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Walking in March

Camino(s) past & future
Via Francigena (2017), plus more than 2000 Km/year of trekking, hiking and minor caminos since 2000.
Paraphrasing Leonidas at Thermopylae,"Get ready for glory, we will walk in the cool!"
Buona passeggiata! :cool:
 

Stephen Nicholls

Steve Nicholls, Suffolk, U.K.
Camino(s) past & future
Too many caminos to list in the permitted 100 characters!!
Buen camino to you, @Thegreyfoxfromoz !
In spite of what some folk think, it can be very cold throughout Spain during the winter months. I have pictures of snow on the East coast - and also saw snow when I was there six weeks ago!
But April/May are coming when everything warms up, and the spring flowers give a glorious splash of colour in the meadows along the camino. These pictures were all taken in April along the Camino Portuguese.
Enjoy your camino! Blessings from grey England ....
P1090453.JPGP1090490.JPGP1090495.JPGP1090541.JPGP1090450.JPGP1090442.JPG
 

EWard

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
March 2018 (planned)
Starting from SJP on 3/19! Bringing lots of rain gear :) Hope to see a few others out there!
 

kdespot

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés SJPP-SdC Sept-Oct 2016
Yep, we're all envious. Please keep posting. Love your photo, greyfox!
 
Camino(s) past & future
March 2018
Day 2. Last night was an Albergue. with a stinky kitchen. The room was ok except the heat went off at 2. We had 8 bunk beds to ourselves. Breakfast was meant to be at 7 but the kitchen didn't open until 730. We had not allot of food for allot of money. Headed out from Zariquiegui at 8am after I realised I left my walking poles in the kitchen and had to wait. For the crappy breakfast. We climbed up to Alto de Pedron where the pilgrim profiles are along the ridge line. The wind was blowing 30k+. It was a hard walk. The far side was quite steep and full of football sized loose rock. Quite a challenge. Finally reached Uterga where we found a fabulous albergue with great food for a second breakfast. Then we hit the road with renewed energy. We knew we could easily get to Punte la Reina at 16k but wanted to go further. The challenge was that many albergues were closed in The villages after that util Estella, where we knew Albergues were open was 36km away from our start. So we kicked of from Utetga with bothering energy and determination. We reached Punte la Reina in no time but decided we would try for lunch in Lorca with no luck. After 27k at Lorca with no lunch we were starting to feel it. By the time we reached Villatuerta at 33k we were done. We went to the albergue to find it still closed for winter. I called the two listed hotels in town. They were closed. So we braced ourselves for another 4K to Estella and started to head out. A few seconds and an old guy called us up the hill instead of down. He said it was easier. So we follow And then came into a small square with a bar. I asked no one in particular. Is this a hotel and a man standing on the street said I have hotel you can see. He showed us. 20 Euro each. Clean. Private and with a washing machine and coffee machine. No question, we were in. Changed washed showers and fresh. Hit the local bar. Fresh clean local food. Ate a few kilos. Drank a bottle of vino tinta and came home to bed. Tomorrow? 20km. Easy. Relax.
 

shubr0om

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes, in late March
Hey everyone! I’m walking on March 20th from st. Jean. I don’t mind meeting up and walking with someone at this time, since I’m walking solo. Message me :) I should book a reservation at Orisson today.
 

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF: (2001, 2002, 2004, 2014). Hospitalera: 2002, Ponferrada. 2004, Rabanal del Camino.
Hey everyone! I’m walking on March 20th from st. Jean. I don’t mind meeting up and walking with someone at this time, since I’m walking solo. Message me :) I should book a reservation at Orisson today.
I believe Napolean route is closed. You will walk through Valcarlos. Ergo, no need to book Orisson.

Buen camino.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
Hey everyone! I’m walking on March 20th from st. Jean. I don’t mind meeting up and walking with someone at this time, since I’m walking solo. Message me :) I should book a reservation at Orisson today.
In late March you will likely meet several fellow pilgrims early on, perhaps even the first day.
 

shubr0om

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes, in late March
I just realized that when I tried booking in Orisson and they said that they're closed. Valcarlos it is! So I'll book with them
 

kalavati

One more time!
Camino(s) past & future
May (2014), Camino Frances, SJPdP 28 April. to Muxia
May (2016)- Again,better rain gear
Oh! I guess that's why there's no response from "Orisson" for my Reservation for 26 April! : 0 However, you got a response!!??
 

shubr0om

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes, in late March
Yes I did :)

Hi all, should I book with valcarlos hostel, roncesvalles hostel ahead of time and the hostel in whichever town I hit for Easter early? Or can I crash them all?
 

GraemeHall

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances: St-Jean-PdP - Santiago dC - Muxía - Fisterra (Aug 2017 and March/April 2018)
Walking today. Weather west of Pamplona is about 10c. Very windy but dry
Hi all. I'm resuming (from where I had to leave off last August) at Logroño on 23 March. Very excited to be heading back.
If interested you could check my previous posts for the watercolour record of my 2017 "stage".
 

Lucy Keenan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Northern Route - 2016
Santiago to Finestiere and Muxia - 2017
Frances Route - May 2018
Camino Ingles
Oh! I guess that's why there's no response from "Orisson" for my Reservation for 26 April! : 0 However, you got a response!!??
It may be open by then. I have made a booking for the 26th April - no problem.
 

trevorcc

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPD to Santiago 2013,2014 planning Camino de Levante Sept. 2016, now planning March 2018
I just realized that when I tried booking in Orisson and they said that they're closed. Valcarlos it is! So I'll book with them
Went through Valcarlos a day ago no need to book albergue was only half full but I had to go to council office near the chemist for the password to get in and the lady turned up around 6pm.
 
Camino(s) past & future
March 2018
I’m going to play catch-up here as internet and time have both been in limited supply
We had a slow start to day 3. Originally we thought it was 21km and as the day progressed we found out otherwise. Leaving Villatuerta at 9 am after a slow start was a treat. There was no breakfast there. We walked 4km into Estella. A big Industrial city. It took us some time to find a cafe that had something other than bread. We got that done and then headed out up a decent hill. We had a great stop at the BDesS itrache wine tap where Angie made a pitch video and we had some fun with free wine. We then had our first hail storm. We had 3 more today. The rain jacked was on and off mist of the day. We figured out that 20km should be 24 as we had forgotten the distance into Estella. So headed out after restocking at the pharmacy. After about 16k we found out we still had 9 to go. Eventually turns intolerable total of 27km. Drinks in a local bar then dinner at Los Arcos. The albergue owner here is German. We got some great trail info and expect to be up early as it's a communal albergue. Great food up at the municipal albergue. Tomorrow 29.5 to logrono.
 
Camino(s) past & future
March 2018
Day 4. 745am start out of Los Arco. Our Atlbergue was hosted by an Austrian veteran of 6 Caminos it was clean but communal so the ear plugs got used for the first time. No breakfast. Walked 9km for an omelette and coffee. That first section was cold and wet and misty. No wind so the wet weather gear was like a sauna. We spent the morning walking separately to get some reflection time. I kicked a out a few km under 9 minutes and managed to get a blister. We had pickled up some fruit n the morning. That was lunch. Afternoon became sunny and warm. We had a drink in venay and arrived in logrono after 29km today and 104km total in 3.5 days. Had a snack when we arrived. Did a work call and then dinner with Ang. Hoping to get the blister and the knee under control for 30km again tomorrow. Nice albergue tonight private room but thin walls. Earplugs in again
 
Camino(s) past & future
March 2018
Day 4. 745am start out of Los Arco. Our Atlbergue was hosted by an Austrian veteran of 6 Caminos it was clean but communal so the ear plugs got used for the first time. No breakfast. Walked 9km for an omelette and coffee. That first section was cold and wet and misty. No wind so the wet weather gear was like a sauna. We spent the morning walking separately to get some reflection time. I kicked a out a few km under 9 minutes and managed to get a blister. We had pickled up some fruit n the morning. That was lunch. Afternoon became sunny and warm. We had a drink in venay and arrived in logrono after 29km today and 104km total in 3.5 days. Had a snack when we arrived. Did a work call and then dinner with Ang. Hoping to get the blister and the knee under control for 30km again tomorrow. Nice albergue tonight private room but thin walls. Earplugs in again
 
Camino(s) past & future
March 2018
Day 5. We slept in! After doing just about everything we could think of for the knee and blister before bed the ear plugs did the trick. We picked up some groceries from carfour last night and had breakfast in our room. We headed outta 945 and managed a good pace. It was cold but slowly got warmer. There is a large park area on the edge of Logroño and it took most of an hour to clear it. There were lots of folk going the other way. A group of swans were a highlight. We managed to get to Nazarett by 1pm (13km). Our best lunch so far but expensive. The church is worth a visit with a 10m high ornate gold altar. Then pushed on to Najera. We had 3km by the freeway and it got colder, wetter and winder with each step. The guide books and apps had us expecting 27km. After 29 we were getting frustrated. By the time we got to town it was 530. We'd done another 33km day and it was chucking it down. Both exhausted We found a nice room for reasonable money. We then headed out for dinner and were lucky to find a pilgrims menu with fish. The town sits under s cliff and straddles a busy river. Quite tricky. Tomorrow heading off to Santo Domingo. 21km. Hopefully easy.
 
Camino(s) past & future
March 2018
Day 6 was a late start with Kairan not feeling well. Najera is a beautiful town tucked into red cliffs with many old buildings and a very fast flowing river. We walked in very cold wind for over an hour. We got to Azofra for coffee and had a good rest. It was then late morning for a climb of a few hundred metres over a few km so quite easy and with wonderful views of the green rolling hills. We climbed to Ciurena- a ghost twin with an empty golf course, swimming pool and empty houses everywhere. Found the only open cafe to get some lunch from the grumpiest waitress you can imagine. Kairan had a good rest and we headed out into an icy wind with some rain. We managed to get to Santo Domingo by 2. Only one albergue in town and it's communal. We got lots of laundry done and got Kairan to a dr. Turns out there is no fever, just a bad cold. We got some good drugs and managed to get a good meal. Kairan got to bed early I shared a bottle of wine with a small group. Only 23k. So feeling quite good.
 
Camino(s) past & future
March 2018
Day 7. Headed out from Santo Domingo at 9 after a work call this morning and breakfast. Even at that hour it was freezing. It's a pretty city with lots of historical buildings. We got to Granon to find another sleepy Spanish town. Coffee. After this it was a little warmer. We managed lunch in castildelgado. A deserted town with a truck stop and two friendly dogs. We had some more hail in the afternoon and called it quits in the pretty town of belorado at 3pm after 25km. Tomorrow we expect to pass 200km. Our hosts tonight run a clean and authentic Pension in a house built in the 1860s. A decent dinner and Kairan is feelings little better, the Spanish drugs seem to be working. Belirado's old church has 3 bells and 3 matching stalks. Tomorrow maybe we can do 29 to give us some free time in Burgos the day after
 
Camino(s) past & future
March 2018
Day 8. Started well with a good sleep on a comfy bed. Up at 730 and on the trail before 9 after a good breakfast and inspecting the local 4WD clubs cars that had Assembled in the plaza mayor. Belorado and our hosts were wonderful. We headed out into sun zero temps and knowing we had a 400m climb into snow after lunch. We passed thru 3 villages and managed an extra coffee before lunch in villafranca. The region was similar to yesterday. After lunch everything changed. We had snow and sleet with icy mud. It got very cold with an icy wind. The landscape turned to forest and mud. We got to San Juan and had a nice.glass of wine. We then kicked off a hike of 5km to our finish point, Atapuerca, where we found a nice albergue.. there is an amazing restaurant over the road and our best food in spain so far, topped a great day
 
Camino(s) past & future
March 2018
Day 9. We started off in Atapuerca just before 9. The sleepy little town is a world Heritage site due to the discovery of hominid remains over 600000 yeas old. We kicked off with a 175m. Climb in sub zero temps and blue sky and then down hill looking for breakfast. We found something in the 2nd town after 6km and a little over an hour. Getting from there to Burgos was about 15km of urban hiking. About half of it beside an airport, a quarter next to the river and the last 4K. In the suburbs. Found a nice hotel for 35 euros in the heart of town. Had a quick look at the old city, found an ancient farmacia. The city is very beautiful and plan to explore it in the morning as we have another short day planned. Kairan was very happy to find Chinese for dinner. The church and old city will be explored propery in the morning
 
Camino(s) past & future
March 2018
Day 10. A story in many parts

The accepted wisdom is that when you do the Camino you should not be constrained by time. But reality means that some people, like us, have a deadline. So we came here with a general plan that would see us done in 28 days. Earlier this week I had updated our broad plan as we had started in Pamplona, not Saint Jean PDP(although I had sort of taken that into account) and after 6 days we were getting a feel of what we could do and the reality on the ground. I figured we had 3 days spare on our April 7 deadline. We have been going quite fast and felt we were missing some detail so a slightly slower pace in some towns was desired to allow us to visit more places of interest (but still work hard on the trail)
So I had updated the plan to allow an afternoon and a morning in Burgos, eliminated the need to do any more than 35km in a day by splitting a few days and still had 1 day in reserve to use in the second half when we are confident on our progress. So we had ur time in Burgos overnight
We had a nice evening last and then a great morning including a tour of the wonderful Burgos Cathedral which is truly worth a visit from a historical and architectural perspective as well as religious. A short morning wander and excellent breakfast and we headed out of town about 12. There was snow forecast and we dressed for it.
About 5K out of town we could see the snow coming our way and put on all the wet weather cover. Although we had planned and selected clothes for bad weather, this was something else. We endured a 30 minute blizzard of snow, rain, hail and ice like I’ve never seen before. By the end of it we were covered in ice. Kairan’s jacket had failed and our wet weather pants also. Our feet were wet and our gloves useless. We pushed on for 5km to the next town in a constant snow storm (not as bad as the ice blizzard but still a challenge). We finally arrived in a small village and found a bar. It took several minutes to remove the ice rom our outer layers. We sat for almost 2 hours, ate, changed clothes and drank wine whilst we considered our options. One point to consider was the forecast of further snow and storms for another week
Finally, we called Decathlon in Burgos (the city we left this morning) to make sure they were open during siesta hours. We got a taxi there(leaving our poles at the bar), selected additional wet weather gear and waterproofing. Grabbed a taxi back to pick up our poles and as the weather had cleared headed off with our wet gear in our packs and our fresh wet weather gear on hand
We had already booked our hostel for tonight so we pushed on for another 10k and arrived by 615pm. A small village with 3 alberge and 3 bars. We caught up with the 2 young danish boys we have been seeing quite often (first saw them in the Camino shop in Pamplona) and had or first decent Paella. So 20km in total and planning on 29 tomorrow. We’ve done 260
 
Camino(s) past & future
March 2018
Day 11 - with 31.6km down we are t 292.7 after 11 days. Who’s counting?
We woke late to snow in the hills and on the roads. -3C and winds past 40kmh. Our Albergue was again a great choice and we had slept in and as there was no where else in town we had arranged to take the simple pilgrims breakfast. I had a huge pile of work emails so we we didn’t get on the road until 10.
We set o with snow underfoot, blue sky’s and a strong wind at or back. We made 10km in 2 hours across a barren plateau and grabbed coffee and lunch in Hontas which was a very pretty village with lots of activity in a protected valley of the plateau. A nice local lady at the bar helped us call ahead to reserve a private room at tonight’s Albergue as I’d tried but the host had no English.
We pushed on at speed and made Castrojeriz at 20km quite quickly. Nothing open there so stopped only for video of a pretty village with everyone taking siesta.
The final 10km for the day needed a solid 150m climb and then a track across a flat plane with the wind at our side. It was hard, cold work. We finally crossed the river at Puente Fitera holding onto our hats. The promised private room has its own pilgrim menu dinner, in floor heating and a hot shower. We rest in bliss. Tomorrow’s weather looks similar with the promised snow pushed to Friday
 
Camino(s) past & future
March 2018
Day 12 - We’ve now hit the Mesita. The high desert of Spain. We are experiencing the usual weather for March here. So we have long flat stretches of straight road with little protection from 40kmh winds that so far have been behind us or coming from our right. As we have now turned North West we expect them to be in our face more. A good start this morning with 11km in 2 hours and finished 30km in 7 hours. Our only drama was a dog in Boadilla de Camino that needed to be convinced to not chase Kairan. Waving of walking poles and shouting lots did the trick. We tried a pizza shop for lunch - ordered chicken and got beef and bacon. The waitress tried to convince us the beef was chicken and got pretty upset when we would not believe her. I now have a cold. Arrived in Vilacazar de sirga without any further drama. Found a nice Albergue with a double room and the church closed. Dinner in the pub. Early start with a work call tomorrow
 
Camino(s) past & future
March 2018
Day 13 - A day that was different but the same all day. I was up for work calls before 7 and was free by 830. We set out on a cold crisp sunny morning after breakfast in the bar. We managed 9km in 2 hours and 15 in just over 3. We stopped I Carion de las Condas to get portable lunch as we had 17k with no towns.dry sunny flat and straight. Thankfully the wind was minimal most of he day. A short break in the sun for lunch after 15km and we kicked off the afternoon with determination. We finished in Ledigos after 33km in time to wash clothes before hitting the bar. More food than even we could eat. A nice new , slightly expensive Albergue. Hitting the hay early as we have 34km to get thru tomorrow. We now both have a blister. Kairan’s cold is better and mine worse
 
Camino(s) past & future
March 2018
Day 14- was a big day for many reasons. We officially passed half way and we did our longest day so far - 35.2km for a total of 398km. We started after lunch 3 weeks ago and completed half way before lunch today so 13 days. It’s a great thing to know that what is left is less than what went before.

We started in ledigious before 9 and finished in El Burgo Panero before 6. It was a long hard day.The German girl we met in Najera was at the same Albergue as us last night along with the lithuaian girl we met on the trail during the day. Most of today was uneventful with log straight flat KMs to deal with but thankfully a light wind. We came across a herd of sheep going the wrong way on the Camino and old wine storage holes turned into hotels

Tomorrow is forecast to be ugly. It’s raining now with winds above 40kmg. Expecting te see snow tomorrow
 
Camino(s) past & future
March 2018
Day 15 - cold, wet windy. We had wind in our faces varying from 15-80kmh all day. We got started out of El Burgos Ranero about 830, due to a small planning oversight We had 12km to breakfast. That gave us the drive to push thru and get there quickly. We had long straight flat sections of road with the wind in our face, Did I mention it was cold? Ice was on the tops of the puddles in the trail. At Reliegos by 11 we found a restaurant that was happy to cook two packets of noodles Kairan had been carrying since last weekend. We feasted on Kimchi and seafood. We now had the warmth to tackle the next 16km to finish the day early. We had rain, cold, long flat straight sections and finally two towns to pass. Met an Aussie couple walking hard to get finished in 26 days, they wee doing 42km today to get to Leon. We will do that last `4km tomorrow.
Finally into a nice new Albergue in Villarente Del Puente with a great lounge, dinning room, washing and drying machine and a good cook and hostess. Tomorrow a short 14km to Leon, lunch and shopping before 2 then a recovery afternoon
 
Camino(s) past & future
March 2018
Day 16 we had an early start out of Puente Villarente. Our most expensive breakfast so far and then a hike in dry crisp morning air. Thankfully no wind until we got quite close to Leon. We saw more storks on church bell towers along the way. We got into Leon in time for lunch and then had the chance to wander around. We quickly realised that it’s Palm Sunday and the streets were full of folks celebrating the beginning of Easter week. We managed to find some amazing local architecture, sit in a bar and soak up some sun and then tour the cathedral - according to Kairan, the best she has seen so far. We then got to witness a few of the parades. Some amazing floats and recessions with lots of bands and a great passion for celebrating the festival of Easter. We hear that being selected for the parade is a once in a lifetime opportunity for most and its clearly allot of work to prepare for and participate in. The attire is somewhat unusual but with a little research is quite interesting. Finished up with a nice Italian dinner and a seat on the balcony watching the world go by. Only 14km today. Tomorrow is either 22 or 30 depending on the weather and our feet
 
Camino(s) past & future
March 2018
Day 17. What a wonderful day!! We had sunshine. We had no wind. We got down to two layers on top. Maximum temperature was 12. We had a great morning in Leon. We found a few warm items for the coming walk in the snow. Recharged our Spanish SIM cards and and found the best coffee we’ve had so far in Spain. We were on the road by 12 and kept getting warmer. We navigated the variable Camino signage leaving Leon and then the split between the principal and alternative routes. We wanted to do 20km and hoped t do 30. We settled on 25km. Finished in San Martin del Camino. Hoping for good weather again tomorrow
 
Camino(s) past & future
March 2018
Day 18 - We started it early with beautiful weather and a still cold room. One of the downsides of a private room is they are hardly ever warm. With two of us, a private room is the same o a little more per person and gives us some added privacy, security and insulation from snorers who are a big problem in communal dorms. For the last 3 nights our private room has started and ended cold. I’m now at the point where I will take a dorm room tomorrow just to be warm. I’ve also found the private rooms tend to have the worst internet so I’ve not been able to upload my daily note until the morning and often hit out photos.
Today was another day of mostly walking beside the highway. . The weather was warm, even the wind was warm, so quite enjoyable. But the highway is noisy and dirty. Not our idea of fun and again, tomorrow if this continues we plan to get out the headsets and listen to music.
We left St Matin del Camino a bit after 8 and got ourselves to Hospital de Orbison quite quickly. The number of pilgrims has increased due to Easter week holidays in Spain wit many on bikes. We picked up a coffee and some lunch and headed off along the highway’s edge towards Astorga. I do believe the highway side hiking is part of the test of the Camino. I’ve found it quite depressing and really had to “zone out” to get thru it. Lunch by the highway.
We got to Astorga to find a beautiful, small, sophisticatedh city with some amazing buildings (Goudi was busy in this region and we’ve seen several of his buildings along the way). The cathedral and Episcopal Palace are amazing. We also ran into Dale, the preacher from Birmingham Alabama who we had dined with in Logrono. He walked into a small city square at the same time as us. The Camino gives what you need…
We pushed on to finish our day in Maria’s de Rechivaldo for a total of 28.5km and an overall total of 488 leaving us less than 300 to go. The Albergue here is an old traditional farm house that reminds me so much of a Chinese Hutong. Courtyards, rooms everywhere and a real communal space where everyone can be together yet have their own space.
Tomorrow we go into the mountains and expect to see snow. The plan is to do bout 30km again
 
Camino(s) past & future
March 2018
Day 19. Hard to believe we only have 8 or 9 days to go to finish. Today was a day with many parts again. We completed 33.4km to make a total of 521.8km. We started in Murias de Rechivaldo in a wonderful Spanish house that has many rooms and courtyards, converted to an Albergue. If only they would put in more heating!!
The first hour zoomed by and we pushed hard. We had good weather and new it would get worse. We also had a serious climb to do. We managed two towns (6k) quickley and gabbed another coffee. We saw a Spanish group of 6 that had shared dinner with us two nights ago. We got to Rabenal el Cebrero and saw our first snow on the road side. An omen of tings to come.
We made it to Foncebadon just s the weather closed in and had fat Burgers and seafood fo lunch. I called forward to book our room. We then headed int bad weather with wind, rain and icy conditions all round.
We arrived at Cuz del Fero in a foggy, rainy mist with strong winds and ice all around. We planted our pebbles from te beach in Mui Wo and left our troubles with them. New focus fro now.
We then had 2km across the hilltop before having to defend 400m in 4K. Not allot by Hk standards but after 30km with a 10kg backpack and in the conditions it was quite a challenge.. But done.
We mangled to get to El Acebo just in time to Clean Up for dinner.
It turn out that Tina from Denmark who we met two nights go is stil with us and Karl and Matthew from Lithuania and Canada who we met on the trail yesterday are here as well. We had a nice evening chatting and enjoying some great food. We are happy as we have a warm room, hot water and internet in our room for a change. Tomorrow we contemplate either 22 or 30km. More nasty weather forecast
 
Camino(s) past & future
March 2018
Day 20. We managed another 1km today starting in El Acebo and finishing in Camponaraya. A good nights sleep mostly, only interrupted by our neighbour and an early morning work call. We had light snow as we left El Acebo, no breakfast as the kitchen was not open. We walked 5km to find a Forrest angel selling fruit and bread. After that we managed another 4km to a decent breakfast that included fried eggs. Met some guys from Sydney discussing league scores and then moved into an afternoon of walking.
Ponterferada is a big and pretty city, wins the prize for the most confusing Camino signs. We went off track to look around and on rejoining followed them in the wrong direction for 500m as they are pride down. We figured it out and then later found more right side up and some on their side. Total disaster.
Last 5km was in driving rain and heavy headwind
Hoping for but not expecting clear sky’s tomorrow for 30km
 
Camino(s) past & future
March 2018
Day 21 - I love adventure, I’m addicted
We have less than 200km to go. We have had such a great time and every morning now we wake up and ask each other - what can happen that could stop us? We both have the same answer- hopefully nothing. We are determined to finish. Even as our bodies and our brains put speed bumps in front of us every day. We are determined.

So today we started in Camponaraya after a really good nights sleep/ after all its Easter Friday. We walked thru rolling hills of vines in sunshine for about 10km. We visited Vila Franca. One of the most beautiful towns we’ve been to so far. Then we got into a river valley and followed the river for 20km in ran or snow. Total today was 33.2km taking our total to 585km and less than 200km to go. We’re now in Vega de Valcarce. We crossed the Rio del Valcarce at least 10 times today. It’s been a great time to really appreciate the detail of a European river valley at the time winter is changing to spring. We had sun, rain and snow. We finally finished in a Case Rurale with a bar and restaurant that has been so authentic and enjoyable
Today set us up nicely for tomorrows 600m climb over O’Cebrero. At 1250m not a high as Cruz de Fero but still a challenge in the rain and snow
 
Camino(s) past & future
March 2018
Day 22. What a challenge this has turned out to be! We started off in Vega de Valcarce and expected a tough day. We knew we had a climb from 650m to 1340m - the third highest on the Camino. We also expected some bad weather. What we didn’t expect was the fresh snow from the night before. We had 6km to stroll thru beautiful valleys and villages on our way to the climb. Many very green and utopian looking vistas - as they should be and in contrast to what we saw in the days on the Mesita. Clearly more money in this part of Spain
We then started off with a good breakfast in Valcarce and warnings of snow coming. We had a good climb on the road for a few km and then got onto a path with a group[ of about 30 Spanish children doing a short hike, The path underfoot become more rugged, covered in snow and wet the higher we went
When we got to La Faba we heard the trail was difficult to pass but kept going. In the end we were climbing 600m in this deep snow with 10kg backpacks. No fun. At La Leguna de Castilla we had angry dog issues again, which we resolved and then rejoined the road, which was much easier.
At O Cebrero we managed lunch. Then 10km mostly undulating to get to Fonfria - our place for tonight and the warmrest room so far
It’s warm, clean has hot water, wifi and a washing machine. Tomorrow we have an updated plan and expect to finish Thursday. Hoping for a few more days of sun
 
Camino(s) past & future
March 2018
Day 23. Today started in a toasty warm room in the snow. We had breakfast of fried eggs, omelet’s, toast and coffee. We headed out into a cold, overcast day. Like yesterday, The trail was covered in snow so we elected to follow the road for a few kms. We got thru to a village and began to follow the trail, only to find it blocked with snow. We headed back to the road and got turned around a few times until we had a clear direction. It was only at Filobal that we could finally rejoin the trail. We had coffee there and marched on to Tricastella to get off the mountain, out of the snow and pick up supplies for lunch.

We then decided, after much consideration, to take the San Xil option and not add the kms for Samos. We could see the entire valley from above San Xil and found it to be a most beautiful option with many really small farm villages, great vistas of the valley. We could see Samos across the. Valley. We also finished the last of the main Camino hills so all downhill now
We took lunch just after Montan and then pushed on to Pintin fo a snack before finding our worst Albergue so far in Saria. It’s cheap and we we are tired. We’ve done 31.7km for a total of 643.
So happy to be in Galacia as the signage and trail generally are in much better shape. We have 115 official km to go
 
Camino(s) past & future
March 2018
Day 24 - A day in the rain. Although we also had some sunshine and went from cold wind and rain to hot sun and sweating several times.
We started in Saria and ended in Gonzar to achieve 31km and a total of 672
Today we passed the 100km to go marker and we’re super excited to be close to the end of our hike. We expect to finish Thursday
We started off looking for breakfast and figured out we needed to hike about 4km to Vilei to get it. After that we had more energy and managed to get to A Pena for some snacks and Lunch in Moutran’s. The trail is now full of Pilgrims for the post Easter week holiday and we had many folks around us the whole way.
The first part of the day was a climb and then we walked thru very wet but green valleys. Keeping our boots dry was a challenge all day. We were passed by a group of folks doing the camino on horseback. We got to Portomarin and saw the trail empty out quickly. This was about 20km from Saria and a typical distance for the short hikers on holiday. Portomarin is one fo those towns that sends you round the town to spend money before the signs take you out again. It’s very pretty as the whole town was rebuilt in 1963 when the river valley was flooded by a dam.
We continued on and managed to get to our lodgings before 5. It rained quite heavily in the late afternoon and we were glad to find ou small Albergue just before a storm hit.
Tomorrow we plan to get to Melide. A hike of 31km. That will leave us just over 50km to finish by Thursday.
 
Camino(s) past & future
March 2018
Day 25 - Toast, coffee and juice - fuel for pilgrims. Sometimes 2 euros sometimes 5. I had an early work call and lots of emails to deal with. We said hi to the French ladies we shared dinner with - they have spent 5 years walking 300k each year from Mont St Michel in France to Santiago in sections
Today we started in Gonzar, a small family village with a family church, where it had been raining all night and headed out to promises of fine weather. Most of the day was rain, wind, sun, repeat. Wet underfoot and with threatening rain we decided to push hard early and had 10km done in less than 2 hours. We food a volunteer group from Brazil hosting a trail angel site in a 400 year old from house. Free coffee, fruit and hugs.
I had a work call at 2pm so we pushed on to get to San Julian with the hopes of a café. That was 20km. We found one but it was closed so I made a tent out of my rain poncho and hosted an hour long call covering 4 countries and 3 continents with chickens, wind a tractors as a background. Kairan eventually found us lunch and we had that done by 3,30. We headed off to clear the last 12km by 530pm and found our Pension in Melide.
Dinner at a restaurant owned by a Michelin 3 star chef and a warm clean room run by a wonderful, busy Spanish lady who did our laundry for free and made our entire stay a joy.
Tomorrow we are planning an early start to knock off a big chunk of our remaining 53km
 
Camino(s) past & future
March 2018
Day 26 - one day to go!!!
We had hoped to get our last day under 25k but there was not much suitable accommodation from 28km out until our end point. So we made it our longest day - even setting off early
Today we set off into the Galician four seasons in one day weather again. Our Hospitaliero owned a Churro shop so we had churros for breakfast in Melide before hitting the trail. We managed a second coffee after 8km, a snack stop at 14km and lunch after 22km before a wine at 32km and finally calling it quits after 36km in O Pedrouzo. We now officially have 20km let to walk tomorrow. We saw a few green rolling valleys today, many small hamlets and villages, a town or two and quite a few pilgrim groups. The way is very busy in the mornings, not so much after lunch so our 6pm finish time can give us some quiet time. Like I said, the weather is variable with the rain cove on and off all day.
Diner was a treat with a non pilgrim menu that was very vegetarian friendly. Tried my first Galician cider and Kairan had Sangria. Turns out this town is super expensive to stay in so we are in a cheap Pension on the outside of town with a long walk for dinner. But it was worth it. Stay tuned for our final day tomorrow. We plan for an early start and early finish. Forecast is 17c and sunny - the shorts and tshirt might finally be used!
 

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