Blogged during Camino Frances June 2018

01-06-2018 22: Carriön de los Condes – Terradillos de los Templarios
The night is over, long before the alarm goes off I am already awake. But now it seems that everyone in the bedroom starts the alarm at 5 am. The morning ritual will start again. We have breakfast in the kitchen with the stuff we bought in the supermarket. I stick to 2 bananas, multigrain cookies with cheese and coffee. We leave the gate at a quarter past six. It is already light and the arrows are clearly visible. Still the right path sick, because not every alberge is directly on the route. After a few minutes we walk back on the route and we can prepare ourselves for a, according to the train timetable, boring and, in the case of a late departure, a dangerous piece of meseta. If you leave late, from the end of June, July and August, you can be surprised by the afternoon heat. You must provide enough food and DRINK. On the program is an almost straight road with little shade and no facilities over a distance of 17 km. But almost halfway through someone placed a container with benches and tables and sells quite a few things. So there ain’t nothing. Just a short break for orange juice and coffee, with my own cookies and cheese. And then on again. The monotonous does not disappoint me at all. The cloud masses show a beautiful spectacle. Before you know it, you descend again, not much, to the first village. Here again a break, with a mini hamburger and a drink. Then again for the last 10 km of today. You take the last part, about 45 minutes on an alternative route, which means that you do not walk along the main road, but on the country roads. The forecasts were poor but we have no complaints, no precipitation yet. Basically everything properly packed in the plastic for nothing. But it is better to take precautions than to be left with wet gear for the rest of the day and night.

02-06-2018 23: Terradillos de los Templarios – Calzadilla de los Hermanillos
Saturday, the average civil servant can sleep longer at home and in his own bed. But that unfortunately does not apply to me, the walking Limburger. At 5 o’clock the alarm on my watch goes off, but I was awake many times this night. Still remain for 10 minutes and then on. We will have to wait and see what weather we get because the weather apps contradict each other. According to the booklet a stage of almost 14 km to Sahagun. The next day, according to the booklet, would be 31km to Reliegos, with a choice of 2 different routes. But we do it differently: draw through Sahagun, take the northern variant and walk to Calzadilla de los Hermanillos. That is an extra 14 km, but a shortening for the next day, where we might also walk on after Reliegos (6 km) to avoid the crowds and save more time for León. The morning is a bit chilly as usual, but luckily it is dry. We start at dawn, another beautiful sight to see it get lighter and hope for a nice morning red. Unfortunately, this is not the case today. At a bodega we see Hobbithuisjes, where Hobbits never lived, but where the wine was stored. Just a café con leche grande and orange juice and then on again. We take a slightly larger break in Sahagun, but we arrive early. Dominique must have something from the pharmacy. One when the break is over, continue again. Be careful after Sahagun because again you have to choose the right route. We choose too early, so we have to go back a bit, then continue walking and turn right after 800 meters. After the next village we walk on a wide sandy road again, luckily not disgusted. When we have taken the bridge over the track we arrive in a landscape that succeeds on the African steppe. A totally different picture than we are used to. This road, if you can call it that, wide enough for the Highway to Santiago, continues endlessly. But like every day you end up in civilization. Another quiet village where there is serene peace that you will hardly find anywhere else with us. We take the municipal alberge, so very simple and fully run on a donativo basis by the local elderly.

03-06-2018 24: Calzadilla de los Hermanillos – Mansilla de las Mulas
Today another impressive day. Ten past six left and after 500 meters on the approaching part of the Via Trajana Romana started for the 18 km long road without care or whatever. Empty your head, enjoy the rise of the sun and the diesel engine on a quiet setting. It is not a competition and it soon becomes clear that this is not the desired route for most pilgrims. The whole distance I see only 4 people: an old Brazilian who left for me, Valeria and Dominique. Both walk behind me with their own thought and pace. This morning is one to be on your own. Not walking with others, but enjoying the emptiness and loneliness. Walking this way I find out that I have not used my mini mp3 player since I left the train in Lourdes. Where I normally can’t live without music, I have been enjoying the sounds, atmosphere and views around me for 3 weeks now. But have I changed mentally? I don’t think so, those voices and thoughts that I am at home are still there. Did I feel different? Yes at times I am overwhelmed by a feeling of …… Difficult to describe and to convey. Especially grateful that this adventure, experience goes so well with me. After the 18 km Roman road and time for coffee and a crema croissant. Then on to the place for the overnight stay, 1 day before León. Now this last road becomes a bit boring, along the road, straight ahead. No vistas, just asphalt and some trees along the way.
04-06-2018 25: Mansilla de las Mulas – León
Today we get up late for a change: half past 6. Yes that is late for the pilgrim, but we once afford it. Today we have less than 20 km to walk, so if we were to start early it could mean that we had to wait outside at the next alberge until we could enter. Despite sleeping late, we already start walking at a quarter past six. This is probably due to our advanced packaging skills. That backpack is getting bigger, or we leave stuff behind without knowing it, or cram more. At least it doesn’t get any lighter. Yes the consumption of toothpaste and soap, but the grams are not. For the most part it will be a boring journey along a main road. We also take our croissant and coffee en route and continue. Sometimes something off the busy road, then right next to it again. Some short climbs and finally the view of León, with the cathedral clearly visible. It is still about 3 km walk from the city limits to our alberge, we sleep in the alberge of the Assissi order. It is an expensive overnight stay: € 10.00. But for this we get a room for 4 people with private bathroom. AND, we can have our clothes washed and dried for free … Jippie … .. After lunch in the city for something to eat and visit, especially the cathedral. Unfortunately the weather is falling this afternoon against a rain, as predicted. But luckily it’s not too bad. Back in the alberge we can pick up our clean clothes and prepare for the evening. Making everything ready for packing again and then it’s dinner time again, a light meal. In this alberge it is luxurious, the door stays open until 24 hours, but then this boy is already in bed for 2 hours.

05/06/2018 26: León – San Martin de Camino
Half past five, it seems like a normal time for the pilgrim. The night was quiet, the sleep less, although it almost looks like a hotel. But yes, some things…. The ritual starts again, like all previous mornings. After a breakfast of the stuff from our stock we go back to work full of good cheer … Unfortunately, it is raining and that is not very nice, I have to put on the poncho again. The route leads us through the city, as it were, a viewing tour, because there is a round, it seems. We have to make the choice to follow the Frances further or go through Oviedo, only 140 km to ……. We simply decide to follow the Frances. It will take a while before we leave the city. Today it will mainly go along the 120 provincial road. Occasionally we bow a little to walk past it again not much later. Half of the walk we walk in the rain, the other half (in terms of time) in a light sunshine. During a stop a father and daughter (from Canada) come from the opposite direction. On my question whether everything is good, the bad news can. They have to go back to Canada because his brother died in a traffic accident. I wish him strength and later we will continue. When we arrive at the intended location, we have to consider whether we will stay or whether we will continue for another 7 km. We stay. It is again a municipal inn. It is not very hot in the dormitory, but luckily the heater comes on. I am in Spain, not even a garsgara that it is nice and warm and dry.

06/06/2018 27: San Martin de Camino – Astorga
I have not been able to write about this trip yet, because I have a new IP address at home, which made my site inaccessible. So if I have time again, I will supplement it. Just a little bit of time for yesterday’s story: nice walk, luckily dry and 2 very beautiful pictures. Met someone from Australia who was walking with his son, spoke Dutch, his parents were emigrants. For the rest, see the few pictures.

07-06-2018 28: Astorga – Foncebadõn
Twenty-seventh hiking day again, leaving at 7 am for the historic exodus from Astorga and heading for the highest point of my trip. The day starts well, not cold and dry. The speed is good for me, even though it is busy on the hiking trails. I let go of the first village proverbial and make my coffee break in the second village. Then again through a you really notice that it is slowly going up. But why are there pieces in between that we descend again? We have to go to more than 1,400 meters? My second break takes a little longer and here I meet a couple from South Africa with whom I speak Dutch. Then again, the dark clouds come up and my last half hour the poncho has to be turned on again. It keeps raining again for the rest of the day. The forecast for tomorrow is also not favorable, I already have my stones ready, which I will leave tomorrow on Cruz de Ferro and then descend, rise again and descend firmly for the rest of the day.
08-06-2018 29: Foncebadõn – Ponferrada
Just as the day ended yesterday, this is how this new day starts: with rain, rain and ……. The forecast finally comes true (unfortunately). Rain all day with a single dry period. Instead of 5 o’clock, we get up at half past six, we decide at 5 o’clock. The rain makes us feel a bit ……. Quarter past seven we are on our way again, after a breakfast provided by the inn. Oh yes, went to bed with electricity yesterday and woke up without electricity this morning … So on the road in the rain, to the roof of this Camino. If I had crossed the Somport on foot, that would have been my highest point, but the weather did not allow that. But today it just has to happen, up to Cruz de Ferro at 1,538 meters, in the pouring rain. At some point the cross appears in the fog. It certainly has this mistic appearance. Everyone takes his photos and his stone is in hope. I also put my stone and Maricon’s on the pile. Take my photos and walk on. The path to be followed is soggy and the water runs over it. Sometimes we take the road, because the path is not walkable. And then suddenly something falls away from me, I can’t describe it, but something happened. Finally, there will also be a dry period, 30 minutes, which again yields some nice places. And then again the blessings from above, I now feel less well than the previous days. Walking feels heavier and heavier. The rain and the paths that we have to walk make this stage tough, very tough. While there is now really only going down. But those paths are smooth, covered with stones, mud, slate and water. You have to pay attention where you put your feet. A fall is lurking. After a good seven hours we finally arrive at our next stop and we look for the alberge. Tidy up our room, take a quick rest and go into the city, the rain has stopped … But after an hour and a half it starts just as loud again … time. Tonight we eat soup in the alberge, after a very late lunch in the city.

09-06-2018 30: Ponferrada – Pereje
It is weekend again, so we sleep in, although it was not decided. It is really hard when we leave, after 7 o’clock …… We quickly make a coffee break, at the castle and then on to the next alberge. Despite the poor forecast, regarding the weather, it stays well dry. The speed is also quickly there. To be honest, I have little enthusiasm to be “cozy” today. I want to have my own moments, rest moments today. Enjoy everything around it, bring my thoughts to 0. It is still 8 days, if nothing goes wrong, that I will reach my goal for the first time. Don’t get me wrong, the past few weeks have been fun, interesting, fascinating and pleasant, but for some reason I want peace and “me, myself and I” time now. Whether that is due to leaving my ballast or something else, it is just there. We would end today in Villafranca del Bierzo, but I decide, without talking about it, to continue to Pereje. A hamlet 5 km away. Some houses, an alberge and a restaurant. By walking further than planned, I am also making a new plan for the coming days. I’m actually going to reject the usual stopping places of the Rother booklet. The daily distances for the next 5 days are between 25 and 29 km. Friday as 35 km to sleep on Saturday for the last 5 km ……. But of course I can deviate again due to unexpected circumstances. We have a plan in any case.
10-06-2018 31: Pereje – Alto do Pojo
When I went to bed yesterday, quite early, before 9 am, there were still many trees around the alberge. But when I woke up around half past twelve, the lumberjack next to me had started with … … almost no eye with it closed. And when I left, no tree stood up anymore … everyone who slept in the room talked about it. You don’t have to know each other’s language, but the subject was very clearly recognizable. The weather forecast is coming out again this morning, the poncho must be on … Unfortunately, because it is so nice not to have to wear it. Because of my adjusted schedule, I want to walk to Hospital da Condesa today, but when I see the alberge, I decide to continue to Alto do Poio. In retrospect, this decision means that I pass 3 or 4 passes today. The morning started at 542 meters, the highest pass at 1,378 meters. The alberge is at 1,335 meters. And because I don’t sleep in the top bunk bed, 1,335 meters remains my highest sleeping place today. About 100 meters below my highest place to sleep earlier on the Camino. Fortunately, the poncho can be removed at a given moment, halfway up the climb to 1,378 meters. The climb is over a narrow path, strewn with boulders, stones, slate pieces and poo … A lot of poo, from the cows but also from the horses, with which you can be brought up for a fee. Not this boy, who walks “nice” the poo evasively upwards … .. No matter how hard it is, we continue. The backpack is still as full as when I left, except for the crackers …… I cannot get enough of these mountains, how the clouds cover it is beautiful. And finally the border post of Galicia, my last autonomous region on this Camino. The region of which Santiago de Compostela is the capital. The Camino posts now also indicate the distance to SdC, down to the meter… .. On the second to last pass, San Roque, you come across the bronze pilgrim running into the wind, something that I feel here too. My intended stopping place comes into view but after seeing the alberge, outside, so I walked further. This means only 1 pass left, then I am rid of the tricky passages, according to my hiking guide. And the last pole in front of my alberge does not show a single figure under 150 km… .. When assigning my sleeping place, I am given a thick blanket, because it can get cold, I am told. All I have to do now is do my daily business: unpack the backpack, prepare the bed, rest, shower, eat, drink, make a blog and vlog, eat and drink again and then sleep. I get up on time tomorrow, because I think I’m going to walk to Sarria, if nothing disappoints. In Sarria, many Spaniards start their Camino, at least 100 km to SdC, so that they can add their Compostela to their CV.

11-06-2018 32: Alto do Pojo – Sarriá
The peace will slowly disappear. Slept this night in an inn with 40 beds, where there were 6 pilgrims. Actually a luxury, also fairly quiet, but the thick blanket was needed, because it was cold when I had to get up to go to the small room. And again the weather forecast comes true, it is wet outside. Unfortunately so on the poncho again, which is a shame. And the visibility is also limited by the fog and the very low clouds. This means that I cannot enjoy the Galician landscape very much. So by deviating from the stages in the timetable it seems to be calmer again. Up to Triascatella I see only 2 people, a little more in Triascatella, but there I have to make the choice which route I take, via San Xil. And so I see very few people there for the first hour and a half. But the shorter the distance to Sarria becomes, the busier it becomes. So it’s true, today Sarria the 5-lane highway is coming my way. On arrival in Sarria looking for an alberge. The first Albergen already have a sign that they are full. So just ask Sint Jacobus if he can take care of anything. And yes, of course James does not abandon the pilgrim. Also a nice inn, ground floor room for 4 people. And when writing this message, I am still the only one there, would it stay that way? I spent the whole day with an idiot in my head, I hope it doesn’t come back, I luckily don’t remember it either. Today it was also a load on the upper legs, that descending, sometimes very steep, was an attack on the muscles. Even today, we have to walk uphill again. This will happen every day, but we are now at 443 meters. Tomorrow is another day, I don’t know what the weather will bring, I hope it stays dry. The last days started wet, with a dry period, and then ended wet again.
12-06-2018 33: Sarriá – Gonzar
Although I only slept in a room, again I didn’t sleep well. I think the cause is early sleep, which makes my biorhythm very upset despite all the efforts of the day. The alarm clock would go off at 6 o’clock, but he didn’t make it. The 32nd walk starts a quarter to 7, the plan is Gonzar, and it will be Gonzar too. Within a 2 minute walk I come across an old acquaintance, Victor, who had left our group almost 1 week ago. He was still enjoying breakfast, I say hello and shake hands. The poncho is still on my backpack, but soon I can put it on again. It goes up and down all sorts of fun, difficult paths, but that makes it beautiful, nothing the same again and again. After my first break Victor taps me on my back, he is on the fast side again. You ask about the other 3 of our group and I tell them that they are behind me, I am now 3 days solo on the road. Whether they spend the night in Pontemarrin? I don’t know, but I intend to go to Gonzar. If he agrees, he will go there too. At a certain point I cannot keep up with his pace and I am walking alone again. Come to a house where the Limburg carnival flag hangs. For a donativo a drink and through. In Pontemarrin I took my second stamp of the day in the church, lost 2 squares in my credential and then on, for my lunch deal. After my lunch this to my final destination. There is another beautiful art waiting. On top, I come across a small group of trees that was once on fire. There are 3 dogs, a female with 2 young ones, just sleeping. On to my alberge, I am the 3rd subscriber of the day, it is almost 3 o’clock, to 2 hours later it is fully booked. It is a hamlet, so not many empty and almost no range … .. So no photos …. Now 1 day later so just post something:
13-06-2018 34: Gonzar – Mélide
14-06-2018 35: Mélide – Salceda
Yes, a dormitory of 20 beds for 2 people. Another luxury. We make it a little later, I mean get up. With the stuff in my backpack a light breakfast and then on to the next stop. Now that there is nobody, just filmed the accommodation. The long distances have now ended. We are finishing a bit, so today 27 km, on paper. We go to an alberge that is not right on the route, in a hamlet where almost no one stops, Salceda. On the way it goes from quiet to busy to calm. It seems that just at some places a bus stops and day walkers are dropped from it. Strange that this happened. And now I’ve been with that one tune in my head for 4 days, I can’t get rid of it, but now I know what it is: a Christmas song, We come together … Is this a sign on the skull wall? We all come together in Santiago de Compostela … .. Has the euphoria about reaching my destination already started? Should not get crazier. Ooh yes, today’s walk is nice and quiet in a sunny full day, and that “remote” alberge is worth 300 meters off the route. Two more days of walking, 20 and 5 km, and then for the first time I am on foot at the cathedral and may I embrace Saint James the Greater.

15-06-2018 36: Salceda – Monte de Gozo
A short stage that I can be very brief about: SHORT. Haha, how faint, is that because of that Christmas song that is in my head again? Or that I will enter Santiago for the first time tomorrow? Or …… Yes what else can it be? At least not the night’s rest, because it was again too short. I stayed in bed for a long time, because I only have to walk a little 26 km. You could almost crawl it, but I’d rather walk. We let the poncho out again, yeah … It’s drizzling a bit, but you hardly feel it. It is quiet again on the Camino, but something tells me that this can sometimes be different. And yes, there are times when a bus has been deflated. And the closer I get to Monte de Gozo, the busier it gets. Many students who are here now. Taking pictures at the monument on the occasion of the last visit of Pope JP2. They thereby forget the other, older monument of the 2 pilgrims looking out at the cathedral. You can see the cathedral from here for the first time. I go here at the inn, actually it’s a great vacation locations for the summer where a lot is organized. In the summer period 500 beds would be available here, now there is only 1 building with 16 rooms with 8 beds. Tomorrow a very short day and I hope I get everything arranged: compost, mass and visit to the Dutch living room.
16-06-2018 37: Monte de Gozo – Santiago de Compostela
Sawmills or nerves, either or both, are the cause of another bad night, I do not write a night’s rest, deliberately not. The Spaniard above me sawed and sawed where there was nothing to see. And I didn’t find the on / off switch of his saw. If it had been an electric saw, I could have turned over the earth leakage switch. I had set my alarm at 6 o’clock, but that was not necessary…. Yesterday I packed everything so far that I could quietly leave the room. Nobody intended, as far as I could tell, to leave early. At 20 to 7 I left the alberge for the last 5 km to my personal 1st goal: the square in front of the cathedral. It is nice and quiet, soon I am on the edge of the city and I see some people. I only see 3 pilgrims on my way. It is quiet everywhere. Delicious no stress, almost alone in the world. The road is easy to follow and the group app can also follow me when they are awake. Half past seven I walk under the gate and I arrive at the square. I’m here, YESSSSSSSS YESSSSSSSS YESSSSSSSS. Wonderfully quiet, no noise and intense enjoyment. Already had a few euphoria moments while walking and now intensely happy. Nobody takes this away from me anymore. 36 days of walking, never felt I had to stop. Different every day, sometimes surprisingly, but always positive. The bad weather that was often on my way did not detract from this adventure. On to the pilgrim office, so that I can pick up my Compostela. A quarter to eight there is already a small row. At half past eight I have both of them in my possession: the standard Compostela and the one with the distance on it as an extra reminder. I bought a tube and now wait until the living room of the Society opens for a Dutch cup of coffee. Just chat and catch up and of course register in the register. After my 2nd birthday my backpack was packed again and stored at the storage service. Then we can now go to the cathedral to embrace the statue of James, visit his grave and participate in the pilgrim mass. It is a nice end to my first Camino. A beautiful mass that provokes many emotions in me. I am happy and tired, calm and full of energy, but especially grateful that this first trip went without any problems. Thankful for my home front and grateful to Sint Jacobus de Meerdere who certainly helped at certain moments. On to my next adventure and Camino. Buen Camino Ultreia

18-06-2018 38: And where am I now?
So do you walk your distances every day to get to Santiago, and then accept your trip home more or less urgently? Normally I should now be in Spain and walk somewhere. I had already looked at some options to spend the time until Maricon comes to Santiago, but a spill at home made me decide to come home. In this way you walk somewhere with a goal, you are still in a euphoric mood, and then pressed hard again like a cold turkey. And the hassle that this leakage brings does not yet fully fit into my reality… .. As soon as I have the time, I will see if I can still brighten up and adjust my blogs.