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Join me on my new adventure - Van Living!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Got My Ticket Today!

Well, today my new passport arrived and with that in hand,
 I bought my ticket to Madrid. 

And the price was fantastic!
I paid only $980 on United to fly round trip to Madrid.

So I'm a real girl.

Now, I have to decide on one of two routes to take before meeting up with the others in Pamplona on May 18/19:

The Ossau Route beginning in Laruns, France, and walking down through the Pyrenees into Jaca and onto the Camino Aragones, then directly into Pamplona.


Picking up the Via de la Plata in Caceres, where I left off last year and continuing on to either Salamanca or Zamora.

The VDLP route is about 100-150 euros less expensive, and I like the thought of continuing on and completing the route perhaps next year.

But that Ossau Route is spectacular!

Oh decisions, decisions…

Any feedback from prior pilgrims?

Monday, January 13, 2014

An Umbrella for the Camino

Here's a photo to show you my top loading pack.
Can you see the straps on the side?
That's where I stuck the umbrella
There is some discussion about umbrellas on the Camino today and my vote is YES! 
By all means, carry one!

Up until last year, I thought it was funny to see people with umbrellas on the Camino.
Then last year, on a very hot day, I bought one.

And now, I'm addicted.
It's one of my favorite pieces of Camino gear.

First of all, I bought a bright purple one last year, 
so the color was cheerful on dark rainy days.

Second, when it DID rain, I stayed absolutely dry.

Last, on hot days, I bet it was 20 degrees cooler under that umbrella.
The sun would be baking other pilgrims,
who would be sweating and sucking down water.
I would be walking under cool shade,
very comfortable.

I'll never go without one again.

I don't take my umbrella with me.
I will buy one in Spain.
I bought the last one for 8 euros.
And not a folding one.
Those will break in the wind.
Nope.. a sturdy regular old umbrella.
Stood up the entire route.
I left it in Santiago when I came home.
Didn't want to mess with checking it on the plane.

Walking the Madrid route, I had shade all the way.

This is how I store it when I am not using it.

I have a top loading pack, so I stuck the umbrella in the side straps on one side,
and my bread or walking sticks on the other side.
It was great.
I could just reach back when I needed it.

Another photo of my backpack.
See where I have my walking stick in this photo?
That's where I put my umbrella.
So.. think about it.
You don't have to decide until you reach Pamplona.
There will be plenty of places to pick up an umbrella there.
Buen Camino!

PS: In Spain it is called a "paraguas"
para-aguas = for rain
as opposed to a
para-sol = for sun

I love Spanish!

Saturday, January 11, 2014


When I eat wheat grown in the USA, 
the bromine they spray it with makes me sick as heck.

 I have a sweet tooth and love baked goods.
So I was ecstatic to find this recipe yesterday in one of my Paleo cookbooks.

I made it in about 10 minutes and man, oh man!
These were GREAT!

Ok.. so they're not nearly as sweet as a regular cookie. 
But the texture is the same, and if you eat them warm off the pan, it's heaven.
I had a couple for breakfast this morning too - still good!

Here's the recipe.


2 tablespoons coconut flour
3/4 cup almond meal
1/3 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons crushed unsalted cashews or macadamia nuts
2 tablespoons shredded UNsweetened coconut

1 large egg
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons coconut oil


First, a bit about the ingredients.
I did this by the seat of my pants and it turned out great.
By the way, Bob's Red Mill has all the products you need!

Coconut Flour. You can buy it. But I just put a couple of tablespoons of the shredded coconut into the food processor and whizzed it up until it was fine. It got sticky, but I used it anyway. I didn't even really measure.. just eyeballed it.

Almond Meal.  Again, you can buy it. But I put 3/4 cup of almonds in the food processor and ground them up.

Unsweetened coconut. It's important not to use the sweetened kind if you're on a diet. If you're not, just use the cooking coconut. Or buy a coconut and shred it.

Coconut Oil.  I used cold-processed oil.  It is hard in the winter, but has a low melting point so I put the jar in a bowl of hot water until I got enough melted oil to make the 4 tablespoons.  Coconut oil is VERY easy to digest and actually helps in losing weight.

***** here are the directions.

1.  Put all the dry ingredients in a bowl and stir them up.
2. Put all the wet ingredients into the bowl and stir it up.
3. Drop teaspoon sized balls onto a greased baking sheet or onto parchment paper
4. With a wet fork, gently press down to flatten like you would with peanut butter cookies.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 7-8 minutes.

Now what?


The recipe I used said to let them cool, but I didn't and they were OMG SO GOOD!

I think you could add chocolate chips to these and they would taste JUST like Toll House Cookies!

These would travel well on the Camino.
You could bake them at the next albergue!
I have baked cookies on a skillet on top of the stove before.
It works fine!


Saturday, January 04, 2014

Shoes for Camino 2014!

Yesterday, I got a call from Joe telling me there was a coupon from New Balance for $15 off any pair of shoes at their Tigard store.

That was good news since I am due for a new pair this year.

So Emma and I drove over and I looked at what they had.  In the end, there were only two pair that felt good.

One was this pair of brown walking shoes. I liked them. I liked the color.  They felt fine. The backs felt a little high, but that will correct when I add the Motion Control inserts.  I am a bit concerned that the tread is not hefty enough.  I bought them so I'd have a pair of shoes to train in. But I'm ordering another pair for the Camino.

The pair I really liked were the trail running shoes WT1210.   They are described as "trail runners."  These are not only comfortable, the tread is excellent.  It's much heftier and deeper than the others.  The only problem with them is they are not built on an SL-2 shoe last, which is what I like, but the size 7 wide seemed to fit ok. That was without the Motion Control insert, so I'm ordering a 7.5 online today.

Then, I'll decide which ones I will take on the Camino.

I think that is the only piece of equipment I need this year. I did purchase another Macabi skirt for the trip, because I sold my old one. I'm sorry now, because I really liked the charcoal color and this year, the only one on sale that would fit me is a dusty blue. It's 'ok' but I'm not a blue person…I'll probably sell it when the trip is over.

Today I am spending time with my granddaughter, who returns to school on Monday.
Next, I have one Nativity set to complete.
Then, I'll be getting out the final bills for the Anniewalker's 2014 Camino.

April is coming up quick!  Joe and I have been talking about which route we'll walk BEFORE we pick up our pilgrims in Pamplona.  I think we have decided to walk the Ossau Route from Gabas, hook up to the Aragones in Jaca, and then down into Pamplona.

It should take about 2 weeks, and it looks like a spectacular route! Check out this photo from the website:

 Here is a link:

Ossau Route

We walked some of this section of France when we walked from Lourdes. I'd like to scope out the area and perhaps offer this for others to walk next year, so I need to check on accommodation as well as difficulty.

Well, that's it for now.
I'd better get busy!
Buen Camino!

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Starting to Train for Camino 2014!

Today, Patty invited me to a 9 mile walk in Vancouver.

We left Portland about 9:30 am.
It was overcast, foggy, and COLD!

This was a Volkswalk and was very well attended.
There were 3 sections, and each section was 3 miles.
That's 4.82 kilometers, for those of you who think in metric.

I walked two sections, so just over 6 miles or 9.65 kilometers.
That's about half of what I usually walk in a day on the Camino.

It was enough.

It was so cold, that the hip I injured a couple of years ago
really began complaining.

So I decided I'd take it easy my first day out.

I think these cold Oregon winters are not going to agree with me.
I miss the desert heat.

But, for this year, I'll continue to walk and train with Patty.
The Volkswalks are very convenient.
And I am happy with myself for getting out of the house.

Looks like the next Volkswalk is on January 18.
It's the Hillsboro Loops and Soup walk.
It's a 10k walk, so should be perfect.

Between now and then, I'll walk on my own,
as well as start some classes at the community center.

Time to get in shape!

If you're looking for walks in your area,
check out

Buen Camino!