If You Insist

I love planning my next walk!  There is such joy in poring over maps and other planning websites (I regularly use https://www.gronze.com/ and http://www.mundicamino.com/los-caminos and https://godesalco.com/plan) and I love reading other camino blogs and finding slideshows on youtube; it’s a wonderful part of the process.  It can though also be a little stressful as I get so tied up trying to decide which route.  Will I have time?  Can I get there and back?  What will the weather be like?  Will there be open albergues?  Questions, Questions, Questions!


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Bitter Sweet

It’s winter in the Dordogne and time to head south for a tiny bit of winter sun.  A few years ago Gerry decided that we should escape the cold and the grey and head to Portugal; we do love Portugal but this year decided that we would wander elsewhere  and try Estepona in the south of Spain.

We left home in the rain and drove down to the Spanish border under a very grey sky.  As we crossed the border at Irun we had sleet that stayed with us as we drove on towards Burgos; which didn’t make for a pleasant drive.  I sent the Gazelles a photo as we passed Belorado and my thoughts wandered back to the warm sunny days 10 months ago when me, Jaqui and Sarah had giggled our way across that path.  However, my navigation duties forced me back to the motorway, the sleet and today’s destination.

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In a world full of noise…

This blog is all about walking; about my walks and my thoughts when walking.  I try to stay away from political statements (and religious ones) because I like to think that going for a walk can rise above that noise.  But sometimes life feels wrong.  Sometimes it feels like there is too much anger and not enough compassion.  I feel like that more and more these days and it’s disheartening.

So, in a world full of noise, yesterday a little voice said to me… go walk.  And I absolutely knew where.

Masar_Map_English-1-727x1030The Masar Ibrahim al-Khalil

 Masar Ibrahim al-Khalil is a long distance cultural walking route in Palestine. The trail is 330 km long and extends from the village of Rummana northwest of Jenin to Beit Mirsim southwest of Al-Haram al-Ibrahimi (Ibrahimi Mosque) in Hebron. The trail passes through 53 cities and villages where hikers, walkers and travelers can experience the legendary Palestinian hospitality.

The Masar Ibrahim is more than just a hiking trail. It is a means of meeting and making connections with Palestinians and hikers from all over the world. You can explore Bedouin villages and experience a fundamental Palestinian tradition: hospitality. The Masar Ibrahim not only invites hikers to experience nature but also to change their perspectives by sharing common values and tolerance for acquaintances along the way.

I told Gerry and expected him to say I was crazy but instead he said he understood and that maybe he would walk with me.  We don’t know if it’s possible… but if we can then we will go in March 2019.

It feels right.

Anyone for 2018?

It’s December.  It’s cold outside and I’ve got a cold.  As I’m stuck on the sofa nursing inflamed sinus and a cough cough cough… I’ve kept myself happy by planning my 2018 camino… or should I say Gerry’s 2018 birthday trip.

My lovely husband is celebrating a rather special birthday in 2018 but he doesn’t want a party; instead he wants to go walking in Northern Spain.  The Camino del Norte meanders its way along the northern coast of Spain and it makes sense for us to follow this route.  Gerry is a fairly easy going sort of chap but he prefers to walk around 20-25 km a day and he’s not a fan of albergues; he prefers to know that he has a comfortable bed and a private bathroom waiting for him at the end of the day.  So whilst we’re following the camino this is definitely more of a hiking holiday. Continue reading

And Then The Organ Played…

Day 14. Santiago de Compostela

So, we arrived. We took the customary photos in the main square, we smiled at the other arriving pilgrims and we went in search of the pilgrim’s office. To be honest my feet/blister were screaming for a bar but Sara’s excitement and enthusiasm won the day, and it was a good choice as there was no queue. Once we’d collected our compostela we found the nearest hostelry and joined other pilgrims for a farewell drink. Oh my word the simple pleasure of removing shoes!

The rest of the day was simple…check in… eat tapas… sleep.

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Just a note…

Day 13. Iria Flavia to Santiago de Compostela

Just a little note to say that we made it… hot and footsore after a 26km last day… we’d planned for 22km and the last hour was unexpected 😃 But it’s been fab… now for a rest before planning the next one!

Thank you for all the kind words of encouragement!  We’re tourists tomorrow before our flight home on Tuesday… I’m going to try the rooftop tour which will be a challenge for a girl that dislikes heights!  😎

The Viking

Day 11. Pontevedra to Caldas de Reis

Jaqui and I shared a small double bed last night. We laughed in the morning that we’d both hugged the sides and left a big gap in the middle. And at some stage we were both hot and kicked the covers into the middle but then it became cold again we must have grabbed them back… but only one cover each; so neither of us really got warm and the room was pretty cold when we got up. We all dressed quickly and left early in search of breakfast. Pontevedra is a big town but we struggled… eventually we were directed to the same square where we ate lunch yesterday… hot coffee, toast, free churros and orange juice. Perfect. Continue reading