Sunday, May 31, 2009


37.5 kms to Santiago de Compostela
May 30, 2009

Yesterdfay I had a keyboard with a sticky space key, today all keys are sticky and dirty so I will just read the comments and try again another day. I am three days out of SdC with a stop tomorrow in Arca O Piño, then Labacolla, and next day ... Santiago.

This is the doomed leg camino.
Kees and Roland will be in Santiago. Kees was to walk the last 100 kms but last week while walking in Alicante with Jan and Elvira he slipped from the river bank into the river and has badly damaged his right leg. Andrée and Kees both with damaged legs.

Saturday, May 30, 2009


50kms to Santiago de Compostela
May 30, 2009

Palas de Rei

63 kms to Santiago de Compostela
May 29,2009

Ventas de Narón

75 kms to Santiago de Compostela
May 28, 2009


89 kms to Santiago de Compostela
May 27, 2009

Punishment for the taxi? 24kms today but I took it slowly on mostly beautiful Galician paths. It looks like Ireland and I met Ray, an Irish man, probably in his 80s and walking slower than me. He is a delightful character as only the Irish can be (right Kim?) and we passed each other all day. He joined me at the Morgade Bar which is another of my favorite stops. Then I stopped at the new Albergue in Mercadorio, a very nice albergue folks. Ivan, the Hospitalero saves foreign notes,so I have promised to send him a couple on my return to the USA.

At Vilachá just 1-2kms before Portomarin I stopped for awhile and talked with Gordon who runs a little stand selling cold drinks to the pilgrims. I was delaying the inevitable, the long steep down hill, then the steep uphill to Portomarin. Sometimes it does not pay to know what is ahead of you. Gordon is actually a member of the Confraternity of South Africa and they are trying to get a Clean-up the Camino campaign going by giving out green plastic bags to albergues for pilgrims to carry on their way to use and discard at the end of the day. On that note, if you are to be a pilgrim on the camino, then ladies, please carry a plastic bag for your toilet paper and do not throw it where you pee. If I go behind a hedge there is evidence of women, everywhere, it is disgusting, and it takes so little effort to stop this.


118kms to Santiago de Compostela
May 26, 2009

It is a long downhill walk to Sarria through Triacastela and Samos. There is no longer three castles in Triacastela, and in fact, it has little to offer other than Albergues, supermercado, Farmacia, and Telebanco. Samos has the beautiful old Benedictine Monastery but I had been there twice. It was raining hard so since this is the last chance before the last 100kms,I took a taxi to Sarria. No rain in Sarria and it was nice, although cold. I caught up with Ralph, my German buddy from Vega de Valcarce and shared a drink with him at "Rolfs Bar in Sarria". His cousin is due to arrive tomorrow and will walk with Ralph to Santiago.

It was here in Sarria that we shared a BIG party night down by the river at Mesón Roberto in 2007. It was a lovely warm night and the food was good with one exception, when Martin tried Pulpo (octopus) for the first time he did not like it at all, he jumped up from his chair and went to the river and spat it out (you had to be here). Many bottles of red later the night finished. The next day Maureen colored the camino pink!

We called Rolf to let him know that we were having a drink at this Bar. He is doing fine and has the all clear from his doctors. Good news to end the day with.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Two days of rain, mist, and fog. It was one of those days when pilgrims stopped at each and every Bar to get out of the rain and cold. Walking this day I was reminded of Roland and Wolf when we first saw the young handicapped man in 2007 at Hospital (yes that is the name of the village). Today as I stopped at Alto do Poio these are the pilgrims who passed me. Slipping silently by in the fog.

Down, down, and down .... I took the road as it is less stressful on the knees, harder on the feet, but better for the knees. Turn a corner and there she is, pancake lady. She was there in 2002 and again in 2007 and she is still jumping out at unsuspecting pereginros with the offer of a fresh warm pancake. Once you have the pancake in you hand, she say´s "1E por favor". The pilgrim would not have had the pancake if they knew it was not free. It is not warm, there is no lemon and sugar.... oh well. I only got caught once (2002).

I felt like I could write a Stephen King novel while at Biduedo. The Bar has sharp farm implements as wall hangings and garden decorations. In the mist and the fog I thought that at midnight they would all come alive and I may not survive the night. But survive I did, and so on to Sarria ...


A special day for all pilgrims ...
To walk over O'Cebreiro is a challenge that pilgrims look forward to and dread at the same time, but most are usually very happy upon reaching the little village of O'Cebreiro.

The day started with light rain, nothing to worry about. On the walk through the small villages I noted many new albergues and Bars, the camino is alive with new places for pilgrims to explore. Just as I got to the bridge where the steep climb starts Garry and his family called, so I got cheerios from them. Then it was time to tackle the climb and along came about thirty Spanish bus pilgrims. We all (pilgrims) know them, they travel with a light daypack while their very heavy backpacks are in the luggage compartment of a bus. This is OK, this is perfectly fine, except that sometimes they try to stay at albergues which is not acceptable. Jesús Jato is excellent at spotting them and does not allow them in his albergue. Some Spanish folks see the camino as a cheap vacation. Photo below.

They soon got sorted out, they had just got off the bus when I photographed them, they found their paces and even I started to pass some of them. Up, and up, and up the way goes. What a thrill to find that each little village along the way now has a Bar. I stopped at each one because now I was wet, it was raining, and a Cola Cao (hot chocolate) warms me up and gives energy.

Passing the 2 kms sign, then there it was, GALICIA. I am back in Galicia.

Vega de Valcarce

Camino Duro
On my three passes over Cebreiro I have always walked El Camino Duro (The hard way). I walked this way in 2002 on a delightful sunny day, and given the choice and with no rain, I could not walk through the river valley on the road. The views over the mountains are spectacular. (Below)

The walk through the chestnut woods is a tranquil moment along the way. I love walking this day. In 2007 I told Roland, and M&M, to watch out for the left-hand turn, they missed it and continued on (which is as an alternative). I went left and they were suprised to find me waiting for them at the Trabadelos turn-off (Luiza, the slow peregrino).

After the Chestnut woods the way goes steeply down to Trabadelos and then along the road to Vega de Valcarce where I stayed at Albergue do Brasil with the great Hospitalero, Cristina. It was a special feeling to have Cristina greet me as I came through the door, "Oi Luiza, como vai" and I easily slipped into Portuguese in response. Cristina was the Hospitalero on my pass through here in 2007, yes, I had a reservation, which would have helped her to remember my name.

Cristina cooked the meal for ten pilgrims (six Brazilians, two Americans, and two Germans). She made the best salad I have had in Spain with a delicous ginger dressing followed up with Beans and Rice, then dessert, all washed down with wine and water. To stay at this Brazilian Albergue is a treat for pilgrims and it should not be missed.

I have so many good memories of this way. In 2002 with Sheila, and then with Roland and Wolf in 2007, where we met Sabine on the way from Trabadelos. Betty was there already when we arrived as was Hilde, both special women that I met in 2007.

This year Ralph (Ger) shared his bottle of red that he had carried from Trabadelos, it was good, all the better because a pilgrim had carried it in his backpack to be shared.

The big day is next .....

Friday, May 22, 2009

Villafranca del Bierzo

Photo uploaded 26.05.2009

Short walk ... hot day
From Cacabelos to VF del Bierzo it is only a 10 kms walk but with the heat I was happy to be out of the sun before noon. Leaving Cacabelos the way goes up hill for quite away along the road, thankfully there is a soft verge making it better for the feet. Then the way divides with two options. I continue on the road (always) to pass the outdoor sculpture studio. This year I took many photos for my friend (and Blog follower) Edye who is a wonderful scupltor in New York, a true artist. Sorry my artist friends (Edye, Dawn, Katie, and Melinda) but again no USB port for photos.

I checked in at Ave Fenix and then registered to be a volunteer Hospitalero next year. Jesús Jato gave me my Hospitalero pin, so I guess that I am officially a volunteer.

I enjoyed a wonderful Pizza Tropical in Plaza Mayor for lunch washed down with white wine. Tonight I am going to partake of the traditional dinner offered here at this interesting old albergue. The journey continues .... and tomorrow is Vega Valcarce which is at the base before the steep climb up and over O'Cebriero (next day).

Yes, I am on the journey ....

Thursday, May 21, 2009


A short walk
Phew, it was a hot day, 34.5 Deg. C. (98 Deg. F. for the Americans). I left Ponferrada at 08:30am and arrived here in Cacabelos at 14:00 (15.5kms walked). I had many rest breaks in the shady areas. The walk to Cacabelos is beautiful once you get out of the suburban areas of Ponferrada. Passing through many little pueblos some with Bars and some without, I stopped at each and every Bar along the way. A Zumo da Piña (pineapple juice) at one, a Cafe con Leche at another, then back to Zumo.

(Below) A fellow pilgrim having fun at one of our stops ... just resting.

In the race
I had an ah-ha moment as Oprah would say when I realized that on other caminos at this stage I must have still been in the race. On my others caminos I have continued on another 9 kms to Villafranca del Bierzo as one stage, a full day´s walk for me. Today I have stopped in Cacabelos and I have been chilling out at a Bar with a Cacique y Coca Cola, a Spanish Cuba Libre. Not only today´s walk, but in 2002, I walked from Villafranca to O´Cebriero (32kms adjusted for climb) in one long day. In 2007 Roland, Wolf, and I, broke the journey in Vega Valcarce, which is what I will do in two days time.

Giving Back
Tomorrow I walk to Villafranca del Bierzo where hopefully I will stay at Albergue Ave Fenix, a famous old (somewhat hippy) Albergue along the way. Here Jesús Jato offers the pilgrim a real Brazillian experience, food, drinks, and massage (along with Reiki if you want). I have twice had Reiki from Jesús and twice I have walked beautifully to Santiago afterwards, believe as you will. Here, I want to offer my services as a volunteer in one of Jesús Jato´s albergues (there is a network of Brazillian albergues along the way).

Today at a rest break, Uli told me he was having big problems with his knees. Kees had told me that I would know when to offer Reiki, and this was one of the moments. Uli was very happy to receive Reiki, his mother-in-law gives Reiki so he knew what I was offering. I also gave Reiki to an Italian pilgrim along Via dela Plata who 30 minutes after I had finished came back and asked for more.

Roldan .... and Kees
Roland who on the camino in 2002 sometimes called himself Roldan (Spanish for Roland) is getting ready to come to Spain. Kees is on his way to join us and we will walk the last days together into Santiago. It is going to be so wonderful to see these two guys again.

Last Train to Santiago
In 2007 Maureen and Martin (M&M) taught us a song and the five of us walked into Santiago singing this song. Standing on the shell in Plaza do Obradorio we sang the song with the appropriate dance movements. When we finished singing a group of Spanish high school students came up and asked us to sing again so that they could video tape us. Then later, walking through the Cathedral the kids came past us singing the song. It was a cute moment.

M&M know what tune this is sung too ... I just know the tune

Last train to Santiago
Last train to Santiago
If you ... miss ... this one
there will never be another one
Biddy-biddy boom-boom

At 190 kms from Santiago this tune is going through my head, especially since M&M were already a part of my 2007 camino by this stage. BTW, this means it is over 800 kms now from Sevilla as coming through Astorga is longer than going through Orense.

OK, so I have been lucky and had a computer available for three days. I will try my best to get back regularly to the Blog. I have not been able to read email since leaving Alicante, but I will continue to try. Sorry no photo today as there is not a USB port available.

Bye for now,
Love to all,


Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Today I am in Ponferrada where I first learned about the Templars in 2002 and have since then been on a journey of Templar discovery. I read what I can, have visited Tomar, Portugal, the home of the Templars in Portugal. It has been a fascinating journey for me, which Garry has also joined. So, Ponferrada. There is a magnificent Templar Castle here which I will visit tomorrow as this is one city where I have always stayed two nights. The day is bright and sunny, it has been the best weather I have ever walked in from Astorga. So let me go back to Astorga and come along the way ....

Astorga to Rabanal del Camino
Sorry pilgrims you will just have to come along and be reminded of your journey. In Astorga there were more pilgrims than I saw along the entire Via de la Plata. As I sat having breakfast in Hotel Gaudi countless early birds were headed along the way but I remind myself that I am not in the race, I am here for the journey (we old hands all know this, it is something you get wise to along the way). One young couple were pushing their toddler in a purpose built stroller, the kiddo was sitting up enjoying the bounce along the road.

Leaving Astorga you are out of the city fairly quickly going along the highway for quite some way. Soon enough you are on the path toward small pueblos and the scenery changes to snow covered mountains in the distance and wild lavender at your feet. I have been amazed at the number of new Albergues. So much reconstruction and purpose built places. In 2002 there was not a choice, it was go all the way to Rabanal but not now, each pueblo has at least one Albergue. I was very impressed with the Albergue las águedas in Murias de Rechivaldo where I enjoyed a zumo (juice) and Cafe con Leche (coffee). The way to Rabanal rises gently, but go up it most certainly does, and you are going up hills all day.

I came across my first Completo (no vacancy) in Rabanal at both the Hotel I wanted to stay in (where I met Maureen and Martin in 2007) and the new Posada just up the hill. So I went to the Albergue Peregrinos Nsta. Sra. del Pilar which I visited in 2007. Isobel, who runs the place, is wonderful and she greets all pilgrims in a friendly happy manner and farewells each and every one in the morning with a Buen Camino and a hug. The Albergue is large, it has a cash Bar and offers an evening meal and also breakfast, making life very easy for tired pilgrims. The day was lovely and it was a good walk. Germans, Germans, Germans, yes they are still on the way but I have met a wonderful French couple (Chantal and Jorge) and also a few Aussies.

In the evening I talked with three guys from Flanden, one being Mark, who lives now in Rabanal. Kim, I know you will be interested in this .... in May 2008 they found what is beleived to be two Celtic Labrynth stones some kilometers south of Rabanal. Then word of mouth starting doing its job and slowly the shepherds were telling about what they knew (petroglyphs in caves etc.) and now they believe that they may have found the old Celtic route. In other words they are connecting the dots. It has always been understood that Rabanal is not really on the path .... I had the most fascinating evening and had to immediately SMS Kees who has a connection to this area.

Rabanal del Camino to El Acebo
This is one day that all Camino Frances pilgrims look forward to, oh, is that correct, maybe not. The energy one feels from this area is intense and my knees were not a problem and have not been since leaving Astorga. The way goes up, and up, and up, until you reach what was in 2002 an abandoned village where only a shepherd and his mother lived. Foncebadon was famous for the wild dogs that Shirley McClaine wrote about. In 2002 as I walked through Foncebadon all the dogs lay sleeping at doorsteps, then I realized I was with Deben and Shanti, two very calm people, so the dogs sensed that, how lucky was I? The shepherds mother is now in a retirement home and the shepherd has moved on. I do not blame him ... the village now boasts one hotel and three Albergues. We stopped for a coffee and it was like Times Square, busy, busy, busy, with pilgrims going on or taking a break. After Foncebadon comes one of the highlights of the journey, Cruz de Ferro, where I was to leave the stone that I had carried with me from Texas and a stone that I had picked up for Kees. It was bright and sunny and the views the best I have ever seen from CdF.

The way still goes up, and up, and up, and then down to Manjarin where one of the camino celebrities started an Albergue many decades ago. Tomas, the Last Templar. The local authorities wanted to close the Albergue down but Tomas protested, to the point of now having a Decree from the King for his Albergue´s survival. Here, in 2007, Roland bought the bracelets that Kees, Wolf, Roland, and I wear.

Leaving Manjarin the legs and knees start to feel the downward slope, and it is a steep down over slate and rocks all the way to El Acebo where I was stopping for the night.

El Acebo to Ponferrada
Today was quite beautiful and the walk hard, but delightful at the same time. Here the scenery is superb and the fragrance of the wildflowers was powerful. Again, I was blown away by the changes to this area. El Acebo, Riego de Amros, and Molinaseca, were (in 2002) lovely to walk through but they were poor mountian villages. Now, with new paint work and the amount of reconstruction they are quite vibrant places. Each has more than one Bar and Albergue´s, along with Casa Rurals and Hostels. Amazing!

From Rabanal del Camino the way takes a pilgrim up to the highest point along the camino and then down steeply to Molinaseca, after that on to Ponferrada where I am now. This year I broke the journey into two days for physical necessity, I am amazed that in 2002 I walked the 27 kms in one day, I could not do that now.

What is coming up?
Leaving Ponferrada pilgrims head to Villa Franca del Bierzo where the slow climb toward O´Cebreiro starts. If you take the Pradella route (which I have twice) the climb is not slow, it is immediate. So, in four days I should be over O´Cebreiro and if an Albergue along the way has Internet I will get back to y´all.

Ponferrada (the capital of El Bierzo) is the last big city before Santiago de Compostela, for me at least, as I do not call Sarria or Portomarin big.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


The Palacio Espiscopal, Astorga, one of Gaudi´s better works (in my humble opinion). This is the view from my room at Hotel Gaudi where I stayed in 2007 to recover from blisters. I am here again and this time with no blisters, what a blessing that is. I seem to have been a slow learner as it has taken me five camino walks to solve the blister problem.

The Route Changes
After a long walk I am in Astorga one of my favorite cities along the Camino Frances. The journey along the Via de la Plata (VdlP) was not without its problems, both physical and spiritual, and thankfully my family, Melinda, Katie, Dawn, Caroline, Andree, and Kees are all helping me here. I thank you all who are folling and keeping me in your thoughts. The VdlP is from Sevilla in the south to Astorga in northern Spain and meets the Camino Frances (CF) here so all will change (more later).

We had over a week of worries about Karen who was suffering from a collapsed lung. Sometimes seemingly better and at other times Karen was not good at all. Then came the horrible night when I was staying at an Albergue, and all pilgrims know, lights out at ten and cellphones off, when Garry called after nine (all pilgrims in bed) to let me know that at that moment Karen was undergoing surgery on her lung. I was awake all night night worried about our beautiful daughter-in-law. I could not turn my BlackBerry on in fear that an SMS would arrive and with the high-pìtch tone the BB has I would have been booted out of the Albergue. So it was wait until two or three the following afternoon to call Houston at the appropriate time. Karen came through surgery fine with the ruptures in her lung repaired and suffering a lot of pain when trying to breathe. The thought of having a tube stuck down her throat to help her breathe made her breathe deeper and now she is at home recuperating. All the best wishes come your way Karen. Love, Ma

If you have been following my Blog then you know that I was to meet my good friend, Andrée, from Canberra, Australia, here in Astorga on May 20. Andree was all prepared with backpack, walking sticks, sleeping bag, headlamp and other necessities for a pilgrim and she was diligently practicing walking with her backpack and sticks. Unfortunately one day Andrée fell and damaged a knee. SMS message to me that all was well, no broken bones, so full steam ahead. Then bruising set in from the top of her thigh to the ankle and she has major damage to that leg. Andrée´s doctor has advised against her walking the camino this year. It is sad but best this way or she could have found herself in a Spanish hospital somewhere along the way. For me, we were ahead of plan and walked into Astorga yesterday and will walk out tomorrow gaining three days to allow a slow walk through Galicia. All the best Andrée for a speedy recovery.

I have spoken with Rolf almost every week and he is doing well. He had his last chemo two weeks ago and sees his doctors again at the end of this month. As always Rolf I am thinking of you.

Now for the VdlP ...
If I lived on the memory of the last four days of the VdlP my view would be strange. Small pueblos with no real food available. A Bar in one pueblo opened at noon and closed at six offering only Bocadillos (sandwiches). The way was flat and shadeless with two of the days along tarmac most of the way, which is tough on feet but the knees liked the level surface. For one kilometer there was no choice but to walk on freshly sprayed tar, oh the boots at the end of that, they were a sticky mess. The last three Albergues there were only three of us, one I understand why, the guidebook mentions cold showers. However, when we arrived the showers were hot, a new hot water system in place, GREAT! The Alija albergue has to be the oldest albergue that I have stayed in, and quite strange, the women in charge insist on holding your credential until 8:00pm to place the sello (stamp). Oops, like your USA Passport you do not like letting go. In La Baneza the Refugio had hospital beds, not bunk beds, and they were comfortable. A 40 bed albergue and only three of us.

From Sevilla to Astorga the way has been delightful with many birds of prey and when in old woods the cuckoo can be heard, and seen. This always makes me think of Roland who said his camino was going fine when he heard a cuckoo. I adopted this for myself and always smile when I hear a cuckoo. To place the Astorga photo I surfed through some of the photos that I have taken and gosh it seems so long ago that I was in those various places. The beautiful National Parks in the early days, the two very different reservoirs that you walk around, tranquilo and relaxing but you know you have some kilometers to go so must continue on. The cities, Zafra with its wonderful food (Torta de Queso and the best Jamon) and Salamanca the most beautiful city in Spain with its grand Plaza Mayor (with many cafes and restaurantes).

Camino Frances (Via de la Plata)

My Credential (Pilgrim Pass) from Sevilla is completely full of stamps so I needed a new Pilgrim Pass from Astorga. A Credential is what one needs to stay in Albergues and is a record that you are a pilgrim along the way. Last year Bev M. told me she thought this an absolutely ridiculous idea in a conversation but sorry, this system has worked well for many years, if not centuries. I have my new Pass from the Astorga Cathedral and a beautiful stamp from the Pilgrims Tienda where I bought a new shirt. I have shopped at the supermarket for supplies (Shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste) and at the Farmacia for more Voltarem (for my aches) and Pentoderm (blister protection). So I am all set to continue on to Santiago de Compostela (SdC) - although as all pilgrims know, my pack is going to be heavier with the new supplies, YUK.

I will walk out of here tomorrow and be reminded of the two previous walks from Astorga, the people I met and walked with in 2002 and 2007. Tomorrow night I will be in Rabanal where I met Maureen and Martin (M&M from Yorks., UK) with whom I walked into SdC in 2007 along with Roland and Wolf. M&M some days the song goes through my head and I have difficulty letting it go. It´s a long way to Santiago ....

There are many more pilgrims along CF and they just keep on coming into Plaza Mayor but I have managed the CF before and will do so again. I see many injured pilgrims, limping, bandaged ankles, blisters, knee braces and more. Hopefully I will not be the slowest along the way.

Well folks this has to be it for today as my brain is fried. I´m sorry folks, I do not have time to check email and my pilgrim brain does not want to go there, sorry. I send love and best wishes to you all and sorry if I have not mentioned your kindness to me.


Saturday, May 02, 2009


Karen is still in hospital with a collapsed lung that is not inflating. We should know on Monday if she will require surgery. Stephen tells me that Karen is fine but she is uncomfortable and in quite some pain. Hang in there beautiful girl. Mummy must miss her little girl´s birthday party today at Little Gym. Daddy and Vana Pa will be there to make sure that Charlotte has a good party. These parties are so nicely organized that I know our little girl will have fun. Gran sure wishes she was with her.

Walking out tomorrow
We have all decided that tomorrow is the day to walk out of Salamanca. The group arrived at various times on Friday and stayed at the Albergue. I could not stay at the Albergue because I was here four days already. So, I found myself in an expensive hotel because there was not another option, all 2 & 3 star hotels were booked solid. Caroline tells me that the three days of NH Puerta de la Catedral would be her budget for some time on the camino. However, by cancelling one night (tomorrow) it brought the cost down considerably.

I love Salamanca.
Salamanca is reputed to be the best city in Spain and I would agree. The buildings are a lovely golden sandstone (I guess, because you can easily carve your name on the stone blocks and it feels sandy - I did not carve my name). Salamanca is a university town brimming with places to eat and drink. Young people walking everywhere, Pilgrims arriving, and Tourists in groups with their tour guide cluster in the Plaza Mayor. At lunch there was a commotion off to my right, I looked, a group of young men were coming into the Plaza Mayor chanting, with two male brides. It was a Gay Marriage demonstration. Go guys!

With a little, well BIG, tip from Caroline I found the astronauta carved into the portico of the cathedral and I also saw the coelho (rabbit) but Caroline, no frog! One my way home after dinner I will look again for the elusive frog. Oh, and I did find them myself, not because of others.

On the phone

I have spoken with Stephen and will continue to call him until our girl is safe and well. It was great to talk with Charlotte on her birthday who was excited with the gift that she had opened, a catepillar farm. Charlotte loves burretflies and I guess she will breed her own. Although Daddy tells me she is going to have to let them fly away.

Garry called to let me know how things are at home and with Karen, also Charlotte and Katie´s birthday celebrations. Garry leaves for Australia next Friday and will be there three weeks.

I called Gwen for her birthday tomorrow (May 3) and all is well in London. I chatted with Sophie who was not quite sure about having to go into a cavern with a torch (flashlight).

I stopped Andree from going to sleep at 1:00am Australian time but that was okay with her. Andree is getting ready to join me in Astorga in 17/18 days. I am looking forward to experiencing Camino Frances through a newbies eyes. I know Caroline, the way through Ourense would be great, but it was my decision to walk Astorga to Santiago de Compostela thinking that it would be best for Andree a first timer. The Via de la Plata has been busy with albergues almost Completo every night, this has suprised me very much. I was expecting the VdlP to be much quieter.

Well folks, I am off again .... now it will probably be May 20 or thereabouts before I get to a computer again.

It is across the Meseta for me. Byeee