Only 100 to Go... Really?

We are rocking this Camino. Officially today we have less than 100 miles to walk. This sounds like a lot, but we have already walked 380 miles to put it in perspective. We're rolling now with our new Camino family which makes things even better. We have our Camino parents, Dean and Tracy, and our Camino sister Kaitlin (all formerly of the Utah 4, but the fellowship was broken. Although it may be reunited tomorrow, stay tuned for the next 4 hour movie installment.) We also have the quirky Uncle Undies, aka Crocodile Undies, aka Andy from Australia. He had some underwear issues a few days back, as in losing his underwear in the washing and going commando for a few days. We also have long lost Aunt Sherry, a newly discovered addition to the family.

I think the last installment we were still on the Meseta which is now a distant memory. We actually crested the highest point on the Camino at 1515 meters, which rose directly out of the Meseta. We were near the top as the sun rose and we saw the deep red ball of the sun rise through the haze of 100 miles of the Meseta. We stood there and thought: as far as you can see across the plains, we walked that.

At the top of that peak was the famous Iron Cross where you drop your rock (which has become a 20 ft high pile of rocks) to in load your burden. We dropped our rocks and had our moment and were glad we missed all the tourist busses that descend on the place later in the day. Then it was down to the business of walking down off the mount and into the Bierzo region.

Ponferrada was an awesome town in which we treated ourselves to a real hotel room! Our first private room in 4 weeks! Private shower! And the Discovery Channel inexplicably in English. All the show titles and ads were in Spanish but How Its Made commentary was totally in English. Now I know all about horseradish, buttons, and screwdrivers. But really it was pretty amazing to take a shower and dry off with a towel that I didn't have to pack up right away. It was hard going back into an albergue the next night.

We also hit up the bars American style (i.e. before 11pm) to drink wine and beer and eat tapas. Its pretty awesome that when you order a drink here, they give you a free tapa. Its not like peanuts or something either. You get ham, mussels, croquettes, cheeses, little sandwiches, whatever you want really. Also, when you order food for dinner you get free wine with your food. I'm trying to work out how I can lure a Spaniard into a feedback loop of giving me both free drinks and food. Anyways we spent a great night with our Camino family dinking and eating, pub crawling Ponferrada.

That was 2 days ago. The last two days we've had some great walks through the Bierzo with endless vegetable fields and vineyards. Today we climbed up out of the Bierzo at the end of the day to finish our hike. 17 miles total and 2000 ft elevation to finish off the day. I think I should be much more tired than I am. But I was able to enjoy the end of the day without much pain, drinking wine on the main "street" of Laguna de Castilla. We watched 4 herds of cattle be led through town on this street by farmers. Then we had some tripe soup for dinner! Yum.

Tomorrow will be a real test though. We've planned a monster because we're going to try to get to Santiago a day early and spend 2 days there. So tomorrow is going to be a 23 mile day with some serious elevation change, up and down. Right now it seems daunting, but I'm sure once its done, it won't seem to be that amazing of a feat. This seems to be the theme of our Camino. Doubting our abilities, then surprising ourselves when we complete whatever we were fretting about. I think if I'm changed in any way by this Camino, it will be the confidence that I can do much more than I believe I can.


  1. Can't wait to see the next installment of pictures! So inspiring! Good luck you two!

  2. You are rocking it!!! Can't wait to see you oh so soon!!!