Day 4: Terrain is very rocky and uphill. Meeting people from all over the world. Armando from Italy is very outgoing and funny. He calls Jeff “Padre”! Jeff celebrated mass in front of a church on the trail. The polish group attended and a couple of the women were crying and said it was very moving. They sang during the mass and sang Ave Maria at the end. Armando was there and the mass was for his wife who died 3 years ago. As we were saying mass another pilgrim, an Englishman named Alister, came running up and received communion! He was grateful for the opportunity.

We had a steep climb over rocks and boulders. Jeff went ahead and I slowly ascended. Johanna came up from behind and passed me. When I got there, there was a group and when I came over the crest they we chanting “Earnest, Earnest, Earnest!”

Dinner was great with Johanna (Finland), Greg and Tamara (Californians), Bernard (French) who kept everyone laughing, Adina (Romania) and Alex (Alexandria) from Arizona. Very tired and worn out mentally and physically, but not spiritually.

Day 5: Left at 6:30 am. Hard to get moving on day 5 on the Camino. Stopped for a home made sandwich and a beer at 10:30 am. Checked my blisters – not looking good. Jeff bought me some Compeed to help with the blisters. The walk today was hard, rocky, hilly and hot. Everyone is having some sort of physical issue. Toured an ancient fortress of Valenca in Portugal before crossing the border into Spain. Had another sandwich and beer before crossing the border. Made it to Spain with Thomas from Slovakia. We checked into our hostel, showered and did laundry. Jeff went to the store to get apples and cheese for tomorrow and a phone adapter that he conveniently left at a hostel!

We gathered for Mass with Thomas from Slovakia and Bernard from France. We celebrated it in the courtyard of a church because the churches were closed. Bernard treated us to a beer afterward. We are now waiting for a restaurant to open in Tui. They don’t eat until 8 pm!!!!

Jeff, Sr. and Fr. Jeff