Saturday, July 10, 2010

A week on the camino and still hanging in.

Hello everyone,
Here I am hanging out with some American women that I´ve met on the camino. We´re all teachers! Can you imagine that. Anyway, we had a lovely time sharing a bottle of wine, some Spanish fish and a nice big salad.
Its always fun to meet new people on the road.
Anyway, so far, I´m doing okay. I´ve been on the road for about a week now. I can already feel a difference, my legs feel stronger and I do feel lighter. The only thing that´s really killing me are my blisters. Various people have looked at them and say that getting blisters is genetic.
Anyway, I´m proud of myself because I´ve been averaging about 12 miles a day. Not alot by Camino standards, but I´m proud of myself nonetheless. I´m heading into Villafranca del Bierzo which I think you could probably make out on the map in the last entry...

These signs with conch shells and yellow arrows mark the way for the pilgrim so you never get lost.

Here´s another example

Here´s a knights of the templar castle in the city of Ponfarada. The knights of the templar, according to the literature that I read, came to the aid of the Catholics in Northern Spain. Then the Catholic church that they were getting to strong and too independant. They were then later punished and then killed (how sad!)

More of the castle in Ponfarada

Pilgrims hanging out at the pilgrim hostal, having breakfast and getting ready to walk for the day. I took this picture about 5:30 am. I´m actually getting up really early to take on the day´s hike. I always try to get to my next destination by 11 am before the noon sun. Hiking in the afternoon is really a killer because it can get over 100 degrees!

Norberto and me hanging out at the hill of penance. As I said in the last entry, pilgrims carry a stone throughout there journey (about 300 miles) prior to getting to this hill. Here, they put down the stone. The stone represents all of the sins that they carry.
Norberto was a Spanish man that I walked with and he was really informative. He told me about his life in Spanish and it has been really hard for him. Of course, I wish him the very best....

As for me, I didn´t have a stone with me. I just picked one up and put it in with the rest. Of course, that´s not to say that I don´t have misdeeds to repent, I do. And, so I found a stone, said a prayer and was on my way.

This I actually took in Burgos, when I was on the trip with my Spanish students. I look so much more put together, don´t I. Not dying with my backpack. Anyway, its a funny picture because I´m sitting with a statue of a camino pilgrim.

Anyway, that´s all for now. My health is fine and I´m in great spirits. I´ve been really lucky to have great conversations with the locals and Spanish speaking pilgrims. They all say that I speak Spanish really well, which is nice to hear but I know is not completely true. But, I can definitely follow any thread of conversation and respond although my grammar can get a little fuzzy in the more sophisticated phrasing. Anyway, I´m having a blast!!!!!

Thanks for following.
Kisses to all,