D-7 Getting Close to Leaving for the Portuguese Comino


Relaxed today–only 8 mi (13 km) after a killer day yesterday. Visited our neighbor Sherri, in a Rehab Center now for over 2 years. I keep hoping she’ll get the strength and I keep trying to inspire her to get well, but no success.

D-8 Training for Portuguese Camino


Today’s 13.7 miles (22 km) were a killer, which means I’m getting close to where I want to be. The walk took me down to the Ventura Harbor. On the way I saw a bit of Nietschean humor– check out these BMW license plates. On further, celery was frantically harvested to make the Easter dinner table. And field workers down the road wasted no time loading flats of strawberries onto trucks. Their hard work motivated me to pick up my pace.


D-12 Training for the Portuguese Camino


Today’s 10-mile walk from the house took me past the Olivas Adobe, an estate once part of the San Buenaventura Mission that after secularization in 1834 ended up in the hands of faithful military servants the Olivas family who had 21 children at this residence. It’s the only adobe in the area and quite a place to visit. They had the annual family day today. Afterwards I passed by the Ventura Marina and went on to the Ventura Harbor. Check out the pics.


D-13 Training for Portuguese Camino


Walked 11.4 miles (18 km) in a big loop around Ventura that took me past strawberry and celery fields and a rest at the nearby golf course. Strawberries are picked nearly all through the year at some fields in the area. Workers are hustling here even on a Saturday. Check out these pics:



D-16 Portuguese Camino Getting Closer


With 2 weeks to go, I did a nine miler with back pack this morning starting from our Ventura City Hall and Fra Junipero Serra’s statue watching over the city. The surfers were out, pelicans looking for food all around them as I took a break on a bench overlooking the ocean waves gently rolling in–only 3 to 4 footers for the surfers, but they had fun as did I.

Check these pics out, standing in front of City Hall and then looking down the street toward the ocean. The opening scene of the “Way” shoots up to the statue of Fra Serra!


D-18 Training for the Portuguese Camino


Yesterday and today were tough days. Yesterday I did 13.5 miles (21 km) with NO backpack. Today only 8.2 mi (but with 20 pounds stuffed into my backpack. A beautiful day as I went by our Ventura Marina. Check out the two photos.



D-29 Training for Portuguese Camino

Only 29 days until I leave for Lisbon to meet up with Jean. He and I will walk the Portuguese Camino from there. Here I am with Anita who organized a 12-mile walk in Southern California near our goal of Mission San Juan Capistrano.


Day-53: UC San Diego to Mission San Diego de Alcala

The final 16.7 miles landed me at the Statue of Junipero Serra at the very first of the 21 missions. I was full of emotion as I embraced him–882 miles with lots of mini-experiences that have re-charged me in their own way. I have an AMTRAK ticket back home where I need some time to reflect on all of it. Thanks to all for their support and good wishes–they had their magical effect in the background.





Day-52: Oceanside to La Jolla (UC San Diego)

Today’s oceanside trek of 26 miles brought me to the UC San Diego campus where our son picked me up just in time–I was pretty tired from the long haul. A dinner at Old Mex Cafe rejuvenated me. The brisk morning started out with breakfast at Angelo’s–you can see Alfonso with an apprehensive stare about the trip coming to an end tomorrow (check out the photo). Neither of us want our adventure to end, but both of us need time to reflect on it all and move on. The route saturated us with so many scenes of beautiful beaches and quaint beach cities (Carlsbad, Encinitas, Del Mar, Solano Beach, etc.) and of course state beaches all on historic route 101, the El Camino.



Day-51: Oceanside (Motel) to Mission San Luis Rey and Return

A 14.7-mile round trip took me to Mission San Luis Rey via the San Luis Rey Bike Path that ran along the (you guessed it) San Luis Rey River. The low of 38 deg F didn’t deter any cyclists or joggers (or even hikers) from plying their sport. This 18th (of the 21) mission was named after the French King Luis IX (as was St Louis, Missouri) who ruled in the 13th century–and hence called the king of the missions. He was the only French King to be canonized. (I’m standing next to the statue of St. Luis, normally situated above the main altar.) The mission is still undergoing a state-mandated seismic retrofit, due to be completed by Jan ’13. Although mass is now held in the huge Serra Center, one can still visit the old mission and sense its former grandeur. It was built in the shape of a cross (only one other one was as well) and it claims to be the largest of the missions.