Atlanta Job to Austin Fun

After Jamaica I picked up my truck from Virginia and headed south to Atlanta.  It was a gorgeous ride down.  I t felt good to be back in my pickup with my Laughing Buddha, Tibetan Prayer Flags and my road atlas!  IT was fun taking the back roads and I actually made better time because of it!   Once in Atlanta I met up with the crew who I would be working with at a mansion that we would be staying at.  Well actually just the basement but it was renovated and super rad!

  Then it was off to work refinishing bathrooms for the dorms at University of Georgia.  Some jobs are just stepping stones to get onto the next thing in life, this job was just that.  Work flew by and soon we were done and now it was time for me to figure out what was next.

  

  The highlight of my time in Atlanta was the last day when i went to a hot power yoga class with my awesome friend Jenna Downey!  We rocked that yoga class and it just felt so good.  Afterwards I felt dehydrated so i drank a few liters of water then we went out for dinner!  BBQ + Beers + Outside Patio = the absolute best!  It was fun hanging out and chatting! Thank you for everything Jenna!  Pura Vida!

  Straight from Atlanta I had the opportunity to go to Austin TX to work with my friend Colin whom i just met in Jamaica!  Sounds like a plan to me so as soon as the Atlanta job was done I was on the road to Austin!

 

 

  I picked up some coconut oil at a Trader’s Joe so i would have something to do to keep me up whilst driving.  Oil pulling is not only good for you but it keeps you up to because if you fall asleep with a mouthful of oil it just leaks all over you.  Whoa wait a minute?!  Is my route planning correct?!  I would be passing through Tuscaloosa AL – the place my epic friend Jen Chapman resides!  Sweeeeeeeet!  So i called her and she was all up for meeting up along my toad trip.  We ended up meeting at a park for a little hang out jog session.  It was a gorgeous day and I made it there with great time so I just hung out on the tonneau cover of my truck and felt the sun rays.  Then my day became exponentially better!  The beautiful smile and laughter of Jen woke me out of my sunshine slumber and with no time wasted we were heading out for a jog. No better way to break up a 14 hour drive than with a quick meet up at a park for a trail run and a workout and also a few headstands too!  We ended up running roughly 7k at a super fast pace and did an ab workout and partner pushups at the turn around!  Such a glorious day and so perfect for my ride.

 

After the workout run we headed to a place by the river for brunch.  Beautiful time talking in a beautiful place eating delicious food! My kind of day!  Just when I thought i would head out and be gone Jen invited me to her office in the STADIUM!  We walked around University of Alabama, went into her work cave, saw all the sets where everything is filmed and even went into the Stadium!  The perfect afternoon with my best friend!  It was hard to go but after a double bear hug Ii had to get back on the road to Austin.   Pura Vida Jen!!!!!

 

 

 It was a beautiful day still for a ride and I planned to go through Shreveport LA.  I figured if I was tired I would try to find a place to crash there.  During my driving I sometimes like to burn some incense and sage myself and tonight I was in a sage mood.  I felt great and love the smell and felt vibrationally light.  Just said “Thank You” out loud to the Universe when to the right of the road AN ALBINO DEER!!!!!  Pure white and majestic!  Time slowed an dI felt like we made eye contact for a few minutes which only was like a millisecond!  So dupe pumped I had to get a hold of my reiki master, yoga teacher and incredible friend Lisa Fleming who then gave me the rundown.  All in all i am super lucky and the Universe is telling me I am on the right path and to keep flying! Pura Vida!!!!

  The deer had me super stoked but it was getting late and i decided to look for a place to rest.  I am not a fan of fast food or McDonald’s but son of a gun they are everywhere and also have free wifi.  I stopped at one and found a place in Shreveport for only $39 that night!  I don’t mind sleeping in my hammock or in my truck sometimes but for that cheap I would go for it for a better sleep.  Turns out it was a last minute deal at a Horseshoe Casino!  I went to check in and after a few smiles and jokes I was upgraded to the top floor VIP Level!  The girl at the desk really liked my hair I guess.  I had a king bed with enough space in the room for an aerobics class, 6 flat screen TVs, a shower for a cheerleading squad, a hot tub next to it and also a superb view overlooking the river boardwalk lights!  It was awesome!

 

 

  I enjoyed a nice night’s rest and was up when I woke up an headed out without even looking at a clock! Those are the best times when you just go with what your body feels.  Sooner than later after some hot backroads I arrived at Colin’s place.  Hung out with his wife Autumn and their dogs for a bit then moments later we were doing garbage fit in his back yard!  Garbage fit is like cross fit but you make all your own challenges and I think it is way more tough!  Such a great time with such great people!

 

  We had a few more adventures there including running in the hills, carrying rocks to the top, sliding down waterfalls and showing kids how to hang on a metal pipe to get into the middle of a rapid before being plummeted through the rest of the rapids!  Oh and i can’t forget how lunch by a river turned into a dancefest on stage at a bar next to a concert!  All great times all the time!  Oh and we all got tattoos too 

Then it was off to work!  I learned so much and had so much fun and met such amazing people who are not only the best workers around but also some of the best friends i have now!  I worked hard with the crew but also showed them how to have fun too!  Pushups and rooftop headstands became the regular.  They taught me spanish and I taught them some english and other spanish slang I picked up along my travels.  I am excited to get back to Austin to see the crew again one day!  Pura Vida!

  Another highlight of my time in Austin was connecting with my awesome friend Christy Siebert who I haven’t seen in years!  Pure Awesomeness all around!  She was my dance partner in the dancefest we had, my yoga partner for some great classes at Black Swan Yoga and the best company for my last day in Austin!  Had fun hanging out and look forward to seeing you again!

Day 12 Atapuerca to Tardajos

Day 12:  31.7 kilometers

Total:  332.7 kilometers

This morning was great.  I got up early and started some potatoes for breakfast, the Albergue was a loving and beautiful place, I was with my friends, I made a bunch of new ones the night before and it was warm!  After a leisurely breakfast and a nice instant coffee from Muhamed, I was ready.  I knocked out 100 push-ups and headed out the door.  It seemed to be getting cooler as the day progressed! I put my lucky trash bag on over me and my bag and hit the trail.

The morning was actually kind of magical. It was cold and it was snowing with a fog set over but it was quiet and beautiful.  I saw a pack of sheep as I headed up the slippery and rocky trail.  I passed a military base which meant lots of barb wire and big tire tracks.   I have been on a few bases in the States and they always have so many roads and fields so I was ready to experience this base.  Shortly after the sheep spotting I made it to the top and saw a cross.  Pretty spectacular set against the fog and clouds. Then the clouds parted for a bit and I could see Burgos! I wanted to be excited but I wasn’t.  Big cities are cool to experience but I love the woods, the peace, the tranquility of nature and also the super small towns I have been passing.    Traffic and pollution and many shops and bars and offices were ahead of me on the horizon.  I actually started walking with my eyes closed as a game I like to play and missed a turn.  I could see Burgos where I was heading but no arrows anymore…  So I saw the road where I thought the trail was and cut back to it next time i saw a way, after that it was a bunch of road walking around to the airport of Burgos.  Walking around the airport I took the scenic route which took you away from all the factories and next to the river. It was quite nice to hear the birds and see the river. Lots of people were out there walking and riding their bikes and running.  I had a fun time too since my feet hurt a little bit I said hi and smiled to everyone! It was magic again because when they smiled back and some wished me a buen camino I felt lighter and walked a bit faster!  It was that way all the next to the river into the city.  I caught up to my beautiful friend Muhamed and my Italian homie GianMarco! The three of us walked into Burgos heading for the cathedral.  When I turned the corner and saw the cathedral it was wild! This was massive! I took some pictures and enjoyed it for a bit then went to a cafe with my two friends. A snack and a drink and I felt recharged from the walk earlier today. After lunch it was kind of sad because Muhamed was meeting some friends in Burgos and was staying for a few days.  We hugged and smiled and I moved on.  Always will remember Muhamed for his kind heart and his laugh which made me smile so much.  I hope to see him down the road on the way to Santiago!  Actually I was thinking about taking a break somewhere for a day to do some yoga and stretch and just rest for a whole day.  When I find that spot I will know and maybe Muhamed will be on the path in front of me again! I love how since the beginning when I started writing hearts, my friends find out it is me and start leaving hearts for me and everyone also!  I love how it is spreading around and bringing so much joy to everyone around!

Moving on to the next town GianMarco came with me even though his Achilles was bothering him.  I feel pretty good and I hope he doesn’t push it too hard one day just to stay with me.  I love spending time with GianMarco and his cooking is the best I have ever tasted.  I wish him the best and to listen to his body.  It’s amazing that he is only 20 years old yet out here walking.  He takes a Polaroid photo of the day and puts it in one of the most unique and special journals I have ever scene!  I’m not sure what he is out here to do besides learn everyday and from everyone but I hope he finds what he is looking for.  He is going to lead an extraordinaire life and I’m glad to be able to call him my friend! We had a blast walking the last little bit together to Trabajos talking here and there and also waving at cars on the road next to us and having them honk back at us! It was great because every car honked and waved and then we high fived! Made for an easy walk into town.

We made it into Tardajos with plenty of time to hang out and relax!  Checked into a beautiful municipal Albergue and were greeted with the kindest eyes! The lady told us that their is no heat here but there is hot water. I made sure to check that the water was hot and were beds available.  Check and check so i was perfectly ok with no heat!  I was a bit tired because I walked slower than normal today.  Usually I go out pretty fast and it feels good but today I trucked along and sometimes just went with the flow and forgot to look for markers! It was almost as if I was tired and sleeping a bit whilst walking!  All in all I was just happy to here in Tardajos and out of the big city of Burgos.  Burgos was beautiful and filled with many smiling people but I seem to like the small little towns with a hole in the wall bar where you can get a drink, some food, dry your socks on the heater and have some laughs all while sitting with the other four people that live in that town!  I ate out for the first time in a while and had a delicious hamburger and split calamari with GianMarco.  Delicious! After that used the wifi there for a little bit then was falling asleep because of the heater next to me so we both headed back to the Albergue! We were the only two people in the Albergue when we left but two girls checked in while we were eating but were fast asleep by the time we got back.  Maybe I will see them in the morning or maybe not, either way I wish them a buen camino!

So right now, I have my alarm set for 530 and am ready to jump out of bed and into my sandals bright and early for a morning walk to San Anton!  Really want to leave early just because I love mornings and since it’s only GianMarco and me in this room I can get up throw my stuff in and be out without disturbing too many people.  Right now it’s 848pm and as I finish writing this in the dark I can see my breath every time I breathe. Thank goodness I brought my sleeping bag liner because it may be a cold night! I hope the morning brings much sun and warmth!  I was able to shoot a few messages out before I left the bar so I hope the amazing Lisa Fleming does a little reiki tonight with me to send me warmth from beautiful Costa Rica! And with that I cose my eyes! Pura Vida y buen camino!

Day 11: Tosantos to Atapuerca

Day 11:  25.6 kilometers

Total:  301.0 kilometers

Such a relaxing morning! The owner Jose Luis had a rule that no one gets up before 7 becausethe floor is very creaky and we should all sleep and get well rested for our journey.  It is not only taxing physically but mentally.  It is a walk inside of your own mind and a great journey! So getting up at around 7 I just laid there on my mat reading a bit and debating what to do that day. Ready for a little climbing and enough reading for one morning I packed up all my stuff which I had sprawled out everywhere.  Stopped in the kitchen for a little lemon water and coffee and a few pieces of bread and I was ready to start walking! I asked Jose Luis for a few words for my travels and he said a beautiful prayer to me and with his thumb drew a cross on my forehead and hugged me. It really was beautiful and I felt it the whole day. Then A buen camino and hug to all of my family and with a heart filled with happiness and love I set out!  It was snowing and pretty cold but when I left the sun came out and was beautiful! I took a picture of the Albergue from the same spot the movie “The Way” filmed it! It was pretty cool and I left a heart in the snow to show everybody how much I loved the night before.

As I was walking the sun came out so fierce it felt like I was walking on the sun! It was such a special night last night that I felt like the universe was shining down on me saying yea i know that was incredible and it really happened not just a dream!  With the sun shining and my heart glowing I walked alone into the day.  My eyes started leaking which was weird because I don’t often do that but it felt so good.  I let them leak and was happy.  Tears filled with love and happiness just felt so good with the sun shining down so bright.  My feet that hurt a little bit stopped hurting and I pressed on.  It was nice at times then absolutely freezing at other times.  The hills weren’t bad but getting my feet wet did kind of suck.  When my feet get so wet like that and I am walking for hours my feet feel like bread in water just getting mushy. I crossed this one bridge that from the snow and the rain this week actually turned into a river itself! I did a gymnastic move over the bridge and jumped to one side to avoid the water and was going to keep going then I saw a rock! This rocked yelled at me ” think other people want wet feet?” Absolutely not!   So I grabbed this rock and four of his friends and threw them into the water on the bridge so people could use them as stepping stones. Random acts of kindness I think can change the world.  For me just making a little stepping stone over the water meant a lot to me and I’m sure it meant a lot to other people, when they saw a route over to the water keeping their feet dry.  I hope everyone that walks sees this and thinks to themselves when they are in a similar situation that they do something nice just to do it. Random acts of kindness can change the world!  I looked around as I walked but felt great and walked quite fast.  3.5 hours and almost 20 k later I was over the mountains and at St Juan de Ortega.  Perfect too because I was absolutely starving!

I went in and sat next to the fire and took my wet sandals and socks off and ordered a cafe con leche to warm up.  Then I ordered a tortilla con chorizo and just as I sat back down my good friend Muhamed came walking in! Most excellent! I was so happy to see him! He ordered a beer and a bocadillo and sat down with me.  That beer looked really good so I ordered one also.  We sat and ate a talked about the day and then had a cafe then were taking off.  As I walked out of the door there was GianMarco coming in! Holy moly! So good to see him again too! Was glad to see him doing alright because Achilles was hurting bad yesterday.  He sat down for some food as I left with Muhamed to walk another 6 kilometers today.

Chatting with Muhamed is a beautiful thing! He is an awesome guy and really makes me smile. So pure so genuine such a gentle heart and beautiful soul! We had fun walking together today before also.  On the top of the mountain we both screamed and heard it echo across the snow and laughed so much. We even did a reenactment of titanic with the front of the boat scene and laughed quite a bit more!  In the last leg of today it became really windy.  Like the wind was sideways and then started snowing and hailing! So cold! The hail hurt because it felt like hitting a bumble bee on a roller coaster like the Magnum at Cedar Point on the downhill part! The only thing was the downhill never stopped and there were a few million bumble bees! I shielded myself with my buff and also my trash bag poncho that I have grown quite fond of.  Muhamed and I could see our destination and once again shouted with joy! I couldn’t help but smile and felt so good even with the cold wind and wet shoes! Oh I forgot to add earlier that I changed socks at lunch which made all the difference!  Dryer socks in kind of wet shoes felt like heaven! I think I a going to do that ever day now!  Literally skipping we both were very close to the town of Atapuerca and I was flying!

I ended up jumping a ditch to the edge of the field where there were a bunch of rocks and left a little love in the form of a rock heart!  I love doing that and since there always is an overlap of people in the camino more and more people are telling me about the hearts! Today at lunch a guy came in that I passed earlier the day and was like it’s you isn’t it! Coracon en la Tierra!  I smiled and said yea isn’t it beautiful! He agreed and smiled and said that it makes him smile when he sees it and the talk at night and on the camino is who is making all of these hearts on the camino! I think it’s great that people a seeing my hearts which represent radiating love in every direction just like my mantra.  People have told me it makes them smile, some say it’s always in the right spot when they need a boost, some just shake my hand and smile.  I hope everyone enjoys my hearts on the camino! The heel slap chest pop happiness movement is really flying right now!  Hearts and love and happiness and random acts of kindness! Let’s change the world!

The Albergue de Peregrinos in Atapuerca is just a gem! 8 euros but I’m in a nice room with a comfy bed and a heater with 5 other people.  This place has a kitchen and a lovely host! I love little gems like this place!


Tomorrow I’m debating on getting up and leaving before sunrise and walking through Burgos to who knows where. If I feel good maybe a bit more bit we will see when it happens.

Until next time!  Pura Vida and Buen Camino!!!