Saturday, September 15, 2007

Hola de Portomarin,España

Sept 13th

Going into Leon. Day started off bad. They had the pilgrims go across bridge on 4 lane highway into city. I tripped and fell almost into traffic and scraped my knee and tore my pants. The only thing good is that it made me stop itching my bug bites because my knee hurt more. We stayed in the abbey with nuns. Very clean and welcoming to pilgrims plus 2 blocks from Leon Cathedral. I put 2 links on site to right. Amazing building. I had been depressed about not seeing Lety and knowing that I only had another day with everybody before going on to Sarria. I was hanging my clothes out to dry when guess who had stayed to find me. Lety!! She and I are like sisters. We both love to laugh, are spontaneous, though it gets us into trouble sometimes, and love travel and adventure. We sat and chatted. She had stayed at the other albergue that does not have a curfew and had gone out till 1am night before. She met another Spanish amigo to travel with. He had done the route last year on bike. They were going to Astorga and wanted me to go with them. If I could quit my job and go I would. We sat and chatted and agreed to met in Astorga tommorrow and then I could take the bus from there to Sarria. I went to find the rest of my friends. In Spain everyone goes to the Plaza Mayor. Plaza Mayor is in every city. Found Toiya, Tony and Theda. They were surprized to see me and that I had found them. Found out the 3 French I have seen the last week where at the next table. They speak English. We chatted. Tony laughed with the waiter. 3 Germans other table, 2 sweet French girls on the other side that also spoke English. Tony was the only one who does not speak English and the only Spanish. Funny in his country. Toured Leon cathedral. Amazing. Saw 10th century church Basilica and other famous sites. Went to bus station for next day ticket. OMG they are idiots. Tony who is Spanish was so frustrated with me. You can only get as far as Villafranca from Leon. The next stage you are in a new county and they do not have a phone number to contact nor is there a schedule. They only know one bus daily and you should ask someone in the village when it leaves and where. What!!!? The autobus lady then got frustrated with us and turned her back on us. We then headed to train station. I can get as far as Sarria on the train for a little more money around 20 euros. I had to take it. I will have to walk 30km a day to make it to Santiago by 19th as is. I have underestimated the time it will take to walk the Camino by a week and because of my blisters. Amazing that a 4 hour train ride saves you 7 days walking. But because I need to get to Santiago by 19th I can not stop in Astorga. I am going to cry. Toiya wanted to go to the mass in Leon Cathedral but because so much time was spent helping me we must eat dinner and return to albergue for curfew. Went to the 10 pm mass in the abbey. I am really getting more spiritatual on the camino the longer I walk. The service was very nice.

Sept 14th

I have walked with about 100 people a day. Most are familiar faces now on the Camino and near the albergues in the cities. Though I have not had a chance to chat with all of them 30 came to give me hugs when they found out I needed to take the train closer today. I will keep in contact now with about 30 people including the 3 French. I am crying again. We went to mass in Leon Cathedral. How many people can say that. Not only do the Spanish not charge to go into the church it still has mass daily. I can not express how amazing the sound was with the singing. You can see why the church was built for vocal expression. Cried again saying bye to Tony and Toiya. Promise to write and visit. Theda came with me to train station. Cried again saying bye. Met two Irish girls on train with same problem as me and they were sad to leave their friends. We traveled together to Sarria. The new albergue was horrified to find out about the bedbugs and I am to write in Santiago where I think I got them and they will investigate. Toiya, Lety, me and now Gronya who has them too

Sept 15th

Walked to Portomarin today with Gronya and still trying to figure out other girls name. First time in weeks can talk fast and easy in English and it is their native tongue too. We are making dinner tonight in the kitchen. Not sure if I can travel the whole way to Santiago with them as they have an extra day than me. At least through tommorow. Cried again today. Lety had been so happy to get to Astorga to see me and when got email she cried that I was not meeting her. Now I am crying that she cried. The camino is very spiritual and I now understand why people do it 5 times or more. Connections to the human spiriti like you can not believe. It is what I talked about with the Irish girls today. The camino has changeed me in so many ways.

Talk soon
Michelle

1 comment:

Dawn said...

Hey Cincinati! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your travel blog. You are such a brave soul for embarking on this journey! Can't wait to see some pictures when you get back.