Sharon and Barry Go!

Camino de Santiago | Vietnam & Angkor Wat

The Camino is Hard

Barry and I entered the old city of Santiago de Compostela around 9:30 on Monday morning! With clear blue skies, a strong breeze, and temperatures in the 50s, we joined other pilgrims walking into the square. People were jumping jubilantly, congratulating one another, taking photos. Throughout the day we hugged people we had walked with along the way and texted with others expecting to arrive in the next day or so. We were swept up in the presence of joy.

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Santa María de Sobrado dos Monxes

We began our day making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on day-old baguette. Along with a couple of apples, this became a welcome lunch on a hiking day with few villages and no cafes. Our goal was to stay the night at a monastery in Sobrado that has been housing pilgrims on del Norte since the Middle Ages, Monsteiro de Santa María de Sobrado dos Monxes (in Galician).

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Capela do Santo Alberte

We left Baamonde for Miraz on Thursday morning, hiking the first several kilometers along a busy road with cars and trucks, decidedly our least favorite walking surface. But as the Camino turned off the highway, we crossed the Rio Parga using a medieval stone bridge (really) and walked into a forest and nature preserve.

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An Update: We’re Almost There

It’s Sunday night here. Tomorrow morning, we walk the final 10 kilometers to Santiago de Compostela. We have quite a few blog posts to catch up on. Unfortunately, we’ve been in rural areas the last few days, and wifi has been too spotty to let us upload the photos and videos that go with our posts. Hopefully we’ll have good connections in Santiago and Madrid and will be able to post soon.

Coastal Alternatives

As we have walked across Spain, two of our guidelines have been to avoid busy highways when possible and to choose the the coastline route when given the choice. On three consecutive days in the last week — our walks from Otur to Navia, Tapia de Casariega and Ribadeo — we left the traditional Camino for part of each day to walk along gorgeous coastal paths.

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Sacred Space

On Friday we walked in a light rain from Queruas to Otur, passing through small hamlets and twisting around farms and fields. The only urban outpost on the route was the port city of Luarca. Leaving there, the rural terrain and buildings were feeling familiar and comfortable. Descending a hill, we noticed the remains of a very old and somewhat overgrown stone building alongside a small stream.

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Surfaces We Walk On

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of last week took us through a large section of Asturias. We stayed at Fali’s Albergue in Muros de Nalón on Tuesday and the beautiful train station Albergue de Peregrinos in Novellana on Wednesday. Both offered delicious communal dinners and filling breakfasts. On Thursday night, we stayed in Queruas at La Yalga, a comfortable but less pilgrim-friendly stay. Relive videos for each day are at the end of this post.

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