A collection of Camino memories beyond blisters, bed bugs and bunk beds 🙂
Sharon setting off from St Jean
My turn to pose on day 1
Mist in the French Pyrenees
Sunday mass, Pyrenees’ style
Soothing the pain after the 1st day’s walk to Roncesvalles
Typical early morning start, Roncesvalles Albergue
Getting back before the Albergue curfew, Pamplona
Sightseeing on our ‘rest day’ in Pamplona.
Sculptures in the hills outside Pamplona
Sunrise to inspire the early morning walker
The infamous fountain that dispenses free wine to pilgrims was closed. Apparently the monks were holidaying in Ibiza. It was pretty lucky really, as we passed it at 8am.
During early September it was still very hot and at times there is little shade on the Camino. On this day it was 36 degrees.
The traditional pilgrim way to drink wine is out of a cows bladder. Sharon demonstrating the official camino supping technique enroute to Estella, to the horror of the bar man, see hand, even though he was supplying the free wine!!
Arty shadow shot
We had a bit of a party in the Albergue’s kitchen with Montse to the amusement of a very strange Dutchman. Viana….
….errr, we were last to leave the Albergue in Viana, the sun is already up.
….to the next town
The Camino always seems to be up….
….and rest breaks are needed
The graffiti varies greatly along the camino, this is one of the better ones.
Sleeping on the church’s floor, Granon
Walking out of Granon in the morning, leaving unfortunately the Rioja wine region.
Most of the time we walked together!!!
Jana and Sharon entering ‘Castilla y Leon’
Town festival at Belorado with our friends Jana and Dan
My trusty walking shoes brought from home were causing heel pain so they were recycled in Belorado.
Pilgrim ‘donativo’ refuge on the way to St Juan. Note cheap blue running shoes purchased in Belorado which for a time alieved the heel pain
Sun setting on the Monastery Albergue in St Juan
One of several crosses along the camino, this one enroute to Burgos.
My UK friend Sven’s Spanish double walking across the main plaza in Burgos.
Multilingual Buen Camino sign at Burgos cathedral
New for old. At Burgos Sharon swapped out her old walking shoes for a pair of trekking trainers.
Typical camino way marking
At the top of the hill that hits you early when leaving Castrojeriz
The Mesetas get a lot of bad press for being flat and boring. We really enjoyed them and found them expansive in both sky and land…..
….which helped me find some rare wisdom. “Sharon, I think I’ve changed….” Oh dear, it must have been the heat.
Sharon next to one of the many pilgrim statues, near Fromista/Carrion.
Matt now demonstrating the official camino supping technique……
….along with our friend Claus. Terradillos monastery.
After the wine we all had a bit of a sing song. We did not have any idea who the guitarist was, he just appeared, sat down and played, and then disappeared…….power of the camino?
My favourite community meal along the Camino was at Terradillos. We are sitting in the street outside the old monastery…..
….and luckily for all of us they served pig’s ear stew.
On the way to Leon
Paella in Leon…..
….ill in Leon the next day. Sharon came up with the idea of using a Spanish Tortilla to cool down my forehead as I slept. Forget all the hangovers, this was by far my worst day walking as I had both the trots (excuse the pun) and was vomiting.
There were some interesting buildings in Astorga, for example a Gaudi palace….
….and Sharon’s shop.
Another important cross, the Cruz de Ferro. Here you are supposed to leave your burdens behind in the form of a stone carried from home. I was tempted to leave my rucksack!
There were lots of references to the Knights Templars along the way. One of their swords apparently.
The old monastery albergue in Villafranca where we slept.
In the mountains nearing La Faba. By now our camino fitness and suntans were pretty strong. Note, the blue cross country trainers that I purchased in Leon. These were to be my third and final set of camino shoes and by far the most suited (and most expensive, typically) to the walk.
Both of us feeling a sense of achievement and relief as we reach Galicia, the final region to walk through. Only about 150 Kms to go now before Santiago. A weary “buen camino”.
But Galicia brought more mountains and colder weather…..
…..but we were prepared with rain coats. Finally it was worth carrying them all this way!
Another Pilgrim statue in the mountains
A typical ending to a day’s walk. Just when you don’t need it, a stair case to climb to enter Sarria’s old town…..
…..but charismatic Giovanni was waiting at the top for us, with wine!
Less than 100 kms to go, or four days walking.
Sharon ate Galician Pulpo (octopus) in Palais de Rei.
Its been a long time on the road and a celebratory feeling starts to engulf us all. Nina and Bianca ‘saluting’ the way at Ribadiso, only two days away from our destination
Almost there! We pass the first stone sign the states ‘Santiago’ on our last day of walking from the town of Pedrouza. We are about 5 kms from the cathedral.
Finally, we have arrived in the main catherdral square in Santiago after 36 days on the road. Shame about the scaffolding!
Meeting up with friends made along the Camino. The celebration starts……
…..and ends with suckling pig.
Day break on our final rest day in Santiago
Waiting for the Pilgrim mass to start at the Cathedral de Santiago de Compostela. There is a first for everything….
It was a long way but this gave us time to see some great places in Spain and meet a lot of different people. The camino bubble was an amazing experience…..
….an experience which we reflected on during the 18 hour journey back to St. Jean.