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Estella to Los Arcos.

Stephen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Twice walked from St Jean to Estella and once from Sarria to Santiago. Maybe someday I'll find the time to do the entire walk.
I've found the time. Just completed SJPP to Santiago. 25 Aug to 1st Oct, 2016.
And now the Portuguese from Lisbon.
#1
I think I might remember this as the Korean Camino. There's certainly a good number of young men and women from there walking at the minute. Two were on the same plane as me from Stanstead to Biarritz and we travelled together to Bayonne Gare. I saw them again in an albergue in Pamplona where they'd already formed a 'Camino family' with another two girls and a young man.
We all went out together for tapas, beer, and a look at the stalls and decorations in the main square.
We met up again last night in Estella in Albergue Curtidores. It's one of the first buildings you meet as you walk into town along the river. It's housed in what was once an old water mill and has been renovated to a very high standard. The rooms hold 4 or 6 bunks. The kitchen is modern with all the kit a cook might need and they provide a good breakfast.
Another member of the group, a German who speaks 4 languages, (he admits he's let his French get rusty) offered to cook the evening meal if we all contributed to the cost of the food.
I doubt if there's a better meal to be had in all of Spain for less than €4 a head. We had double portions of salad followed by pasta.
If I had one quibble it would be the lack of wine. The cook is a non drinker and must have forgotten it when he was out doing the shopping. Still, an abstemious day occassionally can do no harm.
We started todays walk in rain, yet again, which turned the snow underfoot to slush. And there was a biting wind up towards Villamayor de Monjardin.
Tomorrow I'm thinking of Logrono. Some of the others are walking to Viana and then getting the bus there.
 

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Stephen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Twice walked from St Jean to Estella and once from Sarria to Santiago. Maybe someday I'll find the time to do the entire walk.
I've found the time. Just completed SJPP to Santiago. 25 Aug to 1st Oct, 2016.
And now the Portuguese from Lisbon.
#4
What an interesting Camino you’re having! I hope you enjoy the shorter walk today and that the weather warms up soon.
Hi Nuala,
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for suggesting I do a live on the Camino post.
In the past I've walked and never bothered to take notes or keep a journal. It time memories merge and I can't remember where or when things happened.
 

Stephen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Twice walked from St Jean to Estella and once from Sarria to Santiago. Maybe someday I'll find the time to do the entire walk.
I've found the time. Just completed SJPP to Santiago. 25 Aug to 1st Oct, 2016.
And now the Portuguese from Lisbon.
#5
Los Arcos to Logrono.
I'd forgotten to mention a couple of pilgrims who stayed in Estella. The first was an Italian man in his late 40s. He said his wife and daughter were going to Milan to do some shopping during his first week on the Camino.
I wonder which of their trips will cost the most?
There was also a woman who'd walked the Napoleon Route. She said the snow was 30cm deep in places.
She's since moved on and I didn't think to ask her at the time how she managed with all the rocks and tree roots under the snow waiting to trip her.
I stopped in Torres del Rio this morning in the bar of a privately run albergue for a couple of coffees. The woman behind the bar asked if I'd stayed in Los Arcos. When I said I had she pulled a face that that didn't need Google translation to explain what she meant. She went on to say the albergue I'd stayed in was very bad. I diplomatically said I'd stayed here last year and this is better.
Admittedly, the one in Los Arcos nowhere near the standard of the one in Estella or the one she worked in, but they've had massive investment to turn them into cash generating machines.
Los Arcos is a small family run place that provided warm rooms and mostly decent beds. I say 'mostly decent' because one pilgrim said his sagged like a hammock when he lay down on it.
The day started overcast but the sun soon burnt off the clouds and it was a bright walking day. Still lots of snow in the fields and on the mountains.
In some places on the trail shadowed from the sun the snow had frozen and made for treacherous going underfoot.
Tomorrow hopefully to Najera.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Inglés, Fisterra/Muxia, Baztanés x2, Primitivo, Norte, Portugués & hopefully many more.
#6
Hi Nuala,
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for suggesting I do a live on the Camino post.
In the past I've walked and never bothered to take notes or keep a journal. It time memories merge and I can't remember where or when things happened.
You're very welcome Stephen, but I must admit that my motive was an entirely selfish one. I'm stuck at my desk, battling a cold that won't go away and trying to finish a project that is driving me bonkers. I need some Camino-related distraction to keep me sane and remind me of why I work!
Thanks for sharing your journey. You have a very nice way with words.
 
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Stephen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Twice walked from St Jean to Estella and once from Sarria to Santiago. Maybe someday I'll find the time to do the entire walk.
I've found the time. Just completed SJPP to Santiago. 25 Aug to 1st Oct, 2016.
And now the Portuguese from Lisbon.
#8
"There was also a woman who'd walked the Napoleon Route. She said the snow was 30cm deep in places."
Wait, isn't the Napoleon Route closed from November 1st to April 1st? How can this happen? Mister Stephen, buena suerte, y que la luz de Dios alumbre su camino.
There aren't always people there to protect walkers from their own foolhardy behaviour.
 

Stephen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Twice walked from St Jean to Estella and once from Sarria to Santiago. Maybe someday I'll find the time to do the entire walk.
I've found the time. Just completed SJPP to Santiago. 25 Aug to 1st Oct, 2016.
And now the Portuguese from Lisbon.
#9
Logrono to Najera.

I arrived at the Logrono municipal albergue late in the afternoon. When the hospitalero saw my passport he said, 'You're very brave'. That's not a phrase I would ever think of using to describe myself.
'Mad maybe', l replied, but he was having none of that.
Out of deference for my bravery, or perhaps my age, he carried my pack up the 4 flights of stairs to the dormitories.
The Korean Pilgrims were just about to go out to buy the makings of the nights supper and after picking a bunk I left too. I wanted to find a sports shop where I could buy a pair of gaiters. There was one just around the corner and they offer pilgrims a 15% price reduction. I'll be protected head to toe next time it rains.
When l returned i learnt that the hospitalero had said we'd all have to move. My first thought was we'd have to traipse across town but it was less serious than that. The heater in the dormitory was broken so they'd opened another one for us.
I decided to stay where l was, thinking a room full of people with the heating going full blast would soon get uncomfortably warm and make sleeping difficult. I slept well in the quiet, unheated, room and didn't wake til nearly 9 o'clock.
Pilgrims are supposed to be out by 8 o'clock but l think in Winter that rule is more honoured in the breech than the observance.
The Korean pilgrims made a communal meal of spicy chicken, vegetables, and rice. For me meals like that are a highlight of any Camino. After we'd finished I was told there would be more later. I wondered where we'd put it all.
And after about an hour we were all seated around the dining table again. This time we were tucking into spicy beef, vegetables, and rice.
I guess they'd split up when shopping and each group had bought the makings of supper.
And to top the evening off the German man, who l learnt is a chef researching a book on gourmet food on the Camino, made a lot of pancakes for dessert.
Incidentally, l doubt if any of the Pilgrim menus will feature in it.
The walk today fell into two distinct parts. From Logrono to about Navarrete the snow had mostly melted and the going was fairly easy, though it was quite cold. But on the approaches to Alto de San Anton things were very different. It's amazing how much difference a few hundred feet of altitude can make. The snow lay, as they say, deep and crisp and even. Places where farm vehicles had left tracks were particularly treacherous. In spots which seemed clear there'd be thin coats of slippery ice. I fell twice, though thankfully suffered no harm. The only safe alternative was to walk on the snow which offered some traction but at the cost of slowing the pace considerably.
Tomorrow to Santo Domingo de la Calzada. In better weather it would be an easy day but at Ciruena, 200ft higher than San Anton, its likely to have lots of snow.
 

Stephen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Twice walked from St Jean to Estella and once from Sarria to Santiago. Maybe someday I'll find the time to do the entire walk.
I've found the time. Just completed SJPP to Santiago. 25 Aug to 1st Oct, 2016.
And now the Portuguese from Lisbon.
#10
A rest day in Najera.

Some of my companions on the trail stopped yesterday in Navarette and have just arrived here in Najera. I decided to take a break today so that we could walk on together tomorrow.
The German man celebrates his birthday today and the Korean girls have bought him a cake as a birthday surprise. He's offered to cook for us again tonight and as he went off to the shop I reminded him to get a couple of bottles of wine. They won't go far among 8 of us. I'll not be taking much, though.
When I was at home before this Camino I got tired sitting about doing nothing and slid into a drinking habit. Two and a half bottles of white wine a day is probably a little too much.
There's a saying, The man who drinks alone is drinking in bad company. It's true.
Here on the Camino I'm tired in a good way. After a long days walking a small drop of wine in the bottom of my glass, topped up with water, is enough for me. So it will be tomorrow before I see the fabled chickens of Santo Domingo.
 

Stephen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Twice walked from St Jean to Estella and once from Sarria to Santiago. Maybe someday I'll find the time to do the entire walk.
I've found the time. Just completed SJPP to Santiago. 25 Aug to 1st Oct, 2016.
And now the Portuguese from Lisbon.
#12
Najera to Santo Domingo de la Caldeza.

Last night after The Mass the pilgrims who had attended were asked to come to the side of the altar for a short informal ceremony.
We were invited by the priest to ring out 3 chimes on a small bell attached to the wall.
The first for Jesu, the next for The Virgin Mary, and the last for Santiago.
I think they represented an unspoken prayer to look after us until we could get to Santiago and hear the cathedral bells.
In the albergue last night I wondered where all the new faces had come from. Them I realised we were the newcomers in this company. This cohort had been travelling in our footsteps from our second day.
There was an American man, a Hungarian woman, a young Englishman, and Koreans.
As we settled down to supper a straggler came in. A meal was put before him and I offered a glass of wine. He recoiled as though I'd offered a poisoned chalice. Perhaps it was for him. I pushed the half empty bottle further along the table and its contents were soon polished off.
I've never thought to comment on the appearance of hospitalieros but I'll make an exception for the Italian man in Najera last night. He was a big man with ruddy cheeks and a flowing white beard. If you could imagine Santa in mufti you'd have him to a tee.
I've had a streaming cold these last few days and maybe thats why the hill out of Najera seemed so difficult for me today.
The climb up to Ciruena took some effort. Going into a freezing head wind didn't help.
It seems to me to be a town that could serve as a warning against deregulation of banks.
There are hundreds of houses and flats there that have never been occupied. There was a time when banks seemed to be throwing money at property developers. They must have had the attitude, 'Built it and they will come'. So they built with borrowed money.
They, the residents, didn't come and there must have been a few bankruptcies.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#13
Najera to Santo Domingo de la Caldeza.

Last night after The Mass the pilgrims who had attended were asked to come to the side of the altar for a short informal ceremony.
We were invited by the priest to ring out 3 chimes on a small bell attached to the wall.
The first for Jesu, the next for The Virgin Mary, and the last for Santiago.
I think they represented an unspoken prayer to look after us until we could get to Santiago and hear the cathedral bells.
In the albergue last night I wondered where all the new faces had come from. Them I realised we were the newcomers in this company. This cohort had been travelling in our footsteps from our second day.
There was an American man, a Hungarian woman, a young Englishman, and Koreans.
As we settled down to supper a straggler came in. A meal was put before him and I offered a glass of wine. He recoiled as though I'd offered a poisoned chalice. Perhaps it was for him. I pushed the half empty bottle further along the table and its contents were soon polished off.
I've never thought to comment on the appearance of hospitalieros but I'll make an exception for the Italian man in Najera last night. He was a big man with ruddy cheeks and a flowing white beard. If you could imagine Santa in mufti you'd have him to a tee.
I've had a streaming cold these last few days and maybe thats why the hill out of Najera seemed so difficult for me today.
The climb up to Ciruena took some effort. Going into a freezing head wind didn't help.
It seems to me to be a town that could serve as a warning against deregulation of banks.
There are hundreds of houses and flats there that have never been occupied. There was a time when banks seemed to be throwing money at property developers. They must have had the attitude, 'Built it and they will come'. So they built with borrowed money.
They, the residents, didn't come and there must have been a few bankruptcies.
Thanks for posting regularly Stephen. Allows those not on Camino to keep in touch. You will not be surprised to hear the HSE believes the flu has almost peaked down south, and as flu doesn’t respect borders, probably similar in the 6 counties, so stay away another while till that cold is gone!
 

Stephen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Twice walked from St Jean to Estella and once from Sarria to Santiago. Maybe someday I'll find the time to do the entire walk.
I've found the time. Just completed SJPP to Santiago. 25 Aug to 1st Oct, 2016.
And now the Portuguese from Lisbon.
#14
Thanks for posting regularly Stephen. Allows those not on Camino to keep in touch. You will not be surprised to hear the HSE believes the flu has almost peaked down south, and as flu doesn’t respect borders, probably similar in the 6 counties, so stay away another while till that cold is gone!
I've had the flu jab. I'm not sure if it will protect me from common colds
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Inglés, Fisterra/Muxia, Baztanés x2, Primitivo, Norte, Portugués & hopefully many more.
#16
I've had the flu jab. I'm not sure if it will protect me from common colds
It won’t! I still managed to get a bad cold and bronchitis this winter, despite getting the jab in good time. Different bugs and strains.

Your posts are great, Stephen. It’s very good of you to share your journey and musings.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#17
It won’t! I still managed to get a bad cold and bronchitis this winter, despite getting the jab in good time. Different bugs and strains.

Your posts are great, Stephen. It’s very good of you to share your journey and musings.
Sometimes, like doesn’t fit! The first part of your message calls for sympathy, and the second part calls for likealot!
 

Stephen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Twice walked from St Jean to Estella and once from Sarria to Santiago. Maybe someday I'll find the time to do the entire walk.
I've found the time. Just completed SJPP to Santiago. 25 Aug to 1st Oct, 2016.
And now the Portuguese from Lisbon.
#18
Santo Domingo de la Calzada to Belorado.

I'm always glad when a Camino day starts with level going and never more so than today. Normally it allows me to get into my stride before any hills. This part of the path should be easy but with my heavy cold even the gentle ascents seemed to take much more time and effort. I started walking about 9 o'clock this morning and didn't arrive at the albergue until 5.30.
Yesterday I arrived at Santo Domingo about 3 o'clock and promptly unpacked my sleeping bag and slept for a couple of hours.
One heartening aspect of walking alongside the road as I neared Belorado was the number of tooted salutes from passing drivers of car and lorries.
I got to thinking when I'd first heard of the Camino and I remembered it was an item on a BBC television show, 'Wish you were here'. They were looking at Galicia/Santiago and mentioned that some pilgrims walked 500 miles to the tomb of Santiago. That really impressed me. This was at a time in my life when the prospect of doing any travel anywhere seemed slim, to say the least. The thought that I might make that same walk myself some day would have seemed ridiculous. But here I am. You never know what the future has in store.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#19
Santo Domingo de la Calzada to Belorado.

I'm always glad when a Camino day starts with level going and never more so than today. Normally it allows me to get into my stride before any hills. This part of the path should be easy but with my heavy cold even the gentle ascents seemed to take much more time and effort. I started walking about 9 o'clock this morning and didn't arrive at the albergue until 5.30.
Yesterday I arrived at Santo Domingo about 3 o'clock and promptly unpacked my sleeping bag and slept for a couple of hours.
One heartening aspect of walking alongside the road as I neared Belorado was the number of tooted salutes from passing drivers of car and lorries.
I got to thinking when I'd first heard of the Camino and I remembered it was an item on a BBC television show, 'Wish you were here'. They were looking at Galicia/Santiago and mentioned that some pilgrims walked 500 miles to the tomb of Santiago. That really impressed me. This was at a time in my life when the prospect of doing any travel anywhere seemed slim, to say the least. The thought that I might make that same walk myself some day would have seemed ridiculous. But here I am. You never know what the future has in store.
We stayed in a private albergue, with a little foot pool, and the owner had designed the upper bunks to be really high, based on his experience of low upper bunks when he was walking the camino himself. It was a long time ago, twelve years come this summer. How time flies! When you get to Portomarin, I will tell you what happened that day! Hope you have a great evening.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Inglés, Fisterra/Muxia, Baztanés x2, Primitivo, Norte, Portugués & hopefully many more.
#20
I’ve happy and sad memories of Belorado. Our first walk, in 2013 was from St Jean Pied to Port to wherever we’d end up after 11 days. We arrived in Belorado on the eleventh day and as I’d been well and truly bitten by the Camino bug, I really wanted to keep walking. It was sad to walk to the bus stop the next morning, when everyone else was setting off on the camino .... but great to return next year to pick up where we left off!

I hope your cold settles soon and that tomorrow’s walk isn’t too taxing. Walking when you’re sick is hard work.
 

Stephen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Twice walked from St Jean to Estella and once from Sarria to Santiago. Maybe someday I'll find the time to do the entire walk.
I've found the time. Just completed SJPP to Santiago. 25 Aug to 1st Oct, 2016.
And now the Portuguese from Lisbon.
#21
Some of our Korean fellow pilgrims are returning home next week. They've booked an apartment in Burgos over the weekend to give themselves a chance to see the cathedral and something of the city, and its tapas bars. On Monday they'll travel to Madrid.
I wish them a safe journey.
Belorado is 2 days walk from Burgos, so rather than miss their final couple of days in Europe I joined them on the bus into the city. I'll stay in a hotel tonight, an albergue on Sunday night, and resume walking on Monday morning. With a couple of days of rest I think I'll be in much better shape for the trail..

Staying in the albergue in Belorado last night showed me that I'm not the only pilgrim suffering from a cold at the minute. The usual chorus of snoring in the dormitory was augmented with night long sneezing, wheezing, and coughing.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Inglés, Fisterra/Muxia, Baztanés x2, Primitivo, Norte, Portugués & hopefully many more.
#22
Good decision Stephen, hopefully you’ll be in top form again soon. Enjoy your time in Burgos!
 

Stephen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Twice walked from St Jean to Estella and once from Sarria to Santiago. Maybe someday I'll find the time to do the entire walk.
I've found the time. Just completed SJPP to Santiago. 25 Aug to 1st Oct, 2016.
And now the Portuguese from Lisbon.
#23
Burgos cathedral and tapas and on to Castrojerez.


I think nearly every piece of stone making up the body of the cathedral, and every bit of artwork, and wrought iron, contained in it, are an unspoken hymn to God. The one area that might not quite fit the bill is The Chapel of the Constables. They must have been powerful in their time, as close to the king as it was possible to be. Their memorial spoke to me of vanity and pride, as did the massive copies of their coats of arms chisseled into the walls.

I'd planned to walk to Honitas today but when I arrived there about 3 o'clock there was a sign on the albergue stating it wouldn't open to 4 o'clock. With everywhere else shut i decided to walk on to Castrojerez.
It was a cold day, cloudy and misty at first, and late, near San Bol, there was a biting head wind. I was a happy man to see San Anton and realise I was nearly done walking for the day.
I had feared my cold might get worse but walking in the cold air seems to have cured it. Still the occassional sniffle but nothing worse.
It won't be too long 'til Sahagun, the halfway point.
Time flies when you're enjoying yourself.
The tapas in Burgos included one of pate, mango jam, and chocolate. Thats not one I'd want to try again. I don't want to appear chauvinistic but their much-vaunted morcilla (black pudding) isn't a patch on the stuff we can buy back home in Belfast.
We finished the night with a shared plate of pigs ears and another of cows nose. I think I'll give them a miss the next time I'm in Burgos.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Inglés, Fisterra/Muxia, Baztanés x2, Primitivo, Norte, Portugués & hopefully many more.
#24
That was quite a walk, Stephen! Great that you’re feeling better.

Your reference to morchilla reminded me of a funny moment in a bar on the Norte last year. I managed to explain in my very bad Spanish that I didn’t want any meat on my plato combinado. The waiter understood and assured me that it wasn’t a problem. He was very indignant when I didn’t finish my food, insisting that the morcilla on my plate was ‘sangre’ and definitely not ‘carne’ ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#25
Burgos cathedral and tapas and on to Castrojerez.


I think nearly every piece of stone making up the body of the cathedral, and every bit of artwork, and wrought iron, contained in it, are an unspoken hymn to God. The one area that might not quite fit the bill is The Chapel of the Constables. They must have been powerful in their time, as close to the king as it was possible to be. Their memorial spoke to me of vanity and pride, as did the massive copies of their coats of arms chisseled into the walls.

I'd planned to walk to Honitas today but when I arrived there about 3 o'clock there was a sign on the albergue stating it wouldn't open to 4 o'clock. With everywhere else shut i decided to walk on to Castrojerez.
It was a cold day, cloudy and misty at first, and late, near San Bol, there was a biting head wind. I was a happy man to see San Anton and realise I was nearly done walking for the day.
I had feared my cold might get worse but walking in the cold air seems to have cured it. Still the occassional sniffle but nothing worse.
It won't be too long 'til Sahagun, the halfway point.
Time flies when you're enjoying yourself.
The tapas in Burgos included one of pate, mango jam, and chocolate. Thats not one I'd want to try again. I don't want to appear chauvinistic but their much-vaunted morcilla (black pudding) isn't a patch on the stuff we can buy back home in Belfast.
We finished the night with a shared plate of pigs ears and another of cows nose. I think I'll give them a miss the next time I'm in Burgos.
Stephen, your menu options sound familiar! Morcilla in Burgos was more palatable for me than the dish of it I had in León. Reminds me, speaking of pigs, of a story I heard long ago. A young woman was getting used to married life and running the house probably about 90 years ago, in Dublin 4. She phoned the butcher to order the meat, asking very confidently for ‘a leg of pig’s cheek’...
 
Camino(s) past & future
September 2-October 7 (2013)
May 5-28 (2015)
#26
I think I might remember this as the Korean Camino. There's certainly a good number of young men and women from there walking at the minute. Two were on the same plane as me from Stanstead to Biarritz and we travelled together to Bayonne Gare. I saw them again in an albergue in Pamplona where they'd already formed a 'Camino family' with another two girls and a young man.
We all went out together for tapas, beer, and a look at the stalls and decorations in the main square.
We met up again last night in Estella in Albergue Curtidores. It's one of the first buildings you meet as you walk into town along the river. It's housed in what was once an old water mill and has been renovated to a very high standard. The rooms hold 4 or 6 bunks. The kitchen is modern with all the kit a cook might need and they provide a good breakfast.
Another member of the group, a German who speaks 4 languages, (he admits he's let his French get rusty) offered to cook the evening meal if we all contributed to the cost of the food.
I doubt if there's a better meal to be had in all of Spain for less than €4 a head. We had double portions of salad followed by pasta.
If I had one quibble it would be the lack of wine. The cook is a non drinker and must have forgotten it when he was out doing the shopping. Still, an abstemious day occassionally can do no harm.
We started todays walk in rain, yet again, which turned the snow underfoot to slush. And there was a biting wind up towards Villamayor de Monjardin.
Tomorrow I'm thinking of Logrono. Some of the others are walking to Viana and then getting the bus there.
I remember seeing the old water mill on my way walking into Estella in May 2015. It had not yet been transformed into Albergue Curtidores at that point. I am enjoying your Camino from my armchair!
 

Stephen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Twice walked from St Jean to Estella and once from Sarria to Santiago. Maybe someday I'll find the time to do the entire walk.
I've found the time. Just completed SJPP to Santiago. 25 Aug to 1st Oct, 2016.
And now the Portuguese from Lisbon.
#27
Castrojerez to Poblacion de Campos.
I wonder has anyone ever looked at the mountain after Castrojerez and not felt their heart sink a little?
It's not the highest a pilgrim meets but the fact that you can see the trail traverse the side of the mountain shows you what you're in for. And people, well me anyway, can see the worst in any situation.
But having walked it twice before yesterday I know it's not really as hard as it might appear.
Having reached the top we were met with low cloud and another headwind. Then down into the valley, across its floor, and a gentler ascent.
We walked across that valley when they were spreading cow manure as fertiliser. That particular day it could have been justly renamed, The valley of the flies. There must have been millions of them.
Yesterday's walk finished at the La Finca albergue.
They opened it specially for the 5 of us. It's a really nice place with a bar/restaurant on the same site.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (SJPdP-Burgos, 2015)
Camino Frances (Burgos-Sarria, 2018)
Sarria-Santiago (fall 2018)
#29
Sights, sounds, smells ..... you are making it very real as I sit here at my kitchen table following your journey, Stephen. I'll try to remember "It's really not as hard as it might appear" when I approach that mountain myself this spring. :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#31
When I walked up there, I used a new trick, two breaths in, two breaths out. It took me 17 minutes. And then, there will come another moment... is it Monte de Ocas? Where you can see the dip and rise at the same time? I have a photo showing horror on my face... your posts are so evocative, Stephen. And wasn't that lovely of them to open for you all at the albergue! Onward and upward.
 

Stephen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Twice walked from St Jean to Estella and once from Sarria to Santiago. Maybe someday I'll find the time to do the entire walk.
I've found the time. Just completed SJPP to Santiago. 25 Aug to 1st Oct, 2016.
And now the Portuguese from Lisbon.
#32
I think the albergue at La Finca, Poblacion de Campo, will become one of the 'must stay' places on the Camino, if it isn't already.
It has only 12 beds, each in its own little area, which can be curtained off for privacy.
The people who run it are warm and welcoming. With the evening meal they provided two bottles of wine for 5 of us. It's things like that that I notice.
The walk from there to last nights stopping place, Carrion de los Condes, was a gentle stroll.
I think my walking companions thought they were giving me something of a breathing space by taking it easy. A couple of young ladies have fallen into step beside me and said things like, 'You're brave. My grandfather is younger than you and he couldn't walk the Camino.'
I bet he could if given the chance. Perhaps the next Camion trend will be older Korean pilgrims on the trail.
 

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Stephen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Twice walked from St Jean to Estella and once from Sarria to Santiago. Maybe someday I'll find the time to do the entire walk.
I've found the time. Just completed SJPP to Santiago. 25 Aug to 1st Oct, 2016.
And now the Portuguese from Lisbon.
#33
On Monday another young Korean woman who had started some days after us caught up with us in Castrojerez. She had been walking more than 40km every day hoping to see as much of the Camino as she could during the time available to her.
We walked as a group until Thursday morning when she asked Armin, the German man, to get her a bus ticket from the local bar.
I'd been suffering a recurrance of my cold and wasn't feeling my best and Armin was suffering with feet problems.
We both decided to take the bus to Sahagun and treat it as a rest day. The young woman would travel on to Leon where she'd get a train to Madrid to continue her journey home.
She was a good walking companion. She'd fall into step beside you and all the while be singing Korean songs. Her obvious happiness would, as they used to say in Belfast, do your heart good.
We made our farewells on the bus. I wished her a safe journey home and thanked her for the music. Maybe some day she'll come back to finish her Camino walk.
Armin had told me one of the best restaurants on the trail was in this sleepy little backwater.
The food they served was easily of Michelin standard but they'd never got the accolade of a star.
We went to have a look at their menu and saw they did a seven course meal for slightly over €30.
I've never had a bucket list but if I had a fancy meal wouldn't have featured on it. But the opportunity had presented itself and I decided to take it.
The dining room was at the back of the bar and there were already a couple of tables occupied by groups of 'Ladies who lunch'. There was also a table , with perhaps 12 around it, of the young profession class of the town, all smart suits and ties.
I'd already got through half a basket of bread by the time our first course had arrived. It was prawns, then came cod marinated in citrus juices, then more cod, this time a 'loin of cod'. Then steamed leeks with a light tomate sauce. Then tripe. The next dish was pigs cheek and by this time I was beginning to wonder would this meal ever end.
It did with a refreshing sorbet. The marathon was finally over.
I think in a curious way this meal resembled the ones offered as a challenge in greasy spoon caffs. 'Eat all of our special fry-up and it costs you nothing '. It left a metaphorical bad taste in the mouth. In a world where too many can't get enough to eat meals like the one I had seemed too much in more ways than one.
I didn't eat anything 'til the following evening after walking nearly 40km to the next stopping point, Reliegos. There, in The Elvis Bar, we were offered Hobsins choice of steak, eggs, and chips. The days walking, and a couple of glasses of beer had revived my appetite.
 

Sailor

Donante Vitalicio
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Infinito
#34
Thank you Mister Stephen for the situation reports. Oh, Albergue La Finca in Poblacion de Campos is in my short list of best albergues, and I will always try to stop there if walking the CF, good family business, and [in my opinion] Roberto is the best cook on the camino. Good luck, y que la luz de Dios alumbre su camino.
 

Stephen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Twice walked from St Jean to Estella and once from Sarria to Santiago. Maybe someday I'll find the time to do the entire walk.
I've found the time. Just completed SJPP to Santiago. 25 Aug to 1st Oct, 2016.
And now the Portuguese from Lisbon.
#35
Yesterday's walk from Reliegos to Leon was mostly level going but I'd forgotten the hill towards Arcahueja. Maybe I was in better physical shape last time because it truly made no impression on my memory. I'd also forgotten the walk through the suburbs of Leon. It's not near as long as the approach to the centre of Burgos, but long enough.
We went for beer and tapas last night. There's a place, Jamon y jamon, where they give one free with every drink bought. And there's no skimping on the quality. Each has a piece of good cheese, a slice of ham, a couple of pieces of chorizo, on top of a slice of bread.
I know a few drinkers back in Belfast who regularly go out for 'a feed of drink'. They'd think themselves in paradise here, getting the more solid sustenance thrown in for free.
Another relatively short walk today from Leon to San Martin del Camino and a stop at Albergue Vieira. Their sello features the Santiago shell and an image of a cat, Couch.
He's a real heavyweight and appropriately named as he seems to have commandeered the best seat in the place.
If there was a couch/sofa available I'm sure he'd be relaxing on it.
 

Stephen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Twice walked from St Jean to Estella and once from Sarria to Santiago. Maybe someday I'll find the time to do the entire walk.
I've found the time. Just completed SJPP to Santiago. 25 Aug to 1st Oct, 2016.
And now the Portuguese from Lisbon.
#36
I believe the albergue in San Martin del Camino has been taken over by new owners. The lady running it, Amelia, is certainly putting her heart into the operation, judging from the evening meal on offer. There was a starter of seafood pasta followed by chicken with peppers, a salad, and after the dessert a shot of cassis.
Breakfast offered boiled eggs, cheese, cooked meats, biscuits and cake.
It's curious how selective memory can be. I remember the Meseta as a time of walking farm paths through fields of waving corn. I'd completely forgotten all the walking alongside roads. You're on a track a few yards from them but the sound of traffic doesn't make for peaceful walking.
Immediately after Hospital de Orbigo you're offered a choice of paths. There's one to the right takes you away from the road but adds a km or so to the days walk. It's well worth taking.

The others arrived in Astorga before me and they were initially offered top bunks. They said they'd wait and see what I said. A top bunk when you're getting up a few times during the night squeaks and rattles. Not fair to the other pilgrims.
The hospitalers opened another 4 bunk room and one of the young Korean women joined us, probably thinking it would be quieter than in the other full dormitory.

We went into town to dine on a local delicacy, Cocido Maragato. It's cut if meat, mostly pork and sausages boiled. This is the first course. Then the vegetables that were cooked with the meat, chickpeas, potatoes, and cabbage. Finally a soup made from the broth with noodles.
There's a lot to it and, if I'm honest, it's not something I'd be in a hurry to try again.
The albergue closed at 9.30 so we had to rush our coffee. We were offered a choice of Orujo as a digestife. I thought our Korean companion might better remember the fiery plain one rather than the one mixed with cream.
Today offers the prospect of hills as we walk up towards Foncebadon.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#37
I believe the albergue in San Martin del Camino has been taken over by new owners. The lady running it, Amelia, is certainly putting her heart into the operation, judging from the evening meal on offer. There was a starter of seafood pasta followed by chicken with peppers, a salad, and after the dessert a shot of cassis.
Breakfast offered boiled eggs, cheese, cooked meats, biscuits and cake.
It's curious how selective memory can be. I remember the Meseta as a time of walking farm paths through fields of waving corn. I'd completely forgotten all the walking alongside roads. You're on a track a few yards from them but the sound of traffic doesn't make for peaceful walking.
Immediately after Hospital de Orbigo you're offered a choice of paths. There's one to the right takes you away from the road but adds a km or so to the days walk. It's well worth taking.

The others arrived in Astorga before me and they were initially offered top bunks. They said they'd wait and see what I said. A top bunk when you're getting up a few times during the night squeaks and rattles. Not fair to the other pilgrims.
The hospitalers opened another 4 bunk room and one of the young Korean women joined us, probably thinking it would be quieter than in the other full dormitory.

We went into town to dine on a local delicacy, Cocido Maragato. It's cut if meat, mostly pork and sausages boiled. This is the first course. Then the vegetables that were cooked with the meat, chickpeas, potatoes, and cabbage. Finally a soup made from the broth with noodles.
There's a lot to it and, if I'm honest, it's not something I'd be in a hurry to try again.
The albergue closed at 9.30 so we had to rush our coffee. We were offered a choice of Orujo as a digestife. I thought our Korean companion might better remember the fiery plain one rather than the one mixed with cream.
Today offers the prospect of hills as we walk up towards Foncebadon.
Morning, Stephen. The cocido does sound a bit strong. There is a Dublin dish, coddle, that might be somewhat similar, but it doesn’t have chickpeas or cabbage. Homemade is the only variety I have tried. I can remember fairly well the route to Foncebadon, so I hope you enjoy it. And tomorrow then, to Cruz de Fierro, and some of the most beautiful scenery on the Camino. Why? Reminds me of my own country! Step carefully. Thanks for bringing us along.
 

Stephen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Twice walked from St Jean to Estella and once from Sarria to Santiago. Maybe someday I'll find the time to do the entire walk.
I've found the time. Just completed SJPP to Santiago. 25 Aug to 1st Oct, 2016.
And now the Portuguese from Lisbon.
#38
The guide books tell us the walk from Astorga to Foncebadon involves an ascent of nearly 1800 feet. A good part of that is a gentle incline that you'd hardly notice. But after Rabanal del Camino a bit more effort is required.
Foncebadon, like much else on the Camino at this time of year, is pretty much a ghost town. The only albergue open is Monte Irago. The meal provided was a vegetarian paella with plates of ham, chirizo, and cheese, on the side for the carnivors.
The morning temperature for the walk to Molinaseca was scarcely above freezing.
We stopped at Monjarin, where Tomas runs an albergue thats quite different from any other you'll see, for coffee. I'm glad we did because the bars and cafes in the next two towns, El Acibo and Riego de Ambros, were all closed.
With so many parts of the Camino earlier on paved, or concreted, this stretch down to Molinaseca seems particularly genuine. The problem is you're surrounded by great scenery but at the same time you need to watch where you're stepping. Underfoot there are stones of all sizes and some places where you're walking on bare rock. If it was raining this could be a particularly difficult trail.
Tomorrow to Ponferrada seems a short day but I'll maybe take the opportunity to have a good look around the castle.
 

Sailor

Donante Vitalicio
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Infinito
#40
Thank you Mister Stephen for the situation reports. And here I sit, in front of my laptop, with no excuses, I should be somewhere on El Camino! Already then, we will continue to follow your steps, wishing you buena suerte y que la luz de Dios alumbre su camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#41
The guide books tell us the walk from Astorga to Foncebadon involves an ascent of nearly 1800 feet. A good part of that is a gentle incline that you'd hardly notice. But after Rabanal del Camino a bit more effort is required.
Foncebadon, like much else on the Camino at this time of year, is pretty much a ghost town. The only albergue open is Monte Irago. The meal provided was a vegetarian paella with plates of ham, chirizo, and cheese, on the side for the carnivors.
The morning temperature for the walk to Molinaseca was scarcely above freezing.
We stopped at Monjarin, where Tomas runs an albergue thats quite different from any other you'll see, for coffee. I'm glad we did because the bars and cafes in the next two towns, El Acibo and Riego de Ambros, were all closed.
With so many parts of the Camino earlier on paved, or concreted, this stretch down to Molinaseca seems particularly genuine. The problem is you're surrounded by great scenery but at the same time you need to watch where you're stepping. Underfoot there are stones of all sizes and some places where you're walking on bare rock. If it was raining this could be a particularly difficult trail.
Tomorrow to Ponferrada seems a short day but I'll maybe take the opportunity to have a good look around the castle.
Such a pity about El Acebo. I recall with clarity the breakfast there. We copied two labourers, on their holidays, who ran down the hills, chatting and smoking to their hearts content. No techie gear for them. We found them in a bar in El Acebo, ploughing their way through a very substantial plate of chorizo and jamon and cheese and beautiful bread. They chased it down with wine. Thus far we copied them. We stopped short at the shot of whisky that followed! And around the spot where Tomas has his place, the scenery was just so beautiful, but that was in July. So far, so good, Stephen. Stay going...
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
#42
Castrojerez to Poblacion de Campos.
I wonder has anyone ever looked at the mountain after Castrojerez and not felt their heart sink a little?
It's not the highest a pilgrim meets but the fact that you can see the trail traverse the side of the mountain shows you what you're in for. And people, well me anyway, can see the worst in any situation.
But having walked it twice before yesterday I know it's not really as hard as it might appear.
Having reached the top we were met with low cloud and another headwind. Then down into the valley, across its floor, and a gentler ascent.
We walked across that valley when they were spreading cow manure as fertiliser. That particular day it could have been justly renamed, The valley of the flies. There must have been millions of them.
Yesterday's walk finished at the La Finca albergue.
They opened it specially for the 5 of us. It's a really nice place with a bar/restaurant on the same site.
Hola @Stephen, you have really been covering the kilometres. I walked past La Finca last May. It is a very new albergue and I think it rates 3 or 4 stars (as described by a pilgrim I met in Boadilla & again in Astorga). enjoy the rest of your Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
#44
Great posts @Stephen. I'm enjoying your journey.
Me too, @Stephen : Keep up the good walk! Enjoying your postings. I hope our interest and encouragement brings you strength and joy on your Way.

Buen Camino: Ultreya y Suseya! (Onwards and Upwards!)
 

Stephen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Twice walked from St Jean to Estella and once from Sarria to Santiago. Maybe someday I'll find the time to do the entire walk.
I've found the time. Just completed SJPP to Santiago. 25 Aug to 1st Oct, 2016.
And now the Portuguese from Lisbon.
#47
€4 entry fee for me, even with the credential.
Today started with another torrential downpour so we took a taxi to Ponferrada. After a look around the castle a bus to Villafranca.
Tomorrow, whatever the weather, I'll do a days walking.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Inglés, Fisterra/Muxia, Baztanés x2, Primitivo, Norte, Portugués & hopefully many more.
#48
Thanks Stephen for continuing to post about your journey. It's a great antidote to the January blues!

Hope you had a nice evening in Villafranca. I really liked that town, although I imagine it's pretty quiet at this time of year.
 

Stephen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Twice walked from St Jean to Estella and once from Sarria to Santiago. Maybe someday I'll find the time to do the entire walk.
I've found the time. Just completed SJPP to Santiago. 25 Aug to 1st Oct, 2016.
And now the Portuguese from Lisbon.
#49
I was sitting in the courtyard of the albergue in Villafranca at about 2 o'clock on Friday morning having a last cigarette when a young woman came out of one of the dormitories with a small dog. I wished her a good morning and she replied in German.
Later that day, as we were breakfasting on fried eggs on toast, she came over to me and again spoke in German.
I replied that I only spoke English and with an accent so strong that some native born English speakers didn't understand me.
'But you could be understood if you wanted to be?', she asked in English.
She was getting what I was saying so maybe my N Ireland accent isn't as impenetrable as I sometimes think.
I asked her about the little dog and she said it had followed her and she was going to take it back home to Germany when her Camino had finished. Not all dogs who follow pilgrims are so lucky.
And she told us a story that illustrated she wasn't having much luck with animals, either.
When she started her Camino on the VdlP she'd come to areas of scrub oak forests which were fenced off. They're used to let pigs forage for acorns and other natural foods. When the pigs saw her they started to follow, probably expecting to be fed, but she didn't know that. Panicking, she climbed up a tree and phoned for help.
She said that she felt the people she called thought her a hoaxer. After an hour or so nobody had come to rescue her and the disillusioned pigs had drifted away.
She climbed down from her leafy refuge and continued on her way.
 

Stephen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Twice walked from St Jean to Estella and once from Sarria to Santiago. Maybe someday I'll find the time to do the entire walk.
I've found the time. Just completed SJPP to Santiago. 25 Aug to 1st Oct, 2016.
And now the Portuguese from Lisbon.
#50
If I ever come to walk to O Cebreiro again I'll make sure it's at the start of the day, unlike yesterday when the climb came after a long walk fron Villafranca. It was a day of heavy showers and snow was falling when we started the ascent. There was nothing in the way of scenery because of the low cloud.
I was relieved when I saw the wall to the right of the path that lets you know you're nearly arrived in the village.
There was a TV crew doing a report from near the albergue. I guess snow and pilgrims must be a standby item for local broadcasters on a quiet news day.
Today an uneventful walk, mostly downhill, to Triacastela.
I think I should be in Santiago before the end of next week.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#51
If I ever come to walk to O Cebreiro again I'll make sure it's at the start of the day, unlike yesterday when the climb came after a long walk fron Villafranca. It was a day of heavy showers and snow was falling when we started the ascent. There was nothing in the way of scenery because of the low cloud.
I was relieved when I saw the wall to the right of the path that lets you know you're nearly arrived in the village.
There was a TV crew doing a report from near the albergue. I guess snow and pilgrims must be a standby item for local broadcasters on a quiet news day.
Today an uneventful walk, mostly downhill, to Triacastela.
I think I should be in Santiago before the end of next week.
Well done, getting up to O’Cebreiro. I swore I would never do that again. We followed another person’s advice and took the road up. Unrelenting heat and ascent... Anyway, you are nearer now than before you began! I am enjoying your progress.
 

Sailor

Donante Vitalicio
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Infinito
#52
Thank you Mister Stephen for the situation report. Yes, you are getting close to SdC. This is going to be an exciting week for you, good luck, y que la luz de Dios alumbre su camino.
 

Stephen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Twice walked from St Jean to Estella and once from Sarria to Santiago. Maybe someday I'll find the time to do the entire walk.
I've found the time. Just completed SJPP to Santiago. 25 Aug to 1st Oct, 2016.
And now the Portuguese from Lisbon.
#53
"Faughing hills! Up down, up down, never ending."
I was walking with an Italian pilgrim down from O Cebreiro the other day when he came out with that.
I was doublely surprised. First, because I'd thought he spoke no English and secondly that we two pilgrims, seperated by maybe 40 years in age and a language barrier, would be of a like mind when it came to hills.
He and another pilgrim who are both suffering from foot and ankle problems decided to take a taxi into Sarria today from Triacastela. They both want to walk into Santiago and decided a rest day would make that more likely later in the week.
They missed a great day for walking. There wasn't a cloud in the sky and for the first time on this Camino I wore my kepi style sun hat.

The Christian name of the lady who owns the albergue where we stayed in Triacastela is Elvira. I've always associated the name with Edgar Allan Poe, or more particularly the Hammer horror films from the 1960s starring Vincent Price. Anybody who remembers his work will know he seemed to take a delight in hamming his roles up.
Elvira from Triacastela is a charming woman and nothing like any of the characters from the films. After we had our evening meal she offered us a couple of shots of fruit flavoured orujo. A nice way to round off a meal.
Reaching Sarria is something of a bittersweet achievement. Here you know you're well past the end of the beginning of a Camino and starting the beginning of the end.
 

Sailor

Donante Vitalicio
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Infinito
#54
Thank you Mister Stephen, appreciate your situation reports. On the hills: During my competitive long distance running days, running uphill was my forte. Now to Sarria: I enjoyed walking from Sarria to SdC, and I was never was bothered with the crowds [au contraire, I enjoyed the crowds]. Good luck from Sarria and beyond, y que la luz de Dios alumbre su camino.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#55
Rather than heading for the cluster of albergues in Sarria near the municipal, I suggest the new Albergue Credential just before the Hotel Alfonso IX. Very modern and friendly. Buen Camino.
 

Stephen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Twice walked from St Jean to Estella and once from Sarria to Santiago. Maybe someday I'll find the time to do the entire walk.
I've found the time. Just completed SJPP to Santiago. 25 Aug to 1st Oct, 2016.
And now the Portuguese from Lisbon.
#56
I'm not sure but I think the municipal was the only albergue open
 

Stephen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Twice walked from St Jean to Estella and once from Sarria to Santiago. Maybe someday I'll find the time to do the entire walk.
I've found the time. Just completed SJPP to Santiago. 25 Aug to 1st Oct, 2016.
And now the Portuguese from Lisbon.
#57
Different dogs on the Camino.
One little dog, appropriately renamed Camino, is part of a happy story after being rescued. Another, an Alsatian, attacked one of two Venezuelan women today. She was bitten on the shoulder and will need at least a tetanus shot. They'd just started in Sarria and they couldn't have had a worse start to their Camino.
I don't know exactly where this happened but it was somewhere between Portomarin and Palace de Rei.
Today, like yesterday, was a good walking day. There was heavy mist in Portomarin in the morning but once the sun got up it burnt it away.
Yesterday's walk to Portomarin seemed to have a few more hills than I remembered. I think that's probably to do with the fact that im still loaded with the cold and I'm feeling weaker as a consequence. But today, with its share of hills, didn't seem quite as bad.
The days dwindle down to a precious few. Not long to go now.
 

Stephen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Twice walked from St Jean to Estella and once from Sarria to Santiago. Maybe someday I'll find the time to do the entire walk.
I've found the time. Just completed SJPP to Santiago. 25 Aug to 1st Oct, 2016.
And now the Portuguese from Lisbon.
#58
The Venezuelan women arrived late at the albergue last night. The wound caused by the bite wasn't too bad but the force of the attack knocked her over and she also suffered bruising.
I lent her one of my walking poles. It might help over the next few days.
I've carried two poles since SJPdP but have only ever used one going up and down hills. It's good to see the spare one will be of some use.
There were 8 pilgrims in Zendoira albergue, Palis del Rei, last night.
The chef who's one of our group made a meal that's the best I've had on the Camino.
First course was risotto with spicy sausage. He said this is quite popular in Rome.
Then the next course was chicken breast stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon.
We bought three bottles of wine and 12 small bottles of beer to wash all the food down.
Weather forecasts promised 3 good days and they got it spot on. Today was another fine day for walking. I'd planned to go to Azura but the light was going by the time I'd reached Ribadeso so I decided to stop.
I'll make an early start and try to catch the others for breakfast.
Just two more easy days should see us in Santiago.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Inglés, Fisterra/Muxia, Baztanés x2, Primitivo, Norte, Portugués & hopefully many more.
#60
Gosh Stephen, it's hard to believe that you're so close to Santiago. Great that you're finally having some good weather!
 

Stephen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Twice walked from St Jean to Estella and once from Sarria to Santiago. Maybe someday I'll find the time to do the entire walk.
I've found the time. Just completed SJPP to Santiago. 25 Aug to 1st Oct, 2016.
And now the Portuguese from Lisbon.
#61
When the firecasters say three days of good weather that's exactly what they mean. It's pouring down now.
 

Stephen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Twice walked from St Jean to Estella and once from Sarria to Santiago. Maybe someday I'll find the time to do the entire walk.
I've found the time. Just completed SJPP to Santiago. 25 Aug to 1st Oct, 2016.
And now the Portuguese from Lisbon.
#62
I'd hoped to stay in Arzua last night but by the time I got to Ribadeso it was already dark and the lights if its albergue seemed very welcoming.
It's a fine modern looking place but in the kitchen there wasn't a piece of cutlery, no plates, cups, or glasses. So, while I had coffee there was no way to boil water for it, or anything to drink it from.
I shared a bar of chocolate with the two other pilgrims there and had an early night.
Earlier in the day as I was walking through Melide a man opened a window of a pulperia and began a speil about how they had the best octopus in Galicia. I noticed a Dutch pilgrim sitting in the restaurant so decided to give it a try.
I'm in no position to judge how good the pulpo was, it seemed fine, but I'd say you get a lot more for your money than you would in Santiago. In Melide the potatoes come on a seperate plate. In Santiago the pulpo is piled on top of potatoes to give an impression you're getting more than you really are.
If you want to try pulpo Melide is the place to try it.

Tomorrow will see us arrive in Santiago. I started on 2nd January and it'll finish on 2nd February.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#63
I'd hoped to stay in Arzua last night but by the time I got to Ribadeso it was already dark and the lights if its albergue seemed very welcoming.
It's a fine modern looking place but in the kitchen there wasn't a piece of cutlery, no plates, cups, or glasses. So, while I had coffee there was no way to boil water for it, or anything to drink it from.
I shared a bar of chocolate with the two other pilgrims there and had an early night.
Earlier in the day as I was walking through Melide a man opened a window of a pulperia and began a speil about how they had the best octopus in Galicia. I noticed a Dutch pilgrim sitting in the restaurant so decided to give it a try.
I'm in no position to judge how good the pulpo was, it seemed fine, but I'd say you get a lot more for your money than you would in Santiago. In Melide the potatoes come on a seperate plate. In Santiago the pulpo is piled on top of potatoes to give an impression you're getting more than you really are.
If you want to try pulpo Melide is the place to try it.

Tomorrow will see us arrive in Santiago. I started on 2nd January and it'll finish on 2nd February.
Stephen, I can’t believe the time has gone so quickly. It has been really lovely to share the journey, thanks so much. I’ll think of you at some point, getting there. Being there. Buen Camino.
 

Stephen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Twice walked from St Jean to Estella and once from Sarria to Santiago. Maybe someday I'll find the time to do the entire walk.
I've found the time. Just completed SJPP to Santiago. 25 Aug to 1st Oct, 2016.
And now the Portuguese from Lisbon.
#64
Weather reports on TV this morning show much of Northern Spain to have suffered a lot of snow last night. There was talk of 40cm falling in some places. Much of the Camino must look very pretty but I wouldn't want to be starting out from SJPdP just now.
We had some rain on the walk into Santiago but otherwise it was a fairly good day.
I got talking with a Londoner on the trail yesterday. He said his people came from Co Clare in the far west of Ireland. I was immediately reminded of a Ralph McTell song from the 70s, 'It's a long way from Clare to here'. It's ostensibly about homelessness. Even if someone had a job and a home in a foreign country they might feel themselves displaced. I think there was something of that sentiment in McTell's work.
I was also thinking back to the night in O Cebreiro. In the restaurant they were starting to cook a cocido for the weekend. There was a large cauldron bubbling away on a gas ring sitting on the floor. Their recipe calls for a pigs head in the mix.
There was a sign saying it would be available the next day as would 'botella'.
This is a pigs stomach stuffed with meat and gets its name from its supposed resemblance to a bottle.
The German pilgrim said there's a similiar dish back home and it was a particular favourite of a Chancellor, Helmut Kohl. He insisted it was always on the menu for state banquets.
I was trying to think of some worthy, sitting down to dinner and diplomacy, who'd have been most likely to have given it a miss.
The best I can come up with is Nancy Reagan. She looked, to me, as though she lived on air.
So, another Camino has ended. I'll need to start thinking of the next one.
 

Sailor

Donante Vitalicio
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Infinito
#65
Thank you Mister Stephen for the situation report. It was good to follow your steps by reading your live from the camino reports. Congratulation, you have made it again, now back to the planning board [to plan your next camino]. Have a safe trip back to your homeland, y que la luz de Dios alumbre su camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Inglés, Fisterra/Muxia, Baztanés x2, Primitivo, Norte, Portugués & hopefully many more.
#67
Well done, Stephen! Hope you have a relaxing time in Santiago.

Have you done a tally of the camino miles/kms you’ve walked in the past few years? You always seem to be on the move - there’s the makings of a book in there :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (SJPdP-Burgos, 2015)
Camino Frances (Burgos-Sarria, 2018)
Sarria-Santiago (fall 2018)
#68
Enjoyed following your progress, every step of the way, Stephen. Buen Camino, wherever your next journey may take you!
 

Stephen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Twice walked from St Jean to Estella and once from Sarria to Santiago. Maybe someday I'll find the time to do the entire walk.
I've found the time. Just completed SJPP to Santiago. 25 Aug to 1st Oct, 2016.
And now the Portuguese from Lisbon.
#69
Well done, Stephen! Hope you have a relaxing time in Santiago.

Have you done a tally of the camino miles/kms you’ve walked in the past few years? You always seem to be on the move - there’s the makings of a book in there :)
I've walked six Caminos since August 2016. I think I must have covered about 5000 km in that time.
 

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