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NOT JUST ABOUT the JOURNEY

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Just back

Got back last night after a tremendous day on Sunday cycling from Arzua to to Santiago (37km) .  The road was just brilliant and it felt like I had sprouted wings. Weather was good for cycling -( apart from the wind) .  I willed it to get behind me but there are some things you've just got to battle against   ............

Coming into Santiago, I had a huge smile on my face that felt like it stretched all the way to Scotland and back!   There were tears of joy as well.  When I reached the Cathedral after many roundabouts and tiny narrow medeival roads, I just sat there in awe of what many pilgrims had done before me over the centuries.  Faces from people still on the way flooded into my mind and I thought of all of them and thought of where they were "on their way".  George and Brian, (friends who have just passed away this year) , Manda (my first BT friend), Alan, (my bro) Nannie and Papa and many more came into my thoughts.

Friends who are suffering now from this disease called cancer, friends who are in remission, friends and family......

I shared my emotions with William and Johny, my sons'.  It was just so beautiful to speak to them.

I realised the achievement that I had set out to do had been realised.

8:02 am gmt          Comments

Saturday, June 4, 2011

So impressed with Pensione Theodora. According to Susan the food was delicious and lots of it. All for 10 for 3 courses plus wine or beer. Gabriel the chef and everything else must be congratulated for running such a great establishment
9:16 pm gmt          Comments

Arzua: - got here at 2 by taxi.
got here at 2 by taxi from Sarria.  Pensione Theodore is wonderful, very clean and cool. it's a nice friendly village.  been sitting talking to Hannah and Carol who are walking the Camino.  Carol is a retired schoolteacher who is walking for Pancreatic Cancer UK for her friend Heather.  Hannah is walking for Bone Cancer Research for her brother who passed away last year. they both have justgiving sites. I will make links to them when I put their photos up when get home.
5:29 pm gmt          Comments

Friday, June 3, 2011

Staying in Sarria

I´m staying in Sarria tonight to recover from a tummy bug.  It means that I miss stage Sarria to Portmarin and Portmarin to Arzua but I considered it best as haven´t been able to keep anything down overnight and today.  Been drinking plenty.The Manager has been great and I´ve been able to stay in the twin room that Susan and I had last night for 37EUR .  He also said that his wife is a nurse if I need her.

So I´ll make the last stage Arzua to Santiago on Sunday.  The Compostella isn´t important as it´s the journey that is. :-)  I´ve got 4 stamps in my credential and will get another two. Feeling good about what I´ve completed already.

Flight back to the UK Monday and some cooler weather (hope) :-) SORRY!

1:04 pm gmt          Comments

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Ponferrada-Villafranca/ o Cebriero AND o cebriero to Sarria

Had to stop yesterday at Villafranca de Bierza due to fatigue, hot sun, too late to climb mountain.  Decision very dificult to make but made the right one.  I know more of my limitations now! :-)

Was very disappointed but felt proud that I was able to make the decision.  Didn´t want to chance having a seizure.

Day 3 was a good ride yesterday though, made even better because I met Alphonso again by chance, just when my chain began to slip again.  It was a bit loose and as he is a REAL cyclist he was able to tighten it and check it out more by doing a wee cycle before handing back to me.  Chatted for ages about Life, the universe.....  He is from Quebec and a very interesting guy.  Thank you again Alphonso.

Things went well until I entered Villafranca and started to wane.  I pondered over the decision I had to make and decided Taxi with bike.  I was considering staying the night at an Albergue there but as my luggage had been transported to casa in o cebreiro decided I had to go there.  Had my epillepsy meds with me (always) so did have a few options.

Jurgen and Christofe were at the casa house and saw me coming out the taxi a bit ¨worse for wear¨.  They were great and helped me with water, getting the bike, backpack, checking-in,  etc from the bike.  Guys, thank you so much.

Was just beautiful on the mountain and well worth it.

Got to Sarria today after a good ¨Brain¨rest last night no problem.  Ride was really good and really enjoyed it apart from taking a path which became ¨Path with Boulders¨.  At the last stage I was really done in and a dutch lady called Lia stopped and offered help.  She helped me push up the last part to the highway and encouraged me more.  A couple of Spanish guys took the bike the very last part.  They were Hector and Alberto from Bilbao.  Hector works in the ferry port at Bilbao and Alberto is a policeman.  Guys, THANK YOU - MASSIVELY.  They told me I should take the road to Sarria.  and what a road....... hairpin bends with 7% descent....  Was scary!  When I reached Sarria I thought I´d better check for a map with a sign called ¨Guarda Civil¨.  Cycled into their compound and a policeman in green came out and asked what I was doing.  Told him I was lost.  He asked if I was ¨missing¨.  Took me inside and gave me water in my bottle as I´d run out after Samos.   All the cameras  placed around the building told me that this was not just a normal police station, then I saw a poster with terrorists on the wall.  He was very helpful and we had a good conversation in mostly English with small smatterings of Spanish and gesticulations!  THANK you for the directions to the hotel and the water Mr Policeman.

There seem to be a lot of dutch words the same in spanish only the way it´s said, intonation and sometimes with an ¨ia¨at the end of a word.  I sometimes get to speak Dutch as well, due to the number of dutch travelling the way. :-)

Tommorrow Sarria to Portmarin and looking forward to that too.  Every day has been different and full of life, thoughts, silence, people, scenery and more.  Been singing ¨I can hear music¨ by the beach boys out loud when it gets hard. 

I love it no matter how hard it can be.  It´s the way.

8:17 pm gmt          Comments

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Rabanal to Ponferrada. yesterday. very hard climb but I pushed the bike most of the way the first part to the first Albergue. had lots of rests. met some Christophe and Jurgens at the beautiful cross almost at the top. had a great conversation about IT and made fotos of each other at the cross. saw them again at what I thought was the bottom of the hill but wasn't. Descent was scary as hairpin bends. did slow down and used my brakes A LOT! met the guys at the bottom of the hill when I had such a nice cup of tea. further on it became obvious that I wasn't at the bottom of the hill... more hairpin bends scary... passed through lovely medieval village called Molinesceau. then next place was Ponferrada. Got lost many times trying to find the hotel. met a danish girl all along the way named Annitta. She lives in Sweden and is a life-Coach. www.annitta.se Great conversation. you do meet some wonderful people on the way.
4:16 am gmt          Comments


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