I made it!

I made it!
I made it! This is the Cathedral in Santiago (with constant renovations, of course) where the bones of the Apostile Saint James (Sant Iago) is reported to be buried.

Yesterday, Tim and I walked into Santiago de Compostela, Spain. We walked from Pamplona, roughly 450 miles (750k). To be fair, Tim walked every step of the way. I had a couple taxi rides and took one bus. So, I probably walked 400 miles. It took 37 days, which included 2 full days off for each of us. There was lots of rain, wind and cold–much more than I’d expected. It was the coldest, wettest spring for decades. Can I pick ’em, or what?

My Compostela--which we waited 2 hours in line for. Since the bicycle riders I. Front of us had not showered in a month, this turned out to be the most grueling part of the hike.
My Compostela–which we waited 2 hours in line for. This document is the proof that I walked “The Way of Saint James” and took the most popular path, the French Way. Since the bicycle riders in front of us in line had not showered in a month, this turned out to be the most grueling part of the hike.
Pilgrims mass
Pilgrims mass at noon every day is crowded. We arrived on a Saturday, but Friday’s are the biggest days since the bonfumaria (oversized incense burner) is used.
Close up of the altar.
Close up of the altar.
Entering the church
Entering the church

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A short beer before mass
A short beer before mass
Entering the city.
Entering the city.
Just outside the city
Just outside the city

Day 1: Pamplona to Uterga

imageSunny but cold for our first day. Partly cloudy skies and temps from 34-48F with lots of wind. As long as you kept moving it was good hiking, but as soon as you stop, put on a jacket! We did roughly 17 Kim’s today and we all feel it tonight.

Kathy and Tim, from the back, moving ahead.
Kathy and Tim, from the back, moving ahead.
Climbing most of the day from 450meters to 750.
Climbing most of the day from 450meters to 750.
This was quite a hill. The last two miles were steep, and as you can see by the windmills, it was breezy.
This was quite a hill. The last two miles were steep, and as you can see by the windmills, it was breezy.
Saw this along the trail.
Saw this along the trail.
Camino art
Camino art
The is a famous statue at the top of the hill.
The is a famous statue at the top of the hill.
We stopped for lunch and a beer! When we got to the top of the hill, there was even a convince truck with wine, beer, snacks and sandwitches.
We stopped for lunch and a beer! When we got to the top of the hill, there was even a convince truck with wine, beer, snacks and sandwitches.
This is Kathy's first long distance trail. I think it was tough, but she made it.
This is Kathy’s first long distance trail. I think it was tough, but she made it.
The path is fairly well marked, but in a variety of ways.
The path is fairly well marked, but in a variety of ways.
I saw three shies along the trail!
I saw three shies along the trail!
The sky was particularly lovely.
The sky was particularly lovely.
This is a religious pilgrimage--and it's been an active for a thousand years. This is a statue of Mary just as you enter Utrega.
This is a religious pilgrimage–and it’s been an active for a thousand years. This is a statue of Mary just as you enter Utrega.

 

On the road, again…..

Packing again! Tomorrow I head to Pamplona by train. My 3 friends and I will begin the Camino on Friday, April Fools Day (appropriate, no?). It’s roughly 500 miles, but we sleep in hostels each night and can eat at restaurants much of the way. And there’s lots of red wine and ham sandwiches!
 
Unfortunately, I’ll have to go to Madrid this week. I need to get a work visa at the Russian Embassy. Tried to set an appointment but the offices are closed for Holy Week. Who said they were godless commies?