The Rain in Spain–My “Silver Medal” Camino Story Recorded at Story Slam

“Remember that time on the Camino when . . .?”

Donna and I start many conversations this way now.

When I learned that “Rain” was the theme for’s Los Angeles open mike StorySLAM event, Donna and I bought tickets. Once there, I put my name in the hat and was one of 10 lucky storytellers selected to go on stage and tell a 5 minute story (plus a 1 minute grace period) based on that theme.

The Moth stories must be true, told live, without notes. Three teams of three audience members judge the storyteller’s telling of the tale, based on the teller’s sticking to the five-minute time frame, sticking to the theme and having a story that has a conflict and a resolution. Winners of StorySLAMs advance to a GrandSLAM event, with a different theme and more time to tell their stories. I came in second by a fraction of a percentage point.

No big deal. Not why I was there.

You know from reading my blahg how much I like to write about the Camino de Santiago. The Moth gave me a chance to talk about it. From behind a microphone! (Deja vous all over again from my years of professional speaking.)

I’d forgotten how rewarding it is to make people laugh. Not to mention make Donna choke up just a tad at the memory.

Click the image of The Moth logo to watch the 6 minute video.

Buen Camino!

P.S. If you love listening to or telling stories, I recommend The Moth Radio Hour Podcast, available wherever you listen to podcasts.

10 Replies to “The Rain in Spain–My “Silver Medal” Camino Story Recorded at Story Slam”

  1. Great story telling Terri, you have a natural talent of communicating a somewhat forgotten area, great story telling time.

  2. You are amazing!! And talented!! Your Camino adventures just continue. Took courage to get up there. And to pull it all together so quickly. But then you have always been adventurous for the 55 years I’ve known you ❤️

  3. Holy cow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    That was brilliant. I love the math you were amazing. You really should’ve been an actress you could’ve been the next Meryl Streep. The story was wonderful humorous filled with. Hope you just go around, followed by God winks that’s all.
    Thank you for letting me know about your performance at the moth I’m gonna brag about you to the end of Time. My brilliant, brilliant, talented friend.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Be Still My Book Reading Heart

Marcia is sitting across the card table from me as we play canasta last Fall. She mentions ever so off-handedly that she read a great “feel good” book over the summer.

“It’s called The Guncle. It’s funny and takes place here in Palm Springs.”

“The WHAT?” I ask, as I organize my cards.

The Guncle. Stands for Gay Uncle. Or GUP—Gay Uncle Patrick. He ends up taking care of his young niece and nephew while their dad is in rehab in Rancho Mirage. Really funny and sweet,” she says as she discards a four of spades into the plastic tray.

Always looking for a good book to listen to, especially one both husband John and I can listen to together on road trips, I buy the Audible version of The Guncle. We listen to it on our drive to and from Colorado for Christmas.

Fast forward to February.

I suggest The Guncle to the two PGA West book clubs I belong to and volunteer to host at my house. So long as we do a first-ever combined meeting of the book reading minds, I add. Which gets me thinking. . .the author, Steven Rowley, lives in Palm Springs. Wouldn’t it be great if I could get him to come speak to us?

Squeals of “Oh yes!” from the Popcorn Book Club ladies make me realize I had said it aloud. I have one month to make it happen.

Or maybe not.

I visit his website, and see that all the contact information is via publicists. Three different publicists, one for each of his three novels. I learn movie rights are sold for each of them.

“Dang. This guy is big time,” I mutter to my husband and then tell him all I’ve learned.

“Good luck. You’ll never get him to come a little book club meeting,” John says.

I raise my eyes above my laptop screen, give him The Glare, and then do my best Barney Stinson imitation and shout, “Challenge accepted!” (Google it, if you didn’t watch Neil Patrick Harris in How I Met Your Mother.)

Patrick, aka GUP in the book, doesn’t do his own “sosh,” aka social media. Maybe Steven Rowley does?

LinkedIn lists 10 Steven Rowleys. None are authors. On Facebook I find the author Rowley (and a bus driver Rowley). I scroll and scroll the author’s page and agree with the eleventy-million fans who are commenting on his books. But I don’t want to approach him through a fan page.

Instagram for the win.

I scroll and scroll Insta (that’s what the cool kids call it, ya’ know). I discover a photo of Steven with ladies from the Carlsbad Book Club. Hope springs eternal.

Instagram? Hmmm. I think I have an account. Egad. Ancient history.

I better post a few pictures from this decade. Two cute pictures of Rusty, my labradoodle, because Steven is a dog lover, too. And one of the view from brunch at Ernie’s Bar and Grill, because “Brunch is awesome.” (Guncle Rule #1.)

I’m ready. I post a comment to his post about The Best Bookstore in Palm Springs. (That’s its real name.) I tell him that The Guncle is a fan favorite in PGA West and that it’s the March selection for two, count ‘em, TWO, book clubs here.

“I’m honored,” he replies a few days later.

“He replied! He replied!” I holler as I happy-dance around our island kitchen counter, taunting my husband. “He replied!”

“Is he coming to book club?” John asks skeptically.

“I haven’t asked yet. I only posted a comment. And he REPLIED!”

I not-so-calmly wait until the next morning to craft the official “ask” and share my email address via Insta. (Instagram, remember?) He replies again!

Holy cow, this might just happen. I’m trying not to hyperventilate.

I provide details of date, time, location, and format. Format being the Popcorn Book Club model in which the hostess (me) provides wine, water and popcorn. Period. After all, I add to my message, some of us consider popcorn a meal.

“I have you on my calendar,” he confirms, signing it “Team Popcorn Is a Meal.”

The RSVPs start pouring in.

On the day of the event, I haul every piece of moveable furniture I own into the living/dining room area, saving the best upholstered “throne-like” chair for Steven. Yes, I tell a couple of ladies, bring a few folding chairs, just in case more than 22 people show up.

And show up they do. Good thing I created a make-shift reserved parking sign so that Steven wouldn’t have to walk too far.

Despite being a Doubting John as to whether I could persuade Steven to come, I allow my husband to attend book club–as bartender. Which means asking what color of wine a woman wants and then pouring it. (Meetings sans authors are pretty much DIY when it comes to beverage pouring.)

As the ladies are scooping popcorn into their red and white striped boxes and claiming their seats, I am focused on the front door. I peek past the crowd, through the courtyard gate. Every 17 seconds or so. Why am I so nervous?

I confide to a few gals that my hands are shaking. Me, the Blah Blah Blah lady who hasn’t met a microphone she doesn’t love to use. This feels more like I’m an excited teenager waiting for my prom date to arrive.

Arrive Steven does. To fanfare, applause and caftans.

Now for the best part.

To get the dialogue started, I ask the “audience” to share a memorable moment from the book. Something that sticks with them, perhaps long after having read the book. A laugh, a tear, a gasp. One by one we share snippets of scenes or dialogue. (Don’t worry, no spoilers here.)

And Steven punctuates the conversation first with thanks, and then with some “behind the curtain” comments as to how and why he crafted something a certain way.  His thank you is not about accepting the adulation of his readers. Well, a little bit, maybe. He also shared that it means a lot to a writer to hear what sticks.

“Being a writer is actually quite solitary work. With stand-up comedy, you know immediately when a joke lands. With a book, I can crack myself up writing a scene, but how do I know if anyone else thinks it’s funny? he says.

I ask about Grant, Patrick’s 5-year-old nephew.

“Why did you give him a lisp?” I think I know the answer—because it’s endearing, adds to the little guy’s vulnerability and sets up some humor, too. I’m right on all accounts.

But wait, there’s more “behind the curtain” to it than that.

“I knew there’d be a lot of dialogue, and I wanted a way to distinguish the kids without having to keep writing ‘he said, she said,’ over and over,” Steven explained.

Brilliant! I had not thought of that.

The bartender asks how much of the story is based on Steven’s own life experiences and family.

Steven volunteers that yes, he has nieces and nephews. Yes, he has a sister, but she’s not as mean as Clara, the sister in the book. Yes, he lost a very dear college friend to breast cancer. (Again, not a spoiler.)

“What about Patrick, the Guncle himself?” a caftaned fan asks. “How much of you, Steven, is there in Patrick?”

“Certainly some, but Patrick is richer, more famous and more handsome than me,” he teased.

Wrong on the latter, many ladies voice. And once the movie is made, wrong on the former as well.

“Someday, we’ll watch you on the red carpet and sigh, ‘We knew him when. . . .’” I predict.

The late afternoon flies by.

We hear more about the recording of the Audible version of The Guncle. Steven doesn’t just read the book, I say. He performs it, creating theater of the mind like no other, I gush, as Audible alumni ladies nod their agreement.

We know we can’t keep him much longer, so we assemble for a group photo with caftan-clad club members in the front row. Individual book signing and photos and farewells follow.

As Steven leaves, I hand him a box of popcorn for the road, hoping it truly isn’t his evening meal. When I see him drive away from the curb, and I know he can’t see me standing in the entry way, I close the door and turn my back to lean on it.

Challenge complete! And oh, so much better than going to prom.

7 Replies to “Be Still My Book Reading Heart”

  1. That’s my girl!! Never will turn down a challenge , He looks like a very out going individual. I will have to check out his book. I still get updates from J, A. Jance at least twice a year. She lets her fans know when she has a new book coming out and all ways sends a “Christmas News Letter”.

    You did a great job as usual.


  2. You are amazing!! I can’t believe John doubted that you could make this happen-he’s known you 45+ years!! What an awesome experience! You go girl!!! 😊👍

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

A Favor to Ask and A Story to Tell

The Favor First.

If you’ve been keeping up with my blog posts as Donna and I walked the 500 miles of the Camino de Santiago, you may have noticed that my Mom, Patricia (Pat) Stoner, commented every time. She was often the first to do so!

Many of you have shared with me how much you enjoyed reading her comments.

Well, TODAY, Thursday, Sept. 29 is her 90th (yes, ninetieth) birthday.

She doesn’t do Facebook, and I would just love it if you could enter a comment here,  wishing her, “Happy Birthday, Pat” today. I’ll make sure she sees them!

The Story I’ve Been Meaning to Tell

Here’s my mom a year ago at my daughter’s wedding.

Continue reading “A Favor to Ask and A Story to Tell”

One More Sleep Before Santiago

Memorize the Moments

Do you ever have a day or an experience in which you think, “I have to memorize this moment”? I remember saying that to myself on my wedding day. (And on my daughter’s wedding day, which was Sept. 18 last year. It’s also the day we’ll walk into Santiago tomorrow.)

Today, the day before we walk into Santiago was one of those days.

Will this be the last babbling brook we hear on the Camino?

Another “cathedral forest arch.” Will there be more? I don’t remember.

Will we see the 4 Hermanos (Brothers) again? The Denver Sisters? We had better get photos. (We actually got phone numbers so that we can connect in Santiago tomorrow.)

Click HERE for the answer via video.

Our morning selfie included a new friend.

Bamba the Labrador kissed me goodbye.

Continue reading “One More Sleep Before Santiago”

The Rain in Spain Falls Mainly—Everywhere Today

We were checking weather forecasts frequently and knew we needed to be prepared for rain. Here’s our morning selfie for Tuesday, Sept. 13.

Yes, we have matching raincoats. Best rain coat I ever bought (from REI) because it covers my hips. We also named our raincoats “Olivia.” For Olivia Pope, the main character on the TV show Scandal. (She wore the most glamorous outer wear!)

The scenery is stunning these last couple of days.

We spent the night in Tricastela, which is a village nestled in the mountains. From O’Cebreiro there is a lot of downhill walking. A lot. Knees feel it the most, but thankfully there was beautiful scenery to distract us.

Room with a view.

In the village of Tricastela, we had a second floor room. And in Spain, the ground floor is numbered zero, so to the California Chicas, that meant three flights of stairs to climb.  The view from our window was an interesting mix of old and new.

Nothing special about the room, but for you fans of Donna’s collection, here’s last night’s, below.

And the night before’s, also below.

Sarria is a big deal. That’s where we are tonight.

In order to get your Compostela certificate, you have to walk at least 100K. (Bicyclists have to ride at least 200K.) Sarria is 111K from Santiago, so it is the starting point for hundreds of people.

Last time, I let the crowds get to me, mostly when perky Pilgrims practically ran ahead of me that first day. But now, I don’t compare myself. I remember Teddy Roosevelt’s quote, instead:  “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

This time I’m actually looking forward to seeing, greeting and maybe even meeting a few new people.

Here are a couple of video clips to enjoy from today.

(I have no idea why one looks like a video and the other is a link. Working from an iPad is a challenge.)

Donna loves bridges.

And a few fun photos.

Is this one of the Wizard of Oz apple-throwing trees?



Five more walking days left. Wow.


The O’Cebreiro Mountain Climb


Last time (2019) we tackled this climb after having already walked 22K. In fact, we stopped to “fuel up” with lunch at a charming B&B. We left the B&B in the late afternoon and didn’t arrive to the top until 7:30 pm. I melted down, almost literally, from the exhaustion and heat.

So, that’s why this time we purposely planned to tackle the mountain in the morning. In fact, we actually stayed at the B&B that had served us the lunch before the 2019 ascent.

Here’s our room, and I thought that having it be my favorite color was a good omen. Besides, it was my birthday.


Outside our door was a balcony!


And here is the view from our “library hour” table.


Here’s what was ON our table. Did I mention that it was my birthday?


Ice is difficult to come by in Spain, so when the ice in our wine bucket melted, I didn’t let it go to waste. A blister had formed during the day, and ice cold water was part of the cure.

We got an early start the next morning and walked about 2K before the trail started to climb. Here’s the “before” video:

The bottom of the climb video.

And here’s me trying to show you how far up we had to go.

Ya kinda had to be there to see how steep it is.

Donna’s turn to film me doing great.

Terri trucking strong.

We made it.

Ta Dah! We are strong at the top.

Posing with a peregrina sculpture, also at the top.

Turns out our lodging reservations got changed, so we are in an Albergue, albeit with a private room and bath. Walking around, we discovered the town we’re in is known for cheese making. “Cow cheese” as our host explained.

This gal was ready to retire for the day.

There’s a cow at the window!

Off to sleep now. We’re both feeling joyful, accomplished and blessed.

We’re Not in Kansas, Anymore. That’s for Sure.

Our morning selfie from Ponferrada, Friday, 9/9.


Hints of autumn on The Way.


Mountain trails with perfect temperature and shade trees as a bonus.


We are not the only “seniors” on the Camino. These folks are from France.


Less than 200K to go!


When someone offers to take your picture, you say Gracias!


Fixer upper for sale in El Acebo.


The famous Iron Cross. People bring something from their home and leave it at the foot of the cross. It’s personal. So just know we each left something written on shells we’ve been carrying. Amen.


Sometimes, you find a place to sit on the side of the trail, sip water, munch your snack and marvel at the beauty in front of you.

Here’s a video of the El Bierzo wine district that we walked through on Friday, 9/9. I butcher the pronunciation in the video. Should be Bee-air-zoh. Brain boil after 22K of walking in the sun.

The El Bierzo Wine Country

Tomorrow, Saturday, Sept. 10, we walk to the foot of O’Cebreiro and spend the night. O’Cebreiro is Latin for “Oh, so steep, you think you’re going to die.”

Saturday is my birthday. All I want is to kick some O’Cebreiro ass the next day.

Stay tuned.

Bye, Bye Meseta. Hello Hills (and More!)

A Series of Photos and Captions and Here’s Why

As we have walked these last 24 days (24 DAYS!?), I’ve looked forward to what Donna and I call “library hour,” which is when we Air Drop photos back and forth and I write my posts.

On the trail, I often think about what I might write later that day, and I look forward to doing so. (Words are my love language, remember?)

Today, Day 24, we arrived in Rabinal del Camino, a hamlet 21K from Astorga, which is where we stayed last night. Where we met Sue, Sue and her husband Chris, all from England. They told us about Steve and Carol from “somewhere in Southern California.” We met Steve and Carol this morning at breakfast.

We’re all here together in the same lodging tonight and we plan to eat together.

But when we walk into the lodging, we see Marie and Hilda, the fast-walking, delightful sisters we had dinner with four days ago. They’re from South Africa. This is their fourth Camino, and they plan to do 10 full Caminos. Perhaps one a year. We had a snack with them for more than an hour and invited them to join us and “the Brits” at 7 p.m.

And here’s what went through my head:
OK, I want to post. It’s been 2 days, and my almost-90-year-old Mom looks forward to each and every one. I love that! But I don’t want to miss being “here,” in the moment, with new friends I may never see again, but whose memories will last forever.

So I decided to just post some photos with captions. (And look how much I just wrote without a single photo! I know.) Here goes.

We’re gettin closer and closer! Just under 300K to go.


Our favorite lodging from 2019, and we get to stay again. A farm house that was a former mill.


A former flour mill, a river runs right under the house.

Donna migrated to the garden and found a HUGE zucchini.


I was drawn to these. Of course.


Best of all? We got to do real laundry. With a machine and soap.

Actually, our host, Mercedes, was the best part. She remembered us from before and we let her know that hers was our favorite place of the entire Camino.


Ten minutes out the door, and we had to don our rain gear.


An hour later, the rain has stopped, and we cross a medieval bridge where knights battled. Our reenactment pales to the full-fledged events held in this village every year.


Which way? This is a welcome, clear sign. (Zoom in.)


As we leave the Meseta, the terrain, the trees and trail change.


A welcome oasis in the middle of nowhere, on the way to Astorga.


Sole-shredding surface. This was uphill. Tomorrow will be downhill. Treacherous, technical walking manana.


Just cuz it caught my eye. And it’s pretty.


Donna, Marie and Hilda. No one remembers what was so funny, but we’ll always remember the joy of the moment.

I’ll post when I can. Buenas noche!

We Love Leon

Sunday, Sept. 4

We managed to arrive early in Leon because we remembered how much we loved our day off here in 2019. No days off, this time, however.

CaminoWays booked us at a different hotel, a Parador. We couldn’t believe it.

A former convent, pilgrim hospital and prison, it is stunning inside and out.


Crazy luxurious room. We feel like Royalty. Albeit dusty, road-weary Royalty.

Our most favorite shop from last year was open, but Antonio the calligrapher was not there to customize our purchases. Still, a highlight of the day.

Best Sangria so far. Cafe right on the Camino.

“May the rest of our lives be the best of our lives,” Donna toasts.

Normally, I’m not a fan of begonias. These are the exception, in front of the Cathedral of Leon and across from where we’ll be having dinner with Paul and Jenny from Australia. Italian food!

More later, when I get a chance and good WiFi.


The Magic of the Meseta

Pretty Close to Perfect Walking Today

Donna kept remembering and talking about the “tree-lined trail” in the Meseta. Over the past few days, there were plenty of snippets of that, but she kept saying, “No, there were crops on the left, the trees, our trail and a road, but not a highway.”

Today was the day. Of the 18K we walked, at least 16K was lined by trees. Like this.

If you look closely, you can see even older, shadier trees in the distance.

The sun was on our left, so we had dappled shade the whole way. We have established a trifecta of walking conditions, by the way.

  1. Flat.
  2. Shade.
  3. Breeze.

Today we had them all, almost all the time. Cloud cover counts for bonus points if it’s hot. Today was cool in the morning, warmer in the sun, but with the shade trees, it was absolutely delightful.

The Morning Selfie

Every morning we take a morning selfie. I don’t post them all, but when looking through them last night, I thought we need to get a little more creative.

Here’s this morning’s, as we left Sahagun.

How Fast Do We Walk?

Not very, if we compare ourselves to most of the other people we encounter. But we don’t compare ourselves. We walk our own Caminos.

My Apple Watch will announce each kilometer and the pace. We started out being happy with 3K an hour, which is around 20 minutes for 1K. (Stop snorting and laughing!)

Turns out that we were tracking around a 20-minute kilometer when we were, I don’t know—climbing the Pyrenees or carefully crawling downhill.

Now, for the most part, we average 13-15 minutes per K, which means 4K per hour. A 20K day = 5 hours. Every now and then we hear my watch say 13:05, or 12:40. Our “record” was 12:15.

This morning we decided to see if we could beat our 12:15 time and get it down to 12 and a single digit. (12:09, for instance.) When my watch announced 2k, we quickened our pace.

We didn’t talk.

We didn’t change lanes to smoother terrain.

We kept to one path, and right before the path started to go uphill a bit, my watch announced, “Kilometer 3. 11 minutes, 15 seconds.”

We stopped and cheered and were dumbfounded that we cut an entire minute off our previous record.

And that was that. We wanted to focus on the path, the trees, the Meseta.

Beauty is in the iPhone of the Photographer

We came to a vast hay field that was freshly cut, not yet baled. For as far as we could see, there was nothing man made. Donna took a picture of me taking pictures.

And here is the picture we voted the best.

We decided we love the Meseta.



Half Way There @ Sahagun

About 400K Down and About 400 More to Trample

We showed our Camino Credential that has a stamp for every day, and in return, we got fancy schmancy certificates in Spanish.

23K in Great Weather this Time

It was this segment of the Camino three years ago that taught us the hardest lesson we were to learn.  When you put on your raincoat, put on your rain pants, too.


Because without rain pants, the water runs down your leg and into your shoes. Outsides of the shoes are Gortex, which is waterproof. Not true for the insides.

From 2019:

The Rain in Spain 2019

From today, Sept. 1, 2022:

Sunny and Dry in 2022

Australian Friends from Adelaide

We’ve been enjoying Paul and Jenny from Australia, and tonight we encountered them again, here at the half way point. We may not be in the same towns again, so we were excited to ask a local to capture a pic.

Buen Camino to all!


The Meseta is a Mind Game

Castrojeriz to Fromista to Carrion de Los Condes
Monday/Tuesday 8/29 and 30

We knew what the morning would bring first thing—a steep climb that felt like it went on f o r e v e r three years ago. We had to stop three or four times back then. In fact, it was on that part of the trail that Donna “invented” chanting something in a rhythmic cadence to get ourselves to the top. More like a prayer, though. Not ala the Marine Corp.

Below is the sign that tells us peregrinos what we’re in for.

Zoom in on the triangles and you’ll read that it’s 1050 meter elevation gain. That’s 3,444 feet.

Because setting and keeping your own pace is critical on segments like this, Donna and I agreed, “See you at the top,” and set off.

Surprisingly (to me, anyway), we stayed within a car length of each other and only stopped once to catch our collective breaths.

We left several of the “grateful for” shells at the very top.It’s probably one of those “you had to be there” moments, because it’s difficult to capture the dramatic elevation gain with an iPhone.

Donna said, “It’s as close to heaven as we’ve been so far.”

The “Aha!” Revelation

As we walked around at the top, we high fived each other, and agreed that “it wasn’t as bad as I/we remembered it.”

And then we did some more math and realized that three years ago, this climb occurred on Day 3 of our Camino because we started that one in Burgos. This time, it was Day 15.

We. Are. Stronger.

Downhill From There

What goes up must come down, and that applies to the Meseta. Click the link below to hear and see what lay ahead of us down that hill.

The Other View from the Top (The Meseta)

The Rain in Spain Fell on Our Plain

Remember the 47% chance of rain I mentioned in the last post? Dead on. We made it up the hill and quite far in cool cloud cover, for which were most grateful.

But we didn’t out run the rain.

Another friend of mine told me once that “there’s no such thing as bad weather. Not if you have the right clothing.”

We did. Rain coats, rain pants and backpack covers got us through. And then, poof. The rain stopped and we were in sunny skies.

The last 3K of our path was delightful with shade trees on the left and a canal on the right.

Short Day Tuesday, With the Last 5K Not So Enjoyable

We had 20K to walk Tuesday, and most of it was along side a highway. No shade. Crops on all sides. And no shade.

We were so happy when Yonicka (yawn-i-kah) caught up with us. We met her Day 1 and saw her again in the rain on Monday. She walked with us a short way and told us about a fork in the Camino that would take us a little longer, but it followed a stream and had plenty of shade trees.



The last 5K were back on the highway. Did I mention that there was no shade?

The mental game (for me, anyway) was, “OK, this is like walking to the gym in Long Beach, and doing a workout. I can do that. Except I don’t sweat this much walking to the gym. OK, so it’s more like a HIIT class. (HIgh Intensity Interval Training). Except that it’s only a 50-minute class and air conditioned. OK. I used to do 90 minute Bikram yoga in 105-degree room for 90 minutes. Yep. That what this is. Except I have long sleeves, long pants, a hat and 10-pound pack on my back. Other than that, pretty much the same.”

And here’s how we celebrated after getting to our lodging. (A monastery converted into a hotel.) We crossed a river on the way to the monastery and saw families enjoying a swim in the river.

We checked in to our room, donned bathing suits and waded in the cold, fast running current.

And pay no attention to my silly water tossing antics in the video below. Watch the dog in the background. (I miss my Rusty!)

Terri Splashing, Dog Fetching

I’m having trouble uploading the room photo, and it’s 11 pm. Time to say buenas noche, and I’ll try again on Wednesday.


The Day Before the Dreaded Meseta

Hornillos de Camino to Castrojeriz: Stage 14

The calm before the storm. Actually, there’s only 47% chance of rain tomorrow, Monday. The “storm” I refer to is the Meseta. Google “Meseta Spain.”

Today was only 20K and we were treated to hills and dales and sunflower crops that went on forever.

Terri Langhans in Spanish sunflowers

People often ask if we are sisters. So, that’s me, Terri, above, and Donna below.

On the way, Donna snuck in a video. Click the link below. (Mom, you wanted to hear her voice, too!)

Donna Does a Video

14th Century Ruins of a Pilgrim’s Hospital

Just when we were ready to huddle around the trunk of a tree by the side of road to get some shade, the road turned and we both said, “OH! I remember this place.”

You can get a bunk bed in the “albergue” room, but there is no electricity. We sat in the shade a while, cooled off and tried to imagine what the full hospital must have looked like in the 1300’s.

A caretaker was inside what looks like double doors in the photo above. I went in and looked at some of the photos on the wall, made a donation. He thanked me and wished me “Buen Camino.”

I joined Donna again on a bench in the shade and noticed that a man we’d seen off and on all day had taken a seat in another shady spot. Donna and I smiled, asked him how he was doing (Que tal? Esta bien?)

He was gingerly taking off his hiking shoes, which we had seem him do before, when we encountered him earlier in the morning.

Next thing I see, the caretaker is walking across the courtyard area with a small plastic tub of water and a towel. He knelt down and helped the man wash and soak his feet.


Camino angel in action.


Let’s Try Video

The terrain and scenery can vary dramatically in one day.

Early morning shadows as we are bordered by vines. Click the video link below.

Buenos Dias in the Vineyards

The last 5K of the same day. Click video links below.

Buenas Tardes (Part 1)

Buenas Tardes (Part 2)

And, for fans of the “Room with a View” Series, here’s that night’s lodging.

Our room in the Parador of Santo Domingo. We learned there are two in this city. How? Donna’s suitcase was delivered to the other one in town.

We reminded ourselves that patience is a virtue and waited for her suitcase to be retrieved and delivered. We sat in the shade, in a cafe on the Calle Mayor (Main Street), comforted by cold sangria.

The view from the room’s window? Good reason to search elsewhere for the sangria.

Later, waiting for the “early” dinner seating at 8:30 p.m. at the other Parador in town, we were treated to people watching on the square.

We didn’t get to bed until 11 p.m., so not as much sleep as we would normally like, but when in Spain . . . You’re going to eat late.

Here’s our selfie the next morning, in front of the hotel’s tribute to Peregrinos. (That’s us. Pilgrims walking the Camino.)

And then, the highlight of the morning was seeing two new favorite young people. Meet Ponytail and Provence. (She’s Ponytail. He’s Provence. More on them later.)

L O N G E S T Day, No Time to Post

Your Lodging is 6K Past Where You Thought Your Day Ended.

We knew it would be a 24K day, which is long enough. When we checked the map profile against our lodging reservation. YIKES. We are in for a 30K day. (18 miles)

This is when the mental game kicks in. We instantly readjusted our mindset and took off. We voiced our gratefulness for clouds, wind, even a light drizzle, dense forest trails that took heat out of the equation. We arrived to our lodging at 6 pm, which is late for us. But we did it!

Now comes shower, dinner, crash.

Tomorrow, Friday, is the last day of new territory for us. We arrive in Burgos, and from there on, we’ve walked the path before.

That also means we will have walked a total of approximately 300K by end of day manana.




The People We Meet

Here’s our little code.

You chat with someone along the way, and you don’t learn their name, so you give them a label. So there’s Miami Man. Or Red Shirt Guy. New Zealand Gals. If we could keep up with the Boys in the Band, we would have. But they are three student-age looking guys carrying fully loaded backpacks and each one has what looks like a violin case strapped on, too.

Once you encounter someone again, maybe then you chat enough to ask the person’s name. Three years ago we forgot so many names that we promised each other that we would take pictures and capture names, too, this time around.

We said goodby to Bernard and Mrs. Bernard from France in Los Arcos. They were “only” walking as far as Logrono because the had to bet home in time for their daughter’s wedding.

Monday Night Made Merrier.

Monday night our lodging did not have a kitchen for serving dinner, so we had a voucher to a nearby place. Donna and I sat down early, which in Spain means 7:45 p.m.

A few more tables started to fill and we heard English being spoken at each one. New Zealand Gals were at one table (Sue and Michelle) and Aussie Couple were at another (Mark and Brooke). By the end of the evening we asked Man Bun the waiter to take our picture.

(L to R): Brooke and Mark (Melbourne), Sue (NZ), Donna, Me, Michelle (NZ).

Our room Monday night also got a nickname the moment we opened the door. Red Room. Not R E D R U M, I clarified to Donna (and for the benefit of any Stephen King fans.)

How hot was it Monday?

Very. Heat rash is an issue we hadn’t anticipated, but one trip to the Farmacia and we had relief cream.

Tuesday Morning Delight. 

Turns out Sue and Michelle were staying our hotel. We saw them at breakfast and the introduced us to Mark and Margaret (M & M) from New South Wales. 

We know that Sue and Michelle are staying in the same town we are Tuesday night, so we are hoping we see them again and perhaps can eat together. 

As for Tuesday’s walk, I took a couple of videos to show the contrast. I’ll do a separate post and see if I can get them to upload. If not, I may have to resort to Facebook. (Sorry, Mom. I’ll email them directly to you if that happens.)