Writing from Camponaraya – Day 22


Sleeping in, breakfast in bed, descending mountains, the sweetest villages, new camino friends, making an obvious rookie food mistake, finding creative ways to solve problems, moving towards an ending and a beginning. Just an average day on the camino, layered with good and bad decisions! Maybe a bit like yours.

Days on the Camino – 22

Kms – Today 28 kms.

Starting point today – El Acebo, Spain.

End of the day – Camponaraya, Spain.

Number of girls in Africa educated – 23

Total funds raised so far – $6995.00. Goal is $10 per km so $7,690.00 just $695 to go!

If you’d like to contribute you can do so here.

Frances Antonia – Do it in a dress.

Thanks for the help Kimmy from the Women Who Hike team.

Today was dedicated to – The cyclists on the camino! They are a colourful Lycra’d bunch who are great mates with the hikers. Always kind and considered on the trail. And skilled … man some of those descents are rocky and steep.

Accommodation – A pre booked B & B (€19 each with breakfast) .

Food highlight – Well it wasn’t the pasta we ordered in Ponferrada! Rookie mistake – sit in the town square that’s surrounded by tourist restaurants and order food!

It definitely was this cheese and quince tapas plate we ordered as a pre-pilgrims dinner snack.

In a word(s) – Still re-adjusting.

This morning breakfast in our B & B was a make it yourself with what’s laid out kind of deal. We didn’t sleep amazingly so we didn’t wake until 7.30ish (no alarm clocks here)! I put the coffee pot on and made toast and surprised my sister with breakfast in bed. With the birdsong and mountains outside our window we lingered until 9ish. Our latest start yet.

We made the mistake of thinking that because we had planned a smaller day 26 kms that we could mosey in the morning. Today was the hottest day of the camino so far! So we paid for that two hour delayed start by walking 2 hours in the hottest part of the day.

That incredibly beautiful mountain we climbed up yesterday …. we got to descent it this morning. We were treated to a cuckoo bird call, a morning moon in the blue sky and a beautiful clear morning to view the entire mountain range.

The villages since leaving León have been truly spectacular. No longer are we walking though villages that are declining and dilapidated. These villages are alive and renewed … except at sista time (2-5pm). Then they are literally ghost towns. Always the time when we need food!!

Yesterday we bid our adopted big brother farewell. Just for now. He is waiting in this awful terrace for his brother to join him so they can continue their walk together. As a result the camino has been a bit quiet for us these past few days. We seem to have moved away from many of the people we know. Of course it doesn’t stay quiet for long! Tonight at the end of this small town amongst many small towns we ran into the flouros. And Hong.

Last night as we were heading home after dinner Hong was just walking into the village after a LONG day on the trail. We met with a quick chat as she was desperate to find a bed and a hot shower and we were heading to bed. Tonight when she walked into the bar where we were having our Après Hike beer we make plans for dinner. She is quite a hoot. Of course it turns out that she knows our good friends, the Texan A team. Small, small camino world!

A few nights ago my international adapter stopped charging my camera battery. You’d think this would be easy to solve … get a new adapter right? Not so easy on a camino. The last thing you want to do when your hiking 30kms a day is wander around a city trying to find a shop. Seriously you can’t walk beyond that camino trail! I can’t anyhow, my feet are too sore by the end of the day and my head space is not conducive to searching for an adapter! My priorities are hike, food, arrive, shower, washing, foot care, food, sleep. Nope, I’d need to walk past a shop that could solve this problem for me.

Last night my camera battery went flat so I had to use my iPhone to take photos today. About carrying a camera: people are often surprised I carry a camera around my neck but seriously I find it so easy. I point and shoot. I don’t even take it off automatic because the conditions are so great here and I can click while I’m walking. By golly I found the I-phone hard. Every time having to take it out, open the screen, having to stop still to click, no looking through the lens. And then of course the phone battery started running low from all the extra use.

So in this town hot and sweaty at 4 pm I set about trying to sort this issue. No one had an international adapter! After a phone call with mission control (husband) we worked out that the fuse on the adapter was missing … back to the hardware store. He sent me to a workshop … something to do with electrics. They couldn’t help me because the fuse wouldn’t activate without a cap on it, I’d lost that too. Mind you this was all with hand gestures and google translate. In the end I asked if he could swap the power cord plug from Aussie to Euro … bingo. My problem was solved and that was no mean feet in the small town. I was quite chuffed with myself.

With every day I leave behind I’m getting closer to Santiago where we will receive our compostella for hiking the camino. I’m also excited to be finishing this One Girl project. It’s been such an amazing experience and without a doubt it has made my camino experience. It’s what brought me here!

If I don’t reach my fundraising goal I’m cool with that. I’m already so happy about how far I took this. Walking the hike was never what frightened me, it was putting myself out there to find a way to build something that would create change for girls in Africa.

With enough funds raised to educate 23 girls I’d say this project was a success. Now to wrap it up gently this week. To tie the laces and clear the path for what comes next.

Buen Camino,

Fran xx

2 thoughts on “Writing from Camponaraya – Day 22”

  1. And that’s the mystery of the Camino I guess. Just when you think you have your routines sussed out you get thrown a curve ball. Bit like life really.
    I’m very glad you took your camera.
    How about those sticks? Did they get a run yet? xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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