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Wojciech's Travel log

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You can lose everything, but nobody will take away what you saw and what you experienced...

Log entries 41 - 50 of 2127 Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Oct 17, 2018 12:00 AM Eremita of Santa Irene...

Eremita of Santa Irene... Why the locals wake up in the hostel at 6 am and start the walk on the camino in the dark at 6.30? In October the daylight is on here around 8 am. Then I start my walk - I want to enjoy the landscape and to see faces of the people passing by. Are they just making kilometers?
Okay, byt today I was already on the trail at 8.15. Why? Because in the today' s weather forecast was written that there will be a rain in the afternoon...
It was a nice walk through the eucalyptus forests. Only few segments of the trail were paralel to the road. Road crossing, well signed, are still dangerous because local drivers do not slow down...
In the mid of the day I reached very old stone chapel of Santa Irene, with the water spring just above of it. I was reading, that there is nice baroque altar inside, but sorry - the chapel was locked...
Next village - A Rua was picturesque with many stone houses and branches of vine on them.
Now I am already in my hostel in O Pedrouzo. It is raining outside. From here it is only like 4 hours walk to Santiago de Compostella. Tomorrow my pilgrimage on Camino de Santiago will be completed :)

Oct 16, 2018 12:00 AM Friends from Camino...

Friends from Camino... Since the town of Sarria I see much more pilgrims on the trail. That's probably because Sarria lies 100 kms from Santiago the Compostela and it is required to walk at least 100 kms to get the certificate of the pilgrimage.... :) Every day on the trail I meet new friends. Two days ago -Anna from Slovenia. Yesterday - David and his wife from Oklahoma. Two days ago also young ladies from Korea and Japan (see picture) - by coincidence yesterday we were sleeping in the same dorm in the hostel.
It was long day today... But sunny! At the moment I am already in the town of Arzua - resting in the Albergue de Selmo. It is funny hostel - for 10 euro you have here a box in the big hall, imitating thanks to the courtain a single room. I hope it will be silence in this property at night :)

Oct 15, 2018 12:00 AM One more day on Camino

One more day on Camino I spent the night in the nice hostel A Fontana de Luxo. The substancial buffet breakfast was included. Worth to recommend! It was raining like yesterday when I started long (25 kms) walk through the mountains to Palas de Rei. Imagine me covered by waterproof poncho climbing on the path. Yes, you are protected from the water, but after half an hour you are sweaty inside your poncho. And the path goes up and up... Thanks to the internet tools you know in advance today's route parameters: first 400 m up. then 300m down.
Fortunately after 1,5 hours of my walk the rain stopped giving me a chance to enjoy panoramas - probably the best one from Castromaior. Then little villages with albergues, little churches and stone crosses.
Few hundreds pilgrims was walking today the camino.
We were well tired when we reached Palas de Rei. But no more rain! :)

Oct 14, 2018 12:00 AM Rain, rain, rain... evening sun!

Rain, rain, rain... evening sun! It was raining already in the night... I was waiting till 9.30 am for the weather improvement... No change... So it was a time to put my waterproof poncho on me and on the backpack and... go.
It is not that pleasure if you walk wet, slippery trail and the views are reduced by the low clouds...
In the afternoon I reached little town of Portomarin, located just near the high bridge. In the past the township was located some 100 m below, then they started to build the dam and all monuments were dismounted and taken 100 m up. Now Portomarin looks vere neat. I stay on the other side of the river in the nice Fontana Luxo hostel - the first one where breakfast is included - but they charge as much as 15 euro per bed in the dormitory (in other places 10-12). It is so far 5 of us in the dorm and we enyoy in the evening a nice sun. Why not during the day?

Oct 13, 2018 12:00 AM The hike along Sarria river

The hike along Sarria river Morning in Samos - bells are ringing every quarter, also in the night, but this creates the special atmosphere - no other place like this on Caino, I think. The monks charge 5 euro for the guided tour of Samos Monastery. I paid and go. There are two big courtyards, enormous church ad on the second floor the frescos galery with the restored historic paintings.
Then I started to hike down along the Sarria river. But the path most of the time goes far from the meandring river, climbig the hills in the oak and chestnut forest, crossing miniature, stone villages with little churches and chapels. On the trail I met todays guys from South Korea and charming Sophia from Buenos Aires. I reached town of Sarria at 3 pm - just to see that it is already another world: big, modern houses, street caf├ęs, herds of cars in the streets...
When somebody will ask me to point the most rewarding, most authentic part of the camino, I will say: Vilafranca to Sarria. So far I liked it most!
It is sill 120 kms ahead of me - see picture! :)

Oct 12, 2018 12:00 AM Through the mountains to Samos Monastery

Through the mountains to Samos Monastery Heavy wind all the night did not allow me to sleep well. First stage of today's hike was a path down to Triacastella. The village is nothing special with one church, but the is a little shop to buy food. At thd end of the village the pilgrims have two choices - one is to go directly to Sarria.
Second choice - much longer way goes also to Sarria but via Monastery of Samos. I made the second choice.
After Triacastella senda - the pilgrims path inicially goes along the road (like1,5 km) then climbes through the picruresque oak ferests and pastures. Twice I was passing through the little stone villages with old chapels - San Martino was one of them. This was for me the walnut day - there were walnut trees in the few points ad walnuts on the path asking to pick them :)
On approach to Samos Valley there is on the path great view point: leaving the forest you unexpectedly see the monastery down, in front of you - this is the award for the hard walk up and down.
Te Benidictine Monertery of Samos is huge. The settlement around - very tiny and remote. I the outside wall of the monastery there is albergo donativo - hostel for pilgrims run by the pilgrims where for the overnight in the huge dormitory you pay as much as you want - even one euro is acceptable... No working wi-fi in Samos today - so remote area...

Oct 11, 2018 12:00 AM To Galicia in the rain...

To Galicia in the rain... First serious rain during this voyage. I cannot wait, who knows when it will stop? Fortunately I took with me a kind of waterproof poncho. And I go... Today I crossed the border between Castilia & Leon an Galicia. It was fantastic place: O Cebreiro pass on Camino Santiago, more than 1300 m high offers fantastic panoramas to both sides of the border. O Cebreiro itself is a tiny village made of stone with little church and few tourist shelters. Rain stopped here so I was continuing walk on camino through the little villages, forests untill 6.30 in the evening... Nice, but very tiring day!

Oct 10, 2018 12:00 AM Templar's castle in Ponferrada

Templar's castle in Ponferrada Today I crossed Leon Mountains. The landscape, very monotonous since few days became much more interesting. I will stay overnight in Ponferrada - university town spread out in the big valley. The highlight of Ponferrada is picturesque medieval castle once ruled by the Templars.
Bingo! Today -in Wednesday the entrance to the castle is free! I saved 6 euro! There is a nice view from the walls of the castle and also interesting exhibitions - I liked most the old manuscripts in the Templar's Library. If you still have enough power at the end of the day you can climb narrow stone steps to the top of the Castillo Viejo - for the better view of basilica church (fortunately no cathedral here to pay next entry fee)

Oct 09, 2018 12:00 AM Old stone bridge and Gaudi's palace

Old stone bridge and Gaudi's palace Camino took me further west to the little town Hospital de Orbigo. Do not be confused by the name. In the past they used here the world "hospital" to name a hostel for the pilgrims, so the hospital was almost in every village on camino. Orbigo river cuts the town by two and there is a long, medieval stone bridge connecting both sides... It is 204 m long with 20 arches, if I remember well. On the west side in the sleepy streets you will find few contemporary "hospitals" and the old church of St John the Baptist. I like such an atmosphere...
Some 15 kms onward I stop to overnight in the big city of Astorga. Astorga remember Roman Emporium. It has huge cathedral (should I eat my lunch or pay the entry fee to see interior?) but opposite the cathedral you wil find something rare: the former bishop's palace designed by Gaudi (yes, that one from Barcelona!) - see the palace on the picture to have your opinion about)... OK, today Astorga has six chocolate factories, but not - they do not offer tours with free tasting :)
I was lucky to be here on Tuesday - in the Plaza Mayor and around there were weekly market for food, vegies and other goods. Sorry - zero of the folklore on the market...

Oct 08, 2018 12:00 AM Leon - mountains on the horizon...

Leon - mountains on the horizon... I reached Leon - in the past the capital of the independent Kingdom of Leon. The tombs of the kings are in the crypt of the San Isidro monastery... Now it is neat provincial town where some 120 thousands of the people live. The city hall (see picture) remains little stone palace. - see picture. There is nice Santa Maria cathedral with a beautiful glass works in the windows (entry 6 euro). San Marcos monastery is also worth to see - the interior is under restoration, bo the wide front of thd building has very rich decoration. 24 deg Celsius during the day. I see the mountains on the western horizon - for the pilgrims it means the end of the flat and rather monotonous meseta and bigger daily effort. Good night!

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