It was an “er” day

Castrojeriz to Fromista-26.4km + a 1.5 km detour.

Why “er”. Today was colder, wetter, and windier. The walk was longer, our feet sorer and our packs a bit heavier. But by the end of the day a little smarter and heartier.

The day started at 630am when our hospitaleros came into the sleeping area turned on the light, came up to each of us and woke us with “Buenos Dias” and then put on Gregorian Chant music. A few minutes later he gave us a gentle reminder that we had to “vamos”. The rain and wind had already started when we began walking a little before 8. We were soon met with a climb up another Mesa.


20140522-213035-77435309.jpg Yup that’s me coming up the hill. With every good climb you are rewarded with a view, and we were. Look real close and you can see the town we left beyond the valley floor.

20140522-213516-77716298.jpgThere are not a lot of pics for the next several hours because it was too wet to take out the camera and in fact hard to steady the camera because of the wind.

Though the rain did stop and we enjoyed the rest of the walk with other pilgrims into Fromista stopping for lunch and cafe when possible.



We learned that the municipal alberques do not take groups more than three but you can call ahead and reserve beds at the private ones. The difference is only 3 euros and knowing we were going to have such a long day we had beds waiting for us at Estrella del Camino.

20140522-215211-78731167.jpg It is a beautiful place and I am secretly hoping we do this a few more times. Though I will miss the Gregorian chant in the morning.

20140522-215529-78929999.jpgA shorter day tomorrow but heard more rain. No worries, looking forward to what tomorrow will bring.

The Rain in Spain Does Fall Mainly on the Plain

And boy did we get it. It started even before we got our packs on. In addition the heavy wind was against us making the rain feel like pebbles being thrown at us. Oh yea, add 50 degree temperature in the mix! We all had a jacket to help keep our tops dry except “she who must not be named”. Within minutes the realization set in that Elizabeth brought a windbreaker and not a rain jacket. So Rick took out his tarp and tied it around her. It did very little for her, but gave us the giggles every time we looked at her keeping our spirits up. We took a detour after a few hours and found refuge at San Bol alberque to try and get the feeling back in our hands and feet. When we left there the rain stopped for a bit but left behind a Camino of mud. More laughing ensued as we tried to navigate through the mess. When we came out of lunch atEl Puntido , the sun was out. We came across San Anton, an ancient monastery and hospice where bread was left for pilgrims in two alcoves. We got to Castroojeriz and found some beds at the municipal alberque- the cost- a donation of your choice. We were told when shown our beds that we were not allowed to get out of bed until 630am. I don’t think that will be a problem. Tomorrow we head to Fromista, 25 km.







Burgos to Hornillos

What a great first day on the Camino. I was excited when I saw my first scallop shell, the first of many that will guide us for the next 4 weeks. Today took us through quaint little towns and beautiful country side. It was cool in the 60s but the sun was always with us. Tomorrow expecting rain, and not looking forward to that at all. We stopped for lunch in Rabe de las Calzados where the owner gave each of us a St. Mary’s medal for our backpacks. This time Rick had to order since the owner did not speak English and there were no menus. All I can say is that there was some part of an animal we ate and was told better not to ask. The trail to Hornillos del Camino was picturesque taking to the high point on the Meseta and then down the other side called Mule-killer Slope. Unfortunately, the municipal alberque was full when we got there, but in true Rick style and after some conversations in Spanish with a variety of people he pointed to a van and told us to get in. We were driven to a bed and breakfast outside of town where we dined family style with other pilgrims. Between Spanish, French, and English, we were able to wish each other well. Tomorrow’s destination is Castrojeriz, 20km.



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To Burgos and Beyond





We all made it safe and sound to Spain. We flew from Rochester through Philadelphia and onto Madrid. In Madrid, we were met by Jutta, Monica’s daughter who lives here . She helped us program our phones while we waited for Elizabeth. We then took about a 3 1/2 hour bus ride to Burgos. We toured the Catedral de Santa Maria, built in the 13th century and is one of the beautiful and largest in Spain. My first mishap, of which I am sure there will be more, was at our first dinner. After a quick lesson Rick of course had us order in Spanish. I ordered asadurilla. What looked like beef was not, but I got the vino blanco right. We are already tucked in at the Hotel Alda Entrearcos and looking forward to the start of our Camino tomorrow. Goal is Hornillos del Camino 21 km.

Gone for a Walk


Give me my scallop shell of quiet;
My staff of faith to walk upon;
My scrip of joy, immortal diet;
My bottle of salvation;
My gown of glory, hope’s true gauge
And then I’ll take my pilgrimage.
                             Sir Walter Raleigh

On May 18th I leave to walk El Camino de Santiago – The Way of St James. It is one of the oldest Christian pilgrimages with its destination map1 (1) The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela – the final resting place of St. James.  It will take me 4 weeks to walk over 300 miles to get there.  I will be making the journey with some amazing people and meeting others from all over the world that are doing the same thing at the same time.   I look forward to sharing the journey with you.

Welcome to my journey.

Welcome to my journey.  I started this site in as a way to capture my pilgrimage, in 2014 to  Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain.  I wanted a way to share the experience with the people I love so much, my family, my friends and those I serve.   As I began to build it, I realized I had so many more experiences to share with others of places that humbled me and people who transformed me.  Many of you have heard my my own story of how my cancer brought me JOI (Journey’s of Inspiration).  JOI has taken me to Africa to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro and camp on the Serengeti, to a week in the Grand Canyon, to the Camino of Santiago, back to Africa to build homes, and recently to Peru to hike the Inca trail to Machu Picchu.  I have also ventured out to Europe on a trip on my own and the most amazing trip to Taiwan with my cousin. 

Traveling and seeing the world is extraordinary.  The ones most dear to me continue to be the ones that I am called by God to do  – to live my faith and serve others. This blog is a work in progress and I will continue to build it with stories of my journeys and the people I have met along the way that have inspired me to be the best I can be – and I hope it does the same for you.

Beun Camino, 我的自由年代, bonne faço,njia nzur, buon mod


History of the Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela

st-james-stone-statue-500The story of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela is intertwined with the history of Christianity. After Jesus’ resurrection, St. James became the leader of the church in Jerusalem. According to tradition, he also traveled to Spain to spread the Good News, then returned to Jerusalem where he was martyred.
Following his death, his followers are said to have taken his body to the coast, where a ship was miraculously waiting for them. The body of St. James was interred in a tomb in northwestern Spain, after which its location fell into oblivion for centuries.

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When JOI Came Into My Life

JOI’s mission is to create a community of people whose lives have been affected by life challenges. To strive to develop support for each other, spread awareness, fund the struggle for a healthy world and celebrate the beauty and goodness of life.  It is an organization of people I call my family and whom I have shared my life’s most inspiring moments..  They came into my life when I needed them the most.  I was going through chemo and sitting alone one night and decided that no matter how long I had left on this earth I was going to take advantage of every opportunity to give praise and thanks for the wonders of this world and to help and inspire others that are going through the same challenge. 

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Journeys of Solutions

JOS_logo_mainJourneys of Solutions, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established by fellow travelers to provide support for individuals and groups to launch their own volunteer grassroots projects. Projects may involve assistance with infrastructure improvements, health care, or education needs. It is up to you.
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