Walking East Journal

Dec 2009 09

Alleluia! We’ve finished the first half

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Well almost, anyway. We arrived at friend Anna’s in Brooklyn, NY last night and have only a few short miles to walk down to the Atlantic to complete the first half when the rain stops. Today we did little more than rest and go out to supper. Oh, we did a lot of Internet surfing for our next steps too.
After Peekskill we walked high up a mountain valley to get around a car-only parkway crossing a bay on the Hudson. In the end we walked across the dam capturing the water for New York City. My feet screamed at me as we neared the end of the day and so much climbing up and down. We spent the night in the Mariandale Retreat Center in Ossining where we were invited to take part in a retreat. We spent the next day at that same retreat. It was a very good time for the retreat and for the stop. We sat out rain as we renewed ourselves internally. We enjoyed the people running the place and our fellow retreatants. The next day we walked to Hastings-on-the-Hudson along the old aqueduct that carried water to the City and along Broadway (US9). We were aiming for Yonkers but Betsy stopped us along the road and offered us food and a place to stay for the night in her home. We accepted gratefully and had a wonderful time talking the evening away.
In the morning we had a wonderful walk down Broadway through Yonkers and The Bronx. It was an amazing walk through the cities that those up the river told us were not the best places to walk. Dangerous, you know. By the end of the day we had walked to L Hostel in Harlem on upper Manhattan. The people in L Hostel welcomed us warmly as they herd of our walk and the manager upgraded our booked room. The place was really clean and inexpensive by New York City standards. If I come back to the city without a place to stay, we’ll stay at L Hostle. They even found us an Ethiopian restaurant just six blocks away.
On our last day, we walked down 7th avenue into Central Park, took a circuitous tour of the park, walked down through the theater district on the Avenue of the Americas, and rejoined Broadway for our final curse through Manhattan. We saw the many faces of Broadway those two days. So many faces. So many different people. So many different neighborhoods. It was overload even for me and I have been here before. Petra kept saying, “So many people.”
We left Manhattan via the Brooklyn Bridge, an adventure in its own right. The Statue of Liberty and Governor’s Island along with the Verazzano Bridge were clearly among the many sites. Soon we were welcomed by Anna at her home in Brooklyn. We have finished the first half of this Pilgrimage.

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