Postscript: FEET

Having walked, now, two different Caminos, and having blisters and foot issues on each, I’ve learned a few things…

From my experience, the factors that make a difference are (1) weight carried, (2) footwear, (3) practices while walking.

Weight Carried: Pack Light… I’ll be posting a list of the contents of my pack after the camino… During the camino, I had to reduce the weight I was carrying… General guidelines for maximum weight: 10% of your body weight…

As a side note: BOOTS are usually much heavier than TRAIL RUNNING SHOES!

Footwear: On each of the Caminos that I’ve walked, I started out wearing boots… regular hiking boots… Hmmm… well, FEET SWEAT! and both heat and moisture build up in the boots… increasing the possibility of blisters… On my recent camino, I went to six different sporting goods stores in Salamanca to buy TRAIL RUNNING SHOES… In Spain, people are smaller than I am… the maximum size that stores carry is 48… I wear a 49 or 50, depending on the shoe manufacturer… Well, TRAIL RUNNING SHOES breath better, release the heat, and even if they get wet from rain, dry quickly… especially if you stuff newspaper in them overnight… When I walk my next camino (Probably the Camino Del Norte!), I will only wear TRAIL RUNNING SHOES!

Practices while walking: subtext: SOCKS! I carry two pairs of socks for each day… and it is important to stop for a break for you feet occasionally! So, take the shoes off… and the socks off… cool your feet down… and CHANGE SOCKS! Although Clean socks are desired, what is most important: DRY SOCKS… even DIRTY DRY SOCKS… will always be better than moist or socks!

Also, subtext: IF YOU FEEL ANY PAIN while walking: especially HOT SPOTS, stop and deal with your feet! If you are feeling any pain, it is important to deal with it immediately because not dealing with the pain will only make the issues worse!

I also like this book: FIXING YOUR FEET by John Vonhof (It’s in its 5th edition as of 2011!

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Postscript: Types of Peregrinos

Buen Camino

While walking the Camino De Santiago – the Via De La Plata, Sanabrés & Finisterre ways, I met a gentleman named Umberto!

Umberto asserted that there are three types of peregrinos… I embellish these:

I believe there are FOUR (maybe FIVE) mutually exclusive types of Peregrinos:

1) Peregrinos – the true peregrinos that walk the FULL way from a long distance, often to include the walk to Finisterre & Muxia.

2) Vacat-i-grinos – Typically European, walking for their vacation time only, and the full way spread over several years.

3) Bicycl-i-grinos – These are the people that do the Camino on their bicycles… perhaps the full way, but in such a compressed timeframe that the full benefit of spiritual connection, the rhythm of walking, real connection and camaraderie with other peregrinos, is lost to the speed of cycling.

4) Tour-i-grinos – These are the FRAUDS… usually driving around with their backpacks in the trunk of the car and taking advantage of the inexpensive lodging offered by the albergues and refugios.

5) Wanna-be-grino – The person that would like to do a camino and will do a camino… someday! (you’ll get there!)

Then, there are TWO (or Three) additional types of peregrinos to be aware of:

1) Vino-grinos – These are the wine drinkers… Both Tinto and Blanco… and includes the Cerveza-grinos, as well!

2) Repeat-i-grinos – These are the “-grinos” that have caught the Jacobes-Virus and are repeating a Camino, whether they are repeating the same way or not… For Example, I am now a Repeat-i-grino, having walked both the Camino Frances, Camino Via-De-La Plata, Camino Sanabres, and twice walked the Camino Finisterre!  Repeat-i-grinos may also be referred to as Mult-i-grinos!

3) Snor-i-grinos – The singing sleepers… Don’t forget the earplugs!

If you have others, do comment!

NOTE: These are intended to be offered merely in fun and in jest!  A kidding about, if you will, without judgments!  All of these “Types of Peregrinos” are interpretations of the types of experience that will be acquired.

Categories: Camino de Santiago, Camino Finisterre, Sanabres, VDLP, Via De La Plata | 9 Comments

Day 47 Bus Return to Santiago

May 31st.  High Temperature: 65 degrees.  Bus trip from Finisterre to Santiago!

This was a blessed and joyful ending for me on this Camino… The bonfire and the sunset of the night before, combined with significant reflective time over the past 46 days+, has created an opportunity and sense of fulfillment!  The future is certainly bright, though the essence is that of being engaged and involved in the present moment!

The journey is not over… I have the jacobes virus, my my dear friends Warren and Eveline (Swiss) referred to it… Thoughts of walking the Camino Del Norte – through Irun, Bilbao, Santander… – are beckoning! :)  The only way to calm the virus is to return!

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The group waiting for the 8:20 AM Bus in Finisterre! The bus was FULL!

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On the way to the center, coming from the bus station!

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with Anna from Finland!

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Curious Peregrino!

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Bob lives in the Owens valley in California! He’s 88 years old and has just completed a Camino – not his first!

He had been in the US Army from 1943-1946, in the US Army Air Forces… the US Air Force did not exist yet!

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Bob, Kent Smith (South Africa & Damien’s Dad), and I had dinner at Casa Manolo, Plaza de Cervantes, Santiago!

The food and menu del dia was the best I’ve had on this Camino!

Categories: Camino de Santiago, Camino Finisterre | 1 Comment

Day 46 Muxia to Fisterra

May 30th.  High Temperature: 64 degrees.  Route: 29 km or about 18 miles.

This day was dry for the most part! I mostly walked alone… though, I did see some other pilgrims!

In order to receive the certificate from the Municipal Albergue in Finisterre, it is necessary to either photograph the bridge near Lires and/or get the pilgrims Sello (Stamp) at the bar in Lires!

The routes is mostly up/down coastal hills with the usual elevation changes not more than 200 meters!  The walking was pleasant!

What differentiates this day from others is that pilgrims are walking in both directions: Some from Finisterre on the way to Muxia… the others on the was from Muxia to Finisterre…

At one point, I was walking up a hill making stops on the way up… A pilgrim on the way down asked, “Tough to climb?”  I responded, “No, just different than going down the hill!”  His wife somewhat concurred, “Yes, going downhill is tougher on my knees!” … Just different!  All part of the journey!

The day ended with a walk to the beach with a friend, Patricia (England/Australia)!  At the beach, all the requisite bathing in the ocean, burning items of clothing, and watching the sunset were taking place! Thanks to the acquaintance with Matt, Damien, and Lindsey, we joined the group of 20/30 year olds for a fun bonfire filled evening… then, left after dark to return for a late dinner! The evening was completely fulfilling!

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Leaving Muxia!

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Cruce!

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The bridge near Lires!

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The bar/restaurant in Lires!

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Beautiful scene! Love the horses & flowers!

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The Cruce in Finisterre!

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Finisterre harbor!

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Young Lindsey (New Zealand) and Damien (South Africa).  I met Damien’s dad on the VDLP some weeks earlier and would be seeing his dad again in Santiago when returned!

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The Sunset!

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The Bonfire & the burning of some clothes!

Categories: Camino de Santiago, Camino Finisterre | 2 Comments

Day 45 Olveiroa to Muxia

May 29th.  High Temperature: 54 degrees.  Route: 32.5 km or about 20.2 miles.

In 2011, I walked from Olveiroa to Finisterre… Today, I walked to Muxia…

It rained almost all of the day… luckily, there were cafe’s about every 5 Km! :) I stopped at virtually every one!

On the way out of the puebla Hospital (the last cafe for 15 km for those going to Finisterre) I walked with Filipe & Viktor (Portugal).

Most of the day, though, I walked alone… it was a day of reflection!

Finally arriving in Muxia, I decided to stay in a new (private) Albergue!  Muxia, though, was as quite and solemn as it was the last time I was here… After a brief stop at the market, and a trip to the Municipal Albergue for the Muxia certificate, I settled down for dinner: canned soup heated in the Albergue microwave!

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I got a great room (only two occupants) in Olveiroa! My bunkmate Trong, Vietnamese, emigrated to Germany in the 70′s!

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A rocky way! These are difficult to navigate, in that it is important to be aware acutely of foot placement!

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Leaving Hospital!

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Here, a decision is made! Muxia!  Well, I actually knew for days before! But this is where the split occurs! :)

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Filipe (Portugal)!

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Filipe & Viktor (Portugal) taking a smoke break!  They are relaxed and take many breaks!

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Beautiful!

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An albergue in San Martin de Ozon (I believe)!

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My first view of the sea!

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Entering into Muxia! We enter on a wooded path paved from the beach!

Categories: Camino de Santiago, Camino Finisterre | Leave a comment

Day 44 Negreira to Olveiroa

May 28th.  High Temperature: 54 degrees.  Route: 33.4 km or about 20.8 miles.

This day, the weather was wet…and dry… there were showers off and on… but not a true spanish rain…

A real spanish rain occurs where it rains so hard the drops of rain bounce high… up the legs of your pants!  It is also a near spanish rain when the wind is blowing so hard the rain flies sideways!

There is a popular coffee/lunch stop in Vilaserio… and of course I stopped!  There, I met Francesco… a german with an italian father…

In Olveiroa I think I got the last bunk available in the Municipal albergue… there was a new albergue & restaurant… and the meal was great there! The postre was Queso con Membrillo… Excellent!

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Leaving Negreira!

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The view of the fog and rain behind!

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The path! Into the rain ahead!

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Pilgrims on the way!

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Dinner with Annette, Francisco, and Steffen!  We all had the Queso con Membrillo for postre!

Categories: Camino de Santiago, Camino Finisterre | 1 Comment

Day 43 Santiago to Negreira

May 27th.  High Temperature: 62 degrees.  Route: 21 km or about 13.1 miles.

This day was relatively short… and beautiful along the way!

I met Anna from Finland along the way… a bright young woman that is a social worker helping expectant and recent mothers in Finland!  She had completed the Camino Frances last year and returned now to walk the Camino Finisterre!

I stayed this night in a new Albergue “Lua” in Negreira, more in the center of town and near the markets! It was great!

While there, I met Roger… for a second time… the first was coming out of Salamanca some weeks earlier!  We connected then, and reconnected to share a few beers this day!  He would return to Santiago in the morning, as I would continue on the Olveiroa!

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The back into Santiago!

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The shell theme on an entry along the way!

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A local spanish farmer! “Mucho trabajo!”

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The river crossing at Ponte Maceira.

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A statue of a pilgrim in Negreira.

 

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Day 42 Santiaguino to Santiago

May 26th.  High Temperature: 58 degrees.  Route: 16.3 km or about 10.2 miles.

Last evening, I was able to reconnect with my friend, Charlotte, from Canada! We first met on April 14th, the first night of walking the Via de la Plata, and last saw each other in Casar de Caceres at about day 13!  It was a joy to reconnect! She intended not to enter Santiago, in preference for a hotel on the outskirts… not to be found… After sharing camino experience, there’s an unexplainable camaraderie and connection!

It’s always exciting for me to be going to Santiago! Today was different for me, though, because entering from the Camino Sanabres has an approach into Santiago that avoids the industrial areas, freeways, and traffic congestion.  The approach is really pleasant!

Upon arrival, besides my initial visit to  the main square in front of the Cathedral, I received a great deal of information from the Office de Turismo de Galicia! This included recommendations for hostels near the way to Finisterre-Muxia.  Though I was not able to obtain lodging at the first albergue, the hospitalero at the albergue was able to help me: he found me a private room nearby for a mere 15 euro per night! Much less than any hotel, and just as comfortable!

For me, this in not the end, but a new beginning for another four days, three days on the way to Muxia, followed by a day to Finisterre!

In Finisterre, it is traditional for many pilgrims to watch the sunset, burn an item of clothing, and to bath in the ocean!

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The sign outside the albergue at Santiaguino!

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The view of the path ahead as I left early… I could see the full moon!

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and I had to zoom all the way in to get the moon in a photo! LOL! blurrr!

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The path was quite and the morning continued! Originally appearing to be clear, the sky slowly gathered cloud cover… that typical Galician grey…

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One of my first views of Santiago, from only about 2 km away, as I descended on “Rua do Sar.”

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A group of five that stayed in Santiaguino the night before, including Boja!

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The Cathedral of Santiago!  An awesome sight!

Categories: Camino de Santiago, Sanabres | 4 Comments

Day 41 Laxe to Santiaguino

May 25th.  High Temperature: 63 degrees.  Route: 34.4 km or about 21.4 miles.

This day started with some apprehension!  There are some hostals in Bandeira, at about 18 km.  We simply got there way too early.  The challenge was more interesting because the guidebook would take us to Ponte Ulla (pronounced “Ooooh Yaaaeh”)!  There were supposedly some hotels there… but way more expensive than expected… so the consequence was to walk further, which included a 250 meter climb over 4 km… making for a LONG day…

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The start of the day included a cafe with Monica, Rosalia, and Filipe!

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Interesting window & content!

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An awesome rail bridge, built old-school!

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Rock pathways… these are typical, on occasion, and very difficult to walk over… Concentration is a must, foot placement is required, and can be challenging to navigate…

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The cross of saint james!

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Cow in a structure.  Appears to be chained in place at a feed station.  After I took the photo, the cow struggled to its knees and attempted to lay down… I found it disturbing…

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The old church in Santiaguino!

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Day 40 Cea to Laxe

May 24th.  High Temperature: 63 degrees.  Route: 35 km or about 21.8 miles.

In the guidebook, the route could be either 35km over what is depicted as having 21 km of road or 40.5 km on “regular” camino path.

The reality is that the shorter route was not all roadway… and it missed the monastery in Oseira… We chose the shorter route…

The weather was pleasant for the day and the day was long…

Laxe, an offshoot to Lalin, was merely a blip in the road… The albergue was relatively new and clean, but the cucina empty… Consequently, the eating options were limited… We chose to go to a bar/restaurant that was next to a gas station… The food was merely adequate, but the price included being picked up and returned to the albergue by car, as well as having dinner include coffee and an aperitif afterwards.

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Sculptures! Awesome!

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An historic church!

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The road goes on!

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Bright YELLOW!

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Woman plants and tends the field!

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The road does change… love the forested areas and the shade!

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These crosses take over the fences, especially when the fences are near the AutoPista!

Categories: Camino de Santiago, Sanabres | Leave a comment

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