Thursday, May 29, 2014

Santiago, Spain-one last hug for St James

One last visit to the cathedral where I hugged St James...for the second time.
We leave tomorrow after 40 days, 32 of which were on the Camino, it is time to go home. I am tired, ready for my home and my own bed, being back with my sweet little dog Sophie, walking the beach and getting back to the gallery and painting. However, I am already thinking about my next walk/sketch...

Santiago-panorama of cathedral and plaza

Still drizzling I managed to find a place to sketch the cathedral and plaza from the tall window in an old unused restaurant in the Parador hotel off the plaza. I used a USK accordion sketchbook. I can't believe I took this on as my attention to detail can wane as you can see if you look close : ) I kept saying to myself "they actually built it thousands of years ago, so at least I could finish my sketch in a few hours" so I carried on through the afternoon.
Patti took a photo of me with my sketch (in the drizzle) before I attack it with watercolor. Then off we went to shop and check out the local market where this "non-meat-eater" scored her last local jamon before we head back home tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

After the Camino-Exploring Santiago, Spain.

Still cool and drizzly in Santiago as we explore the city. I didn't have to go far to find a cafe con leche, ending up with a delicious grande and sketching this woman at a "Restaurante/Jamoneria". I've never heard of a Jamoneria, but it was a regular cafe with jamon hanging from most parts of the ceiling...interesting...
Some of our pilgrim friends are still here, but tonight we sadly said goodbye to our most wonderful new friends-Lawrence, Neil, Wim and Erwin. I will miss you guys!!!!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Santiago, Spain-A day without walking

It is a little rainy and cold in Santiago so I am layered up in all my Camino clothes-luckily they are freshly laundered. A quiet day with no walking, a late morning cafe con leche, souvenir shopping and reflection. When the sun finally came out for a bit I sat and sketched, but kept it simple-no cathedral for this ex pilgrim/sketcher!!!

El Camino di Santiago-finished!!!

We arrived in Santiago around noon on May 25th. We walked 500 miles in 32 days. We congratulated other pilgrims and hugged our new pilgrim friends as we waited in line for our compostelas. Someone said "When you get to Santiago you are no longer a pilgrim you are a tourist". 
I am coming trying to come to terms with that...

Saturday, May 24, 2014

El Camino di Santiago- tomorrow we finish our journey

After 13 miles in sun and clouds we reached Arca-O Pino which is the final town on the Camino before Santiago. We are enjoying the most delicious dish of Pimentos de Padron before we head back to our final Camino Albergue bunk-room of pilgrims. Tonight we share with 14 other pilgrims.

Tomorrow hundreds of us start our 12 mile walk into Santiago. We have no idea what that means...

On my way to Santiago!!!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Camino di Santiago-25 miles to go...

Yesterday was another drizzly walk in Galicia to Palas de Rei. Cold and rainy so I was left to sketch in the cafe at the Albergue. The walls were covered with pilgrim paraphernalia and coins from all over the world. Lots of pilgrims sharing the sleeping quarters, but at least I had the highly coveted lower (abajo) bunk.

This morning, with 40 miles to go, I got up at 5:45 leaving a bunk room filled with 20 sleeping pilgrims from all over the world. We have been walking now for 30 days and getting a good nights sleep on the Camino is almost impossible. 
I looked in the mirror and there I was, as usual, with my hair sticking out all over the place and dark circles under my eyes. I thought "I am so over the Camino", but I brushed my teeth, put my hair up, downed a cafe con leche grande, pulled my poncho over head and my 20 lb pack and off we went to walk 16 miles in the pelting rain...
25 miles to Santiago.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

El Camino di Santiago-closer everyday

We walked 14 miles yesterday in our new ponchos : )
The Province of Galicia is the final third of the Camino and is much colder and wetter, but Santiago is within reach-only 3 walking days left. So different than the meseta or middle region of the Camino where it was hot, dry and flat and messed with the perception of time and distance, tested your mind, confronted your heart and seemed almost an unfathomable distance to Santiago.

We arrived in Portomarin a little cold and wet, but without ponchos we would have been soaked. All the cafés surrounded the plaza and the church of San Nicolás, so I sketched from the warmth of a cafe. 
52 miles to Santiago...and rain is predicted most days.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

El Camino di Santiago-57 miles to go.

It's still raining in Galicia so everyone is wearing a poncho. 
I was sent out last night to find ponchos as rain is predicted for the next few days. One place wanted 40 euros-for a poncho?, but I scored these at 4 euros each. They kept us dry today, but I look strangely like Big Bird...

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Camino di Santiago-70 miles to Santiago

Patti back on the Camino with me as we walked 16 miles over the pass through Ócebreiro looking back across the province of Leon and down into Triacastela in the province of Galicia which is known for is raining!!!

Upon arriving in Triacastela we saw two burros in the field enjoying a snack of tall green grass. I chatted and sketched while she explained their journey with burros. LuLu the burro carried the pilgrims pack along with her feed bucket and things a burro needs. According to the pilgrim, burros should not travel alone as they are very social animals. So dos burros.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

El Camino di Santiago-less than 100 miles to go

After 18 miles in the hot Spanish sun we made it to Villafranca, Spain where I sketched the Iglesias San Francisco in the main plaza.

Today was a long hot mostly 20 mile uphill walk through tiny little Spanish hamlets. Tonight we are staying in a  one Albergue town where the cows and chickens share the plaza with us pilgrims as we eat, drink and reflect upon our day and the journey.

My walking friend Patti got sick last night so today I walked alone. However since starting this journey I have met many wonderful pilgrims many of which we see daily or every other day. Today I was lucky to come upon my favorite pilgrims "The Three Amigos"-Win and Erwin father and son from The Netherlands and Larry from Canada and we shared a bit of time on the trail...and always lots of laughs!!!

Friday, May 16, 2014

El Camino di Santiago-La Cruz de Ferro

Up usual, we walked over the pass reaching the highest point of our journey at La Cruz de Ferro where we left our rocks while the full moon was setting. It was quite spectacular. 

Then the long walk downhill along the snow covered mountains with lavender and beautiful yellow and white broom. A lovely day on the Camino.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Almost at the highest point on the Camino

After today's 16 mile uphill walk, I sketched the structure across the street from our Albergue in the tiny mostly abandoned town of Foncebadón Spain. It is near the highest point of our journey where there is La Cruz de Ferro. It is a pilgrim tradition to bring a rock from home to lay at the base of this iron cross. I have carried two rocks from the beach near my home in Maine that I will leave there tomorrow morning as we go over the pass.

My pack will still be heavy even without these two rocks...

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Less than 200 miles to go on the Camino di Santiago

A little over 300 miles in the small town of Villar de Mazarife. Tomorrow we do 20 miles. 

Patti has met a Canadian and they have thrown down the gauntlet over the hockey play-offs...on the Camino???

The walking is pretty easy compared to the daily routine of packing and repacking, organizing, showering and sleeping with as many as 12-24 people in bunk beds. Then there is my hair...I wear it up everyday in some kind of scrunchie. I wore the fake hair piece the other day, it then flew off in the wind and rolled down the cobblestone street of Santa Domingo like a tumbleweed. I had to chase it down : )

Monday, May 12, 2014

Camino di Santiago-Leon, Spain

A day in Leon Spain as we reached the 300 mile mark of our journey. I spent a sunny morning sketching in the Plaza de San Marcos. I don't usually have the patience to do anything as complex as this building, but I decided to give it a try. Between the 19 miles the day before and San Marcos I am pretty much done for the rest of the day...

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Camino do Santiago-on the road to Leon

After a 19 mile day we spent a late afternoon in the garden at Albergue Larganes. 

Everyday we organize our packs, take care of our feet, have a cafe con leche and head off to our next destination. Today we witnessed this pilgrim prepare for his journey on the Camino. With his horse and cart and three female companions he set off towards towards Sahagún with the rest of us.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Camino di Santiago-1/2 way there!!!

On our way to the halfway mark on our journey across Spain. I have established my own "Camino diet" which I eat along the way-starving!!!! It is getting hotter and water will be more scarce over the next 4 days to Leon so that will add weight to my pack. 

My poor aching shoulders-ouch!!!

Patti and I at the 200 mile mark (actually a little over) on our journey across Spain. We will be half way be end of day tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Art Abandoned on the Camino


"Art Abandoned" in Castrojeriz Spain. Antonio who owns La Taberna served us the most delicious local cheese on bread with olive drizzled over the top and a local wine from the region. A perfect end to a day on the Camino!!!

Camino di Santiago-walk, walk, walk

A lovely 13 mile walk to Castrojeriz. A late lunch on the square with other peregrinos of olives, vino blanco and I had my "Camino Bocadillo" of jamon and puffed corn cakes (I would be the only one in Spain eating that...)

Monday, May 5, 2014

Camino do Santiago-166 miles

We have arrived in Burgos and have walked 166 miles. We have gone 1/3 of the way. I am tired and hungry all the time. I hardly have the energy to sketch but manage to scratch a few lines and throw on some color and call it another day on the Camino.

We stay in albergues with all the other pilgrims. Usually 8-12 men and women in bunk beds with community showers etc, but that's a whole other post...

Sunday, May 4, 2014

El Camino di Santiago-11 days of walking

We stayed in Belarado Spain last night after a 15 mile walk. A town of 6000 where all the pilgrims sat around at the cafés in the main square enjoying the first sunny afternoon in awhile. Tonight we are a staying in Agés, a town of 60 after an 18 mile walk. It is sunny and warm, but not much of a square, but there is cafe con leche, vino blanco and papas fritas!!!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Camino di Santiago-Day 9

The most delicious tapas!!!

Day 9 on the Camino and 3 miles from the town of Santo Domingo, Patti made us stop for water and a little food. Of course, this goes against the core of who I am which is to get to our destination and then eat and drink. So I stand anxiously vigilant eating my corn cakes and watching other pilgrims that we have passed earlier pass us by. 

Patti says I look like I am stalking my prey...

Camino do Santiago- May 2

385 miles to go...

Patti agreed to join me in a photo once every 100 miles. Here we are leaving the city of Longroño.

Having my favorite, a cafe con leche, on the road to Ventosa, Spain.

Sketching in the garden at Albergue San Santurnino in Ventosa while all of us pilgrims did laundry. Hard to sketch being so tired and slightly distracted by the blister developing on my baby toe...OUCH!!!