Ode to the “The Vucciria”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis painting is called “The Vucciria” and is by Renato Guttuso, is large (300 cm x 300 cm) painted in 1974 while he was living in Lombardy. I have read that he ordered food to be shipped by air to him from Palermo, including a side of beef in order to paint food from life!

His work is a visual representation of the feelings I had while exploring the local markets a maze of food,  smells, sights, sounds and people, and an inspiration for my images.

 

The term Vucciria derives from the French word boucherie, or butcher shop, but in Sicily the meaning encompasses noise, confusion, chaos, reflecting the atmosphere that dwells along the streets of the market. Sicilians say “It was a vucciria” the way we in English say “It was bedlam” or “It was a madhouse”.

Lucky for Bill and I there are several street markets in Palermo, as old as the Vucciria, which are a frenzied mass of people buying fruits, vegetables and fish and meat, men on motorbikes piled high squeezing through the crowds delivering more merchandise to the stalls, and men shouting out to sell their wares. We returned to the markets many times to shop for local food and enjoy the vucciria!

 

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Santiago de Compostela; Camino Francis 

We have arrived 

Our final day, we left O Pedrouzo about 6:30am, it was 20C and the humidity was 94%! By the time we arrived at the cathedral it was 31C and the humidity was downto 54%! 

The 5 hour walk was hot and muggy, the final hills in no way seemed as hard as what we had done since leaving St. Jean Pied de Port  but with the heat they were not easy either. 

One of the great things about doing the Camino a second time has been all the memories that have been jarred loose, things long forgotten suddenly remembered with the visual clue if being there once again. 

We are looking forward to visiting some favourite sites in Santiago de Compostela.


According to the Camino office we were among the 1514 people to register and receive the Compostela for completing their Camino. Approximately 15% walked the 799 km from St. Jean Pied de Port as we did, others were either on different routes, or started at one of the many cities along the Camino Francis. 

Three days to reach Ponferrada from Astorga 

ASTORGA – RABANAL del CAMINO 20.6 

Rabanal del Camino to El Acebo 16.5 

El Acebo to Ponferrada 15.6 k 

A tougher stretch of road then we have had for a while. While the guide books suggest this section  can be walked in two days we planned on a three days to complete it, and we were happy we did! 

This section is characterized by the wild and rocky Cantabrian Mountains tiny stone villages nestled in the mountains.

We climb to the historic site of the Cruz Ferro and the high point of the Irago Mountains before the steep descent down to Ponferrada. Typical Maragato mountain villages with slate-roofed houses like El Acebo. On a clear day, the mountain views are superb. The guide books all warn to be prepared for the possibility of cold, rain and wind, one day our day began with fog. 

The Yellow Camino Arrow 

Confusing and almost miss directed…..those who walk the camino follow the yellow arrows with a certain faith/knowledge that we will get to the next place on the map by following the yellow arrows. Walking into Hospital de Orbigo we were faced with arrows pointing in two different directions.  In 2012 when we walked the Camino Francis the first time, we made the choice to go left rather than straight through, thus was a mistake, we knew that turning left would take us out to the highway not into town where we wanted to go. 

It is clear that some of the arrows have been painted out and there has been an effort to misdirect walkers. Following the arrows to your left and you will, as we did in 2012 walk through an industrial section, along the highway, walking this direction will add an hour to your travel time to get into the town. 

On other sections of the Camino we have been able to trust the arrows, this one is confusing and a guide book or a good map is essential. I use the kindle app on my phone to access two different books for information. Using a digital copies if the two books means the information is always available with no extra weight. We also use the Mapme app on the smartphone, it uses GPS and the information we need is accessible when when we are off line. 

Buen camino

The Camino, Poppies and a pinhole cap

It has been more than a week since we left Burgos; most of the people we have met and walked with turning the first weeks have moved on while we took an extra rest days in Sahagun. I usually post a photo a day with a mini update on Instagram. If you want to have a look.

During this trip I have been shooting photos with a pinhole cap on my digital camera. There were so many poppies this week, they filled the ditches and the fields. The pinhole creates a dreamy affect  and the sunflare streaks through the frame in as wonderful way. I woukd love to hear your thought on my exploration into pinhole photography.

For other photos from this Camino and our previous walk can be found on this link….

The Camino, Poppies and a pinhole cap

It has been more than a week since we left Burgos; most of the people we have met and walked with turning the first weeks have moved on while we took an extra rest days in Sahagun. I usually post a photo a day with a mini update on Instagram. If you want to have a look.

During this trip I have been shooting photos with a pinhole cap on my digital camera. There were so many poppies this week, they filled the ditches and the fields. The pinhole creates a dreamy affect  and the sunflare streaks through the frame in as wonderful way. I woukd love to hear ypur thought on my exploration into pinhole photography. 

For other photos from this Camino and our previous walk can be found on this link….

Burgos Spain

A few images from the Cathedral

 

The Cathedral is a magnificent building, with such a rich history, I highly recommend visiting the cathedral if you are in the city, and allow a couple of hours to listen to the audio tour and view all the details. 

Viana to Navarrete; Camino to Santiago de Compostela 

The church bell rang as we left Viana; it was 7:45 am. 23 k, approximately 35,000 steps and 6 hours we arrived in Navarrete. 

Today was another pleasant walk. Beautiful mural painted on the walls, on sign noted 661 kms to Santiago, arriving on Navarrete another sign said 575 kms. The miles are slowly being walked. 

Camino to Santiago de Compostela; Pamplona to Uterga 

We started our slow steady climb to Cizur Menor, and the Alto de Perdon by walking between fields of wheat blowing in the wind. 

The climb steadily increase, the views of Pamplona and the valley below were stunning.

At Zarriquiegui a hamlet about 10k out of Pamplona, we rested for a bit in the 13th-century Romanesque Iglesia de San Andrés. Our timing was perfect, as these two gentleman were singing, it was a delightful and unexpected pleasure. 

It was very windy at the top of the Alto de Perdon, the iron sculptures of the first pilgrims, and if you look beyond the sculpture you can see windmills in the distance.  In 2016 wind energy was the second source of electrical generation in Spain and  Spain is the fifth country in terms of installed wind power. Every Alto seems to have dozens of these large windmills on them!  

Our journey today 17 k, 28500 steps 4C when we left this morning, cold wind blowing most of the day with a high of 13C. Sitting at the end of the day on a sunny patio, with a glass of wine,  we will remember this as another lovely day. 
 

St.Jean Pied de Port; the Camino Francés 

The Camino Francés traditionally begins in St-Jean-Pied-de-Port.Two-thirds of pilgrims arriving in Santiago walk the Camino Francés, of which 10% start their journey here, walk south on the Rue de Citadelle, past the Notre-Dame church, and through the gate of Norte -Dame. 

I used a long exposure for the photo to show the pilgrims walking down the road. This represents the beginning of their journey.

We start our walk tomorrow.