California to Jerusalem
Spanish Border to Santiago

We are free to love and free to be.

We crossed the Miņo River into Spain on 28 January and walked into Santiago on 2 February. We walked 81 miles (132 kilometers) a short six days. These pictures show some of that walk.

Just across the boarder we saw our first familiar cement pillar with the stylized shell telling us we were on the Camino de Santiago. It told us we had 100.757 (around 62 miles) kilometers to go to Santiago. The Camino has been realigned so many times since the original pillars were made that their numbers are only very approximate measurements. These posts repeat themselves often, sometimes more than once in a kilometer. Wherever there is a critical intersection to identify, there is a post. The other sign also appeared here. It identifies our route as also laying over a Roman road, the Via Atlanticas. I suspect it continued into Portugal but I don't remember seeing any signs identifying it there. 28 Jan 10

Our path is not always smooth. Sometimes we have to take roads around the path though we didn't here. Petra is pushing the cart here as I stay behind to take this picture. 31 Jan 10

Sometimes we find ourselves so far into a path that it doesn't make sense to turn around and find a reasonable road. So it is in this case. This is our path. It is also a creek. We removed our packs and portaged them and the cart around this path through the underbrush for some hundred yards/meters. The experience inspired my posting around that time commenting that the Universe, nature, always does things in extremes, in excess: too much rain, too much sun, too much snow, so many seeds on a tree, so many species in the world, too, too, too. 31 Jan 10

In Caldas do Reis Petra has finally finds a hot spring to soak in. For so long she has been trying to find one to no avail. Even though she has to settle for this little outside basin, she is delighted to get her feet wet. 1 Feb 10

As we leave Caldas do Reis this morning the market is in full swing. Crowds clog the path. Smoke fills the air and our nostrils. The sun is barely up. 1 Feb 10

Petra turns back to look my way as she walks our cart through a park in Pardon. We are about to begin a search for our nights lodging that ends at the city refugio. All over the Spanish trim these trees back every year. Then little new branches grow out in the spring and summer giving more spread-out shade. It makes them look stubby and old in the winter. 1 Feb 10

We pass a house with one wall shingled with the bottom shell of scallops. The bottom shell is flat while the top, the one used as a banner for the Camino, is cup shaped. The inlay in the lower right shows you detail of the work. I was impressed. 2 Feb 10

We stopped to watch new lambs watching us. 2 Feb 10

In the middle of the sixth day we came over a hill and to our first view of the cathedral. We still had a steep valley to climb down into and back out of before getting to the cathedral a couple hours later. I remember complaining rather loudly that the pathway was in horrible shape. And why did they send us down such a circuitous route. I should have been thinking about what lesson the Universe was trying to teach me. I complained instead. 2 Feb 10

Petra rests on the side of the square in front of the church. We have arrived. 3 Feb 10

We have someone take the standard arrival picture of us in front of the cathedral. Soon it will be time to head for the Atlantic one final time. 5 Feb 10

We didn't take many pictures in Santiago this time. We have been there four or five times before and have about all we want. Here are a few of the ones we did take. You can see several earlier pictures on my report of my first pilgrimage in 2003. Click here to view the page I originally published from Santiago. Use the Back key to return here.

This little door on the back of the Cathedral is only opened in a Holy Year, a year when Santiago's (St. James's) feast, 25 July, falls on a Sunday. Catholics get special blessings when they walk to Santiago in a Holy Year. They come at intervals of 6, 5, 6, 11 years. 3 Feb 10

This year happens to be a Holy Year. Petra holds the protecting door in front of the open Holy Year doors. You cannot see them too well. They are the bronze open doors with relief sculpture on them. The next Holy Year is in 2021. Will you be there? 3 Feb 10

After many noon Pilgrims' Masses they swing the Botafunero, the giant sensor that swings the width of the side isles. It swings to and away from where I am standing. In this picture it was ready to be swung when I was in Santiago in 2003. Some say that in the old days the smell of the long-walking pilgrims was prettied up a bit with this. 12 Oct 2003

Here the muscle power is getting ready to make this Botafunero swing. 12 Mar 10

Now it's swinging. In fact, it is just passing on the left of the picture. I have a 2003 movie of this giant sensor swinging during Pilgrims' Mass at that time. But be Warned! This file is huge (more than 10 megabytes). It will take some time to download even with DSL. If you have dial-up you might want to forgo it. I made another movie this time--but it is 90 Mg as of now. I have to play with it to get it to a workable size for the internet. That's a task for another day. 12 Mar 10

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