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  1. Nick Barlow

    Are waterproof hiking shoes a good idea?

    I've now done two Caminos (Frances/Finisterre and Primitivo) in waterproof lightweight Merrell boots and had a grand total of two blisters on them. I guess the rest of my body is too busy sweating for my feet to do it! :) But unless you're going for full rubber gaiters, then nothing is going...
  2. Nick Barlow

    Camino Irritants

    The sound of poles that bothers me is the click, scrape, click, scrape, scra-click, scrape, click of someone who's decided they have to walk with two poles but doesn't know how to properly use them so isn't getting any benefit from them...
  3. Nick Barlow

    List your pilgrim blog URL here - We want to read your story

    And now followed that up looking at the differences between the Frances and the Primitivo, for those who are considering one or the other (or both!):
  4. Nick Barlow

    List your pilgrim blog URL here - We want to read your story

    Written about my experiences on the Primitivo last month, managing to keep it down to just one memory and one photo for each day:
  5. Nick Barlow

    Accommodations - Whether to book in advance on the Primitivo

    I finished the Primitivo two weeks ago and I'd suggest maybe booking your first night or two to be sure, and then seeing how busy it feels. There aren't as many places to stop and stay on the Primitivo, so within a couple of days you'll see if places are squeezed full or have space and that'll...
  6. Nick Barlow

    Beds available Sarria to SdC?

    The Primitivo was relatively quiet up till when I finished last Wednesday and no problems in getting accommodation- I did book ahead sometimes, but there was no real need to and didn't hear of anywhere being full so no need for the bed race. But also, I didn't see lots of people on the sections...
  7. Nick Barlow

    Albergues between Ponferrada and Santiago

    A Reboleira in Fonfria was really nice, and rhe communal dinner was one of my favourite from last year - we had to ask then to stop bringing out more food as everyone was so full!
  8. Nick Barlow

    Beds available Sarria to SdC?

    I'm on the stretch from Melide right now finishing the Primitivo and there are lots of spaces outside the main towns - there were 6 of us in the Albergue-Pension in Boente on Sunday and only a handful in my Salceda pension ladt night. Didn't see too many people while I was walking either. From...
  9. Nick Barlow

    How much water is ‘plenty’ on the Hospitales?

    I didn't for Berducedo, and rhe albergue here is less than half full. I'd also suggest looking at the new albergue at Colina de Arriba (ypu can reserve on their website) - it's a few km from Borres on the Pola route, but there's a route from there to the Hospitales (about a km of steep ascent)...
  10. Nick Barlow

    Alert Camino Primitivo closed by forest/grassland fire in the Tineo district

    The ruins were fine, they weren't near to the fires but the info board and structure at the old mining site (I can't remember the name - something de Freita?) is pretty much destroyed.
  11. Nick Barlow

    How much water is ‘plenty’ on the Hospitales?

    I took two litres of water with me today on the Hospitales, both bottles with electrolyte/hydration tablets from Science in Sport added. That lasted me for a day (and I'm pretty sweaty, if that's not TMI!) but I did drink a bit more with breakfast and guzzler down a bottle on arrival at Berducedo...
  12. Nick Barlow

    Alert Camino Primitivo closed by forest/grassland fire in the Tineo district

    Walked the Hospitales today and the path is fully open, though lots of burned areas around. Posted some photos in another thread.
  13. Nick Barlow

    Salas to Lugo. Is anyone walking the Primitivo now? Which areas are affected by recent fires?

    In Berducedo right now, having walked the Hospitales today. Route is fully opened, there are a lot of burned areas and a smell of smoke in some places, but was still a fantastic walk. Attached a few photos - some areas more affected than others but green shoots are coming through the black and...
  14. Nick Barlow

    "The British pilgrimage problem" - magazine article

    That's a really interesting question, and I suspect my answer here won't have the depth a response to it deserves - but I fly out to Oviedo tomorrow morning, so if I don't give a rough answer now, there won't be one at all. There are some pilgrimages that still go on here - a friend of mine has...
  15. Nick Barlow

    "The British pilgrimage problem" - magazine article

    I was being slightly facetious in mentioning Canterbury, but I think if there ever was to be a British equivalent of the Camino (at least in religious terms) it would be the logical end point, both in terms of significance as a destination and having the potential to deal with the logistics of...
  16. Nick Barlow

    "The British pilgrimage problem" - magazine article

  17. Nick Barlow

    "The British pilgrimage problem" - magazine article

    I did John O'Groats to Land's End in 2006, and there was still a great network of hostels in Scotland then, but once I crossed the border it got harder and harder to find hostels as I got further south. This was also the year the YHA announced they were selling off a lot of the smaller rural...
  18. Nick Barlow

    "The British pilgrimage problem" - magazine article

    I'm not religious, but I'm just about to set off on my second Camino, and I've talked to lots of people since I came back last year who'd love to be able to do one, or just a long walk, but the cost of doing one in the UK is prohibitive to most people - especially if you're travelling alone. I'd...
  19. Nick Barlow

    Good news about Camino -Ninja

    I used Ninja for the Frances last year, and probably more for the map, distance to go, and elevation options as I did for the accommodation information. I've looked at others since Andy's sad death but haven't found one that offered that information as easily, so I'll be very happy if they get...
  20. Nick Barlow

    Waterproof trail shoes. Yes or no?

    I'd say if you've got a pair of boots/shoes you're already comfortable walking long distances in, then stick with those. For me, waterproofing is secondary to how comfortable they are, how tired my feet etc feel after walking for a day in them. I walked the Frances in waterproof Merrells last...

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