Tuesday, July 5, 2011

July 5

We are back in porto and will hit the city after breakfast. the hostel is beautiful and the flight from munich uneventful-
Tomorrow we are homeward bound. Yea. Will be good to sleep in my own bed again.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy July 4th to all our american friends

Dachau was cold, windy and drizzly, fitting for a memorial of this sort. according to the literature the german motto was repress and forget, but a group of survivors decided that there needed to be a memorial and so they rallied the troops and one was opened in the 60.s. it is a fitting memorial...horrible and interesting...not sugar coated, but real. very well done.
back to the residence of the king,s after...terribly ostentatious, and then beer with a british couple. he had lived in toronto as part of his studies, co-op I think, but his job was moving furniture for CBC at night. he got fired for being too noisy and took a job as a security guard. he lived in the beaches with a bunch of guys, and when they took back their beer empties the guy told them that they had to have a special events license for that much beer. we had dinner at the bar..oh my god liver.to die for.

Today we went on a walking tour. The guide was fabulous. We learned so much about the history of munich. he was irish by the way. afterwards we went for a beer and spent a good amount of time talking to an older gentleman who was born in munich, but spent some time years ago when he was working in ottawa. he worked for a company that actually printed canadian money.

dinner last night was so delicious that we reproduced it tonight. the liver was equally as fab. back at the hotel. we will catch the bus to memmingen and off to porto tomorrow night.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

July 3

Saltzburg was beautiful...just as you would imagine. all about mozart and the sound of music, which interestingly enough the germans know nothing about, or choose to ignore.
By the time we got back we decided to grab a bite around the hotel. we went out exploring and discovered that we are staying in the Turkish neighbourhood. Lots of great little markets and doner kebab places. that might have been our choice , but they were predominantly packed, and mostly with males. Instead we grabbed a piece of pizza, the best I have ever had, go figure, all the way to germany to get great pizza. Mine was prosciutto, arugula and parm, and after he heated it he grated on more parm and drizzled it with balsamic...yum.

We are off to Dachau this morning. probably not the most uplifting day, but it should be interesting. I will report back.

Friday, July 1, 2011

July 2

Hope everyone has recovered from a really fun Canada Day. Lunch at the beergarden was great. I had a typical german meal...pig´s knuckle, coleslaw and a dumpling. Yum. We met two fun young guys from here, but one of them spoke perfect english as he had lived in Alaska for 6 years and has dual citizenship. We asked him if he would ever go back but he said he would never leave Bavaria. We have discovered that the Bavarian´s are a little bit elitist...they think that they are a notch above the rest of the germans. inteseting. they bought us a Willi...a pear schnappes shooter with a piece of fresh pear in it. nice young men.

The hotel is really nice. No longer pilgrims but full-fledged tourists. explored the main area of munich last night. actually a really pretty city with a kick-ass rail and subway system. we met a man from chicago here on business, he works for wrigley´s, and we spent a pleasant hour chatting politics, the economy and the like.

The hotel has an all you can eat breakfast and it is amazing. as well as everything else that you would expect I had pickled herring with beets, crab salad, some fab cheeses and chocolates. We are off to saltzburg this morning to relive the Sound of Music. I will report back
July 1

HAPPY CANADA DAY from munich

We arrived here at midnight last night. Fortunately the hostel was right by the bus stop. after dropping our bags we braved the drunken souls to find a bite to eat, things had pretty well closed up so we ended up at .......................Burger King!!!!

Off to Starnberg this morning in the drizzling rain. We have had to nix our walking plans...we just couldn.t make the whole distance in time, and there is no bus help in the middle of the way so we will stay in Munich for 4 nights and enjoy the city. We finally managed to find a hotel room so we are good to go.

Off to lunch at the Beergarden. Will be in touch.

We so miss the camino and our Camino friends. Take care.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

June 30

We are at the airport on Porto waiting for our flight to Munich. it is a beautiful new airport and after i finish mucking about here we will go and eat.

santiago was as wonderful as i remember. we got our compestellas...i now have three....if that doesn´t fast track me i don´t know what will.

we went back to our usual haunt for dinner. that is the third celebratory dinner that we have had there. That is more times than i have been to any particular restaurant in aurora. There were 11 of us and of course a good time was had by all. The german girls gave my ankle a healing session, and i must say it is feeling much better.

Happy Canada day to all. The next note will be from Germany.

Buen camino

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

June 29,

We are in santiago!!!!!! Made it all the way on foot thanks to great weather and good friends. We were able to get rooms together for a good price and will go out for dinner tonight. We went to the Pilgrim mass at noon and it was great as always. it is quite a different feeling arriving from porto than st. jean. not the same emotion.

We dined in the botanical gardens with the gang in calda de reis....bread, cheese, meat and wine. A good time was had by all. we got up at 5 the next morning to put in a 30 plus day to get us closer to santiago. The weather was cool and overcast, good walking weather, however i think that my boots are at the end of their life, and after 18 or so kilometres the banging on my feet, hips and back is rough. I got to teo and crashed for 3 hours. Today i purchased new insoles that are nice and gelly so i should be good to go again.

After a long walk and snooze yesterday we found a really nice restaurant for dinner. Out in the middle of nowhere with tableclothes on the table, a waiter in an apron to the ground, and napkins that were served with a fork and spoon. The food was great and we had a good time.

A day off from walking will be great as i have developed an infection from heat poisining on my ankle and it makes it a bit painful to walk. picked up some antibiotic cream today so should be as good as gold tomorrow.

Until then greetings from Santiago.

We aren´t pilgrims any more

Monday, June 27, 2011

June 27

Pontevedra was a really beautiful city. we joined a gang for a great chinwag and lots of laughs. it was great to be in a pensione last night. a bath felt heavenly, and a good nights sleep without smell and snoring was a real treat. We went out for dinner late...i had octopus, a specialty of this region and it was delicious.

We left early this morning as the albergues are really busy with spaniards doing the last 100 kilometres to get their compestela. it changes the whole flavour of the walk. The albergue is packed tonight in calda da reis. there are mattresses and bodies everywhere. Should make for an interesting sleep. it is my understanding that the young people have a better chance of a job with this on their resume. Everybody was snoozing today...it has taken a day for that hot and brutal walk to catch up with everyone. there are some natural hot springs in this city and though I don´t have the gear for the baths, i think that i will stick my feet in later.

All in all a pretty quiet day. We only did about 23 kilometeres but my feet were aching by the end. the biggest problem....not one single cafe on the way!!!! I was in serious withdrawal. hope your weather is as good as ours.

Buen Camino

Sunday, June 26, 2011

June 26,

well we did end up going out for dinner in Tui, a beautiful restaurant overlooking the fort in valenca, and the city of Tui. we sat on the terrace and had churrasco...a huge platter of every grilled meat imaginable, and a salad of tomatoes and lettuce straight from the garden.

the next day it was off to redondela. What a day...the most difficult one that i have spent on the camino. thirty two kilometres in the blistering heat. it started off out of Tui pleasant enough, but when you don´t need a sweater at 6 in the morning you know that you are in trouble. Then it was hard slogging through the industrial town of Porrino, think of walking through Windsor and you get the picture. not that I have ever walked through Windsor, nor do i wish to cast disparaging thoughts, but this was one car manufacturer after another. When that was finished it was straight up a mountain, 34 degrees ,noon, and no shade anywhere. Poor rita was trying to walk under the hydro wires to get some relief. Brutal. if I had had to go an extra 15 minutes I think that i would have been sick. after a shower and a rest all was forgotten and it was dinner out with friends. Calamari and salad. we are in octopus country so I think that it might be pulpa and salad tonight. The problem with this place is that if you order even a small beer they bring you food...and good food. This afternoon it was warm chickpeas in broth with chorizo and bread. Then we ran into someone else that we know and it was tortilla, a particularly good one. but i digress.

Today was not a long or harrowing walk from Redondela to ponteverda and the scenery was much better. We have opted for a pensione tonight to have a bath and a really good nights sleep. We will have dinner with three german camino friends and call it a night. The city is large and beautiful. 75,000 people, but it is a sunday and so things are pretty quiet. The place was packed this afternoon as a triathlon week-end was wrapping up with people from all over the world. Until the next time.

Buen Camino

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday June 24

WELL THE WHOLE BULL THING was very odd. They lead a bull around town with thousands in pursuit. They have some control i guess, but when the bull dashes the whole crowd runs. Not a barrier in sight, no police or ambulance and the whole crowd drinking euro beer. There was a huge party after with a band that sounded like they were outside our romm, oh ya they were, singing until 3 am. The singer just gor flatter and flatter as the night went on. when he wrapped it up they played canned music until 5am. when we left at 6 to walk the diehards were still going strong. We did go for a nice meal however....local cheese , cured meats, and braised pork cheeks served on grilled pinapple. Yum.

Short walk yesterday through the most beautiful scenery that I have ever seen. Vegeatation like nothing else. For dinner the sardinians put on a spread...we supplied the wine. 15 euros for 10 litres. a good time was had by all, and yes. most of it was leftover for the next gang.

we are now in spain again. just like comung home. i love it. spending the night in Tui. it reminds me of quebec city. Went out for 2 beers in search of something to eat, bur after a bowl of olives, a basket of potato chips, and two glasses of nuts we were sufficiently sufficed. all for the grand sum of 6 euros. i am moving here!!!!

putting in a big day tomorrow so it will be an early night. Really hard to find an internet cafe, everything is wifi, and everyone is amazingly well plugged in. But we will keep on trying. In the meantime.

Buen Caminol

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

June 22

We cobbled together a great salad last night with lettuce from the garden and fresh vegetables from the market. yum. another early night for me. I had so forgotten about the achey feet, but today they are feeling stronger. Sleep is a bit elusive, what with all the snorers.

The walk today was absolutely beautiful. it was perfect weather and most of the path was shaded. we arrived in ponte limayou have nte lima at noon today, and the albergue didn´t open until 5. Ridiculous. A really nice town, but with nowhere to leave our gear we had to hang around until opening. sorry but i can´t fix my typing problem.

Tonight there is a big festival, and i guess the whole country shuts down tomorrow. They will let a bull loose in the street at 7 and he runs madly around town until 9. we have been warned to be very careful. some old greek custom i think. anyway i will report back. hope all is well

buen camino

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tuesday June 21

We made it to the aiport with tons of time to spare. economy parking is so named because it is halfway to aurora.LOL. The lineup for airtransat was horredous...I guess you get what you pay for. Anyway we made it here. They pack you in like sardines, but they did feed us, and all the children were very well behaved.
We arrived and made our way to the metro. a fabulous system...easy, organized and a guy right there to help you along. smarty pants here had decided on a new way for our first day. a bit longer, but it would cut off some time down the line. the only problem was that the way wasnot marked and i started us off at the wromg place. after walking for more than an hour and ending up back where we started there were some choice words exchanged. we persevered, however and finally made it to our destination tired, hurting and famished.
All the things that I had forgotten have been coming back. The smell of the bakeries, all the dogs and chickens, the blistering summer sun at mid-day, and the lovelt scent of the eucalyptus. trees. This path is not very well travelled, and though we have met a few pilgrims at the albergues, we have not actually passed any walking.
This morning everyone as up at the crack of dawn and on the road by 6:15. it was a long hot day, but we are here at the albergue. When I stopped to take off my sweater I left my pouch with my passports, cards and money lying on the stone fence....didn´t notice until we stopped for coffee...I had to run, and I mean run, all the way back, only 1.5 k or so, but still a pain. Fortunately it was exactly where I left it. I also left my underwear at the last place, but that is minor by comparison.
The only resataurant in town is closed so we will have to cobble together a dd inner. i the meantime.
Buen Camino

Sunday, June 19, 2011

June 19
We are off and running again, well OK walking. Tonight we hop on a flight to Porto, Portugal and start walking to santiago once again. it is a short walk, only 250 kilometres, and will take ten days. no public transit to the airport this time, we are doing it the luxurious way. Park n fly has a coupon whereby you can park for 30 days for 77 bucks, so we are going to use it.
We spent the afternoon at Mono Centre walking with friends It is a fabulous portion of the Bruce Trail, and a perfect afternoon to be outdoors. Of course we rewarded ourselves with lunch at the Mono Cliffs Inn...one of my favourite haunts. The food is amazing and the one and only server, Wayne, is one of a kind. He is fun, funny, and fabulous at what he does...to say nothing of a memory like an elephant.
Next post will be from somewhere in Portugal.
Buen Camino