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Tenth time into Santiago


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
Well, I recently picked up my tenth compostela, and managed to keep it dry.

It's been a good camino, one of the best. I think I very probably thought that about all of them, so it can't be entirely true, but there have been some really spectacular parts of this year's, which the deluges of the last few days in Galicia have done nothing to dampen - and in fact I've only got seriously drenched three times in the last 50-odd days, which seems pretty fair.

It's my first camino to cross three countries and by far the most other pilgrims I've ever encountered (almost entirely on the Arles/Aragonés). Three new Spanish provinces to tick off my list, and two new autonomous regions.

Coming up 2200m high over the Pyrenees near the Pic du Midi d'Ossau was, literally and metaphorically, the high point this year. I really don't think I've ever seen stars so bright.

I've stayed in about 30 municipal/xunta albergues - twenty of which I was entirely alone in - a dozen or so hostels, hotels and pensións, two each of monasteries, paradors and mountain refuges, and one each of a fire station and on the sofa of an old people's day centre. The miracle of the camino has meant that, despite never booking more than one night ahead, and usually not at all, I've still never had to experience sleeping in a church porch.

The empty open uplands of Soria and Trás-os-Montes were wonderful, the Ebro valley less so. Visiting San Froilán’s cave high up in the León highlands was memorable, as was poor Santa Marina's holy water, not to mention the hot ones of Intense. Some scary cliffs on the Chemin de la Mâture heading up the Pyrenees, near the Foz de Lumber and climbing back into Spain from Portugal via a wonderful waterfall. The Portuguese variant of the Plata was another highlight. Memorably hospitable hospitaleros at Ricobayo and Alcañices, glorious countryside, excellent food and perfect walking conditions. Hard to beat. My one regret is that I spent four days in Portugal without eating a single pastel de nata, which I suspect may be a criminal offence.


Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2017, 2018; Camino Portuguese 2019
My one regret is that I spent four days in Portugal without eating a single pastel de nata, which I suspect may be a criminal offence.
Maybe not a criminal offence, but a good enough reason to do it all again next year, WITH regular supplies of said pastel de nata...

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