just walked by on the street. Hmmm, I wonder if her owner knows what she is up to?

Berducedo is a little village with three bars, two of which are open, and none serves even sandwiches. Luckily one bar has a small grocery so Greg and I picked up fixings for pasta with meatballs and just cooked it. Not the greatest, but it will do. Also, no Internet here, so this posting will need to wait till later.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Pola de Allande     September 19

This is dairy country, even though mountainous, there is a lot of productive farmland.

Today's walk was a grueling one. It was only 26 km or about 16 miles. But thre were two steep 300-350 meter ascents and one steep 350 meter descent at the end.  I stated walking at 8 am and arrived here at 1:30, so kept up a pretty good 5 km/hr or 3 mile/hr pace. I was the first to arrive at the albergue. I showered, washed clothes, then walked to the town center and tried to find Greg.  Didn't see him, so had menú del diá at one of the hotel restaurants. Three bowls of a soup with potatoes and green beans, then salmon filet with potatoes and fresh sliced tomatoes, postre was cheescake drizzled with strawberry sauce, cup of coffe, red wine, and bread all for 10€. Delicioso!! Greg walked in just as I was finishing. Greg felt that he should take another rest day for his cold- so took a taxi here. Turned out he had just had mid day comida at the other hotel with two Spanish pilgrims who spoke English.
There are few English speakers here on the Camino Primitivo. In fact, for the past few days, Greg and I have been the only ones. Most are Spanish, plus a few French speakers. I guess I've had a chance to speak more Spanish, but can not say that I am improving much. Pero, estoy de tratando!

After a cool start to the day's walk (46 degrees), it stayed overcast all day, which was really very good walking weather. Now the sun is out and it is nice, probably in the upper 70's. Hopefully decent weather will prevail the next few days as we cross the mountains into Galicia. The next four days will be pretty strenuous with a lot of elevation change. Even in this town, there is no flat area. Everything is up and down on the hillsides.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Tineo    September 18

Here is one of the effects of the economic slowdown in Spain- A half finished freeway, with all work on it stopped.

The lattter half of our walk today was in the rain.

Tineo is not a flat city

The first two hours of walking today was a continuous upgrade of 500 km in 8 km of walking. Not all of it horribly steep but all of it up. And there was a cold wind blowing near the tops of the mountains. I guess there should have been a wind as all the eolicos (wind generator turbines) on the ridges were spinning. Our stop at a bar/café in La Espina was a welcome break for our morning pick-me-ups of café con leche and tortilla.

We were just back on the trail when a light drizzle started, so we stopped to put on our pack covers. Twenty minutes later, the rain increased to a steady shower, so another stop to take off the pack cover and cover up completely with the rain parka. It rained off and on for the rest of the walk and the parka never cane off again.

We also got our wish for country paths, which we were on for 95% of the walk. Only problem is that this is dairy country and all those country paths are also used to move the cattle. The wet ground and not much gravel made for muddy walking and our clothes were a mess when we arrived at the albergue around 2 pm.  After a shower and clothes washing, we are feeling better, but the next problem will be drying those clothes in the still cool and damp conditions. It is just under 60 degrees right now.

We are not complaining. We knew that the northern and mountainous camino routes would be cooler and wetter. And so they are! We had an afternoon menu del dia at the hotel restaurant. It is now 4 pm and most people here are reading or relaxing, many including Greg are taking naps.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Salas    September 17

Signs like this help to keep us on track

Salas is a beautiful town in the mountains.

These colds really knocked us on our butts, but I think we are ready to get moving again. I walked 22 km or about 13 miles to Salas today. Greg took the bus there as he was still feeling the effects from his cold. We are both doing much better though and will continue walking tomorrow. Tomorrow will be 20 km with a 500 m elevation gain. I think we can handle it.

It is nice to be back in an albergue again. This is a relatively small one with 14 beds. We had our menu of the day at a close by restaurant: chicken noodle soup, then Greg had chicken and I had fish.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Grado     September 16

Wet and Rainy Grado

I'm feeling pretty good now. Greg is still coughing a lot and feels a lack of energy, so we are staying another night here in Grado. We will see how he feels in the morning. Grado is a small city of not much historical import, so there is not much to do here besides walking up and down the streets, reading, or resting up. Boring to say the least. I am anxious to be walking again!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Grado   September 15

The countryside between Oviedo and Grado

After I had a chance to view the photos of my newborn grandson, Henry  John, we walked out of Oviedo. The suburbs were only a few km and soon we were on country lanes. We had some elevation change, but not too bad yet. We saw about 10 or 12 other pilgrims at various times during the day, so there seem to be many others choosing the Camino Primitivo. 

We walked about 24 km (16 miles) to the city of Grado. It would have been 3 km beyond and a steep climb to the next albergue, we were tired, so decided to stay at a pension catering to pilgrims. Probably that was a good thing as it started to thunder and rain shortly after. I am feeling pretty good and pretty well over my cold, but Greg still has a cough, so we will have to decide in the morning if we will take another rest day. Our first plate at 2 pm comida was scrambled eggs with shrimp and other seafood items (yummy) and second plate was fish with potaoes and salad. When we can do it, the afternoon meals work out better than an 8 or 9 pm meal.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


I finally was able to use a computer to download and post some photos to the different postings. Take a look!

Oviedo September 14

Cathedral in Oviedo

For those not already aware, there is great news! My daughter, Julia, just gave birth to a baby boy yesterday! Mother and son are doing fine. I hope to give them a call later today. I am a first time grandpa now.

We are resting up as much as possible today. We slept in past 8 am, almost unheard of for us. After our morning coffee, we viewed the cathedral. Not the biggest, but I think the retablos (the gilded facades behind the altars) are some of the best I've seen. Unfortunately, they were in the dark so it was difficult to fully appreciate them. Sorry, no photos since they were not allowed in the church.

We meandered around the old town streets for a while, many beautiful old buildings. There is a big festival coming up here on the 19th, "Diá de Americas" (to celebrate all that new world gold that went into those retablos?). Sound stages and vendor's booths are being set up all over, it looks like it will be a huge festival.

We have an option here to continue on the Camino del Norte or to do the Camino Primitivo, a little shorter, but higher mountains to cross. Even though elevation change is greater, it looks like the spacing of the stages may be better with most stages between 20 and 30 km and only one 31 km stage. We made the decision to take the Primitivo, hopefully that will work out okay.

We returned to our pension about noon and both of us had naps. I rarely take a nap, this is very unusual. I have the feeling that we are like two big batteries that the colds and the walking  discharged beyond a comfortable margin. It is like we are storing up the energy to continue our pace of walking tomorrow and beyond. 

We'll take off about 2 pm to post this blog, have our big meal of the day, and then phone calls and picture posting at the locutorio.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Oviedo   September 13

Gregs soup at lunch

We both slept poorly because of our colds. I started coughing so got some cough syrup this morning. We walked about 11 or 12 miles today, mostly on quiet country roads, only the last few miles were the usual large city dreary suburb apartments and industrial tracts.

We are going to take a two night stay here to rest up and try to shake these colds. We found a hostal near the cathedral. We went out about 2 pmfor our midday meal. Ensalada mixta, soup eitj ham, potatoes, and spinach, bacalao (white)fish, and almond torte for dessert. We are wandering around a little, then back to take naps. Sightseeing tomorrow.