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  1. alansykes

    Where do ( did ) you walk ( locally ) in 2022?

    First dusting of snow of 2022 up near Hadrian's Wall.
  2. alansykes

    Where do ( did ) you walk ( locally ) in 2022?

    Uncomfortably windy higher up the fells, so Huba and I blew away the new year cobwebs walking round Talkin Tarn, a mile from our home.
  3. alansykes

    LIVE from the Camino West from Montserrat

    Ponte Ulla to Santiago The last few times I've found the stage from Ponte Ulla or O Outeiro really hard. This time my knew knees clearly knew they were knearing their first compostela, so they ate up the kms. Low cloud meant that I still didn't see the Pico Sacro, pausing only for a glass of...
  4. alansykes

    LIVE from the Camino West from Montserrat

    I think it's fine. Other than the new washing machine and drier, I'd say it was pretty much the same as when I first stayed there in 2010, and most of the 7-8 times since, including complete lack of kitchen equipment. I think the hospitalera is the same. She kindly organised María José from the...
  5. alansykes

    LIVE from the Camino West from Montserrat

    A Laxe to Ponte Ulla Shortly after dawn and the ancient Puente Taboada, a huge guard mastín somehow loosed his chain and came bounding up to me. Fortunately he was a big softie and was more interested in walking with me to Silleda than having me for breakfast. I'm looking forward to walking...
  6. alansykes

    LIVE from the Camino West from Montserrat

    Judging by the new waterfalls gushing out of the hillsides, it must have been chucking it down all night. Soon after I reluctantly left my breakfast, it more or less stopped raining, and an hour or so later there were brief interludes of watery sunshine. Wet underfoot, of course, as the altos...
  7. alansykes

    COVID Portugal reimposes rules as COVID-19 cases rise (Nov 25, 2021)

    According to the TVE news report in the bar I'm in 3 days from Santiago, Spain just joined the list (also banning flights from Botswana).
  8. alansykes

    LIVE from the Camino West from Montserrat

    Ourense to Piñor The duty hospitalero in the morning was a delightful surprise: chatty, smiling, not stinking of stale tobacco. We agreed the present albergue was a great improvement on the one up the hill, especially for the lack of the booming echo in the previous place. And he sped me on my...
  9. alansykes

    LIVE from the Camino West from Montserrat

    Sandiás to Ourense Murky start, with Sandiás' atalaya barely visible in an almost Cumbrian grey damp dank mist - very different from the bright crisp white clouds of the mists of Valladolid ten days ago. But it mostly cleared by Allariz, the third of the "pueblos más bonitos de España" that...
  10. alansykes

    LIVE from the Camino West from Montserrat

    Viladerrei to Sandiás A drizzly morning. The first water not from a shower to fall on me while walking this November. Not even enough to be worth getting out the waterproof. And a fairly dull flat day to go with the dull flat weather. Yesterday, up the top, there were two Roman milestones, and...
  11. alansykes

    LIVE from the Camino West from Montserrat

    Verín to Viladerrei A happy hour or so spent ratching around Monterrei castle in the early light. I think it's an almost perfect border castle - dour and slightly menacing. The camino passes right under its walls - after a swift 150m of ascent from the albergue, to work off the tostadas. At the...
  12. alansykes

    LIVE from the Camino West from Montserrat

    A Gudiña to Verín Sirius was still visible in the dawn as Nils and Per headed right and I carried straight on. I don't suppose an upland Galician albergue is the usual site for a discussion about whether the claustrophobic intensity of "Ghosts" or "A Doll's House" might paradoxically work in...
  13. alansykes

    LIVE from the Camino West from Montserrat

    Lubián to A Gudiña Yet another virtually perfect day. This can't carry on, and it won't, but it's great while it lasts. The kind Bulgarian bar person in the Estrella de Lubián agreed to open at 8 for us, and, fortified by tostadas and coffee, we headed off into the beautiful tunnels again, past...
  14. alansykes

    LIVE from the Camino West from Montserrat

    Puebla de Sanabria to Lubián The first time I went this way, in the last holy year, it was a delight, almost all off road, up to the high pass and on through glorious narrow paths. The following four times were much less pleasant, with many deviations as they crashed the Ave line through, with...
  15. alansykes

    LIVE from the Camino West from Montserrat

    Mombuey to Puebla de Sanabria One of those great days that will stay in the memory. Leaving at first light, the fat pink moon was just setting to the west. Mombuey's church's (possibly templar) tower was swiftly past and the walk through woods and the first sun, with several deer passing...
  16. alansykes

    LIVE from the Camino West from Montserrat

    Santa Marta de Tera to Mombuey A glorious day, from the bright frosty dawn start under Sirius to the almost full moon with still bright Venus rising over Sanabria. Much of it along the blue black lustrous slow flowing Tera, rich with ducks and trout. This is the sixth time I've done this...
  17. alansykes

    LIVE from the Camino West from Montserrat

    Benavente to Santa Marta de Tera The terrace at Benavente looked lovely at dawn, but no long views to the Bierzo. The Sureste signage carries on, mostly very efficiently all the way to the Sanabrés, with granite hitos. It was lovely, after 100km since Tordesillas of permanent cereal and mostly...
  18. alansykes

    LIVE from the Camino West from Montserrat

    Villalpando to Benavente A chatty old gadgie turned up last night on seeing the albergue light on. This time I was able to offer a glass of cold Rueda, courtesy of the fridge. One of the (many) pleasant things about the roads less travelled - I can't imagine this would happen in Fromista. He'd...
  19. alansykes

    LIVE from the Camino West from Montserrat

    San Pedro de Latarce to Villalpando San Pedro really knows how to party. The noise was almost painful in my little annexe, the thought of what it must have been like close up to the 130 beats per minute cacophony made my ears hurt. They carried on until nearly 6am, with a complete lack of masks...
  20. alansykes

    LIVE from the Camino West from Montserrat

    Mota del Marqués to San Pedro de Latarce A quiet uneventful day, almost entirely spent in fog, but only 20km long. At one point the fog partly lifted and I was greeted with the beautiful spectacle of what I call a mistbow - an arc like a rainbow, but entirely white. I expect there's a proper...
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