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Ciao, Camino! It’s been belissimo. Really.

Now is the time.

Goodbye, my Camino Frances.

I may not return, especially alone.

If you’ve followed this blog, you know how I love ❤️ Spain 🇪🇸 and, at this moment, detest my Divided States 🇺🇸 of America. So happy to have four weeks away from the man who shall not be named.

Regardless, it’s about time to fly home to the D.S.A. and my loved ones.

Really loved ones.

Many post about the post-Camino blues and readjusting to their normal lives. Back to normal responsibilities and cares that don’t involve 20-40kms walking 🚶 per day.

I admit that I did had a bit of that after my first Camino. My first European experience was special and rather emotional with my two daughters.

Not as much this time. Just as special, just much less emotional. Except for happiness. Very happy few weeks here with everyone. I love this world 🌎 even more now.

Moving on…

I have a wonderful, gorgeous, and super successful wife, partner, mom, and sales pro supporting me and wanting me home. Two boys that miss me too. Two girls out on their own adventures. And a great life and belissimo hometown to return to in no time.

This last week began in Samos and its Monastery from the 6th century. I made a couple of friends from France 🇫🇷 and Boston/San Diego and they made my lunch and my evening walk joys.

This was and is a lovely town of Samos.

Off to Sarria and just passing through. Too overcrowded. Roughly 60% of Camino pilgrims start there. 5 days to Santiago for that piece of Compostela paper. To each his own Camino.

I filled up my APOC credential and I am now using the Espana credential that I bought for €2 at the Samos Monasterio. Lots of room for stamps.

This last week, as well as parts of the last four weeks from Burgos to Santiago, have been my long goodbye. I know the end of a very good thing when I experience it. Like a sweet beach town with nothing but locals in business turning over to chains and big $$$ business interests. That’s when I need to move on. The magic is gone.

Our Camino now smells of ample Euros. What was €5-7 is now €8-11. Habaticions to ordinary pilgrim meals, the smell of money 💰 is in the Camino air. BTW. Check out the number of BMWs and Mercedes in very strange Camino places. One huge BMW parked on the lot/sidewalk of the newest Albergue in Tríacastela. Not a pilgrim, I’m guessing.

Standard “sandwich ” signage everywhere for sugary desserts and carbon copy pilgrim menus. Hamburgers and pizzas??? I came here to escape America. Not eat more of it.

Please understand.

I love Spain 🇪🇸!!! Her countryside. Her authentic food and her vino tinto. Her happier people. Her rare villager who will smile and offer “Buen Camino!!!” …those 3 older folks…one sweet woman in her gown with a cane, one cigar chomping man on the road, and one beret wearing man sitting under a tree in his backyard….three brief joys and my heart and mind were lifted as I responded “Gracias!!!” to each “Buen Camino!!!!!” each of those three offered right when I needed it. All too rare moments this time on my Camino.

I will indeed miss the cool daily walks on uncertain paths and the sights, sounds, and smells of rural Spain. No doubt there. But, as I’ve shared with many, one can make one’s own Camino everyday, anywhere. Just walk.

Walk through any wooded park. Walk through fields. Walk around any small town or village, if they still exist.

Just walk. And think.

No phone. No tunes. No distractions. Just walk and listen to the natural 🌎 world including your own footsteps. Easy to do in rural Spain. Little traffic. Mostly people on foot. Locals and pilgrims alike. Just walking.

Outside the old to ancient towns and villages, there are a million+ calm and beautiful places to walk by and through…..excluding the tissue strewn areas where grown men and women squat and literally dump on their Camino. 💩 Yuck.

I’ll never understand that level of disrespect for such a special, historic Way of St. James. Tissues used to wipe off the disrespect are all up and down the Camino and don’t think that the locals haven’t noticed. Hence, the lack of “Buen Camino” in the air. More Camino magic lost on me.

Back to the beauty of my last week here in Spain.

Beauty is everywhere here.

My walks alone. Walks with others. Just walking.

Jeremy, an actor from California, was another joy to walk and chat with. We only learned our names hours later at the top of Sarria. Funny. Hours after meeting in the Tríacastela dark. I had a flashlight for us to see our way.

What I love most about my Camino, and travel anywhere , is the unknown that turns into a discovery. A wonderful discovery. Sarria is too big and busy. Barbadelo offered a resort and farmhouse. I wanted more. Delicious menu and belissimo company for the evening. Si. Every night!

Is there a country spot that’s peaceful and smells of fresh air? Yes, there is.

Milano de Marzan.

Her owner looks very young, but acts like a mom to this middle Age pilgrim. Kinda funny. She did not appreciate my efficiency for vino tinto consumption in very remote regions of Spain 🇪🇸. Fair enough. She grew on me.

I chose to miss out on the Barbadelo resort for a farmhouse that wasn’t attended until 1pm. It was 11am. I moved on, with my trusty guide book, and found my paradise for one night. It was more magic.

Once the usual cleaning and laundry was hung, I went for …what else???…another walk. Met several peregrinos along The Way and offered all Buen Camino! with gusto. Most were happy.

God was watching and caring.

I arrived home that night to an almost full room of Italians. I had just slept with a small room of Italians the night before. No bueno.

This group was different. Young to my age. Maybe older. Who knows??? Very friendly. Not detached like the albergue before. They were and are very sweet at dinner and beyond….

I won’t forget our belissimo time together that night and the brief morning walk together too. More than belissimo.

Made my way to Portomarin and very familiar sights. Small river town, but not as small as the Gonzar ahead that we enjoyed before. This town did not smell of cow 🐮 and had more dining and sleeping options.

However, “Completo. Completo. Completo….” was all I heard until I ventured off my Brierley guidebook grid and found a small, family bar albergue with two bunks, four beds and that’s where I settled, washed, and cleaned early.

Sometimes, you just take what you can get for 10€.

Later, to be joined by one BASQUE biker 🚵 and two other Spaniards. There’s a difference… Basque is not Spain 🇪🇸, even though the Basque territory straddles Spain and France 🇫🇷. Watch “The Way”. It explains.

All 3 gents are very nice, very fit, and probably very curious about this large fellow that is not from around here. I understand.

Fine healthy meal, churchside!

y

Belissimo siesta. Bueno tour around Portomarin.

No cow smell. All good that night.

Tomorrow is another day….

What began as a short 4 hour day turned into an almost 7 hour day covering about 27kms. About my maximum. The nice cafe owner 10km back advised me that his albergue was Completo or full with reservations tonight. One group. A growing Camino issue that goes against the history and spirit, in my opinion. So, I kept walking. I’m pretty well trained these days. Another 10k came and went with beauty…

Until, after offering “Ciao!!” to my Italian ladies, I found my next albergue paradise. First one there again….

Casa Domingo was recommended by a friend of the owners at the Ant sculpture albergue that was Completo. I made it. I rested. I napped. I ate. And I loved Casa Domingo…

After I inhaled my super burger for only 4€, I chatted with the owners who live in the distant farmhouse. They own 8 albergues. Guess where I’m staying tomorrow night?

But, another dinner with a lovely Italian family of 4 and my bunkmate, a German….

The 21 yr old daughter was my family interpreter. They were a joy.

We chatted in the yard all afternoon and after siesta while it rained at dinner. All belissimo. Italians are very curious about America.

I tossed and turned a bit that night, let most bump and thump their way out by 6 and I finally rose to get ready to walk at sunrise.

Other than my classic sunrise 🌅, grande croissant 🥐, and those ancient Roman bridges…all that’s left to show before today’s siesta is the most beautiful young couple in the 🌎!!!!

That photo cannot begin to describe how beautiful these two new “friends” from Madrid are!!! Then, add their curiosity, their youth, their spirits, and their collective energy….so beautiful to spend seconds with them everyday and a good hour with them today!!! They will be missed, as we had to say buenos Dias and Buen Camino to Marta & Danny one last time….

Goodbyes sadden me.

A few family updates and a short siesta later. I’m back. Ready for dinner. Menu sounded so limited and bland, but I am stuck in this one kitchen town. So I thought!

First, my sweet server gives me choices.

Insalata, por favor…..ehhhhh…no tuna. Jamon??? Si, she says. Grilled steak???? Si!!!!

The best grilled meat, fried potato, and fresh insalata with Jamon I’ve ever had…no dressing needed Perfecto!!!!

Then St. James tarta and a mysterious shot. Looked harmless.

Goodnight, sweet Saint James.

Another 20km done today in rain. A 4 hour slog was enough for me and The Way Pensión I booked in Brea allowed me in 2.5 hours early. Being soaked may have helped. The pool is perfect for kids and polar bear challengers.

Hoping for the sun to make an appearance soon or sometime tomorrow. Then on to Santiago on Thursday.

I recall a pretty industrial landscape between here and Santiago de Compestella. Not going to bore anyone with those sights.

Not going to selfie the historic Cathedral either. Plenty of those out there.

I’m just going to end my almost three year fascination & Love affair with Frances this way.

The Way. My Way.

My Love, you know who you are.

Our way from now on.

Gracias for following along.

Find your Camino where your heart is…just be there, walk long walks, and think about your Way everywhere and everyday.

Finally…..

Buen Camino!

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Camino stories..

I love stories.

Not fiction. Real stories.

Real people doing what they do and not afraid to share it.

Walking every day across the north of Spain certainly offers a lot of stories, given generously or slipped in maybe by accident. Maybe not.

Two tough gals from Germany 🇩🇪, over fresh paella, made my first communal dinner this year much more interesting and entertaining …

I text my daughter about her German experience and both women were so cool 😎 about it. They knew exactly where she had lived and served outside of Munich.

I’m not quite half-way through this Camino and I cannot possibly transfer the conversational interaction between myself and around two dozen or so other pilgrims. Mostly Italian this time, then French, German, Spanish, English, Argentinian and Hungarian…as seen here….love them all……

Just 2 happy Americans and they were married, thank God.

This is the greatest place in the world to really find out what other cultures think of our American culture AND their own. Same the other way around. What this Americano thinks about Espana and the man who’s name shall not be mentioned. Abundant honesty is here on the Camino, since we may never see one another again. Or will we????. Walls come down that way.

Perfecto! This IS the wonderful space to escape America and all of her current dysfunction right now.

A deserted island 🌴 would work well too, but Spain 🇪🇸 has varied scenery, sweet people, delicious tapas, pulpo, vino tinto, and cervesas. They keep you going after a long half-day of walking 20-30km and afternoon siesta.

And dinner. Sweet peregrino dinner with Italians all..

I will really miss mi amigos , Nicoletta & Filippo , dos kind & sweet people. I ❤️ them. My Love and I have our Italian friends when we sail their way. Jump on our catamaran, you two lovely friends!!!!

A little more than two weeks and I will walk or limp into Santiago and get my next Compostela in Santiago.

Then back to Madrid and fly home.

The Camino is at home too. Trails resemble the peace and the chaos of regular American lives. Cars rule the day. Schedules rule the lives. Nature is slowly paved over. Progress is profit over peace. All very American.

I prefer any alternative to that.

Pura Vida in Costa Rica 🇨🇷?

Not Costa Rica, but you get my Good Life, Pura Vida point, no?

Spain 🇪🇸 & Italy 🇮🇹 have a very similar way of embracing life.

And those kinds of cultures tend to allow people to live longer and show their future generations what really living well is. Pura Vida, si.

Gracias, amigos. Thanks, new friends for lifelong memories and valued education about a bigger world 🌎 than our little America.

Buenos noches,

Cliche’ Alert: “The Camino provides”

….but, if you allow it, the cliche' becomes true.

After a very relaxing afternoon and restful night at La Morena, an oasis of its own, we hit the trail at 7am and sunrise for another day. Their last day on their Camino.

Another beautiful Camino morning for all who are up to enjoy it.

Our morning went on with searches for breakfast and allowed us fresh zumo de naranjara , as Brierley's book was no so bueno.

We finally found a crusty couple who opened up their bar fashionably late, seemed to be irritated by pilgrims, but actually had real food that was not commercially wrapped in plastic. More zumo and croissant pour moi. It was delicious and came with a healthy serving of disgust. Buen Camino.

Hours later, we made it through our walk, very personal conversations, and fine vistas to reach the ceremonial mid-point of the Camino. For Jen & Ron, it was time to stop, for now, stay the night in Sahugan, train back to Madrid, and fly home to Massachusetts.

I've never met a happy, American couple on the Camino like them. Americans are rare anyway. We are typically solo and have reasons to be here alone. Jen and Ron had been here before. Time only allowed them their St Jean to Sahagún Camino over two weeks, as they still have careers back home….and a sweet beagle and two grown kids too.

We hugged, exchanged phone numbers, and settled up the €3 each for beers and ample, free tapas that we inhaled quite nicely on Sahagún's Plaza Mayor. And off I went…

My Camino continues for a couple of more hours and I pass a young lady that seems to be grinding out each step and an Italian couple who is about done like me.

Another small village awaits to provide a nice bed and lots of delicious food and conversation over vino tinto . First, at check-in, the nice Italian couple walks in and kindly offers me Italian and Spanish lessons about requests for non-peregrino menu options….nice effort. Hot shower and clean clothes later, and I'm outside with all cafe tables occupied. Very nice German couple that I had exchanged pleasantries with over days had a seat at their table. I asked. They obliged with smiles. Lovely, lovely couple. After an hour or so, they had to go and meet a bike delivery van to help speed up their Camino to fit their German life back home. Peddling to Astorga tomorrow. Not moments after they left, a young girl leaves her table and her parents as well. I recognize them from the last few towns too and ask to join them. Another sweet couple from France and their 3 teenage kids, with two other families, totaling 14 on their walking Camino. Lots of stories there. We talked about family, politics, and other cultural things until their sleeping kids arose and joined us for tapas and cola drinks.

A young man sitting beside alone finally chimed in when I was inspired to whip out my jaunty, Cockney accent to make a point "there guvnah!" He is a philosophy graduate from London, who's father is Indian and mother is Nordic. Handsome chap with a wealth of conversation. Thus, he must join me for dinner.

He reminded me of that fellow in "Lion" and the "Marigold" hotel movies. Young, smart, global, and fairly seasoned for a man of 25.

We both shunned the peregrino menu and ordered the grilled steak and chips (double insalata for me, no chips). Delicious slab of beef was devoured by each of us. €9 each with a shared bottle of vino tinto. Like our long, very personal conversation, that meal was a joy and nourishing beyond food.

We settled up at the bar, since no one auto-presents the check here…take your time in Espana….and we said our good nights.

That was one remarkable, global day that will never be repeated. I love that.

Most of us shall meet again. No doubt.

Buen Camino.

Just Kaitlyn. In Madrid, Spain. 

   
    
    
 

   
    
 

  
Goodbye to Madrid. Shuttle to airport is almost here. 

Cheers!

So you think you might want to hike the Camino?  Let me help you, por favor. 

Just read. Read a year before. Read that entire year. Read on the plane. I bought four of the best books I thought Amazon could produce and each offered good to great advice. The best, by far, was the upbeat, practical, and even mystical back-pocket sized book of all Camino books…

  

 

Looks a little rough. You bet. If I wore you out for two weeks straight, you might not look too good either. This was my Camino bible. 

Next, what to pack. Quick dry shirts (Patagonia or Mtn Harware), same in shorts (Columbia , Marmot, Mtn Harware, Patagonia),  and underwear (Ex-officio only) work the best. Just 2-4 of each depending on your laundry accessibility. I took 5 of everything , which was too much. Lesson learned. Oh, and hankies. It’s our family thing.  But I used a lot of handkerchiefs on the Camino. A sun blocking Columbia hat too. Where did all of my stuff go …
  
…my Osprey 24liter backpack. Light, compact, fits easily on planes and trains. Held more than I needed for the Camino, plus strapped a water bottle, my back-up Keens, and a bottle opener to it. No problem. 

No trekking poles for me. Too noisy. Not physically helpful to me. Just adding tap dancing to a peaceful hike. 

Most important items of all:

Great wool socks (SmartWool or Wigwam, my choice) that may claim to be “blister-free”..and they almost were. But those dry socks with these big ol’Keens…

  
And you have a winning combination. 

No running. Just walking and hiking. Unless… cervesas are up ahead.  

(Yawning my head off…I’ll finish this tomorrow)

I’m back. You know Ameican influence has reach Madrid when..

   
 
Nothing rustic cafe’ about this AC Hotel and its breakfast buffet. But, I digress. 

Sure, bring all of the toiletries you think you need, but my toothbrush, floss, comb,  gel, soap, shampoo, quick-dry towel , and deoderant all fit nicely. 

Lastly, bring plenty of euros and your wifi capable smartphone and you will be set, with Camino bible as your ultimate guide to each day’s landmarks & destinations. 

Lastly, for real this time, bring a best friend or loved one to share this journey with and remember forever. I’ve been on Dad-daughter adventures to our known places of NYC and Pass-a-Grille, but never two weeks plus into the unknown.  If you just want to be alone, I guess it’s possible. Come to the Camino alone and you will meet a wide spectrum of characters, 99% well-educated Spaniards, French, German, Italian, or Canadian.  We Americans are rarely seen or heard on the Camino, at least during our two weeks in July. And it was wonderful. One retired steel mill fella from Ohio, who strongly resembled Santa Claus, was the loudest person at each cafe’ stop. His vast knowledge of everything reminded me of my Dad. 

Go do it, if you like. Alone or not, you’ll never really be alone. You will be with various “pilgrims” as you go. 

As the song says, you will never walk alone, at least on the Camino. 

Our Camino proved it. 

For more prep, laughs & mostly true things about the Camino (we had no bladder issues) check this out:

http://matadornetwork.com/notebook/20-truths-walking-camino-de-santiago/

Hope all of this helps. Go explore. If you can affordably get to France or Spain, do 100km, 300km (like us from Leon to Santiago), or the entire 800km from St. Jean. You will be challenged and probably glad you did. 

Just travel. Wherever you go. 

Cheers. 

  

Sleeping with Spaniards. 

It’s only happened once…so far. Spanish women are fun, impossible to understand, and a laugh a second.  That is reason enough to spend a fun-filled night with them. But, so is a lack of private rooms at your local aubergue. These are such women with my lovely daughter…

   
   
Too much fun. The lovely gal on the left side of this last pick spoke English well. She was my connection to the others when Brianna was not around. Very nice women on a great trip. 

We all slept in the same room due to the packed town of pilgrims. We all ate, washed clothes, relaxed, and chatted in common spaces or sidewalk cafes as needed. It was an experience. First and last. 

You see, Brianna and I have been putting all of our energy and sweat into the Way. The walk. The hike to Santiago from Leon, Spain. 300km of the 800km Camino Frances that demands 5-6 weeks of hiking. 

I’ll make no apologies for needing comfort after our days on the Camino. We paid 10€ for our first private room and 20€ for our favorite aubergue experience and 55€ for a remarkable B&B in the smallest village. Other private rooms with clean beds and killer baths have all been in that range , averaging us about 35€ per night. Well worth the 15-20€ per night for securing our stuff, clean everything, total privacy, quiet naps, peaceful overnight sleep, and NO BEDBUGS.  Yes, Yes, those are an issue in cheap hostels and aubergues on the Camino. 

Not worth it. Budget accordingly or just camp outside. Either way. Avoid those critters. Ridding them from your person, clothes, and backpack is quite the ordeal. 

From where we are now, it’s Camino paradise @ 45€ + 20€ total for both 3-course dinners with vino. Not bad….

   
    
 
Yeah. I get that look a lot. Regardless, this idea of hers has brought us here. Fun. Challenge. Laughs. Endless memories. Cultural education for me. My first and best trip to Europe yet. 

Gracias, Brianna. Mucho gracias, señorita. 

She’s off to bed now. 4.50€ and my nightcap awaits me…

 
Viva Spain!

Viva Brianna!

And Buen Camino!

Cheers !

Bad wifi. Horse puckey. And the running of the Bulls …and cows. We are waaaay out here, Camino! Viva Spain!

I was in business for almost two decades and I navigated a lot of $#!+. But nothing like the merde I’ve navigated literally and technologically the last few days. But, here we are, in Gonzar, at the bar (oh, Dr. Suess) wifi from afar.  Oh, the places we go. 

  
  
You see. We had a first world problem. When in the vast space of Galicia, techy concerns, wifi (pronounced “wee-fee”) is what it is. The flies here have stronger connections than technology. Maybe that’s the point. Horse a and cow poop smells stronger than any online connection could be. C’est la vie. (Camino is French too)

Until I have a real connection with gusto. Trust me. I have pics & videos to write home about. That’s the whole point. Sure, I want to entertain my blog followers, but this blog is mostly for the most beautiful and caring woman & partner and our 4 remarkable kids (2 grown women & 2 little dudes). 

Find pics and videos & links @justbecausetwit on Twitter. I sincerely wish I could do better here. Just. Not. Gonna. Happen. Galicia. Spain. 

Thanks for reading and following. 

Best to you & yours,

Brad

Just Brianna. 

   

  

    
    
   

   
    
  

   
   

   
    
    
    
 

   
 
…so used to that look. We’re almost done, my dear. Love, Dad. 

Kids say, and sing, the darnedest things. Even on the Camino. 

Here we are another 18km up the Camino and a nap for one and a little writing with cervesas for papa. We were blessed with another gorgeous day. Lots of sun and nice breezes. Same forecast for the next week.  We also had the blessing of sharing most of our journey today with our new friends from Barcelona. 

  
Lourense first teased Brianna, at our first cafe rest-stop, that only Mr. Brad could come. To which I retorted, “we are a packaged set. Both of us or none”.  This goofy 11-year old acquiesced.

  
A few minutes late, hands were held. 

Too many funny words, thoughts, and ideas between us all to cover here. Trust me. 

Then, there was singing… here they are…
 
…plus Brianna. We left the family at their auberge and moved on to our nice, scenic lunch. 25€ later and we are full of tapas & cervesas, which were delicious. I came for their pupa (octopus) but left with cheese, meats, and beer success.  

  
A short walk later, we are here at our next auberge. Only 20€ total for our private room and meals & drinks are all offered for a donation. Pay what you think it’s worth, she said.  We love that. 

  
As she naps, Dad is left to his own devices. I’ve showered, swigged a couple of San Miguels, shared with you, and, now I must upload and go. New friends await here from South Africa and Belgium. 

Cheers and Buen Camino!

Our first pilgrimage. The Camino. The Way. 

If you enjoyed “The Way” film with Martin Sheen, you’ll have a head start here. If not, find it on Netflix.  It’s quite the true story…but no one had to die for my oldest girl, Brianna, to convince me to go. Just go. 

  
You see that look. If looks could kill, that would not be her. Her looks run the gamut from sly to lovely.  But, mostly funny. 

After a few months of planning, we were off this week. Flying over 24 hours with a train ride, via Atlanta, Paris, and Madrid, we arrived in Leon around 8pm.  Fortunately, the sun sets here after 10 now. I’m typing this around 10:30 and there’s still light. Last vino tinto (red wine) of the night. 

  
I digress. Last night was a great first night, as short as it was. We hopped between three or four tapas bars, enjoying cervesas and free food. Yes, that’s how they do it here. Buy beer. Eat well.  Spent 3-4€ at each stop. Hands down, last night’s winner was “Jamon , Jamon ” , the quaint, little bar with various meats hanging from the ceiling. Jovial gent served us up the usual beverage and a plate of chorizo, Jamon Iberico, and manchego cheese. Nice way to start our three-week experience…great food, beer, conversation for hours..for less than 20€ or $24.  I would have pictures to share if we weren’t determined to avoid looking like the giddy tourists we were in Leon. No apologies here. 

We turned in early for me, but it had to be done. No TV. It’s all in Spanish.  Who knew?  No writing. Just get to sleep, damn it, since your body clock is thrown. 7am or so, we hit the trail. 

   
   
We ended up and out before 8 and we were too early for the first cathedral. So, we got going. Too far to go to wait until 9:30. Especially, when we begin with weather in the 50’s Fahrenheit.  On this leg of the Camino, in July, you hike early and rest, eat, sleep, imbibe, and enjoy the rest of day. We travelled through Leon’s downtown and industrial district and this little guy appears….

  
…the beginning of our countryside and villages experience had begun.  

  
Today was a hoot. We traveled 22k on foot, through many a field, village, virtual ghost town and historic landmarks. All good, as were the baguettes, olive oil, meats and cheeses, finished off with a 4-course veg meal with wine. All for about 28€ for everything. Bonus, local store sells bottles of Spanish reds for 1.35€ to 2.75€ per bottle!  No wonder they give it away at 9€ price fixed meals. 

Lastly, my nicest surprise today was meeting so many nice pilgrims on the Camino.  Donna from Canada was nice on the trail. Another family of three from Canada chatted poolside (we paid 10€ total for this auberge tonight and the same in 1€ drinks all day). A guy from South Africa. A hippie loud-talker from the coast of Spain. A dapper fellow from Austria. Another from Germany. Yet another father and child from Italy (awkward dining partners, as none of us spoke his one language). A family of three from Vancouver, led by mom Suzanne, who offered me her phone to text home, before I figured out the limited wifi range.  And last, and best, the sweet family of four from Barcelona on their fourth leg of the Camino in their fourth summer trip. Mom, two girls, and one spunky boy, Lourense…just look….

   
 
He introduced himself in Spanish, then smartly switched to English. We chatted. He took my sunglasses. Tried them on. Took a selfie with his Nikon. Another with my phone. Bounced around. And we did it all again after dinner with Brianna and his sisters. Very entertaining, especially when those four started pouring Spanglish, English, and Spanish like waterfalls. Too sweet. Mom was cool and spoke excellent English, and her kids could to in varying degrees. We will see them all again and again as we continue. 

What a day. Brianna is out. Our auberge bar is starting to wind down downstairs and hopefully the remaining loud-talkers will allow all to sleep.  Maybe not. 

Goodnight and Buen Camino!

&&&&&&&&

Good morning. Just edited a few things while waiting for Miss Brianna. 

Happy 4th from the Camino!

  
Buen Camino!

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