Milking time is done… for now.

Camino de Santiago Day #6 continues up the mountain, O’Cebreiro…

The path passes through a small dairy farm and we arrive just after morning milking.

2014Camino-1070308dmvThe girls are milked and it’s time to mo-o-o-o-ve on.

2014Camino-1070313dmvLooks like Grandma has kid duty and a strong grasp on her charge. Don’t even think about it, Nino!


On top of the world… and border patrol?

“ The mountain is eight miles up, and eight miles down the other side, and seems to touch the sky. Climb it and you’ll feel you could push the sky with your hand.”

-Codex Calixtinus, ca. 1139

Day two and we are still in France as we continue along the Camino de Santiago French Way through the Pyrenees.
2014CamHmmm… I wonder when we’ll reach the border of Spain?  We must have our passports handy so we can show them to the border patrol, right?

2014Cam-11dmvMeet our Norwegian Camino friend, Willie Nilsen.  Wonderful conversation including an insight into living within the Arctic Circle and Camino tips and bits.  (At first we thought he said “Willie Nelson” as in the country singer/songwriter which started a conversation of its own)

2014Cam-15dmvA concession stand in the middle of nowhere.

2014Cam-16dmvIt’s a living… Buen Camino!
2014Cam-19dmvYes, weather can change in a heartbeat as the fog envelops our path.

2014Cam-10dmvcrOur clear day has turned to pea soup fog.

2014Cam-12dmvThus, the view from the top isn’t necessarily the best for the Catholic pilgrims adding a stone and a prayer to this shrine of the Virgin Mary .

camno1-3shrineThe above image from shows the view on a clear day.  Tough luck for us, but life isn’t perfect and we are accustomed to that. We are just thankful for each injury free step that we take.

Now, where is that border?  I see a flag ahead…

2014Cam-28dmvRandy and Bryon seem to breeze through the border checkpoint without any problems!  Guess I can put my passport away.

2014Cam-26plclThank you, fellow pilgrim, for taking our group photo as we enter Spain!  As you can tell by the Sherpas, rain has settled in for the day.

Loving this and smiling…


Anatomy of a Backpack

Preparing our backpacks for the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain involved a tremendous amount of thought with the challenge being to only take what we can carry 10-20 miles per day.  (Click on the link for a short video explaining the Camino.)


We try to keep the weight close to the recommended 10% of our body weight which really makes weight loss counterproductive. No incentive to lose weight… I can just add pack mule to my resume.


We have packed, weighed, taken out, repacked, weighed, taken out, weighed again and find ourselves adding things we think we absolutely HAVE to take. Sherpa in, Sherpa out, Sherpa in… Latest item added: flashlight that fits on a hat brim. You never know when you’ll be walking in the dark, right? (We may look like nerds but at least you will see us and we will see you!)

My husband is the organized one. He packed everything in ziplock bags and has labeled, numbered and documented each bag on a chart he designed. Organization is not my strong suit, so I will probably throw stuff back into any old bag in haste, anyway. . He did pack my bag for me so I suppose I owe it to him to try to be organized the first day.

Each of us packed:  3 pair underwear, 2 pair hiking socks with 2 pair of liners, 3 quick dry shirts – sleeveless/short sleeved/long sleeved, 2 pair quick dry leggings, 2 pair wind pants, fitted twin sheet/pillowcase, Sherpa (lined rain poncho) light jacket with raincoat, 2 towels, flip flops.  The following were split between the two of us:  toilet paper with roll removed, bar soap in a mesh bag for hand washing laundry and showering, small bag of toiletries, first aid items (New Skin and band aids for blisters, vaseline for feet, pain reliever, etc.) sewing kit, flashlight, compass, Samsung tablet/charger and camera/charger, English/Spanish translator (size of a small calculator) and extra plastic bags. Have I forgotten anything?  Oh, well… as long as I have my plane ticket, passport and debit card I’m good.


Packing in ziplock bags is great when packing for any trip since I don’t like to check bags. Waiting for checked bags just seems like an inefficient use of my time and I don’t own much that is worth waiting for. (Blogging, on the other hand, is apparently worth my time.) I roll the items of clothing tightly, take the air out of the bag and seal. Nice and compact. Extra empty bags, just in case? Wouldn’t hurt. I also try to remember to keep items the TSA want to check in an outside pouch. At least I can try…

Now it’s time to put the backpack on and start hiking. Click on the following link for a short video on fitting a backpack properly:

Fitting your Backpack

O.K, gang… here we go… Buen Camino!