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Camino De Santiago

Pre-Camino

April 20, 2016


The shoe dilemma continues... can't make a decision

The Backpack

May 1, 2016


Workin on getting it down to the advised 10% of my body weight...

A bit challenging...

Getting there...

And excited.




Ready... The Night Before

May 4, 2016


Figured out the shoes. What a relief. Waterproof north face shoes and chacos at night.

I just finished teaching class.

The backpack is loaded at 18lbs.

Scared and excited.

Here I go.

The Day Has Arrived

May 5, 2016




Day One Over The Pyrenees

May 7, 2016


So I made it to beautiful France and could feel the chicness even at the airport in Paris where I mostly slept the day way with a jacket over my head...


Flight to Biarritz in Southern France (don't the Rolling Stones mention that coastal town in a song?)


With a shared taxi with some other pilgrims to this amazing Albergue in St. Jean pied de port. It was amazing only as it was recommended. Left to my own devices I definitely wouldn't have found it. It was important for all of us pilgrims to arrive in time for the shared pilgrim meal and now I understand why. We were treated like family - four or five languages were translated, intros, games, and we were are undertaking this. IT might be the best food I get on this whole trip. They even made this optional lunch to take with me over the mountain.


So the mountain. I made it. Up up up the Pyrenees to go down down down. Thank god for the hiking poles. Godsend. Speaking of God, he/she is all around. SO 15 miles up and down and around ending up in Roncesvalles, Spain. Here I am. In a monastery with masses of other pilgrims. It is kind of like being at camp this shared sleeping arrangement. So far, so good.


The wind today was sooo big. that the snot running out of my nice was being blown away. And we serve walking INTO it. Slow going. The knee is doing great.


So back to the monastery where I find myself this evening. It is the opposite of last night's intimacy. So when the lady at the check-in asked if I wanted to have dinner here, I asked if there were any other options. The answer was no. So dinner here it is!


The Camino is a worthy challenge. I feel right where I am supposed to be. Most folks on this path are older than me although I just met an 11-year-old Australian boy doing it with his mom...


Met another Australian who has been traveling around the world for the last four years and all he has is his backpack. He did the Camino backward last year and just decided that morning a he was in Italy that he wanted to come to enjoy the vibe on the Camino. It is a vibe!

Pamplona... No Running Of Bulls Or Michelle

May 9, 2016


Ok, so I have been struggling... one of my commitments on this trip is no complaining. Facts, however, are allowed.


FACT: No sleep for me in the monastery with hundreds of people. I listening to a lot of people sleep. Not sure how I am going to overcome the community sleeping arrangements on this trip as I am a light sleeper. Been in a hotel )which is a generous term sometimes) these last two to try and get this body normal. The knees are hurting along with the shins and toes. Those are facts, right?


I remain grateful to be able to be doing this. The emerald forests that I experience, the amazing people, Gods nature every day in all its weather, the fun of funding my backpack each day, finding a place to stay, running into people old and new each day, time to talk to myself a lot, time to pray, explore and adventure. The ecstasy and the agony, right? I am so hoping that the body adjusts and it can settle as it is so much to ask of it every day... 15 roughly.


It is talking to me mightly.


I am trying to listen. I wasn't confident I could walk at all today but once I got going, the body seemed to cooperate. I Visited Farmacia and they have helped with Amica and ibuprofen.


Spain is so lovely and lush... this northern part anyway. And being in the elements every day is wonderful.


There is a huge community of people supporting this effort on and off the Camino, so if solitude is desired, that is available, if connection... that, too.


I am settling into this rhythm. Needing my lower half to come along with me to the settling in.


Sending love from Spain!




Beauty All Around...

May 10, 2016


Hello from the longest nature walk ever!


So the body is beginning to settle in (knocking on wood). Once I get it going, it seems to cooperate.


The beauty and peace on this walk are all around... I am right where I am supposed to be. It is so inspiring to be on this walk with so many others from all over the world. It is like being in a marathon crowd where you can't believe the bodies that can do this. I am especially humbled and inspired by the "retired" generation that is out here. It is humbling...


Sometimes I can feel the ancientness of this-passing water fountains from 1080. Churches, gorgeous buildings, and no one is bothering us. If this were to occur in the states, it would feel like Niagara Falls with people trying to sell us stuff everywhere. It feels so discreet and respected. We just walk through village after village and stop for a fresh OJ (everywhere!), or Cafe con Leche which I have yet to grow up into the beautiful coffee thing... smells so good though! Understated. That is what it is. Less is more. We walk on.


Made it to Puente la Reina tonight. Amazing how little I really need. I truly have two tanks, two long sleeves, two pairs of underwear, two pants. It was a problem this afternoon when I wanted to wash "all" my clothes in a converted washing machine and had to wear my raincoat while they were being cleaned! Flasher...


So beauty today? Fields of yellow flowers... safflowers? Wheat. Windmills. Villages. The most amazing croissant that melted in my mouth. Fresh OJ. Kindness. I marvel at what God made out here.


P.S. - The vending machine in this photo is a Farmacia for pilgrims' ailments!




Settling In...

May 11, 2016


I LOVE Spain.


So I have never been here before and the more I experience it, the more I love it. First, it is beautiful, clean, old, charming, chic, and now YUMMY! Ok so tonight I experienced my first tapas bar... holy caw octopus was great.... I had no idea what I was picking, you just point to it and enjoy it. I am eating my way across Spain. And walking. I eat everywhere. Not even hungry and I eat. Why? Oh my... they have these machines in each little place where you throw oranges in the top and fresh OJ comes out. I try for one of those every day. And Spanish "tortillas"? They are this yummy, egg frittata type thing with all kinds of goodness inside-usually potatoes and onion, but today I happened into this little place that had five kinds and I wasn't hungry I just had to try. Have I mentioned the pastries? ... they seem French... croissants everywhere, chocolate even... and then there is the wine....


15 miles a day is not even to cover what I am eating!


So they say that the first week is physical and the second is mental and after that? I guess that I will have to wait and see...


Theis physical part is settling in... I have seen such suffering of people's bodies and yet they make the next goal... blisters, shoe problems, knee problems, heel, and arch... is all there. These folks soldier on. Yet there is a peace and a joy to it as well... we each recognize the gift that is suffering is.... hm.... does that even make sense? I understood that kin d of suffering and joy with labor twice...


So after the tapas bar tonight these crazy Brazilians and they are a fun, crazy bunch) made dinner here in the Regudio that I was required to also consume orf two kinds of risotto et al. I am back in the group dorm sleeping tonight giving it a go again. Being a true pilgrim with everyone else. The last few nights I have stayed in a private room somewhere trying to get this body to sleep while it adjusts... some kind of sleeping pill is being gifted to me and here I go. It is so bizarre sleeping in bunks with boys and girls mixed and strange... some I know, most I don't, many I recognize from the trail.


Love from Spain!


The rain in Spain falls mainly in th4e plains...


Apparent that is the middle part... unending flatness that some people take a bus through! Imagine that! In the beginning, it's so mountainous, and the end third is as well, and pilgrims go mad with the middle! Hmmm...


There is also some kind of symbolism to the past present and future of these thirds... stay tuned!




A Lovely Walk...

May 12, 2016


Hello to my vicarious pilgrims...


A lovely walk today in this beautiful nature called Spain. Mostly alone, sometimes with friends. It is such a gift to connect if I like, go forward if I like, fall back and take a break if needed. Tuning into the self and paying attention-even drinking water involves interrupting one's stride. I am bonded with my walking poles...


Shocker alert: I like beer! There is this German beer that is part lemonade called Radler... had two last night!


Okay, so I also learned that our 27km first day over the mountain with the snot flying sideways out of my nose from the headwind was NOT like those who passed the next day. They had no wind, nor rain. Must have been a WHOLE different experience. Rough day one made day two and three rough as well. AND, I learned that the day we passed this Brazilian man had to be rescued from the mountain. HE is from a very hot part of Brazil and apparent was never a Boy Scout. He was not prepared and had worn a windbreaker of some king and was in hypothermia. Ugh. I am proud to have come through each day.


So there is this book called" God Winks" that proposes God winks as us by the signs that he places all around us.... if only we notice. If there is one song that has run through y head on this trail and even sung out loud, it is American Pie. We even tried unsuccessfully to get all the verses. That was a few days ago. So imagine today, walking the rain in Spain (falls mainly in the plains) with no caf3es, bards, anything. Sop hoping that one of the above will be open for the famous OH or Cafe con Leche and amazing pastries, sandwiches, etc. Today was not that day. WE ended up in someone's house for a tea/coffee as there was nothing open in three villages. Apparently, this northern part of Spain (and Spain in general) is depressed economically.


Bac to my long story. So it was kind of bleak. Cold, rain, and no real oasis. Then round a corner and there is a what we would call a food truck, they call a bar, in a field, in the middle of nowhere. I stop at ALL of the little places as they are so few and far between I truly don't understand the pilgrims that just keep going. they can't stop walking... anyway, as I approach, what song is playing? Amerian Pie. So this American girl did what any sensible girl would do and ordered the hamburgerguesa. It was so warm and lovely and helped me move on! God winks. Such goodness each day...


Trusting that "The Camino Provides"...


It does.


Love from the rain in Spain...




Amber Waves Of Grain...

May 13, 2016


So there are green still rather than Amber yet, but the wheat fields do have waves in them as the wind rolls over them on these beautiful hills. It is like watching waves in the water... The wheat fields surround the many vineyards here in the Rioja region of Spain. Rioja wines are a favorite of many. I was told they are easy to find... even at Trader Joe's. I am in. Red or "Tinto" here.


Did I mention that I am eating my way through Spain? It has been one week and many are tightening their belts but not me... Octopus tapas and now this decadent Churros con Chocolate! Like stips of elephant ears dupped in a cup of thick warm dark chocolate that you then drink. It is heavenly!


Walking through the vineyards is so beautiful... Like walking through Sonoma.


Dorm sleeping is getting easier. Last night I had an ill Asian 75-year-old coughing beneath me. I felt sorry for him. Earplugs and a gifted eye mask aid me as I seem to end up on the bed with streetlights coming in.


The people and the connections are fun and growing. We are all in it together. There is comfort in that...


Logrono's Spain last night out eating tapas, chocolate, Rioja wine celebrating week one as one of us was going home to Denmark as he was only doing week one... so fun! Living.


Love to you all!


P.S. - Storks are for real as evidenced by the huge nests on top of this building. They just don't bring babies!




Day One of Week Two

May 15, 2016


Hello, y'all!


So week one is complete! Apparently, we have made it one-quarter of the distance. Some people really keep track of that with GPS and apps and stuff. Me? I just walk to the next destination and stop at as many cafes and bars as present themselves in the villages along the way. The rest of the world is on the metric system, so Kilometers. IT is 800km all in all to Santiago. 500 miles, so maybe we have gone 150 miles? I don't know :)


Week one is supposed to be the most physically challenging. I am told that the end gets that way as well with a few mountains. I am grateful to this body to have made it through week one in the condition that I have. One tiny blister from my sandals! Of all thins... Knees that speak to me and feet that do, too. Especially when we are on concrete or pavements. Otherwise, it's good!


Walking outdoors through Napa-Valley-like settings clears the mind. It empties. I am grateful. I have lots of support along the way and am enjoying myself. This is my favorite form of education... experiencing places.


Dad, blood sausage is lovely...


Off to start on day nine...


Love to you all in the adventures of your own lives...


(these are the arrows that guide us...





One Way To Cool Your Drinks... In The Town Fountain...

May 16, 2016


Hola!


My Spanish is slow... I am motivated though... there seems to be a sort of "Donde es..."?


Sleeping in a new place each night and a new town is interesting. Letting go. It is like a gift each day to see where this path takes us and where we land.


Today was the first day that I carried all my stuff. I gave myself the first week to adjust and just carried a daypack - there is this service that will take your backpack to your next destination for 5 euros. I can do it now though... many people are just beginning to use it as they are hurting. Some have been carrying it all along. Some stay in hotels and have luggage and real clothes at night! All kinds. Anyway, I seemed to do just fine with the extra weight on the knees and feet.


Paella is a lovely addition to my food loves here...


Still walking? I am...




A Day In The Life...

May 16, 2016


Hola amigos y amigas!


The problem with using my limited Spanish here is that they ANSWER me in Spanish and then I have no idea what they are saying as they think that I know what I'm saying. I don't. Feebly trying.


So a day in the life of a Camino walker?


It starts usually at a time not determined by you. IF you are community sleeping, some ambitious person is up rustling around at 5 or 5:30 so that begins to wake everyone up. There is a lot of get-up and go in the morning as we have to be out of the Albergues by 8 so that they can clean them for the next round of people. Usually, you are out around 7/7;30. Some pilgrims like to walk for an hour or so and get a few kilometers under their belt before stopping for their first Cafe con Leche. (I still haven't started drinking coffee but I smell it as often as I can). A priority is the fresh-squeezed OJ each day. It is like medicine for me. And so we all descend either locally or in the next village on some poor guy in a tiny cafe who looks like he wasn't anticipating this. Our capitalist, efficient American culture does not comprehend this one. HE is one guy making all this stuff for a wave of us. I always wonder why they don't have more help but hey, it's Spain. So, then I start walking. I need to eat so I try in the town where we are which is not always available. And I never know where when the next one is. OR if anything will be open.


So it is chilly and we walk. Sometimes rainy. Stop as often as I can at the cafes and the cathedrals. These places also stamp our pilgrim's passports with these unique beautiful stamps of their location to prove where you have been. Within the last 100 miles of Santiago, we are required to get two stamps a day in order to get the pilgrim credential at the end. That is the only part that some people do. So the closer we get to Santiago, the more people are joining us. Just learned today that this is a holy year (?) too so numbers are higher. Someone shared that there are currently 800 pilgrims entering Santiago each day right now. Many more by the time I get there. My latest date to get there is June 7th so that I can see Santiago and then get some kind of ride to the ocean at Finisterre and Muxia t complete this journey. I will stop walking at the cathedral in Santiago. I will make it.


Back to the day in the life... so we see a whole lot of country and history and nature and wildlife and people along the way. Snack often. Arrive by 2 usually in the town that we stay overnight in and then people like to shower, figure out the wifi, nap, check out the town, have a beer, start drinking Rioja wine. I usually get on my bed and put my feet up the wall. Haven't napped yet. The hiking boots/shoes are left at the door of the place and the one other pair of shoes that you brought are worn. For some, it is flip-flops, crocs, etc. It is funny walking around the town. It is quite obvious who the pilgrims are. All you have to do is look at their feet as they are wearing socks with flip-flops or whatever. It is the giveaway.


At some point we all emerge from our various abodes to socialize in the bards and then dinner doesn't open until 7:30 here as the siesta thing happens and shops close in the afternoon. Spain keeps late hours. Pilgrims do not. The Albergues close their doors and it is lights out for us by 10. We all have to do it together.


Earplugs come out, sleeping pills, eye masks, and then there are those lucky tired snoring pilgrims who need nothing and just sleep! I am making it not with just the earplugs and eye mask.


And so it then begins again...


I feel empowered carrying all that I need on my back. It is not even that heavy now. I LABORED over the decisions about what goes in the backpack (with lots of help) and I am rather pleased with how I did. I did send a few things home last week and I hope that they arrive as the postal system here, I was told, is questionable. Hmmm. Anyway. I don't mind carrying it now. I am bonded with my backpack and my walking poles. It is always a challenge trying not to forget the poles at each stop! It happens.


So I am including a pic of this sweet Australian gal who has walked in her mom's second pair of shoes/the evening one for a week now due to her blisters from boots. And the black pantyhose are to hold on her bandages. I told her that Birkenstock needs to know her story... they would be proud of their product.


I made the right shoe decision. No boots. Trail hiking/running shoes. The blisters that people have are from boots. That was another decision I labored over. I went through four pairs of shoes trying to decide. I am so pleased that I did though! One either labors BEFORE the Camino or they labor DURING the Camino. I see people laboring over the shoe thing in each town at these tiny sporting goods stores they sometimes have for us. I am so glad I am not shopping.


Also each day I carry one of you with me. If you are reading this, you likely will have a day where I think of you during the day. Thank you for your support, encouragement, and love.


Buen Camino! (That is the greeting that is offered to us all and we offer each other, it means "good journey")




A Day Of Rest...

May 19, 2016


View from the hotel balcony... what a treat!


After 12 days of walking, my body was speaking in various voices... my head was on fire, I had a river coming out of my nose and eyes, a new blister, not much sleep as my traveling companions are champion snorers and many miles each day contributing to a I-can't-go-on-like-this moment. I said, uncle. Some folks have no problem taking the buses between towns and taking a day of rest. For some reason, I have always been committed to walking this whole thing. So, many have taken rest, and I have walked 12 days straight. It was inevitable that I get sick as the sleeping arrangements are often like an airplane germ-wise, so my number was up. Burgos and a hotel are lovely places for R&R. I got sleep. A decongestant.. that I hoped was that as it was all in Spanish including how much to take. It saved me. I got a massage today here in the hotel. Ate and rested. I even stayed on a tour bus twice as I did not want to walk anywhere.


I feel like a new woman.


So yesterday, I did the 20k into town sick and miserable. Tomorrow, I am going to try to make some of this up. We will see. My traveling companions are taking the bus and will see me in a future town.


I have had more amazing food though! I eat and eat and eat.


I continue to connect with lovely people. See lovely sites, eat lovely food, and talk a lot to God and to myself.


Highlight? Calamari salad at lunch, tea on the balcony, helping a little Spanish woman with a cane up all of these steps, and having her talk to me enthusiastically and me not understand a word. I think that she was grateful.


Rioja wine continues to be consumed nightly as well as this amazing bread. I truly have never drank so much wine or eaten so much bread in my life. When in Spain...


So grateful for my health recovering and to be where I am and the folks helping me near and far. Thank you!


Love to y'all!





40K... And Still A Lovely Day

May 21, 2016


Hi y'all...


Everything here is in kilometers, so I give. It is kilometers now. So, I walked 40km today. The rest day and then the make-up day. I am better. The sun is so strong now and a hat is vital... especially walking for 9 hours. Had a lovely picnic in a wheat field and arrived in another lovely town... proud of myself!


I have two matching blisters on my big toes. :)


All good...


XOXO




Back To Normal... 26km Day...

May 21, 2016


Pictures from the 40km day... somehow it worked. Yes, the body is speaking to me everyday.


I love being outside for most of the day... seeing such beauty, feeling it all-amazement, fatigue, peace, love, what the hell, frustration, pain, confidence, confusion, hunger, delight... it is all there. Am loving the journey and the balance of it all. The hard work happens and then the relaxation, socialization, yumminess happens as well... it is fun to connect with so many people too...


I am well and hope that you are too.





The Meseta... I Am Halfway Now!

May 24, 2016


Hello from halfway! The view is wonderful in the middle... the Meseta is the middle where it gets flat and more like Indiana. Lots of wheat fields. I am t4rying to post my first video of the fields with waves blowing from the wind... it is like an ocean. Laid down in one to take a break and it was peaceful...


The body is speaking. Doing this day after day takes its toll. Some days it is all I can do just to arrive and get my feet up. No exploring. My steps are numbered. It remains a wonderful experience... I love this sleep, eat, walk. Simple.

Leon, Spain... I Rest And People Watch

May 25, 2016


Hello again...


After walking 35k for a few days, I took a cab into Leon and skipped the long walk through the suburbs into the old city and am enjoying the lovely town and nothing much. Resting the equipment. I get giddy out on the Camino at 5:00 in the middle of nowhere and beyond tired. It becomes oddly funny. As long as I have snacks and water, a picnic is available at any moment.


Who knew that I would like octopus? I do! And all kinds of other fish... bring it on. I am so enjoying the whole experience - the walking, the challenge, the people, the food, the villages, the citi3s, the highs, and the lows. It all helps with sleep. I am told that the best is yet to come... we will see!


Tomorrow I begin for a stretch on my own. A bit nervous about that, but here goes. I have had so much support up until this point... a few days finding my way...


One of my images of myself on this trip is that I sit down on the trail and cry when overwhelmed. It hasn't happened yet... :)


Love to y'alll!




The Bag

May 27, 2016


Carrying the bag isn't so bad... it really feels like a hug. It is just the few that have the trouble. On longer days, I have it sent... such a gift. All good here. A boy Grace's age has been awing me with his little ukulele music. Last night it was guitar and harmonica, and the United Nations United singing songs... I had chills... Hallelujah is my favorite.


Love to y'all!




Blister Management

May 28, 2016


So it is my turn now to manage blisters... I have seven. The backs of my heels are the worst... wearing sandals now. Hoping for the best. Tired and the body is tired. It affects everything... had my first nap today after rain and a bath... still eating well and loving the wine... All good...

The Last Third

May 31, 2016


Hi y'all... so the last third changes terrain again. The middle is flat and less striking if you will than the eye candy that I have seen. And so it begins again... vineyards, villages, mountains. I cam over one two days ago and am still recovering the calves from coming down in sandals, in the rain, wind, cold. Having my rainpants would have helped. They were in my other bah. I have gotten used to being very wet and cold. Tea helps.


Listening to music from my sister under my raincoat and it carried me. I was happy. W have another one today. I am grateful that this body keeps at this. IT speak mightily. 30k days... over mountains and now I am so slow... the feet take a lot of love to get them to a walkable space - Vaseline, tape, heel guards, in sandals. I am not alone.. it is the way of the Camino.


I remain grateful for this amazing opportunity to walk, meditate, connect, explore, enjoy, suffer, appreciate...


Yesterday, met this man along the trail who lives simply in a somewhat garage-like structure, welcomed us, gave us his own white wine from the vineyards around him, then I saw him in the next village and bought his wine there with his buddy. This is the way of the Camino... connection, love support. The people are so very kind...


Learned today that my dad is going to have some heart work done next week...

Grateful that he found what needs to be done...


I am good. Thank you all for your support.


I have learned how to thread blisters...


Beauty All Around...

June 2, 2016


So every day I hear a cuckoo bird. Every day. IT like a little mascot always in the distance... sounds like the clock. This Galicia province is very Celtic and I see why... could be Ireland. The rolling hills, green, stone walls, and the hearty soups, octopus, lovely!


The Camino is a special place... everyone helps each other... and all feel challenged and blessed. Jack from Ireland talks my ear off and I am always so glad to see him. He is doing this in four parts. This is his third time to come from Ireland do one week of it. Retired policeman... talks so much. And the brogue!


There is such peace in walking outside...


The sandals are working. It is amazing that the feet can heal while still expecting so much from them! Three 30k days in a row- with two mountains... and they are healing. I am so humbled though. I might have pain or challenge, but then there are so many others limping, taped, or in their 70s and 80s and I am put in my place... we are a flow of humanity - a world of people on this small trail in Spain...


Love to y'all

I Got Some New Socks

June 3, 2016

Under 100k Left... 725 Down

June 3, 2016


This is me...


I do whatever... chocolate croissant for breakfast. yep. Cheese with honey for dessert? Yep. Red wine? Yep. Lemon beer? I am in.


So at any point, a "donativo" might appear which is pictured below. A beautiful table of yummies that is laid out on a table with no one around that you take what you want and donate. They are such offerings of love and kindness. This one was the most beautiful... in a bam, it was art. It was the most beautiful thing around in the middle of great poverty and cows and manure and alleys... one lady came along and gave us crepes and another did some kind of friend sugar dough thing. The problem with trying my Spanish is that they answer me in Spanish. And is so animated in my face and I have no idea what they are saying. IT is endearing though. I just smile a lot. I helped this elderly lady with ha can up a bunch of stairs and sh3e had A LOT to say to me.


The feet are greatly improved. I know how to help them now and what to pay attention to. It was a 10-minute ordeal preparing them to walk with heel cushions, tape, a toe sleeve, Vaseline... it worked. I am nearly pain-free and may actually do this thing with my chacos sandals.


Speaking of finishing this thing. I am. That was not always a known thing. It is now. There were many moments of doubt before and during this. Then there were the casualties along the way of people who had to stop. It is a guessing game... shit happens. There were only a few days where I had it... I couldn't about walking. I didn't want to consider what we had to cover the next day or even have the courage to look. There were a handful of those days. And one when I really couldn't do it. One that I opted not to do it for the pleasure of Leon, Spain.


I feel sad seeing the signs that there are only 80k left. It is so odd. It has been a long road and I am both r3elieved and sad... hmmm. Grateful to be at this place. So grateful...


Every day I talk to God. Every day I am thankful.


Love to y'all...

50K Left .... Two Days Of 15 Miles

June 4, 2016


Hi y'all...


It is real. The end is near. It's not about the destination, it has been about the journey, and on this journey, I have done it all - My intention was to be closer to myself and to God.... it has happened along with so much of discovery and healing. This Camino holds a beautiful space for each of us.


A few days in Santiago and a car rise to Finisterre, Spain to the ocean. Some people throw their backpacks/shoes whatever in at that point. Finisterre means the end of the earth. It is a closing of sorts for those on the Camino. if you want to walk it, is another three days, which I don't have. So it will be a car ride. Speaking of car rides, I have ridden in a taxi here and twice hitchhiked. It was safe and normal here (not by myself). The Spanish people want to help those of us who might need it on the Camino. A car... hmmmm! Can't wait to see the ocean...


I am not going to know what to do with myself if I am not on this crazy schedule. Eat, walk, sleep. Simple, beautiful life.


Love to y'all

Tomorrow Is It! The Last 15 Miles

June 5, 2016


There have been so very many misconceptions that I have had about the journey. Would I find my way? (Easily marked) Would my knee make it? (No more problems with it than any other body part) If I make it to the finish, will I be crawling?


There have been times that I was crawling (figuratively), this end is not one of them. I feel calm and strong and relatively pain-free. I feel good. Tomorrow I hope to see the cathedral where the apostle St. James is believed to be buried and be awed by the giant swinging incense burners that take six men to manage. I don't know how I will feel... I will simply feel it. There is a mass in English I hear in the evenings there. I have attended quite a few beautiful masses along the way all in Spanish, So much is lost on me. Sacred space though. And I have received many pilgrim blessings in some of these sacred places. I have noticed that I am drawn to the simple chapels more than the grand gilded cathedrals. Yey, I welcome them all. They have provided calm and quiet and I am grateful to have lit many candles along the way.


Thank you all for your support from afar. You got me here...

Arrived.

June 7, 2016

My Mascot.. The Cuckoo Bird

June 7, 2016


Everyday. Every. Single. Day. I would hear one of these off in the disance. One of the last days, it was right above me... take a listen...

The End Of The Earth... Finisterre

June 9, 2016


So after Santiago, it is another three-day walk to the ocean and Finisterre. It translates as "end of the earth." Santiago was the end of the line for me with the walking, but driving to the ocean was wonderful. Looking back at y'all across the Atlantic! Felt soooo good on my feet. Many pilgrims burn things there...


I felt small and insignificant and accomplished all at the same time.


Love to y'all. I lived...


P.S. - Notice the kilometers on the marker!

Thank you to every single one of you who supported me and encouraged me on this journey to Santiago and myself. I felt the presence of every one of you.


Love,

M














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Michelle

Michelle Gambs is a parenting coach with a masters degree in counseling.   The grand experiment of parenting is sponsored by her two children, Grace and Charlie.  She has been a practicing psychotherapist for many years.  During the most desperate stages of parenting, she has been known to post on the bathroom mirror the quote, “I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it.”

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