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   The St Jean Pied de Port Team:
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The Journey:
29.04.13 - Carmel and Robyn have taken the bus from Burgos to Fromista to play catch up then will continue their walk onto Carrion de Los Condes.
01.05.13 - Today they again need to catch a bus for their last leg to ensure that they meet up with Team Leon for the final 300 kilometer (approx) section of the Camino trail where they will commence the walk at midday Wednesday, 2nd May 2013.
02.05.13 - The two groups are now finally together and are gearing up for their journey from Leon to the Grand Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.The Cathedal is predominantly Romanesque; in fact, one of the finest Romanesque churches in Spain. Construction began in 1060 in the reign of Alfonso VI and was completed in 1211. Medieval pilgrims walked the Way of St. James for months to arrive at Santiago Cathedral, home of the relics of St. James in Santiago de Compostela. So many pilgrims have laid their hands on the pillar just inside the doorway to rest their weary bones that a groove has been worn in the stone.
03.05.13 - Today our group moves out of Leon to visit the Iron Cross. For many pilgrims arriving at the cross is one of the key points in the journey because it marks two things. The first is that they have traveled a long way to arrive at this point.  However, this spot is even more emblematic because it is the place where many people leave behind their sins, fears, dreams, wishes, and make peace with themselves.
It is a tradition to bring a few rocks from home or from their journey to this point and entrust them to the hill. Due to the millions of pilgrims who make this trip annually, the result is that the amount of rocks dropped off are uncountable; the rocks continuously accumulate into a giant sized mound.
04.05.13 - Tomorrow's walk will take the team from Sarria and finish 24km later at Portomarin.
06.05.13 - Todays journey will take the team from Portomarin to Lestedo via the small towns of, Toxibo, Gonzar, Castromaior, O Hospital, Ventas de Naron, A Prebisa, Lameiros, Ligonde and Airexe
Messages: 30.04.13
From Neil Falson: Hi to you all. Hope you are all having a great time, I am a bit envious but not too much because I am not a walker and besides, Zoe told me she was only going to get some coffee at Brisbane and has been gone for a week - Ha, ha, ha.... Also, she left me at home to mind the dog, 'Jock'. Have a great trip, Cheers Neil.
From Carmel: Have spent the night in Fromista only to wake up to rain, rain, rain and more rain. Was 4 degrees yesterday and very cold.Today we left on foot for Carrion de Los Condes. Will stay the night then bus it to Leon to meet up with the rest of the team.
Anonymous: It is tough back here looking after all the suburban farm animals. Here is just one of the many critters that I have to look after. When the food solids ran out, I have had to substitute their food for a liquid diet which I now share with them. 'Life's Tuff in Oz'. :)

Messages: 01.05.13
From Kate Lamrock: Hi Robyn, do some walking for me, hope all is well.
From Team Trekfa: Equipo Trekfa desea nuestro equipo de Camino un viaje feliz, seguro, alegre e inspiradora desde León hasta Santiago de Compostela.
Frase del día: El único que se interpone entre usted y el final del recorrido es el dolor de pies y un gran vino.
From Silvana Mena: To dear Blanca & Adriana, Hope all is going well with your walk? Looking forward to following your progress, keep up the good walk!!! love, Silvana xoxoxox

Messages: 02.05.13
From Carmel: Robyn and I arrived in Leon this afternoon (01.05.13). We had a great day of walking yesterday. Started out WET WET WET and COLD COLD COLD. We made a good pair!..... Robyn with her rain pants (so her legs ould stay dry) and me in my shorts (so my legs would dry out quickly if I got a chance). We could tell the Aussies on the track - they were the ones in shorts. I was able to keep my fingers dry and warm with my wind stopper gloves - what a joy!! The rain eventually stopped as did the wind and we continued to enjoy our walk along a peaceful river bank. The path was the wet with clay soil which slowed us down. Robyn managed to track a significant amount of it all the way to our accommodation.
Anyway, all is well. We had a great nights sleep, uneventful bus trip to Leon this morning, got into our room, made a mess of the place and headed out to do what we do best - find the biggest Cathedral. Can you believe, as we walked into the church to commence our tour we turned around, and who should be walking through the door but Hadijah & Zoe!!! We eventually caught up with everyone - was told to be quiet in the cathedral!!
We've all had a fun night of story & laughter. We raised a toast to TREKFA 'cause without it we wouldn't have gathered for this amazing experience. Today we have a leisurely day visiting the Iron Cross.
From Claire & Pierre: Hello All! Happy you all made it to Leon.:) Congratulations to you ...and specially to Robyn and Carmel with already so many kilometers behind them! Very impressive!
2nd May we are just starting in Europe and so is your 10 day walk!! We wish you a terrific time with plenty of discoveries and fun and will follow your progress day by day.
Had a really nice time with your Mum yesterday afternoon, Hadijah, she is doing well.
All the best and... Hadijah, stay with the group , darling,
From Rebecca Healey: Hi Mum, you wouldn’t have sore feet if you had taken your Podiatrist with you!! Postcard arrived..... The girls said they couldn't read your writing.....lol . Bec xoxo
From Susan Bell:
Hi All. Sounds like you are having a wonderful time and getting right into the experiences - food???  Hope the weather warms up a bit for you all. Am enjoying following your diary - how about more photos of you all. Esperamos que disfrute de su viaje . Love to you all.
From Greg: Quote of the Day - The pain you feel today is the strength you feel tomorrow. For every challenge encountered there is opportunity for growth.
From Dorian: This morning Carmel, Robyn and Team Leon had breakfast together for the first time. Some ventured to Leon Cathedral for mass while others explored the labyrinth of lanes and streets which make up Leon. We met Ricardo at Midday and headed off on the bus to Astorga for some sightseeing (see photo opposite), lunch and then begin walking together for the first time. It was a later start than expected at 4pm due to the fun and chatter at lunch, swapping stories with Carmel and Robyn and getting to know Ricardo.
The first days walk covered 15.5km along undulating terrain through numerous villages where we had our credentials stamped. Even though time was running short due to the late start, the group chose to continue ending the walk at 8pm. We were blessed with sunny skies, the sun finally setting at 9:30pm.  Dinner at 10:30 included Salad (with cow bacon), Duck or Fish with enough bottles of the local red wine to gently end our day.
End note: The Astorga Cathedral was started in 1471 and completion took three centuries. After a discovery walk of the town, the group set off from Castillo des Los Polvezares and finished the day at Rabanel del Camono.

Messages: 03.05.13
From Greg: Weather in your area today is for mostly sunny conditions with light winds from the north. Temperatures: A high of 17 degrees with a low overnight of -1 degree.
From Dorian: We started our walk at the small village of Herrerias, climbing the mountains through the villages of La Faba, Laguna de Castilla and on to O Cebreiro before lunch.  This walk of 8 kms climbs over 600m to an altitude of 1300m.
After a picnic lunch looking over the mountain views of
O Cebreiro, the walk was more undulating for another 5km to Alto de San Roque.  The scenery today was magnificent walking narrow rocky trails varying from steep to moderate and climbing the equivalent of 3 Trekfa Saturday sunrise pipeline walks. Passing through the villages and stamping our credentials then a brief rest is always welcome. After the walk finished we visited the 6th century Monastery of San Julián de Samos in the town of Samos and we went to listen to the Vespers (hymns) and mass at 7:30pm after which we had dinner, again finishing quite late getting back to our Motel just before midnight. Our days a full and we sleep very very soundly. Group photo at church in O Cebreiro - see opposite.

Messages: 04.05.13
From Dorian: We started our walk at Triacastela at about 9:30am walking through wonderful rural countryside, small tracks and villages.  Quite different to yesterday's walk which was more open and mountainous, today was tree lined and forested. We stopped to talk to the local villagers with the interpretation from Adriana, Ana-Maria and Balnca. This part of Spain appears to rely on very very simple subsistence farming growing their own food and raising a dozen or so cows. After 11km, Ricardo met us at the village of Furela for a picnic lunch at Casa de Franco. After lunch we walked a brisk pace for the last 8km to our lodgings at the town of Sarria.  Everyone seems to be traveling well and our walks are a rotation of shared conversations, absorbing the picturesque and cultural atmosphere and taking lots of photos.
Our first early finish so far allowed us a few drinks together at the Hotel sharing our stories of the day with a few brave girls even venturing out for a bit of retail therapy.  Dinner tonight at 8pm.
From Carmel: we had a delightful sunny day of walking yesterday through many quiet villages & hamlets. Our track lead us along a beautiful river, up through fields of lush green grass & many villagers tending to their chores. It was very picturesque!
Everyone is traveling well. Some have early signs of blisters but with Greg's talk on looking after your feet they feel confident they have their feet in control!
From Greg: Time for the Vaso and hair of the lamb!

Messages: 05.05.13
From Greg: Quote of the day - The heart controls the mind and the mind controls the body.
Shoot for the moon, even if you miss you’ll land among the stars!
From Carmel: Today our walk again took us through beautiful country side, local farm communities. Our walk today was picturesque with areas of oak tree forest, pine forest & open farm land. Being Sunday many families were out tending their home paddocks. Planting, hoeing, weeding, taking their milking cows to and/or from their milking sheds. I have many photos of the local communities reflective of their rural life. It is very difficult to put into words, eloquently enough, what the whole day had to offer - many experiences are beyond words. However the day wasn't without a few 'blister' events. AND yet again, Greg features in the day. The Leon team, privileged to have had the information pre Camino, on how to look after their feet, went quickly into action. Hot spots?? STOP!! Shoes & socks off, examine feet and attend to them IMMEDIATELY!!! Well, we quickly found out Gregs magical solution: cream followed my his famous Walkers Wool soon eased the pressure, took the pain away & allowed the walker to continue. Adrianna found also walking in her sandals made a difference, especially with the last few kilometers. Our walk ended at nour accommodation: a wonderful B&B by the river. Very rural, very peaceful - just an authentic completion to a wonderful day. Dinner was surpurb; however, the special ceremony at the end was yet another experience of a culture quite different to ours. We were served 'firewater' - without the ceremony it's difficult to explain, but suffice to know that this 'firewater' (made of coffee, lemon, grappa & sugar, and then has the alcohol burned off) was enough to send us off to bed for a well earnt sleep!! Everyone has promised they are heading back to their rooms to do their stretches & cream up their feet for another day of walking ahead.

Messages: 06.05.13
From Greg: For today's journey details and a list of towns that the team passed through please scroll to top of page and see heading 'The Journey' 06.05.13.
For further reading on todays walk please go here....
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