Camino de Santiago 2016

Every single one of us possesses the strength to attempt something he isn't sure he can accomplish. It can be running a mile, or a 10 k race, or 100 miles. It can be changing a career, losing 5 lbs., or telling someone you love her (or him).
-- Scott Jurek

Old age is the time to be dangerous. Dangerously fun loving, dangerously alive . . . This is the time to do every single thing we can possibly do with all the life we can bring to it. This is the time to live with an edge, with strength, with abandon. There is nothing for which to save our energy. Now it is simply time to spend time well.
-- Joan Chittister

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Day 7 Los Arcos to Longono

Long day today - 18.5 miles. In passing from the Navarra District of Spain to the La Rioja District, I passed the 100 mile mark. I'm celebrating with a night in a nice hotel!  Then an early dinner and early to bed for another long day tomorrow. 

The walk started out today with more beautiful farmland and small towns perched on hills. 





Of course magnificent churches



And even a little pine woods just before the long, city walk into Logrono. 

Day 6 Estella to Los Arcos

I started from Estella at 6:45 am after the best night's sleep yet. I had 14 miles to go and decided to power through to try to beat the rain. The clouds threatened but only a few drops. 
Gorgeous wheat fields for miles. And a church in the distance. 

Monjardin in distance.  The castle of San Sebastain de Deyo. Roman built in beginning but added to many times.

One of many cast offs, but best so far. 
Ancient grapes. 


Sunday, May 29, 2016

Day 5 Puente la Reina to Estelle

I got off early this morning, and watched the country wake up.
After a big rainstorm last night, the air was cooler and it was a perfect day for a walk.   In just two days the country has changed from grains to grapes and olives. 


In Estella, I had to see some of the ancient churches. Iglesias de la San Miguel. 

Convento de Santa Maria (currently a monetary).

And another bridge. 

Day 4 Pamplona to Puente la Reina

Today's walk from Pamplona, up and over Alta del Perdon was gorgeous. As the mountain came into view, it was covered with fog. In some ways, better not to see what was coming up. 

This area of Spain reminds me of the Palouse of Eastern Washington/Northern Idaho: rolling hills of wheat, oats, canola and peas. 



As I got to the top, the fog lifted. 



The windmills at the top supply much of the power for Pamplona. 


Puente del Reina was built in the 11th century to help pilgrims avoid high ferry prices, and robbers.The town grew up around the bridge to support pilgrims. 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Day 3 Zubiri to Pamplona

This section of the Camino started by the industrial plants of Zubiri and ended with a long urban walk to the heart of Pamplona. In the middle was lovely peaceful forest and farmland. 


The Puenta de la Magdelena is the pilgrims' gateway to Pamplona. 

After cleaning up I went sightseeing. I had to go by the Plazo de Toros. 

And the Cathedral

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Day 2 Roncesvalles to Zibiri

I'm having difficulty uploading to blog so I'm not sure how much I'll be able to do. 

Today was much easier than yesterday - just 14 miles and mostly downhill. It sprinkled on and off but was very warm. The countryside was gorgeous.

Zubiri has little to recommend it but this amazing bridge sits at the entry. It is the Puenta de la Rabia, rabies bridge.  Story is that if you lead an animal across it three times, it will be protected from rabies. 

Tomorrow another easy walk to Pamplona. 

Day 1 St. Jean Pied de Port to Roncevalles

The section between St. Jean Pied de Port, France and Roncesvalles, Spain was tough. In 16 miles you climb 4880' then drop 2300'. The weather was perfect - mixed sun and clouds, a warm breeze. 

This Basque section of the Pyrenees is really just "foothills" to the Pyrenees Mountains - dotted with farms and grazed by sheep and cows.



And there are horses. Once wild, they appear to be less so now.   Clearly.

Roncesvalles is crowded - all the hotels and albergues are completo - full. Lots of footsore pilgrims. I'm glad to have the highest climb on the Camino done. 

Internet service is spotty, so I may not be able to post daily. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Travel days May 23, 24

After a long day traveling, I'm in St. Jean Pied de Port - literally, St. John at the foot of the pass. Tomorrow I'll walk the first and most challenging section of the Camino; it's only 15 miles, but it has 4800' of elevation gain as it goes over the Pyrenees foothills. 

Today is gorgeous - sunny and warm.
And the streets are full of tourists and pilgrims. 
Tomorrow starts a few days of rain. I just hope the climb tomorrow won't be like two years ago when we had frigid temperatures an snow!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

To walk far, carry less --

In just two days, I'm off to Spain for six weeks. I thought I was traveling light when I walked the Camino in 2014. Then I carried 20 pounds, but there were days when 20 pounds seemed far too heavy. So I've managed to reduce the weight to 15 pounds even including a few luxuries: an iPod full of recorded books, Starbucks instant coffee, and a mascara.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Camino de Santiago 2016

May 4,2016, and I'm getting close to another trip to Spain to walk the Camino de Santiago.   In my attempt to reduce weight, I'm only taking my iPhone - no iPad and no camera. I'm hoping that I'll be able to blog from the phone and that my photos will be good.   This is my first, and test attempt blogging from the phone. 

First, a map of my walk. 

If all goes as planned, I'll walk from St. Jean Pied de Port, France to Santiago de Compostela, Spain.