About Me

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NOMADIC LIFESTYLE, EARTH, United States
After getting my first passport in 2006 and traveling to climb Kilimanjaro in Tanzania my life changed. I began the process of getting rid of all my possessions and traveling the world. Traveling to over 110 countries and all 7 continents, hostels have been my home. This "new life" has taught me what is important and it was NOT accumulating money or possessions. Traveling is the best education. I hope my blog will encourage others to travel. My World Tattoo was a way for me to express my PASSION FOR TRAVEL.

SPAIN, CAMINO DE SANTIAGO, The French Way

August 23, 2015. (THE WAY OF ST. JAMES, THE FRENCH WAY)

THE WAY OF ST. JAMES, THE FRENCH WAY IS CALLED THE FRENCH WAY AS IT ORIGINIATES IN ST.JEAN PIED de PORT, FRANCE. Here we register for the Camino and get maps and instructions. There is only 1 day of hiking in France across the Pyrenes and the remainder will be across Spain.

Unlike most hikers, I allocated 2 nights here. Not sure why, just did. I leave tomorrow on one of my most physical journeys hiking the 484 miles in hopefully 30 days or less. Most hiking plans lay out 32-35 days to complete but I am assuming I will hike a little quicker. Bought a cheap flight from Santiago so I must make it in time.
















August 24, 2015

DAY (1) ST. JEAN PIED DE PORT TO RONCESVALLES (27.1 KILOMETERS)

Hiked 27 kilometers (about 17 miles) from St. Jean Pied de Port, France across the Pyrenees Mountains to Roncavelles, Spain. Not gonna lie, was not a walk in the park especially going up for over 5 hours. Walking down very painful in the knees. But amazingly beautiful and enjoyed the solitude and inner peace even though hundreds of other hikers. Just plan to hike alone. As my FB friend, Samantha Hussey, who just finished the Camino in past few days said, " it is both an outward and inward journey."





















August 25, 2015
DAY 2  RONCESSVALLE TO LARRASONA (18.9 MILES)

Harder than expected, probably due to soreness and number of miles walked.


August 26, 2015
DAY 3  LARASOANA TO ZARIQUIEGUI (16 MILES)

Hiked about 16 miles today and it is getting a little easier but still 7.5 hours walking. Passed through Pamplona but no bulls were running in the streets. lol















August 27, 2015
DAY 4   ZARIQUIEGUI TO ESTELLA (35.5 KM OR 21 MILES)

Did not plan it but set a new personal best with over 21 miles in about 9 hours. Was going to quit at 2 pm but clouds appeared and I got got reinvigorated. I have to make up 2 complete days on the Camino to catch my cheap flight and made up 1 day over the past 4. Yeah. Really good day. Will post pics if I don't fall asleep. Hiking straight up tomorrow.





















August 28, 2015
DAY 5   ESTELLA TO TORRES DEL RIO (29 KM OR 18 MILES)

Leave a little earlier this morning (6:30 am). The day was not as hard as anticipated but it was hot at noon with no clouds and 92 degrees. No shade on the path made it a little tougher. Fortunately I kept going with only a few 5 minute breaks and arrived in Torres del Rio about 1:30 pm. My legs have almost adjusted to the rigorous daily workout I have put them through. I hope to settle in around 25 kilometers (15 miles) within the next week and will be able to cruise then. Lol  There are MANY who have done this trek several times. Seems there is something addicting to the hike. Also many, not me unfortunately, have their bags sent to the next hostel. I can't even imagine hiking without this 16 pound backpack tugging on my shoulders. Tugging is actually too kind a word, more like hammering on my shoulders. My backpack is less than most. SOME even take buses to next town after taking a rest day. Just doesn't seem right to me but everyone has their own journey, I guess. 










August 29, 2015
DAY 6   TORRES DEL RIO TO NAVARETTE (30 KM, 18 MILES)

Did not plan walking 30 K again but at 1 pm, there was still life in my legs and a horizon calling my name. Now I actually think it was saying " hey dumbass come on and walk some more" instead of my name. Lol  it was so hot after 12:00 pm and a little funny there was shower 15 minutes after arriving at the hostel. I seiously plan on slowing down now. Seriously.















August 30, 2015
DAY 7   NAVARETTE TO CIRUENA (28.9 KM, 18 MILES)


Did not plan walking 30 K again but at 1 pm, there was still life in my legs and a horizon calling my name. Now I actually think it was saying " hey dumbass come on and walk some more" instead of my name. Lol  it was so hot after 12:00 pm and a little funny there was shower 15 minutes after arriving at the hostel. I seiously plan on slowing down now. Seriously.





















August 31, 2015
DAY 8    CIRUENA TO BELODARO (27.9 KM, 17.3 MILES)

Left about 6:30 again and it is always beautiful walking for about 30 minutes with mostly moonlight and ocasional flashlight to make sure I am on the right trail. The paths are really well marked and "almost" impossible to get lost. The locals are always willing to help if you need it. I arrived at my destination around 1:30 pm today and found a nice hostel BUT sit outside for a few minutes deliberating on whether to walk a couple extra miles. It was cloudy but there was chance of afternoon thunderstorms. Decided it was enough, checked in and showered, then watched the torrential downpour outside. Hot shower, cold beer and being dry outweigh soaking wet anytime. Did I mention the cold beer is only $1 always. Figured out a few days ago that really good wine at $3 a bottle was not a good thing for someone hiking a lot.












September 1, 2015
DAY 9  BELODARO TO ATAPUERCA (30.2 KM, 18 MILES)

30.2 kilometers or 18 miles. Was going to stop at previous town but hostel was still closed so keep walking. Started at 6:25 am and got there about 1:30 pm. I see there are some artist doing the Camino as once again the sunflowers caught my attention. One said no pain, the other no gain. Lol drizzle almost the entire day but better than scorching sun. Weather has dropped dramatically from 80's at night to 40's. Hiking temps now between 50-70. Nice.











September 2, 2015
DAY 10  ATAPUERCA TO TARDAJOS (31.2 KM, 19 MILES) know walking distance each day according to our map.

Not a pretty hiking day as went through the industrial city of Burgos which took forever. I realize now that I do not take enough breaks as my high ankles are in pain. But 14 hours of rest and I am good again. Supposedly hiking for an then resting 10 minutes is what is recommended. I hiked 7.5 hours today with a 15 minute lunch and another 6 minute rest stop. I feel like Forest Gump when he started running. Lol  guess when I get "tired" I will quit. Hahaha  I needed to get at least 2 days ahead of the 34 day proposed schedule and now I am almost 3 days ahead after 10 days.  The problem is albergues don't open until 1 pm so might as well walk. I can rest next life.

The Clam Shell at the bottom is the symbol for the Camino De Santiago and represents a hand with fingers showing the help that pilgrims offer on their journey.








September 3, 2015
DAY 11 TARDAJOS TO CASTROJERIZ (30.2 KM, 19 MILES)

Not a pretty hiking day as went through the industrial city of Burgos which took forever. I realize now that I do not take enough breaks as my high ankles are in pain. But 14 hours of rest and I am good again. Supposedly hiking for an then resting 10 minutes is what is recommended. I hiked 7.5 hours today with a 15 minute lunch and another 6 minute rest stop. I feel like Forest Gump when he started running. Lol  guess when I get "tired" I will quit. Hahaha  I needed to get at least 2 days ahead of the 34 day proposed schedule and now I am almost 3 days ahead after 10 days.  The problem is albergues don't open until 1 pm so might as well walk. I can rest next life.

The Clam Shell at the bottom is the symbol for the Camino De Santiago and represents a hand with fingers showing the help that pilgrims offer on their journey.





















September 4, 2015
DAY12  CASTROJERIZ TO FROMISTA

Good weather and another tiring walk but really enjoy the solitude and the challenge. As I pass others or others pass me,  there is a determination in each of us to get to that next town. This trip can be done in as many days as you choose but most seem to push themselves, to see what they can achieve.

Well accidentally erased todays pics from my camera so that's that. Oh well, I saw it and that is what is important. Lol


September 5, 2015
DAY 13  FROMISTA TO CARRION (20.2 KM, 12.5 MILES)

44 degrees when I left about 30 minutes before sunrise. 25 mph winds made it worse. So glad I lost my previous jackets as the new one has a hood which has saved me. Temps are much lower than projected and we have to go high in mountains two more times. Forced me to abandon the "sleep liner" as my only form of warmth. Bought a lightweight ( will not seem lightweight after carrying another 2.5 weeks) sleeping bag. Now have to find room in my backpack or tie on outside. Better than freezing. Slept in my jacket last night. Lol Carrion is most beautiful place I have visited, other than St. Jean, so far. 








September 6, 2015
DAY 14  CARRION TO LEDIGOS (23 KM, 14 MILES)

Had planned on walking 3 more kilometers today but saw an Albergue (hostel) that had a private room for $15. Hmmm private room $15 or dorm with 32 people for $8. I splurged. Lol  i also am still having problems with my rt. high ankle area. Been hurting for about 8-9 days so that's not good. Hope a little extra rest will help and hope to stay away from 30k hikes now that I am 2 days ahead of schedule. No swelling yet so that is good. Everyone is hobbling so not a big deal. This is an amazing adventure BUT very little fun involved. Don't think Pilgrimages were supposed to be fun. Hard to get excited about waking up at 6am and realizing you have to walk for next 7 hours over and over and over. 

The Good News is I am almost halfway to Santiago. The Bad News is I am only about half the way to Santiago. "And that's about all I have to say about that."  Forest Gump  


September 7, 2015
DAY 15  LEDIGOS TO BERCIANOS (27.7 KM, 17 MILES)

Enjoyed my private room last night but also had to make up the extra 2 miles I skipped.


September 8, 2015
DAY 16 BERCIANOS TO MANSILLA de las MULAS (27 KM, 17 MILES)

Really nice Albergue in Mansillas but horrible wifi, probably because 60 people trying to get on.


September 9, 2015
DAY 17  MANSILLA TO LEON (20.4 KM, 12.5 MILES)

Pretty easy day and mostly pain free until I quit walking. Big city. The work on this Cathedral began in 1205 and only took 100 years to complete.








September 10, 2015
DAY 18 LEON TO VILLAR MAZARIFE (20 KM, 12.5 MILES)

Only walked about 5 hours today as it was a planned short day but boring. I realized I am not 2 days ahead of schedule but 3 days and not sure how to handle it. Either slow down or find something to do in Santiago. My flight to Seville is on the 25th. I am also including photos of "shelters" previous pilgrims used. Most were initially caves dug into the side if hills. These are scattered along the Camino.

Things to Note:
(1) I have noticed some are walking part of the day and catching a taxi to the next town. Not a lot but a few.

(2) Many are sending their bags by a designated taxi to their next destination and only carrying a small day pack for $5 per trip. That would make it so much easier but add $140 to the trip. 

(3) Bikers seem to have it so much easier. 










September 11, 2015
DAY 19   VILLAR MAZARIFE TO SANTIBANEZ (16.8 KM, 10.5 MILES)

Shortest day so far. It was either 16.8 k or 31 k so I chose the shorter, especially since I am 3 days ahead of schedule. Many others stopped here also but when I see others continue, it makes me feel lazy. Lol  but my feet are thanking me. 










September 12, 2015
DAY 20   SANTIBANEZ TO FONCEBADON (38.6 KM, 24 MILES)

Insanity raised its ugly head today. Rested after 2 short previous days and pain free for 1st time in last 2.5 weeks, I planned on another relatively easy 20 k or 12.5 mile day because I am still 2.5 days ahead of schedule. That was the plan. But NO, that would be too easy and the smart thing to do. After reaching my initial destination I felt so good I decided 5 more kilometers would be fine. Then another 5 kilometers. Then I arrive at a beautiful village with lots of my Camino friends drinking beer at a pub about 2 pm inviting me to stay. My feet kept walking, they were possessed. Lol  I continued on hoping there would be a point where I could stop. The next village was 8km or about 2 hours. I could make that. As I got about 30 minutes out of town I noticed the mountains getting closer. The last 2 hours of my 9 hour hike was all UPHILL. Now I remember why the previous town was circled. To rest before the climb. I now realize today was just about pushing limits. Hope I am through with that. Hahaha














September 13, 2015
DAY 21  FONCEBADON TO MOLINASECA (20.4 KM, 12.5 MILES)

Cannot believe my legs would not hurt after walking 24 miles yesterday. I felt great. Must have been the wine. Jajaja  but it was cold and there was a heavy mist for a few hours then light rain. But the scenery the rain caused was beautiful and made it all worthwhile.  




















September 14, 2015
DAY 22   MOLINASECA TO CACABELOS (23.4 KM, 14.5 MILES)

Another dreary day but rain held off. Rumors of a lot of rain tomorrow. I stayed at the Municipal Albergue (hostel) that is connected to a beautiful church. Rooms are bazaar but only 2 beds in each room and no bunk beds, thank God. And there wifi which is nice. Also cleaned my clothes with a washing machine. Only 2nd time in 22 days. Usually wash by hand, then hang on a line. Walked by a beautiful castle that belonged to the Templar Knights who job was to protect Pilgrims on their journey. Also in a small village I went into a beautiful small church. Also looks like harvesting of the grapes has begun. 



















September 15, 2015
DAY 23   CACABELOS TO VEGA de VALCARCE (25 KM, 15.5 MILES)

Not my favorite day. Rained all night and rained continuously for the 5.5 hours on the Camino. My rain jacket did well but backpack cover, not so much, as everything in it got a little wet. Also, no rain pants so pants legs were soaked. Outlook for rest of the day, tonight and tomorrow is more showers and thunderstorms. I planned this trip for September, the driest month, but did not count on tropical storm from the Atlantic Ocean. PLUS I get to climb up tomorrow about 3000 feet, in the rain. Yeah


September 16, 2015
DAY 24   VEGA de VALCARCE TO LAGUNA de CASTILLO

Unfortunately the weather was as expected. Hiked up 3000 feet in a steady rain and unbelievable wind. Near the top of the mountain I was almost blown to the ground and all hikers were checking to see if everyone was okay. At its worst wind at the top probably was 70-80 mph but not sustained winds. Only did 11.5 kilometers as there were no rooms for another 20 k so did not want to chance it. Surprising what a hot shower and bottle of wine will do for a cold, soaked hiker.


September 17, 2015
DAY 25   LAGUNA de CASTILLO TO TRICASTELA (23.8 KM, 15 MILES)

Much better day than yesterday. Still drizzled the first few hours but not bad and had to climb about 1000 more feet up this morning. But the extra rest yesterday gave me new life and I hiked quickly up and down. Almost averaged 5 km an hour. I was very disappointed today when a public bus pulled next to the trail about halfway to Tricastela and 8 hikers got out to start the trail. This is AFTER the uphill part. I was joking about it at the hostel after checking in to a young girl from Florida and she admitted she was one of them. Seems some had too much wine and decided to take the bus. She said she and others have taken the bus a few times. For me, kinda defeats the purpose of the Camino De Santiago which is a Pilgrimage. I know many just do part one year and part another and I understand there may be injuries but busing town to town when convenient. Do not see why they even came.  Had to get that off my chest after WALKING for 25 days.


September 18, 2015
DAY 26   TRICASTELA TO PORTOMARIN (39.7 KM, 24.67 MILES)

No rain and day turned out beautiful. Plan was to walk 23k today but so nice I walked over 8 hours and almost 25 miles. The not so fun part was that there was a LOT of climbing today.  Good day but tiring. Need some magical elixer in a wine glass if I can get out of the bed. Lol  New Pilgrims everywhere. If you walk at least the last 100 kilometers or 62 miles you get the Compostela, a certificate of completion, written in Latin and personalized with your name and date of completion. Sarria is a little over 100 kilometers so a lot of new pilgrims are flying, busing or taking train there to begin. So very crowded now. Since I always walk alone I am looking for space between the group in front and ones behind to enjoy my solitude. The French , especially the women, talk at the same time and non stop. I usually have to speed up my pace when I encounter them.

Only 89 kilometers left.















September 19, 2015
DAY 27   PORTOMARIN TO BOENTE (44 KM, 27.3 MILES)

Pushed harder today. 44 Kilometers or 27.3 miles. Walked from 8 am to 6:15 pm with 30 minutes of breaks including lunch. Not sure why??  Lol  

To make the overcrowding worse, seems tour buses let tourists walk a few miles and then pick them up. Great a few hundred more. Probably why I kept walking, after passing the multitudes in the first 4 hours I had peace and quiet. Crazy thing is I feel stronger each day. No pain this morning after 40k yesterday. Hoping for same tomorrow. Lol only 45 kilometers to Santiago which is about what I did today. Hope I will take it easy and do it in 2 days.

Also, few pics of my Pilgrim's Dinner for $11.  1st course was spaghetti bolognesa, 2nd course was chicken breast and fries, bread and wine and cheesecake for dessert. Lot of wine. Not enough cheesecake. Lol












September 20, 2015
DAY 28 BOENTE TO ARCO de PINO

5.5 hour 15 mile stroll after deciding to take it easy on the last day before Santiago. Only 20 km to Santiago tomorrow but heard the lines to the Compostela , to get our signed Latin competion certificate, will be horrendous when we arrive. 


September  21, 2015
DAY 29   ARCO de PINO TO SANTIAGO (20 KM, 12.5 MILES)

September 21st and LAST day to hike the Camino. Left at 7:20 am in the dark to beat the multitudes of Pilgrims finishing today. I arrived at the Cathedral around 11:30 am and was not sure exactly where the Pilgrim Office was located. Out of nowhere appeared the very tall German I had met at several Albergues who showed me how to get there. The line was small because the noon mass was about to start and many Pilgrims were at the Cathedral. Found a great private room at  5 story Albergue for 15 euro. Time for another adventure after a little recuperating. Thanks to all who followed and wished me well.