Forgive me, for I have lapsed into hermit-ness again ……. it has been 9 months since my last post.  Thank you to anyone out there who still includes me in their Reader….on opening my own Reader today after such a long time, it was heartwarming to see the feed of your posts there waiting like a gathering of friends.

Since last Fall’s difficult Camino, I’ve worked on the house, painted a bit, made another quilt, rescued another house in Pittsburgh from the brink of un-sellable-ness, and hiked the Camino a second time.  It might sound as if I am truly a glutton for punishment…..but the goal was “undoing” a difficult experience, thus gaining some small sense of mastery.

I thought that, having had the experience, I could “do it better this time” and have a more positive outcome, and as an affordable way to spend a month outside one’s regular life, it’s hard to beat hiking trips.  Admittedly, it’s not for everyone.  I wouldn’t hike the Frances as a solo female again, and I’ve hiked and run for much my adult life (and I’m aware that almost nobody wants to hear that it’s really not all peachy for females alone on these Caminos).


I re-hiked the Pyrenees in an attempt to re-experience them without the hurricane (this time it was only sleeting, hailing and muddy), then jumped ahead by train to where I’d left off hiking last time in Leon.  After meeting dozens more extraordinary people with extraordinary stories, hiking day after day in gorgeous scenery with wildflowers, and experiencing a whole new set of adversity, I eventually made it to Santiago 15# lighter and happy to find that I was managing it all with more equanimity this time around.  After all, this time I merely ran into another predatory and bizarre person, ran into a few concerningly persistent older males, was slammed into and pickpocketed in a grocery store line in Melide, got off-track and found myself inches from a massive and vicious dog,  performed a few hiking shoe surgeries to accommodate foot problems, was called a “puta” by a swaggering local while quietly passing through a town (completely covered-up, wedding-banded, and at age 60 – as it turns out, it’s not all that hard to qualify for Puta status……. female and walking alone will do it).  Then there was that small matter of two long-delayed flights and the airlines losing my backpack in Barcelona.  But even so, it was a less problem-fraught Camino than the first one.   Rereading this last paragraph,  I feel rather sure that I am certifiable.

Relief from standard Camino-fare in Santiago – wonderful food everywhere, but especially at Damajuana and Bierzo Enxebre. Baked goat’s cheese, roasted vegetables, rustic bread.


Triple spiral stairs – each beginning from one round hall (Museum of the People of Galicia, Santiago – Museo Do Pobo Gallego), each leading to different levels like an M.C. Escher drawing.


View to Cathedral from the 4th floor pilgrim’s rooms – spartan lodging in an old monk’s cell at the Hospederia San Martin Pinario (Santiago de Compostela).  Happily for both of us, the old monk wasn’t still using the room.


Paris (on both ends of the trip) seemed changed to me since the last visit in 2012 – perhaps a bit worn around the edges, but still lovely nonetheless.   Or perhaps it’s me who is worn around the edges, I’m not sure.   I’ve stayed in different arrondissements each time I visit (being a novelty junkie), but found a favorite this time, and will hope to find rooms in this neighborhood in the future  –  that would be Montparnasse with it’s street after street of Breton restaurants.

It was the start of Euro 2016, terrorism alerts were high, and police and military people were out en masse, yet the Parisians were everywhere lounging in the parks, strolling the streets, meeting friends for dinner in the sidewalk cafes, and hoards of sports fans thronged the tourist spots.

IMG_2663   IMG_2733

Left: An artist “hides” the I.M. Pei Pyramide at the Louvre.  Right:  Parisians quaking in their shoes during the increased terror alerts related to the start of the Euro 2016 games that day (Place du Carousel, Jardin de Tuileries).

Here are some pictures to take you on a little vacation too.

IMG_2725   IMG_2699    ArtNouveauChaiseIMG_2688                 PorcelainTorsoMuseedesArtsDec.


From the Musee des Arts Decoratifs and the Musee de la Publicite.  French Advertising art, Courtesan’s bed, Art Nouveau chaise, metal “chair”, torso of curled, glossed porcelain, Art Nouveau vase in ceramic and metal.

Grateful to be home again, I mentioned to my husband that I thought I was done hiking and traveling for awhile.  He just smiled and waited, as he always does, and in about a month, I’d finished Bill Bryson’s “A Walk in the Woods” and Cheryl Strayer’s “Wild”.

Appalachian Trail, anyone?:0)).



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10 Responses to Re-Entry

  1. Beth: I hope you’re doing well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. milliethom says:

    How lovely to see you back, Beth, although I see you’ve been really busy over the last nine months. I’m also glad to see you did the Camino again, if only to help you recover from the harrowing experiences of last year. I’m so glad your latest trip was a success – if we don’t count incredibly sore feet and the list of incidents in a certain paragraph! Now you have some lovely, happy memories of your trip and have shared your lovely photos with us here.
    It’s so good to be in touch again. I was beginning to think you’d finished with blogging – but I’m happy to know you haven’t!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. lbeth1950 says:

    So glad you are back. I am thinking of trying the Appalachian Trail.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Beth says:

      I should have known you would be up for something as adventurous as the AT, Linda! Bill Bryson’s book doesn’t exactly make it attractive, but I’d love to do it too – or at least the parts through Virginia to start (supposed to be less strenuous and beautiful). Wouldn’t that be something to get a group of people together and take on a part of it at least! Nurses are used to adversity and are hardy souls already, so there are probably many who would like to do at least some of it!


  4. Dear Beth: How perfectly lovely to read your update. I am so pleased! To learn that you hiked the Camino for a second time — yes I re-read that paragraph too, and agree that you must be certifiable( big smile) — but what a triumph!
    And you have been busy improving not just one house, but two — and made a quilt — well, we will just have to forgive your lengthy absence, after learning all you’ve been up to. Welcome back! I missed you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow!!!!! You might enjoy Daniel Graham’s book, “A Walk to the Water.” I have a hard time reading anything anymore (too much research and criticism of other people’s prose fiction) but I was absorbed by the story of Danny and his brother’s walk from their home in Bristol to the Mediterranean. He has a WP blog, Scuffed Boots. Happy to see you again!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Well done on a second Camino hike, Beth. You certainly have been busy.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Beth I am loving all your recent posts. Giggled along with the house misadventures. Keep up the good work!!

    Liked by 1 person

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