Day eighteen: Buen Camino

First day of the Camino. Backpack full and heavy and suitcase, that will be moved to my next hotel, is packed to the absolute limit. Magically got to two pieces of luggage after all (wearing those bulky hiking boots purchased at REI) but barely. Hopefully the backpack won’t be the death of me — or my back!

Thirteen miles from Leon to Mazarife. Passed through Leon, where I saw the beautiful Plaza San Marcos and the monastery with another gorgeous courtyard. Sculpture of a pilgrim outside and shells on the edifice. Through the suburbs of Leon, an industrial park and then on to a church with the 12 apostles (James looking out toward Santiago) and the Virgin Mary above them all in the town of La Virgin del Camino. Took a bit of a wrong turn based on the directions given to me but a nice man in a car beeped at me and gave me the “no no” wave of his finger and I followed the map in my book. Much better. Trust the map not people with good intentions who may not know what they are talking about!

On to more remote walking, down paths that never seem to end. Many go uphill, few seem to go down!  Past a few quaint villages. The way is well marked. Despite hearing how popular the Camino has become, I certainly see many on the path, but have many times when I am completely alone as far as the eye can see. Warm / hot weather, but there is a breeze that seems to arrive just when it is needed.

Feet are good (except for bunions — jeez I’m old), all is well except the back is a bit sore. Need to look up best backpack strategies for the back.

Arrive in Mazarife after 5 hours. Thirteen miles. Horribly slow. I blame the back tracking, but, really, I’m just slow and old. This isn’t a race, it is a marathon, and I am grateful for no blisters, finding my way and having the rest of the day to get this blog updated.

Church at Mazarife also has a pilgrim statue…

Picked up and driven to my hotel — an amazing hostess who carried my luggage up to my room and will serve us dinner!! Beautiful, large home. I am sitting on my balcony outside my room with the view on the last picture.

Not roughing it on the first day!! Buen Camino (as everyone says to you)






12 thoughts on “Day eighteen: Buen Camino

  1. kay Haubenreiser says:

    Great update, Kate – thank you for sharing this part of your life with us! Love the pictures – just like my Masterpiece and BBC America viewing.

    Safe travels. Glad you are having such a good time.

  2. Deb says:

    So fun to read every magnificent word with such joy! Thank you for taking so much time to share. Your writing is so awesome to read. Peace Be With You, Deb-

    • Bonuslives says:

      Deb, Women’s Exchange has played such a huge role in my life and has allowed me to get to this place. Any particularly all your great support and advice. Thank you for ALL you do for me and so many others…

  3. Pat Aichele says:


    Thank you for sharing your journey….love the photos and all the wonderful people and experiences “along the way…” ox

  4. Peg Macaluso says:

    Thrilled for you! And yes, my experience is also that a Spaniard will never admit they don’t know the way when asked. They will proudly do their best to point you in what they guess is the right direction. They are generous people, after all, and it seems to go against their culture to offer nothing but an “I’m sorry, I don’t know”.
    Buen Camino, Girlfriend. Hugs of love from one of your proud girlfriends back home : ) XOXO

  5. Marianne Cassidy says:

    Wonderful! I feel as if I’m right there with you! Can’t wait for your next post. You are inspiring me to focus on the next steps I want to take in my “bonus life” too. It sounds like you are enjoying every minute and putting a lot of thought into the significance of this journey. Thanks so much for sharing this!

  6. Colleen Hackett says:

    Kate your writing is beautiful and I love all the photos- I feel like I’m there with you… Enjoy every minute- can’t wait for your next post! Love you. xox

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