1
Lisbon

Arrived to Lisbon after 15 hours of travel. \240My white canvas is ready to be painted on, with a one way ticket to jump \240fully into this adventure.

I came prepared with all the necessary rain gear and I needed it right from the the start. It was raining cats and dogs from the moment I got off the airplane. \240I was watching the weather and wondering how all this rain was going to treat me on the camino.

I got a good start in the city. \240I took a cab from the airport to the apartment I rented \240for two days. \240The location looked excellent on the internet and I hit it perfectly.

Great walking to \240many cool parts of the city. Arriving at 7 am allowed me time to drop off my bag, but I couldn’t check in till the afternoon.

Being in a foreign country in a foreign city takes a bit of adjusting... it was an easy spot to get started. \240So many pedestrian streets with no vehicles...impressive public transportation. Trolleys, buses, trains, metros and boat...that’s enough options to cut back on cars.

Walking in the rain got easy to adjust to since it came down in downpours and moments of billowy clouds passing by. \240Plenty of doorways to take a moment and watch it come down.. this cheap China made umbrellas flip upside and break after an afternoon of use..yes I bought one that got me through the day.

I was able to get into my apartment that looked out on a beautiful plaza ... fully furnished and comfortable.

Once I settled in, I wondered \240how I still had energy after a day of travel with not much sleep. \240These homeopathic jet lag pills actually worked.

I decided to take a 3 hour walking tour of the city to get my bearings. \240It was well worth the time and in the evening.. I was still not tired and wondered around some more.

Very comfortable walking at night alone... of course being mindful of my surroundings.

Had done a bit of investigating how I was going to begin my walk out of Lisbon. I was so surprised to see no one that I could find had any information... in France and Spain on my last trip, everyone was full of information on the camino. \240I did more research on the Internet on a camino blog and it appeared that walking out of Lisbon was not a good choice. \240It gets industrial and is not a pleasant walk. \240So I looked at my transport options and I can take a train to Azambuja which will be my beginning spot. \240I will be in the countryside ready to start walking on Friday.

In the bohemian part of the the city I saw a photograpgy exhibit that looked interesting, so took a walk back there this morning. \240It was called Reflections of the soul. \240Yangkang spent \24010 years collecting images of Tibet. \240The photos sent a wave of calmness to my soul. \240Glad I went back to see it.

Hmmm.. what was I going to today in the city..the countryside was calling me so I took a tour that I am so glad I did, to a place called Sintra. \240It was like walking back in time,such beauty visiting Peña Palace where king Ferdinand from Germany \240married a Portugues queen. \240Placed beautifully looking out over the countryside of Sintra.

Great to get the history from a wonderful tour guide,

We passed farming areas on the way out to the farthest western place on the continental European coast where the land meets the sea at Cabo de Roca.

After all those dynamic ions by the sea,we headed back to the city where I spotted \240a small restaurant for some wonderful seafood paella and a glass of wine. A great way to end the day.

Mini taxis

View from my room

Peña Palace

Delectable pastries

Best known \240pastry in Lisbon crema de nate

Street symmetry

Windy moment at Cabo de Boca

A view of Lisbon

Hot roasted chestnuts

Paella and vino

April 10th and 11th

2
R. Augusta 278-280, 1100-202 Lisboa, Portugal

Woke up early anticipating my journey to a new place,and how I was going to find my way to the metro to arrive in Azambuja.

Looked out my window and it was pouring so hard. Hmmm. \240Well I have terrific rain gear and boots so it is one big illusion thinking that the rain could deter me.

I did a trial run walking to the Fabrica de Nata for an espresso and another one of those \240delicious morsels with cinnamon sprinkled on top. \240They are heavenly, hot out of the oven.

It was actually beautiful walking in the rain. \240So I collected my pack and found that today I was wearing \240half of what was in my pack..silk long Johns, pants, rain pants, silk shirt another layer of a shirt, a light weight down jacket and rain coat. \240 That took the load off my back to comfortable \240light weight pack.

Walked \240 along the Tejo River till I found the Santa Apolónia metro station. \240No \240to figure out how to buy the ticket. \240After I found the place to buy a ticket, they said I had to go to the red machine to verify the ticket. \240Not having \240any command of the \240Portugues language is a bit challenging. I am always happy to find someone that speaks Spanish. Found the metro and kept my eyes \240out for the Azambuja stop.

Observing the 40 minute ride to Azambuja from Lisbon, I was happy about my decision to not walk from Lisbon \240this destination. \240It was very industrial and wouldn’t have made for a fun walk.

The place I booked for the night was in the country... so beautiful. \240The place is a third generation family vineyard. They turned the house into a B & B. \240Peaceful, fresh air, solitude and a light calming energy.

This is the back of the property where I am staying.

After a lovely lunch with fresh ranch cheese and salad and home made delicious tomato soup and chicken and rice I was more than satisfied as the meal of the day,

After that delicious meal I was ready for a walkabout to explore the surrounding area. \240I had the afternoon walk by myself on country roads. \240All I saw were \240cows and sheep and green rolling hills and breathing in that \240pure fresh air.

When I got in from the walk, it started pouring so hard.

The Portugues say this much rain in April is the “ new normal”.

Some beautiful Portugues floor tile

Tomorrow the walk begins...looks like it might be clear for my 20 mile walk to Santarém. \240I have learned.. might as well wear the rain coat since it seems to shower or pour \240everyday.

3
N3-3, 2050 Azambuja, Portugal

Last night started with a little anticipation of my first walking before falling sleep, it began to rain and hail. \240A deep breathe and faith that all would be exactly as it was suppose to be. \240I woke up early and they served me a lovely breakfast before I took off. The cook was so sweet and she offered to give me a ride to town since the inn was in the country, many miles from the beginning of the camino. When she dropped me off she said don’t take the country road, it might not be safe...I couldn’t let someone else’s fear hold me back on this beautiful walk ahead. She dropped me off and I chose the county road.

It was a peaceful and quiet walk that would lead me for many miles alone along \240the Rio Tejo.

From all that rain, I encountered many slushy, muddy spots.

Perfect metaphor to slow down and put one foot in front of the other. \240I actually had no choice... thank goodness for waterproof boots.

Perfect walking conditions. \240No rain and beautiful blue sky with billowy clouds all day. \240I ran into my first walking pilgrim from Germany. \240These country \240roads go on for miles and miles, with no one one there and some how they are maintained for walkers. \240Just when you are wondering if you missed a turn, the grace of God shows you a yellow arrow and you are on your way in the right direction. \240Sometimes you find altars where people have left a stone with a prayer.

All this rain has brought out so many flowering \240wildflowers and trees blossoming.

All was peaceful until one dog slipped under the fence of this large farm and than 5 little ones \240were right behind her barking like crazy and ready to bite my ankles.. I tried to negotiate with these little rascals saying any kudos for a \240farmer’s wife for \240so many years. \240Nope, \240it didn’t work. \240They chased me for a 1/4 \240a mile till they got to the end of their farm and then they slipped back under another part of the fence. \240Nothing like a little adrenaline to get you moving. \240Then another dog came along and he became my pal and walked a few miles with me under he disappeared.

Most of the walk was flat with endless ranches of vineyards and sheep and cows.

In the distance on the hill is the town of Santarém.

It was a steep uphill to an exquisite view of the valley and the river below..

After all that walking it sure feels good to have my feet up. I walked 18 miles today. Another full day of walking ahead tomorrow.

4
R. JoΓ£o Afonso 63, 2000-074 SantarΓ©m, Portugal

Santarem to Golegã

Leaving larger towns is always a challenge to find the path out

I took this road through the town early in the morning.. no one around.

One more tree lined road to \240the Porto del Sol..a beautiful park that looks out high above th city to the surrounding areas and the riverAlcorce..

I wandered through the park taking in so much beauty.

It took a while meandering through tight paths till I got on the road that would go for hours and hours through farm land not seeing a soul.

Ahh...after looking around for a while I found the pathway down the hill to the river.

Budding out grapes... then I hit parts that got so muddy. I had read there were alternative walking paths since the water floods so hard from the rains.

Vineyards irrigated by Mother Nature. That’s why no one is around. Can’t work in these muddy, wet fields.

Saw lots of solar power being used at the farms.

It got slippy and muddy at parts... sometime you gotta dive in... no way around. \240When I sunk in the mud, I was looking good next to the first vehicle I saw today trying to get through that hellacious muddy spot. \240He got out of his out pickup and turned the hubs and wasn’t moving too well. I got through easier. \240I got to a junction in the road and no sign which way to go. \240Usually with the grace of God, you see a yellow arrow... ahh I saw a yellow marker so I turned left. \240It looked like the person was tired that made the arrows and it looked more like and x.

The Camino is my teacher...the guy got through the mud and when he saw where I was walking he jumped out of the truck and told me to go the other way.

Having \240not seen a soul all day...grace was right there at the perfect moment to help me along my way... doubt? how can that thought arise when I have seen already, I am guided on this path? The mind is a tricky character. \240How to keep it quiet. \240Since I hadn’t gone very far, with a bt \240of trepidation I turned around and took the other path..

Alas there was an arrow. \240Don’t lose faith always keep going forward...

Than I came upon a cork orchard... of course with all the vineyards, someone has to grow them.

So many fields of mustard, I wonder \240if it is a big harvest crop here.

So many beautiful wildflowers... just a few from today.

A sign leading me on my way...and a perfect altar to leave a prayer.

I saw no one all day, except for when I passed through one little town.

This was the only one I saw carrying their pack on their back besides me. \240Wow on the Camino through Spain, there were so many pilgrims.. \240here there is almost no one.

One hour before I arrived in Golegã, I was walking along the river

And ran into a fellow walker. \240David was sitting on a bench having a snack and we were so happy to see one another. \240We had both walked alone all day. He was from Australia. \240He got greeted too by that pack of nippy dogs yesterday. \240It was behind us And we both had a good laugh.

Part of the last stretch..which seemed to go on and on... and the pack felt heavier..prayers for my grandchildren on \240the altar and the new one on her way.

Closer and closer to Golegã and such beauty. \240As I was arriving to town this car stopped and this man jumped out of his car with his partner. \240He introduced himself and told me his was the mayor and he was just at a meeting how to encourage pilgrims on the Camino and asked me to take a picture with him at the monument they just put in town for the Camino. He was kind and asked if he could put it on his Facebook page. \240I said yes but I am sure I was the raggedest looking pilgrim after my walk for 9 hour

I was thinking I would take a lighter day tomorrow. The jokes on me. \240My feet were really tired \240 today \240It’s another 19 mile day, hilly and not many towns in between...and it’s going to rain tomorrow. \240Tomorrow will take care of it’s self... now I going to \240some sleep.

5
Praça da República 41, 2300 Tomar, Portugal

Catching up after a few days... I had decided I wouldn’t \240create an itinerary for this trip so I could be in the moment and be more in touch with my mind, body and spirit... and yet not making plans can get you in trouble since places are limited unlike the Camino in Spain.

After hiking close to 40 miles with my 17 lb pack in 2 days, my body needed a \240day off. \240I was close to an interesting medieval town called Tomar, so I made that my rest day to \240enjoy the town and rest my feet.

The day I was planning to hike was a big extreme mountain bike race. \240It was more fun to watch them come soaked from head to toe in mud into the plaza that having them flying around me on the Camino

Coming into the town of Tomar \240is quite beautiful with the river meandering along the side of the town

The convent and castle sit on \240the top of the \240city. \240 Without a pack, it was a walk in the park.

The town of Tomar and the castle above.

Cobblestone walking path to the castle

I had not acquired hiking poles which was fine up until now. The Camino begins to get mountainous now.. over the hills and through the woods \240Most airlines don’t allow you to bring walking poles as carry on. \240I asked in town, since it was largest town since Lisbon.of they could suggest a place. \240Most stores were closed since it was Sunday, but I was fortunate that there was a sports store on the outskirts of town that I walked to and bought some poles and a day pack... \240There are so few villages in the 20 mile stretches and when you arrive all the homes are closed up.

Maybe these are country spots they come to from the city. \240I’ll have to ask.

An Australian I met on the Camino was waking the other day with a light pack. \240He told me he had found a service that moves your pack to the \240next place where \240he was staying each \240day . \240That sure sounded inviting..too much weight on your back can really cause some serious blistering on your feet. \240My enjoyment is long distance walking. \240The heavy pack changes the journey.

Rested from my day, I took off early in the morning. \240The early morning mist and coolness was so welcomed.

From town, \240I dropped right into the woods walking along the water for miles.

There are moments that I stop after each step... the solitude, the gifts and sounds of the wildlife and moments of total stillness...it takes your breathe away!

Long meandering trails through the forest... you just don’t know what you will find ahead.... the mystery of this journey is sweet and special.

And then before you know it, these small hamlets, farms appear as you are coming along the path.

Yeaterday was another long hike for 18 miles. \240I tried out walking with just my light pack and shipped my \240heavy one. \240That was a walk that ended up to be more relaxing and an exquisite day

The final road into the town

Great cheese that is a combination of goat and sheep cheese.

Looked like wild freesias

Old stone building coming into town

6
R. da Igreja Velha 130, 3250 AlvaiΓ‘zere, Portugal

Alvaiázerre to Ansião

Today was an 8 mile \240hike since there was no lodging available at the next spot 8 miles further down the road.

When I was walking in the woods the other day there were enormous trees with the lower part of their bark peeled back with a number 16 on them. I finally got to talk to a Portugues man that explained that the number 16 represented that the cork was harvested in 2016 and they had to wait 8 more years before it could be harvested again.

Leaving the town of Alvaiázere the top of the villages hills were filled \240wind power working away

So many peaceful moments

Beautiful textures on walls

And in nature

I have had a few comments that my pictures come in upside down or on their side. \240It doesn’t happen when I send the blog to myself. \240I hope you are good at headstands and laying on your side till the blog support helps me out.

7
R. Francisco de Lemos 9, 3150-142 Condeixa-a-Nova, Portugal

I was able to find a driver that would take my pack to Condeixa a Nova. \240We got to talking in Spanish. \240She was a real sweetheart that seemed to have all the time in the world to talk. \240I was so curious why most hamlets or towns I passed through, \240more often then not, were deserted. \240She told me that the Euro in Portugal cannot sustain a family. \240Most have left their homes to work in other countries. \240Her husband was in Switzerland the last 5 years working, while she stayed in this small town while her two children went to college.

It’s astounding how many beautiful homes are closed up or for sale.

Yesterday I walked for hours and hours along the meandering rio dos Mouros. \240The river grass was blooming the most magnificent while flowers. \240It took my breathe away every turn it took.

I layed in the grass by the river to take in the sounds... the river, the birds and the silence in between... not a soul around but myself.

Along the walk I saw what could have been a tree house for a pilgrim to sleep in over the river.

Leaving town, this placard is in \240honor of the apostle St. James, who was brutally beheaded in Jerusalem and later his body was taken to Santiago de Compostela where the cathedral was later built and where he was buried. This is the pilgrimage of St. James

This trip is a wonderful mixture of “eye candy” and a real opportunity to delve deeper into the soul to look and experience parts of myself I might not have noticed in my day to day life. \240I have experienced the mind doing it’s job, being so busy, every moment... just to stop that chatter and be in true silence has been a gift. \240Sometimes the sound of my hiking boots and poles have to stop just to experience the glory of silence, peace and to let only the sounds of Mother Nature be the OM in the moment.

The road took a sharp turn up the mountain.. up..up up it kept going until I I I came upon a bridge with a raging river below. The town that I was approaching was called Conimbriga.

It 1899 the largest and best Roman settlement was excavated.

After a yummy lemon gelato, I walked around the ruins.

These two amazing tiles pieces. \240This one was from the dining room of The house of Cantaber.

The polychromatic symmetry is beautiful.

This was all from the end of the second century/ beginning of the third.

Walking into the town of Condeixa-a Nova... the fields were covers with poppies.

The end of another great day.

Dinner’s are not served till 7:30 or 8:00 in the evening. \240A little late for a weary walker. \240Last night I stayed up and had a great meal of swordfish and veggies. \240It was fantastic!

8
Estr. Mina 5, 3040-109 Coimbra, Portugal

A few days have slipped by....

Getting up early to fuel my tank with some food before I take off for the day. \240Eating early isnt what I usually do but once the engine is running... hunger seems to disappear, so it’s good to have something before I leave.

I had some yogurt with goji, chia seeds and melon. \240After I sprinkled the goodies on it, it looked like a piece of art.

It looked like a bustling city after being in the woods...there again.. when you start wandering all these narrow, steep roads in the city of Coimbra, so much is deserted or closed up. \240I would have thought the city would have been different than the small towns.

My second day after a good night’s rest, \240I walked \240all over the city. \240They have an amazing university... some of the building are now museums. \240I took the tour and it was fascinating and the views over the city were great being on the top of town.

This was a math class room. \240Beautiful tile throughout the room.

An open courtyard of the university.

From there I was still wandering around and found their magnicient botanical gardens. \240What a treat to find such an expansive green zone in the city.

Since I have been a solitary pilgrim on the trip beside meeting David from Austrailia, there has been no hikers. \240And for that matter it sure seems like \240town after town have been deserted ... no kids in the streets...hard to image everyone has gone to different places for employment.

It would be a great film set for a deserted \240country... I am sure there are answers to this mystery \240that I haven’t figured out yet.

My last evening in Coimbra I want you to here some Fado music. \240It is the Portugues music to serenade the young girls. \240The musicians are always men. \240It is usually played with a Portugues guitar that has a sound \240between a guitar and a sitar

Traditional Portugues guitar

This was a gold filigree Portugues guitar. \240What a beauty! And usually accompanied with a classical guitar and a singer. \240I went to a concert in a small venue to hear the Fado music.. very romantic Portugues music.

The walk the next morning was \240a 16 mile hike, so I woke early and left at 7 in \240the morning. Getting out of the city started out ok...

And then I got lost.. darn it set me back close to an hour. \240You just have to turn the intuition channel upa bit louder to know when to turn back when it doesn’t feel right. \240When I came back over the bridge I saw 3 walkers ahead on the trail. \240I took a very deep breathe and was so relieved.

Passed vineyards

Sheep

Eucalyptus and pine forests and arrived in Mealhada. \240They had a note in the book, if you are a vegetarian you might want to avoid this town. \240It is known for its suckling pig.

Almost at my destination, check out this modified farm truck.

A rooster on the church steeple.

As life, good days and some that are just ok. \240I have walked through so much beauty, but today was 16 miles of asphalt roads and industry...I was so happy to get to my destination, slip into the tub and have a wonderful meal and wine from this part of Portugal.

So much wisteria blooming... to see and smell that after a very ok walking day was a gift.

And a great local wine

And a great dinner. \240Feeling so very blessed,

9
Coimbra

Águeda a Porto

This was the first sight of morning mist in Águeda as I was getting ready to leave for Porto.

The river running along the town of Águeda.

Some recycled materials making this wall art.

Having walked through industry the day before, I made a decision I wouldn’t do that again, even if it meant jumping a part of the Camino. \240The woods and the mountains have brought me so much joy and peace....I was sticking to that!

When my 40 minute ride took me to Porto and I saw sprawling cities and industry I was sure I had made a good decision.

Hmmm there I was in Porto..what to do....I wandered and wandered and found so many sweet spots, great meals, music in the street

And than I went down this road that crossed over on this bridge... if you have any fear of heights, it not the place to be...I have never been fond of heights but when I started walking..omg...the wind picked up...know ones hand to hold... no one to get whinny to....actually a glass of wine might have \240relaxed me....I went for it in both directions..and faced some of my fears.

Didn’t look too bad getting started...

The views were spectacular of the city and the Rio Douro-river of gold.

I came across the river and stopped in a cafe to take a breathe...and I fell into another honey hole at the National Theatre. \240Once a day they have a behind the scenes tour of this spectacular theater. \240The original one had burned down. \240This one was exquisite and emblessed with so much beauty, built and went through changes since the 20’s.

Inside walking to the different balconies in the theater

44 pulley systems to change sets.

The wardrobe changing room.

The ceiling in the theater

Inside the theater

The theater...it was a great, intimate tour with 6 people.

Floor tiles in a restaurant.

Churches covered in magnificent Portugues tile work

The train station filled with walls of amazing tile

Amazing pipe organ inside the church

Ended the day going on a tour of a port cellar that was recommended to me

Calem Port.

Learned something ...all vineyards grown for producing port are grown in the Douro area of Portugal, not Porto. \240It’s located in the northeastern part of Portugal.

This s a picture of the steep hillsides where the grapes are grown to produce Port.

There’s white, ruby, tawny and rose ports

Sampled several...the 10 year aged tawny was outstanding

There is magic in the Douro Valley. Although the weather conditions are extreme- 9 months of winter and 3 months of hell weather, it still produces fabulous ports.

End of a great two days in the city...watching the river ferry passing by.

Back to the forest and mountains tomorrow for an 18 mile walk.

10
R. da Ponte de Ave 1005, 4485-389 Macieira da Maia, Portugal

Time slips away ....one day melts into the other....I was so grateful to get back in the countryside....that beauty feeds my soul...

I walked from Vilarinho to Barcelos. That early morning light, taking in all the sounds of the river, the birds, and other moments of pure silence took my breathe away.

And the fabulous scent and beauty of wysteria that is in full bloom. \240

With a shadow of me taking it all in.

Walls lined with rocks just where people set their intention of prayers on the Camino.

Just taking in each moment... blue skies, quiet moments when the mind rests....ahhhhh what a relief.....

And than the excitment that I was \240arriving in Barcelos. \240This destination had a special meaning for me.

This is \240a project that has been evolving and unfolding over many years and has now come alive.

Portugal was chosen as the place where the Stupa would be built with 60 tons of granite and than shipped to Mexico to be constructed in El Pescadero. \240This is a project to benefit all sentient beings.

If you haven’t been touched by the project yet, please check out enlightenmentstupa.org

I was able to visit the factory where \240it has been worked on for the last 9 months. It is now complete and I was able to get some glimpses of it and have a fabulous tour from Ricardo around the factory and take in the history of the Stupas they have built.

This is a carved piece of the Stupa.

All palletized and ready to be shipped.

Granite masters at work

One part of the factory where monuments are made

This is a picture of a completed Stupa which will look the same as the one to be constructed in Pescadero Mexico

This is one they built for a place in France

It was a fabulous morning with Ricardo’s open heart.

I had booked a casa rural in the country.

It turned out to be an old hacienda from the 17th century. \240The grounds were beautiful.

What a place to rest after a fabulous day in Barcelos.

11
Braga

Barcelos to Ponte de Lima

This is a combination of two days.

This would have been a 21 mile hike... with rain in the forecast, I decided to divide it between two days.

It was a beautiful quiet walk in the \240country

This was a small family farm and the older woman that walked in the field came to get what she needed for her animals

Old churches in ever town.

When I arrived at this B and B it was such a treat. \240The owner wanted to support all pilgrims on the Camino that stopped at his place. \240He reduced his price to 50.00. \240It was a quiet 5 Kms off the main Camino road, but because it was a shorter day it seemed like a great to be out in the country. \240The place was beautiful and all the guests dined together from Austraiia, Germany, Norway and Canada. \240We all clicked had a great dinner sharing stories and drinking some wonderful portugues wine.

Evening at the B and B.

The next morning was a bit longer than yesterday and it was beginning to shower when I left..good rain gear and gortex boots made the day wonderful. \240It never came down so hard that you had t find shelter. \240It did rain for most of the trip.

The Camino is picking up with more hikers and bikers...they come and than \240they disappear and you are alone again.

There are so many calla Lily’s blooming on over the roads. \240Actually down below in the forest to the left where I was walking was an eucalyptus forest with the floor covered with calla Lily’s it was gorgeous.

And than you come upon these old stone homes.

And the countryside with vineyards beginning to bud out.

The typical portugues homes are mostly white, well constructed with red tile roofs...the house sprinkle along the countryside and so lush and green!

An old pilgrim monument

Sheep

And moist green forests.

Winding roads to new suprises

An older women with her flock of sheep greeting me.

Hillsides of color

Vineyards

And the day began to clear and I was coming into the village of Ponte de Lima..

The water flowing on the right side of the river was filled with stacked large rocks to \240help \240slow down the \240flow.

Into the eye of the calla lilies.

Coming into Ponte Lima with market stalls set up selling fresh breads,meats and cheeses... you could feel there was a vitality about this place.

It was a picture postcard moment. \240A stunning welcome to the town.

I took a walk over the bridge before sunset to find these beautiful gardens

12
PlΓ‘tanos, 4990-150 Pte. de Lima, Portugal

Ponte de Lima to Rubiães.

This was one of my favorite walks... I was on country roads and in the mountains all days.

Once a month, Ponte de Lima has a big market day selling fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs...I got to take it all in on my way out of town.

And a carved pilgrim at the other end of the bridge leaving town -bom caminho.

Went straight into the woods....

Until it changed to dirt roads and vineyards

And many altars of prayer stones all along the walk.

Than the road started climbing in the \240eucalyptus forests with beautiful water flowing down below the path

A beautiful stone home tucked on the side of the river.

Exquisite countryside

More wild calla lilies.

And than the biggest elevation climb on the trip...higher and higher I climbed to the top of the tree line...

Going up

And up

And up

Up \240trails with creeks \240running \240through it

Till I reached the top...at the top of the tree line.

It was an awesome hike I and ran into some guys from the Netherlands. \240One could speak a little English and he took my phone and said.. ok,cleopatra .. .pose.

He made me laugh.

Taking the sheep home..

The town I arrived was not where I thought I had booked for the night. \240It was way out in the country. \240I was lucky to find a clean and cozy hostel that ended up being my destination for the day.

13
HOTEL AXIS PONTE DE LIMA GOLF RESORT

Surprises, lessons, beauty and laughter.

Last night when I \240thought I was going to stay in an \240ok place ...it had gifts that you wouldn’t find \240in a hotel. Hostels or albergues, as they call them here, have upgraded what they offer at a very reasonable price. \240The surprise was that they offered a ride to anyone staying there to the only restaurant in town. \240When it was 2 more miles away, that was a gift. \240I was in the van with not one person speaking English...so I sat down to have dinner alone. \240Another carload of people came on the second trip and we had a great evening. \2402 sisters \240from Guatemala and their 28 year son/nephew who,were biking through Spain, two ladies from Germany and 2 women traveling from Canada. \240A fabulous evening of great conversations and lots of laughs. \240 The night before was another round table of travelers... I was sharing parts of my last travel on the Camino Frances and how it deeply changed my life...later in the conversation when I was talking to Alex, the 28 yr old and I told him I had lived in Mexico, his mouth dropped open. \240I thought maybe he had a connection to Logan and Diego... he said...a lady was telling your story last night where Alex stayed the night after I left. \240The world gets smaller....and somehow we are all connected

The pilgrim \240portions \240of food are so huge and yet after a full day of walking: it is easy to consume it all. \240There are always great soups. \240It’s a perfect paleo diet if you can keep away from all this delicious bread.

This morning was really crisp. \24040 degrees.All the layers have kept me comfortable but I never thought of bringing gloves. \240I was dreaming about \240gloves walking this morning. Plenty of medieval \240churches and a place to have a coffee are usually the only options between walks....thought is a powerful tool to manifesting what we might need or want. \240Out of nowhere appears a store...with a little bit of everything, bread, seeds, gardening tools, food... I walked around and looked for gloves...couldn’t find any. \240I asked the lady as I was stocking up on water for the day,and she said “come with me.” \240She dug through a few boxes and walla, she pulled out a pair of gloves and put them on my hands. If Anyone ever notices me forgetting \240that we can manifest whatever we want or need...you have my permission to give me a slapping.

Now that my hands were toasty, the beauty of the walk because more comfortable.

Morning peace and quiet with a golden glow through the trees...

And then \240I began hearing the sound of rushing water and I turned the corner to this incredible spot of waterfalls and crystal clear water....

When I arrived to the next town I walked past this really interesting tree. \240Looks like someone has been training it in \240the shape of a bird’s nest on top. \240I wish i could have got the history of that tree.

I met a real interesting guy named Emilio who was a journalist from Seville. \240We had some good talks till this young kids said to check out this guy from Belgium who was making up some yummy drinks...we parted ways and I went to check out these drinks.

What a treat on a day to have a fresh smoothie on the road.

So many beautiful plants flowering this time of the year.. the camila bushes are tall as trees here

Camilia petals and the river flowing by

Ahhh .. and than I arrive in Valença... the last city before crossing \240the river into Spain.

This is the huge fortress called the Fortaleza.. I walked the perimeter of it. \240It overlooks the River Minho and looks out to Spain. \240Spain and Portugal had there times of conflict and both Spain and Portugal on either side of the river had their military defensive establishments.

Looking over to Tui, Spain.

Walked across the bridge to Spain. \240No customs, no border crossing, no passport to show... and there I was...Imagine a world like without borders?

The River Minho is separating the town of Valença in Portugul with the medieval town of Tui in Spain.

The vibe in the town was joyful, celebratory and lots of Spaniards strolling the \240streets, in cafes and happy.

This was quite the entrance to this church.

The end of another fabulous day.

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PO-2502, 20, 36710 Tui, Pontevedra, Spain

I walk on these paths at times with my eyes closed....there is a symphony of sounds.

I am getting a big green fix.

Another sprinkling of houses in a hillside community.

Granite is prolific in Spain...bridges, houses,walkways, monuments....

Over the mountains..there has been a lot. of climbs and descents... hiking poles have been a lifesaver to the knees.

.

And than back into the morning beauty.

Beautiful roofline, granite home.

Monuments to the Camino

More beauty

Prayers along the way.

A monument to women who have been abused.

Some people have scarecrows and some people have pilgrims.

Another forest to enchant me.

Greener and greener.

One day old baby lamb

Wow wow.. clean water, beauty all around

Vineyards with granite trellises

The other day I saw the tree that looked like the top was a birds nest. \240This is where it starts to \240be trained.

Spain takes advantage of wind power. \240And they are so eco conscious..recycling is part of their way of life and the country is so clean... no littering.

Frogs appearing out of murky water

Planting potatoes

Gas powered farm vehicle

Arriving into Pontevedra. \240People come from all over to heal their bodies with the healing thermal springs.

The place I stayed had a giant thermal pool. \240It felt great after a day of walking

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Hotel Compostela

After being in the woods, I came to this opening that surely was a change of scenery. \240 Three beautiful paintings that an artist donated to the Camino. \240What a welcome suprise

My favorite color and place

The scallop shell is the traditional emblem of St James. \240And most pilgrims will carry one on their bags. \240In Mediviel times the Christians would collect a scallop shell as a sign of \240having made the journey.

This \240wall was in honor of a young man that died biking on the Camino.

Traditionally as you come into Spain you see these all over. \240They were used to store animal feed and \240food that was harvested, where animals couldn’t get into the storage spot.

Now what is this.... a hippo or a pig or a cross.

A family farm getting prepped for planting.

These trees are over 100 years old. \240They are called platanos...but they are not banana trees.

This group of Spanish women were wonderful to be behind. \240They chanted the whole time I was behind them...

Chanting sure keeps the mind off of thought....I got into their energy current and had a beautful time resting my mind.

I didn’t realize I had booked a rural home in the country which added a few more miles to my day... after 14 miles I was ready for a good meal and to put my feet up for a while...it was worth the extra walking and the beauty of the place and its surroundings.

And then a cold beer, octopus

And calamari....it got a 10 on my chart of delicious food.

The lighting created a magical moment walking this morning

The last of my forest walking on this trip.

I arrived to Santiago de Compostela

This is the church of Compostela where the \240the relics of St. James are. \2401000’s and 1000’s of pilgrims come to the church every day. There are so many walking caminos in Spain- camino frances, camino,Portugues, coastal Camino, camino primitivo. \240They all lead to Compostela. The magic is that each person, from all parts of the world, all have their own reason why they have come to do this walk....you feel the one heart of love and brotherhood when everyone converges into Compostela.

Every hair on my arms stood up feeling that precious moment of connection.

More yummy food

A view inside the church.

I finished my 300 mile journey...it was so much more than miles and photos... it gave me many days to reflect on my life, to release myself of doubting , to trust my intuition always, to give thanks and remain in gratitude for every family and friend who has supported me on my path in life, how fortunate to have eyes to see to take in all this amazing beauty, ears to hear the symphony of sounds \240I experienced on this trip, to taste all the wonderful food and to breath in the freshness of everyday. Gratitude for a strong healthy body to make this journey....a heart that opened wider.....