Road Trip Vacation pt. 1

I’ve not had a vacation this year yet and am on the tail end of a huge migration at work that went about as un-smoothly as can be expected. Joao will be here mid June and he’s not seen a lot of the great nature sites that are within driving distance of here.

a small piece of the LARGE set
a small piece of the LARGE set

So I decided we’d do Watkins Glen/Finger Lakes and Niagara Falls. To round that out, we’re going to see some roadside attractions. The route we’re going to take will get us out of the Philly area quickly and to our first attraction, Roadside America. I love this place and take everyone I can to it. It’s like stepping back in time and being a kid again. Continue reading “Road Trip Vacation pt. 1”

Spain by car.

The day after the Louisville pilgrims left Jon, Joao and I rented a car. We took that day to burn up the Spanish highways for a quick look-see of the northern coast and a side trip to Oviedo, the town that Jon became enamored with on a side trip from Leon with Jim. We picked up this little Fiat Panda and proceeded to put the km’s on it. In the end, even being a really economical car, the gas came to more than twice the rental cost at about $90.00 for the day. We did some miles! Joao wound up taking most of the pictures so I will have to wait for those to add to the gallery, but I did manage to get some of Oviedo. When we left Santiago it was overcast but the more east we drove, the better the weather became until we were in clear, blue skies again. What we saw was the majestic mountains of northern Spain and the beautiful coast. We wanted to stop in the coastal city of Gijon for lunch but it really was too congested. The town is very modern and business-like and could be any modern metropolis anywhere. Detours downtown meant that getting to the actual coast was going to take time so we decided to head south to Oviedo, our main destination about 30 km away. When Jim and Jon were there, Jon had wanted to visit the church of San Julian de los Prado but it was closed. Continue reading “Spain by car.”

Epilogue, Mantua NJ

An open letter to my dear peregrinos:

And so I am back exactly one week. I have relived the moments of our journey together this week as I write. The wi-fi was iffy on the camino and somehow my grand plan of doing this on our journey never materialized. So, as soon as I arrived home I started my recreation of our journey with my notes, my photos, the Erkosi website and Google Earth all to help me retrace our footsteps and relive each day. Continue reading “Epilogue, Mantua NJ”

Monte do Gozo to Santiago and beyond.

And so I showered for the last time on the camino. I carefully folded up the go-forward bag and packed my backpack. Down the hill across the highway on a wood-covered steel bridge we went. We had hit the outskirts of Santiago. We stopped for breakfast and our last sellos before heading up the hill to the Cathedral. The short walk into Santiago took no time at all and soon we were standing in front of the Convento de San Martin Pinario. This former convent now turned hotel sits right next to the Cathedral. The Convento provides single and double accommodations including breakfast for a very reasonable price-plus you get the added benefit of enjoying the institutional experience all over again in converted dormitory rooms. Continue reading “Monte do Gozo to Santiago and beyond.”