On to A Coruna

16 September 2019

Late to bed, early to rise. All packed up and heading for the subway station on a brisk Tuesday morning. The air was crisp with a light breeze and the narrow streets were already humming with activity. The sound of suitcase wheels being dragged over cobblestone, diesel engines, supplies being unloaded from trucks, the rev of motor scooters and the clink of coffee cups from outdoor cafes serenaded us as we scurried down Calle de Carettas to the Metro.

Puerto del Sol was buzzing with energy. The usual tourists and tourist magnets were gearing up for the day. We entered the outer hump entrance of the Metro station and descended down several escalators and through ticket gates. We have become somewhat competent at maneuvering the subways and found our track. It was packed with morning commuters. We squeezed into the crowded car and a half dozen people squeezed in along with us. The Metro trains not only allow bicycles but scooters too. The ride to the airport was not pleasant but that’s the reality of rush hour on a Tuesday morning.

Our flight to A Coruna on a mid-size Iberia airbus was short and sweet. I was delighted to find recipes for Gallago Octopus and Paella (in Spanish and English) in one of the airplane seat pocket magazines. We chose to do the cheap flight alternative so that meant we didn’t get to choose seats. I had a window seat with two locals sitting next to me … Señora Dona and Señor Macho. The flight attendant was nice enough to move Mr. Macho to a better seat so we could all spread out. Mrs. Dona didn’t understand this. She rattled something to me in Spanish. I smiled and said, “habla usted English?” She looked at me, laughed and indicated that she spoke very little English. Then she said, “you English”. I nodded. In broken english she communicated that the flight attendant wanted both of us to move over to the open aisle seat. I said I wanted to stay by the window. She said ok and remained in the middle seat. The plane was stuffy and I don’t know how she survived in her thermal outer jacket. Her arm was secured by the arm rest and her elbow was poking into my ribs the entire flight. The seat next to her remained empty. At least it was a very short flight.

It was a quick Uber ride to our hostel. Like pack mules we hiked up three generous flights of stairs to our room with backpacks in tow. It was small, clean and comfortable with a large window draped so you couldn’t tell you were looking at a wall.

After settling in and shedding the hiking boots, we went out to explore. We chose to stay at Hostel Linar because it was located in the middle of two bodies of water. One was a beach and the other a harbor. Both were a short walk from the Hostel in opposite directions.

Being a warm, sunny day we chose to do the beach side first. We took the higgely piggely route because there is no other way to get there. Weaving through the town’s small narrow streets we window shopped and made a few stops. The cool breeze and smell of salt water led the way. One of the interesting things about A Coruna are the beautiful glass fronted balconies.

A Coruna is often called the Crystal City because of the glass fronted balconies on the sea promenade. On a clear day when the sun faces the harbor front during the evening, the reflection can be blinding.

It was about 80 degrees and sunny. The long sprawling beach was empty. Sun bathers were few and far between even though it felt like a beach day to us Minnesotans. A Coruna has a population of about 200,000 … where was everybody? Maybe this felt cold to them and September isn’t typically a ‘beach’ month and maybe not high season for tourists. We saw a few unsuccessful surfers. The waves just weren’t there today. And yes, the water was cold.

There are five beaches in the A Coruna area.

After testing the water, we spread out a Zubana (backpacker’s lightweight nylon version of a ground cloth) and began to enjoy the sun, sand and surf. The grainy sand was coarse and it felt good to grind my feet around in it. There was something sparkly in its composition. I examined it carefully but couldn’t identify what it was. For a brief moment, I thought about bringing some sand home to add to my beach sand collection which was started many years ago with several sands from Hawaii. I quickly realized that it would not be a good idea to haul it around in my backpack for five weeks. Customs might not like it either.

Looks like were the only ones on the beach today.

After we soaked up enough sun to feel rested and replenished with vitamin D, we set out for the harbor side. It was a slow walk because we went down the shopping street instead of the sea promenade. So many interesting things to look at. We have become Hyper Bazaar junkies. This store is a version of the dollar store but on steroids.

We weren’t really looking for anything but enjoyed perusing the maze-like aisles. Around every corner is a surprise … it could be hardware, cookware, toys, underwear, lawn ornaments and lots of plastic stuff.

Welcome to the Real Bazaar store! Very similar to Hyper Bazaar.

Tons of merchandise is compacted into an extremely small store space. Anything you might need to survive the Camino can be found for cheap at the Hyper Bazaar. They have many locations all over Spain and they are usually run by Asians.

It was about 3:00 pm and we hadn’t eaten since the fast food quiche found at the airport. Hunger was setting in. We beelined to the harbor side.

The harbor side promenade was interesting but not as pretty as the beach side. Lots of sailboats.

Terry with a giant flock of parrots.

We are back in the land of big drinks and tapas. Gin Tonica hits the spot followed by calamari, croquettes and Russian salad which is similar to what we know as potato salad.

From our seaside table Terry, who is employed as a business administrator for a church in St.Paul, Minnesota was conducting daily business via cell phone. What a lovely place to work from.

On to Old Town

We went to the Maria Pita square which was beautiful but a little quiet. Maria Pita lived in the 16th century and was a heroine in the defense of Coruna.

Leaving the square, we entered what is known as old town.

We continued walking around Old Town until we realized there were many flights of stairs to reach the rest of old town.

After a long day of hiking around, I wasn’t too excited to climb the stairs. It wasn’t just a few steps, it was many. I spotted something that looked like an elevator. Out of curiosity, I had to see what this elevator thing was. As I thought, it was an elevator but it looked more like a grain silo. I really wanted to ride it and so we did.

This is the elevator we took out of curiosity and to avoid flights of stairs.

The “grain silo’ style elevator had a glass ceiling and walls.

We stumbled across a beautiful courtyard with very tall trees that canopied the square.

Large blossoms hung from trees.

As we were soaking in the ambiance, we discovered a church. Of course we had to take a look at it. We circled to the front and eventually tried the door. Disappointed, we started to walk away when a local came running up to us and started speaking in Spanish.

The Church of Santiago La Coruna

He pulled out a ring of keys and directed us to the side door. To the best of my Spanish knowledge, he kept saying he was San Pedro. We just laughed and smiled as he led us into the dark church.

We sat down in pews as he locked the door and walked away. We were in the dark. Slowly and dramatically the lights went on one by one. Eventually, he came back and opened the main doors. This church had really good energy.

Santiago La Coruna is an ancient monument built in the 17th century. It is the start of the English Camino pilgrimage that leads to the tomb of Santiago (aka St. James) the apostle in Compostela.

San Pedro (aka Saint Peter) holds the key to heaven.

As we were leaving the Church of Santiago La Coruna, we crossed paths with a young man from the Netherlands named Thomas. He was starting his Camino the next day. This church was the start of the A Coruna leg of the Ingles Camino. We will be starting from the Ferrol branch which is longer.

Buen Camino! Terry chatted with a pilgrim from the Netherlands who was starting the Ingles Camino.

This was Thomas’s first Camino and he was very excited to start. Perhaps we will cross paths with him somewhere. We wished him a Buen Camino and we were all on our way.

Shoes and Tambourines

Heading back to the Hostal, we made one major stop. Terry has a fondness for footwear stores and this one was a gem. It was a combination shoe store and tambourine store. That is not a spell check error. Yes, I said shoes and tambourines. Both are made by hand at this store and you can pick the color and fabric of the shoes you want.

Handmade shoes and handmade tambourines.

You can buy a tambourine to match your shoes.

There was even a pair of tambourine boots. Can you imagine Mick Jagger, Prince or James Brown bangling around in these??

Terry was in shoe heaven and needed to call her daughter Helen in Peru for shoe consultation. There are only two places you can buy these shoes one being the store in A Coruna and the other in Pontevedre, Spain. The brand is Eferro and they do have a website which is quite interesting to look at.

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We made a pit stop at our hostal to freshen up and then hit the streets again to find dinner. Being in a harbor town, we were looking for seafood.

Sea Scallops hit the spot.

Another pleasant day in Spain. Our next stop is the nearby city of Ferrol.

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Good Morning Madrid — Or is It Afternoon??

16 September 2019

Terry slept like a rock … for 14 hours straight. I’m not so lucky. I was restless and kept waking up off and on with intermittent periods of reading and blogging. Needless-to-say, we got a late start today.

The first few hours were spent chasing around Puerto del Sol. The ‘grab & go’ vendors were busy. We call them Grab & Go because their ground cloth has a rope attached to it that lets them quickly escape with all of their goods and hightail it out of there for whatever reason … the police, find a new corner or to stop working for the day.

Busy day for the ‘Grab & Go’ vendors.

Our first stop was the Apple Store to resolve some problems I was having with my login. Mission accomplished. Next we tried to find a Fitbit charger. Mission not accomplished. In between we found a few non-essential stores that were fun to look through. A few non-essential purchases made.

By the time we got around to finding breakfast it was 5:00 pm or more like around 10:00 am Minneapolis time. Anytime is a good time for Sangria.

After a wonderful roast chicken ‘breakfast’ we decided to go to our favorite park which is El Retiro. But first, we had to stop and check out a church.

This is the Church San Jose which is on the World Heritage site. Simone Bolivar, the conquistador who founded Bolivia and killed a bunch of people, was married there.

We noticed that they seem to like putting bars in front of Baby Jesus. Maybe they think someone might steal him.

Very interesting architecture all over Madrid. Eventually, we made it to the park where it was so pleasant and a great place to work off some jet lag.

This is the formal entrance to Parque de El Retiro.

Pleasant music with a pleasant setting. El Retiro was an awesome place to relax.

We walked back to our neighborhood and ended the evening at Plaza Major.

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Hello Madrid!

15 September 2019

We flew Delta to Boston and Norwegian Air to Madrid which was a six hour flight where they don’t even give you a drink of water. If you desire food on the flight, it must be ordered in advance. Otherwise your option is to order something from the Snack Bar via the entertainment monitor located on each seat. Norwegian Air is like Spirit Airline only you’re on a bigger plane … uncomfortable seats and no food. Lost my toothbrush somewhere between MSP and MAD.

Took the Metro from the airport to Puerto del Sol. A little bit of confusion at airport because Metro was under reconstruction. Found our way to the JQC Rooms. Great location but we had to hike up five flights of stairs. Room is an odd shape but very clean and with a newly remodeled bathroom. Beds with memory foam mattresses were comfortable and we tested them out real quick. Spent most of the afternoon sleeping.

Our JQC Rooms room had all the essentials.

Just to the left of my bed was a weird little hallway that led to nothing but a window that faced a gloomy brick interior courtyard. The weird hallway was useful for organizing.

ZZZZZZZZZZZZ

After a short but restless nap it was time to get moving. We knew of a double-header of a deal … an Irish bar that was a Packer hang out. Don’t want to miss the Packer-Viking game. The James Joyce Irish Pub was our destination.

Terry and I like to check out churches because they are always peaceful, quiet and usually very interesting. We found a good one on our way. From the outside you could hardly tell it was a church. It was not freestanding and blended in with everything else.

This is the Church of Salvador and Nicholas. Inside there was a handful of people, mostly old and mostly women praying the rosary out loud in Spanish.

We like to refer to this as the Church of rubba-dub-dub (3 cherubs in a tub). This is the statuary that is front and center in the church. If you look a little harder you can find the a cross in the photo below.

This congregation gave a nod to Pope John Paul II with a bigger than life portrait over a small chapel.

Enough church, time to get back to our destination. We wandered in the general direction of Madrid’s El Retiro park and Paseo del Prado which runs along the park and Prado museum. It was a beautiful afternoon for some serendipity. Terry spotted a large gathering of people a few blocks away so we headed that direction to see what was happening.

The traffic circle near Atocha station was cordoned off, there were lots of police and many people waiting to see something. We were a little relieved it wasn’t a protest which we knew because we saw a two story carousel and lots of pop-up tents which made us think it was some kind of carnival.

Suddenly an entourage of vehicles blew through the traffic circle. Then a mix of motorcycles and more speeding cars. Was the president of Spain or some other dignitary in town?? Nobody moved. Someone said it was the Tour de Spain which was ending in Madrid. Come to think of it, on a TV monitor at the airport earlier I did see some coverage of a bicycle race and thought maybe it was the Tour de France.

Two story carousel looks like fun but no one was riding it … at least not during the race.

So now we had to wait and see what was coming. More speeding cars and then eventually the peloton arrived.

The “Vuelta a Espana” (Tour de Spain) is a race done in various locations throughout Spain. This afternoon’s 50K segment rolled out from Fuenlabrada. The entire competition is three weeks long.

So we saw the peloton go by followed by countless support cars with racks of bikes on top.

The above photo is one of the support cars. Most had a rack with 10 bikes mounted on top of the car. They were speeding along behind the group.

The intensity of the race picks up as they enter the final loop in Madrid. A Jumbotron screen projects the competition as spectators catch a blurred glimpse of riders as they speed by.

Ok, we saw the group of riders go through. Why isn’t anyone leaving??? It’s because they do nine 5.8K laps around one of the most prestigious venues in Madrid, specifically the one we were walking down to reach our Irish Pub destination.

Well that was all very exciting. I’m not much of a cycling fan but this was exhilarating to watch. We continued plowing through crowds to reach our Irish pub destination. Every so often the peloton would fly by.

We saw this really cool building wall covered with different grasses and vines. What a work of art!

There were many vendors along the race route selling everything imaginable. We finally found our destination bar, the James Joyce Irish pub and it wasn’t crowded either. I initially thought that was because of the race but then I recalled that in Spain, people don’t go out to eat dinner until 9-10 pm. Sure enough, the place was packed by 9:00.

I was giddy with joy — the Pack was winning 21-16. I think jet lag, lack of sleep, beer and Tour de Spain contributed to the giddiness.

This was our first meal since boarding the plane in Minneapolis on Saturday morning. The roast beef dinner hit the spot.

We observed two obvious packer fans watching the game intensely. Like us, they arrived long before the Spanish dinner hour of 9pm. They were sitting about two feet from the extra large screen … had to be Americans. Yep … they were.

David and Jenny joined us at our table for the last bit of the game. This delightful couple is from San Francisco. They moved to Madrid about three weeks ago. Jenny will be teaching English for one year while David works his San Francisco job remotely from Madrid. The conversation drifted in and out of football covering many topics about life in Spain, things to do in Madrid, Tour de Spain traffic, Washington, owls and much more.

After celebrating a Packer victory, Terry and I walked back to our JQV room. We passed a beautiful building lit with red lights. I think it was in honor of the Tour de Spain.

We returned safely to our quiet Puerto del Sol neighborhood. What a wonderful first day in Spain.

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Off to a Great Start

14 September 2019

Super Shortcut Through Security at MSP Airport

Most locals know that MSP is restructuring it’s TSA security check points which means there’s only one station open with extremely long lines. As usual, Terry and I were dreading it and planned to arrive extra extra early.

At work yesterday, David learned about a treasure of a short cut — the new Intercontinental Hotel at MSP has a TSA check point at the entrance to the skyway into the airport’s concourse. It’s open to the public, not just hotel guests. Having nothing to lose we decided to try it.

We dropped my backpack at the Delta curbside. David drove us to the front door of the Intercontinental where we said goodbye. We took the elevator to floor 3 and were delighted to see the TSA people and absolutely nobody around. I was giddy with joy. It took minutes to get through security and minutes to walk the skyway to the concourse. The only downside is that this TSA check-in is only open from 5-10 am … and also that we now have lots of time to kill.

The corridor from Intercontinental TSA to MSP corridor was totally empty.

I really love the new Intercontinental Hotel. My sister Mary has flown in twice this summer and we have checked it out. I read in the newspaper a year ago that there was an observation deck on the top floor. Observation hallway was more like it. There is a big conference center on top and it has great views.

We loved the cocktail lounge … especially the wall-size scrabble board. There is a billiard room and just about every board game imaginable.

The cocktail lounge at the Intercontinental hotel has awesome games.

We noticed that they have a good happy hour too. Last time Mary was flying home, I dropped her off. I hadn’t even left the airport and she called and asked me to retrieve her because her airline’s gate didn’t open for another hour or so.

We cruised over to the Intercontinental for a delightful lunch. They will validate your parking ticket if you eat lunch there. Parking was $5 for two hours. However, both times we were there, the machine that you pay for parking at was broken … so for now, parking is free.

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Camino Ingles and Ribadiso

13 September 2019

Meeting and Greeting the World

Tomorrow my Camino buddy, Theresa (aka Terry) and I set out for Spain. On Sunday, we arrive in Madrid and stay for a couple days. On Tuesday we fly to A Coruna, work our way over to Ferrol and will start Camino Ingles there.

The European camino network leads to the shrine of the apostle Saint James the Great in the Cathedral of Santiago. In ancient days and today, the Ingles route is where those starting in England and Ireland would boat to and continue walking through Spain to Santiago. Many walk the routes for spiritual growth. It’s also popular with hiking and cycling enthusiasts and tourists.

Camino Ingles is a short one … about 60 miles and takes about a week to walk. We will finish in Santiago around the end of September. We look forward to meeting pilgrims from all over the world.

From October 1-15, we will be in Ribadiso which is about 30 miles east of Santiago. This little village in the Galicia region of Spain features beautiful terraced green hills. There is evidence to suggest connections to the Celts in Ireland and Scotland. In previous walks through Galicia, we have come across a few bagpipe players.

On the map below, the route we are doing is the magenta colored English Way. Ribadiso is on the red colored French Way and is close to Arzua.

In Ribadiso, we will be volunteer hosts at an Albuergue which has 70 beds and costs about 5 euro ($5.50) to stay overnight. This albuergue has a paid local staff, so our job will be to greet pilgrims who are walking Camino Frances, show them to their beds and direct them to laundry facilities, showers, nearby amenities and make them feel welcome. We will be staying in a two bedroom apartment and our work day begins at 1:00 pm. Last year, Terry and I went through Hospitalero training which prepared us for this adventure. We look forward to greeting pilgrims from all over the world.

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2018 CAMINO FISTERRA-MUXIA WAY

Diane walked the entire route with us which went from Santiago to Finisterre to Muxia and back to Santiago. However, we did it in a higgelty piggelty way to accommodate travel schedules for Peggy and Ellen.

The photo below shows the village of Finisterre at the far end of the beach.

There were four of us when we left Finisterre.

Peggy (far right photo below) is a Science teacher who was on Spring Break. She was able to walk the Finnistere to Muxia segment.

Below (Ellen, me, Diane) are in front of the city of Toledo. This was the beginning of our adventure. Ellen, a Spanish teacher, was on Spring break and had to return home before we started the Camino.

For more photos about the 2018 Camino, scroll back on the blog. It’s all there.

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2017 Camino Frances

This was our 550 mile Camino that took us 45 days to walk. We prepared for two years and I had a very rigorous training schedule. During the year prior to the trip, I walked 500 miles while wearing my 25-lb backpack to prepare. Lots of research was done and much was learned.

All Camino pilgrimages end in Santiago. We were happy to reach our destination but sad to end the adventure. In Santiago, we crossed paths with many people we had met along the way. It was like graduation day and there were many celebrations.

Below is the region by region route that we walked.

My son Quinn and wife Emily met Terry and me in Santo Domingo.

It was fun to explore Santo Domingo with them.

Emily, shown below, is a global animal lover.

My husband David met us in Santiago the day we arrived. The next day we took a bus to Finisterre and the photo below was taken near Lires at the Costa da Morte … the coast of death.

Forty-five days and 550 miles wasn’t enough … David and I spent two weeks touring Madrid, Toledo, Barcelona and San Sebastián which is shown below.

In 2017, Spain was the most awesome adventure ever … which is why we went back in 2018 and now 2019.

For more photos and information about our Camino 2017, scroll way way back to the beginning of this blog.

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Sardinario to Finisterre

16 APRIL 2018

This is the start of our last day walking Camino Finisterre.

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Sardinario is a peaceful village on the sea.

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I think these are used for catching Octopus and other sea creatures.

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Beautiful beaches.

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Cute house with a patio on the road.

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Trail follows the highway for a bit.

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Back in the woods.

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In Spain, there’s always another hill.

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Awesome view of the road that lies ahead. Finisterre is the village on the far side of the beach. If you look closely, you can see the lighthouse past the village and at the very end of the land.

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Another walk through the woods to get to the beach.

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Getting closer to the water. Beautiful view.

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Finally we reach the beach. The tide is out and the sand is hard enough to walk on. It’s a two-mile walk on the beach to reach Finisterre.

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We picked up a few shells as we wandered.

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The two mile beach walk was my favorite part of this Camino.

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Being mid-April, the beach was empty which made it even more appealing.

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Getting closer to Santiago

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Little streams flowed through the beach to the Ocean.

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Picturesque scene. Upside down boat was a great resting spot.

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We emerge from the beach. This is the cross where we started our walk weeks ago. We have come full circle.

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Our Camino Finisterre has been completed. Time to celebrate.

Seafood casserole for lunch.

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We checked into the Mariquito.

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The view from our room.

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View of the harbor from the Mariquito.

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We went to the Pilgrim’s Office to pick up our Finisterre Camino certificates. I started talking to a woman and she said she knew me. All of a sudden I hear a loud, “FLANNIGAN!” Without thinking I yell out, “FINNEGAN!”  and there was a roar of loud boisterous laughter. It was my Irish pub-cousin Mike Finnegan who we had crossed paths with last week in Aquapaseda. He was now traveling with the woman from Michigan whom we had met in Negreira. Walking the Camino is so much fun.

 

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Back down to the harbor area. Heading for the fish market.

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The fish market is like the stock exchange. There are brokers auctioning the fish and customers buying it. We were watching from a second floor observation deck.

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Lots of different kinds of fish coming and going. The buyers make their selections and then the market delivers it to their restaurant.

I’ve never seen a fish with a face like this … hahah.

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We had seen these boats in the same spot for days. The locals said they were laying internet cable under water.

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Dinner at a seafood restaurant. Someone is loading the fresh fish tank.

In the ladies’ room at the restaurant was some kind of curling or flattening iron. Only 1 euro to touch up your do.

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Waiting for the sunset at the lighthouse. Beautiful way to end the Camino.

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Cee to Sardinario

15 APRIL 2018

Still at the Cee apartment. We had a bunch of eggs, cheese and peppers left over. We couldn’t figure out how to work the stove but could get the oven going so we made an egg bake. No toaster so we toasted the bread in the oven.

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Short walk today, only about five miles to Sardinario. We left Cee about 9:00 am and the next town over, Corcubion, was about a mile away. This was a very ornate yard that we passed on the way to Corcubion.

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Low tide. We saw several people digging for clams or something on the beaches.

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Corcubion seemed to be an artsy kind of place as evidenced by this tile bench. The tiles reminded me of Portugal.

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This bench had a glass wall behind it as a wind break. Very beautiful well maintained village.

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Lots of tile work.  Notice the hand shaped seat rests on this pillar.

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Oh yay! Sunday morning and we found a church …. it was around 10:30 am and the bells were ringing — doors were all locked.

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One of the town squares featured a ping pong table. Nice contrast to the Horreo (corn crib) in the background.

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Such a well marked Camino trail! So inviting!

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And it was a beautiful walk.

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Lots of green and tall walls on a sunny day.

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Very lush with the feel of spring in the air.

 

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Don’t know what these are but I always call them the upside down Christmas trees. Reminds me of Hawaii.

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Beautiful route today. Only one bad steep hill. When we reached the top a man jumped out of a car and handed us a flyer for an albuergue in Finisterre. It’s probably hard to scratch out a living with seasonal pilgrims. I admire the effort he made considering there are very few ways to market to transient visitors who are just passing through like us.

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Back on the highway for a stretch. We’re not back in Cee … it’s a sign depicting Cee county.

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There’s our little village of Sardinario.

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Nice beaches. There were two boats we could see for several days. We inquired about them and were told they are laying underwater cable. That’s a good thing because their current WiFi was not very good.

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Lunch break on a little bridge over a waterway.

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At the edge of town walking into Sardinario.

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Nice beaches!

 

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We checked into our hostel and the room was very cold. We all curled up in our beds and sacked out for a while. Still chilled, we went to the bar and asked for a hot brandy. The bartender didn’t really know what we were asking for … she poured a generous glass of brandy and then tried steaming it like a latte. We shook our heads no. Then she took her cigarette lighter and started it on fire. We shook our heads no. Then she poured another glass with hot water … we shook our heads yes, but then we needed a bigger glass to mix them in. We knew miel was the word for honey and somehow we got a lemon. Not exactly how a hot brandy is made but we got the end results we were seeking.

Afterward, we walked down the shoreline. It’s a beautiful area.

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This little canal led to the ocean. Must be low tide.

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We stopped at another bar for gin-tonika and ended up watching a Spanish chick-flick with the bartender.

Eventually, we made it back to our hotel for dinner. Tomorrow would be our last day of walking this camino.

 

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About that Blizzard in Minnesota …

14 APRIL 2018

DUMBRIA TO CEE

Big coincidence … we were at the Shrine of Our Lady of Snows when Minnesota was hit with the Blizzard of the Century. You know how us Catholic girls connect with our Shrines! Hope you enjoyed the fruit of our worship.

Here’s where we had to back track a little to cover all the miles. This photo is from APRIL 8TH (GREEN ROUTE) when we were going from Dumbria to Santiago. It’s the fork in the road.

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Hioiop

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Our cab driver Carlos picked us up at 8:00 am on Saturday, April 14th in Cee (YELLOW ROUTE) and back tracked us to the fork in the road where we would take the other direction toward Finisterre. It was a very foggy morning.

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We started in a fog. This was going to be an 8-mile hike into Cee. This photo shows “DUMBRIA” spelled out in stones but its hidden in the fog today.

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This is a dream route … scenic, quiet, and pleasant.

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A little bit of gentle rain.

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This is my best attempt at being artsy. Dew drops on the pine needles.

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And this is an awesome cobweb covered in dew. Best I could do.

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We crossed paths with a few people but not many.

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This was the ideal trail … no pavement, and mostly downhill.

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So scenic, peaceful and what you dream of hiking!!

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Little village which we hoped to pass through only because we needed a bathroom break.  The road did not lead us there.

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Fun to see bikers coming through.

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Just around the bend is “Our Lady of Snows” shrine.

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Sweet little chapel. Unfortunately it was locked.

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They did have a little place with a guest book. This was the exact time that Minnesota was being hit with the snow storm of the century.

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Interesting how that Queen of the Snows has a naked baby in tow. You would expect to see the baby bundled some how. There is a celebration every year on September 8.

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This cross is down by the sacred secret healing waters. We did not drink of the waters and thank goodness … you  might have had twice as much snow!

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Awesome road … so peaceful and serene frangranced with Pine and other aromatics.

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Whatever this tree is, we love it. The pine cones look like candles.

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Beautiful view of the hillsides.

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This is the Hermitage of San Pedro the Martir. According to the Brierly guidebook, “Here the sacred waters cure bodily aches and rheumatism with the simple expedient of placing the diseased part of the body in the waters of the holy spring.” I just drank the stuff and hoped it did whatever it was suppose to do.

Bonus … extra 100 meter walk to the Cruceiro do Armada.

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According to the Brierly guidebook, the original cross is gone but a substitute marks the spot. It’s the first glimpse of the ocean and village of Cee.

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Just a bit down the road we found an awesome view of Cee. People kept telling us about the very steep hill going down into Cee. It was nothing worse than what we had already experienced. This was one of my favorite walks.

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The factory on the water’s edge is the “unsightly” carbide factory. According to the Brierly guidebook, “it’s giant chimneys spew smoke into the sky making it visible for miles around. Trucks laden with iron ore thunder up and down the road between here and it’s sister factory at the industrial port in Cee.” It’s still a beautiful view.

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Getting closer.

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Little shrine on the side of the road.

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Beautiful view walking into Cee.

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Finally, we have reached the village edge.

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Diane is not bored, she’s tired. We just walked 8 miles. This was the first stop for a restroom.

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The trail dumped us off at the far side of town.

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Tomb with a view! Prime burial spots with a view of the ocean.

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Walking through town to get back to our apartment.

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We found a good bakery. This size of these donuts is crazy … they are about 8” in diameter.

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Hotel Larry! We would have definitely forgone our luxury apartment to stay at Hotel Larry.

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The bakery and the main mall in town are quiet now but in a few weeks this place will be hoppin.

We found an awesome places for dinner. It was the Fogo de Chao of CEE at a fraction of the cost. Wine included!

Back to the apartment! So nice to have our charming little place. A wonderful respite!

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Back to Finisterre! Why??

 

13 APRIL 2018

SANTIAGO TO CEE

Why are we heading back to Finisterre?? We’ve had to explain this many times. The logical way to do this Camino would be to start in Santiago and walk to Finisterre, then to Muxia and then back to Santiago. Our route was anything but typical and we did much of it backwards. Why?

I guess one good reason would be that we started in Finisterre and that’s where we needed to finish, however, most people do not start in Finisterre. The following is a full explanation of our route.

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BLUE ROUTE #1: THE MUXIANA: Our good friend Peggy had a limited number of days to walk with us on the Camino before she had to return to her job as a teacher after spring break. I’m sure she would have enjoyed the land-locked towns of Aquapesada, Negreira and Oleveiroa. However, Finisterre to Muxia (blue line #1) would be along the Atlantic and far more interesting. So, to accommodate Peggy, we walked that route and we are so glad she got to see that part … it was awesome. When we arrived in Muxia (#1) Peggy, Terry, Diane and I received our Muxianna certificates. Peggy took a bus back to Santiago. Then flew to Madrid and home.

GREEN ROUTE #2: THE COMPOSTELA: In the meantime, Terry, Diane and I walked back to Santiago, the green route. The three of us walked from Finisterre (Fisterra) to Muxia to Santiago. This was about 120K which qualified us for a Compostela when we arrived in Santiago. It also required that we walk nine days straight and much of it was in cold and rain. Usually, it was a nice gentle rain that lasted for awhile and cleared up. Not so bad but we all ended up with the “Galicia Cough”. We were the traveling Barkaderos.

And here’s where we are now:

YELLOW ROUTE #3: THE FINISTERRE: All we have to do is walk this little yellow stretch which when combined with out backward green route into Santiago, would qualify us for a Finisterre Certificate. We didn’t have time to walk from Santiago to Finisterre, so we went to where the road split rather than duplicating where we had already walked.

We took the Mon Bus from Santiago to the village of Cee (pronounced Thee).

It’s a beautiful ride that goes along the rocky hillside and many beach towns.

We arrived at the bus station in Cee and we had to kill three hours until our bargain Bookings.com accommodations were ready. Across the street happen to be a spa. We all had manicures and later Diane and I went back for massages. A one-hour full body massage was about $24.

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Our bargain accommodations from Bookings.com exceeded our expectations. It was a 3-bedroom, 2 bath apartment and it was lovely. We each had our own room plus a full kitchen, dining room and a great view. We booked it for two nights.

We are entering a new world of tapas here. Everywhere we went, they would bring out a tray of tapas and you could pick one. We offered to buy some but they wouldn’t allow it. Some of the items weren’t even on their menu.

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Also found in Cee, is a Chino-Bazaar which we find fascinating. It’s kind of like a dollar store but much much bigger.  Where else could you find a full-size fuzzy deer? We have never seen a real deer anywhere in Spain.

Where else would a homesick Viking fan find her horns other than at a Chino-Bazaar?

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After massages we made our way to the shopping mall and the grocery store. We had too much to carry back to the apartment so we went to the cab stand. We also needed to find a cab to get us back to our hiking start tomorrow morning. We grabbed the first cab in the line.

Turns out that our driver, Carlos, lived in the same building we were staying in. He parked in the underground garage and we chatted for a bit. Shortly, his daughter Katarina made an appearance from the elevator. She was learning English and going to school for some form of Tourism.  Really nice people. Eventually, we figured out they were more German than Spanish.

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Easy dinner at the apartment …. salads mixta and pizza.

Another exciting but exhausting day. The traveling barkadaros each had their own room tonight.

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Aquapesada to Santiago

12 April 2018

We had breakfast with Sophie from Wales. She stayed at the Albuergue last night too. She is a poet and performed a poem for us at breakfast. She is a burst of sunshine on a rainy day! She was heading to Finisterre, the opposite direction that we were going which was to Santiago.

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Spring flowers were blooming at Casa Riamonte. Lots of Calla Lillies growing wild.

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Wisteria woven into the fence had a few blooms starting.

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Not sure what this purple plant is but it was beautiful to look at.

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The “Pan” Box: Walking down the Main Street of Aquapesada, I noticed that someone had a “Pan” (Bread) box under their mailbox.  I assume they were getting their bread delivered on a regular basis.

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Lots of granite in the area. This business had several granite and stone slabs on display outside their building.

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Liked the camino motif on this gate entry of a house.

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After walking in the rain for awhile we stopped for tea. We came to the realization that after paying for last night’s albuergue, we were out of cash. We would soon be in Santiago where ATM’s are abundant but for now, we had about 10 euro between us. Most places in this area did not take credit cards.

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Interesting place we stopped at … it must have been some type of steak house. They had a huge indoor grill which the man in the red shirt on the right is cleaning. There were several bags of charcoal underneath it.

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And who should walk into the restaurant as we were leaving … Mike Finnegan, my “pub cousin” from Langford, Ireland, who now resides in Massachusetts. He said, “America has been very good to me.” He wanted to walk with us but we are heading to Santiago and Mike is heading to Finisterre — opposite directions.

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Back on the road … on to Santiago! It’s raining.

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Everything is blooming and it looks lovely and smells fragrant.

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Stopped to chat with Alexandro from Monterrey, Mexico.

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We had an uphill hike in a wooded area.

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We poor pilgrims had to split a bocadillo for lunch … we each got 1/3 of a sandwich but they are really big sandwiches. Now were down to 5 euros. Wi-Fi available … time to check in with the world.

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Lots of interesting things blooming. Not sure what this was but it was really interesting to look at.

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We crossed paths with Belinda and David from Australia. Even though they were walking on the Camino, they had no idea what the Camino is. They were vacationing nearby and thought it was a nice trail. Terry filled them in with details and they seemed interested in learning more about it.

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Beautiful walk leading into Santiago.

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Up a few hills and around the corner … it was breathtaking and exciting to see our first glimpse of the Cathedral of Santiago. Close but yet so far away.

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I like camping but this is a little too rugged for me. It’s been raining for weeks and cold.

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Onward! We crossed a river and spotted another tent.

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Another milepost. Getting close to Santiago.

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As I passed this tent a voice hollered out, “Buen Camino.” I turned around and saw a face looking out of the tent door. Meet Darrin from Holland but originally from Australia. He is camped here waiting for his girlfriend from Holland to join him in a couple weeks. It was damp and cold … don’t know how he kept that tent dry. We said goodbye and as we were walking off he asked if we had a few coins to spare. We had to laugh because we had less than 5 euros between us.

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Another village along the way as we closed in on Santiago.

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More uphill.

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Finally we started entering the city streets. It was a long walk on pavement and our feet were feeling it.

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The excitement of reaching Santiago kept us going.

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Finally we made it to the Cathedral. Much less scaffolding on it this year. They’re making progress but it’s slow. Not sure if we’ll ever see the finished Cathedral.

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Since we walked 120K from Finisterre to Muxia to Santiago, we earned a Compostela. We stood in line at the pilgrim’s office to collect our certificates. It’s kind of like waiting in line at the DMV … very automated. The line was very short (about a half hour or so) compared to the line we had to wait in last summer.

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Now that we’re back in the land of ATMs and credit cards, time to celebrate with a gin tonika.

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We snacked on Octopus.

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Diane wanted to make sure her brothers saw here eating Octopus. She actually is a big fan and enjoys it as much as Terry and I do.

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After happy hour, we had shoppy hour. Found a local artisan shop that we really like a lot. The owner got out her glue gun and decor. She gift wrapped everything little thing that we bought. This took forever. Diane and I went next door for a Gin & Tonic while Terry made her purchases.

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We didn’t check into the Nest Style hotel until after 8:00 pm. Long day. Terry was feeling tired and under the weather. Diane and I went out for dinner. In the lobby we saw what looked like the Red Power Ranger delivering a pizza. He was traveling on a red motorcycle. The pizza shop he worked for was close to the hotel and it was tempting but we passed. Had a nice dinner at a nearby restaurant.

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Negriera to Aquapesada

11 APRIL 2018

We see a lot of Horreos (corn cribs) but this was one of the few made with wood panels. I think they use them for various things other than storing grain. I did see a man inside one hanging laundry. Because they are elevated, they are not particularly easy to access. Some do have steps going up to them but most use a ladder.

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A gated estate in the wealthier neighborhood just outside the town.

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Never saw a Camino marker like this before.

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The trail followed the river.

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Many large houses along the river.

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We saw something that looked like snow but it was strange. Then we thought it was salt. We kept walking by piles of this white substance. We finally figured out that it was like sleet or ice. Must have stormed during the night and it was cool enough that it didn’t melt.

 

Next along the Tambre river is Ponte Maceira.

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This little medieval village is well preserved. Several mansions line the river banks.

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A very pleasant place to rest.

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An old Roman bridge stretches over the wide Tambre river.

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There is a legend that is reminiscent of the Red Sea biblical story. According to the Brierly guidebook …”we are told that God destroyed the bridge in a single stroke to prevent Roman soldiers pursuing the followers of St. James.”

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This enduring myth lives on in the coat of arms of the local council.

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Bovine World: Just past the eucalyptus & pine forest and up the hill is the wealthier neighborhood and Bovine World.  We could see a few bovines in the fenced in wooded area.

 

The little hamlet of Transmonte was just past Bovine World at the top of the hill.

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Bacon and eggs for lunch at Casa Pancho.

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Red flowers entwined in tree that resembles a basket.

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Very old fountain with fresh spring water.

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Patrol dogs doing their duty.

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And now it’s a long downhill trail into Aquapesada. Glad we don’t have to walk up it.

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Took a foot break at a funky little place entering the town of Aquapesada.

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We still had a ways to walk on pavement to get to our Albuergue. It was quite warm this afternoon too.

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Here is our albuergue … Casa Riamonte.

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They were just about out of space. Diane took a bed in the dorm room while Terry and I shared a double room. The cable show Alaskan Bush People is in Spanish.

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This was the view from our bedroom window. Several sheep grazing in the green pasture below.

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Julian and Rosa are the proprietors. Rosa did the cooking and Julian did the serving.

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We had a salad for a starter followed by pork with gravy and white beans.

 

We ate at their kitchen table. One of the tables had fish painted on it.

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It was a very delightful meal that came with rice pudding for dessert.

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Lights out at 10:00 pm.

 

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Moranos to Negreira

10 APRIL 2018

Beautiful Sunrise in Moranos.

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We had breakfast with our friends. Afterward, we stepped outside for a group photo. Sarah & Bernard from Germany and on the far right is Taso from Holland. We were going in opposite directions so we said our goodbyes and headed out.

 

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The day started out sunny.

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The sun lit the fields which were backed by a very gray sky.

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Fresh country air. A bit of a rainbow trying to squeeze through the gray sky on the left.

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Had to keep the rain gear close at hand.

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Stopped for a footrest in a bus shelter in Cornado.

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This fancy fountain was next to the bus stop.

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Diane bent over to tie her boot and all of a sudden heard the sound of hooves coming down the road.

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Another cow parade. This group of cows had an escort.

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We stepped aside and let them mooove on.

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The cows headed for Quintela but we took a left turn here.

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Long roads through farmland.

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More threatening gray sky. We just kept walking.

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A very old camino marker is shown at the bottom of the photo … it is a cement pillar with a shell embedded in it. The newer markers are the blue and gold ones on the utility post.

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More country roads.

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Another old camino marker.

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Hiking through more pasture land.

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Back in the woods.

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A valley ahead but don’t think it’s our final destination.

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We’ve never seen a Weber kettle or any type of barbecue grill like we have at home. We did see several brick grills.

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Diane’s boots were bothering her so she wore her clogs for awhile. The road became very muddy so she walked along the mossy edge while eating a bocadillo sandwich — she’s got good balance. Terry is helping her get down on the road again.

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This was our 12-mile day. It went on forever. Our feet were feeling it too.

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We called this the enchanted forest. It was a beautiful walk.

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We stopped to chat with Joan from Tasmania. She was hiking alone and going the opposite direction to Finisterre.

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A humble little chapel along the way.

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As we walked into town, we chatted with a local woman who was planting her garden. Not sure but we think she was planting garlic.


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Oh happy day … finally we are close to our destination Negreira.

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Negreira is a medieval village with an old entrance gate.

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Walk a bit further and it becomes modern. Tonight we are staying at Albuergue El Carmen.

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We were the only ones staying at the El Carmen. It was a bit chilly in the the dorm room but they provided lots of blankets. The cold damp weather combined with the long exhausting 12 mile day caused a lot of coughing and grumpy feet. Probably a good thing that we were the only ones staying here tonight.

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Next to the bunk room is a social room with WiFi. That is not Pepto Bismol on the table … it’s nail polish remover. Nails were looking pretty bad at this point.

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We ate dinner downstairs at the Masquito restaurant. We did make a few jokes about the restaurant’s name.  Bedtime couldn’t come quick enough. We piled on the blankets and called it a day.

###

Olevieroa to Moranos

April 9, 2018

Scenic start to the day. Very lush and green thanks to all the rain.

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Back on the pavement.

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Chapel and cemetary

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Dark gray moody sky. We had half rain, half sun and a few threatening clouds.

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We don’t know what these things are. They look like giant burrs … they’re about 2” in diameter.

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Stopped to chat with Felix from Santiago.

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These are the kind of roads we love walking down. No pavement, easy on the feet and scenic.

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A woman and her German Shepherd keep an eye on the sheep.

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We’re definitely in Galician farmland now.

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First cow parade. These cows were unattended. They just started walking down the road.

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We stayed out of their way and observed where they were going. They seem to know what they were doing even though there was no one escorting them.

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They just kept going.

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Turned the corner and eventually the cows found a place to graze.

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Time for a lunch break. Too wet to sit on the ground.

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The guidebook was in error. We were hoping we didn’t have to climb Monte Aro.

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Very scenic farmland today.

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There’s a docile watch dog on top of the stone wall just above the door.

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We wandered through another little village.

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It seems like everyone has watch dogs. When one starts barking the whole town starts barking.

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We walked by another cow barn.

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Peaceful cat sitting in the flowers.

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And finally we reach Moranos.

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Tonight were staying at Casa Pepa.

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Very nice accommodations at this albuergue.

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The sun came out in time for happy hour. Tosa is a doctor from Holland. She is sitting to the right of Diane. We also met Sarah and Bernard from Muenster, Germany.

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Bernard was busted … he didn’t attend Michigan State … he bought the sweatshirt somewhere cheap.

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Ended the day by having dinner with our new friends.

 

###

Dumbria To Olieviroa

8 APRIL 2018

Another foggy, rainy morning as we leave Dumbría.

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This is the courtyard in front of the church. It looks like they have grown the tree branches together. When it all blooms it looks very nice.

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This Is the church of St. Eulalia. It has a lot of charm. Even though it was Sunday morning, the church was locked tight. Just down the road a bit was a sports arena with a few soccer teams practicing.

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On our way out of town, we crossed by a pasture of horses.

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This is somebody’s homemade bench swing. It needs a few branches replaced.

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We left Dumbría and had to walk for awhile on the highway.

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We stopped at little diner a coffee break.

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Next town, Logoso.

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Beautiful trail leading out of Logoso. Two horses wandered and grazed their way down the trail.

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We met the Ryan brothers, Bill and Paul from Tipperary, Ireland.

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The trail led us downhill until we came to a bridge which crossed the river.

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After the bridge the trail went uphill. It was a beautiful river gorge that we followed for quite a distance.

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We were passed by several bicycles.

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It was a beautiful walk into Olveiroa.

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These were our accommodations, the Albuergue Hórreo. It is a large dormitory style albuergue with about 20 bunks in our room which were mostly filled.

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It rained most of the evening and night. Albuegue Hórreo had a washer and dryer —- it was laundry night.

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Quintans to Dumbria

7 April 2018

QUINTANS

Our camino started with a beautiful walk into town. The church was locked so we could only admire it from the outside.

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Sun with dark clouds … very typical of our Camino so far. At the end of the road is our marker with our arrow direction.

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Out in the woods and off the pavement which is good for the feet.

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The eucalyptus trees send a fragrant smell through the fresh country air.

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Several workmen in the field hoisting cable and stringing it between the power poles. Looks like hard labor … it was a Saturday morning too. We wondered if they were being paid overtime.

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We reached a small town called Senande.

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On the left is a chapel with a bell tower. Someone was manually tolling the bells.

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As usual, the doors were locked so we could not look in.

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We wandered across the street to the cemetery. Two men were working on a headstone. As we left the cemetery, we saw a trailer hitched to a car. We wondered if this trailer carried the body that they were preparing the tomb marker for. The bells kept tolling. There were no people around other than the two men grinding the edges of the stone.

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  • We needed a little foot break, so we stopped for tea. We met an interesting character whose name was Bienvenidos. It took us a long time to figure out that he was saying his name and not greeting us. (“Bienvenidos” means “welcome” in Spanish). He finally took out his photo ID and showed us that it was his name.

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Bienvenido lived here but worked in Dubai. He is a mechanic for a solar energy company.

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We really enjoyed our tea stop. Carmen and Jesus were the proprietors. They told us about a stop we needed to make on the camino. It was the site of healing waters that come from an underground stream. They gave us an empty water bottle to fill with the sacred water from the Fonte Santa.  They also gave us holy cards, I’m sure there was a nice Spanish blessing mixed in there too.

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We started walking and the road led us by a green pasture with sheep grazing.

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Entering Trasufre which is where the sacred fountain and the Chapel of Our Lady of Espino are located. The pieces of cloth tied to the hedgerow shown below are a local tradition going back centuries. According to the Brierly guidebook, “Pilgrims come to this shrine for healing by leaving behind unwanted ailments to disintegrate along with the cloth that is their symbolic representation.”

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We have found the healing waters of Fonte Santa!

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Still raining. Lunch in the courtyard of the Our Lady of Espino chapel. Too wet to sit down so we ate standing.  Of course the chapel was locked.

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Back on the trail again.

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This beautiful chicken looks like it could be somebody’s pet.

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Our hotel for tonight is the  O Argentino.

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The weather was rainy and chilly so we welcomed the opportunity to sit by the fireplace in the bar.

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This was a one-woman operation. The seniorita tended the bar and an adjoining little grocery store, the restaurant and the hotel. She did the cooking and serving too. She even built a fire in the fireplace.  We had Galician Soup with dinner and it was the best we’ve had yet.

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The O Argentino did not have a triple room. Being the snorer of the group, I had my own room. Very nice room but it had no heat. Diane asked for more heat and the woman brought her a portable heater and she gave me a fan. We did get that straightened out and I did get a heater but it didn’t help much.

Even though my bed was piled with blankets, I woke up with a cold nose — reminded me of tent camping. Happy to get up and get moving that morning.

Muxia to Quintans

6 APRIL 2018

 

We had a bacon & egg breakfast at one of the local Muxia restaurants. This breakfast included a lifetime supply of bacon.

Peggy with Noelia, our helpful new friend who worked at the front desk at Muxia Mare which is owned by her family. Noelia has a younger brother named Blasé who would make an appearance every now and then.

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Before leaving town, we wanted to walk down to the church which has a lot of folklore. It was windy, rainy and the water was a little rough today.

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Unfortunately, like most of the churches we’ve passed, “Nosa Senora da Barca” (Our Lady of the Boat) was locked. For more information and photos about this church, scroll back to my blog post titled, “Finisterre to Muxia” from our 2017 Camino Frances adventure.

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Up high on the church was a stained glass window.

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Close to the church was a lighthouse.

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There was also a little shop with women doing their craftwork.

We walked back to the hotel. The route we took along the ocean reminded me a lot of Ireland and how they section off parcels of land with handmade stone fences.

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A nice pathway down to the “Coasta da Morte” (Coast of Death).

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Back at the Muxia Mare it was time to say goodbye to Peggy. She will be busing to Santiago this afternoon and staying at the Nest Style hostel in Santiago. Tomorrow on Saturday she flies to Madrid and then home to the United States and returns to work on Monday.

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Peggy walked us to the start of our Camino route.

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Muxia is a scenic little village and hard to leave.

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This is where it got tricky. According to our guidebook, the directions were given for walking to Muxia from Finisterre. We were going to walk the opposite way from Muxia to Santiago. Didn’t think much of it. Today should have been a simple short walk to Quintans. However, it ended up being a long complicated mess.

We missed the first turn because it indicated an “S” in a circle pointing up a big muddy road/field which we assessed as a construction site. It wasn’t even worthy of a digital photo. We later realized the “S” stood for Santiago and it was one of our few clues to the correct direction.  We had to read all of the arrows backwards which gets really tricky on the turns.

We ended up walking through a steep neighborhood and asking a few of the locals for directions. We weren’t too confident of our translation of their directions.

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Our easy route to Quintans was mostly uphill and steep.

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We passed by an old mission church that looked interesting. Like most of the other churches, it was locked tight.

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Our only true confirmation was to find a Camino direction post and then go the opposite way. We did eventually find our way. The guidebook does not recommend going from Muxia to Santiago for this reason.

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This is the village of Os Muinos (The Mills) a small poorly marked town. We were wandering by houses and looking for the world’s largest corn crib but turns out it was much further away.

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We passed Igrexs De Se Xulian de Moraime, a 12th century Romanesque church. The original monastery was established by Benedictine monks. It no longer exists but the ancient church keeps that early connection alive. It is presently undergoing extensive rennovations.

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The church was locked. However, there was a small glass window in the door and I was able to take this photo of the inside.

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We walked around the property.

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This was not a secret short cut. It was the route described from the book.

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Eventually we found the church of San Martino de Ozon. We couldn’t believe it but the church was actually open. We later discovered they were getting ready for a funeral on the next day.

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Gothic arches framed the altar.

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From the other direction, a small choir loft could be seen.

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This is the corn crib we were looking for … it is Galicia’s longest granary which is called a horreos. 1D3853DC-5BB9-415B-AF24-1666F16AC0C5

Back down hill toward Quintans.

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Rushing water passes through town.

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We keep walking along farmland.

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We have finally reached Quintans.

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Here is where we are staying, in the Pension Plaza

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The owner took us up three flights to get to our triple room. Not fun when your tired and carrying a backpack. The room was cold. We pulled out the spare blankets.

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Found our way to the bar. Time to do a little blogging.

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Had a few tapas too. That’s an aquarium behind us which held a giant turtle.

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Another delightful dinner.

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The end of another day on the trail where our quick walk turned into an all afternoon treasure hunt.

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Lires to Muxia

5 April 2018

Calla Lillies grow wild everywhere.

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Passing some pilgrims on a muddy road on the way to Muxia.

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Euchaliptis trees are common on the Camino. These were very large and tall. Oftentimes the bark has peeled off.

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We walked by lots of fields. That structure in the middle is a horreo. They are elevated corn cribs. I don’t think they are all used for that purpose any more. I think many of them are decorative.

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These crosses are everywhere in public areas. No separation of church and state here.

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This road passes by some abandoned houses. Wonder how many centuries old they are.

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Terry in the sky … checking directions.

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Time for a foot rest. We found a nice sunny spot.

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Very scenic walking.

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Some of the watch dogs are lax about their duties.

 

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Beautiful flowers grow wild everywhere.

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Peggy took this impressive shot of a rooster.

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Trudging up another hill.

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Only 2K to Muxia. Everyone is happy about that.

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We were greeted by the ocean. Beautiful wild flowers too.

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A long walk along the roadside across from the ocean.

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Soccer field right on the ocean front. Up on the hillside is a luxury resort that was scheduled to be finished 2016. Looks like they are behind schedule.

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We love this albuergue … the Muxia Mare. Very clean and friendly. Not very big and newly remodeled. The bunks all have curtains, lights and outlets.

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Peggy’s listening to the Twin’s home opener.

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Lights out at 10:00 pm.

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Finisterre to Lires

4 April 2018

Started the day with breakfast at the albuergue.  Time to get on the road.

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We started walking along the shoreline of the Atlantic Ocean … heading to Lires.

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Here’s our turn off, at the cross right before the beach.

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Camino marker confirms that were on the right road.

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Just before the turn, was a campground on the ocean. Nice graphic that reminded us of Richard’s Tab trailer.

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We soon had a couple women from New York walking with us, Mary and Sue.

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Coincidentally, Mary from New York, has a daughter who lives in St. Louis Park near Terry. When Mary visits her daughter, she hangs out at the Caribou by Terry’s house. They are planning to meet at Caribou next time Mary is in SLP.

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Wow, this is a nicely paved path through the woods. No mud.

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Diane stops to chat with a local and ask directions.

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Jane stops to chat with the local’s cat.

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Back into the woods. Not such a nice path.

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Here is an unidentified crop … we think it’s Brussels sprouts??? We see it growing everywhere. One of the locals said it looks like small cabbage and they feed it to the animals. We have never seen Brussels Sprouts on a menu anywhere in Spain.

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Time to rest the feet.

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Unique walkway … lined with dead ferns that add an attractive orange fall color.

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In the middle of nowhere we found a place to stop for lunch.

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Jose Luis welcomed us in. We felt like we were sitting at someone’s kitchen table. I think we were. We were served bread with garlic butter followed by paella topped with eggs.

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The cat knew who to chum up to.

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We were also served an elegant dessert topped with whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate. Not bad for being in the middle of nowhere. Lunch cost 5 euros … about $6 dollars.

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Marta started cutting up a pumpkin. She was making pumpkin soup for the dinner menu. They were part of a Co-op group.

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We left full and happy.

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After making lunch, Jose Luis went back outside and worked on a carpentry project. Their dog stood guard.

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Back on the road again.

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Grazing goats are the lawn mowers of this rural area.

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Very remote area for lumber.

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Roads go down and up.

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Take the scenic route? It’s longer? OK. more Brussels sprouts behind us.

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This road seems a little rugged.

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Here we are on the scenic route.

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It was raining again on the Scenic Route.

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This view was one of the rewards of taking the scenic route.

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We stopped for a beverage as we entered Lires. Wi-Fi available and everyone checks with their cell phones.

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Beautiful view from the bar at Lires.

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We had to walk a little bit longer to reach “As Eires” our albuergue in Lires.

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We followed a river and these were fish that escaped from the fish processing plant.

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We found our albuergue. Got settled in a room with two bunk beds and then went for our first 3-course Pilgrim’s meal.

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Nice sunset tonight. Very adventurous day but very long. After dinner we wiped out and tucked in early.

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