I think I have to accept that I’m a camino addict; certainly walking has become my passion!
This year I plan to walk Madrid to Santiago. Not satisfied with that, I decided I would start a little walking group at home (https://walkingbuddies.home.blog/) and as expected there are a lot of happy hikers in SW France! I’ve planned a few walks and I’m looking forward to spending a few hours in the company of like minded folk.
You’d think that would be enough? mmm…
I was asked if I would arrange a ‘mini-camino’… just a few days for folks to find out what it’s all about. So, glutton for punishment that I am, I’ve arranged a week on the Camino Frances for 6, in the first week of September! I’m going to call it training for the Madrid!
It’s only a tentative plan at the moment but I have booked accommodation. I decided Pamplona to Logrono was a good section. It offers beauty and history, some important landmarks and a mix of terrain and both cities are easy to travel to and from. If my little group do decide they’d like to walk more, they can return and still have the excitement of starting in St Jean.
And me… well if I have the time I might as well bolt on a few extra days at the start and walk to Pamplona. Gerry will walk St Jean to Roncesvalles but leave me there whilst I walk on to meet my group. We’ll definitely call that weekend training for the walk into Segovia!
And if that’s not enough I’m already planning for 2020 and I really need to do my hospitalero training so that I can help out and I’d like to be able to volunteer at the Pilgrim’s office.
I don’t think my passion is going to dampen down for a while!? Am I alone? Are there other seriously addicted pilgrims out there?
December’s weather creeps into the Dordogne and we see less and less of our beautiful French blue skies and sun. Once I’ve sorted our Christmas plans my idle hands waver over the keyboard… itching to plan… where to next and when? It’s December and already I know I need to walk again next year. I’d had an idea but it wasn’t fixed… it is now 😀
We’re going to walk from Madrid on the Camino Madrid, cross over at Leon to walk the Camino San Salvador which ends in Oviedo. Gerry will leave me here and return home but I will continue alone, along the Camino Primitivo to Santiago. Continue reading
It struck me last night as I was reading back through my Camino Norte Blog that 1) I never really finished it… there was a one day that we never wrote about. And 2) I’m really not very good at replying to folks who follow and comment (for which I apologise!)
I left you hanging around the Picos mountains and Llanes. We spent a few days exploring that coast before heading back one last time to Santandar. We retraced the path we should have taken, stopping and walking around the seaside towns we should have walked through. Looking back at the photos now in December I’m reminded just how beautiful this part of Spain is and I really would like to return and complete the Norte one day. Continue reading
It’s been a few days, sorry for our tardiness. We wandered the coast around Santander and just soaked up the beauty of the beaches.
Tuesday the 9th of October arrived and we sang happy birthday Gerry and packed our bags to head off to the bus station… What the birthday boy didn’t know was that his brother had flown over to help us celebrate. As we walked along the estuary Jeff and Sandra crept up behind Gerry to give him the second shock in two days! Continue reading
We decided, as we sat in the bus station at Santoña, waiting for our bus that we should make a plan B. We’d got drenched getting to our hotel and we never even got to see Noja at all. We’re both feeling pretty sick and have been walking on every day in the hope that it will be better tomorrow… But that plan wasn’t working.
We both saw the bus for Santander pull in and decided to jump on… If for no other reason than it was warmer and because the bus we needed wouldn’t arrive for five hours.
We booked a room in a mini-apartment on the bus… I fell asleep but Gerry kindly took the 12 o’clock selfie still. We walked from the bus station, buying a few supplies en route… We made bean soup and slept for most of the day and night… And had copious amounts of hot tea.
No blog today folks. We’re both a bit under weather. We walked to Laredo and caught the ferry to Santoña. The rain started and the wind howled and then it poured so we caught the bus to Noja. Inevitably we got absolutely soaked trying to find our hotel.
We’re tucked up in bed with coke and a croissant… More rain tomorrow so these two coughing poorly tourists are catching the bus… And I plan to spend as much of the day in bed as possible… Crikey this man-flu is pants!
See you all in Santander… Hopefully we’ll have the spring back in our step by then!
Day 11 Castro Urdiales – Hazas
So there was no fish supper last night. We walked for about hour along the harbour front and all the back streets. There were two problems… First nowhere was open. This is such a problem for us walkers… The Spanish prefer to eat after 9:00pm but walkers like to be thinking about bed by then. Second we could either find bars or expensive restaurants. In the end we had to admit defeat. We stumbled on a little casa-made burger restaurant. It was open so we stayed. The moral of this story is… Don’t dream of a certain dish because you can be sure you won’t find it when you want it!
Days 10 Portugalete – Castro Urdiales
We enjoyed our room picnic last night. We had enough left for breakfast and lunch today. We attempted to see what was on the TV but all we could find was Murder She Wrote in Spanish. We turned in for an early night but our room was just above the hotel lobby and it sounded like a Saga coach holiday was partying all night. They were just the same in the morning… Hey ho. I seemed to sleep regardless. Continue reading
Day 9 Bilbao- Portugalete
We wandered back out into Bilbao’s early evening bustle. As usual the streets were awash with noise and colour and movement. There’s a strange mix of people; elegant locals drinking wine or coffee in the tiny bars that line these narrow streets, a good number of young student-looking types hanging out in the trendier places, a fair sprinkling of tourists (complete with guide), the odd pilgrim here and there and plenty of families with young children. It seems that there is a place for everyone in Bilbao! Continue reading