Thursday, July 8, 2010

These last few days....

Hello everyone,

Well I´m alive and well and still surviving although I have been on the camino for about six days now. Here´s a map of the entire camino. If you enlarge the map you will see a city called Ponferada about three towns to the left of Leon. So far I´ve walked about 100 kilometers, about 62 miles.
i´m hanging in.
This woman is a life saver. She is a hospitalero (the caretaker of the pilgrim hostal) in a town called Rabanel outside of Astorga, Spain. I had walked from Astorga to Rabanel which is a distance of 22 kilometers or about 14 miles. Though it doesn´t seem like a great distance, much of it is uphill and I was carrying my 14 pound backpack.I arrived with these huuuuuge blisters on my feet. I was dying. I really didn´t think I´d make it to the pilgrim hostal. Anyway, she took a look at my feet and started to pierce these huge blisters to take out the serem. Then she inserted some iodine (ouch!). I was limping that evening but by the morning I felt much better. Her name is Angela and she was an angel!!!!

Here are some new friends I met in Rabanal, just outside of Astorga Spain (about 65 miles into my hike through the Camino). The two men to my left and right are from Holland and have walked from their front door in Holland are on their way to Santiago Compestela. (Those Dutch people are really in shape, check out the Dutch family down below)

The man across from me is Greg, 33 year old American from Colorado. He is studying to be a Catholic priest. I had met him the day before and had a great talk about theology and about Catholisism around the world.

It´s not every day that you meet someone so young who has the calling to be a catholic priest in the states.

This family is amazing. The three of them are from Holland and have biked all the way from their home outside of Amsterdam to Santiago Compestela in Spain.

I met them a couple of days ago and they are now on their way back to Compestela by bike. They´re young and fit and have a small daughter who is only two years old They´ve been biking for several months now.

This is a picture of a man who actually walked the camino starting in Jerusalem all the way to Santiago Compestela in Spain. About 3,000 miles. Can you believe it!?

It took him a year to do it. Very impressive.

Is this Dennis Hopper´s twin or what? Anyway he was a nice hospilario ( someone who helps pilgrims at the albergue)

A prayer for the pilgrim in Spanish. Basically it is a prayer that says: "That the tiredness of the camino never makes you think to ever leave it. For you to ask yourself, what is the goal of the camino?
That you are can always find the mountain, the river, the course that you might have lost. With the same that God advises.¨

Spanish fans watching the semi-final game between Spain and Germany. Of course, as you know, Spain won and the crowd went wild!!!!

At a hill where a pilgrim can leave a stone. The stone represents all of the sins that you have committed. And all of the sins that you committed without realizing it. It is a way to symbolically unload your pain and your guilt and know that God loves you. Here are priests saying a prayer and giving communion to the pilgrims.