Thursday, November 10, 2011

Some Photos from Fresco Tours

Hi everyone,
For those of you who have been asking about photos, I am attaching the link from Fresco Tours of some of the photos they took on our Camino.  I am hoping to work through my photos this weekend and get something up in the next week or so.  Thanks for all your support and I'm glad you were able to join me on my journey!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Day 9: We made it!

Today, in the pouring rain, our group of pilgrims who started as strangers and have ended as friends, made our way to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. It's hard to believe that we did it but we have officially joined the ranks of hundreds of thousands of pilgrims who have walked the Way of St. James.

Upon arriving, there were hugs and tears in the rain as we stood in front of the magnificent cathedral. From there we headed to the Pilgrims Office to receive our final stamp in our passport and the Compostela signifying we have met the requirements. Tomorrow we tour the cathedral and then we get to roam the city.

In retrospect I can't really say what I thought I would feel at the end of this journey. Certainly pride and a sense of accomplishment, but there is something else as well which I can't express in words. Something spiritual about walking the same steps as so many have done for thousands of years. All I know is that it has been an experience like no other in my life and I know it will remain with me forever.

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Day 8: Only 15 km to go!

Today was both grueling and gorgeous. The weather was spectacular, the trails scenic, and the picnic lunch gourmet all combined with a never-ending 22 km walk. Tonight we are staying at the magnificent Casa de Grande, a converted Pilgrim's hostel that has been in the same family for 200 years.

I honestly didn't think I would make it today but the spirit of St. James seems to be pulling me along. I almost cried when I made it to the meeting point at the end of the day and the other Pilgrim's in my group, who had already been there for a while waiting, cheered and clapped that I had made it. I look at the map each night and wonder how it is possible I am able to make it each day, but somehow I keep getting through it, praise God.

Tomorrow we enter Santiago. Only 15 km to go and 145 km behind us. They are calling for more rain but we are hoping it will hold out until we get to the cathedral around 3 or 4. Wish us our last buen Camino for tomorrow! Ciao amigos.

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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Day 7: What I imagined, finally!

The walk today was truly magnificent. Precisely what I thought it would be. Blue skies, rolling hills, lush woodlands, through several 10-house villages filled with sheep, cows and chickens. Stone houses dating back to the 15th century. Tomorrow is supposed to be a tough one. 22 km which will take us to the 15 km mark and then Sunday we walk the last 15 into Santiago. Almost there!

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Friday, October 28, 2011

Day 6: Sunshine and blue sky

Not sure if it was the sun or if we are just getting stronger but today seemed much easier. We arrived at Melide in a record 5.5 hours after walking 19.5 km. We now have 109 behind us and 51 to go. We arrive in Santiago on Monday. For the next 2 nights we are staying in a former Galician palace on land once owned by the Knights-Templar dating back to the 15th century. I wish I could upload photos, but my posts never go through when photos are attached so they will have to wait until I return.

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Crossed the halfway point today!

Day 5: Another cold rainy day, but we persevered. Other than the steep climb first thing this morning, the rest of the day's hills were long vs. steep. We walked through many little villages and saw more pilgrims today than other days. As I struggle to complete this pilgrimage, I have to constantly remind myself that I am doing it on behalf of those who cannot and that helps me to press on. Today was only 19 km. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Day 4: Up and down, up and down, up and down...

I have finally accepted that there are not going to be many flat paths on the Camino. All day it is up and down. I could never have done this without my walking poles and boots. Of course the rain gear has come in handy too. Today we "walked" 7 hours in the rain. It was miserable. As of this post we have completed 71 km of the 160 and I'm feeling every inch. We passed the 100 km marker to Santiago as well and ONLY have 89 to go. They are calling for rain all week until Saturday. Oh well, it just adds to the challenge right? Buenos noches muchachos!

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