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  1. alhartman

    Leaving dog home question

    Around my Toulouse to Santiago 2008 Camino, I had a house sitter/housemate picked from Craigslist. Mixed results as had to take his dogs as well, and they trashed much of the property. Fortunately, with a fenced yard most everything recovered. But the dog was regularly fed, watered and had...
  2. alhartman

    Monte do Gozo

    My last stay there was 2016--and it looked like an abandoned and derelict set from a dystopian movie like "Running Man" or "Escape from New York", or 'Bladerunner". My notes from 2005 say they have 600 beds in that depressing row of Quonset huts. Only one was open with 60 beds; but they were...
  3. alhartman

    Do top bunks stop bed bugs?

    They are on the top bunks! After a great garlic soup in 2007 I watched as my hiking companion on the lower bunk next to mine was dive bombed. No bites tho as we had permethrin treated sleeping gear and use DEET on open skin.
  4. alhartman

    I probably won’t do this again

    Part of the Buddhist mantra for equanimity: Suffering or happiness is created through one's relationship to experience, not by experience itself. And the rest (not in order) All beings are responsible for their own actions. The freedom and happiness of others is dependent on their actions...
  5. alhartman

    So here I go - compiling that lightweight kit - I started with the Rucksack

    We all know the main way of dropping pack weight is to have items serve a dual purpose--no pack cover as poncho serves that purpose etc. One year in Azofra, I shared the room with another American who had regressed all the way to the Civil War style bedroll. Very light but logistics can be a...
  6. alhartman

    RIP, Alison Raju

    Never met this wonderful lady. But I would say her guidebooks opened up the modern camino as much as Cohelo and McLaine. Her guide was my planning tool for 2006 LePuy (then discovered MiamMiamDoDo) and my constant companion on 2008 Aragones, 2010 Vezelay, and 2010 VdlP. I would have never...
  7. alhartman

    On this date in November...

    2010: into Santiago and Albergue Fogar Teodoromiro from Outeiro Vedra on the VdlP/Sanabres. 2010 was one of my long caminos. Started in Vezelay 14 September, walked to Pamplona with my brother. (Our side-trip to d'oradour-sur-glane has to be one of the most heartbreaking memorials I have ever...
  8. alhartman

    Walked the Appalachian Trail for Three Days.

    My first camino 2005 was a 'consolation prize' for a planned 6 weeks on PCT. My hiking partner needed to take all his saved vacation time for a successful recovery from open heart surgery. I was complaining at a table in the company cafeteria when a lady at the table behind told me about her...
  9. alhartman

    COVID Covid vaccine announced by Pfizer (Nov. 9, 2020)

    I have to agree with lt56nyc---what we have so far is just science by 'press release' and that includes all the press stories, blogs, and forums (us too). The real science will come with time. And none of us have the background to accurately speculate on all the production, storage, and...
  10. alhartman

    COVID Covid vaccine announced by Pfizer (Nov. 9, 2020)

    A very positive and welcome development. But be mindful that this is 'science by press release' and a long way from the gold standard of peer reviewed and government approval. The data is from 94 people so a very small trial. And big pharma is famous for later developments not living up to the...
  11. alhartman

    On this date in November...

    Nov 8 2008. Ruitelan Pequeno Potala--hospitality and meal made it one of my Camino favorites; stopped there on my next 3 walks up the Valcarce. I had started that year on 9 Oct in Toulouse as my 4th 'camino'; and my second in France. I think this was the camino where I realized I was...
  12. alhartman

    Giant Waves for Surfers

    "Riding Giants" is a must see IMO. Along with "Dogtown and the Z-Boys" for skateboarding and "Touching the Void" for mountain climbing.
  13. alhartman

    Vuelta bike race 2020

    The 1996 Vuelta was "Big Mig" Indurian last professional race. Climbed down of his bike about stage 13 and later went into retirement. One of the greatest riders ever and from the Basque country. Hometown Villava near Pamplona and on the camino. Close to Trinidad de Arre--one of my favorite...
  14. alhartman

    Pilgrim "customs"?

    Generosity and gratitude at the donativo.
  15. alhartman

    On this date in October...

    I have done 3 fall caminos. Oct 13 2008--Toulsana - Staying in Barran gite after picking up bedbuds in Auch. Oct 13 2010 --Vezelay -Bazas in a homestay as is typical on this route. Difficult for all as my French limited to what I remembered from High School 50 years earlier. Oct 13 2017...
  16. alhartman

    An evocative short film from BBC

    I adored Tomar!! But never got to the East Bank of Nabao. Spent lots of time in the Castle and the ancient Synagogue. Fascinating period of history. I guess I will need to get back to catch what I missed. Hostel 2300 was wonderful as well.
  17. alhartman

    COVID It Aint Over Till the Fat Lady Sings - no offense intended just an expression

    https://fastlifehacks.com/n95-vs-ffp/ Is a great summary of masks, transmission, etc. Not the the level of peer reviewed science of course. But deep in the article I got reassurance that my mask is likely protecting me!!. Household flu transmission data only, but unmasked 17% transmission...
  18. alhartman

    A Big Boo to Stone Stacking

    While no fan of the 'look at my art' and selfie culture, I would note that at 300,000 pilgrims per year it is hardly much added environmental damage. Overuse has already damaged it. I think the managers of our 'public resource' treasures have a very tough job as populations and desirability of...
  19. alhartman

    Recommendation on what to do with slides

    Since I am now trying to create stories with my slides/scans, with 20/20 hindsight I urge: cull, cull, cull.
  20. alhartman

    Choosing day rest towns

    My Favorite route!!. I have never been fond of 'planned rest days' but have often toured a nice city coming in or going out on a short (less than 10k) day. LePuy has lots of great towns but I cannot recall a single one that called to me for more than a half day--same with Pamplona, Legrono...