Tuesday, May 27, 2008

de astorga hasta siempre

the albergue last night

our group on top of the castillo
mario y yo
head in the clouds....

castle of the knight´s templar today in ponferrada- 11th century structure
enjoying a nice coffee after a long day on the camino
a view of a cold and wet mountain man at the highest point on the camino
a rest stop with kilometers to major areas included...jerusalem anyone?

view from the start this morning...

hey everyone,

we started in astorga two days ago and walked all day passing through some small villages along the way. I don´t have too much time on this today so I´ll try to give yáll a brief view. By the way I have been using poor grammar-punctuation due to the differences between the keyboards in Spain and the United States. Also, when you speak Spanish all day words can be melded together sometimes, so I will apologize ahead of time. We stopped and had snacks along the way, and the views have been incredible. Yesterday we went over the highest point on the camino de santiago at around 5,000 ft. It was an incredible view and we literally walked through the clouds for part of yesterday and also today. We arrived in Acebo yesterday in the afternoon. This village is little more than 200 ft of a main street with an albergue and a hostal. The guys stayed in an albergue with 18 other people while the girls got separate rooms. It was one of the most interesting stays that we have had up to this point. We really enjoyed the atmosphere of the albergue which included a bar and a dining room. It was definitely a packed house. Snoring was incredible-almost like a choir! I met several other peregrinos yesterday including a canadian woman, an irish man, and several spainards all with fascinating stories and experiences. The woman averages 32 km a day, while one the spainards was a man 68 years old! the weather yesterday was incrediblely cold. We had ice on our clothes from our sweat, and the mountain passes were incredible. Two days ago we stayed in another aldea that exhibited an incredible comunal feel. The greatest strength of the European culture (spain in particular) in my mind would have to be the emphasis on people and life rather than work and money. Today we started off early and were walking through clouds as we descended from the mountains until ponferrada. We got here round lunch time and have been site-seeing for several hours. tonight we are having a small class session then dinner (by the way, spain lunch is at 2 while dinner is at 9- not the best schedule for the peregrino who starts at 7 each morning). Every medium sized city that we have stayed in has been simply incredible. by the way- if you have any interest in doing this let me know! You don´t have to be young. We have been seeing pilgrims of all walks of life on the road...Overall the last few days have been fewer in the way of mileage with more severe changes in altitude. Sunday was around 14 miles, while yesterday was 10 and today was 12. Tomorrow we have a full day ahead of us and the day after will be another 19 mile day. the homeade orange juice is something that I have been drinking at every chance. Also as far as beverages the coffee here is truly incredible. I have to admit I have never liked coffee until I tried it in spain this summer. I´m going to have to buy myself a zumex machine to juice me some oranges every morning... feel free to pop me an email also to let me know how things are going on your end...


Connie Matthews said...

This is a great blog - I am Grace's mother and am so happy to get some details about the trip and some pictures. Thanks for doing it!

cojonesajones said...

Hey man, sounds like you're having a great time. It was an opportune time to start liking coffee. lol Are you speaking with native Spaniards much? Funny accents? Did y'all tour any wineries in Rioja? Are you going through Bilbao or Santander at any point? What have y'all been doing for lunch while on the trail?
Kelly and I drove to Dallas, then Palestine, then Livingston last weekend. Had a good visit with the relatives. We both wish we were in Spain right now....Have a great trip.