Carryon couple plows toward Camino finish

On a clear, crisp Mother's Day, we passed a farmer preparing for spring planting. We are staying in our last albergue, just 12 miles from Santiago!

On Monday, we will have spent 33 days and walked more than 400 miles on the Camino de Santiago. As we hang up (throw away?) our hiking shoes, some notes from the trek:

Ways of Spain: The Spanish people take time for each other, especially family. The pace of life is slow in villages along the Camino. Children are treasured. We have watched as villagers stop parents or grandparents pushing strollers so they could see the babies. I heard someone remark, “That baby will be a teenager by the time they get to the end of town!”

The people: The Spanish people have been most welcoming, kind and helpful.

Music: There is a strong Gaelic cultural influence in northern Spain, particularly in the Galicia region in which we have walked the past few days. Saturday night, a nearby city had a bagpipe festival. At dinner Saturday, the music playing in the restaurant reminded us of music played during a Scottish ceilidh.

More music: Bruno Mars songs are often played in bars and restaurants here.

Day packers: During the last week, we have seen more and more people having their luggage or backpacks shipped ahead to their next stop. There are services that will do that for about 7€ a day.

Crowds and heat: We are glad we came to the Camino in the spring. Green hillsides, flowers everywhere, and a lack of crowds (until we neared Santiago). It would be an entirely different Camino in the summer, when the number of pilgrims quadruples (or more) and temperatures soar.

Climbing: There have been steeper and more frequent climbs and descents than we anticipated. We often gained 500-1,000 feet in a day. The most for us was 2,400 feet. Much of the trek has been between 2,000 and 3,000 feet in elevation. This builds endurance, though, especially when carrying a 20-pound backpack every day. We push up the mountains much faster now than we did the first few days.

Cool trip: Temperatures for our trek have been cooler than we expected. We have had just a few days over 70 degrees. Most have been in the high 50s or 60s, some never reached 50. Good walking weather almost the entire trip.

Cuckoo birds: For evermore, we will think of the Camino every time we hear a cuckoo clock go off. The bird is ever present here and greets us daily, especially during the chilly mornings.

Bars: Oh, how we will miss the Spanish bars! They are a regular oasis along the Camino, offering a rest stop and bathroom break along with coffee, toast, sandwiches, pilgrim meals, drinks and much more. Many, many pilgrim friendships begin at the bars. People most often sit outside to watch the Camino go by.

 

Categories: Camino de Santiago | Tags: , , , , , , | 19 Comments

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19 thoughts on “Carryon couple plows toward Camino finish

  1. Please do keep on walking … we have become dependent on your blog, and the opportunity it has offered to vicariously walk the Camino together with you … we are already foreseeing the withdrawal symptoms!

    • Thank you, James. We may not keep on walking like this, but we will keep on traveling!
      You and Gitta will be in our thoughts as we finish tomorrow.

  2. Carole

    hear hear James – we don’t know what we’ll do without your daily blogs!

    Enjoy every last step of your journey into Santiago

    • Thank you, Carole. Well, we will just have to find another adventure, eh? It is going to be tough to top this one.

  3. Jamey

    And Happy Mother’s Day to you, Sue! Your boys must be amazed by their adventurous parents! Sue, I m reminded of your mother and father- both adventurers in their own way! Happy, happy final dia del Camino! XOXO

    • Happy Mother’s Day to you too…and to your amazing Mother, Jamey. If my mom had had the chance, I think she would have bought an ipad to follow our journey 😦

  4. We are proud of you and the amazing journey you have taken. Thanks for sharing it with your friends! What a trip you have had.
    Come home safe and sound.
    Happy Mother’s Day Sue!

  5. Jeannie

    I, too, am going to miss your posts as I have so enjoyed walking the Camino with you! Happy Mother’s Day, Sue…what a great way to spend it! I know you will fully take in all the wonderful aspects of this journey on your final day. Thank you for sharing your adventure with us.

    • So glad you could join us on our adventure…and it was an adventure! It’s hard to believe that Santiago awaits us tomorrow…so soon!
      Happy Mother’s Day to you too Jeannie.

  6. Reg and Sue–I have really enjoyed reading your blogs and seeing your photos. What an incredible adventure you’ve had. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Rebecca

  7. You’ve done well. My wife is currently at Burgos and 10 days into her trip which started in Puenta la Reina this year. It is bittersweet as you say but 8 months since I finished it is still with me.

    You may return to repeat the journey, many do.

    Best of luck!

    • Hi Andy,
      We arrived in Santiago today, but we know you are right: this journey will be with us forever.
      Best wishes to our wife.
      Reg and Sue

  8. Andy and Roberta Brake

    Hi Sue and Reg, really nice to meet you and spend time with you. So happy to read your blogs and see the pictures, brings back many wonderful memories. You have to do the Camino to truly understand the experience that it is. Take care and I hope you continue to travel and do the spontaneous things you talked about . Roberta and Andy Brake from Newfoundland

    • Hello Andy and Roberta,
      We enjoyed sharing the Camino magic with you. Great conversation over dinner, walking, and coffee! Our best to you and your family. Also, enjoy the new grandchild!
      Reg and Sue

  9. Ryan S

    Hey guys, It’s Ryan! The kid you walked with on the Camino for a day. With my green shirt and bright multi-colored shorts. It was really nice to meet you guys on my own journey! Glad I found your blog! Very good company on a hot day of walking to Logroño, Spain. Hope all is well!
    -Ryan S.

    • 2orangebags

      Hi Ryan,
      Nice to hear from you…did you make your goal? We hope your friends made it OK. Say hello for us.
      Also hope school finished well.
      We enjoyed meeting you too. Here’s to more adventures, eh?
      Best always,
      Reg and Sue

  10. I have little knowledge of spain and find it interesting that there are regions where there are gaelic influences as you mentioned!

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