A Travel-Blog

For friends, family and anybody who may be interested in our adventure. Welcome!

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Pilgrim sculpture

Prepared for rain

Gorgeous color

Mountain hamlet

Knights Templar castle in Pontferat

Stork preparing to take flight
Any of you who speak Spanish probably already know this, but they speak it a little differently here than in Mexico. Depending on where they are placed in the work, c´s and z´s are often pronounced like "th". It sounds a bit like a lisp to our ears.

Today was a gorgeous hiking day, if a bit rainy. We were in the mountains, and climbed to 5,000 feet, the highest point of the trip,but since we started from a fairly high elevation, there wasn´t a lot of climbing. There is a cross at the top, and the tradition is for pilgrims to place a rock from their home at the base of the cross. As you can imagine, there is a huge pile of rocks, and we contributed 2 small stones from Seattle today.

The wildflowers were spectacular- purple heather and lavender, yellow and white scotch broom, a shrub that looked like wild rose, and various other plants. It was quite colorful. We went through several mountain villages, some of which are pretty run down, but showing some new life thanks to the Camino. Last night we stayed in an albergue in the first of the mountain towns, and one of the volunteers happened to be from Portland, Oregon. She walked the Camino in November and December of last year and got stuck in a snow storm for several days in this village. She liked it so much that she returned to volunteer at the albergue. We had quite possibly the best meal of the trip there- paella and a good salad. It was a welcome change from the standard pilgrim menu that seems to vary little from place to place.

We are getting to know quite a few of the other pilgrims as we encounter them frequently along the way. Tonight we are staying at quite a large (200 bed) albergue, so we expect to see lots of familiar faces. Already, our roommates are 2 guys from Finland that we talked to earlier today on the trail and the folks across the hall are a couple from California (although Korean born and raised) and another man from Korea. Down the hall are our 4 French friends (2 middle aged couples who are completing a 3 stage Camino adventure that started from their home in the Alsace near Germany) and a 30-something couple from new Hampshire that we have spent quite a bit of time with are also on our floor.

Today we reconstructed our experience thus far- where we stayed, where we ate, who we met etc. It was a real strain trying to remember 24 nights in 24 places! Some of it seems to have happened so long ago. Not much happens, when you consider that all we do is walk, eat and sleep- yet it seems that so much has happened.

That´s all for now, folks. 135 miles to go.....


  1. Hi guys... have had such fun reading about all your travels. The adventure sounds so great ! I'm not sure I could walk 20 miles day after day. My hats off to you both... what memories you are making !!! wow !

  2. Hi Guys, thanks so much for all of your trek updates -- the photos are all stunning too. Layne, I wanted to let you know that you sold another painting at Alki Art (the truck I think) and that I saw your ad in the Art Collector magazine. Looks great! Hope you are bringing home many ideas for future paintings.

    All the best for the rest of your trip,


  3. Hi, my name is Melanie Shelton, and I’m a student at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. I’m writing because I’m working on a paper about modern documentation of the Camino de Santiago and, in the course of my research, I came across your blog. I found your observations and reflections on your experiences very interesting, and I was wondering if I could ask you a couple of questions that would help me continue my research.
    Thank you so much for your time. I'm sorry if you already recieved this message by email-I wasn't sure that it actually sent. I hope to hear from you soon!
    Melanie Shelton