Endings and Beginnings…

Today I walked 12 miles, from Fromista to Carrion de las Condes and it was like going through the flat wheat fields of western Kansas.  This area, the “Tierra de Campos” is the grain capital of Spain.

The morning started on a sad note–my walking amigos for the last few days–Deborah and Rod from Colorado Springs-decided to leap-frog ahead a few days to stay on schedule. I’ll miss their great company, humor and friendship. Wonderful Camino-mates! Buen Camino and hope we’ll meet again!!

I wasn’t on the Camino but a couple of hours until I ran into some folks I had met way back on the Pyrenees and beyond! The photo below shows Don (from Seattle) struggling up the Pyrenees and looking like he was complet-o when I last saw him. And then wa-la, here he was drinking a coffe con leche in a village bar! I thought sure he had thrown in the towel. He got his Camino legs and looks great now. Just shows the importance of sticking it out through the pain and not giving in. I know that feeling! Way to go, Don!

At Villamentero I ran into a slew of folks from earlier in my trek. It was at fun eclectic, 1960s looking hippie bar-albergue, even with a tipi and gypsy wagon, as these photos show:

Know how it is with some people–you can just feel that you have a connection with then instantly, before you even say a word? Well, that’s the way is it with Nadja (Swiss) and Choe (Korean). I met them two days ago and when we saw each other again here, it was like a long lost reunion. I call her Laura–she wears a bandana on her head that reminds me of Laura in Dr. Zhivago.

Amilee from France, serenading on a borrowed guitar. I played a clip of Max practicing for his talent show and everyone yelled,”Oh, young rock star!”

This is Mary from France, bidding me adieu! We call each other “Mary and Joseph.” Mary is a throw-back spirited hippie, full of life and energy. We only see each other in passing, but like she says, it seems like we know each other.

I just met these two on the Camino today–Frank is from Texas, 65, recently retired (against his will), but has found his calling as a tech teacher. He’s befriending this woman from Hungary, but lives in NYC, plays the organ for the Hungarian Church. Nope, she doesn’t know Adria. How can that be?

Saved the best for last: I’ve had enough walking! Meet my new mode of transport: Marian, the donkey!!! Love at first sight! For me, at least…now I have to figure out how to get her home…

Okay, Marion really isn’t mine–relax Barbs! She belongs to these two Spainards who are doing the Camino in reverse. Marion pulls a little red enclosed gypsy cart.

I met Marion, Tina and her husband by the side of the road and they shared their salami, cheese and bread with me and I shard my apple with them. I think I got the better deal. Such giving, kind souls with the heart of true vagabonds.

I stop in every church and light candles for my family and friends. The tall one on the left is yours. Now this is the eerie part: the rays of light were not visible to the naked eye…

There is so much more to say about today. It was one of the sadest and at the same time, one of the best days on the Camino–topped off by an organ concert in the Iglesias Church in Carrion de los Condes where I am tonight.

It was a sad saying goodbye to my dear friends, Deborah and Rod, and a happy day of renewing old connections and making new ones.
This is the way of the Camino.


Man of La Mancha Healing Blisters

Grandfather of the Camino 


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