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Arriving the 24 July


I hope to arrive in Santiago on the 24 July, Frank in the camino travel centre has reserved overnight stops for me, I was afraid of taking the chance and finding the Albergue full every evening.

Then I leave for Finisterre on the 26th July

I cannot decide if I should walk to Muxia or not, does any know of any good reason that will help propel me the rest of the journey.

Is it worth the extra day

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Hi, my name is Thea Hughes. I have recently published my debut novel Buen Camino - beyond the journey. It tells the tale of Ana, rejected by her mother and sexually abused by her father, who has carried the weight of her traumatic experience long enough. At the age of 30, she walks across Spain on the 764- kilometre Camino de Santiago trail, from St Jean Pied de Port to the Holy city of Santiago, discovering its colourful history, myths, legends and beautiful Spanish countryside, on a life changing quest to end her childhood pain.

The overwhelming physical demands of the walk add to Ana's emotional suffering. Through an unlikely friendship with Richard, a gentle, older man in the early stages of Alzheimer's, Ana gains the support and companionship she desires.

Richard teaches Ana to leave the past behind and live in the here and now - as his illness has forced him to do. These two become improbable friends: one who cannot remember and one who cannot forget. Buen Camino is a tale of romance and drama, but most of all, an inspirational one. For Ana, the act of walking the Camino has less to do with visiting a physical place than of finding that empty place inside herself, and filling it with purpose and inner peace.

Buen Camino - beyond the journey is a perfect book to read either before you walk the Camino or during your pilgrimage, as the characters in the novel inspire empathy, allowing you, the reader, to walk alongside Ana on her journey towards personal growth and fulfilment. You can follow the same route as Ana does, stopping in the same towns and villages,leaving your stones of sorrow at the base of the Cruz de Ferro, meeting Tomas Marinez de Paz, the last of the Knights Templar in Manjarin, eating pulpo, cocido marigato and torta de Santiago as she does and enjoying your bottle of red wine (tinto) served with all pilgrim meals in the same way that she does. You can find the 300-year old house which Richard buys and turns into a refugio with Ana's help in the book, as it really exists and is situated right on the trail between Sarria and Portomarin. The man you will find running the refugio, Casa Banderas, when you walk the trail, is the real life person on whom I based my fictional character, Richard.

If you are interesting in securing a copy of the book, contact me at and I will arrange to post you one for the cost of the book (NZ$29.00) plus postage. Buen Camino, to all of you who are planning and preparing your walk in the New Year.


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