Remembering our Camino, our journey to Santiago de Compostella

Pyrenees Pony, Orisson France, Camino de Santiago

We are home now, after 7 weeks on the road and it is time to sort, keyword, and process the many photos taken during our time on the camino route from Saint Jean Pied de Port France to Santiago de Compostella Spain.  As we left Orisson the sun was just coming up, and as we walked towards Roncesvalles one of our fellow travellers that day commented that at the rate I was going I would never make it. Stopping as often as I did for one more picture, I was not making great time on the road.  Here the beautiful pony was standing watching the pilgrims pass by.

During October 2012 17,790 pilgrims were received in the Pilgrim’s office in Santiago Spain. Bill and I were among the 20.26% who travelled from St. Jean Pied de Port France, and two of the 631 Canadians to completed the camino. The Pilgrim’s office provides up to date statistics and you might find it interesting to see the who is travelling the camino.

I it is going to be both challenging and interesting to go back through the many photos and notes taken during our walk and hopefully build a complete portfolio. For this images I processed in Nik Silver Effects Pro 2, then reducing the opacity of the layer by 15% I was able to bring in just a hint of the colour that was in the original images. I think it adds a bit of depth, let me know what you think.

Street Photography, Paris France

Street Performers_Paris France 

As we walk from place to place, attraction to shopping, we get to see life in Paris. There is so much to see. Great musicians playing for everyones entertainment, and of course a few coins.  The little kids are always fun to watch as they dance to the music, but not great subjects for street photographers or bloggers!

Ink and water color artist_Paris France 

The ink and water colour artist was sitting on the bench beside the Seine River, sketching and watching people go by. two images for $30.00 euro.  I liked his work and this seemed like a more personal keepsake to bring home rather than the usual tourist trinket!

Delivery by bike_Paris France 

Deliveries Paris style, there are a lot of bikes in the city, and with the general lack of parking, volume of vehicles, and traffic congestion, deliveries by bike seems like a good idea. This bike is outfitted with a special container to keep the good safe.

Bike Rentals_Paris France 

For locals and tourists alike, bike rentals, and the rental stands are everywhere.

A view of the Louvre from Musee d’Orsay 

And finally a view of the Louvre from inside the famous Musee d’Orsay’s clock.

 

 

Paris France, Oct 24, 2012

the eiffel tower and the carousel_Paris France

We have been in Paris for 5 days now, and I think that each day we have walked almost as far as we did while on the camino in Spain.  There is so much to see in the city.  Yesterday while we walked out to the Eiffel tower it was nice and warm, foggy when we got to the top, but a lovely day. The forecast was for good weather all week, but this morning as we headed out to Notre Dame Cathedral it was cool and cloudy, and remain so most of the day.

Notre Dame_Paris France

Notre Dame_Paris France_Angel and Shadow

Notre Dame Cathedral_Paris France

After Notre Dame we wandered through the Latin Quarter all the way over to the Musee d’Orsay, the back to the apartment for a rest. With everyone here with us it is busy with walking, visiting, eating and drinking, no time for processing photos or posting on the blog!

A new day, and new city, Oct 20, 2012 in Paris France

We arrived in Paris late last night, no time for seeing the sights. Today was very much an orientation day, finding our way around, getting some groceries, doing laundry and yes catching up on rest. It wasn’t until late in the afternoon that we took a walk to just wander near the Seine River, and while it was a little misty at times, the rain was nothing to concern us .

Eiffel tower_ in the clouds

our first sighting of the Eiffel Tower, the top was just barely visible through the clouds, and while the forecast is for rain tonight, and light rain tomorrow the rest of the week promises to be sunny, we will keep our fingers crossed.

boats on the seine river, pont neuf, paris france

A view of the Seine River, and Pont Neuf; the river cruises were busy tonight. Late in the season, the tourists flock enjoy the view of Paris from the river despite the cool and rainy weather.

rainy evening in Paris_Louvre,

The apartment we are renting while visiting Paris is not far from the Louvre, we passed by just after sunset, the city lights were just starting to come on, there were beautiful reflections in the puddles!

Our day at Santiago de Compostella, Spain

fire buring in Santiago

yesterday morning Bill and I headed out to streets of Santiago de Compostela early to see the quiet streets, and watch the city walk up.  I find it is a great time to visit a city.  Not far from our hotel we heard sirens, and before long a fire truck and emergency vehicles were squeezing between the buildings of the old city, coming towards us.  Ducking under the archway and out-of-the-way of the trucks we watched them go by. Not two blocks away the truck stopped, in fact everyone that was on the street stopped to watch.  There was smoke billowing from a basement grate, and the fireman were cutting open the door of the building. I was less that 20 feet away, taking pictures. I could not imagine getting that close a fire scene at home!  Before long the firemen were in the empty building, the fire was out, and there was only steam billowing from the building.

From there we headed over the see the Cathedral in the early morning light.  After registering at the camino office we went inside the Cathedral. Which was full of people wandering around, and getting seated for Mass.  We saw many people  that we had talked to and walked with over the last few weeks. It was great to see everyone had achieved their goal. There was an excitement in the air. During Mass the have a large incense burner, that they swing over the crowd. It was quite exciting to watch.

Santiago Mass

Day 40, our final day, our final 14k of the Camino

our final day, our final 12k_camino de Santiago

We have read about it, we have talked about it, and we have even dreamed about it.  Yes we are on the doorstep of Santiago de Compostela, this morning we had less than 14k to walk.  Yesterday was wet, we were soggy by the time we arrived at our hotel, and we were hoping for at least a semi-dry day today as we walk. That was not to be. As we left this morning, if was foggy, misty hung in the air, and we had walked less than an hour when the rain started to pour down on us.  We walked the final 10k  in heavy rain. Arriving in the Praza do Obradoiro to the front door of the Cathedral about 1 pm local time, soaked to the bone. Our Gortex waterproof boots were even soggy. We took the picture below and moved onto our hotel to dry out, and find some lunch.

Bill and Jan at the Santiago Cathedral_Praza do Obradoiro

All is not lost, tomorrow and we sleep in and have a relaxing breakfast, we will register our trip with the Peregrino office and visit the Cathedral, and hopefully we will see and be able to visit with others we have met on the camino in better weather.

day 39 of our camino to Santiago de Compostela

pilgrim with a green rain poncho_camino Santiago de Compostella 

Today we travelled from Arzua to Amenal, about 25k. Today it rained heavily most of the day, and it was a colder today than we have had before, it only reached about 15 C.

When I had been doing my research on the Camino, one of the things I looked at is the weather. Trying to figure out what type of weather we might be subjected to while walking the Camino.  So I have to be honest, my research showed that October temperatures would be mid teens (Celsius).  Average days of rain in September and October were both 10 days.  It is great that we have warmer temperatures than expected for most of the trip and while there have been days of some rain, there have been very few where it has rained all day.

Hopefully the rain will stop for our walk into Santiago Compostela tomorrow. Yes, tomorrow is the last day on the Camino.  We will spend a couple of days before flying out.

 

 

 

Day 38 on our Camino to Santiago

Rock Bridge, Galicia Spain

We left Palas de Rei just after 8 am, it was still dark, but there was enough light to see where we were going. The sky was cloudy, so it stayed darker longer than we anticipated, and there was no beautiful sunrise.  We had a long day planned and wanted to get out the door early

We have see several of these stone bridges, a place for pilgrims to pass when the creeks fills with water, and I am sure it does during the raining season.

We arrived in Melide around noon, this is about ½ way for the day. Bill’s ankle seemed to beholding up quite well. Melide is famous for the pulpa (octopus) dish and one of the pilgrims we know pointed us in the direction of the most famous restaurant so we could give it a try. The restaurant was quiet when we went in, but given it was lunch time it didn’t take long to fill with pilgrims and locals like.  The pulpa was okay, tasty enough, a little chewy, and obviously very popular.

red flower along the camino

Back on the road again, the clouds had cleared and the sun was shining, about 18 C, it was great for walking. The path in residential areas are lined with flowers and in one place a rosemary shrub ran for about 50 feet, about 2 ½ feet high, it was starting to bloom.

One place I noticed an older farming couple unloading the wagon, beside it with huge wheel barrow of Kale.  We have seen it growing very large garden patches, the plants about 6 feet high, with all but the top few leaves picked. I don’t know anyone who would eat that much Kale, so I am wondering what else it is used for…….

farmers with a wheelbarrow of Kale, Galicia Spain

Today we covered about 32 k, 4 big hills to go up and down, all in the last 8 k, so by the time we arrived at the hotel we were exhausted, and after the shower, and daily laundry we had a nap until dinner, which was at 8 pm.

Two more days to reach Santiago, we plan to walk about 36k over the next two days, so we are hopeful that things will be easier, but as I type this it is raining hard, so I am not sure, well at least it isn’t a cold rain! See you tomorrow!

day 37, cold and wet in Galicia…..

cold wet day on the Camino_Galicia Spain  

we travelled from Portomarin to Palas de Rei, 24.9 k according to the guide-book, and it seems the camino has saved all the rainy days for our last few days!  cold with a high of about 16 C. it rained or was misty a good deal of the morning, with the sun coming out periodically during the afternoon.  It was hard to be inspired to take photos. Rainy day camino path pictures have been showing up quite a bit on the blog!

We did pass this one barn, the doors were open and the cows were watching the soggy pilgrims walk by, is it me or do I see a sympathetic gaze in their eyes.

With our heads down we march forward through the rain to the next town, knowing our trip will be over soon. We are hoping the weather will be better tomorrow.

 

Day 36, Sarria to Portomarin 22.5 k

we have reached the 100 k marker, Camino de Santiago de , Spain

We are back on the road again, Matt has joined us for the final stage, and we passed the marker that told us we have less than 100 kilometres to walk to get to Santiago de Compostela. Breakfast at the hotel was served at 8 am, so we were a little late getting started for the day, Bill’s ankle/shin is a little sore so he is not marching ahead as he might have been, and as you might know I stop for lots of pictures, so we took a long time to get to Portomarin (the spanish spelling for Portomarin is Puertomarin). It was around 4 pm when we arrived.

The morning was misty or more foggy, no rain, so that was a good thing, we didn’t need our ponchos. The mist hung in the air and clung to the plants and spider webs. Days like this I miss my macro lens and my tripod!

wet spider web

Delicate drew drops hanging on the web.

Just outside of Sarria we crossed the Ponte de Aspera, a small “romantic style” bridge built sometime in the 12 century.

A Ponte da Aspera_Sarria Spain

about 1:30 the clouds broke, the fog lifted and we had sunshine to walk into Portomarin.  It was another great day, on the camino, Santiago de Compostela is almost in sight! I have noticed that some of the town names are spelled differently when I go to look up accommodation or weather conditions, Portomarin = Puertomarin is just one example. This can make internet searches very complicated and or interesting! I am slowly getting this worked out, and it is something I am going to keep in mind when travelling in the future.