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Month: August, 2017

Burgos, Spain…today!

That's how I'm ending my long travel day and 10kms walking all around Burgos. Simple dining alfresco from my hotel room now…

Buen Camino and goodnight!


Getting to ONE’s next Camino…

1 day away…then here!

Love those relaxing Saturday mornings at home.

This Saturday was special.

Coffee. Cool weather. Cereal. No humidity. Yogurt with honey, blueberries, strawberries, and granola. More coffee. No TV. Chocolate chip pancakes. NYTimes. A sweet morning for 4, 2 boys and 2 parents. Mom goes for a run. Dad goes to Kinko's too anally retentively copy his passport, credit cards, and other id documents.

Sweet last hour of lunch on our patio and customizing messages on stones.

Prayers too. Then, we load up for the airport.

We are there 2 hours before my fight. One hour less than recommended. It was fine.

Hugs. Kisses. Love you's. Texts of well wishes and Love. All good. Really. Great.

Breeze through security and I'm roaming around my gate and concourse.

Then, my Camino officially began. Tap. Tap. And, two nice gents, long-time pals, just stopped me in international concourse to ask about my Camino out of the blue. They noticed my backpack shell. It begins here, it seems. Unbridled friendliness, curiosity, and quick fellowship, before we all 3 take on our Camino's (theirs from St. Jean in France). That wonderful tap on my shoulder ended with handshakes and, of course, "Buen Camino!"

I can almost taste Spain after that.

Suffice it to say, this flight is not Air France. Delta is fine. Just enough. Adequate. Our last trip to Spain went through Paris and it showed. This one went through Atlanta and it shows. Even sleeping on this flight lacks in potential for recharge, relative to the French. C'est la vie.

On our plane, a lovely college girl named Jessica plops down beside me. She's heading to Madrid to intern with disabled kids. Good for her. Plans to graduate on a six year plan after changing majors. She's young. Plenty of time to figure that out. She reminds me of our
girls, especially when she curls up on the two seats reserved for both of us , as I gave up mine to cross the aisle for more room for both of us. Much to the displeasure of a young man who thought that he could make a sofa out of three mid-plane seats. Sorry, Charlie. You might just have to sleep upright or leaning into the middle seat like a grown-up flying to Spain. FYI. It's not even 6pm, my friend.

Even after cocktails, I'm jazzed, finished a Doc about stand-up comedians, and I'm blogging. And dinner is on it's way. Smells good, but we shall see.

Before and after the big reveal….

Okay. Delta veg lasagna tastes good. The rest. Ick. Cheesy lasagna is just fine.

Back to #MyComfyCamino …it's here. Nighttime over the Atlantic. Delta folks just killed the cabin lights. I guess mom said that we are all supposed to sleep now. Hmmmmm… nope. Not me. Watching or listening to another stand-up comedian and I'm fine. Just sayin'. Okay. Okay. Mom, I'm just blogging again!!!! And falling asleep. Never was good at all-nighters.

Made it to Burgos…next post will just let my pictures and videos do the talking, from walking into Burgos from the nearby bus station to my AC Hotel by Marriott, to my walking tour and 3 tapas & wine stops for under €15 combined. Pulpo (€3), seafood combo (€2), and 3-course (€7)…all three with vino tinto.

Can't you just taste Spain????


Camino 2017 looking good to start…

Just a day away from flying off and just an overnight to arrive in Madrid Sunday morn then here by early afternoon….

Not a bad start at all. No Meseta highs over 90 degrees f in August.

The Camino provides.

All packed here and ready…

I am so ready to get there and discover new places, people, and experiences of Spain and many other countries. That is a given on any Camino. You just need to be ready and open to the unknowns.

I am. Just stay tuned.

Next big adventure is almost here and will be shared here, of Facebook, Vimeo, and YouTube as wifi allows.

Buen Camino!


And, Ultreia!

Camino 2017 packing peek with Max

Our youngest's take on my Camino packing…Just trying to keep it light folks…Max jumps in and offers a quick summary of my Camino backpack & daypack contents…only three more days until Burgos!

My Comfy Camino….

There. I said (typed) it.

My next Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in Spain begins this weekend. Two years ago, I went to Europe for the first time, at age 47, at my oldest daughter's request. Not a pure holiday. But three weeks of travel and mostly walking 300+ kilometers from Leon to Santiago in northern Spain. I did it for her. Then, I did it for me.

It was exciting, mind-altering, simple, delicious, relaxing, entertaining, and painful too.

My biggest concerns were our health , well-being, safety, and comfort. Our health states were fine. She's an athlete. My big belly was countered by my strong heart & legs, plus irresistible charm. Our well-being was challenged by living each day without certainty about where we would be during and at the end of each day. Sure, I had a great guess via the best guidebook. But, we were winging it daily. Safety was never a real concern. We had each other and our new Camino family was always around us at every stage of our walk. Lastly, how comfy could I make this experience for both of us? After all, we would be in pain at some point. That was a given. How could I position us well to counter the inevitable pain?

Here's my plan then and now:

* start off with a known hotel after a long flight and bus or train ride. AC Hotels by Marriott are my €50-90 choice, with breakfast. Hot showers, clean rooms, and reminders of what you are leaving behind (bigger city comforts) gives me what I need.

* take one expert guidebook (Brierley) with notes from other books and experiences plus one device (IPhone) for writing & communicating where wifi is available

* listen to your body. Drink when thirsty. Eat when hungry. Relax when tired and when some body part is stressed and feeling ways that aren't normal. Nap after every shower.

* find your place, preferably with fun people. You are all in this together, which is "the Camino provides" part. Local Spaniards and fellow pilgrims get you more than you know via body language and simply communicating needs. Water, food, wine, beer, medicine, and help are all around you, even in the middle of nowhere.

* pay extra for comfort, privacy, cleanliness, and maybe a private bathroom. At my age, a clean, quiet (no snoring), safe place is worth the extra cost. No municipal auberges for me. Never. Too crowded, loud, smelly, dirty, and annoying. No thank you. Enjoy, young people and those more liberal than me.

* choose private auberges, pensions, etc. for a few Euros more that pride themselves on comforting the pilgrimage pains and need for peaceful rest. Well worth the cost, in my opinion. We slept only 2 of 18 nights in private aubergue bunk beds – each well-run with fun groups around and outstanding food.

* forget about washing that one set of clothes on a rock. Take 3-4 sets of quick-dry clothes (much easier in the summer months) and find washing & drying equipment or personal services every few days. €5 or so won't break you every few days and you know that they are clean and dry. Plus, your giving back to the Camino economy while saving hours of half-ass laundry drudgery.

* for someone who loves to cook, I stop cooking. Planning and shopping and then cooking is one thing that I leave behind. I let the Camino provide and I budget accordingly. Giving back to those who need it too. It's a win-win and others are glad to do it. Simple, cheap, and delicious…that's my perfect day anywhere that I find myself. Especially on my comfy Camino.

* find your peace everyday. Should be a rule everywhere you go. But, my comfy Camino certainly allows for it, between the usual pains. People, places, and lovely experiences that drown out any negative thoughts, regrets, and realities of life back home. Just be. Alone or not. Just breathe and be.

As we all say, your Camino is yours and yours alone. The above is mine. Not planned out to every detail. Still open to spontaneous moments everyday. But very aware of myself and my basic needs of peaceful rest, relaxation, and recharging after 20-35km walks in the Spanish sunshine.

Keep your Camino and I will keep mine. Always.

Buen Camino….and Ultreia!!!!

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