Santiago!

The Man Who Thinks He Can
by Walter D. Wintle (given to me by my husband, John)

If you think you are beaten, you are;
If you think you dare not, you don’t.
If you’d like to win, but think you can’t
It’s almost a cinch you won’t.
If you think you’ll lose, you’ve lost,
For out in the world we find
Success being with a fellow’s will;
It’s all in the state of mind.

If you think you’re outclassed, you are:
You’ve got to think high to rise.
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.
Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man,
But soon or late the man who wins
Is the one who thinks he can.

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Cathedral of Santiago
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Compostela,
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Pilgrim Passport
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Pilgrim Passport,
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Distance Certificate: 799K,

 

 

Fellow pilgrims on the Camino: Bettina in SJPP and Orrison , Linda from Cincinnati (broke out in hives she was so nervous) and Mary from Kansas City,  Keith in SJPP, George and Kay from Ireland, Cara from Germany, David and his dad Gerard from Ireland, Takashi from Japan, Ellen, Kathy (both from San Francisco), Tamara from Austria, Ellie, Anna, Wendy, Dennis from Quebec, Morgan (Christian who had emotional  affair), Mekah, Annette and her cousin, Leonardo from Brazil, Mark from Colorado, Paulina  and her dog Romina, Claud and Loraine from Canada who I met on day 20, Brigitte from France, Marie and Katia from Slovenia, Fatima and Marie, Jacqueline and Robert, Claus from Germany, Jenny from Maine, Tony from UK, Rick from Georgia (DOD in Germany), Steve and Matt who had served in the military and their comrade Sara, 3 Colorado girls, Linda from NYC, Jenny who I walked into Burgos with on Day 13, Michi from Japan, Becca from Tallahassee on day  14, two bike riders from LA, Maria from Switzerland, Francisco from Italy, Deck and John from Ireland and their comrades Emily from Australia and Kelly from San Francisco, Bill and Gary from Canada, Mick and Jenny from Australia, Nick who lost his boots on Day 14 and is fundraising for for brain cancer, Becca from Florida, Janet from Sanibel, Charlotte and Kevin from London, three college students in Molinaseca who helped me order my meal, PJ from Nova  Scotia, Allison and Linda from New Zealand, Marji on day 30,  Steve, Matt, Sara, April, Kathy, and male friend on day 34 in Melide, Britta from Australia, Mero from Croatia, Jin from Korea, Dominick, Justin from Australia.

 

 

 

 

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Just for fun…

 

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Shopping Pilgrims
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Child Pilgrim
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Roller Bag Converted to Back Pack Pilgrim
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Flautist Pilgrim
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Pink Pilgrim
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Casper Pilgrims
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Violin Playing Pilgrim
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Camping Pilgrims
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Lovely Red Haired Pilgrim
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Unprepared Pilgrim
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Tourist Pilgrims
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Botanist Pilgrim
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Petitioning Pilgrim
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Weekend Pilgrim
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Walkie Talkie Yielding Pilgrim
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Mother Daughter Pilgrims
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Bike Riding Pilgrim
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His and Hers Pilgrims
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Keeping Dry But Not A Cloud In The Sky Pilgrims
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Nomad Pilgrims
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Well Decorated Pilgrims
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Running Pilgrim
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Yogi Pilgrims
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“Cheeky” Pilgrims 😦
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Ukulele Pilgrim
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Local Pilgrims
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Tan Pilgrim

 

Perfection is a state that exists…

Perfection is a state that exists purely in the Divine (and Disney films). At the end of the day, we are all imperfect beings in an imperfect world. Embrace your imperfection and remember it is the journey where the adventure lies. –from Beyond the Way

Day 35. I left in drizzle this morning wearing three layers and a rain poncho. The day proved to vacillate between very chilly and warm and sunny. Leaving Melide, I was engulfed in eucalyptus forests with intense aromas.  It was a 15 mile day today and it took me longer that I expected possibly because of the steep inclines or maybe because I seemed to drag my feet today. I am staying in a very small village today at a Pension called Casa Tia Teresa. It is just lovely and the owner even carried my pack to my room- that is a first! As I write this, I am looking out on my lovely corner windows and it is pouring. Since this is Galicia that is to be expected.

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Rainy view out my window this morning
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On the road
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Path over creek
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I always look forward to breakfast
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Interesting guy

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Lovely view

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Bottles stacked up for some reason?
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Oops. I went right. Cow herder guided me back to the Camino. Only one extra mile:(
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Hydrangeas are beautiful here

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Salade Mixta for dinner
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Coffee shop. Grounds are used to fertilize corn crops
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Owner who makes his own beer and has a beer bottle Christmas tree every year.
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People write their wishes on empty beer bottles
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My corner room view. Awesome!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Serendipity

Serendipity: The faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought after.

Day 34 on the Camino was serendipitous. Today was full of American military. I walked for about an hour with  Steve, retired military from Arkansas, and Matt, Army vet from Utah. Very interesting conversations with them and I learned about so many things – one being on the wearing of white socks while serving. I had no idea about this. Anyway, they joked about wearing white socks on the Camino as an omen from their military years. After about an hour, Sara from Boston, joined us. She is a young art major/restaurant server just ending a long term relationship. When I told her where I was from she said, “Woah, that is way out there”. I asked here what she meant- socially, politically , economically , geographically??? She said geographically. I replied that we are right in the middle of the country, implying that we could not be “way out there”. That conversation went by the wayside as she informed us she was so happy to have scored some weed last night and got back to her bed at 3:00am after much shenanigans. She asked me if I was planing to eat some pulpo (octopus that Melide is known for) when I got to town. I vehemently said, “NO”. She vehemently said, ” YOU SHOULD”. I arrived into Melide and saw a very cute restaurant and decided to have a Coca Cola Zero before finding my lodging. I noticed the Pulpo on the menu and decided to go for it. I ordered their specialty- tostas de pulpo con queso de San Simon. Anything with cheese on it has to be good. While not pleasing to the eyes, it did taste ok. Interestingly, the two couples sitting next to me were military people and upon hearing their conversation about their struggles with PTSD, I introduced myself and we had nice conversation. As I was getting ready to leave I thought, “Boy, I sure wish Sara would come along so I could tell her I tried the Pulpo”.  As I exited the restaurant there was Sara (of course!) and I proudly told her I ate the Pulpo. She was very happy about that!

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Grain dryers. Elevated to keep critters out and slats close enought to keep birds out.
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Shell at an albergue. Stopped her for coffee
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Fresh orange juice everywhere in northern Spain
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Steve from Arkansas. Retired military
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Matt from Utah and Steve from Arkansas – such great guys to spend some time with
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Octopus
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Lovely cafe- Kiwi growing overhead
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Kiwi
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Sara from Boston
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Spanish olives

 

 

Make the most of yourself…

Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny sparks of possibility into flames of achievement. – Golda Meir

Day 33. Portomarin, Toxibo, Gonzar, Castromayor, Hospital de la Cruz, Ventas de Naron, Ligonde, Eirexe, Portos, Lestedo, Brea, Rosario, then destination of Palas de Rei. A moderate day of walking today- 15 miles.

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Horreo: Corn-cribs with slantted walls that allow for circulation and a foundation designed to prevent rodents from climbing in.

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Don’t tempt me!

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Cathedral to get credential stamp

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I feel for the common chord again…

I feel for the common chord again. The C Major of life. – Robert Browning

The C Major of the Camino became a B flat leaving Sarria this morning. Streams of pilgrims filled the Camino since Sarria is where you start to complete the 100K required to get your Compestella in Santiago. The Camino passed through many small towns and the scenery and weather were lovely.

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Street tiles in Sarria

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The masses
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Selling goods

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Short Cut

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Lots of pilgrims
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Police

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100K to go!
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Hospitality

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For sale
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Herding cattle on the Camino

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Rough road
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Coming into Portomarin
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Steps up to city center
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Lovely lodging
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Ditto
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View from my room .

 

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Live as if you were to die tomorrow…

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. – Mahatma Gandhi

Dairy in these parts is the primary trade. The light brown cows are called Rubio Gallegos, though a Dutch Holstein can also be spotted occasionally. I arrived into Sarria early afternoon. To receive a Pilgrim’s Compestella in Santiago you must have walked at least 100K. Sarria lies just beyond that mark, thus a great many pilgrims start here to walk the 100K and receive a Compestalla. For this reason, Saria has the largest number of lodgings on the whole Camino. Once I got settled into my room, I went into town to see the sights and get a second stamp for my passport- at Sarria you are required to get two stamps each day until you reach Santiago. I also had some delicious Caldo Gallegos, (Galician Broth). It was delicious. I ran into Nick who I met on day 16- he is the one from England that got his boots stolen. Also saw some Koreans who I have seen since day one and saw Dominick, can’t remember where he is from, but he had a nasty infection a few weeks back and needed antibiotic treatment. While I was waiting for the church to open up at 4:20 to get a stamp, I met Bill and Gary from Canada. We had a glass of wine together in the ice cream shop and shared photos and stories. They were full of stories about robberies and muggings along the way- not too sure I wanted to hear that. I have felt extremely safe the whole time.

 

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So close!
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Caldo Gallego- delicious!

 

 

In the name of God…

In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you. – Leo Tolstoy

Day 30. Today was a short day; only 2 1/2 hours so I had plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful scenery walking to Triacastela. I walked through the pass into Galicia and it was foggy, cool, damp, and lush with vegetation.  Cattle could be seen in fields along the Camino enjoying the cool morning. Today is a somewhat rest day and tomorrow starts the final 7 days of walking before hitting Santiago.  At my lodging I met Marji from North Carolina who has an injured foot and arrived here by cab. As I walked through town I ran into Kevin and Charlotte who will end their Camino tomorrow in Sarria. They will return in August to walk the final stretch into Santiago with their son.

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Cloud cover
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So sweet

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Lovely bar for breakfast

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Miles and miles of stone fence
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800 year old chestnut tree
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My room for tonight at Complex Xacobeo, an albergue/pension
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On my bedside table
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Restaurant at Complexo Xacobeo
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Hills around Triacastela

 

 

 

Life moves pretty fast…

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it. -Ferris Bueller

An albergue experience in Fonfria

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Albergue
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Albergue
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Boot rack
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Bunks
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Bunks
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Blankets for use
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Hand wash
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Machine wash
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Hang to dry
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Dinner
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Palloza ceiling
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Spinach and potato soup- delicious
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Rice with beef, peas, and red pepper dish- delicious
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Cake
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My group
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Their own wine
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Paloma across the street where dinner is served at 7
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Sending cattle out to field after dinner
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Bar
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Patio
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My room
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View from my window
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View from my window

 

Be still, and know that I am God – Psalm 46:10

I lift up my eyes to the mountains
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The maker of heaven and earth – Psalm 121

I left at dawn this morning to make the steep climb to reach O’Cebreiro which sits at 1300M above sea level. I walked with Linda from New Zealand, whom I met on day 27, for most the ascent and we had a very nice conversation. At a rest stop for breakfast I ran into Allison, New Zealand, and Kevin and Charlotte, London. I also met Gary from Canada.

I am now in the last province, Galicia. This is where the legend of Santiago was born. This northwest corner of Spain bears little resemblance to the type of landscape that comes to mind when thinking about Spain. It is wet and very green and is surrounded by mountains which makes farming a challenge. Celtic symbols are commonly found carved into the stone of homes or churches. Common also are bagpipes and witches, both good and bad. Hearty soups, darker bread, queimada (a strong drink), and pulpo (octopus) are common on menus.

After my final ascent of the day I rested at a bar for over one hour, hoping to see Kevin and Charlotte. I had all but given up thinking they had passed me somewhere when, here they came, up the last tough incline. The three of us started our descent into Fonfria (population 30) where I am staying. We met Jeff from Vancouver on the trail and the four of us walked and talked into Fonfria where we all ended up staying in the pilgrims’ alberque. Kevin and Charlotte, as well as myself, have a private room. We will have a pilgrims’ meal at 7 with everyone in the albergue. Tomorrow is a very short day of only 5 1/2 miles so I can sleep in and take my time into Triacastela

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Gary, Allison, Linda

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Holly Berries

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Kevin, Charlotte, me, Jeff