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Camino Ingles July 2008

#1
Hi Folks

Well, I made it :) I got to Santiago at about half past two this afternoon. It´s been a truly stunning week, and having been a little scared to set off I´m now a little sad that its over (my feet are happy to be done though!)

I plan on adding to this thread with a few comments and thoughts once I´ve pulled myself together. (I honestly think I´m in shock that I´m really here!)

Over the last five days I have been continuously surprised by the capacity that people have for kindness. The first person to show me that kind of generosity on my Camino was Jonnie Walker - your help, advice and encouragement have been priceless John, thankyou.

So, until the next installment,

Fran
(I´m off to buy blister plasters and a cold beer...bliss!)
 

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lckgj

Active Member
#2
Well done Fran!

As a soon-to-be-camino-ingles-pilgrim I will be interested to hear of your adventures. (Good AND bad, I can take it..)

In appreciation of all Johns contributions to the camino ingles information I think we might have to consider awarding him some kind of honorary title - Sir Ingles won't do, he's a scot!

Enjoy that beer and hope your blisters soon disappear.

Buen hecho

Laura
 
#3
I too had the pleasure of meeting JohnnieWalker in Santiago last month. He finished the Camino Ingles and I came from the Via de la Plata. We went to special restaurants in Santiago, places I would not have discovered on my own. Great conversations over dinner and drinks. Thank you John. I met 2 other forum members on my journey and I must say what fun it is to meet up with people I have "met" on the forum and then met in person. We belong to a wonderful community here.
Lillian (yes I will post pics soon now that I am home)
 
#4
Hello again

After some refreshments and a good nights sleep I´m feeling more like myself, and enjoyed the pilgrims mass today very much.

So, in no particular order, here are some observations that may or may not be useful to people planning to walk the Camino Inges.

Distances have been discussed elsewhere on the forum, but I thought it might help to know how long each day took. I have no idea how typical these times are, in general I´m a pretty slow walker, but they might serve to give you an indication...
Ferrol - Pontedeume, start 0945 arrived 1800 including around an hour of stops
Pontedeume - Betanzos, start 0900 arrived 1700 including around an hour of stops
(this day was very hot, and I decided to start much earlier the next day to make the most of the cooler morning and also to take more breaks)
Betanzos - Bruma, start 0715 arrived 1820, stopping for at least 10 mins in each hour, plus a half hour snooze under a tree at siesta time and another half hour in the bar before the hill!
Bruma - Siguero, start 0815 arrived 1830, with a lot of stops due to the rain
Siguero - Santiago, start 0900 arrived 1430, including around 30 mins of stops

Weather - you can´t rely on the summer over here. There was one incredibly hot and sunny day this week, but also a day so rainy that I was reminded of being on the Penine Way in February (maybe thats a little unfair - it was still pretty warm). Bring rain gear - it´s better to have it and not use it than need it and be without it! I was very grateful to the lady behind the bar in Cafe Porto, about 3kms from Bruma. She insisted on giving me her umbrella, even though I had a raincoat!

I didn´t carry a sleeping bag, just a silk liner. The one night I wasn´t somewhere with bedding (Bruma) I slept in my pjamas, my spare walking trousers and a jumper in the silk liner and was fine. This seemed more sensible than carrying an extra 1kg of sleeping bag for one nights use, but I don´t think I would have got away with it in colder weather.

Boots or shoes - whatevers most comfortable for you, but walk them in a lot (and in hot weather if you can) before you go. My tried and tested boots fell apart a week before I left, so I was walking in new ones (hence the blisters - now beautifully covered in compeed!)

Dogs - most houses have one, most of them are chained up, they will bark at you (its their job). I came accross one or two free ones who ran quite close to me and barked at my heels. I am a little afraid of dogs anyway, so probably was a bit sensitive to it, but found that the owners were always somewhere nearby and would come out and deal with yappy dogs if I shouted "hola".

Women walking alone - I was "helped" by well meaning men a few times this week who were eager to explain where the path went without being asked, but I never suspected them of anything other than trying to be nice (most of them were over 70). In general, people seemed impressed by my walking alone and very supportive. Use a little common sense (not accepting lifts, etc) and you will be fine. If walking in winter, I would have rearranged my walking times to not walk in the dark. I also carried a mobile phone, turned off most of the time so I don´t know what reception was like on the path, but it allowed me to check in by text with someone at home at the end of the day.

Albergues - I wouldn´t sleep in the Neda albgergue alone (its a little isolated and there is grafitti/broken windows) and didn´t see the one in Mino, but at Bruma the hostpitalero saw me walking past his house, overtook me on his bike and was opening the door to welcome me when I got there! Its clean, the matresses are comfortable and I felt safe.
In Betanzos, the owner of the fruit shop opposite the Iglesa Sta Maria told me she had read in the local paper that the Xunta de Galicia are going to turn a building in the town into an albergue in time for the 2010 holy year - it could just be a rumour, though.

Other accomodation - I didn´t book ahead anywhere and found rooms with no problem at all. I stayed in the Hotel by the bridge in Pontedeume (its 60 euros, so a little pricey, but I felt it was worth it that first night!). I stayed at the Betanzos Chocolateria in Betanzos and wouldnt recommend it, but the tourist office has a list of other options. In Sigueiro there is only one option, the hostal MIras, which is a little run down but is cheap. The bed was comfortable, and having decided the bathroom on my corridor was too mouldy to use, I simply wandered to the next floor up and found a perfectly clean one! In the Miras´favour, the food in the restaruant was truly lovely and a real bargain.

A Coruna - if you´re walking from Ferrol, spend a day in A Coruna first. It´s worth seeing! I found staying in A Coruna the night before I started the walk meant I had to get up very early to get to Ferrol. Perhaps the last bus/train to Ferrol the night before would have been a good idea?
If you´re under 30 you can book a room in the Parador in Ferrol for 52 euros for one night only (you can also do this for one night at the Parador next to the Cathederal in Santiago at some times of year - the website for the Paradors has details of this offer).

Food - take note in the guides of where you can buy food, because there are some fairly long stretches of the walk (several hours walking) with no opportunity to buy provisions. Also remember that lots of places will be shut from 2-5. On hot days, fill up your water bottle every chance you get and don´t be afraid to ask people sitting out in their gardens if they would fill it for you if needs be.

The hill on the way to Bruma is not enormous. Fill up your water bottle at the fountain at the bottom and sit down in the shade a couple of times on the way up to look at the view behind you. As with the rest of the camino, put one foot in front of the other at your own pace and you will get there! In total, it took me about 45 minutes to get up the hill including stops. Once it flattens out, about another 10 mins walking brings you to a lovely shaded picnic area with a comforting sign showing you how close you now are to Bruma!

I was very worried before I went about getting lost, but have found that between the guide and the waymarks, I never went more than a couple of minutes without realising I was in the wrong place.

Spanish - I learned a little before leaving and found it very useful (eg asking people to fill my water bottle, asking people for sellos for my credencial, saying thankyou!). Sign language and smiling have helped too!

I started the walk thinking I would add information here about things you see on the way etc but in retrospect, I think its better to let you be surprised by some of the wonderful sights that there are on the camino.

Most of all, I have been humbled by the kindness of strangers this week. Sister Carmen at the San Fransisco convent in Betanzos was inspiring (I haven´t heard anyone talk about God with such joy in their voice in quite a long time). The lady who offered to fill my water bottle at her house somewhere along the way on Wednesday made my day!

That´s all I can think of for the minute, hope its useful to someone (and that there aren´t too many typos in it).

Fran

p.s. I wonder how long it will be before I stop feeling the compulsion to follow yellow arrows?
 
#5
Just reviewed my post - thats a lot of writing! Sorry for the babbling on!

Its truly wonderful to be here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

F
 

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sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#6
Fran, I will be following in your footsteps this time next year and have saved your post for reference. THANK YOU for all the info you have shared.
You will want to follow yellow drainage marks and telephone signs in yellow for months to come!
Abrazos,
 
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#7
Fran
No babbling, just good, solid, useful information. Thank you for taking the time to write it down while it´s still so fresh.

This camino is a short one, but it stays with you a Long time. There´s something really special out there. Maybe it´s just the alone-ness, so rare these days.

Rebekah
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#8
en0frb said:
I stayed in the Hotel by the bridge in Pontedeume (its 60 euros, so a little pricey, but I felt it was worth it that first night!) I stayed at the Betanzos Chocolateria in Betanzos and wouldnt recommend it, but the tourist office has a list of other options. In Sigueiro there is only one option, the hostal MIras, which is a little run down but is cheap. The bed was comfortable, and having decided the bathroom on my corridor was too mouldy to use, I simply wandered to the next floor up and found a perfectly clean one! In the Miras´favour, the food in the restaruant was truly lovely and a real bargain.....
I was following a day behind you, I think. I wanted to stay in Pontedeume, as I really liked the look of the place, but after exploring possibilities I decided it was too expensive and just had lunch there before walking on. In Betanzos, which was a real gem with several beautiful churches, I stayed at the Bar Cheiño for fifteen Euros. I used the mouldy bathroom in the Hotel Miras, as I didn´t think of going up a floor to find a different bathroom! I agree with you about the meal: marvellous value. (Eight Euros for the meal and fifteen for the hotel room.)

And I was ready to eat by the time I got to Seguiros! I was starving! I got caught out on the very long stretch where there´s no food or drink to be had, as I was going to stop for lunch at the bar Cruceiro but it was closed and there was nothing else to be found.

Overall, it was a very good experience, and thanks to the hospitaleros at all three albergues, who were all very welcoming, it was a joy to experience this after the circus of the Camino Francés at the present time. I´m enjoying a few days in Santiago now.

Here´s a link to my photos of the Camino Inglés http://picasaweb.google.com/garethomas/ ... ToSantiago


Gareth
 
#9
Fran- what a lovely post and so encouraging for a woman planning to do this alone as I am. Lots of helpful information and tips. However I plan to take it more slowly when I do the Camino in September, so that I will not be walking such long days and stopping more frequently. Thanks for the bathroom tip for Miras! I had pretty much decided not to stay at the albergue in Bruma sunce it hardly seemed worth carrying a sleeping bag liner, pillow case, towel etc for one night. But I would hate to hurt the feelings of the hospitalero so maybe I will re-think...
Continue to enjoy your well-earned sense of achievement!
Anne
 
#10
Re camino ingles August 2008
Betanzos to Hospital de Bruma. We actually went to Meson do Vento and time taken with stops about 9hrs. It was hot and slow but i still think it must be about 33/34 k. Be warned that Bar Julia is closed on Mondays but there is a good little bar about 5k away at the small village of Vizono. Food on request and there is a sign on the camino advising the way. An extra bonus is that this is also a shortcut as it misses a loop of the camino. I think that the argument about distances here reflects the fact that the romans didnt build this part of the camino. There are no straight roads.Ken and Jane
 

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