Morgade to Gonzar

DAY 35: MONDAY, MAY 22, 2017

YAY! The countdown is on … we are six days away from Santiago. This is the 100K marker which indicates that we are 62 miles from Santiago. We are giddy with excitement. To receive our Compostela, a certificate stating that we have walked the Camino from Sarria to Santiago, we need to show our credential and it has to have two stamps per day to show that we have walked the entire way. We collect stamps (Sello) and usually get 5-6 per day. So no problem there.


This is the 100K marker … we are 62 miles from Santiago.


We had breakfast with Steve and Helen from New Zealand. We later crossed paths with them in Portomarin.


Love the donkeys grazing with the horses.


The scallop shell is a symbol of the Camino.  All the pilgrims wear one on their backpack. These were decorated. it was too hard to pick just one. So we moved on.

This is Portomarin from a distance. My philosophy is, “if you can see it, you can walk it.” It took a good hour to get there.


This is what greeted us at Portomarin. We walked for hours in the hot sun. We walk over this lengthy bridge and I can see something on the other side … no, that can’t be a giant flight of cement steps — it’s a monument? Wrong. It was a huge flight of steps we had to walk up.


After a short stop for a little snack, we were back on the trail in the hot sun. Still have a ways to go. We met some gentlemen from England and walked with them for awhile. It helped to pass the time on this long, dusty trail.


Finally around 4pm, we found our Albergue in Gonzar and it was very nice. Terry and I are quick … we know that you throw down your backpack and run for the shower. 


We had dinner with Mike and Steffie from Germany. 


These are the gentlemen we met on the trail — Philip from France, John and Peter from England. They were at the table next to us for dinner and we later found out they were our dorm mates.


Big surprise — Morina from Australia showed up. We were so delighted to see her. We haven’t seen her since Zubiri. It was quite the party at this Albergue. A good day.

Shout Out to the Amazing Kids at Meadowbrook

So happy to hear from you all. I will try to answer your questions. I don’t think I can bring an octopus back for you to try, I have not seen any in the grocery stores here. However, there is another delicacy I think I can bring back that comes in a jar.


These are baby eels. It would be interesting to try. If they didn’t taste very good, we could cover them with Ragú spaghetti sauce and put add a little Parmesan. What do you think??

It is very hot here this week. Full sun and 80-90 degrees. I have a water reservoir called a Camelbak in my backpack. It holds 2 liters of water but it adds 4-lbs to my backpack. There is a tube that comes around to the front so I can drink water whenever I want. I usually drink at least 2-4 liters per day.

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The blue tubes we are wearing are connected to our water supply.

They do not celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Spain. That’s a Mexican celebration of their victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

They do not serve very much corn here. Usually corn is found in salads. We have had  potatoes and they are usually very good.

Now here is an interesting thing they served for dessert after we had Octopus — it is cheese with quince jam.

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The cheese is a soft cheese and you put it on bread then you slice off some quince jam. It was very good.

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Time to get back on the road again. Hope you all have a good summer!

Adios amigos!

 

 

Shout Out To Ms. Bell’s 1st Grade Class

Hi kids!

It was really fun to see you all on Face Time last Monday. Terry and I are walking across Spain. The road we are walking is called, “The Camino de Santiago de Compostela” but most people call it the Camino.


It is very hot here. We walk for about 6-8 hours every day. We see many interesting things.


This is what part of the Camino looks like.


There is a cow parade every day.


Lots of chickens and roosters crowing.


Many pigs.


Donkeys help the farmers with their work.


This is one of the places we stayed overnight at. Many times we share a room with other people walking the Camino.


We have had a lot of different food. This is Octopus. It was delicious!


This is how they cook the Octopus.


On the Camino we meet many people from all over the world. These people are from southern England. The guy on the far right’s name is PegLeg. He is a para-Olympian and even though he is missing part of one leg, he is able to do the Camino. Some times he rides in his chair and pushes with his arms. He is very strong and courageous.
Well kids, it’s time for us to get back on the trail. We hope you have a great summer! I hope you know that you all are so lucky — you have the best teacher in the world. Please give Ms Bell a hug for me. I miss her!


Adios Amigos!!

Sarria to Morgade

DAY 34: SUNDAY, MAY 21

What a change a day makes! Sarria is the starting point for many who are doing the Camino. To get your Compostela, you only have to prove that you have walked the last 100K which is from Sarria to Santiago. We are so spoiled by having the peace and quiet of the trail. Today, it is crazy. Countless number of pilgrims hiking through. We are seasoned old dogs who have come from St. Jean Pied de Port. All of a sudden there is an endless stream of people wearing new tennis shoes and clean clothes. They carry little day packs and have sent their back packs or luggage forward with a courier. 

Terry called the rush of pilgrims  a combination of the State Fair and Grandma’s Marathon. AND, it’s only May — June, July and August will be much worse and the whole Camino will be packed with people vying for miles and beds. 


Leaving Sarria, by 9:30 am there were so many people on the trail ,we had crossed paths with six people we had met previously in different places on the Camino.


Horse riding pilgrim with two horses … one for himself and one for supplies.


This camino tree looks like a work of art.


This structure is something they store grain in … I think in Iowa they would call it a corn crib. You see them everywhere. They’re somewhat small and you see them in yards, not just on farms.

On the trail again. The rock walls remind me of Ireland.


So hot today … even the cows can’t stand it.


This was delightful … Galician guy playing Irish tune on the bagpipes on the trail.


We stayed in a town called Morgade which has a population of 4. We had to call several times to make sure we had beds reserved because there is nothing else around other than the Morgade Albergue.


We loved this place. We shared this dorm with 4 other women. Yay…. no bunk beds. We met two delightful, very tall women from Mexico City, Mexico. Laura is an executive with Ford Motor, Madrid who is accompanying her 80-year-old mother, Lupe (aka Guadalupe). This is Lupe’s dream to walk the Camino. They are both very sweet people who speak very good English.


This is what you get for lunch when your order a “mixto salad”. Cost is less than 5 dollars.


Dog is not dead … he’s just hot and decided to lay down in the street. Cars drive around him.

This is Paco … he is one of the 4 people who live in Morgade. He runs the  Albergue which his family owns and he works so hard. His English is excellent. He was overwhelmed with the herds of Camino people that came in on Sunday. He said Saturday and Sunday were wild with a record breaking number of people. When we arrived, the place was rockin’. They had Irish musician playing in one of the rooms and the place was packed. We felt so lucky that we could go upstairs and lay down until all the commotion settled down around 3-4 pm.

Paco said this was a hospital at one time. His family started with a littled sandwich shop next door and eventually bought the facility. The did some remodeling. I think they are making a ton of money and we were so glad to see that … they work really hard.


This is one of the public areas at our Albergue.


This is another public area. There was a plexiglass ceiling over this patio …. so let it rain!

This is a different dog and he is not dead either. He was laying under our table.


We met a huge group of people from Sweden in the outdoor bar. There was a constant turnover of people.


This is the little chapel that belong to the hospital that Paco’s family now owns. They had to lock the chapel because people would write on the walls, sleep in it and everything else.

This is a view of the Morgade Albergue, it has the most spectacular view from the back patio. Nearby, the cows graze.


This is the back patio of our Albergue. We love this place!!!

Shout out to Bob Brown in Duluth, Minnesota

Thank you so much Bob for being one of our most loyal followers! I so appreciate your encouraging words especially after a day of hot sun and hills. Wish you were here to enjoy some octopods with us hahah! The beer and wine flows freely here … its just about free and much cheaper than soft drinks (like a coke, 7UP,  juice) believe it or not. However, gin & tonic is a bit pricey … not because of the cost of gin but because of the little bottle of tonic which costs much more than a beer.  Even though there is a lot of blood, sweat and tears … we are having a great time. Cheers!

Samos to Sarria

DAY 33: SATURDAY, MAY 20

IMG_1511.JPGHeading for Sarria and the last 8 days of our Camino adventure. It was a beautiful sunny day. We followed the river out of town and came across these pilgrim statues in a park.

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We started walking with Gina from England (originally from Maylasia). We wandered into a cabin like restaurant and asked if they could fry us some eggs. They had no problem with our request. Typically, you don’t find eggs on a breakfast menu.

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Today we’re at a lower altitude but its still an amazing view.

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We followed the highway to Sarria. There was an alternate route through the woods and hills that was about four miles longer. We opted for the highway and it was a difficult route because the path hasn’t been used much and was a bit overgrown. Sometimes we had to walk on the shoulder of the road which felt dangerous.

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It took about four hours to reach Sarria. It’s a bigger town so it took awhile to find our hostel.

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One of the locals told us this place was “famous” for its Octopus. So we had to check it out.

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All they serve is Octopus and they close for the day at 4pm. It’s like a beer hall with long tables. You can get potatoes to go with the Octopus but we just split an order. It was delicious.

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They seasoned the octopus with a little oil and paprika. It had a taste that was very similar to lobster.

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Dessert consisted of cheese with a fruit jam. There were some hard cheeses and some soft ones. This tasted like ricotta cheese. You put it on bread and then cut a piece of the fruit jam and put that on top. It was actually quite good.

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The Octopus is boiled in water in a giant copper kettle. They use a scissors and snip up the pieces. The head is not used for anything. We did notice that a young boy came into the shop a little before 4pm. They filled his container with the heads. We were thinking that maybe it was used for animal feed??

We spent the entire afternoon basking in the sun and blogging. As you may have noticed, I am just about caught up. There are a number of restaurants by the river and it’s such a serene place with a lot of people enjoying the afternoon.

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Walking back to the Hostel I noticed this milk machine. I think you insert money, open the smaller silver door and it refills your container. There are a lot of vending machines in Spain.

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We finished the night by having donor kebab for dinner. Nice change of pace and we hadn’t had one since Pamplona.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Biduedo to Samos

DAY 32: FRIDAY, MAY 19, 2017


It’s a foggy morning. This is the Camino path going out of Biduedo.


Many of the stone buildings have slate roofs.


Another village to wander through.


This mosaic is embedded in the road in front of the town church in Tricastella. It shows the three castles the town was named after that no longer exist.


Tricastela church with cemetery surrounding it.


Little park on the way out of Tricastela.


Rest area with a natural spring coming from the side of the mountain.


The Camino winds through many very small farm villages.


The camino often follows rivers too.


I don’t know what this yellow flowering tree is but I love seeing it.


These women are from Italy — northern Italy, Genoa and Rome. They had been on the Camino for two days and continuing for two weeks — just a short get-away trip.


Coming out of the hills, you can see the monastery of Samos. The original parts exist from around 690AD.

A view of the Monastery from the town.


We toured the Samos Monestery. In its heyday it housed about 80 monks and 200 students. Today, there are a total of 9 monks living here. There is one brother, one novice and seven priests. The priests are all assigned as parish pastors in other churches. How can they afford to keep the massive building in operation you may wonder as we did. Well, in Spain there is no separation  of church and state. The government subsidizes the facility because its considered a historic place as most churches are.


In Samos we crossed paths with Robin, Kristy and Michelle from Nova Scotia, Canada. They were our roommates in St. Jean and in Orrison.


We had dinner with Bob and Bonnie from Carmel, California. Bob is former lawyer who after 35 years of practice became an episcopal priest. He runs marathons. Bonnie only does half marathons. (They enjoyed hearing my Grandma’s Half Marathon story — hahah). They are staying at the same Hostel as we are and we also toured the Monestery with them.


These are our digs in Samos. I am just super thankful that I’m not in a bunk bed. We are heading for Sarria next which is the last 100K of the Camino. Many people start in Sarria. We have made our reservations for the remaining 8 days or our Camino. Beds are scarce because of the record breaking number of people doing the Camino at this time.

Trabedelos to Biduedo 

DAY 31: THURSDAY, MAY 18, 2017

Trabedelos is located in the valley between mountain ranges. It felt kind of like a dead zone. A dying town with little energy. We were eager to get moving again. 


The road out of Trabedelos.


We connected with Deb from Arizona who used to work for Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and Arizona. It’s a small world on the Camino. Deb connected with the two women we shared a cab with when we arrived in Bayonne, France.


A lotta roosters running around.


There are massive, tall bridges that connect the mountains and they are planted in these little villages beneath. It’s a skyway of trucks.


Field of sheep grazing.


This is a giant dog — some form of Saint Bernard. I think he was suppose to be guarding the sheep but he seemed to like posing for photos.


The little villages are always interesting to wander through. So many interesting pieces of culture and history.


One little shop had a very large display of rosaries. 


Nice rest stop in Las Herrerias.


Back up the hill to O’Cebreiro. Took this photo shortly (minutes) before the fog and rain rolled in. This is the beginning of the Galicia region which very much resembles Ireland.


Many of the homes and buildings in O’Cebreiro and Galicia are made of stone and have thatched roofs. There are also a lot of slate roofs. This is a historical model of what a typical dwelling from the Celtic era 1500 years ago until the 1960s.


It started raining so we stopped for lunch — we had Galician soup made from cabbage and some croquets that were made of potatoes and cheese.


By the time we were done eating, the sun was out again. This is the place where we ate lunch. Next stop, down the hill to Biduedo.


This is the hostel we stayed in. The blue tractor has a glass garage. 


I went outside after dinner and it was still very light out at 9pm. The farmers were bringing the cows back to their barn. Lead cow got a little out of line and went its own way. The farmer was not very happy when she started drinking out of a public fountain.


Across the road from our hostel was a very humble, small church. Biduedo is two blocks long and mostly stone barns and farm buildings. The church has no pews. Just an altar and a stand with a bible or lectionary on it. They have fenced in the rose bushes probably so the cows leave them alone.

Front entrance to the little church in Biduedo.

Cacabelos

DAY 29: TUESDAY, MAY 16


This is our hostal in Cacabelos. We spent a second day here to heal foot wounds and get caught up with blogging. 


We sat under an umbrella and watched the pilgrims go by. Did a little blogging. Ate lunch and chatted. A wonderful way to enjoy a warm 80 degree day.


Terry clinks glasses with Brussels from Champagne, France. That’s not a typo, her name is Brussels and she is from Champagne.


Some pasta and a glass of wine for lunch.


More chatting with Brian from Portland. It’s very common to compare routes and plans with fellow pilgrims.


We strolled to the other end of town. The river goes under this house.


Our destination was this church. Supposedly there was a painting of a young Jesus playing cards with St. Anthony of Padua. Church was locked — so disappointing. We really wanted to see if it was on green felt and if there were dogs also playing cards with them.


The church was surrounded by an Albergue. There were two people to a room which we thought was decent. Down side was that the restroom and showers were in the courtyard. 


This is a very old wine press. It’s massive.


This is how it works. I don’t think its been used in a very long time. Looks like some parts are missing.


Cacabelos is a very beautiful village.


Checked out a nice Irish bar on the way back. Tapa served was mussel garnished with a pico de gallo.


More mussels for dinner and they were fabulous.


On the way back to the hotel we stopped to chat with Candace who works at the bakery. The oven is very deep. One side holds the wood for the heat and the other side where the bread goes is about 8 feet deep. She had a really long paddle for putting bread in and out. Next morning we walked down and picked up some fresh pastries. The bread looked amazing.

Ponferrada to Cacabelos

DAY 28, MONDAY, MAY 15

A traffic jam in a small town like Cacabelos in the middle of a Monday morning can only mean one thing — a church procession! And sure enough from a distance we could see a statue in the back of a truck go by with many people following. Oh the excitement.


It’s the feast of Santo Isidoro who apparently is the patron Saint of agriculture in the Cacabelos community. His parade float was decorated with a field of growing plants, a pair of oxen and a little mechanical donkey spinning around an olive press. Beautiful calla lilies, flowers and cherry branches.

The procession stopped in the town square where the local pastor said Mass.

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The town crowded around to celebrate mass on this special feast day. After mass, we realized all the farmers had parked their tractors up the street. The tractors were all decorated with flowers and cherry branches.

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The marching band played Blowing in the Wind.

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The little kids decorated their tractors too. They followed in the parade after the big tractors.

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The farmers tossed flower petals and cherries to us.

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The cherries were delicioso!

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One of the tractor carts had a display of giant green beans.

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Back at the church they unload Santo Isidoro and put him back on his pedestal.

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Floral arch is the entrance to the festival area.

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Big kettle of octopus cooking for the festival lunch. Unfortunately we came to late and it was all gone. Quite the specialty here.

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The chopped up octopus is served with potatoes and seasoning.

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Back at the hotel, Terry chats with Michael from Vancouver.

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For dinner, I had a big plate full of Octopus and potatoes brava. A great way to end the day.

 

 

 

 

Rabanal del Camino to Ponferrada

DAY 27: SUNDAY, MAY 14

We really enjoyed the charm of Rabanal. There was a little stone chapel across from the Hostel.


The little chapel seats about 20. It has real candles too not the electronic vigil lights most churches have installed.

It’s a rugged road today. We are walking to Cruz de Ferro, one of the highest points on the Camino.


Mountainous and scenic, a whole new terrain with lots of scrub plants and wild flowers.


Foncebadon is in the mountains at about 4700 ft. We liked the energy here … kind of hippie central. It has been influenced by the Maragato culture which was derived from Berber tribes in Morocco. The building style is stones with wooden balconies. The ruins are many centuries old.


This is Carlos. He works at this Albergue in Foncebaden. He doesn’t speak English. He made our lunch today. Terry had a bocadillo and a bag of chips, I had the “special salad” with tuna.
This is Kim from Key West, Florida. She is an artist. She sold her art gallery and everything she had. She is exploring the possibilities of moving to Spain.

Rugged road and lots of uphill.


This is the road to Cruz de Ferro (Iron Cross). For centuries, pilgrims have been bringing a stone from home that held their burdens to leave at the cross.  It has created a hill around the cross that continues to grow.


It was nice to visit Cruz de Ferro when no one else was around. It has the feel of a sacred monument.

This is the little chapel by Cruz de Ferro.

Beautiful area with mountains, a lot of scrubby bushes and wild flowers. Makes me think of the Wild Wild West.


Next stop after Cruz de Ferro is Manjarin. This is a funky Albergue. A little too funky for us.

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 The Manjarin Albergue was run by Tomas, who fancies himself as the last modern day Templar. This is his processional statue at the entrance of the Albergue. The real turn off was no showers and an “open air latrine.” No thanks.

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This is Moon from Sol, Korea. She was seriously thinking about staying at the Manjarin Albergue. She walked round a little and then we heard the sound of a chain saw. She came out quickly and decided to move on with us.

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Over the hill came the cavalry — there were eight pilgrims on horseback with a guide. Shortly after a big “sag wagon” truck loaded with bales of hay came through. What a beautiful place for a horse ride.

Next, were on to Ponferrada, which I don’t have many photos of because it’s a big city and there wasn’t anything special about it. It does have a giant castle from the 11-14th century. The Templar knights were given it in 1107 to guard the road to Santiago. They have made some alterations to it.

Street corner in Ponferrada.

The most exciting thing about Ponferrada was my breakfast. On to Carabelos.

Leon to Astorga

DAY 25: FRIDAY, MAY 12

CLOUDY, RAINY, WINDY


Now we are feeling a bit worn out and have dealt with a number of foot ailments and more. The many consecutive days of hiking with backpacks is starting to take its toll. We have slowed down and are taking more time to rest and appreciate the culture.

The segment of the Camino we are at now is called the Meseta. My guidebook says it has a reputation for being, “boring, repetitive and bleak.” It’s flat, all sun and we’ve been told it’s similar to walking through Nebraska. Other pilgrims have confirmed this and also talked about the mental agony it creates. Taking all of this into consideration, we decided to morph ourselves through the Meseta. We enjoyed seeing it from the window of our comfortable bus which was full of our fellow pilgrims doing the same thing. The short three hour bus trip bought us eight days which is how long it would have taken us to walk the Meseta. We also learned that the winds were very strong and caused many to stop walking. We were happy, delighted and energized when we arrived in Astorga which sits on a hill. The Cathedral is prominent and it was our first stop.

It was about noon (on a Friday) and we were surprised to see a service taking place at the Cathedral. There were about 15 priests, bishops, monseigeurs presiding and a large number of locals attending. We figured out that it was the feast day of Santa Maria del Castro, their patron saint. After the service the presiders left and the congregation lined up to walk by the decorated statue and pay their respects. I was hoping they would parade through the town with the statue of Santa Maria but it became obvious that that was not going to happen.


Santa Maria del Castro, patron Saint of Astorga. 
Two elderly ladies came up to us and started talking in Spanish about the Camino. We stumbled through a conversation with them and they were all smiles. One of them kissed both of us — Euro style on both cheeks. We have found that old ladies love the pilgrims on the Camino. As we were leaving the Cathedral, I notice a poster that showed a procession and it had tomorrow’s date and a time of 7am. We were not totally sure what it was about, but I was willing to get up early to check it out.

Many of the big churches in Europe have now combined to become museums. They have nice audio tours and are loaded with many fascinating things. It only costs a few Euro and it is probably what is keeping these churches open with the declining congregations and lack of support they face today. The Astorga cathedral had a museum and it took us hours to get through it. Lots of history and many church splendors on display.


The ornate entrance to the Cathedral of Astorga.

Astorga is a very charming town and reminded me of German villages. We stopped for lunch and found our hostel. We walked around town. We came too late to tour the Chocolate museum. There were several stores that sold lots of chocolate.


Chocolate bars come in all shapes, sizes and flavors. Very inexpensive.


The government building has a clock that is very similar to a glockenspiel.


This is our hostel. Our room is the balcony above the sign.

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All the hoopla was over by 9am. We met back at the hotel restaurants for breakfast.

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This is one of the Astorga specialties. The two characters on the box are the same figures that are on the glockenspiel in the town square. They strike the bell on the hour. One type of La Mallorquina takes like cake and the other has honey and tastes more like Baklava.

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Back on the road again. This one leads to Rabanal del Camino.

 

SHOUT OUT TO THE AMAZING KIDS AT MEADOWBROOK

I know the after school program at Meadowbrook is ending soon. Hope you all have a great summer and I look forward to seeing you next fall.

Just wanted to share with you, what I ate for dinner last night. It was Octopus. I was somewhat apprehensive about trying it, however, everyone here in this region of Spain eats Octopus. So I ordered it for dinner. I followed our “5 bites rule” and decided I liked it. It tastes kind of like lobster but chewier and kind of like Calamari (Squid) but not as chewy.

There was a big festival in the little village we are staying in — it is the feast of Santo Isidoro who must be the patron saint of agriculture and farming. All the farmers decorated their tractors with flowers and branches of cherries and paraded through the town. It was very special to see how thankful this village is for its farmers and the food they produce.

Below are some photos from the day in Cacabelos, Spain. Hope you enjoy them.

Take care,

Jane in Spain

Juana in Espana


I am having a big plate of Octopus for dinner. Yum!  The other dish is Potatoes Brava which is potato wedges in a Siracha-like sauce mixed with mayo …  double YUM!


Kettle full of Octopus cooking at the festival.


The farmers decorated their tractors with flowers and branches of cherries for the parade through town.


The farmers tossed flower petals to us and gave us handfuls of cherries to eat.


The cherries here are delicioso!

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Leon

DAY 24: THURSDAY, MAY 11

CLOUDY, SPRINKLES, CHILLY

 

This is what I found to be one of the most interesting sites in Leon. The Monastery of San Marcos existed until 1837 when it was seized and abolished by Juan Àlvarez Mendizàbal (Prime Minister under Queen Isabel II).  Monastic life of the friars of St. James came to an end after 700 years. The monastery faced several auctions and constantly changing inhabitants and uses. In 1936 it became a concentration camp where Franco imprisoned his political prisoners. It is believed that 20,000 Spaniards passed through the cells and approximately 7,000 died.

The monestary now facilitates the museum of Leon and is also a 5-star Parador (historical hotel). 



Im not sure what this is … the monks were cloistered. Perhaps this is where visitors could talk to them??


This is the hotel lobby of the Monestary of San Marcos. It was featured in the movie “The Way”. The Martin Sheen character treats his Camino friends to a night at the Parador.


If I were in Kentucky, I’d think this was a bourbon, but not in Spain … it is a San Miguel beer.


This is the Basillica of Leon. 

New pews AND each pew had a heater under it. These old stone churches can be really cold.


This is the courtyard of the government building. 


Government building of Leon from the courtyard.


An entire school passed through this little street. Took over ten minutes for all the kids from small to middle school age to pass through.


I didn’t realize that Route 66 passed through Leon.


The ham leg with hoof on display at this tapas bar. 


Perfect lunch … a bowl of mushrooms! (David hates mushrooms.) There we’re two crocks with unidentifiable contents which I later discovered were “frog haunches” and “gizzards”. So glad I went with mushrooms.


This is the Cathedral of Leon which is an engineering marvel of it’s time. 


The stained glass windows are the soul of this cathedral. You could stare for hours at them.


This is the main altar area.


The cloister of the Cathedral was stunning too.

Burgos to Leon

DAY 23, WEDNESDAY, MAY 10


This is the view from my bed. We’re on the 7th floor of a hostel by the river walk.


Poor pilgrim permanently sits on his bench in the town square.



Burgos is a grand medieval walled city. It was fun but time to move on to Leon.


Leon is a very old walled village  that has survived many battles and conquerors.

Burgos

DAY 22: TUESDAY, MAY 9

We toured the Cathedral of Burgos which is one of the biggest churches in Spain.



There are many spectacular photos, however, my favorite is …


The papamoscas, which is the “fly catcher” clock. His mouth opens and closes as he tells time.  Not sure why an ostentatious church would have this goofy thing above a clock.


This little cart is what they wheel around town for Saint Days and Holy Week processions. 


For lunch, our friend Kate from Australia had, “soupy rice with rabbit”. They served her a giant pot of soup that could have fed a half dozen people.


Mary Poppins street was filled with umbrellas.


These people came from Toledo to create a flower display at the Cathedral that emulates the rose window from Notre Dame in Paris. We watched them work and it was impressive. They used live cut flowers.


A storm blew in around 7pm and damaged much of their work. They need to be finished by tomorrow.


We toured Burgos in this dopey little red train. It was only 5 Euro and it went all over town. It was well worth the money.


Kate, Terry and I had our own train car. It was a little bit scary on the round-abouts and some of the very narrow streets.


Time for a G&T. We continued watching the creation of the plant display at the cathedral.


These are not KKK figures, they are penitents. Usually during Lenten processions there are individuals who repent by parading around  in such attire.


 Lots of charm to be found in Burgos. 


Storm blew in and we hunkered down at a swinging bar near our hostel.


Tapas for dinner.


Loved this place!


Even the ceiling was funky.


Humberto from Toledo joined us. He was one of the guys working on the flower display. He was a bit smitten with Kate. Very interesting person … we talked about everything from bull fights to tornadoes.

Orbaneja Riopico to Burgos

DAY 21: MONDAY, MAY 7

We hit the road around 7am. The first town we hit was Villafria. Lots of stork nests here. A good stop for breakfast.


Stork nests are huge and usually perch at the highest point of buildings.


To enter Burgos,we walked for many miles around the airport and following a river.


The river walk goes on forever and follows around the city.


Medieval gate enters into the city center.


Middle of the afternoon is very quiet. Locals don’t come out until around 7pm.


A bench sculpture of a pilgrim resting his weary bones.


The Cathedral of Burgos is quite spectacular.


Planning to tour the cathedral tomorrow.


A pleasant surprise, we met up with our friend Kate who is from Australia. Last time we saw her was on our death march into Pamplona.


We shared a lovely dinner of oxtail stew, salad and a steak & cheese appetizer. It was delicious.