I’ve had a good 2 years, not going further than 120 km from my house, but with not much blogging material! The forced pause was, to some degree, a good thing. I stayed healthy, became a regular sourdough bread baker, grew a lot of salad greens in the back yard, and walked a lot. During 2021, I walked at least 50 km every single week!
However, I am thrilled to be able to travel again – to visit family in Toronto and then fly to Spain.
This photo reminds me of life imitating art. I saw the real aerial view after many hours studying routes on Google Earth. The first thing that occurred to me was to look for the walking track on a KML file, and then I wanted to click on the little person to reveal Street View!
Madrid was busy celebrating San Isidro, their patron saint, so masses of people were out and about. I stayed very near to Sol, which was, as usual, a mob scene. I was too tired to participate except with a peek from my room. Next time I’ll stay a few blocks further away. There are many similar hostales – all with the same decor, ambience and elevator that you can’t turn around in.
Now I am on a 4-hour bus trip from Madrid to Ponferrada.
On the bus are 5 or 6 Spaniards – not in the flush of their youth – wearing Camino del Norte shirts. This bus goes on to Lugo and Ferrol, so maybe they are starting an annual section of the Norte. They are getting quite jovial now that we are into serious Camino territory – stopped in La Bañeza (VDLP), and have now dropped a pilgrim off to start in Astorga. Next stop – Ponferrada!
Tomorrow I will start walking the Camino de Invierno, about 280 km. I have a leisurely trip planned – perhaps 16 days to get to Santiago – and I’ll stay mainly in private accommodations. I am a little concerned about my problematic left foot, but I did a lot of walking around Madrid without problems. I am optimistic that my new orthotics and comfy wide shoes are solving my problems. (I need arch support and cushioning even around the house these days.)
The weather forecast is for unseasonably hot weather across Spain. That’s fine with me.
Later… I am settled into the Hotel Los Templarios in Ponferrada. It is SO nice to be finally on the Camino – a pleasant relief after over a week of travel, visiting, and cities. Still, Ponferrada is a major town and I’ll be glad to head into the hills and villages tomorrow.