Guest blahg from Uber Kayak Woman

I am sure y’all (you know, all 5 of you) are dead tired of hearing from me every day. So today I am hosting Uber Kayak Woman as a guest blahgger. Uber Kayak Woman is also known as my cousin Aimée. She and her son and his significant other have recently returned from a month of hiking the Camino in Spain. They undertook this pilgrimage in honor of her mother Radical Betty, who died last September. UKW’s description of their trip is below. The photos were taken by her son Robyn, and are posted with permission. Click on any of the photos for a larger view.



For hundreds of years pilgrims, or peregrinos, have been trekking on foot, 500 miles across northern Spain, towards the cathedral in Santiago that houses the remains of St. James. Those who make the trek successfully this holy year earn a “compostella” that reputedly forgives not only their past sins, but their future ones as well. We are still mulling over that concept, wondering what changes that would imply in life.

We walked in Radical Betty’s footsteps, as she and Bugs and Horsey walked the Camino years before. It was our way of saying “vaya con Dios” to Betty’s feisty and adventurous spirit.

Step by step the journey happens, but not without a certain amount of foot pain, shoulder pain, blisters, tendonitis, and gastrointestinal distress. We did escape the bed bugs. Powered by wonderfully strong coffee, cervesa and fabulous wine. . . We started out consuming the readily available bocodillo sandwiches on baguettes, and after one too many wound up avoiding them searching for soups and such. Traditional gallego, aho, and marisco soups were wonderful. Paella at the coast was unforgettable, and we even were fed acorn barnacles on the house.

As modern peregrinos we chose to walk the mountainous parts of the Camino. We did not have the time to travel the whole way. We carried cell phones, which were very useful along the way. The “way” is marked with the yellow arrows that carry you through many mazes of trails, roads, and even through large cities. I still am trying to imagine a route through our large cities, with people walking through city centers, and the outskirts of the cities. . . even with my active imagination, I can’t quite picture it!

We loved the “STOP” signs in Spain. A cab driver said that those signs were used because there were so many languages in Spain, and everyone understood “STOP”. We did travel through three distinct language regions, but we are still wondering about the possibility of a bulk discount government purchase. . .

The cathedrals all along the way are ornate, some with long histories, most still used. It was stork nesting season, and the storks love the tallest spires. Sometimes you can find piles of sticks down below that have fallen from the nest. In some of the smaller villages they have a tactic of building a taller post, near the church spire, that has a conveniently flat platform atop to tempt the storks away from the church. They are beautiful large birds, and we got to see young in the nests. They are supposed to be good luck too, which is why their nests remain undisturbed on the church spires.

The Camino is now being traversed by bikers; with routes for both mountain bikes and road bikes. Certainly it is a faster way to accrue kilometers. The mountain bikers terrorize the walkers, reluctant to use their brakes. A dutch man who rode his road bike from home lingered over a second cup of coffee with me, confessing that every day he dreaded getting on the seat of his bike, as it would be painful for a while each morning. With the amount of foot pain we endured, more at the end of the day, I was quite sympathetic.

Hundreds of miles of Camino later we are home now, with a different perspective on the power of foot travel.

Buen Camino!

9 Responses to “Guest blahg from Uber Kayak Woman”

  1. Margaret Says:

    What a wonderful pilgrimage! Me gusta mucho la Espana. I seem to remember STOP signs in France too.

  2. Uncly Uncle Says:

    I love the new old pics at the web cam site.

  3. jane Says:

    soooo – go forth and sin as much as you want now?

    sounds and looks like a wonderful trip. 😉

  4. Jay Says:

    I remember when the original pilgrimage happened.
    Sounded like a great trip – both times.

  5. Paulette Says:

    Oh, Aimee, what a wonderful trip. Thank you and Robyn for sharing it. This notion of absolution for future sins has my vote.

  6. jane Says:

    upon further review – I see a bit of Duke in the beer toasting photo!! I think it’s the sparkle in the eye that says ‘mayhem may follow – come with me!!’

  7. kayak woman Says:

    Jane, I think you’re right. I see ol’ Duke in UKW’s face in that photo too!

  8. Aimee Nassoiy Says:

    Hmmmm, “mayhem may follow-come with me!!” Yes I think I might resemble that remark:-)

  9. isa Says:

    Stop, you’re making me want to go back!!!!