Category Archives: Camino

Camino part 7

My last day on the Camino (for now) began in the town of Ages. For the most part Niels and I walked alone, though we did see several others in a bar a few kilometers into the walk. Appropriately the walk included a little of everything – sun, rain, mud, hills, beautiful vistas, quiet country roads, busy city streets. 18 of us went to dinner together in Burgos and it was a lot of fun. Burgos was definitely a milestone. Some were moving on, some were taking a rest day, and some, like me, were leaving. We took lots of pictures and said our goodbyes.
In the morning I had breakfast with my friends from Holland, Fred, Grietje and Eline, along with Neils. We saw the cathedral and then went to lunch where John from Australia joined us. Ultimately it was time to say my final goodbyes. I made one final stop at the post office to collect my excess baggage that I had mailed from Pamplona and it was off to the bus station for my bus to Madrid.

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Camino part 6

Neils and I started walking this morning before dawn in a steady rain. After a couple of miles it cleared and the sun came out. The sunrise was beautiful when we stopped at the Albergue in Tosantos to check on our friends and to have a cup of coffee. The morning was beautiful and sunny, but it began to cloud up again and we found ourselves walking the last 15k (9 miles) in a steady miserable rain. It was definitely the worst walking to date, but we are now warm and fed in the town of Ages.

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Camino part 5

Yesterday we walked fast in the morning to get to Santo Domingo by 1pm. My friend Neils had lost two friends in the past few days. Coincidentally both services happened to be yesterday at 1 pm and he wanted to be in church at the same time.
The morning flew by as I practiced my Spanish with Javi, a rice farmer from south of Barcelona. We arrived in Santo Domingo about 12:30 and after checking in at the Albergue went over to the church.
Afterwards we had a nice dinner and Neils talked about his friends. I was honored and moved to share the time with him.
Today was another rainy day walking near the freeway. Neils, John and I again walked together and passed the time talking about politics, movies and books. I was very happy to run into Tim, Giovanna, Helen and Yoev on several occasions. The group is fun and always brightens my day. John has joined them to walk on to Tosantos while Neils and I have decided to call it a day in Belorado.

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Camino part 4

Torres del Rio was a just a small village, though it did have an interesting octagonal shaped church. At dinner I was reflecting on the diversity of the group. In the small hostel we had people from Australia, Denmark, Switzerland, Romania, Holland, USA, Canada, Peru, Argentina, Italy, Israel, S. Korea, France, Spain, England, Sweden , Germany and Japan.
Logrono the next day was a fairly large city. The Cathedral had a painting by Michaelangelo behind the alter. I was able to buy a new rain jacket. My old one wasn’t doing its job after 15+ years.
In the morning I walked out of town with Neils, John and Tim to a glorious sunrise, but Tim left us in the dust after a few miles. The walk was pleasant but cold and we arrived in Najera in mid afternoon.

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Camino part 3

Pamplona was an interesting town and we spent Friday walking about and doing a little shopping. The cathedral was very interesting both in terms of its art and architecture, but also in that it had been built on the site of an old Roman fort. The Cathedral’s museum had interesting exhibits with artifacts from Roman times to the present. I had dinner with John, James, and Matthew. We went to a small place and ordered every tapas on the menu plus beer and wine. The total bill after 2.5 hours of eating and drinking was only €45.
John and I left Pamplona early on Saturday morning, well before first light. In the morning we met Neils, a retired airline pilot from Denmark who walked with us the rest of the day. Near the end we were also joined by Bec, a young woman from Australia. We got to Puenta La Reina just as it started to rain . I ran into James in town and we visited the farmers market together and then grabbed John and Bec for dinner. We had Paella, which was good, but not as good as Pamplona.
Sunday morning dawned with rain. Yuk. Bec started out with us but soon left us in the dust. We tried to find an open cafe for breakfast, but all was closed though we did find an open paneteria, (bread shop). With about 4 miles to go we ran into Giovanna from Italy and Helen from Korea and walked the rest of the way to Estella together. After arriving we had a quick shower and then John, Bec along with Janine from Canada, Machec from Brooklyn and Joav from Israel went out for Chinese.
This morning dawned cold but dry. John and I again started before dawn. We came across Neil’s after about 10k and walked together the rest of the day. Mid day we stopped for meatballs and beer. Yum. Joav was there. He had left his wallet at the albergue, but a local had called and someone drove it to him . Very lucky. He joined us and the four of us walked to Torres del Rio together.

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Camino day 3 to Pamplona

John and I were on the road about 7:15 this morning for our 22k walk from Zubiri to Pamplona. About mid-day we made a detour to the small church of St Stephen on a hill overlooking the camino. The church is connected with a small convent and as we arrived a nun yelled down and greeted us and told us that she would come down and open the church. The woman, who I guess was about 70 was very nice and welcoming and told us about the history of the church, she the took us inside and let us look about. After a few moments she gave us a short paragraph on the camino and how it is a parable for life. It was not religious or preachy, but in fact very thoughtful and moving. She then offered for us to climb the bell tower not only to enjoy the view, but also to ring the bell, which we did with great enjoyment.
Entering Pamplona was very cool as we made our way over the Medieval bridge, through the ancient defence works and through the town gate into this town that is about 2000 years old. We have decided to stay here tomorrow and see the Cathedral, museums, etc. as the town has a lot to offer, and explore.

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Camino days 1 and 2

The train arrived in St John Pied de Port about 8pm. I met James and Matt, two young men from Sydney, Australia. We found the pilgrim office together and were shown to a freezing cold cell with six bunks. James and Matt didn’t have sleeping bags so had a rough night. We started together, but I soon lagged behind and walked by myself for a while. I met John, another Aussie, on the trail and we walked together the rest of the day. The walk was incredible as we hiked over the Pyrennes, with views in all directions. Andrea, from Germany, joined us for the last 5k. The albergue in Roncesvalles was much nicer than the one in St Jean. After cleaning up I has dinner with John and Andrea.
Today I hiked from Rocenvalles to Zubiri with John. It was another beautiful day. The trio from Holland caught us in the first couple of ks and we walked with them at their super human pace for a while, blowing through the first town. James and Mathew caught up with us mid morning. Matt was having trouble with his shoes giving him blisters and we were very free with our worldly advice. he finally decided to try walking  in his flip flops flow a while. Andrea caught us soon after and passed us on her way to Larasoana. Not sure if we will see her again.
We stopped for a cafe con leche and a bite soon after and flagged down Sally (yet another Aussie) as she rode by us on her bike. Juaquin, Jesus and Ricardo from Barcelona joined us for a rest and then moved on ahead of us. John and I took our time and were in Zubiri about 2:30. I took a shower and then found James and Mathew by the river. They offered me a beer which led to two.
Had dinner with all the Aussies, (John, James, Matt and Sally) plus Lenard and Linda from Stockholm. Tony, another Aussie from Perth joined us as we wound up dinner.

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