Walking East Journal


Apr 2010 29

Format change

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The previous post was again too large and would not let anyone add comments. To avoid that in the future, I have changed the format a bit. When I have a large post in the future, I will put the beginning on this page and then add a link to the full text. When you see More… marked as a link, click on it to see the full text and then click Return to come back here.
 
With this change, you should always be able to add a comment–if I remember to shorten big posts.
 
Followup: It seems that comments are disabled all together. I will look at it later when I have more time. In the meantime when you want to contact us, please click the Contact Us link on the right and send us an email. Sorry for the inconvenience.

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Apr 2010 28

From a river bank

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It has been a while. I wrote the following yesterday as we sat on a river bank on the Irati River below a dam between Liedena and Sanguesa in Navarra, Spain, resting till the afternoon sun let up a little.
 
That morning we walked through the Foz Lumbier,     More…
 

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Apr 2010 22

Estella

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Looks like this is turning into into a Sunday-Thursday post thing here this month. We are in Estella still around 180 kilometers (110 mi) from the French boarder moving slowly that way. The weather has heated up a bit. Except for drizzle today, we have seen little in the way of rain for some days. Today we are taking the day off, just sitting. Tomorrow we will move again if the spirit is moving us that way. (I think it will be.)
 
The flowers have finally made their presence known and the grain fields are really green. We even saw our first red poppies the other day.
 
Not much more from here today. Wish you all a good spring if I haven’t said so before.

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Apr 2010 18

Torres del Rio

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We are in Torres del Rio, a small village west of Los Arcos, walking forward our 18 to 20 km per day rate (ca. 12 miles). Weather is holding mostly well with cold wind in the face and only now and then drizzle. We are two weeks at the most from the Spain-France border.
 
Thanks for your comments and interest. We haven´t been near Wi-Fi for days so the spreadsheed statistics are out of date. Will get them there as soon as Wi-Fi reappears.
 
We had a wonderful meal with a wonderful view of the mountains and village around us in nice weather tonight. Petra was the cook. The Refugio was the place.

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Apr 2010 15

Azofra

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Petra returned last night in Santo Domingo. Today we walked to Azofra against the prevailing very cold wind (less than 50 F – 10 C). It is good to be back together again.

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Apr 2010 11

Burgos 2

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The sun is beautiful and I am still in Burgos. Want to straighten out and organize my things while I let my back rest a little more. Actually I’ve done a lot more cleanup than back resting.
 
Since I bought a new pair of shoes yesterday, I wanted to know how the other ones have been wearing, I made a chart of shoe usage that I have been threatening to do for a long time. It shows that the seven pair I have gone through have averaged 607 miles (984 km) per pair. It also shows that the cheaper (save one pair) shoes last a shorter time, as expected. But only one cheap pair walked less than half of the distance of the longest good pair I paid about three times as much for. Bottom line is feel good even more than distance walked and the more expensive ones have been more comfortable.
 
If you are interested, the shoe wear-out chart is on sheet B of the Statistics page. Click the Statistics tab and then wheb you get the spreadsheet, click tab B to see it. I’ll try to fill in the names of the shoes when Petra with her better memory for those things returns in a few days. This Tab B also shows how many steps we have walked.

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Apr 2010 10

Burgos

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The drought of postings here is do to a drought of reliable Internet connections since Sahagun. I am taking a rest day here in Burgos–well, not all rest. There is also shopping for shoes, washing clothes, and walking around to see sights. I am also enjoying the 65-degree (18C.) sunshine I would be otherwise walking in. But I do need the day off after seven days walking. My feet and back tell me so.
 
I prepared the rest of this posting in Castrojeriz two days ago but could not post it then because the very weak Wi-Fi signal I had latched onto disappeared before I had time to upload it. Additions are in brackets ([]).
 
This is a post of miscellaneous things.
 
On 5 April at 12:36 pm five kilometers (3 mi) west of Carión de las Condes I heard my first Cuckoo (Kuckuck). For you in the US where they don’t exist in the wild, the cuckoo sounds exactly like the clock. We used to listen to them all the time in spring in southern Germany. It became silent after spring. The cuckoo was a special bird for me when I walked the Camino in 2003. I heard it often. I had never heard it in the wild before. Now it has returned for another spring.
 
I have been counting pilgrims again. Here are the numbers of pilgrims that I have met as I walk against the traffic east as they are all walking west: Easter (4th) 156; (5th) 93 and a dog the size of a pony; (6th) 192; (today 7th) 105. [and (8th) 152; (9th) 136. Te average for those six days of very unscientific poling is 139.]
 
As I approached Formista, I knew I was going to pass a point where in 2003 I took a picture of the path, a cross, and a sign saying 475 kilometers to Santiago. I wanted to record the differences. Well, there were some differences. The sign and cross were gone, replaced by a huge interchange with a new super highway that wasn’t even there in 2003. In the middle of the path in 2003 there were pillars marking the way; they were all uprooted now. In a word, the place was totally different! The world changes.
 
Flowers are still scarce. Only dandelions and some little white daisy-like flowers are in bloom. This is a far cry from the hundreds of different ones I saw in 2003 in May,
 
After the stifling alberge in Carión de las Condes, I have stayed in the alberges in Boadillo and here in Castrojeriz. Both have been restful and quiet places. All alberges are not created equal. Some are actually rather nice.
 
The distances between places and the inclines I have to climb both seem a lot less this year than they were in 2003. I suspect a lot has to do with being a lot more in shape now than I was then. And I think I know a lot more about walking one step at a time and stopping now than I did then.
 
My memory recalls many fewer young and middle aged people in 2003 than I am seeing this year. This time the ages seem to be equally represented. There is no age group that dominates the others.
 
The Internet seems to be available in many places along the Camino. And when the place I am staying does not have internet or Wi-Fi, I can often pick up a network from someone else nearby and use it to get to the internet. I am doing that tonight as I put this into the WalkingEast Journal. [It was proven again that night–using someone else’s network isn’t always reliable. It can disappear without warning as it did in Castrojeriz.]

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Apr 2010 04

More Pictures

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What a beautiful sunny walk through rolling, early-spring-green hills today from Sahagún to Calzadilla de la Cueza. Thank you, Universe. I don’t know how it could have been a much better day. The hills reminded me of our walk along the green ridge of hills in Tuscany when we walked to Rome in early 2007. I had forgotton how beautiful the land is on this section of the maseta (the plains of Spain).
 


 
I used some of my time in Sahagún to prepare more pictures for you. I put them online just a few minutes ago. The files are smaller so you with dialup will not have to wait as long as you have had to wait for some of the earlier files. I will try to keep the files smaller in the future.
 
As always, you can see the pictures by clicking the Pictures tab on the banner menu.

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Apr 2010 03

Sahagún

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I arrived here last night after walking with a blistering, cold wind beating at my back left quarter most of the day. But it was an easy walk in the flat lands of the Maseta. I am in the plains of Spain. No trees grow naturally here. But someone has planted them along our route. Ours were the only ones to be seen from horizon to horizon–a string of trees stretching backward and forward as far as I can see.
 
I continue to meet many people walking to Santiago. I haven’t counted them since those first days but they often come in groups of five to ten. Five minutes seldom pass without one or two groups passing.
 
For you not familiar with this Camino, it is an international walking path that happens to be in Spain. The other night I ate with an American, a Belgium, and a German. A few nights ago, I ate with another German and before a Check. In addition to those nationalities, I have talked with Koreans, Japanese, Italians, Spanish, Israeli, French, Hollanders, Swedes, English, Canadian, and several others. The interesting thing is that English is the lingua franca, the language that most seem to have in common, the major language that this polyglot mass communicates to one another with.
 
Today I am taking a rest day just because I want to take a rest day–no rain, not tired, just want to stop a bit, to sit down a while, to wander in this place, and write a little. First I walked to the edge of town and then back into the center. I found a huge market going full tilt. Stalls lined no less than seven or eight blocks. Walking was a shuffle and much bumping. You want it? You could buy it. I got some fruits, vegetables, and nuts for my dinner later. And I found some thick cushioned socks–those I have, have warn so thin that they give me little cushioning between my feet and the shoes any more. It was time. At one point a short downpour sent masses to crowd under the porticoed store fronts and merchants to putting tarps over their goods. It was over in four minutes.
 
As I walked through Mansilla de las Mulas the day after the wind broke my umbrella, I bought a new one, not the best, but the best I could find there. Yesterday’s wind bent one if its spars already. So I’ll have to be on the lookout for a stronger and bigger one. It’s not big enough either. I found only small ones in the market this morning.

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