Possessed – Oct. 15, 2022

  • Portuguese Camino: Day 32 Padrón to Santiago
  • Distance: 15.9 miles / Total 439.7 miles / 707km
  • Time: 6 hours 30
  • Ascent: 1,630’ Decent: 796’
  • Weather: 60 degrees overcast, misting, light rain

As though we are possessed by magical strength, we storm towards Santiago. Pack mentally keeps the pace up. Feet pain and café con letche urges are ignored. We just want to be there.

Street walkers.
First light in grape vineyard.
Motion.
This ain’t no walk in the woods.
One become two, two became three, three became five, five became seven, seven became eight…the pack. Carlos Cambra Esparza photographer

Zombie – Oct. 14, 2022

  • Portuguese Camino: Day 31 / Caldas de Reis to Padrón
  • Distance: 12 miles / Total 423.8miles
  • Time: 6 hours 30 minutes
  • Ascent: 855’ Decent: 889’
  • Weather: 66-70 overcast

We look like zombies one trailing behind the other. Weariness is prevalent. The closeness of Santiago is at hand. Tired pilgrims are chomping at the bit.

Zombies on march.
Church cemetery, the perfect backdrop for zombies.
Original pilgrim zombie?
Predawn beauty.

Jammed Up – Oct. 13, 2022

  • Portuguese Camino: Day 30/ Pontevedra to Caldas de Reis
  • Distance: 14 miles / Total 411.8 miles
  • Time: 6 hours 45 minutes
  • Ascent: 893’ Decent: 875’
  • Weather: 60-77 overcast

All jammed up and ready to go. Yes, that’s jam on buttered toast and café con lethe for breakfast eaten AFTER two hours of walking. Carbs, fats, sugar, and caffeine fueling four more hours of walking. It’s impossible to walk on a fuller tummy.

Palm tree plaza by church.
Orange stone house.
Art installation of hats.
Floor tile…so Escher.

Countless Churches – Oct. 12, 2022

  • Portuguese Camino: Day 29 / Redondela to Pontevedra
  • Distance: 13.7 miles / Total 397.8 miles
  • Time: 6 hours 30 minutes
  • Ascent: 1,380’ Decent: 1,345’ Weather: 60-77 blue skies

With countless churches dating back centuries, it is easy to become saturated in their opulence. For me, there is too much to see. My quiet times in these revered places of worship are distracted by much artistry.

Santuario de la Virgen Peregrina
Church
Church
Church
Natural

Concrete Hills – Oct. 12, 2022

  • Portuguese Camino: Day 28 / Redondela to Pontevedra
  • Distance: 13.7 miles / Total 397.8 miles
  • Time: 6 hours 30 minutes
  • Ascent: 1,380’ Decent: 1,345’
  • Weather: 60-77 blue skies

An elegant stone arch bridge lead to charming steep hills. It is as though the hills were dipped in concrete. Stone houses were stacked on top. Not a patch of earth to be seen. On slopes like these, earth would have long since wash away. It is well worth the climb.

Stone arched bridge
Pilgrims crossing.
Concrete hill tops.
Steep hills
Not a patch of earth.

Undies – Oct. 12, 2022

  • Portuguese Camino: Day 29 / Redondela to Pontevedra
  • Distance: 13.7 miles / Total 397.8 miles
  • Time: 6 hours 30 minutes
  • Ascent: 1,380’ Decent: 1,345’
  • Weather: 60-77 blue skies

Not conforming to 8:45am daylight, I’m off at 6:00am in the dark. There are always others walking with headlights shining too. Joyously I ran into a UK couple. Their son travels to meet them today. He has new underwear for each parent. They are rapturous over the prospect of this gift. Perhaps I should have had children.

7:00am, pilgrims on the move.
The full moon at dawn.
Like the Lee Child’s fictional character Jack Reacher, they’ll toss their undies in a bin. Perhaps they will travel with only a toothbrush as does Reacher.
Leaf

Flowers – Oct. 11, 2022

  • Portuguese Camino: Day 28 / Vigo Baja to Redondela
  • Distance: 9.6 miles / Total 384.1 miles
  • Time: 6 hours 30 minutes
  • Ascent: 738’ Decent: 766’
  • Weather: 60-78 foggy becoming blue skies

Flowers blooming in mid-October deserve more recognition.

A favorite.
My favorite come in different colors.
A Mefi flower, a purple flower.
A first.
A first gets two photos.

Jonah – Oct. 11, 2022

  • Portuguese Camino: Day 28 / Vigo Baja to Redondela
  • Distance: 9.6 miles / Total 384.1 miles
  • Time: 6 hours 30 minutes
  • Ascent: 738’ Decent: 766’
  • Weather: 60-78 foggy becoming blue skies

As Jonah is swallowed by a fish, I am swallowed by the clouds. What a calming effect a lack of clarity has.

Swallowed by clouds.
Swallowed by clouds.
Swallowed by clouds.
Jonah’s fish?