Friday, September 6, 2013

Overwhelmed!

First of all, I want to thank all of you that emailed me.  I will try to answer each of you before I leave Leon, but having so many words of encouragement waiting for me when I woke up this morning was such a blessing. Yesterday and today, I felt your prayers, and am so very thankful that God has brought all of you into my life.  I have felt your hugs all the way over here as well.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I'm sorry it is so fuzzy.  No flash photography is allowed in any of the churches, and I am not very proficient in low light photography.  This is the Altar piece at San Isidro.  They had Adoration going on when I got there last night. I am hoping that they do this every day, and plan to go back after siesta is over-just about everything closes from 2pm to 5pm!

This one is better, but still fuzzy...I broke down and bought a postcard of it.  I think one of the Franciscan order of Priests is here in town, as there were 8 priests concelebrating last night.  One of them celebrated Mass at the Cathedral at noon, and in the announcements, mentioned something special going on related to St. Francis (my Spanish isn't good enough to get more than about a quarter of what is said, so this is definitely a WAG*).

This is actually from the cloisters attached to the Cathedral at Burgos, but it is a soothing picture and reflects how I am FINALLY feeling about my situation.

After talking to Tabitha on the phone, and looking at bus schedules, I will for sure have to miss Cruz de Ferro, since no buses run anywhere near it, as far as I can tell.  However, I can take a bus to O'Cebriero directly, so I'm going to do that tomorrow instead of staying here in Leon.  I know there is tons more to see here, and I couldn't exhaust it in a week, let alone a day, but it is just too expensive for my budget.  I won't be walking, but will be riding the bus, so it is still a rest day.  Besides, it gives me an excuse to have to come back to Spain sometime!

This is one of the many stained glass windows in the Leon Cathedral. The audio guide said that the Cathedral has 1800 square meters of stained glass....an amount rivaled only by the Cathedral in Chartes, France!

O'Cebriero is 157.5 km from Santiago, and I will have 13 walking days from that point.  I know that it is  more than 10 km per day, but there is actually no way to stick to 10 km per day from Sarria on, just because of where the towns with albergues are located. Often, there is a town with a bar in it between, but no accommodations.  I might or might not walk on Sept. 8th, depending on how my feet feel.  More than likely, I will take a taxi or a bus (if I can find one) to Fonfria 11.5 km away and then start walking on the ninth.  As much as I could, I stuck with 10 km, but the closer to Santiago, the longer the stages get, except for the last stage, which is only 5 km.  I can promise you this, though.  On days I have to walk more than 10 km, I promise to take at least a two hour stop about halfway before going further, and ice my ankles if possible. I will listen to my body and rest as needed.  It just doesn't make sense to bus closer to Santiago, as there is no where to stay for shorter stretches anyway.

This is a statue of the Blessed Virgin while she was pregnant.  I love this statue, and have a postcard of it for anyone who wants one.

Here is the breakdown:

Sept. 7--Bus to O'Cebriero
Sept. 8--maybe walk/maybe taxi to Fonfria, 11.5 km
Sept. 9--walk to Tricastela, 9 km
Sept. 10--walk to Samos, 10 km
Sept. 11--walk to Sarria, 15 km
Sept. 12--walk to Morgade, 14.5 km
Sept. 13--walk to Portomarin, 11.5 km
Sept. 14--walk to Hospital de la Cruz, 11.6 km
Sept. 15--walk to Palas de Pai, 13.5 km
Sept. 16--walk to Melide, 15.5 km
Sept. 17--walk to Arzua, 14.5 km
Sept. 18--walk to Santa Irene, 15.5 km
Sept. 19--walk to Monte Gozo, 20.5 km. This is the day I am most worried about.  I have a feeling that it will be a very difficult day, and I will try to take at least 2 long breaks that day...thank goodness all of the bars offer tea, even if none of them have honey!
Sept. 20--walk to Santiago, 5 km

While I was in the Cathedral, they were working on the pipe organ, and random notes were being played from time to time.  The best part was when the technicians broke out in a few bars of Bach! It makes me wonder if they ever give concerts there.  I would love to be there for one, as Gothic Cathedrals seem to be entirely suited for the sound of a pipe organ!

It is still in the middle of siesta, so I am planning on going through my pack and try to lighten the weight further before I leave tomorrow.  Then, off to find a Laundromat, do a little more sight seeing, and be home by 10 so that I can maybe talk to Tabitha again.  I found a grocery store, so I will be making my version of sandwiches for dinner (the insides without the bread), plus yogurt and Avocado.  God is just so good to me!

  *WAG stands for Wild Ass Guess