Camino Inglés: Neda to Pontedeume

Continued from Exploring Neda.

When I saw Nancy eating breakfast at Pensión Maragoto, she was already packed up and ready to head out for the day. I move a little slower in the morning, so I told her I would see her along the way.  The laundry I had washed and hung on the windows was nice and dry, so I packed up and started walking around 9 a.m. I shot a quick video from the room before I headed out.

(See more details of Pensión Maragoto on previous posts.)

The Neda to Pontedeume stage was 18.7 km (11.6 miles) and followed the Ria de Ferrol for the first segment.

It was a peaceful walk along a boardwalk by the Ferrol river.

Boardwalk along the river in Neda

I walked right by a horse and felt like I was back on the Camino Portugués.

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Camino Inglés: Exploring Neda

Continued from Camino Inglés: Ferrol to Neda

Later in the afternoon, I felt like exploring Neda. I walked along the river to cross a small bridge over the Ria Ferrol.

Long afternoon shadow on freshly mowed grass

Long afternoon shadow on freshly mowed grass

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Camino Inglés: Ferrol to Neda

Continued from First Morning of Camino Inglés in Ferrol

“May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face.”

I always loved this Irish blessing. I thought it was a great way for Susan Jagannath to start the chapter for Day One in her guidebook, The Camino Inglés  6 days (or less) to Santiago. I enjoyed reading this guide on my Kindle App before I started my walk each day. I took Susan’s advice to split the first stage and stay in Neda instead of walking all the way to Pontedeume. This allowed me to enjoy a leisurely morning at the Parador, and even shoot this Facebook Live video in the room before I headed out.  Thus, I started my walk out of Ferrol around 11 a.m., which is considered extremely late by Camino standards!

I split the first stage, so my walk was only 15 km (9.5 miles). The distance would have been double, had I walked all the way to Pontedeume.

Below are the photos of my walk leaving Ferrol.

From a distance, I thought there were scuba divers in the calm waters off the beach, but they were fisherman were digging up clams.  Here are a few videos I captured.

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Camino and Hiking Events in November 2017

Below is the roundup of Camino-related events and hikes in the SF Bay Area for the month of November.

I’ll Push You Film Screenings
Thursday, November 2

Tickets are available for the nationwide screening of I’ll Push You, an inspiring film about two best friends on the Camino de Santiago. There will be screenings all around the Bay Area and country, so check with your local Camino group to join pre-film gatherings.   Purchase tickets.
Learn more:

Oakland’s Jack London Square screening, 7:30 p.m.

To watch the film in Oakland at Regal Jack London Stadium 9, purchase movie tickets here.

+ Optional Happy Hour at Plank
Before the screening, a few East Bay pilgrims will meet up at Plank Beer Garden for Happy Hour between 6 and 7 p.m.
Plank doesn’t take reservations, so just find an open table. Bring cash to split checks, or run your own tab. RSVP not required, but if you are on the NorCal Facebook group, check the event to see who’s coming.  Happy Hour specials from 3-7 p.m. $2 Off All Drinks & Appetizers. See Happy Hour Menu.   Also, see Dinner Menu.

All Active, Reserve or Retired Military, Law Enforcement or Fire Fighters receive 10% off! Hooray for Hero discounts!

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Pilgrim Weaver: Making Honey out of the Pollen of My Camino Experience

Part five of a series, Weaving Words and Photos into the Tapestry of My Life
by Sister Anita Fearday, a.k.a Pilgrim Weaver

Continued from Part Four: Arrival

R.S. Thomas said, “The point of travelling is not to arrive, but to return home laden with pollen you shall work up into honey the mind feeds on.” Now I am working on the honey harvest of my Camino experience. Not a day has gone by since my return that I have not savored a pinch of the pollen. This will be my first attempt at weaving words around the pilgrimage, now that I have had two months to ruminate.

Para leer en español, clic aquí.


The experience was a leap of faith in many ways. I had doubts about my physical stamina; financial viability; ability to be away from my loved ones and to relate to people of different cultures, languages, and backgrounds; and my ability to sleep on bunkbeds in big dormitories for a month. That I was stretched and called out of my comfort zone is to put it mildly, but I am glad I took the leap of faith and had the grace to persevere until the end. This experience has strengthened my faith and trust in a God who takes such tender loving care of me. Continue reading

A Coruña Mont San Pedro

Continued from A Coruña Old Town.

After an epic day of walking thirteen miles around A Coruña, exploring its beaches, Tower of Hercules and old town, I slept well, then woke up to sunshine and the sounds of waves and seagulls on the beach, just across the street.

The view from my room

The view from my room

Breakfast at cafe next door

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Pilgrim Weaver: Arrival

Part four of a series, Weaving Words and Photos into the Tapestry of My Life
by Sister Anita Fearday

Continued from Part Three: Finding Friends on the Way

Part Four: Arrival

Cuatro Parte: La Llegada

Twenty-Fourth Day: Filloval

It was a cold, blustery day on the Camino for me. I was glad most of the ascent was in the morning when I was fresh. Later, I ran out of energy and just had to eat. The nourishing soup, cheese sandwich, and plate of macaroni gave me the strength finally to continue. The rain permeated my shoes and clothes, and all I could think of was to find the hostel and crawl into bed. No pictures were taken because of the nasty weather.

Vigésimo cuarto Día: Filloval

Fue un día frío con el viento rugiendo.  Yo estaba feliz de poder hacer la subida en la mañana cuando todavía tenía bastante energía.   Luego me canse, y tenía que comer con urgencia.  La sopa nutriente, el sándwich de queso, y el plato de macarrón me dieron la fuerza necesaria para seguir adelante.  La lluvia penetraba en mis botas y en mi ropa y no podía pensar en nada más que en encontrar un refugio y meterme en la cama.  No hay fotos hoy porque el clima ha sido demasiado feo.

Twenty-Fifth Day: Sarria

Last night, I was beat. If all my days had been like yesterday, I doubt I would have made it this far. The weather was abysmal, and some of my clothes are still soggy. One thing I have learned is how to dry out shoes after the water has been poured out of them. The trick is to stuff them with dry, crumpled-up newspaper. I will also put rubber bands around my rain pants to see if that might help keep my feet dry.

Tonight we are staying at a lovely hostel in downtown Sarria for ten euros. The lodging in most hostels on the Camino costs between five and ten euros. Some offer an evening meal and breakfast for an additional cost—a wonderful service to pilgrims.

Cecilia bought me this Camino buff. Isn’t it classy?

Cecilia bought me this Camino buff. Isn’t it classy?
Cecilia me compró esta bufanda. Tiene un toque de sofisticació, ¿No?

Vigésimo quinto Día: Sarria

Anoche yo estaba agotada.  Si todos mis días hubieran sido como ayer, dudo que hubiera llegado hasta acá.  El clima estaba abismal y parte de mi ropa todavía está húmeda. Algo que aprendí, es la manera de secar mis botas después de sacar el agua de adentro.  El truco es llenarlas con periódico seco y encogido y dejarlas así durante la noche.  También puse ligas alrededor  de la parte inferior de mis pantalones de lluvia para evitar que la lluvia entre en mis botas.  Sueño con tener los pies secos hoy.

Esta noche estamos en un refugio en el centro de Sarria pagando 10 euros.  Algunos refugios ofrecen una cena y desayuno con un costo extra–un servicio maravillo para los peregrinos.

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Camino and Hiking Events in October 2017

Below is the roundup of Camino-related events and hikes in the SF Bay Area for the month of October 2017. This coming Saturday, October 7th, there will be a screening of Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago for those who attend the Lake Merritt walk and lunch.  My hope is for the camaraderie to continue after our monthly walks, where everyone can gather in a comfortable atmosphere over a good meal and learn about Camino topics or enjoy a film from our chapter’s CaminoFlix library.

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Pilgrim Weaver: Finding Friends on the Way

Part three of a series, Weaving Words and Photos into the Tapestry of My Life
by Sister Anita Fearday

Continued from Part Two: On the Way

Part Three: Finding Friends on the Way

La tercera parte:  Encontrándome con amigos en el camino

Sixteenth Day: Mansilla de las Mulas

I left the hostel early and enjoyed a lemon beer in Sahagún, population twenty-eight hundred. I found a hostel in Bercianos, thinking I would stay, and by chance, I asked the Italian receptionist, Rosa, whether a Cecilia Jacques from Australia had spent last night there. She assured me she had and told me she was spending tonight in Mansilla de las Mulas. Rosa then offered to take me there after she got off work, so I could meet up with my friend. I was so touched by her offer and I did accept. On the way, she told me her story. Nine years ago, she had cancer and was given two months to live. She made the Camino and was cured. She said this is her way of thanking God—by helping other pilgrims. Camino stories like this are not uncommon and are so touching. I enjoyed an affectionate reunion with Cecilia and other friends from the Camino.

Día Decimosexto: Mansilla de las Mulas

Yo salí del albergue temprano y goce de una cerveza con limón en Sahagún, población de 2.800.  Encontré un refugio en Bercianos, pensando que iba a pasar la noche allá, pero por casualidad pregunté a la recepcionista voluntaria, Rosa, si por si acaso mi amiga, Cecilia de Australia pasó la noche acá.  Ella me afirmó que de verdad pasó la noche y me hizo el favor de llamar varios albergues buscándola.  Cuando la encontró registrada en un refugio en Mansilla de las Mulas, ella ofreció llevarme en su auto allá después de su trabajo.  Yo estaba muy feliz de que ella me llevaría y además sin cobrarme nada.  En el camino Rosa me contó su testimonio.  Hace nueve años ella fue diagnosticada con cáncer y le dieron dos meses de vida.  Ella me dijo que fue completamente sanada haciendo el Camino.  Me dijo que ahora ayudando a otros peregrinos, es su manera de agradecer a Dios.  Testimonios de esta naturaleza son comunes en el Camino.  Cuando me encontré con Cecilia y otros amigos me sentí muy feliz.  Ahora Cecilia y yo podríamos caminar juntas otra vez.

Seventeenth Day: Virgen del Camino Outside of León

What a fantastic day! By 6 a.m., I was on the Camino. About 5 km down the road, I had cafe con leche (coffee with milk) along with a chicken sandwich I had made the night before. I was psyching myself up to walk the eleven more kilometers into León, when I noticed people waiting for a bus. I then thought what a marvelous idea it would be to take a bus over the final part of the Meseta and avoid walking through the industrial part of León. Thanks to the bus, in less than a half hour, I was within a couple of blocks from this important reference point in the city.

Día Decimoséptimo: Virgen del Camino afuera de León

¡Qué día más fantástico!  A las 6 a.m. ya estaba en camino.  Después de 5 km. tomé café con el sándwich de pollo que hice anoche.  Yo estaba preparándome psicológicamente para caminar 11 km. a León cuando vi gente esperando un bus.  Sin pensar mucho yo me puse en la fila para evitar caminar por la parte industrial de León.  En menos que media hora y pagando unos poco euros, estaba a dos cuadras de la catedral.

Cathedral of Leon

Cathedral of León

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Let All Who Are Thirsty Come

Mel Soriano from Pasadena, California, is on his fifth Camino and is currently in Ponte de Lima, the place I started my Camino Portugués last year.  I am recommending Mel’s blog, Let All Who Are Thirsty Come, plus a few related links below. He is on a spiritual journey and eloquently shares his experience through stories, hymns, prayers, and photographs.  In his own words, he’s “Nomadic geek, Episcopalian, Pilgrim, mobile/data integrator, husband, fiscal progressive IMMIGRANT.”  He is also on the board of Integrity USA, the LGBTQ group affiliated with the Episcopal Church. For Mel, the Camino pilgrimage is about healing, contemplation, gratitude, and meeting people.

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