Spain

Thumbnail image for Camino day 21 Villavante to Astorga

Camino day 21 Villavante to Astorga

by Kim October 11, 2013

The sun came up subtly and I could tell that it would be a gray day. I walked and walked, lost in thought, just doing whatever the yellow arrows told me to do. If only everything in life were so straightforward.

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Thumbnail image for Camino day 20 Leon to Villavante

Camino day 20 Leon to Villavante

by Kim October 10, 2013

I left Leon in high spirits and they’ve stayed high all day long. I’m glad that I’ve learned to listen to what I need. If I want time alone, take it. It’s so simple. Yet how many times in my past have I neglected my own desires in order to satisfy others?

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Thumbnail image for Camino day 19 Mansilla de las Mulas to Leon

Camino day 19 Mansilla de las Mulas to Leon

by Kim October 9, 2013

I was in the worst mood this morning. I know why this time. It has something to do with my female hormones and the fact that I had a terrible sleep last night. The lady in the bunk below me snored like she earned a degree in it.

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Thumbnail image for Camino day 18 Sahagun to Mansilla de las Mulas

Camino day 18 Sahagun to Mansilla de las Mulas

by Kim October 8, 2013

Somehow, by lucky accident, I ended up on an alternative route as I navigated myself out of town in the darkness this morning. Because I turned left when everyone else turned right, I spent the day walking in utter solitude, save from the occasional farmer in the fields. I was blissfully happy to be alone out there in that wide-open space and thankful to be feeling well again.

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Thumbnail image for Camino days 16 and 17 Carrion de los Condes to Sahagun

Camino days 16 and 17 Carrion de los Condes to Sahagun

by Kim October 7, 2013

I crunch along the gravel road in silence until a kind South Korean man I’d met a few days earlier calls out to me, “Hello Miss Oregon!” I turn to acknowledge him and he waves, saying, “I recognized you by your behind.” I giggle a little, though I know what he means, and he speeds by me with a smile and disappears out of sight.

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Thumbnail image for Camino day 15 Boadilla to Carrion de los Condes

Camino day 15 Boadilla to Carrion de los Condes

by Kim October 5, 2013

I felt like I was in a movie. I imagined a scene where the character has undergone a long journey. The director uses shots of the actor walking. A music montage plays in the background. The director is trying to express that lots of things have happened but there isn’t time to explain them all.

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Thumbnail image for Camino day 14 Hontanas to Boadilla

Camino day 14 Hontanas to Boadilla

by Kim October 4, 2013

I spent the first hour or so walking with a woman, Joan, who I adored from the get-go. She was spunky and funny and quick to laugh. She told great stories and asked the right questions which pulled my best stories out of me.

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Thumbnail image for Camino day 13 Burgos to Hontanas

Camino day 13 Burgos to Hontanas

by Kim October 3, 2013

This morning as I left Burgos I saw a woman drop some ointment from her bag. I picked it up and handed it to her and we struck up conversation. She asked where I was from, I told her Portland, and then she asked me if I knew Karen. Indeed I do! We walked together for the first few hours talking about Karen and our lives at home until eventually we lost track of each other. What a small world it is.

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Thumbnail image for Camino day 12 Ages to Burgos

Camino day 12 Ages to Burgos

by Kim October 2, 2013

Yesterday, while everyone else stuffed their shoes with newspaper to dry them, I’d been in the bar drinking wine with the ghost of Hemingway. So my shoes were still wet as I slipped them on and I cursed myself a little for my carelessness. Still, the wine was worth it.

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Thumbnail image for Camino day 11 Belorado to Ages

Camino day 11 Belorado to Ages

by Kim October 1, 2013

But then I arrived, wet like a stray dog, at my albergue. And I showered a warm shower and I waddled next door to the bar. And I have been drinking with a wine aficionado from Brazil, a pediatrician. He is very excited about the 2014 world cup. He has a big white beard and a friendly laugh.

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Thumbnail image for Camino day 10 Santo Domingo de la Calzada to Belorado

Camino day 10 Santo Domingo de la Calzada to Belorado

by Kim September 30, 2013

The morning is my favorite time for walking. My legs and feet are free of pain and the promise of sunrise is exciting. It takes me forever to travel the first few miles because I’m constantly stopping to take photos. I am so in love with Spain’s morning sky.

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Thumbnail image for Camino day 9 Najera to Santa Domingo de la Calzada

Camino day 9 Najera to Santa Domingo de la Calzada

by Kim September 29, 2013

I showered and went to a café for a glass of wine and to type up yesterday’s notes. And I had a moment, sitting there in the bar, when it dawned on me that I was alone in Spain in a café on a rainy afternoon, drinking wine and writing. And I felt so free and whole. I felt whole. And I realized that somewhere along the way these past few years I’ve found something that I didn’t consciously know I’d been looking for.

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Thumbnail image for Camino day 8 Logrono to Najera

Camino day 8 Logrono to Najera

by Kim September 28, 2013

When I finally arrived in Najera it started raining. I found the municipal albergue, took my shoes off, and walked through the door. The dining room was filled with other pilgrims.

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Thumbnail image for Camino day 7 Torres del Rio to Logrono

Camino day 7 Torres del Rio to Logrono

by Kim September 27, 2013

It is a beautiful morning and the breeze is cool. The trail is thin with pilgrims and I walk alone past grapevines and olive trees. I am smiling and lifted. I feel so happy for this rich and colorful life of mine.

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Thumbnail image for Camino day 6 Estella to Torres del Rio

Camino day 6 Estella to Torres del Rio

by Kim September 26, 2013

I slept well last night. There were at least 16 beds in my room but no snorers. That’s a notable stroke of good luck. Plus, I’ve finally given in to the Camino nighttime especial and am sleeping in my underwear. It’s too hot.

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Thumbnail image for Camino day 5 Puente la Reina to Estella

Camino day 5 Puente la Reina to Estella

by Kim September 25, 2013

Camino tip: It is not the best idea to drink seven glasses of wine when one must walk thirteen miles the following day.

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