Michelle – Ouch!!
As our travels come to an end, we get one more test that we have to work through. At 10 pm on the night before we are supposed to leave Santiago and head back to Porto to catch our flight, we receive an email that all bus rides out of Santiago have been cancelled due to a strike. With all other forms of transportation already sold out, we have to take a taxi 150 miles back to Porto.
Once back in Porto, we spent the day exploring the wonderful port city. We are luck enough to be close to the Clerigos church.
Tomorrow we are on our way home. Bringing many unique and wonderful memories with us.
Hope there aren’t any other hiccups!
Once again, many, many thanks to everyone for all your kind support. Both the moral support for the walkers and the material support for the Families for Children which gave this little adventure a much deeper meaning for us.
We’ll leave the website up for another 30 days. After that if anyone wishes to continue making donations ( and we hope you do 🙂 ) please visit http://www.familiesforchildren.ca/
Love to All,
Michelle, Shea, Piper, and Doug
This is it. Coming into the home stretch!
It is pretty clear that in this part of Spain all roads leave to Santiago.
Here is a group of peregrinos that are coming together for the last leg of the walk.
and this sign says it all
The walk is done. We made it to Santiago and the cathedral is everything that it’s cracked up to be. It is a truly magnificent piece of architecture.
While this Pilgrimage to Santiago may be over for us today, the Greater Pilgrimage continues, as always, for everyone.
Buen Camino to all, whatever your Way may be!
Another beautiful old church we encountered on the Way.
We had been seeing these all along the way and never new what it was all about; a drinking hole or a foot bath??? Today we saw its intended use; it is the local community laundromat and the slabs are used to pound the clothes out on.
Walking the Camino is wonderful experience. You are never far away from people that you have met previously. This is Sylvie, a charming young Italian lady who is on vacation from her work at the US Mission to the UN in Rome. We had walked a little bit together the other day and now we met again. Everyone walking the Way is filled with the spirit of cameraderie and good will. The history, the architecture, the natural surroundings all blend to make the walk such a memorable experience but it’s the people who are the heart of the Way.
Everyone more or less recovered from earlier injuries and ready to march ahead. A hearty breakfast then on to the road.
As we passed this small church early on Sunday morning, the church bell started ringing and we had never heard anything quite like it. We could see the bell ringer in the tower and he kept ringing it faster and louder. I mean REALLY faster and REALLY louder. Then he would stop for a moment and then then start all over again. The only thing we would think of was that he was waking the people up in the town so they could get ready for church. It stayed with us for a while as we walked on then it just ended. I’ll bet he’s not the most popular guy in the neighborhood for sure.
This was a 12+ mile day but the terrain wasn’t too bad so we focused on getting everyone to Padron safe and sound.
Doug- Due to another scorching day predicted, I left before dawn again to beat the heat. Minimal sources of food and drink on this leg so I had to pack as much water and small snacks as I could. Michelle and the kids are still recovering so I made this leg again myself.
Viewed some interesting architecture as I left town during sunrise.
A fair bit of the Portuguese Way is mapped into Roman Road 19 and where that’s the case, markers like the one below have been placed at intersections. Via Romana XIX dates from the time of Caesar Augustus making these paths and roads more than 2000 years old. Pretty cool to think about all the people that have walked these roads over eons!
It doesn’t matter how hot, sweaty or tired you get, there is always time for a good laugh.
I got a nice surprise after checking in at the hotel in Caldas de Reis. I ran into Bruno again and had a chance to meet his lovely family who came to spend a day or so with him.
Now it’s time for a shower, food, and rest.
Doug: Fairly easy day. I started out before the dawn and followed the arrows throughout the day. I made it to the hostel just after noontime and was greeted by this Peregrino statue.
Doug- hello everyone. It was an intersting day on the Camino. With Michelle sidelined with an Achille’s injury, I decided to make the next trek alone. Left before sunrise and almost immediately met a young man named Bruno from Portugal. He had the same destination so we walked together for the whole day. He was a bright and interesting man and we talked about many and varied topics while the miles slipped under our feet. We swapped life stories, talked of politics, business, religion, sports and many other things. About half way through, another young couple joined us, Antonio and Jennifer from California. It turns out that they are both professional America Sign Language translators. You meet a wonderful cross section of life out here. They were on the Camino just to be able to share some time together.
We made it to Redondela in good time and good shape, where a festival of flowers was being held. Everything you see in the pictures below are flowers or leaves, reminiscent of Tibetan sand art. Huge pieces of artwork that are there for a few hours then swept up and gone. I think there is a metaphor there but I’m not going to pursue it this evening 😀
Hope you are all having a wonderful day. Get back to you again soon.
P.S. a special thanks to Bruno. In the true spirit of the Camino, he made a donation to the FFC orphanage and I wanted to publicly thank him.
We stayed at a wonderfully rustic hostel, just outside of Redondela.
Note: these pictures are being posted on the 10th of June. This is the first time we’ve had useful wifi since arriving in Portugal. Videos to come, we hope. Bandwidth in Portugual has been an issue so far. Worst case, we will add the videos upon our return.
Michelle- Day 2 of our adventure (day 1 of hiking) Shea drank the water on day 1… sick all night… still a trooper and hiked over 10 miles today. Dad tripped on a rock and sliced his hand open and ended up at the hospital getting stitches. A nine mile day turned into an eleven mile day but we met some really nice people along the way.
The kindness of strangers; a lemonade stand that somone left out for pilgrims.
Looking for yellow arrows to guide us along the way.
Nice gentleman named Willy, from New Zealand, that we met on the way
Another adventurous day in the books.
On this day we took leave of the
Fortezela Valenca and made our way to Porrina. We passed over the bridge into Spain and made our first stop in Tui at a beautiful cathedral. We are officially half way there.
After a long wall through the forrest, we stumble upon this beautiful artwork in what seems to be the middle of nowhere.
Michelle- This day brought us it’s own set of challenges. We awoke to rain snd thunderstorms so we decided to delay our start to see if it would pass, we got to test out our new ponchos.
We once again miscalculated the distances and an 11 mile hike ended up being a 17 mile hike. It was extra long but beautiful and the destination was an amazing 800 year old fort. Within the fort there is a bustling city, filled with shops and restaurants.
Tomorrow will bring a new set of adventures for us.