I heard an interesting Camino story today. There is a German woman who walks the Spanish route every year and she walks only to empty her mind. She leaves her family and buys a one-way ticket for France where she starts walking to Santiago de Compostela, and she walks until her head is clear. The nugget of her story is that she has never been to Santiago – she finishes what she needs to do before she gets there, and then she goes home. Talk about the journey and not the destination, right? Continue reading
My planned day of rest was well enjoyed with a leisurely morning, after which I strolled the cobblestone streets of Coimbra, with a population of about 160,000 that sits next to the Mondego River. The Capital of Portugal from 1145 to 1255, Coimbra has been a major University city since 1290 and it was fascinating to see the campus sit right next to old town. Lots of up and down walking with various cafes and shops tumbling on top of each other as the vertical streets seem to capture the essence of a stacked village. Continue reading
Spoke to my first pilgrim today. A French man, whose demeanour was quiet and sad. I saw him at the last two B&Bs, as we were the only two there, but didn’t speak with him til he came upon me, at a designated pilgrim stop, just north of Rabacal. We exchanged a bit of conversation, then wished each other a Bom Caminho, and he zoomed past. This small exchange helped me not feel so alone. Continue reading
Imagine yourself on a fairytale walk. For almost three hours all you see are dragonflies, lizards, and butterflies in over eight different colours. You’re walking on ochre coloured earth that is soft enough to give your step bounce, but not gooey to mudden your boots. All around you are100ft+ tall Eucalyptus trees keeping you well shaded, but allowing sun to stream in along the way.
As mentioned in a previous post, I dealt with some health issues on my first day. Yesterday evening I made the tough decision to not walk today. I didn’t want to risk getting more ill, and since it was another 30km+ distance, I hopped a ride to Tomar. After making my decision, it felt like a small failure, but it allowed me to have a good sleep and leisurely day.
I arrived into Tomar to 39 degrees and dropped my bags at the pensione. My room wasn’t ready, which I thought may be the case so I had prepared a day bag with (you guessed it) water, hat and sunscreen. I climbed way up to spend the afternoon at the Knights Templar Castle and Convent of Christ. Continue reading
I really had to write another post to mention the very special place that I am staying at: Lusitanus Equestrian Center in Golega, Portugal. My room is just a few feet away from the stables and I hear the horse sounds throughout the afternoon and evening. Even better is there many dogs, so I am in my heaven here. Continue reading
Today was an Epic first day on my Camino, with a several Angels and a great ‘ Universe’ moment, but I had a few health things come up. My chest cold had worsened and to be honest I almost didn’t walk today, but decided to try and push through. I only made it 24km of the 32km, as heatstroke came-a-knocking. But more on that later…
This picture from Portas do Sol, in Santarem points north, overlooking the Tejo River. Somewhere in the distance I’ll find Golega tomorrow afternoon. It’s over 30 degrees here and I have brought a little something with me from London – a head cold maximus. Continue reading
My camino journey starts in about a week from Santarem, Portugal to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. I’ll be walking 500km over a month and quite frankly, I think I’m a bit crazy. Continue reading
Really great accommodation in Positano
We loved the apartment we rented in Positano! Some of you have asked for more information, so here’s a short post with more details.
To start with, it may be helpful to describe how Michael and I decide on which vacation property we rent. In order of priority, we value safety and cleanliness first, then location, then amenities, then price and finally style/design/layout. Of course we sometimes re-prioritize for various reasons – if we have an early morning flight, then price and style goes to the bottom of the list and it’s all about Continue reading