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LIVE from the Camino @TiedyeAT on the Camino Francés

Time of past OR future Camino
12/23
Pamplona dropped away to the East as I began the arduous ascent West. Giant wind turbines barely turned along the crest of this mountain. My Way marks stood silent like frozen sentinels in the distance.
Day 3 on the Frances’ began reluctantly, gloomy grey sullen. Mud clung to my shoes as if it were my long lost hiking buddy on this pilgrimage.
Having hiked a fair bit in the past, I sensed my energy draining, much like my cellphone and always at the worse possible time! I was only 5k in with more to climb, not to mention what I dislike most…long arduous descents!
Quitting isn’t in my vernacular, so offered up my go to prayer in times like these. “Please give me strength to continue forward on this challenging day…” I offered this unspoken to The Source of all things, that ethereal energy surrounding our world.
Shortly after, I entered the quaint village of Zariquigui. Empty, not a soul in sight like a modern day ghost town. Then, seemingly out of the fog, there was a person just ahead! In my limited Spanish,l called out, “Pardone, supermercado?
I thought she was too far away. To my surprise, she gestured in a way that told me nothing was open. My expression said what I could not. Nearly imperceptibly , she was before me. She reached out and gently rested her hand on my shoulder …”How uncharacteristic of a stranger?”, I thought.
She nearly whispered , “You’re chilled and soaking wet. Please come and warm yourself .” I wondered, “Where?!” Politely and I thought ,understandably, I thanked her and begged off, expressing my gratitude. She looked contentedly into my eyes, as if I were a longtime friend, her hand now warm on my shoulder. In that moment, it was if she were searching my Soul. She smiled in a way I’ll remember forever, stamped on my heart! I felt Grace and began to feel that emotion deep within my heart was touched, as tears welled up.
I turned away so she wouldn’t see the first tear falling. A few steps further, I turned to thank her one last time. But this beautiful angel was no longer there!
A foggy rain seeped from the sky, as if crying for me.
Continuing along the Way, I soon became aware a quiet energy subtly lifted my Spirit.
Perhaps, Angels are there when we fervently pray…
 
Ideal pocket guides for during & after your Camino. Each weighs only 1.4 oz (40g)!
The first edition came out in 2003 and has become the go-to-guide for many pilgrims over the years. It is shipping with a Pilgrim Passport (Credential) from the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela.
The lil shop there is horridly overpriced, even IF it's open, but yeah the mud up there isn't the best.

Apart from that, the passage over that way is pure magic, and there is a closeness there to the Spirit and to God and to the Apostle.

FWIW the climb up there is a bit more difficult in the other direction.
 
Pamplona dropped away to the East as I began the arduous ascent West. Giant wind turbines barely turned along the crest of this mountain. My Way marks stood silent like frozen sentinels in the distance.
Day 3 on the Frances’ began reluctantly, gloomy grey sullen. Mud clung to my shoes as if it were my long lost hiking buddy on this pilgrimage.
Having hiked a fair bit in the past, I sensed my energy draining, much like my cellphone and always at the worse possible time! I was only 5k in with more to climb, not to mention what I dislike most…long arduous descents!
Quitting isn’t in my vernacular, so offered up my go to prayer in times like these. “Please give me strength to continue forward on this challenging day…” I offered this unspoken to The Source of all things, that ethereal energy surrounding our world.
Shortly after, I entered the quaint village of Zariquigui. Empty, not a soul in sight like a modern day ghost town. Then, seemingly out of the fog, there was a person just ahead! In my limited Spanish,l called out, “Pardone, supermercado?
I thought she was too far away. To my surprise, she gestured in a way that told me nothing was open. My expression said what I could not. Nearly imperceptibly , she was before me. She reached out and gently rested her hand on my shoulder …”How uncharacteristic of a stranger?”, I thought.
She nearly whispered , “You’re chilled and soaking wet. Please come and warm yourself .” I wondered, “Where?!” Politely and I thought ,understandably, I thanked her and begged off, expressing my gratitude. She looked contentedly into my eyes, as if I were a longtime friend, her hand now warm on my shoulder. In that moment, it was if she were searching my Soul. She smiled in a way I’ll remember forever, stamped on my heart! I felt Grace and began to feel that emotion deep within my heart was touched, as tears welled up.
I turned away so she wouldn’t see the first tear falling. A few steps further, I turned to thank her one last time. But this beautiful angel was no longer there!
A foggy rain seeped from the sky, as if crying for me.
Continuing along the Way, I soon became aware a quiet energy subtly lifted my Spirit.
Perhaps, Angels are there when we fervently pray…
Your wonderful words take me back to August of this year. Kia Kaha (Be strong in Maori)!
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
The lil shop there is horridly overpriced, even IF it's open
I had a nice stop in there on my way up (assuming we are talking about the same place), great coffee in a cool little place, and a really friendly old lady who runs it who I chatted with for while. I vividly remeber the sound of the birds just across the road at the church, there must have been thousands. I don't recall it been any more expensive than any other places.
 
St James' Way - Self-guided 4-7 day Walking Packages, Reading to Southampton, 110 kms
Welcome to the Camino!

I guess you just found out why it is different from normal "hikes".

There's a reason why many pilgrims return again and again.

Buen Camino. Wish I could be there right now...
 
Wait.

What?

You don’t have to walk down rocky way on downside of Alto de Perdón?
Ah, come on, dear @nycwalking! You are no chicken. You can do it.
Pamplona dropped away to the East as I began the arduous ascent West. Giant wind turbines barely turned along the crest of this mountain. My Way marks stood silent like frozen sentinels in the distance.
Day 3 on the Frances’ began reluctantly, gloomy grey sullen. Mud clung to my shoes as if it were my long lost hiking buddy on this pilgrimage.
Having hiked a fair bit in the past, I sensed my energy draining, much like my cellphone and always at the worse possible time! I was only 5k in with more to climb, not to mention what I dislike most…long arduous descents!
Quitting isn’t in my vernacular, so offered up my go to prayer in times like these. “Please give me strength to continue forward on this challenging day…” I offered this unspoken to The Source of all things, that ethereal energy surrounding our world.
Shortly after, I entered the quaint village of Zariquigui. Empty, not a soul in sight like a modern day ghost town. Then, seemingly out of the fog, there was a person just ahead! In my limited Spanish,l called out, “Pardone, supermercado?
I thought she was too far away. To my surprise, she gestured in a way that told me nothing was open. My expression said what I could not. Nearly imperceptibly , she was before me. She reached out and gently rested her hand on my shoulder …”How uncharacteristic of a stranger?”, I thought.
She nearly whispered , “You’re chilled and soaking wet. Please come and warm yourself .” I wondered, “Where?!” Politely and I thought ,understandably, I thanked her and begged off, expressing my gratitude. She looked contentedly into my eyes, as if I were a longtime friend, her hand now warm on my shoulder. In that moment, it was if she were searching my Soul. She smiled in a way I’ll remember forever, stamped on my heart! I felt Grace and began to feel that emotion deep within my heart was touched, as tears welled up.
I turned away so she wouldn’t see the first tear falling. A few steps further, I turned to thank her one last time. But this beautiful angel was no longer there!
A foggy rain seeped from the sky, as if crying for me.
Continuing along the Way, I soon became aware a quiet energy subtly lifted my Spirit.
Perhaps, Angels are there when we fervently pray…
Sorry about doubling up on nyc's post, I haven't bothered to learn how to multi quote😈 [Moderator note: Fixed it for you.]
Your post, @TiedyeAT , struck me as poetic. It was your expression of your experience. Others tell you that there is another way.
In Irish Gaelic, there is an expression for this - Slí Eile.
I have chosen to walk the traditional way on a few occasions, when staying with friends in Pamplona - ie slowly up the slope, and carefully down the stony path - just because I love it.
There may come the day when even my walking poles will not help, but till then...
Here, I just want to say this: traditional path? Prove it. The traditional pilgrims followed the skies towards their goal. Today's paths are approximations, and have been captured by commerce. I have no difficulty at all, at all (Hiberno-English emphasis) with that. We know, and serious students know best, that since the beginning, yes, hospitality was the bedrock of the pilgrimage, but we also know that likeable and less such crooks were on the que vive!
Anyone still awake?
To the Op, ie @TiedyeAT I wish you safe travels, buen camino.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
Ah, come on, dear @nycwalking! You are no chicken. You can do it.

Sorry about doubling up on nyc's post, I haven't bothered to learn how to multi quote😈
Your post, @TiedyeAT , struck me as poetic. It was your expression of your experience. Others tell you that there is another way.
In Irish Gaelic, there is an expression for this - Slí Eile.
I have chosen to walk the traditional way on a few occasions, when staying with friends in Pamplona - ie slowly up the slope, and carefully down the stony path - just because I love it.
There may come the day when even my walking poles will not help, but till then...
Here, I just want to say this: traditional path? Prove it. The traditional pilgrims followed the skies towards their goal. Today's paths are approximations, and have been captured by commerce. I have no difficulty at all, at all (Hiberno-English emphasis) with that. We know, and serious students know best, that since the beginning, yes, hospitality was the bedrock of the pilgrimage, but we also know that likeable and less such crooks were on the que vive!
Anyone still awake?
To the Op, ie @TiedyeAT I wish you safe travels, buen camino.

I’ve done it several times.

I’ve proven meself.

I want to go light and tight next time.

BTW: Actually, it’s the wee hours of the morning, and I just awakened.

Going back to sleep now.
 
Pamplona dropped away to the East as I began the arduous ascent West. Giant wind turbines barely turned along the crest of this mountain. My Way marks stood silent like frozen sentinels in the distance.
Day 3 on the Frances’ began reluctantly, gloomy grey sullen. Mud clung to my shoes as if it were my long lost hiking buddy on this pilgrimage.
Having hiked a fair bit in the past, I sensed my energy draining, much like my cellphone and always at the worse possible time! I was only 5k in with more to climb, not to mention what I dislike most…long arduous descents!
Quitting isn’t in my vernacular, so offered up my go to prayer in times like these. “Please give me strength to continue forward on this challenging day…” I offered this unspoken to The Source of all things, that ethereal energy surrounding our world.
Shortly after, I entered the quaint village of Zariquigui. Empty, not a soul in sight like a modern day ghost town. Then, seemingly out of the fog, there was a person just ahead! In my limited Spanish,l called out, “Pardone, supermercado?
I thought she was too far away. To my surprise, she gestured in a way that told me nothing was open. My expression said what I could not. Nearly imperceptibly , she was before me. She reached out and gently rested her hand on my shoulder …”How uncharacteristic of a stranger?”, I thought.
She nearly whispered , “You’re chilled and soaking wet. Please come and warm yourself .” I wondered, “Where?!” Politely and I thought ,understandably, I thanked her and begged off, expressing my gratitude. She looked contentedly into my eyes, as if I were a longtime friend, her hand now warm on my shoulder. In that moment, it was if she were searching my Soul. She smiled in a way I’ll remember forever, stamped on my heart! I felt Grace and began to feel that emotion deep within my heart was touched, as tears welled up.
I turned away so she wouldn’t see the first tear falling. A few steps further, I turned to thank her one last time. But this beautiful angel was no longer there!
A foggy rain seeped from the sky, as if crying for me.
Continuing along the Way, I soon became aware a quiet energy subtly lifted my Spirit.
Perhaps, Angels are there when we fervently pray…
Congratulations, you just experienced the true meaning of the Camino. We have done 3 so far, each with An “angel story” . It restores your faith in humanity.
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
Pamplona dropped away to the East as I began the arduous ascent West. Giant wind turbines barely turned along the crest of this mountain. My Way marks stood silent like frozen sentinels in the distance.
Day 3 on the Frances’ began reluctantly, gloomy grey sullen. Mud clung to my shoes as if it were my long lost hiking buddy on this pilgrimage.
Having hiked a fair bit in the past, I sensed my energy draining, much like my cellphone and always at the worse possible time! I was only 5k in with more to climb, not to mention what I dislike most…long arduous descents!
Quitting isn’t in my vernacular, so offered up my go to prayer in times like these. “Please give me strength to continue forward on this challenging day…” I offered this unspoken to The Source of all things, that ethereal energy surrounding our world.
Shortly after, I entered the quaint village of Zariquigui. Empty, not a soul in sight like a modern day ghost town. Then, seemingly out of the fog, there was a person just ahead! In my limited Spanish,l called out, “Pardone, supermercado?
I thought she was too far away. To my surprise, she gestured in a way that told me nothing was open. My expression said what I could not. Nearly imperceptibly , she was before me. She reached out and gently rested her hand on my shoulder …”How uncharacteristic of a stranger?”, I thought.
She nearly whispered , “You’re chilled and soaking wet. Please come and warm yourself .” I wondered, “Where?!” Politely and I thought ,understandably, I thanked her and begged off, expressing my gratitude. She looked contentedly into my eyes, as if I were a longtime friend, her hand now warm on my shoulder. In that moment, it was if she were searching my Soul. She smiled in a way I’ll remember forever, stamped on my heart! I felt Grace and began to feel that emotion deep within my heart was touched, as tears welled up.
I turned away so she wouldn’t see the first tear falling. A few steps further, I turned to thank her one last time. But this beautiful angel was no longer there!
A foggy rain seeped from the sky, as if crying for me.
Continuing along the Way, I soon became aware a quiet energy subtly lifted my Spirit.
Perhaps, Angels are there when we fervently pray…
You bet ,
When I thought I’m walking on empty , and the true , sincere a call from the heart always answered in a positive ways ,by that ‘Power’
I call it the ‘Infinite’ ,
We all have own experiences on the Camino in our own ways .
May the long time sun,
Shine upon you ,
All love surround you
Guide your way home !
Buen Camino Amigo . 🇨🇦
 
Pamplona dropped away to the East as I began the arduous ascent West. Giant wind turbines barely turned along the crest of this mountain. My Way marks stood silent like frozen sentinels in the distance.
Day 3 on the Frances’ began reluctantly, gloomy grey sullen. Mud clung to my shoes as if it were my long lost hiking buddy on this pilgrimage.
Having hiked a fair bit in the past, I sensed my energy draining, much like my cellphone and always at the worse possible time! I was only 5k in with more to climb, not to mention what I dislike most…long arduous descents!
Quitting isn’t in my vernacular, so offered up my go to prayer in times like these. “Please give me strength to continue forward on this challenging day…” I offered this unspoken to The Source of all things, that ethereal energy surrounding our world.
Shortly after, I entered the quaint village of Zariquigui. Empty, not a soul in sight like a modern day ghost town. Then, seemingly out of the fog, there was a person just ahead! In my limited Spanish,l called out, “Pardone, supermercado?
I thought she was too far away. To my surprise, she gestured in a way that told me nothing was open. My expression said what I could not. Nearly imperceptibly , she was before me. She reached out and gently rested her hand on my shoulder …”How uncharacteristic of a stranger?”, I thought.
She nearly whispered , “You’re chilled and soaking wet. Please come and warm yourself .” I wondered, “Where?!” Politely and I thought ,understandably, I thanked her and begged off, expressing my gratitude. She looked contentedly into my eyes, as if I were a longtime friend, her hand now warm on my shoulder. In that moment, it was if she were searching my Soul. She smiled in a way I’ll remember forever, stamped on my heart! I felt Grace and began to feel that emotion deep within my heart was touched, as tears welled up.
I turned away so she wouldn’t see the first tear falling. A few steps further, I turned to thank her one last time. But this beautiful angel was no longer there!
A foggy rain seeped from the sky, as if crying for me.
Continuing along the Way, I soon became aware a quiet energy subtly lifted my Spirit.
Perhaps, Angels are there when we fervently pray…
I have found my angels have yet to not help when needed. We must remember to always thank them.
 
Just follow the road down from Alto del Perdon. Check details on Google maps/Earth.
Actually, when on top of Alto del Perdon., just before crossing the road, in stead, go right, on the road, and then keep left whenever, and you will soon end up in Uterga. Those downward stone heaps are disgusting for this gentleman's dignified age and knees these days.
 
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The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
Imagine leaving Estella, stopping to sip full bodied wine then walking toward Los Arcos and not seeing one other peregrino until the he outskirts of Logroño! If you’re unfamiliar with the Frances, that would be like going to the Statue of Liberty and being the only one there! Even though it’s winter, it’s simply unbelievable.
Dawn had just awakened clawing at heavy grey clouds but to no avail. Today’s sun seemingly went back to sleep. Throughout my miles, clouds settled in valleys and all along the distant escarpments. With each new summit I sought a glimmer of sapphire peeking through a never ending gloom. Low laying shrouds draped across lowland valleys like a revenant haunting my path.
Solitude, stillness, hushed whispers among stoic sentries in grove after grove of olive rows. Harvest is here. Nearing Logroño, there is a family of four generations bringing their crop to the harvest. Women, teenagers, children work in unison laying down mesh tarps around each tree, readying it for husbands to vibrate branches laiden with dark olives. Afterwards, grandfathers slap those same branches with a long thin stick, clinging olives submit finally falling.
A feint aroma wafts on the gentlest breeze.
My Way strings out before me, my walking companions are old memories, lost loves, tomorrows dreams and near silent footfalls like a pendulum keeping our rhythms in sinque. Alone, content, certainly at peace with my world…


IMG_1763.jpeg
 

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Down bag (90/10 duvet) of 700 fills with 180 g (6.34 ounces) of filling. Mummy-shaped structure, ideal when you are looking for lightness with great heating performance.

€149,-
Imagine leaving Estella, stopping to sip full bodied wine then walking toward Los Arcos and not seeing one other peregrino until the he outskirts of Logroño! If you’re unfamiliar with the Frances, that would be like going to the Statue of Liberty and being the only one there! Even though it’s winter, it’s simply unbelievable.
I can believe it. On my first Camino Frances there were a number of times when I walked three or four days without seeing another pilgrim. Walking it again in January this year was not quite so quiet but still a very long way removed from the peak season hordes. Some days when I saw only one or two others. Enjoy the solitude!
 
Imagine leaving Estella, stopping to sip full bodied wine then walking toward Los Arcos and not seeing one other peregrino until the he outskirts of Logroño! If you’re unfamiliar with the Frances, that would be like going to the Statue of Liberty and being the only one there! Even though it’s winter, it’s simply unbelievable.
Dawn had just awakened clawing at heavy grey clouds but to no avail. Today’s sun seemingly went back to sleep. Throughout my miles, clouds settled in valleys and all along the distant escarpments. With each new summit I sought a glimmer of sapphire peeking through a never ending gloom. Low laying shrouds draped across lowland valleys like a revenant haunting my path.
I really enjoyed hiking on my own, now and then interacting with fellow peregrinos!
Go well!
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
Imagine leaving Estella, stopping to sip full bodied wine then walking toward Los Arcos and not seeing one other peregrino until the he outskirts of Logroño! If you’re unfamiliar with the Frances, that would be like going to the Statue of Liberty and being the only one there! Even though it’s winter, it’s simply unbelievable.
Dawn had just awakened clawing at heavy grey clouds but to no avail. Today’s sun seemingly went back to sleep. Throughout my miles, clouds settled in valleys and all along the distant escarpments. With each new summit I sought a glimmer of sapphire peeking through a never ending gloom. Low laying shrouds draped across lowland valleys like a revenant haunting my path.

Your writing, even more than the photo, evokes old dreams and future thoughts vividly. Thank you.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
I can believe it. On my first Camino Frances there were a number of times when I walked three or four days without seeing another pilgrim. Walking it again in January this year was not quite so quiet but still a very long way removed from the peak season hordes. Some days when I saw only one or two others. Enjoy the solitude!
I too have had days in December that I saw no pilgrims on a given day on the CF.
 
As you come up over one last rise; Logroño stretches out before you. Not very impressive and looking modern, box like, industrial… not the least bit inviting.
But don’t judge this book by it’s color.
It slowly begins to reveal it’s particular charm. Cross the river and dare to go inside those busy streets and you’ll discover an excellent mixture of the old and new.
Camino markings are plentiful but there’s an app or ten if you’re directionally challenged! My favorite place was the avenue immediately beside the cathedral. Come here just past dusk and become a Spanish denizen , strolling , chatting, people watching or enjoying a little bite with wine.
You’ll be rewarded by the experience and may even try ordering a glass of wine.
Tomorrow you’ll continue west leaving your new favorite town behind. This next segment is a walk in the park, literally. A paved, nearly flat trail, calls out “go west, peregrino, go west.” Built for green space, it traverses nearly half the distance to Navarrete, on past the duck filled reservoir, until naked rows of vinyards escort us toward the lake not uphill today.
As you crest it’s summit, what I call “the fence of a thousand crosses”, greets you .
Similar in it’s own version of leaving a remembrance, there are myriad twig crucifixes woven into a forelorned chain link fence! Like bridges with locks left clinging, these weathering bits of branches are faded in Spain’s torrid sun.
I can’t help wonder who wove the first cross? Among the thousands, a particular mirrored cross catches my eye. On it is a plea to help someone confined to a wheelchair, accomplish a dream. To make their own pilgrimage a reality!
 

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Imagine leaving Estella, stopping to sip full bodied wine then walking toward Los Arcos and not seeing one other peregrino until the he outskirts of Logroño! If you’re unfamiliar with the Frances, that would be like going to the Statue of Liberty and being the only one there! Even though it’s winter, it’s simply unbelievable.
Dawn had just awakened clawing at heavy grey clouds but to no avail. Today’s sun seemingly went back to sleep. Throughout my miles, clouds settled in valleys and all along the distant escarpments. With each new summit I sought a glimmer of sapphire peeking through a never ending gloom. Low laying shrouds draped across lowland valleys like a revenant haunting my path.
Solitude, stillness, hushed whispers among stoic sentries in grove after grove of olive rows. Harvest is here. Nearing Lograno, there is a family of four generations bringing their crop to the harvest. Women, teenagers, children work in unison laying down mesh tarps around each tree, readying it for husbands to vibrate branches laiden with dark olives. Afterwards, grandfathers slap those same branches with a long thin stick, clinging olives submit finally falling.
A feint aroma wafts on the gentlest breeze.
My Way strings out before me, my walking companions are old memories, lost loves, tomorrows dreams and near silent footfalls like a pendulum keeping our rhythms in sinque. Alone, content, certainly at peace with my world…


View attachment 160944
Oh my goodness, what wonderful pictures you create with your words. What memories you have brought back for me.
Buen camino!
 
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
The images and energy aroused by your wonderful writing are deeply moving. I was floating in the way your carefully selected words and finely crafted sentence construction brought this deeply ingrained stretch of the Frances, filled with so many memories, right into my very soul. Thank you. 👣👣
 
I agree with the others. Your writing is magical! Please let us know when you write your book. I will buy it!!
Thank you, TiedyeAT.
 
The images and energy aroused by your wonderful writing are deeply moving. I was floating in the way your carefully selected words and finely crafted sentence construction brought this deeply ingrained stretch of the Frances, filled with so many memories, right into my very soul. Thank you. 👣👣
Your compliments are so kind. Thank you from the depths of my creativity.
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
As you come up over one last rise; Logroño stretches out before you. Not very impressive and looking modern, box like, industrial… not the least bit inviting.
But don’t judge this book by it’s color.
It slowly begins to reveal it’s particular charm. Cross the river and dare to go inside those busy streets and you’ll discover an excellent mixture of the old and new.
Camino markings are plentiful but there’s an app or ten if you’re directionally challenged! My favorite place was the avenue immediately beside the cathedral. Come here just past dusk and become a Spanish denizen , strolling , chatting, people watching or enjoying a little bite with wine.
You’ll be rewarded by the experience and may even try ordering a glass of wine.
Tomorrow you’ll continue west leaving your new favorite town behind. This next segment is a walk in the park, literally. A paved, nearly flat trail, calls out “go west, peregrino, go west.” Built for green space, it traverses nearly half the distance to Naverret, on past the duck filled reservoir, until naked rows of vinyards escort us toward the lake not uphill today.
As you crest it’s summit, what I call “the fence of a thousand crosses”, greets you .
Similar in it’s own version of leaving a remembrance, there are myriad twig crucifixes woven into a forelorned chain link fence! Like bridges with locks left clinging, these weathering bits of branches are faded in Spain’s torrid sun.
I can’t help wonder who wove the first cross? Among the thousands, a particular mirrored cross catches my eye. On it is a plea to help someone confined to a wheelchair, accomplish a dream. To make their own pilgrimage a reality!
The tradition of placing the crosses must be quite old. My mother was raised on a sheep ranch in Pendleton, Oregon, 100 years ago. She remembers that the Basque sheepherders who worked on her dad's ranch would put the crosses on fences there.
 
For me the most magical part of the camino is right after the bridge and fence of crosses. I remember going through an area filled with gnarled trees and the most amazing wild thyme; the energy of the place every time I've been there is remarkable. Who knows where I am talking about? I feel it must have a name.
 
Down bag (90/10 duvet) of 700 fills with 180 g (6.34 ounces) of filling. Mummy-shaped structure, ideal when you are looking for lightness with great heating performance.

€149,-
Your compliments are so kind. Thank you from the depths of my creativity.
I agree with the other comments. I see you are a new forum member and I will look forward to hopefully seeing new posts from you as they are a refreshing change. Your writing style is wonderful...thank you for sharing your thoughts as you walk.
 
Initially, I was fairly sure the complete lack of fellow pilgrims was because of a “bubble “. Along many long routes you’ll often encounter many of the same people. They become your bubble.
However, I’m beginning to think there are so few on this Camino because of winter?
The other possibility is hardly any albergues stay open this time of year. It hasn’t been a problem thus far but I have had to dig into my pockets a couple times and get a higher priced alternative. Not a big deal for myself but may be for peregrinos on a strict budget?
Although I don’t express opinions regarding places to stay overnight, I was surprised to find a couple that were open but were fully booked (relatively early in the day). I haven’t seen more than 10 others on the Way since I started!
No need to comment with thoughts on that by myself or anyone else.
A few generic suggestions for those who come this Way in any season; learn some basic Spanish phrases to help you have a better experience; don’t determine tomorrow’s walk at the end of today; unless you’re a night owl, get your supper at the end of what we call lunch (everything closes for siesta/break till at least 7, some even later!; literally keep an eye out where you’re stepping. It sounds pretty basic but just a minor sprained ankle will ruin your entire Camino.
Here’s just 1 experience I’ve had. This incredibly fit person, who had trained for a year, devoutly began her hike enthusiastically. I noticed immediately she kept fidgeting with her pack, as if she were trying to find something. I suggested if she needed anything, she stop and retrieve it. Explaining she could trip or slip and get hurt. After hiking together for a couple days, in which she continued fidgeting, she left camp earlier than I on the 3rd day. A few miles down the path, I came across her laying injured.
She had broken her ankle, severely, it turned out! It took six of us to carry her out. Just before being taken by ambulance, she admitted to me, she’d been fidgeting and took her eyes off the path. Sadly, she’d lost her opportunity to hike the trail!View attachment IMG_1676.jpeg
 
She had broken her ankle, severely, it turned out!
Was that on the descent from the Alto de Perdon? I measured my length on that section in January when loose gravel on one of the wooden retaining boards acted like ball bearings under my boot. Not much damage except to my pride. One of the trickiest parts of the Frances to cross safely.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
However, I’m beginning to think there are so few on this Camino because of winter?
The other possibility is hardly any albergues stay open this time of year.
Combination of the two factors I think. I left SJPDP on 2 January this year. For much of the way there were about 12 - 15 people walking each stage daily. With so few places open you did tend to see the same faces a lot as we met up in albergues. In the later stages people were more thinly spread as there were more places open. I'm not surprised you are finding it quiet though the numbers you mention do sound remarkably low. All the better in my opinion but I prefer solitude to company most of the time.
 
Given the weeks of heavy rain in the recent past, and Christmas just around the corner, not to mention the heavy snow in central Europe, I can't say I'm surprised. (It's not just the Camino; I hear that this is regularly a slow couple weeks at Disneyworld too.)
 
We have served as hospitaleros twice in the last 2 weeks of December. Numbers fluctuated and were higher on the CF in the last week of the month as more Spanish took advantage of holidays off work to walk. On the VdlP the numbers were always low with only one or two pilgrims per night and some night no pilgrims.
 
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I agree with the others. Your writing is magical! Please let us know when you write your book. I will buy it!!
Thank you, TiedyeAT.
Such a compliment! I hadn’t planned on writing a book. In fact, based on many of the initial responses I’d received to my query regarding the initial climb at the start, I didn’t think I’d write anything at all, just some photos now and again.
Everyone experiences a pilgrimage differently. But, my impression of what has already been written by fellow peregrinos seems sufficient. I’m just a little more “flowery”, perhaps ?
Buen Camino
 
I agree with the other comments. I see you are a new forum member and I will look forward to hopefully seeing new posts from you as they are a refreshing change. Your writing style is wonderful...thank you for sharing your thoughts as you walk.
Thank you, Chrissy. I’m humbled you appreciate my thoughts put into words.
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Last year on the Portuguese, (after Pardon), just as I spotted the roof of my albergue: I wasn't watching and "blip!" I twisted my ankle. Luckily, it was only a sprain. If I had my boots on, it may not have happened. A farmer, plowing his field, stopped his tractor, and half carried me to the albergue! It can happen! Good tip on the road down from Alto del Pardon, thanks~! I will walk that in April, hopefully!
 
Was that on the descent from the Alto de Perdon? I measured my length on that section in January when loose gravel on one of the wooden retaining boards acted like ball bearings under my boot. Not much damage except to my pride. One of the trickiest parts of the Frances to cross safely.
Agreed. It required all my attention to make it down safely. Happy to have the support of my poles.
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Sounds like there are fewer pilgrims than last December -- even so, the Winter pilgrims do tend to come in "waves" as I saw last year walking to SJPP, so that in the easterly parts of the Francès and in December, I would sometimes stay in places with only 1 or 2 others, even alone a few times, whilst in other places I could be one among 15-20.

One tip -- it can be worth calling some places that appear closed, as some of them are closed for normal business but do accept pilgrims.
 
Was that on the descent from the Alto de Perdon? I measured my length on that section in January when loose gravel on one of the wooden retaining boards acted like ball bearings under my boot. Not much damage except to my pride. One of the trickiest parts of the Frances to cross safely.
No not on that descent… day 3 in Georgia along the Appalachian Trail. She flew into Atlanta, bought everything under the sun for hiking and camping, had prepared in advance for mail/food drops to be mailed from British Columbia, literally spent several thousand dollars and an intense year training and forfeited all that looking for a piece of gum in her pack! Sad
 
With @TiedyeAT’s consent, I have merged the separate threads into one long “live from the camino” thread.

To anyone else who writes live from the Camino: It is usually much easier to follow along when the forum member posts updates on the same thread. The added benefit is that when the camino is done, there is one long thread that takes us from start to finish, rather than scattered posts all over the forum.

Buen camino, @TiedyeAT!!
 
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Such a compliment! I hadn’t planned on writing a book. In fact, based on many of the initial responses I’d received to my query regarding the initial climb at the start, I didn’t think I’d write anything at all, just some photos now and again.
Everyone experiences a pilgrimage differently. But, my impression of what has already been written by fellow peregrinos seems sufficient. I’m just a little more “flowery”, perhaps ?
Buen Camino
Judging by the number of very positive comments above I am far from alone in being grateful that you DID decide to write. I initially thought that I had missed something when a couple of people said that they'd buy your book when it came out; perhaps it is something you should actually seriously consider.
I am an avid reader and I have to say I too really enjoy your writing Style. Combine that with your photography and you would have an excellent book in my opinion.
In the meantime, do please keep posting!
 
Sounds like there are fewer pilgrims than last December -- even so, the Winter pilgrims do tend to come in "waves" as I saw last year walking to SJPP, so that in the easterly parts of the Francès and in December, I would sometimes stay in places with only 1 or 2 others, even alone a few times, whilst in other places I could be one among 15-20.

One tip -- it can be worth calling some places that appear closed, as some of them are closed for normal business but do accept pilgrims.
Excellent tip!
 
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Dawn slept in today, simply rolled over and hit the snooze! There were no crimson apricot sunrise clouds, no warming rays shining down in Rembrandt light. These last morning’s have begrudgingly transitioned from deep darkness to a low hanging grey illusion of what a day might really be. Morning mist shrouds any horizon ahead of my path… no lands end or azure demarcation, simply three shades of grey.
The Pyrenees sprawling giant has knelt down now stretching low in the west, soon to lay supine undulating on to the Meseta.
Beneath my squishing feet soil has gone from coffee con leche to mocha, now freshly plowed endless rolling fields shine espresso black. As if this last harvest was truly the last, there are no longer grape vines, anywhere! No olive trees dancing in this frigid wind, nor almond orchards in neat sentinel rows, only black skeletons from summer’s sunflowers climbing these low reaching hillsides.
Church steeples reaching into heaven, muscles in the ancient making, have been left far behind, replaced by lower boxlike two storied poor relatives. Huge churches who’s spires soared shouting, “Our town is wealthier and most pious as far as the discerning eye can see!” These smaller facades provide little in the way finding of seeking pilgrims.
Today a metaphor for life has shone itself, though subtle and unassuming. A tree shrouded hill winds it’s way up from an otherwise nameless hamlet but for the fact there will not be water for twelve kilometers! As it rises snaking like Eve’s own serpent, there are several leveling places where I imagine a downhill vista awaits my sore legs. But no, just another bend on the snake’s back. Steeper still this challenge is becoming more trying by the step.
It occurs to me this moment, this hill is very much like our lives! Each of us will be hammered on this crucible as we strive to accomplish life’s goals, in this case, our ongoing pilgrimage. But, every one of us will take on this test in our own accord based upon our myriad life experiences.
Some, who’ve already met far more tempering fires in life, will take it in stride. Many will discover it to be arduous but not at all daunting. Inevitably, a number of us may find it a spirit breaking ordeal, ending their pilgrimage, perhaps?
As simple a metaphor as this is, it provides opportunities to search within coming to better understand ourselves.
After all, isn’t that one reason to walk this Way?

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Good to know you're still out there. How do you like it compared to your US hiking experienced? Are you seeing many other pilgrims?
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
Good to know you're still out there. How do you like it compared to your US hiking experienced? Are you seeing many other pilgrims?
Relatively few pilgrims, maybe 15 or so since Pamplona 8 of whom are from S. Korea. Not much to compare to any of the Triple Crown trails in the U.S. Virtually all of Castillo y Leon has been on what I’d call a one lane gravel road! It’s fast hiking and flat as a pancake. The biggest thing is fog all day long and no sunlight, just endless grey!
 
Virtually all of Castillo y Leon has been on what I’d call a one lane gravel road!
This is the new camino - crushed gravel paths wide enough for a car to drive on. Galicia is the same. I am not an expert in trail maintenance, and I understand that the government wants to have a path that is transitable by hundreds of thousands of people, but it does detract from the “camino mystique.” Yet another reason, IMHO, to go to less traveled caminos, where you will still find penty of off-road walking through forests and in mountains.

Having made those grumpy comments, I am hoping and assuming you are still finding plenty to love about the Camino Francés in winter!
 
Honestly, the Camino from Sarria to Santiago still goes through forests and little villages and any crushed rock seems to be carried away by the rains. More paths. I do think the senda through the meseta next to the road is probably the worst of it.
 
St James' Way - Self-guided 4-7 day Walking Packages, Reading to Southampton, 110 kms
This is the new camino - crushed gravel paths wide enough for a car to drive on. Galicia is the same. I am not an expert in trail maintenance, and I understand that the government wants to have a path that is transitable by hundreds of thousands of people, but it does detract from the “camino mystique.” Yet another reason, IMHO, to go to less traveled caminos, where you will still find penty of off-road walking through forests and in mountains.

Having made those grumpy comments, I am hoping and assuming you are still finding plenty to love about the Camino Francés in winter!
No worries…I expected some of this. There’s no perfect path anywhere, I’ve found. Even if there was, Mother Nature can make short work of an otherwise good hike.
I’d assumed the paths were maintained by local volunteers. The homemade benches going into Astorga were definitely a work of locals, I think 🤔
All in all, I’ll continue to take each day as it comes. After Santiago, I plan to head to Almeria and hike from there through Cordoba and Grenada eventually to Santiago and then hike to “the end of the world “! I don’t know if that Way has a name from Almeria?
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
I plan to head to Almeria and hike from there through Cordoba and Grenada eventually to Santiago and then hike to “the end of the world “! I don’t know if that Way has a name from Almeria?
As @Bradypus says, it’s the Camino Mozárabe. From Almería to Granada, there are albergues that were built and are maintained by the Almería Association. You DEFNITELY want to get in touch with Nely, because the Association will help you tremendously.

Their website has a ton of good information. And you can contact them via Whatsapp at 615952763.
 
No worries…I expected some of this. There’s no perfect path anywhere, I’ve found. Even if there was, Mother Nature can make short work of an otherwise good hike.
I’d assumed the paths were maintained by local volunteers. The homemade benches going into Astorga were definitely a work of locals, I think 🤔
All in all, I’ll continue to take each day as it comes. After Santiago, I plan to head to Almeria and hike from there through Cordoba and Grenada eventually to Santiago and then hike to “the end of the world “! I don’t know if that Way has a name from Almeria?
When do you think you'll start? I start 1/17 from Almeria.
 
C
Seriously! I had no clue either!
Correct. Short, easy and much better. Same with the walk from Cruz de Ferro to Molinaseca. Take the road if your knees/legs are not up to walking on very tough and steep rocky paths like these.

Edit: But I always like to take a beer break in El Acebo on the way down... :cool:
 
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