These boots are made for walking

Spain loves American music, everywhere you go, it’s American music playing. So this morning I’m doing my ritual , I wrap my feet with cast gauze, then surgical tape. Rub the toes generously with Vaseline , 2 pairs of socks, then the boots. Pack the pack with good balance, make sure I have either the rain gear or sun gear readily available. Guide book, lip balm and cash handy . Check the weather if you have wifi, grab a conleche in a local bar, sometimes a bocadillo. And you go. Everyday, same thing, no matter where.
Castile ye Leon, richest province in Spain .Very large city. Beautiful, rich in history, I didn’t tour the cathedral , but have several photos of the exterior . My favorite was San Marco and the Panthene, extraordinary. I hope my photos do it justice. It was in the movie” where , Martin Sheen tells his friends they can get rooms on him” .
I also got to experience a farmers market. Couldn’t resist so I bought in very small amounts of cheese, salami, dried fruit, nuts. For me it was very difficult, I wanted everything. I took photos of the meat market. We will never see these in the USA . Hooves, ears, tails, tongues . Quite a spectacle .
I lost my friends in Carrion, so Leon was hard for me. I was anxious to get moving, semi healed blisters and all. And off I went.

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I say mesata, you say senda…………

I’m in what they say is the hardest stage of the Camino. Between Carrion and Leon, the meseta. I loved the few days of sunshine. The road and travels where difficult. The towns or villages far and few. The road is an original roman road, the Senda. mostly used for irrigation. I’m fantasying Ben Hur with horses and chariot. The land is flat with miles of farm land, more wheat. The path between Sahagun and Leon has new tree saplings planted every few feet, so someday the pilgrims can walk in shade.Occasional Romanesque churches, monuments and silos. I came across wild lavender fields, if I got hungry, I could build a fire and cook snails. Artichokes, onions and potato . I can live off the land here. I even picked a few hermit homes that could be fixed up nicely, dried lavender hanging in the doorway, with Donkey to boot. Jamon curing , Manchego aging. What more would a girl need, Living happily ever after with Ben Hur.
I’ve been very much alone ,for the first time. Most pilgrims took the bus in Carrion and skip this stage. Only the diehards continued. Im questioning , why I didn’t. Could be my heart was telling me to go for it, my feet screaming don’t. I’m proud of what I accomplished so far.
I haven’t seen an American in days, actually I haven’t seen people very much except at the hostels and very few speak English. My mind is certainly exhausted from just trying to get what I need by lack of communication . The solitude is also exhausting, but for me necessary and I somehow appreciated. I still haven’t reached an epiphany ,or feel anymore spiritual. If god was speaking to me. It was through food preparation and fantasies. I came across a meditation ring, you see a lot of them in remote areas. It works like this. You pick up a rock ,start on the outer circle , ask a question to the universe, start walking till you get to the center, put down your rock and you will know your answer. I tried it, felt disappointed ,then turned around and got my answer. Wow, the universe does speak to me.
My next stop is Leon 18 km , I can’t wait. More necessary R&R , and hopefully see some familiar faces, although I’m sure they are days ahead of me. I’ve passed the halfway point and guide book says the best is yet to come in Galicia. It considers itself independent of Spain, the land is similar to the Highlands, very Celtic and Gallic is spoken. I just finished the Diane Galbaldon highlander series, which took place in the Highlands during the 1700’s, so I’m looking forward to the scenery, plus of course Seafood and more great wines. However it is back in mountains, my knee is aching, just thinking about it. Someone took a liking to my black weather pants off the cloths line. Hope they liked them as much as i did. So I’m down to just my rain cover pants and shorts. Possible new purchase in Leon.
Mesata, Senda let’s call the whole thing off. For a day or 2 at least. Buen Camino

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“Too much sanity may be madness — and maddest of all: to see life as it is, and not as it should be!” ― Dale Wasserman, Man of La Mancha

Today I’m in Carrion, in the middle of the Mesata. Most Pilgrims skip this section and jump straight to Leon. It’s miles and miles of mild rolling hills to very flat farm land. Almost all wheat. I can see snow capped mountains way in the distance, it doesn’t seem real, almost painted there. Beautiful. Very little shade and unbelievable but clear blue skies and very warm. I personally love this stage the best. 1) no rain. 2) sunshine. There is a god!
Last I left you , I was in Burgos. I was having a major pity party. After an injured knee and major blister, 16 days of straight rain and freezing, I was seriously questioning my sanity .
After 2 days in a hotel, and tending to my feet . Everything changed.
I’m a foodie and I happened to be in Spain’s # 1 city of food. The best restaurants and Tapas bars. And lucky me, I had a hotel on the street that housed most of them. I most have gained 20lbs, because I had to try all of it. Now let me explain this, when you
look like a Florence green mitchellin tire guy, your not very approachable, right.
The weather warmed 😊no more green jacket. So there I was , all along.
I had 2 great nights in Burgos, I want to go back, eat , dance more and spend a shitload of money and buy cloths. Great city.
But , Again I said good by to my new friends and off I went.
Everything changed for me in Burgos, I got my confidence back. I had to acknowledge my self worth. I didn’t want to quit, I knew I could finish this trail of discovery,
I’ve walked over 46 km in 2 days, sun is shining, I have stripped down to shorts and my sexy razor back shirt, hiking boots. I’m in the land of LaMancha, Don Quixcote land. Rolling hills with 1000 windmills. Fields of wheat and poppy. Fresh Manchego cheese. Heaven. Someday ask me about my encounter with the shepherd and his flock of sheep.
I also found friends I lost in Logronos, so life is good.
To dream the impossible dream,
To fight the unbeatable foe,
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go;
To right the unrightable wrong.

To love, pure and chaste, from afar,
To try, when your arms are too weary,
To reach the unreachable star!
Buen Camino

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Ex Malo Bolum

“Out of bad comes good”. The Camino is suppose to help us to reflect . We all come here thinking, we hope to find something. Some spiritual, some enlightenment, some love . The one thing in everyone of us , we are all searching for something. None are obvious. And until that question is asked and it almost always is ” why are you on the Camino”?
My answer is ” I have to learn ,how to not let my heart be broken. Since childhood.
“I have to learn ,out of bad comes good. It always does. I have to learn to follow my heart and not lead with it. I have to learn to trust myself. Be honest with myself. I invest everything into a relationship , for what? I need to learn to invest in me.
I honestly don’t know if finding god will help me. I don’t know ,if this Camino is going to help me find answers. I do know, this is crazy, and enduring, and strenuous, and a challenge. Physically and emotionally. This is not a vacation . I am determined to see this thru to Santiago , possibly Finistere. Yes my feet and knees hurt. However , I am blessed with this opportunity to challenge myself and a will do it to the end. Who gets this chance in a life time. I am 1/3 thru, I’ve walked almost 300 km in 14 days. WOW!!! That’s like walking to Ft Lauderdale. Holy Shit!! Have I learned anything yet ? Not a thing about myself, I’m still suffering. Nothing spiritual no enlightenment thus far. Possibly patience. I love Spanish Wines. And the Tapas are to die for. I’m learning about Spanish history , I really do enjoy the churches , I do love seating thru the masses, i am amazed at the architect . I’m learning that we Americans are spoiled rotten little brats, we take everything for granted. We don’t understand the importance in value or values. It is a different world over here. We should all have this opportunity to see the difference.
I can’t thank you all enough for following me thru this journey , it means a lot to read your comments and your words of encouragement. I do feel truly blessed and lucky . Continue to hang with me, like I said I’m only 1/3 thru and hell , who knows maybe a light will shine down on me and give me guidance . Maybe I’ll learn I had the answer all along.

“What disasters may come
Whatever it may be
At the end of the age
It will land you and me
What tragedy may bring
Whatever may fall
At the end of the world
You’ll still belong”

I promised the penis song, it’s not Monty Pythons, it’s just freaking funny.

http://m.youtube.com/#the penis song

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Nobody expects the Spanish Inquesition

Last I left you was in San Domingo. Lovely city with tremendous amount of Spanish history. This particular saint was kicked out of the ministry because he was illiterate, so he became a hermit, leaving in the hills. I don’t have pics, but the hill side is full of these old historical caves that were at one point lived in. St Dominic was intimately linked because he dedicated his life to this town and the pilgrims who passes thru by building the roads and bridges. I’m not sure who was more honored in this particular town, him because of his namesake, or the cock in the cathedral.
From there it was 24km to Belorado this was rolling hills of I think barley, and yellow flowers,which could possibly be canola oil plants, no one to ask. It was 7 hours of complete solitude. Right before Belorado it was along a very busy highway about 8 km, scary at times. Somewhere in there I went thru what I call Spain’s twight light zone, it was a moderne town with probably 2000 new condos, a beautiful golf course, kids play ground, swimming pool. All immaculately kept. OK, not a single, car,dog, cat,human, nothing , weird, weird, right out of 1960 twight light zone movie. Really freaky. So less then 2 km I’m in Villamayor, abandoned medieval village dating back to 14th century, start of the Spanish Inquisition, where they literally hung people if you didn’t convert to cathicalisim , I think in this town every person was hung. Only ruins remain. So I’m thirsty and across the busy highway is a hotel/restaraunt. Off the Camino path. I venture anyway. It’s kind upscale, higher, great wine list, menu looks extrodunary. So I go in. The man behind the counter comes running out to shoe me away, now remember, I Iook like the fluorescent green mithcelin tire guy, because its still freaking cold. And I’m a pilgrim. ( I guess perceived as a transient). And he did not want my kind in his restaraunt. Long story short again. I sat anyway, pissed him off, damn it I was hungrey and was not about to pass up what was to be my best meal in Spain so far. We eventually became good buds, I had a great meal and we became good friends. I wanted to mail home some of his Spanish hams he had hanging from his ceiling curing. My kinda place. So on to Belorado.
Found a cute small hostel, 48 beds, but no wifi, and very cold. I just slept.
On to San Jun de Ortega 24 km. this was literally in the asshole of Spain, I don’t know how else to discribe it. Horrible dirty, filthy, I curled up in my silk sheet and cloths I had on, slept till the sun was coming up and ran out of there. Awful place.
On to Burgos, 28 km. the sun peaked thru the clouds, I got a shot of the city with sun rays shining thru. That was my one spiritual moment, I said hallaloha !
I came down from over 1000m all down hill into Burgos, more fields, came across an ancient burial ground of the earliest known human beings. Anyway there was some type of celebration amount the locals , couldn’t quite crasp it, me being a foreigner, I was still curious, so I ventured. Spent most of an hour, looking, because I didn’t understand the writing. I was drawn to a book once read to me called” clan of the cave bears” and really think that this celebration, exhibite could be about the two extinction of human mankind in this place. St Juan de Ortega( Spain’s asshole) just over the ridge to Spain’s jewel, Burgos over 2000 years ago. The scope of history in this place is overwhelming.
So here I am in Burgos. Forced by a huge blister to take another rest day.
I know everyone knows Monty python skits . Remember the penis song”, that one will be tomorrow’s post.
Massive amounts of pics to follow.

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The legends of Santo Domingo

The legend of the Hen. The daughter of an inn keeper took a fancy to a young boy. He dismissed her advances so in anger she put a silver goblet in his bag and accused him of steal . He was sentenced to be hanged. His parents where unaware of this happening and left. When they went back they tried to convince the sheriff of his innocence. The sheriff told them that he was as dead as the hen on his dinner plate, when the hen stood up and crowed. The boy was pardoned and the hen is now a permanent symbol in this cathedral.
The church was build 1040, it is the most amazing church I have ever seen. It’s Also the burial tomb for Saint Domingo. I could not stop taking pictures, every intricate detail was amazing. From the free masons architectural designs of the church itself to the woodworkers design of the choirs pews, art work, sculptures, stain glass. The gold and silver in each alter, even the elaborate chicken coop that still houses the famous hen. I can’t describe it enough so I hope my photos will give an idea.
The hostel I stayed at last night was Cisterciense also built in 1040, run by nuns. 180 beds and no heat. The only saving grace was huge fireplace in the Hall. Everyone sat around the fire to get warm and many stories told, the nuns even entertained us with song, I made lots of friends and had alot of fun.

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Back on the trail after a day of R and R

Tuesday, day 10. I’m in Najero East of Santo Domingo. I’m about 120 miles into my 500 mile trek. After my 1 day of R&R my knee is ready ( I hope) . Thanks to texting and my friend Melanie, I was about to get from the Farmacia pain medication for my rodillo, 500 mil of naproxen. Brandy told me to deep massage on upper thigh and ice it. Thank you my friends, it worked and I think I can go on.
My rest day was in a beautiful Hotel Los Augustinos in Haro, an old monastery built in 1020, that just amazes me . I did the wine tour at Muga Vineyard all in Spanish (didn’t understand a word) called my wine rep , Candice, and ordered a case of Prada and Torro, fantastic wines soon to be available at the coffeehouse. I really didn’t want to leave the Big bed and bathtub. But I have to go on. The forecast is more rain, possible sun Tommorrow. Our climb is 745 m over Ciruenta and 22 k to Santo Domingo.
I read this in my guide book, ” Yesterday is history, tommorrow a mystery and today a gift-that is why it is called the present”!

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