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  1. alansykes

    10th anniversary

    Saint Andrew's Day. 10 years ago today I was sitting at my first mass in Santiago cathedral, at the time speaking virtually no Spanish, when I picked up the archbishop's list of recently arrived pilgrims and realised that the "uno del Reino Unido, desde Sevilla" must be referring to me. It was...
  2. alansykes

    That's me done

    With some sadness I've decided to cut short this year's camino and head for home. I've had a lovely few weeks on the Camí de Sant Jaume, and yesterday made it up the hill to salute the moreneta at Montserrat, so have nothing to complain of. It's just that the restrictions are getting more...
  3. alansykes

    LIVE from the Camino A westerly trend

    A few days ago I had a dip in the warm calm waters of the deserted beach at Banyuls. A couple of hours pleasant coastal stroll took me to Cap Cerbère, then up, past a wartime frontier post ("caseta dels Alemanys (Gestapo)", according to maps.me) complete with film crew and machine gun. At the...
  4. alansykes

    LIVE from the Camino Spot of snow here in the Pyrenees

    I'm in a mountain refuge at 2150m up the side of the Pic du Canigou (hoping to do a camino joining Canigou with Montserrat, two sacred mountains for Catalans). It snowed hard most of the afternoon, probably 10-15cm accumulated here, more higher up. Assume it will be similar on the Route de...
  5. alansykes

    August 2020 pilgrim statistics

    https://www.lavozdegalicia.es/noticia/santiago/santiago/2020/09/01/cifra-peregrinos-agosto-duplica-julio-queda-detras-2019/00031598980971275317586.htm At 19,812 compostelas given out in August, twice as many as in July, but only a third the number of August 2019.
  6. alansykes

    Elías Valiña prize goes to Almería amigos

    The prestigious Premio Elías Valiña 2019 has been won by the Asociación Jacobea de Almería Camino Mozárabe for their work on the Camino Mozárabe from Almería to Granada. Very well deserved, as anybody who has walked from Almería will know. It's the 30th anniversary of Don Elías' death, and the...
  7. alansykes

    2019 update on the Mozárabe

    I've just reached Granada after walking from Almería. I thought it was fabulous when I first did it three years ago, but the infrastructure is, amazingly, even better now: - they've put what must be an enormous amount of work into the ascent out of the riverbed 4km from Alboloduy, turning it...
  8. alansykes

    Tenth time into Santiago

    Well, I recently picked up my tenth compostela, and managed to keep it dry. It's been a good camino, one of the best. I think I very probably thought that about all of them, so it can't be entirely true, but there have been some really spectacular parts of this year's, which the deluges of the...
  9. alansykes

    Samson and the lion of Timna

    For the ninth time, today I walked across the lovely old Puente Taboarda bridge (c950AD) over the Deza, following in the footsteps of other pilgrims for over a millennium. A km later, just across the busy national road 525, is the small church of Santiago. Partly 12th century, but much mucked...
  10. alansykes

    Slight detour after Allaríz

    The southern version of the Sanabrés is strangely neglected. I like the northern one very much, and think the section on the high ground round the Venta de Teresa after A Gudiña has some of the loveliest few hours of any camino I know. But I don't see why so few people head for Verín, which is...
  11. alansykes

    Flooding in Galicia

    There's a lot of very nasty weather about. 110km winds, snow from about 800m, flood warnings in all four of Galicia's provinces. The hot baths on the Miño at Ourense are closed because of high water, the Xallas has burst its banks, the Ulla and the Tambre look likely to. I chickened out after...
  12. alansykes

    LIVE from the Camino On the camino Zamorano-Portugués

    Greetings from Ricobayo del Alba, first stage on the Portuguese variant of the Vía de la Plata. I'm the 27th person this year in its excellent new albergue and the first Brit. It's in a converted dovecot, first one of those I've ever stayed in. Paul Garland, the outstanding resident hospitalero...
  13. alansykes

    Last thoughts on the Aragonés

    A couple of weeks ago I finished walking the Camino Aragonés. It's not a very popular camino, but I enjoyed most of it very much. In theory it starts at Somport, on the French border, but I started walking a few days earlier, at Pau. The French side is nothing spectacular except for the views...
  14. alansykes

    LIVE from the Camino From the Ebro to the Duero and on to Santo Domingo de Silos

    Tudela to Tarazona If coming from the south, most of the few people who walk the Castellano-Aragonés go from Gallur to Borja to Tarazona. I was coming from the north, and took advantage of the vía verde that goes all the way between Tudela and Tarazona. It's a lovely walk, once you're clear of...
  15. alansykes

    LIVE from the Camino Unfinished business on the Ebro

    4 years ago I walked from the estuary of the Ebro up to Gallur. This year I've jumped down from the Aragonés to Logroño in order to do the four northern days I missed along the river, once again turning west and heading along the Castellano-Aragonés through lovely Soria to Santo Domingo de...
  16. alansykes

    LIVE from the Camino Down from the source of the Río Aragón

    Shortly after crossing into Spain, by the Col des Moines, at about 2150m, making my first ever footsteps in Huesca province, the path follows a tiny stream, not deep enough to cover your trainers. This is a source of the Aragón river, which the Camino Aragonés follows more or less its entire...
  17. alansykes

    LIVE from the Camino Into the setting sun again

    I'm sitting in the very comfortable new albergue in Lescar, having walked the few dull km from lovely Pau in surprising heat this afternoon. This will be my 10th compostela, sqd, and the first time I've started from France. The view of the Pyrenees from the Boulevard des Pyrénées in Pau was both...
  18. alansykes

    New xunta albergue at Ordes

    Ordes is just off the camino about 10km south from Hospital de Bruma, where there is a perfectly good albergue. I suppose it gives people other options for shorter or longer stages. I was nervous when Feijóo, the xunta president, was quoted as saying that over half of all pilgrims arriving in...
  19. alansykes

    Famous pilgrim on the Invierno

    This article recently appeared in the Voz de Galicia about our very own @VNwalking walking the Invierno: https://www.lavozdegalicia.es/noticia/lemos/2019/06/12/peregrina-hawaiana-budista-camino-invierno/00031560336031395339695.htm
  20. alansykes

    "Cornwall's Camino" article

    A new walk, apparently mostly off road, through some beautiful parts of a beautiful county. https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2019/feb/18/cornwall-celtic-walk-coast-path-trail-hike