Barcelona

Spent one night on the train then three in Barcelona. The train employee booked me a schedule that I never would have made without the help of some amazing strangers! I had three transfers. One was only ten minutes between trains the second six! Not much time when you don’t know the stations or the platform numbers! The last transfer was at a separate train station in Madrid. The booking agent told me it was a 30 minute walk. I had an hour between trains so I figured no problem but when I looked online it was a two hour walk (20-30 minute taxi ride)! I felt like I was practicing for the amazing race!

Barcelona is an interesting city! They definitely embrace graffiti and diversity! The Festival of Sant Joan was going on so lots of activity and fireworks all day and night! There’s a lot to see and do here but I have just focused on the Gaudí museums, Sagrada Família, Picasso Museum, beach and walking around.

I was having a hard time leaving my shoes, but it would be silly not too. I took them with me this morning and sat on a bench and set them down by the trash bin and walked into the market for ten minutes. When I came out they were gone and it made me happy to think someone else may be getting some use out of them.

I will be flying home early in the morning. Thanks so much for traveling with me! Your support has meant more than you will ever know!!

Porto

Spent 3 days and nights exploring Porto Portugal. It felt weird to be in a bus to get here then in a taxi. I was going to take a bus to the beach until someone told me it was too far to walk, then I remembered that I like to walk. Porto is a lovely and historic city! I can only imagine how amazing it was when the tiled buildings were new!

I’m taking the night train to Barcelona with three separate connections and no yellow arrows. Wish me luck!! I do have a bunk in the sleeper car for the 8 hour stretch so that will be a new experience for me. The last few nights have been nice but quiet. Even though there are Facebook messages I miss my Camino friends already. I have been walking all over in my sandals but have not left my Camino shoes yet. It’s hard to leave such a comfortable reliable friend!

Not-walking

Yesterday was my first day of not working. I left my walking poles at the hostel for someone else as I didn’t want to try to bring them home on the plane. I left my poncho there too as it was quite wet and I thought that when it dried out it would be a good poncho for someone else. I said goodbye to Finisterre and bought a bus ticket to Santiago. While waiting for the bus a woman walked up to me and asked if I was Sheryl. She had been following my blog. She had been walking the Portuguese route and has walked the Camino a couple times before. Norma and I took a selfie and had a wonderful conversation on the way to Santiago. I spent the afternoon wandering around and saying goodbye to Santiago and then rode the bus to Porto where I am indulging myself in a 34 euro room to myself. The first in five weeks. The taxi driver told me that I was in a good area but that it was residential and a 3k walk to city center. I told him I was used to working 25K a day and that it has a Jacuzzi. Had a lovely conversation on the bus with a young woman from Ireland (Siobhan) who had walked the Portuguese route as well. Of course she had met Norma. The Camino is like that.

Day 3 of 3

I’ve been enjoying my Camino so much that I was toying with walking along the coast tomorrow but after walking 20k in wind and rain I decided that Finisterre is a good place to stop. The scenery would’ve been incredible if it wasn’t for the weather but that didn’t stop me from sitting on a rock, in the rain, listening to the ocean and smelling the ocean and watching the ocean. I love the ocean. I walked some extra today so 40k total. My longest day of the Camino. Yes. It is time to stop! I got fantastic news just as I reached the zero marker that I have a new great niece! How perfect is that… I was standing in the fog and rain crying! The pictures are not great but they capture the day.

Day 2 of 3

Walked about 34k today (21 miles). I think it was my longest day on the Camino, although tomorrow will be about the same. I could have broken it up into 4 days instead of 3 but there were not real logical breaks. My shoes are wearing out. They have another day in them but they will be staying in Spain. It was overcast and cool today so another great day to walk. The medieval wall pictures are from Negreira last night and the rest are on the way to Oveiroa.

Day 1 of 3 Finisterre

Left Santiago about 6:30 am for a short 22k day to Negreira. You can walk to Finisterre in 3 or 4 days. If I do 3 it will mean two long ones, so will see. Was delighted to have Ting-an catch up with me. We walked together all day, had the pilgrim meal and are staying together at Carmen Albergue. It was nice to see a familiar face as the rest are new today.

Day 32

Made it to Santiago! I feel like I should be all philosophical but I cannot do that concisely. It was definitely about the journey and not the destination for me. I am not the person I was a month ago. As I walked into Santiago I was greeted by the group of young people whose cheerful faces I will miss (Erin, Seaghan, Bearnard, etc…)! The young man that took my picture by the cathedral wanted a selfie with me… I told him he did a good job getting the whole cathedral in my picture and he said “yes… in South Korea we are good at knowing which angle to take a picture “. I plan to catch up with Michoel (probably right here in the long line to get my Compestella). My trip isn’t over, and I will post about the ending, but today is the day I reached my goal.