Traveling Nancy

Traveling around the world as far as I can go.

Vilcha to Ventas de Naron to San Xulián to Castañeda to Santa Irene to Monte del Gazo


From Vilcha, Ellie, Rose, Marnie, Jan  and I walked to Ventas de Narón.

Here are Ellie and Jan on the road with the fog in the distance.

Ellie and Jan on road to Ventas de Naron

We stayed at Casa Molar because it was recommended by Gordon in Vilchá.  The  room was okay, but the restaurant next door looked  like a much better place to have dinner.  I was so surprised to see Ellen (in white) again. It seems so amazing how I can be hiking and not see somebody for days and we connect again.  All in all it was a good day.

The next day we started out in the morning with a mist all around and fog in the near distance.

Fog out of Vilcha

We still had a sunrise.

Sunrise out of Vilcha

Soon we were walking right into the fog. It was like walking right through a mist.

Kate and Ellie in the mist

We crossed over a very high which made Jan and Ellie very nervous.

High Bridge

This is the view from the bridge.

View from the birdge

Kate and Ellie went into Palas de Rei up the stairs and Jan and I skipped the town and stayed on the path.

Stairs into Palas de Rei

Somehow I got ahead of everybody and found a stone labyrinth.  It was very relaxing to walk around it.   Jan, Marnie, Ellie, and Rose caught up with me and took my photo.

Version 4

I enjoyed watching the locals doing their daily chores as we walk by them. Everybody is so friendly.

Woman Sweeping

Woman picking vegies

Somehow we continue to get spread out along the camino.  Marnie stopped for juice and I kept walking. Yea, more cows.

Nancy and Cows


The Camino is so magical.

Ellie seems to be cautiously walking on this path.

Ellie on the path watching the stones

I continued walking at my own pace to Casa Domingo in San Xulián. I arrived first and was given a room just for five of us (one single and two bunks) and got the single bed. What a treat.

San Xulian

They made me a bowl of Galician soup with lots of Kale. I was again glad to see Ellen (in white) when she arrived, but she was in the other bunk room. I had a very relaxing afternoon. Our room, with the 5 of us, was like having a slumber party.  I think the albergues with the stone walls are my favorites.

Our communal dinner was wonderful (2 kinds of soup, great pasta, salad, and dessert).

Communal Dinner

During dinner we met a couple of teachers from Germany who were taking a group of students on the Camino (I think from Sarria). I have done my share of field trips, but this one made me think of the PROVE trips when I lived in Oak Park and worked at PROVE although these girls were not SPED.

Before we left Casa Domingo in San Xulián, we took a group photo.  We were having so much fun together.

Group Shot San Xulian
We left in the morning in full rain gear. I loved walking by myself again. I sure enjoyed crossing the stones across the creek.  This was such a magical spot so I stayed there for a while just watching other pilgrims come across creek.

I loved the stone bridge.

I didn’t mind walking in the rain. I arrived at the old stone house  in Castañeda that had been totally restored. We stayed in two private rooms. Rose and I shared a queen bed but had a private bath. What luxury.

Rose's and Nancy's room in Castañeda.

Ellie and Kate had another private room in different Albergue.
When I awoke this morning I realized that I wanted to go back to staying in the municipal Albergues. I just wanted to be in the environment of sharing space with other pilgrims.   Rose agreed with me. The other 4 were headed to a private one again. Well this was our first day of hard rain – too hard to take photos. But I had to try for the one showing the trail.

The path was wet and walls were high.


Rose and I really felt like kids sloshing through puddles.

Sloshing through puddles

We arrived at Santa Irene pretty soaked. My leather shoes held up better than other people’s. My socks were damp, but not wringing wet. Rose and I  borrowed an umbrella and went to dinner at the local restaurant.  We met a woman from Victoria who was with a man from France. They had met on the Camino and seemed to have fallen totally in love. They had walked 48 km. today – a task that was not within my comprehension. Ellie, Jan, Marnie and Kate came to the same restaurant.  The people at their albergue drove them there in a car.

In the morning our clothes were dry and off we went again. Rose and I headed for the municipal Albergue in Monte del Gozo. I walked through another downpour and had a bit of trouble finding the entrance to the albergue. Yea, Ellen is here also. She is the only person who I met as far back as September 2nd (in Los Arcos ) that I am still seeing.

Rose and I walked into around the area and took photos of the sculpture.

Sculpture in Monte del Gozo

Then we went into town for our dinner at a local restaurant.  The food was good and it was fun to watch all of the local people.

I was almost ready to go to bed when I heard guitar playing and singing. Tom was playing the guitar…

Tom playing the guitar

…and Claire & Jesse (from Kent, WA) were singing. Tom has carried his guitar the whole way. I joined them. Then more people joined and a man from Italy also joined. What a perfect way to spend the last night before getting to Santiago.

This was our last albergue before Santiago. I can hardly believe I have made it. Less than 5 km. to go in the morning – probably in another downpour. No problem, I don’t melt.

Author: Nancy Panitch

Traveling has been a passion of Nancy Panitch's life and she loves seeing how people in other cultures live. Her travels have taken her to many places within the United States, Asia, Europe, South America, and Africa. Being around people inspires her and she has much gratitude for the kindred Souls that are joining together with her in body, mind, and heart. She moved from Chicago to Portland, Oregon in 1982. It was one of the best decisions of her life. While in Portland she stays very, VERY busy. She volunteers (Inter-Religious Action Network, Human Rights Council, & ushering for various theaters); attends a Unitarian Universalist church; goes hiking with groups (Cascade Prime Timers & Trails Club of Oregon) and also with individual friends. Book groups, movie group, and bridge groups occupy her time as well. Her quiet activities include yoga, knitting, Sudoku, and reading. She enjoys all of these activities, but making time to see her wonderful 4 grandchildren takes priority over it all. She is happy to share this blog and hopes to encourage others to travel.

6 thoughts on “Vilcha to Ventas de Naron to San Xulián to Castañeda to Santa Irene to Monte del Gazo

  1. You are quite the woman, my friend. The whole Camino. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!


  2. Yeah!! You’re almost there. I remember crossing that stream on those stones….. and we had some rain, too. Enjoy!! I’m just thrilled for you. Love, M


  3. Hooray for you! You’ll love Santiago too. It is special!


  4. Nancy, You have true grit. Congratulations


  5. Nancy, you have no idea what reading your stories and seeing your photos as you have made this trip has meant to John and I. He has had major surgery since you left and has followed each posting on his ipod–I feel like we have had a little window into your grand adventure! What a joy.


  6. I always knew you were a tough cookie but this confirms it!!!!! Lo-He_Ha Love, Health, and Happiness !!!!!!!! Your cuz, Roberta Leff


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