Monday, October 24, 2011


I have posted 3 new post, some with pictures. Some of the very first post now how pictures as well. Hope you enjoy.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bigger and better

I am currently in the process of moving my blog to and adding photos. Bear with me, the end result will be worth the wait!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Little critters that bite in the night....BED BUGS! Sarria -110k to Santiago

I awoke in the middle of the night itching from head-to-toe, it couldn´t be, I couldn´t be being bitten by bed bugs...again. I tried to go back to sleep, but the itching was instaitable. I got up and looked in the mirror, but the light was too bright and I couldn´t see a thing. I grabbed my sleeping bag and took it to couch in the chill out area of the alburgue. I searched my sleeping bag, but didn´t see any bed bugs. I slept on the couch for a few more hours until I was awakened around 4am by the first pilgrim eager to start her day. That day more than 20 welps from bed bugs would appreared on my body. I look like I have a disease. My left hand is swollen. Between the mosiquitos and bed bugs I feel eaten alive! I have cut all my nails down to nubs to keep from scratching til I bleed.

Later the next day, I tell the lady who runs the next alburgue, also called the hospitalera, in La Faba, what has happend and together we seperated all my clothes to be washed and the rest we put in a bag to be sparyed with bug spray. I stripped down outside and changed into a lovely oversized red shirt with a bedazzled heart in the center and a baggy pair of khaki trousers. I was the picture of style and grace! Hell I didn´t even have shoes on. But I didn´t care one bit if it meant I wouldn´t be bitten again. I was so thankful I wanted to throw that woman in the air and give her a big hug and kiss! The scalding hot shower I took afterwards was multi-orgasmic. It was like christmas and my birthday, it took all the will power I had to make myself get out of the shower.Hot showers can be a rare occurance on the Camino. I don´t think I was bitten again that night, but it hard to tell.

Welcome to fucking Galicia...

I´m in the last province I will come to, and man have things changed. The first alburgue I came to yesterday was full, but was offering to let me sleep in the grass for $5. No Thanks. The rest of the alburgues were either full or way to expensive, and the next town was 10kilometers away.  I was with my friend Pablo who I met in Montevanero. He´s German, but grew up in Spain. And he has  a tent, but it´s illegal to put the tent up.  What the hell do we do? Well, we were left  with one good option. Sleep on the porch of the old stone cathedral. Ok I thought no big deal, until I realized the church is surrounded by graves. Yes it´s a cemetary and the graves are above ground mind you. I stood on the cold stones of the church and looked around, hardly able to catch my breath. Was I really about to sleep with dead people? All the scary movies I have heard about and seen were running through my head. Pablo kept trying to tell me about local legends of creatures that steal your soul if you look into their eyes. "Shut up Pablo!" This is not what I needed to hear. Ultimately, I did it. I slept with dead people. I was so cold and tired the dead people were the last thing on my mind. And at least they don´t snore! We awoke the next day after a fairly peaceful nights rest, considering it was in a cemetary, and realized their were graves on each side of us in the concrerte. So not only am I homeless, but I sleep with dead people!

I walked again today to find the one cheap alburgue full, so it looks like I´ll be sleeping outside again. I´m feeling a bit down today, but after two months of being on the Camino I can say that I have received more generousity and kindness than I could ever write on paper. And I have always had all that I needed. So i´m trying to be thank ful for all the blessings I have received in the past and the ones still to come as well. There are lesson´s to be learned in all things. So I will lay my head down tonight on my rolled up socks and be thankful that I´m healthy and without hunger.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

i´m alive!

Hello! Sorry for my extended absence I stumbled upon Montevenero an eco village, or "hippie commune" as some would call it, 7 kilometers from the Camino.  It was founded some 20 years ago by people, from many nations though mostly German. Many were from the Rainbow Gatherings in Europe, who wanted a place to live in community all year long. I planned on only staying only 1 day and was there for over 3 weeks. The village, built in the ruins of an older village that burned some 40 years ago, is tucked away between two mountains. It´s a quiet village where you may see a horse or donkey walking down the road, and the only sounds are of children playing and the guitars and drums people frequently sit and play. Their are no cars allowed. The only thing that runs on gas is the chainsaws used to cut the wood, though only allowed on the first Tuesday of the month. (Most of the wood is cut my hand)! The only electricity is powered by solar panels. But don´t think they are doing without, there is a bakery, ice cream shop, bar, and variety shop that sells jam, champagne made from roses, and liqour from honey. There is nearly no horizon in Montevenero. On all but one section all you see is the giant mountains you climb down to get there.  You hear the people mention this frequently. Some believe this can leave you closed minded.

 The water for the whole village of about 60 people, in the summer,  flows naturallly from a couple of streams high in the mountains above the village. The people of the village, especially Teddy, have a beautiful relationship with this channel of water. Two times a week Teddy walks the length of the channel and notes the placement of each stone and blade of grass in relation to the flow of the water. It is a precious example of people working with nature, not against it.

 If you wanted dinner you had to go get some firewood out of the woods first. The toilet was outdoors and consisted of a whole that you peed in, and if you pooped you had to cover it with grass, some of which I helped to cut by hand. In exchange for one amazing organic, and almost completely vegan meal a day, I helped in the garden, painted walls with kal, similar to plaster, and helped to clean the water filters in the channel.  I also put myselft through a Spanish boot camp with the help of my American friend Sarah(yes i ran into another American from Oregan!) and Issy from Canada. Meeting them was such a blessing. I read Further Along The Road Less Traveled and Stillness Speaks, both reminded me that I´m a spiritual being on a spiritual journey. The reality that I could die tomorrow or even today has helped me to see the fleeting nature of all the things we hold so dear... how we look, what other people think of us, and protecting our precious egos at all costs! I have started asking for what I need and want. And speaking to people in Spanish without caring what I look like. Since leaving Montevenero I have made so many friends, I make new friends everywhere I go. The walls I have had around me are slowy dissloving with each hug and each hello I give and receive. Four people wanted to take pictures with me after meeting me today. Such a cool thing that my inner happiness is shining through and that in just a moment I´m able to share that with people. Their happiness helps to feed mine as well.

I bought shears a couple of weeks ago and have been cutting hair in exchange for money, food, and internet. I get to cut hair in warm air with beautiful green mountains surrounding me. I enjoy cutting hair again!

I have a little over 200 kilometers until Santiago, about 1/4 of what I started with, and if you couldn´t tell I´m in no hurry to get there. I´m actually more excited to see Finisterre, once believed to be the end of the world, and to see the ocean again. After this I have no idea what I´m doing. I live day to day moment to moment. When I get to Finnisterre I will choose then what to do next.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Run baby Run-Running with Bulls Pamplona

At first glance he was easy on the eyes. Black tank top long cut jean shorts, long dark eyelashes bleached golden by the sun at the ends. His skin the color of caramel looked good enough to eat. I knew we would be friends when he smiled at me and said he liked my glasses and that he was into American hip hop like De la Soul and Gangstarr. He walked to the next town that and I stayed, but I knew I would see him again. The next day I was walking down a 2,000 year old Roman road and he walked up with a big smile and remembered my name. Within minutes of walking together he mentioned San Fermin and the Running of the Bulls.

I said, "Let´s go."

He replied, "okay."

I said, "I´m serious."

He replied, "Me too."

Later that day Tiburon and I ran into a fellow pilgrim who had American hip hop on his phone and we sat outside in the mid day sun sipping wine and enjoying the music. Jay-Z had never sounded so good.

The next day we were on a train headed to Pamplona. We talked about family, love, and heartache. It felt like we were old friends. We fell asleep on the train hand in hand, our heads leaned against one another.

In Pamplona everyone was in bright white with red bandanna around the neck. I must say that white is not an easy color to wear, but Pamplona wears white well. Walking into the city we were taken in by a group of traveling kids and their dogs. They were living out of a big white van. We rested a while with them in the shade and had some drinks.

The first night we took to the street with a bottle of rum and a 2 liter of cola, which is referred to as botellon in Spain. The city was crawling with people. There were random  makeshift parades of people singing and charging like bulls. Around every corner was a different type of music. We talked with people, watched the fireworks and danced. At an outdoor area bumpin loud house music we befriended two Pamplonian girls who, after the music stopped playing at 6am, bought us hot bocadillos(sandwiches) and led us drunk and tired to the plaza de torres. We were falling asleep sitting up until the stadium filled completely with people chanting and doing the wave. Reminded me of Arkansas Razorback football games in Little Rock, but with even more gusto. On big screens around the stadium you could see the bulls running down the streets of Pamplona. As a bull would trampel someone the entire stadium would ohhh and  ahhhh as one. The energy of the place was infectious. As the bulls entered the stadium, we were standing and cheering along with everyone else. Behind the bulls a huge crowd of people entered the stadium ready to face the bulls. It´s brutal in the ring. A fat naked man got tossed around like a rag doll. And one man was left unconscious. I had always wanted to run, but it looked scary as hell. I was thinking I would need some training and a red miniskirt first.

After watching the bulls we got breakfast and slept under a tree in the shade for a couple hours. The next evening came and we met a guy who had run with the bulls, and he encouraged me to run. It didn´t take much to talk me into it. I knew I may never have the chance to do it again. And even though I was scared I knew I had to do it. We hung with out with our knew friend and some of his friends and drank vodka and listened to a cover band that was quite good. Eventually Tiburon and I made our way back to the outdoor house music from the night before so we could dance. At this point I only had a couple of hours until the bulls ran. Tiburon danced and I layed in the cold grass wrapped in my jacket and tried to get a little sleep. Soon the light of the next day began filling the sky and I knew it was time. Tiburon thought I was crazy. He had no desire to run and didn´t understand why I wanted to. I just had to, and somehow I knew I would be okay. We slowly began making our way down the encierro, the path the bulls take. I couldn´t believe what I was doing. I sipped rum and coke and used a good bit of Rescue Remedy to help calm the nerves. As we got closer to the stadium I was thinking I just  needed a friend to stand beside. Minutes later I heard a southern drawl and turned to see three huge men all in white with handle bar mustaches and beards( grown just for the run). They were from Texas a father and his two sons. 

"You runnin" they asked me.

"You bet I am."

They were all well over 6 feet a firefighter, a marine and papa bear with his glowing white hair. I knew I was in good hands. I handed my things to T and gave him a great big hug. I knew I might not see him again. As he walked away the Texas boys asked if he really wasn´t going to run. Nope not even slightly tempted.

The Texas boys stuck me in a corner of a store opening and I was just fine with that. I had never been so glad I was a woman. A grown man couldn´t exactly push me off the wall or out of the corner.The police kept moving us back and forth down the street and every time the Texas boys made sure I had my spot in the corner. Suddenly people began running around the corner away from the stadium. No one knew what was going on. The Texas boys followed their English friends who said we would have to loop back around and up the street again. We all began running down the street paralell to the encierro. The streets were slick with grease. If you´ve ever been in the kitchen of a BBQ restaurant you know what I´m talking about. And since I had worked in a BBQ restaurant for years I was good at this.  As we were running I spoted a restroom and I  couldn´t hold it any longer.  I ran inside knowing I would lose my friends. It was the longest pee of my life!  To my great surprise Papa bear was waiting for me outside. We ran together looking for a way back to the encierro. Each street we passed was blocked. I was getting pissed I thought we had made a mistake and may not be able to run. We came to another street and I saw an opening in the blockaide. The four of us climbed through the blockaide. We got to the street and it was packed shoulder to shoulder. It was hot and the air was tense. I led us through the crownd until we could move no further. Papa bear always kept his hand on my shoulder making sure I was okay.

We had 15 minutes. Everyone around me was a foreigner, mostly from the Sountern United States(we´re a crazy bunch).  Some people were laughing and chanting and some were so scared they could only stare out and pray they would be okay.  We all swapped the stories we had heard and our strategies. These were to be the biggest bulls yet.  Maybe next time I needed a thrill I would skydive or something! You could see the sweat beading up on everyone´s brows. I just kept using the Rescue Remedy and telling myself my body is resistant to all bulls and I run like the wind. The fact that I had only slept 3 hours in two days and had been up drinking all night I tried to block from my mind.

Finally, the police let us go and we ran to our desired positons on the wall. It was like being in a war zone running for cover. We were able to make it back to our original spot near the stadium. A couple from Missouri waited there with us. I was glad I wasn´t the only woman crazy enough to be doing this.  We had only two minutes. "My body is resistant to all bulls and I run like the wind." I kept repeating it over and over. I dumped everything out of my pockets. I didn´t care what it was. I didn´t want anything to get in the way of my running. I heard the first shot go off and I knew the bulls were on the street. Crowds of people began running past. I couldn´t see a thing.  My plan was to run when I saw a bull. I had my camera out filming like an idiot when papa bear began yelling, "there they are go go go!" And he gives me a shove. Oh shit I thougt and began running while trying to stuff my camera into my pants. A bull runs quickly past me, it only lasted a second. Luckily he wasn´t intersted in me.  Then it was only people running beside me falling and pushing. I took papa bears advice and stayed close to the wall and kept my ears open for the sound of hoves. I made it into the stadium and was immediately smashed hard against everyone as the second round of bulls came running in. I found a place near the wall, in case I needed to jump over it, and watched as the bull charged at people only feet from me. One guy from Louisiana pulled the bulls tail and swung him around and around. Soon after he was beaten in the face right on top of me. I was knocked over the wall and would have landed on my head had the people behind me not held me up. I had my camera out recording at the time and it´s all on film. The experience was incredble a high like no other. If I can face bulls I can face anythings. I have to go for now stayed tuned for the post bull running celebration coming when i find another cheap computer to use

Bliss 1/2 way to Santiago

From July 7th ish

If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track, that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life you ought to be living is the one your are living.  Joseph Campbell

It seems that I have nothing but time these days. A very new feeling for me. I have been sitting pool side, eating bocadillos and gazpacho. I met the Ruru´s a few days ago. They are an inspiring couple who biked down the Camino and are waking back up it to Pamplona to see the running of the bulls. They travel the world and make and save money while they do it. They do this in various ways(all legal).They definately think outside the box. They encouraged me to get my shears and cut hair as I walk. And why not? They would have been my first two clients if I had shears.

My friend Jean, a retired woman from Canada, who sold her house and most of her possesions, put the rest in storage and came to the Camino. Her daugther thinks she´s lost her mind, but Jean is happier than ever. Jean said the nicest thing. She said your just going to have the best time on the Camino because you´re so open to everything. Yes I am. After chatting with Jean I walked over to my new singing group and sang on the plaza outside the Alburgue. There was a woman in her 70´s singing and dancing along with us. There were local kids lined up on their bikes around all of us. The woman hushed everyone and broke out in the worst acapello. We all politely listened. She went on for so long I had time to run up to my bed grab my camera and get some of it on video. Her daugther finall stopped her. It was hilarious. Maybe she drank a little too much of the wine being passed along!