California to Jerusalem
Santiago to Rabanal, Spain

Peace and beauty are within us.

When we arrived in Santiago after Finisterra in mid-February, we took a break and went to Germany for Petra's mother's 80th birthday. I returned alone in March to walk the Camino alone. Petra, like I, had walked it three times earlier and didn't want to walk it again. She wanted to count it done and move east to begin walking again. I had a deep drive to walk it again. So I did and she rejoined me a month later in Santo Domingo de la Calsada.

Here are a few pictures I took as I walked. You can also see pictures I took seven years ago as I walked the Camino the first at my 2003 Camino home page. They fill in holes not shown here.

The sun comes up behind the cathedral telling me it is time to get ready to walk east. (12 Mar 10)

As I walk out of Santiago the statue of a Templar knight reminds me that during the middle ages when all was not safe for pilgrims, the Knights Templars manned castles along the Camino to protect pilgrims from all manner of dangers. (12 Mar 10)

The Camino is very well marked not only with yellow arrows that you can see on many pictures here but also with more formal signs. Every year or two new ones are put up, sometimes right next to the old. Three different generations of signs stand on this intersection. The short cement post is the oldest. It was along the path when I walked it in 2003. A few years later the walking pilgrim signs were put in place. There were a few when I walked in 2004. And now in the last year or so sleek arrow and shell on a post had been added. In a year of so more will come surely. These three are everywhere along the Camino often redundantly next to each other. (14 Mar 10)

I arrived at the other side of this rather deep creek just before Sarria. The rocks look like a nice bridge. They are ok to walk on when you have your goods on your back. But they are not big enough for the cart. I carried the contents to this side sliding on the sand on the rocks. Then it was time for the cart. Thanks to the Universe there was a farmer watering his cows nearby. As I started to tackle carrying the cart, he came over and offered to help. Together we teetered our way from rock to rock and got the cart to this side. Muchas Gracias. (15 Mar 10)

The Camino follows many old roads roughly parallel to existing highways and byways. This is one. It was fine for walking. But once again the cart could not pass the mud holes I could have walked around farther down the path. Here I had to walk back a mile and then walk the highway a few miles before rejoining the Camino route. (16 Mar 10)

At St. Rocque Pass near O Cebraio this statue of a pilgrim looking west into the wind stood that day trying to see through the fog. (22 Mar 10)

This typical small country village stands in the hills below O Cebraio. (22 Mar 10)

This statue of the Virgin and Christ stands in the church in O Cebraio. The two views are so different that I had to include both. (22 Mar 10)

A part of the path between O Cebraio and La Faba. (23 Mar 10)

A pair of storks in a Villafranca del Bierzo chimney. (24 Mar 10)

This big guy walked with me for a few kilometers on a rainy Villafranca morning. (25 Mar 10)

Six years ago we walked by this house east of Villafranca and thought it would be a nice place to fix up and make into a private alberge along the Camino. It had a for sale sign on it and was abandoned by all appearances. Six years later now someone is rebuilding it. (25 Mar 10)

It snowed heavily as I walked down to Foncebedon in the evening. In the morning it looked like this. I walked in snow for a couple hours that morning. (27 Mar 10)

A lot of pilgrims were walking west this holy year, even this early in the year. (27 Mar 10)

Just so we don't forget that Santiago was more than an apostle who converted some of the Iberian Peninsula, many statues like this bas-relief in Leon remind you that he is also known as Montemores, the killer of the Moors, who led the Christian Spanish kings in their fight to drive out the Moors between the eighth and 17th centuries. (31 Mar 10)

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Copyright © 2010-2012 Mike Metras,