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LIVE from the Camino Cycling for Pieta

Xali1970

Planning the next one
Time of past OR future Camino
2016 Primitivo
2018 Pimitivo, VdlP
2022 Too Many
We are Xavier and Karin, Camino Friends cycling together for a purpose.

Some of you may have seen the planning I started last year. Initially I planned on a solo ride, but invited Karin along as a retired old bat with time on her hands. (Last sentence in old bat's own words).

We are trying to raise funds for an Irish charity, Pieta, whose main focus is mental health , prevention of suicide and self harm and suicide bereavement counselling.

I've been on the way since August 17th, while Karin, an experienced road cyclist, got a crash ( yes we mean multiple crashes) in handling a powerful, heavy and loaded ebike. Road bikes and touring ebikes seem to be very different animals to tame.

My patient an long suffering wife Angie drove Karin down to the ferry on the 20th of August, where we crossed from Cork (Ireland) to Roscoff (Brittany, France) arriving on the 21st.

A day by day tale of our travels will follow. Some me (i.e. terse and succint), some by Karin(i.e. descriptive and humorous).

Departure 17/8
17th of August. 107km My neighbours sent me off on the tour. I got my Credential del Peregrino stamped at the post office and then on the road along the Barrow way to Graiguenamanah where I arrived shortly after 20:00, a tad later than hoped, and with batteries depleted to 28%, unexpectedly low It's a beautiful ride. A bit harder than last time: the ground was softer for some reason. The kissing gates are too small for the bike; I had to unload and reload a few times to get through Lunch in Athy.

18/8
88km from Graiguenamanah to Dungarvan. Rain prevented me from going over Mount Brandon and follow a more scenic but challenging route (highly recommend that one). The alternative is worth the trip as well though. I hurt my left knee while coming off the bike. Looks like a bit of a muscle strain, meaning a forced rest day. Thank crunchy for the motor, or I wouldn't have gotten to my destination, to it was close: drained the batteries to 5%

19/9
Bit of a bummer. Somehow I managed to hurt my left knee. Nothing serious but enough to need a couple of days rest. Big thank you to my wife for driving out to Dungarvan to pick me up and drive me to the Acorn Lodge B&B in Cork, where she then proceeded with physio treatment and taping up the knee.

Departure still scheduled for 20/8

The fundraiser page is : https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/tosevilleforpieta

Along with links to my Strava and photos
 
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ksam

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
Hola Karin here!! We’re off to see La Rochelle sans bicicletta ahora! Rest days are critical and gotta say this one is perfect thus far. Photos to follow 😁
 

Xali1970

Planning the next one
Time of past OR future Camino
2016 Primitivo
2018 Pimitivo, VdlP
2022 Too Many
On with the story

21/8
75km
My friend Karin and I disembarked in Roscoff and made our way to Carhaix. It was a long day. Rain and wind were present along with a sore knee. We barely made it to our planned stage in Carhaix

22/8
61km.
We left the B&B early morning setting off towards Mûr-de-Bretagne. The countryside along the canal is truly beautiful, and well used by walkers and cyclists alike. The views are just stunning, the canal bordered by old oaks and beeches. We found a brunch in the shape of a buckweat crêpe with egg, cheese and ham. Karin is getting used to the bike, picking up speed; despite an amazingly unbruised ego and bruised legs because of a couple of falls 😆😇 🚴‍♂️🚴‍♂️🚴‍♂️. We're now encamped close by the lake, it's quiet.

24/8 Half day today... Need a bit of rest and reorganise our kit. Staying at Pontivy. Had a bit of a shock when we realised the youth hostel wanted €55+ for the night. Better value to be had at a town centre hotel. Anyways, after a hearty meal calling it a day and staying at the municipal campsite for the princely sum of €11.50 had an evening meal of 2 tins of ratatouille, ravioli, cheese, salad and tomatoes
 

ksam

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
August 25

98298E1B-3484-4C56-8BFA-F759619FEF7A.jpeg 17F00E97-B098-4941-BA5F-B0E33D8ABA44.jpeg Short ride day. Something we ate didn’t agree 🙄. Still made 40+km. Manana more miles/km ate planned as we’re feeling much better.

Watching a poor dog get rescued from the canal was quite an event. They had quite a time cornering her with one man in the water and using the canal boat to corner her. I think she was really exhausted. A few other cyclists were watching and applauded when she was finally onboard.

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ksam

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
Yesterday was not as straight forward as we’d anticipated. Literally. Google gave us a run for the money trying to get to the nearest boulangerie. Bit of a fail on googles part. While totally cycling safe a bit of a run around mileage wise.

Then on towards the beautiful city of Nantes (or that’s what I hear!). Getting through the city was difficult. City riding is always fun 🙄. Add a free music festival (some of it set up directly on the dedicated bike “road”). Yup fun. Took us the better part of two hours to get out of the city proper. And fry our nerves a bit.

Then the next etapa, includes beautiful little villages built along the river. On fairly steep banks. With very narrow winding roads. Lots of kms but little actual forward motion on our trip. Le sigh.

However our camping for the night was very nice. Very quiet (despite two scout troops!!) Plus they were having a paella evening, so a no cook or clean up evening. Win win!
 
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Love following you along the Nantes á Brest. Are you going over the spectacular bridge?
 

ksam

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
August 28, 2022

Yesterday made 80 kms. All well and good but again time and truer motion forward on the map is different. The Euro Velo route is designed to maximize sight seeing. Beautiful little towns. Sweet seaside houses. Ocean views. But do I really need to tour every single block in a particular village? Perpetual hard rights and lefts? Straight up hill… and then straight down. Also while dodge seaside tourists who are the same the world over…..brain dead sun fried zombies 😵‍💫. Doesn’t make for speed that’s for sure !

So today we’re going to try the roads. Real roads from town to town.

B9C37CDF-E1B6-4465-86D5-3EEFD916C6CB.jpeg 8027349D-711D-404D-91F9-B642E14842F1.jpeg AB4A49A6-1A40-4446-8989-F4DD7EDE3072.jpeg CAAC9165-C320-427F-BC06-E99F3794211B.jpeg
 
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ksam

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
August 29, 2002 E1702C36-D3C4-4A3F-9EF6-CB89F55995A8.jpeg CB51ACEA-262A-48B9-B24A-959BC004BA74.jpeg
Mouilleron le captif

Our hotel for the night was exactly like being in an alburgue….. bunk beds 🤣. But with expectation of storms overnight… a good choice. Cheap (ish) and interesting because it’s built entirely out of shipping containers.
 

ksam

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
August 30, 2022

HOUSEHOLD DUTIES

Meet our luggage 😁. We’ve found terminology that is really working well for us.

Rather than the white bag…oh you know what I mean…. It’s now lovingly referred to as the refrigerator. Lunch and dinner food stuffs reside comfortably on the front rack of my bike.

The yellow bag that sits directly behind my saddle is known as the kitchen. Contents include our little stove, cooking pots, gas etc. Within the kitchen (as in all “normal kitchens!) is a kitchen cabinet. Ours is a white and red towel, neatly folded around our utensils, cutting board, silverware and of course corkscrew. This is a civilized trip after all.

The yellow bag on the ground is the house. Perfectly logical as it’s contents are our tent, tarp for cooking shelter (if needed) tiny aluminum folding table.

Next up, green camo backpack, also known as the utility bag. This one rides in front on Xavier’s bike. It contains stuff we used while riding. Sunscreen. Bug spray. Sometimes a bottle of cider. Masks if we need them. Swiss Army knife. Rain gear. Battery chargers. Ok. It’s our household junk drawer 🤣

The red panniers are mine. The one without the square piece of black tape is my dresser. As in all my clothes. The other is my bedroom or sleeping gear - self inflating pad, sleeping bag, folding chair, inflatable pillow etc. Its also referred to as Ferdinand. Xavier and Angie’s cat Ferdinand christened it at some point. It’s not strong enough to mind, just a hint, of a rather sweet beastie.

Xavier’s panniers are yellow and mirror mine in terms of contents.

Last and most definitely not least is the small black bag attached to Xavier’s dresser bag. Weighing in at a full 3.5 lbs it’s the tool workshop. It’s being carried with the hope of never being used.
FFE95DAE-2FEB-40F3-A70A-E673D94733BC.jpeg 2C5DF676-1EF0-4106-8C9F-6E75EEF93A5F.jpeg BD135B94-F148-45C1-914C-A5F378C5EC74.jpeg 32F03621-8D0F-4FFE-AD79-C285C47B19FA.jpeg FA3D8D4C-57C6-4364-932A-F32864C828F6.jpeg A7256CE0-F07C-41F4-8B0F-C5F8DE1EFE96.jpeg
 

ksam

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
August 31, 2022
La Rochelle

More in the AM

Ok. It’s now the 31st!! And we’re still in La Rochelle 🍾🎉. Taking full rest day. Getting to sleep in… eating and relaxing again is pure bliss. In a bit we’re taking either a taxi or the bus and exploring the old city.

Last night was delightful. One of Angie’s friends, who lives relatively near our route, meet us at our hotel with a home cooked meal 💓 and is doing our laundry with the promise of another lovely dinner!! I’m beyond impressed by her sheer generosity. True trail magic if ever I heard of it! Séverine merci merci merci 😘

We’re taking a full rest day here in La Rochelle. Planning to try and see a little more of this town. E8578035-F48F-450D-BB56-7C48EEA9A00D.jpeg 8D4BD695-6C1E-4BC4-BCB3-9F6DAFF064E8.jpeg 7A1180B4-EC9A-4B9D-B467-60E6FA3C7F81.jpeg E1871AA1-47CB-43AB-AC30-2D6A60927B72.jpeg 800B5D3C-12E5-4278-AEC7-D04D5E56B187.jpeg AE7E14D9-F186-47DF-BD4B-A299F0B6825F.jpeg D6133D5E-6329-4A94-AE61-36B9BE372791.jpeg 07421AA5-295C-4615-9992-B1EC5397EE63.jpeg
 

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ksam

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
September 1 & 2, 2022

1st). Just pulled in. Toughest day yet. And it wasn’t terrain or weather or missed directions.

2nd). Today we’re racing north or it feels like it after 12 days + of cycling. Xavier’s father, who hadn’t been well, passed away yesterday morning as we were leaving La Rochelle. Now we’re heading to Belgium for the next week roughly. The plan is return to Rochefort, hand back the van we’ve rented and head south again. This may require using a train to make up time as there are hard dates and time constraints to work around.

If I were to be writing this as a simple creative writing exercise I’d probably be sent back for revisions.

We spent the night in Senlis (just north of Paris). During the night Xavier’s father in law passed away too. All this as Xavier himself was feeling very unwell. You just can’t make this stuff up. (He’s probably going to be annoyed that I mention it🤷‍♀️)

I let him sleep until we absolutely had to check out at noon. This actually gave me a bit of time to explore Senlis. Like walking into a postcard. I’m so happy I got to see the village and the cathedral of Notre Dame de Senlis, just hating how I got here.

We’re now staying with a cousin awaiting the usual end to these things. Our plan is to try and make our way south to the Spanish border and take up our journey.

Please don’t forget what our original intent was. Bringing awareness to mental health and raising money for a truly worthy charity, Pieta House.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
06,CF;13,CP;17,SSal;19,Ingles
September 1 & 2, 2022

1st). Just pulled in. Toughest day yet. And it wasn’t terrain or weather or missed directions.

2nd). Today we’re racing north or it feels like it after 12 days + of cycling. Xavier’s father, who hadn’t been well, passed away yesterday morning as we were leaving La Rochelle. Now we’re heading to Belgium for the next week roughly. The plan is return to Rochefort, hand back the van we’ve rented and head south again. This may require using a train to make up time as there are hard dates and time constraints to work around.

If I were to be writing this as a simple creative writing exercise I’d probably be sent back for revisions.

We spent the night in Senlis (just north of Paris). During the night Xavier’s father in law passed away too. All this as Xavier himself was feeling very unwell. You just can’t make this stuff up. (He’s probably going to be annoyed that I mention it🤷‍♀️)

I let him sleep until we absolutely had to check out at noon. This actually gave me a bit of time to explore Senlis. Like walking into a postcard. I’m so happy I got to see the village and the cathedral of Notre Dame de Senlis, just hating how I got here.

We’re now staying with a cousin awaiting the usual end to these things. Our plan is to try and make our way south to the Spanish border and take up our journey.

Please don’t forget what our original intent was. Bringing awareness to mental health and raising money for a truly worthy charity, Pieta House.
So sorry to read of the two close family deaths. I admire the conviction that will keep you motivated to continue on your pilgrimage. Death is not a popular word nowadays, but it is exactly what it is.
 

NualaOC

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
A few and hopefully lots more. See signature.
I'm very sorry to hear this news - my sincere condolences to Xavier, Angie and their families.

We often talk about Camino or pilgrimage as a metaphor for life, but you're getting both metaphor and harsh realities in this journey. Wishing you well as you continue to move forward, whatever form that takes.

For those not familiar with the work of Pieta, I'll share a personal story about why it's a cause worth supporting. One of my oldest friends died by suicide a few years ago, in very tragic and public circumstances. Pieta provided invaluable support to his family - and continue to do so through counselling, advice and a listening ear when they need it. They never imagined they'd be in this situation - probably like most people who use similar support services around the world.

If you feel able and inclined to support Xavier's fundraising, here's a reminder of the link: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/tosevilleforpieta
 
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chinacat

Veteran Member
@Xali1970

So sad to have both yours and Angie’s fathers die within a couple of days of each other.
And to have this happen when you are already feeling low … you will need all your strength to meet the next few days.

Karin, it was good that Xavier had your company when this double shock hit him … and that you could offer him some support whilst he was feeling ill, too …
 

ksam

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
Let’s go for a ride he says!!!

So we’ve been here for a few days now. Not riding at all. Not really a surprise considering everything going on and emotions etc. yesterday we thought ok, things are settled for the moment. The weather is perfectly lovely. Let’s ride!

Xavier’s cousin lives near a lake. Lakes tend to be at lower elevations. After all water seeks the lowest possible spot. All normal. So we have to begin by going straight down hill. NOT my favorite way to begin a ride. And of course this one ends in a T-stop. Of course. So I’m practically in a cold sweat right from the get go. 😰.

Then on to the bike store to see if they can fix the kick stand on my bike. That means up and down a few more hills in a lovely (read that as quaint tiny narrow busy) Belgian village. With road construction to boot. No kick stand. It’s a custom piece for this exact bike and they don’t carry this model. Yup. German precision in action. Or dissaction at the moment.

So back to our ride. Back through quaint village. Left right angle turn straight up the hill in traffic. Stop at the round about at the top of said hill. Sharp right turn….you guessed it.. straight down. This time around a 17 or 18% grade with no clear view of the bottom because of overgrown bamboo on both sides. Yeah. I walked down. Xavier…. Wheeeeeeee 😏

On the trail for about 200 meters and my dear friend stops, looks at me and tries (and fails!) to suppress a laugh. The trail now has a paved section ahead. I don’t get it. Perhaps you can guess???? Yeah the real trail goes hard right straight up a damp rocky incline. Scenic route. Yeah sure.

Now for the first time we get some normal pavement for a while. My jangling nerves begin to settle. I can fix my rear view mirror, as now it might actually serve a purpose! On we go.

Till…. Some delightful sodding Belgian has trimmed his giant hedge and left ALL the branches covering the cycling way.

Now onto a “country” road. Read this as dirt road. Lotsa loose gravel and rocks. At this point the rate of travel isn’t going to get us to the abbey (and back) in time for Xavier’s cousins butternut squash flan for dinner.

So, we return by the most amazing method…..paved roads. Not as scenic but it also allowed us a stop at a patisserie (good humor restored with a Belgian eclair-way more chocolate than a French one!) and a bank and a bike store. Yup still no kickstand. But safe arrival at Cs house.

Dinner was nothing short of fantastic. All my favorite flavors in one beautiful dish. Add wonderful company and a few Belgian beers… perfect end to the day.

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Some delightful sodding Belgian has trimmed his giant hedge and left ALL the branches covering the cycling way.
Yeah, as they do, so that the hedges look like they've been precision-trimmed with a razor. I can just see it. 🤣
Thanks, @ksam - that wonderful post raised a few chuckles in spite of your unfortunate and unforeseen circumstances.
 

ksam

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
So we’re resuming our cycling at last! Or we’re trying. The French railway isn’t playing nice however. We got up at 6… in our swanky third/fourth floor suite…walk up of course. Got all our luggage back down the circular staircase 😳. Loaded, peddled in dim light through Rochefort only to discover our train to Bordeaux is delayed by 15 minutes. With some help we may magic ourselves in 1 minute to the other train! Bikes bags and all!!!

On a happy note, we’ve found a very creative solution to my broken kickstand!
 
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ksam

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
Ahhh b
So … did you make your connection at Bordeaux?
ee in such a rush to make up time I forget to check in! Yes we made it 🎉. A few small battle scars..fortunately me not the bike 🤣
 
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Xali1970

Planning the next one
Time of past OR future Camino
2016 Primitivo
2018 Pimitivo, VdlP
2022 Too Many
We are on paved roads, leaving Uterga bright and early.
Went to the Santa Maria Eunate in the morning and are making our way towards Logroño... let's see how far we get...
 

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chinacat

Veteran Member
Yes, it was an epic story of heroics, battlewounds sustained by Karin and breathless running up and down stairs with heavily loaded bikes...
(Just a smidgeon of exageration)...

I remember ‘dashing’ up and down those stairs (actually it was down and up!) with my own pack on my back and my daughter’s on a trolley … she had been forbidden to carry her pack, by a doctor in Burgos A&E/ER.
Are all trains into Bordeaux late?
I’d wanted to say that you’d probably make it, but didn’t dare!!! 😄
 

Xali1970

Planning the next one
Time of past OR future Camino
2016 Primitivo
2018 Pimitivo, VdlP
2022 Too Many
Thursday 16/9
Short day today. We're tired and need a bit of a rest.
Took the opportunity to get a haircut and quite the menu del dia at the bar restauran Sabroso (next to the pedestrian bridge next to parque San Miguel) in Logroño
We entered the Rioja wine region abd are surrounded by vineyards.
The landscape is slowly changing but it remains quite hilly. Vegetation is a bit sparser than in the Basque country.
If you're ever goingbthrough Navarette the "La Sala" restaurant is worth a visit
 

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Time of past OR future Camino
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Thursday 16/9
Short day today. We're tired and need a bit of a rest.
Took the opportunity to get a haircut and quite the menu del dia at the bar restauran Sabroso (next to the pedestrian bridge next to parque San Miguel) in Logroño
We entered the Rioja wine region abd are surrounded by vineyards.
The landscape is slowly changing but it remains quite hilly. Vegetation is a bit sparser than in the Basque country.
If you're ever goingbthrough Navarette the "La Sala" restaurant is worth a visit
I’ve been zooming in on the pic of you both with the bikes. The tour packing is interesting. Are the golden yellow bags over the panniers camping gear? You seem to have a front rack on your bike carrying a water container.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
06,CF;13,CP;17,SSal;19,Ingles
I’ve been zooming in on the pic of you both with the bikes. The tour packing is interesting. Are the golden yellow bags over the panniers camping gear? You seem to have a front rack on your bike carrying a water container.
Not my business, but post 13 gives a detailed account of the wardrobe on the bikes!
 

Xali1970

Planning the next one
Time of past OR future Camino
2016 Primitivo
2018 Pimitivo, VdlP
2022 Too Many
I’ve been zooming in on the pic of you both with the bikes. The tour packing is interesting. Are the golden yellow bags over the panniers camping gear? You seem to have a front rack on your bike carrying a water container.
The yellow bags have been sort of repurposed. Having had to go back to Belgium for 10 days needed us to cut both the journey and the packing, meaning most of the camping gear was left behind for future collection.
The bag on my bike , ( the black one) contains two folding chairs and the replacement CPAP machine i had to buy en route, the old travel one having given up the ghost. It's bulky but quite light.
The water canister is on the very end of my carrier. The carrier plate is 24" long and rated to 60kg/135lbs.

The second yellow bag on Karin's contains the leftover of our kitchen, i.e. the stuff that cannot be carried on a plane (cutlery, gas canister, stove and some condiments we still use).

The rest stayed the same
 

Xali1970

Planning the next one
Time of past OR future Camino
2016 Primitivo
2018 Pimitivo, VdlP
2022 Too Many
We have left Villafranca de la Oca this morning.
It's surprisingly chilly, at 15°C and a breeze. We chose to go via the trail rather than the road, as it looked decidedly shorter on the map. It's been am intersting day so far. The slopes are brutal and the terrain quite interesting to travel on our loaded bikes.
Karin found some sections a bit too challenging, so I was leapfrogging the bikes every few hundred meters over some section, i.e. riding one up, or down, leaving it there, running down (or up) to get the other one while Karin walked the section. I'll admit I'm a bit tired...🥱

We'll see how far we get. Some walkers must have been amused (or annoyed) at having had to deal with us a few times. A few were quite helpful, thank you

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ksam

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
Today we leave the Frances!! New territory for me so very excited. We’re going to try for 100kms again as we need to pack on some miles as our time to reach Seville is rapidly approaching.

Last night sleeping in the alburgue I worked in last November was interesting! Funny seeing others doing my daily chores.
 

ksam

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
Our first (and hopefully last) flat tire! Well timed though just before we left our casa rural that had a small pool! Making for easier patching up of the inner tube Good thing we’d already opted for a short day, bumming our earlier start 🤷‍♀️😊 image.jpg
 
Time of past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
Our first (and hopefully last) flat tire! Well timed though just before we left our casa rural that had a small pool! Making for easier patching up of the inner tube Good thing we’d already opted for a short day, bumming our earlier start 🤷‍♀️😊
Is there a reason you didn't opt for tubeless?
 
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Xali1970

Planning the next one
Time of past OR future Camino
2016 Primitivo
2018 Pimitivo, VdlP
2022 Too Many
So we left Salamanca this morning. It was cold, like 6°C.
We made our way via the EV1 and part of the Via de la Plata To Baños de Montemayor.
The surface was quite scary in places even though it was signposted as a cycleroute as well. Scree, loose stones, deep ruts, cobblestones, very steep incline. A road/touring bike would have great difficulties on this. Nearly fell off the bike.
We came across a few Millariums, and the views are breathtaking.
 

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ksam

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
So today’s start is a little bumpier than usual…. In fact only the second flat in the entire trip. Funny thing is it’s a different tire. Nice to know the patch job Xavier did is holding well on the first tire. 23CDE02C-54FC-4BC9-BA3E-710BB3596D43.jpeg
 
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ksam

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
Yup. Deja by all over again 🤣
 
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Xali1970

Planning the next one
Time of past OR future Camino
2016 Primitivo
2018 Pimitivo, VdlP
2022 Too Many
Salamanca to Carcaboso,
Must have been a bit rougher terrain: 1 puncture and 1 spoke.
Definitely worth staying on the trail, but with a bit less... enthusiasm next time
 

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Xali1970

Planning the next one
Time of past OR future Camino
2016 Primitivo
2018 Pimitivo, VdlP
2022 Too Many
Carcaboso to Cáceres. A bit delayed start 😖 but again stunning.
Cold in the morning but stunning views. It's bine dry here at the moment, we went through 8L of water between the 2 of us...
 

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ksam

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
Yesterday ended at a bike store! Second flat, broken spoke and some very peculiar sounds from our rear brakes…resulting in serious nerves on some otherwise beautiful descents. In the end all good. All the proper pieces 311624E9-BC1D-4081-BCB0-0C7E4D1270CA.jpeg taken care of😁. Now a rest day for the nerves 🤣. And the tummy 😋
 
Time of past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
E1 must take a different route to the Via. I don’t recognise the aqueduct. Where is it?
It’s beautiful country though, which ever track you take. But I’m going to stick with my 20th century tubeless tyres!!!!
 
How to Successfully Prepare for Your Camino
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SabineP

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
Yesterday ended at a bike store! Second flat, broken spoke and some very peculiar sounds from our rear brakes…resulting in serious nerves on some otherwise beautiful descents. In the end all good. All the proper pieces View attachment 133732 taken care of😁. Now a rest day for the nerves 🤣. And the tummy 😋


If you are still in Caceres I can highly recommend restaurante/ taperia la Minerva.

 

Xali1970

Planning the next one
Time of past OR future Camino
2016 Primitivo
2018 Pimitivo, VdlP
2022 Too Many
E1 must take a different route to the Via. I don’t recognise the aqueduct. Where is it?
It’s beautiful country though, which ever track you take. But I’m going to stick with my 20th century tubeless tyres!!!!
At that area the EV1 is approx 2km East from the Ruta de la Plata. It's on the section between Gallisteo and Cañaveral.

Tyres will be replaced at the end of this tour with something a bit sturdier, or I just need to lose some weight. 120kg of me 25kg of luggage is a bit of abuse for the tyres...
 

ksam

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018

SabineP

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
John Brierley 2023 Camino Guide
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Xali1970

Planning the next one
Time of past OR future Camino
2016 Primitivo
2018 Pimitivo, VdlP
2022 Too Many

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Skinnybiker

The Skinny Biker in Spain
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte, Frances, Primitivo May 2022
By bike
A couple of Reisse & Mullers at the Hostal Emeritae last night, guess they were yours. Saw the Shangri-la but had a couple of beers from the vending machine instead. Wonderful sunset after the rain last night.
 

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Xali1970

Planning the next one
Time of past OR future Camino
2016 Primitivo
2018 Pimitivo, VdlP
2022 Too Many
A couple of Reisse & Mullers at the Hostal Emeritae last night, guess they were yours. Saw the Shangri-la but had a couple of beers from the vending machine instead. Wonderful sunset after the rain last night.
Yes, they were.
You missed something at the Shangri-la... just brilliant food
 
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Xali1970

Planning the next one
Time of past OR future Camino
2016 Primitivo
2018 Pimitivo, VdlP
2022 Too Many
29/9 Cáceres to Merida, relatively uneventful, but the views... . Ashort stay in Mérida, stayed at the Hostal Emeritae ( highly recommended).

Too short a tour of the amphitheatre, but we got in a tad late in the day
 

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Xali1970

Planning the next one
Time of past OR future Camino
2016 Primitivo
2018 Pimitivo, VdlP
2022 Too Many
So we made it to Seville.

From Mérida to Zafra, Zafra to El Real de la Jara, and the to Seville.

We seem to attract festivals on our way... we arrived in Zafra dodging cars looking for parking. It's a lovely little town. We stayed at the Albergue Van Gogh.

Leaving the next morning for El Real de la Jara. Our first choice was Almadén de la Plata but all accommodations were full.

The last leg from El Real de la Jara was more testing than anticipated. We stayed on the road, with the section between Almaden and Burguillos being much more dangerous than expected. Some idiot put in a safety measur for cars that is quite deadly to cyclists: little 15x10x5cm holes 10cm apart on the side of the road to warn drivers they're leaving the lane. Add strong gusty crosswinds to the mix with a steep downhill.

The cycle from Burguillos to Seville was on a superb cyclelane most of the way, until it ends in a roundabout that also serves as the exit for a motorway... go figure.

Final bit along the banks of the Guadalquivir to the Cathedral, and from there to our lovely little hotel: Hotel Simon


It's also here that Karin and I part ways. She's leaving for the Camino Bazstan, while I cycle on towards the Mozarabe

Thank you Karin for accepting to share this ride, with its challenges and tragedies, but also its rewards, beauties and experiences
 

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ksam

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
We made Seville!!!!

And now 4A1ADDBE-2670-4907-8027-4EF274602D5C.jpeg 0F11166C-88D7-4CD5-99E7-365722DB8882.jpeg F49FA221-A247-44E0-B78B-4D2235EA63DF.jpeg 22713B4A-61D0-4949-ADC5-508D6DFEABCA.jpeg 0AC8140A-FF94-478D-AF76-24167AC084B2.jpeg F6482FCC-A748-493C-825B-1EF00FEE7221.jpeg 74C8DC12-C374-488F-8617-A9F6B5110742.jpeg 36844B78-2A0B-4586-898E-5AA7D4477717.jpeg
View attachment IMG_4251.MOV
I’m off!!! Off to be foot pilgrim again, in the north of Spain!! Xavier continues onward together with Angie!! I’m missing the cycling already. Missing my two teachers… learned a lot along the way. Wouldn’t have missed this opportunity for the world!!

So… let’s continue supporting them and this effort for Pieta House. Donated yet??? Why not today??
 

Xali1970

Planning the next one
Time of past OR future Camino
2016 Primitivo
2018 Pimitivo, VdlP
2022 Too Many
4/10
I wave goodbye to one travelling companion and start the next leg of the journey with Angie.
We set out of Seville a bit late, get lost in the city before finding the road to Guillenas.
Once there we happily ignore the advice for cyclistd to not take the walkers trail. It's so dry the clay has turned from a sticky mud to dust. It's a bit stony with derp ruts but it makes for an enjoyable ride. Once off the trail it's steep climbing.
We arrived in Almadén de la Plata a bit late and tired
 

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Now to successfully prepare to avoid failure
Learn how to Get "Camino Ready " 3rd Edition
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.

Xali1970

Planning the next one
Time of past OR future Camino
2016 Primitivo
2018 Pimitivo, VdlP
2022 Too Many
I'm confused. What route are you taking back to Ireland?
I well remember that track after Guillena on the first day of my first camino. I must admit I found it unexpectedly challenging!
View attachment 134166
Picking up the GR48 in Almadén de la Plata, to reach Córdoba, then on to Granada and then the EV8. It's a bit fluid after that
 

Skinnybiker

The Skinny Biker in Spain
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte, Frances, Primitivo May 2022
By bike
"The GR 48 (Sendero de Sierra Morena) is the longest path in southern Spain and the majority of it lies within the Sierra de Aracena and the Sierra Norte de Sevilla Natural Parks, some of the country’s most uninhabited areas." Gonna be interesting eh......
 

Xali1970

Planning the next one
Time of past OR future Camino
2016 Primitivo
2018 Pimitivo, VdlP
2022 Too Many
Almadén de la Plata to Constantina. Today was a bit rougher than expected, and dwarfs most terrain challenges I came across so far. The GR48 is foremost a hiking trail and it shows. After a good start with dirt roads about halfway through it degraded a good bit and I was happy to find alternative ways to get to the night's accommodation.

We saw a good few vultures circling. I still wonder if they were eying me... a lot of fat to be had😁
 

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Xali1970

Planning the next one
Time of past OR future Camino
2016 Primitivo
2018 Pimitivo, VdlP
2022 Too Many
"The GR 48 (Sendero de Sierra Morena) is the longest path in southern Spain and the majority of it lies within the Sierra de Aracena and the Sierra Norte de Sevilla Natural Parks, some of the country’s most uninhabited areas." Gonna be interesting eh......
It was... more of it tomorrow.
Hope yo reach Córdoba but that may be pushing my luck
 

Xali1970

Planning the next one
Time of past OR future Camino
2016 Primitivo
2018 Pimitivo, VdlP
2022 Too Many
Constantina to Hornachuelas.

We started by getting quite thouroughly lost in a small town, a feat in itself. We're kicking ourselves for not stopping to photograph the castle.

The accommodation was a cute little bedsit. Hoofing the bikes to it was another story in itself. Up some very steep stairs with loaded bikes weighing 45kg/100lbs.


We follow the GR48 as far as possible on our way to the next stop. It's a mix of road and dirtroad. Lunch under the shade of a cork oak

It rebuffed us finally by presenting us with a steep rocky single track trail we couldn't safely navigate.

We arrived at the night's digs in Hornachuelos, which are best described as quaint. They're opposite a functioning belltower... wake up at 6am guaranteed. Grrrr
 

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Xali1970

Planning the next one
Time of past OR future Camino
2016 Primitivo
2018 Pimitivo, VdlP
2022 Too Many
7/10
Hornachuelas to Córdoba
7/10
Hornachuelas to Córdoba
We left a bit late hoping for an easier day but that was without allowing for what the GR48 had in store for us.
It's a brilliant ride, but very rough making for slow progress.
At around 3 pm we realised we needed to get back on a hard paved road if we were to make it to Córdoba.

I'd love to come back with more time at hand
 

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Time of past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
7/10
Hornachuelas to Córdoba
7/10
Hornachuelas to Córdoba
We left a bit late hoping for an easier day but that was without allowing for what the GR48 had in store for us.
It's a brilliant ride, but very rough making for slow progress.
At around 3 pm we realised we needed to get back on a hard paved road if we were to make it to Córdoba.
Where did you connect with the bitumen? Almodóvar?
Thats a weird looking dam!
 
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.

Xali1970

Planning the next one
Time of past OR future Camino
2016 Primitivo
2018 Pimitivo, VdlP
2022 Too Many
Where did you connect with the bitumen? Almodóvar?
Thats a weird looking dam!
About 5km North of Almodovar.
The painful thing was the GR48 goes north just wesr of Almodovar, and the road took us just east of it. A very long way to cover 1.5km had we stuck to the road to begin with...

The dam is the Preza del Bembézar.

Intriguing re the columns, didn't know rhat
 

Xali1970

Planning the next one
Time of past OR future Camino
2016 Primitivo
2018 Pimitivo, VdlP
2022 Too Many
Córdoba to Baena
Quite warm, C30°+ and no shade to be had.
Quite a rough dirt track until we hit Espejo, where we stayed on paved road for the rest of the day.
The landscape was alternating between dried out fields and olive groves. Not a speck of wilderness to be seen.
 

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Xali1970

Planning the next one
Time of past OR future Camino
2016 Primitivo
2018 Pimitivo, VdlP
2022 Too Many
Oct 10th
Baena to Alcala la Real.
Quite the day.
The morning was spent sheltering from a thunderstorm, setting out early afternoon.

We should really stop trusting our navigation app. It was quite good at diverting us away from traffic but oh dear... some of the trails were interesting. A greeneay with very variable surfaces, lots of climbing, hiking trails and a bit of road were at the rendezvous. Saw lots of bunnies, which is great fun, but sadly a lot of dried out lakes and riverbed.
 

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Xali1970

Planning the next one
Time of past OR future Camino
2016 Primitivo
2018 Pimitivo, VdlP
2022 Too Many
11/10 Angie having hurt her foot yesterday I go sightseeing while she rests.
The Medieval fortified city of Alcala la Real is really worth a visit on it's own
 

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Xali1970

Planning the next one
Time of past OR future Camino
2016 Primitivo
2018 Pimitivo, VdlP
2022 Too Many
Alcalá la Real to Granada What a day.
Quite steep ups and downs, stunning views and quite a fiew medieval castles and watchtowers.
The navigation app sent us down a cycle route that was really for advanced mountain bikers, not heavily loaded touring rigs. Got to walk the things down..
It follows the Camino Mozarabe path. Not sure I would do that again on the bridle way, even though signs do mark it as a mixed cycle/walking way
 

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Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.
How to Successfully Prepare for Your Camino
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Time of past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
It follows the Camino Mozarabe path. Not sure I would do that again on the bridle way, even though signs do mark it as a mixed cycle/walking way

Those stupendous outcrops, I'm assuming, are in the vicinity of Moclín. If so, massive Jurassic limestone. I'm drooling :p
 
Time of past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
If you are willing, can you give us an indication of where your photos are taken as you go along?
 

AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Time of past OR future Camino
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
11/10 Angie having hurt her foot yesterday I go sightseeing while she rests.
The Medieval fortified city of Alcala la Real is really worth a visit on it's own
We must have crossed paths at the Fortaleza, @Xali1970 . We were there all afternoon. You didn't happen to see a couple wearing hats? ☺️ PXL_20221011_102142199.jpg
 
Time of past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
Sure,
Those photos of rock formations and watchtowers were all around Moclín as you guessed.
The rest of the day paled in conparison
I'm really enjoying following your epic ride....with more than a touch of jealousy.
 
John Brierley 2023 Camino Guide
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Xali1970

Planning the next one
Time of past OR future Camino
2016 Primitivo
2018 Pimitivo, VdlP
2022 Too Many
13/10 Sightseeing in Granada, spent most of the day in the Alhambra. We got lucky to get tickets for the Generallife palace, the Alcazaba and the gardens. Couldn't get any tickets for the Nazarene palace. If you ever want to see it, book your tickets a few weeks ahead
 

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Xali1970

Planning the next one
Time of past OR future Camino
2016 Primitivo
2018 Pimitivo, VdlP
2022 Too Many
14/10 Granada to Motríl
Decided to go south to Motríl by road rather than east to Guadix in the hope to make some distance.
Relatively quiet, and guided onto old less used roads, but my the views.
Arrived in good time, but not much to do aside from roasting on a beach... not our thing
 

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Xali1970

Planning the next one
Time of past OR future Camino
2016 Primitivo
2018 Pimitivo, VdlP
2022 Too Many
15/10 Motríl to El Ejido
Easy going ride. Didn't reach Almería as hoped as we left too late.
Getting out of Motríl took some interesting turns as they were building new roads that prevented us from reaching the EV8 as we hoped...
Just rolling along the coast, still fas a few surprising steep if short climbs
 

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Xali1970

Planning the next one
Time of past OR future Camino
2016 Primitivo
2018 Pimitivo, VdlP
2022 Too Many
16/10 El Ejido to Carboneras

The Morning ride to Almería was along the coast road and a maze of little side roads meandering through a sea of vegetable growing tents.
After Almería we tried to keep to the EV8 but the soil turned to sand making it impassable with our heavy loaded touring bikes, the tyres getting no grip.
We then turned to Googlemaps to get a way to Carbones as we couldn't find a workable route.

No problem said Google. Oh dear... initially no issues, then we turned off into an unpaved thing... that in places may have been a road at some point in the distant past. Dirt, rocks, sand, ruts, steep inclines... all there. But we made it.

It's striking to see the impact of our wish for fresh vegetable all year round whether in season or not. From a distance it looks like a large lake, but it's all growing tents covered in white plastic meshing.
 

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Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.
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