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Live from the Camino "Gareth from Dublin on Camino yesterday" PART 2.

MickMac

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Hi Mick, I set off at sunrise this morning, though you would never know it with the mist. It was like pea soup, and I was a good bit down the mountain before I emerged.

I unburdened myself of my stone and made a half hearted effort to locate yours at Cruz de Ferro. No chance!

The walk was really beautiful. I didn’t see anyone for most of it and it felt like I had the world to myself.

I met a guy from Greystones in El Acebo working in a nice cafe bar. I had two helpings of his Irish Tortilla and enjoyed his company. Shout out to Paul and Mike... first place on the left as you walk in to El Acebo. Well worth a stop!

The rest of the day was uneventful. I stayed for a while with Paul, and so I was late into Ponferrada. I only found one place open and it was a hotel. No complaints!

I was looking forward to exploring the Templar Castle, but alas it was closed. Still, it was a great day.
 

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MickMac

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July 2019
More pics.
 

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OzAnnie

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It worked well Michael.
Gareth’s photos take many of us back to those points on the way ..... Sigh!!!!!
He’s going great guns and I’m looking forward to seeing him on one of Ivars interviews at Santiago.
Sending him a wave of support and Buen camino.
Annie
 

MickMac

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Today was a really nice day. I got lost coming out of Ponferrada but somehow saved myself 2km! I traded this savings in a little later when I took an optional turn off at Valtuille de Arriba. It took me a little while longer, however it was a really good move as the scenery was simply stunning and it also kept me off that dangerous road that you had mentioned into Villafranca.

It was a really beautiful stage. I am staying in the municipal albergue tonight. There are only 5 of us and as luck would have it, I have a dorm to myself!

I’m looking forward to more of this beautiful scenery tomorrow.
 

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MickMac

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More pics :
 

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Jomas

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VF many times. Monaco-Lindau '15. Assisi-Pietralcina '17. CF '18.
thank you for this journey report!
sometimes distances get shorter 🔭
a curiosity if it is possible to know: I read in some of your passages that there was, at times, a difficulty in finding accommodation. What exactly is this due to? Albergues closed? Albergue already at full capacity? Gareth's personal choices?
👋
 

Jomas

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VF many times. Monaco-Lindau '15. Assisi-Pietralcina '17. CF '18.
Gareth is going to do an interview with Ivar, hope Ivar asks some of your questions. It will be interesting to hear.
ok.
I must honestly admit that my spoken English is very deficient in comparison to my written one (where however I often rely on a translator).
Of @ivar's videos I understand 1/3 of what he says .... so I gave up following them.
but it was just a curiosity, so it's ;)
 

MickMac

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Hi Mick just packing up now. It’s still dark here. Yesterday was a nice day. Lots of walking alongside the road though and as it was mostly in a valley there was not a whole lot to see.

I stopped in Las Herrerías, one early according to the book. I needed to stop to take a work call and I liked the place and the vibe.

Today is the big climb though it’s for less than 8km, so no big deal!
Famous last words
 

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MickMac

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The hotel was closed, but looked nice. In fact I thought everywhere was closed, but luckily the albergue owner was having lunch in the same place and opened up for me. Most places are closed with the pandemic, and they are also at half capacity with the social distancing. I haven’t been stuck yet though.

I’ll be careful on the climb and check in later.

More pics ::
 

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MickMac

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Hi Mick, what a beautiful stage it was today. Stunning views with really beautiful villages along the way. The camera can’t capture it. The pictures just don’t do the views justice.

Some of the climb was steep and so I was glad for all of that walking in Glendalough before I left.

I stopped for a drink in Albergue a Reboleira in Fonfria. It’s really beautiful and so I decided to stay over. The owner Angela is a gem, and the atmosphere here is very nice. This will give me a longer day tomorrow if I decide to catch up. It was a really nice day. Just 150km left!
 

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MickMac

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More pics::
 

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MickMac

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More......
 

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MickMac

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It’s a good choice, this is one of my favourite albergues so far. It’s is a really nice place but the people are lovely too.

I’ll have a look at Samos and see how it fits with the time table.

It’s been very quiet for the last week. Three pilgrims in each albergue most nights, though Angela told me she had 12 last night. I wouldn’t be surprised to see many more from Sarria, as it’s mostly Spanish people out and about.
I’m in the albergue. It’s a big dorm with just two other people. Almost to myself!
I’m glad I stopped here so!
 
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MickMac

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Hi Mick, I ended up in Samos though not by design. I was just following arrows and must have missed the turn for the main path. It’s a really beautiful village.

I missed the monastery tour, but I had a good walk around the place. It’s an impressive building.

There was only one pensión open to stay at. Everything else is closed. It’s really nice though, so no complaints. There are 6 pilgrims here, more than I have seen in some time.

I need to have a look at the map now and plan out the final days. I think there’s about 130km left. On the home stretch!
 

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MickMac

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More pics ::
 

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MickMac

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Gareth is looking for a good stop past Sarria a few k past, as tommorow short distance, any ideas.
 

MickMac

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Morning Mick, yesterday was a really nice day. The stage wound it’s way through forestry and farm land. There was also a notable up tick in pilgrims.

Thank you for your help in booking the hotel. It was very nice with good food and a swimming pool which I took advantage of. 110km left! I’m setting off now.
 

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MickMac

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Mickmac reply......

Portomarin is nice but quiet lot of steps after Bridge.

Tomorrow on way out, you go over a different bridge than you came in, more downstream on the river.

Don't forget the two stamps per day enjoy your walk 25k today.

Most pilgrims don't like these last stages because of crowds I loved it. When you get within a few ks of Santiago the forests are of Eucaliptos beautiful smell.

The initial outskirts to Santiago are disappointing but the understated cathedral is special even though I have never went in.
I felt the journey spiritually, mentally, and Physically, was the importance of the Camino.
Santiago old town is beautiful.

Buen Camino
 
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MickMac

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Message from Gareth...

[04/09, 20:09] Gareth:
Thanks Mick, it was a nice easy walk today, mostly through tiny villages and farmland. There was a massive uptick in walkers. I haven’t seen this many people since setting out. I don’t know how many people stopped in Portomarín but I would guess somewhere around 40. Not all Spanish either, there seems to be many French people.

Portomarín is very nice. I had some really tasty cróquets and I definitely think my meagre Spanish has improved.

It’s certainly a different feeling today with all of the people. I think my body is also rebelling for this last stretch, though I’m sure it’s all in the mind. Not far to go now.

I’m with you on the journey over the destination, though I’m looking forward to getting home to Clíodhna. It’s been a long time away.

My reply......

[04/09, 20:24] michaelmcaul:

You release what's important in life once a new routine takes over.

It takes a while after the Camino finish, for anyone to work out in there head the real priorities in life.

The superficial things we thought were important suddenly get a new perspective and we hopefully take a more enlightened path.
It doesn't make it any easier, but different, more tolerent of other people's views even though you still don't agree with them.

So hopefully we find a new balance in life and take every day at a time, that was my Camino journey.

(Heavy or what)

Buen Camino
 

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MickMac

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MickMac

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Hi Mick, not much to report today. It was quite dull and overcast. It was warm though and the shade and breeze made it pleasant.

My shins are playing up a bit, but again the ibuprofen is a life saver.

There are many more walkers, though I’m sure that it is much less than usual. It’s mostly Spanish people.

Just three days left. It’s hard to believe that it’s almost over!
 

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MickMac

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Yes, I see what you mean. There is not so much to photograph. I’m enjoying it anyway.

I’m not sure about Azura, I find my shins play up after 20km. I’ll listen to my body and see how it goes.

A few pilgrims that I met have already reached Santiago and sent me photos. It just looks like hoarding 😂 not so romantic, but it’s about the journey not the destination.

I’m going to send Ivar a message now.


Later post....

I’m in Arzúa right now.

You are right, it was a tough walk. I needed an ATM though, so on I went! I’m in a nice albergue and met with some nice pilgrims here.

You are right though, it’s been mostly an isolated journey though I have no complaints. Having that time to myself was exactly what I needed. There are more people on the road now alright, but from what I gather it’s much reduced.

Good tip on the Spiritual Compostela!
 
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MickMac

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2013
Frances 2016
Frances 2017
Frances 2018
Frances 2018
Ponferrada-Santiago
July 2019
Hi Mick, sorry for the sporadic messages. My data allowance is gone and so I’m only plugged in when I find WiFi.

I stopped today at O Pedrouzo. The path does not go through the village though, so I almost missed it and I had to double back. I would have continued but I needed to take a work call and so I needed WiFi.

I met a very nice pilgrim yesterday who had spent some considerable time with the sisters that run the albergue in Carrion at their Order house near Madrid. I have really met some interesting people along the way.

I saw many pilgrims on the road today, but it seems that none have stopped here. I have the albergue to myself! It’s such a shame as the albergue is wonderful. It’s called Albergue Porta Santiago. It has calming meditation music playing and the sound of a fountain trickling from an internal courtyard. It’s really a lovely place to spend the night before my last walk.

I also had a very tasty Spanish omelette just up the road and the lady was amazed that I ate so much!

So I have about 20km left tomorrow. I have arranged to meet Ivar at 2pm. It’s very strange to be so close to the end!
 

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OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
'CP, Frances,Norte,Salv/prim;Le puy, Inglés, CDM, Invierno, Fin/Mux, Vdlp 2019>Táb/ Prt Levante 2020
Gareth
Thank you for the consistent updates. Really great memories to share. It’s always a strange feeling when you’re knocking on Santiago’s door. But the thought of home is there knocking too.
One day I hope you’ll get the chance to compare the experience of this trip during Covid to one with the usual numbers to bounce off.
What an experience though ! Not many ‘non-Spaniards’ will have done this.
keep safe and I’m looking forward to your interview with Ivar.
 

MickMac

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2013
Frances 2016
Frances 2017
Frances 2018
Frances 2018
Ponferrada-Santiago
July 2019
Thanks Mick,

Today was a very pleasant walk through forests for the most part. Even the walk through the city was nice.

The final steps into the Cathedral square were quite emotional, but the journey only felt complete when I reached the pilgrims office and picked up the two certificates. These and the credential were like the bookends to the journey and my feelings are mixed. It was not about the destination, but now it is over.

It was very nice to meet Ivar and have a chat. Having someone to meet was welcome. Afterwards I had a short nap before going to the Cathedral.

The pilgrims mass had been relocated, and much of the building was covered in scaffolding both inside and out. I had the crypt to myself when I descended the steps and I said a prayer by the reliquary. It was a nice moment.

So my Taxi picks me up at 4am. I’ll probably see you tomorrow! Many thanks to all who followed and offered advice or a word of encouragement on the forum, and of course to you for being the shepherd. I’ll create an account and post something up once I have settled in at home.
 

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MickMac

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2013
Frances 2016
Frances 2017
Frances 2018
Frances 2018
Ponferrada-Santiago
July 2019
More....
 

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