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.”
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”
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.”
The next morning the sun was out again and we off. Jon, Eleanor, Mary Jane Alida and I went for coffee and breakfast, Jim and Geoff set out ahead of us as usual and Sarah caught the bus to Monte do Gozo.
After breakfast as we crossed the street I noticed a woman perhaps in her twenties pushing another woman in a wheelchair. Not an unusual site except that she was wearing a backpack and another one was stored under the wheelchair’s seat. Peregrinos no doubt, but I had to wonder how far she could travel in a day and what roads she could take. As we left the main road to find the camino I watched briefly as she continued on down the sidewalk. I figured that this would be the last that we would see of her as she could not possibly keep up with us. Once we left Pedrouzo we were once again in the forest and on yet another hill climb. Jon and I struck out on our own pushing up the hill which seemed to go on forever. Continue reading “O Pedrouzo to Monte do Gozo”