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One year ago today 10/11

I get up early well before sun rise. However, I am not the first to wake up and several people have already left by the time I get my self together. Several of us leave together and start walking. It is dark and raining lightly. Glad for my raincoat, it is hard enough to also wear my poncho. As we walk down the dark country lanes a bread delivery man arrives and I buy a loaf of bread from him to munch on as we walk.

We get lost in the dark and meet a Dutch lady who is also lost, a lady out walking her dogs guides us back to where we missed a turn. We thank her, and are sent on our way with "Buen Camino!"

It takes a very long time to find anywhere for coffee this morning. It seems like every mile we have to grind it out, plodding along. No one is very talkative today, the energy from last night takes a while to be left behind. Everything hurts, muscles, ligaments, knees. I truly feel I earn every mile today. We walk into a town over a bridge and this house above is beside the road with the water running under the building, not sure but believe it is a mill of some sort. 

Everywhere you walk you are surrounded by history, we cross another Roman bridge as we get towards the end of town.

signOnly just under 41 km to Santiago de Compostella. Not far at all.

 We meet up with Kirsten who is sitting on a wall resting when we come around a corner. It is good to see her. I ask if she has seen Ulrika, but no she hasn't. We all walk on together and I have brunch at a cafe we find. I needed something to pick up my spirits and it goes down well. 

We walk beyond our goal today of Pontecesures and the albergue is so different to last night. But I am getting ahead of my self.

We pass fields of pumpkins which surprises me as I never thought of the Spanish as eating or using pumpkins much.

As we walk on the weather has cleared up and we pass some lovely terrain and churches.

The trail is now fun to walk, good friends always lift your spirits. The mood from last night has lifted. and the walk in the afternoon is fun.

We pass a church with a figure of Saint James which has been adorned by multiple pilgrims over time. Everywhere we look there are things we want to photograph.

I loved this view with the three crosses and the hills in the back ground.

Next to the church was a large cemetery, each family had a box/mausoleum where ashes were kept, although some of the boxes, mausoleums I guess were deep enough to take a body I think they only used them for ashes.

Every mile marker is decorated now as pilgrims feel the end is in sight.

We all take photos of almost everymile or rather kilometer marker.

Last night the albergue we stayed in was overbooked, in fact some people had to get a taxi to reach the next albergue arriving so late.

Today, we reach an albergue that is clean, and almost empty and has a much nicer atmosphere.

Kirsten and I walk into town, while a couple of young women decide to cook dinner at the albergue. We find a restaurant and on asking what time they open for dinner are told not till 9.00pm, this is Spain. We look at each other and explain we are pilgrims and we will be asleep by then. They tell us to wait, then come back and wave us in and feed us a most wonderful meal alone in the restaurant. 

We then walk back to the albergue where we enter into a long discussion with an elderly American gentleman who has arrived and the two young women who have cooked diner. They offer some to the American but he declines. He tells us all about his family and that he is from Kentucky. One of the young women explains she is transgender, and we talk about what that means and how she feels as she goes through the transformation process. I am waiting for him to make some comment, but at some stage he merely gets up and says "I think I will take that glass of wine now." This is what I like about the Camino, this openess and willingness to listen.

I am not sure if the thought of the end being in sight that allows pain that you have suppresed to come out and be more overwhelming. We decide to book ahead to a hostel for tomorrow so we can walk slowly into Santiago the next day. I walked just over 20 miles today and have now covered 427 miles since starting. Every day I am amazed at how far I have come and what I have acheived.

Till tomorrow.

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Comment balloon 16 commentsNick Vandekar, 610-203-4543 • October 11 2019 01:34AM

Comments

Good morning, Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543 my eyes went right to the food to see what "keeps you going".... that's a healthy breakfast.

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) 12 days ago

I am not sure I would describe it as healthy, but having only eaten dry bread all morning, which was fresh and delicious it was very good to eat something hot and warm.

Posted by Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line (Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400) 12 days ago

And, the amazing scenes continue, Nick!  I especially love that picture of the old church.

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) 12 days ago

CONGRATULATIONS Nick, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Club group!  

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) 12 days ago

I am so envious of you for making this trip - maybe I will get to do it some day too

Posted by Lise Howe, Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA, (Keller Williams Capital Properties) 12 days ago

It sounds like a very exciting trip... 

Posted by Scott Godzyk, One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents (Godzyk Real Estate Services) 12 days ago

Myrl Jeffcoat as we approached the church, there were lots of sheep wandering free with lambs which was an unusual time of year for lambs. But they came right up to us the lambs. Quite special. Thank you for the feature.

Lise Howe you just have to make it a priority, start researching as there are many different routes and you can begin from different places on each route. To receive your compostella from the church you MUST walk at least 100 km and have your pilgrim passport stamped twice a day for that portion.

Scott Godzyk it really was, mentally and physically challenging.

 

Posted by Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line (Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400) 12 days ago

Thank you very much for sharing this experience and your fond memories.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) 12 days ago

Hi Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543 - To see all that ancient history is just amazing to me. I thought to myself, how many places in the world can you walk over a Roman bridge that is still functioning. 

Posted by Sheri Sperry - MCNE®, (928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR® (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) 12 days ago

Wow Nick,  Lots of miles and interesting everyday you what you are seeing.  Bet the beard was good.

Posted by Will Hamm, "Where There's a Will, There's a Way!" (Hamm Homes) 12 days ago

Hello Nick - it's interesting to me to hear your stories about the people and the sights you continue to experienced.  Buen Camino! 

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 12 days ago

Nick,

I loved the hospitality you were extended with the restaurant feeding your group prior to opening.  We had this happen in Italy, when after our SUV broke down and the rental company send a bus to bring us in, we went to a restaurant that was closing.  My parents who spoke fluent Italian explained what happened, and they opened the doors and served us a feast...And then refused to be paid...with 6 of us no less.  A

Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy (Napa Consultants) 12 days ago

Morning Nick.

It would take me a considerable longer amount of time to cover those miles. Of course I'm older and slower than you

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) 11 days ago

Roy Kelley you are welcome

Sheri Sperry - MCNE® I am amazed how much of this Roman road is intact, in one way or another and the number of bridges I crossed that were Roman in origin, maybe restored but still.

The bread was very good Will Hamm, still warm and a whole loaf cost 1 Euro, good value.

Michael Jacobs the people are what makes the camino, not just other pilgrims but those in the villages as well.

 

Posted by Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line (Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400) 11 days ago

Ron and Alexandra Seigel it was very kind, and the food was excellent, we did have to pay, but it was a pilgrim meal so cost us both 10 Euros each. Your story shows the kindness of people too. We need more storeis like that.

James Dray the gentleman we met that evening was older, and he took his time, I believe he was 79 and he had started at a shorter distance from Santiago de Compostella than me, but he did what he could. As I always say, everyone's Camino is their own, there should beno judegment, everyone does what they are able and if we all accept that and get rid of ego the world will be a better place.

Posted by Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line (Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400) 11 days ago

Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543 What a wonderful vacation, walking, exploring, meeting local people, enjoying new cuisines, looks fabulous!  Congrats on the miles you logged, impressive.

Posted by Kris Collis, Associate Broker, Professional Results you Expect 570-507-7510 (Smart Way America Realty) 9 days ago

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