Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Camino: Not just a walk to Santiago. Reflections on the Camino Frances 2011

Gordon and I at Muxia

The prospect of walking all the way to Santiago is the initial hook for many of us, but the Camino de Santiago is not just a walk. In fact, I would argue, that the profound experiences found on the way can be achieved without walking much at all.

Those who have already made the pilgrimage know that the journey is in the head and heart as much as in the feet. I started my Camino with my husband Gord on foot in 2009 from Le-Puy-en-Velay in France. 440 kilometers later we were hooked and planning our return journey the following year. That year however,  I had a terrible time with my back and our walking days became shorter and shorter until I was taking the luggage transport more than walking. Finally I had to make the difficult decision that we had to stop at St. Jean Pied de Port at the French/ Spanish border. I had walked 760 km but was faced with the reality that I would likely never walk to Santiago. Packing it in, however, was not an option.

In the summer of 2011 Gord and I returned to St. Jean-Pied-de-Port but this time I brought my folding bike Friday and a trailer.  If I can convince just one person who would love to experience the Camino but is limited in some way to at least consider other options then I am happy. On the Camino I saw people walking without packs, walking with sticks, riding on horses and donkeys. I saw a woman in a wheel chair and two men on unicycles. I even saw a Duch man pulling a home built cart while his wife walked beside. There are many ways to Santiago.

Before the Camino Gord and I took our bikes with us for most holidays and biking works really well for me. On all of our trips I have always had to push myself to keep up with him. This trip was very different. Gord was walking between 30 to 40 kilometres each day which is a strong day for a walker but a very moderate day for a cyclist even with side trips. It worked brilliantly for both of us. I believe that I may be the record holder as the slowest cyclist to ride the Camino Frances, and I believe that it was the best possible way to do it... at least for me.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Muxia to Laxe





Today I rode with Marco from Italy, to Laxe. I was lucky to have a companion with a map because the route was not as clear cut as I had expected. The coast is rugged and beautiful. Laxe is said to be the spot where the Virgin Mary landed in a stone boat ( an apparently popular form of transport then ) to come to aid Saint James. Legend holds that the stone sail can still be seen on the beach here. I was told by a pilgrim from LA that if I crawled through the hole made by this rock ten times my back would be fine. I stopped at four because my knees were getting sore, but my back is fine.
My Bike Friday and I at the end of our Journey.






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Location:Dumbría,Spain

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The End of the World as they knew it









Imagine before there were tomatoes, potatoes, and even chocolate: the world was a much smaller place. Finisterra was literally the end of the World until Christopher Columbus changed things. It was also kilometer zero of the Camino.









The locals no longer encourage pilgrims to follow the longstanding tradition of burning their clothes, and given the amount of synthetic fibers - I tend to agree with them. Gone are many of the other hardships for pilgrims in the Middle Ages, most importantly the need to now turn around and begin the long journey home.
What is unchanged is the throngs of pilgrims who make their way up to the lighthouse at the end of the point to watch the sun sink into a limitless sea.

As I was wandering back from the market earlier in the day (after consuming enough churros for a family of four) I ran into Gildas!! He and Maja were still in town after taking the bus there the day before. Suddenly we were invited for a home cooked meal by Maja and a concert on the point by Gildas. A small update is needed here on Grandma (his violin). Part way along the Camino Gildas picked up another credential and began collecting stamps for Grandma. Although he confessed his unorthodox behavior in full to the person at the pilgrim's office in Santiago they would not issue her a Compostela.




Monday, August 8, 2011

After Santiago - the best part of the Camino?




Gordon -
For most pilgrims the Camino ends at Santiago, but about 10% continue on to Finisterra. Those that do, such as ourselves, are rewarded with a green undulating landscape, charming villages and less crowded walking. With the mist rising off the land this morning, walking though a village constructed largely of granite, I felt this may be the finest part of the Camino.

The pilgrimage to Finisterra antedates the Camino to Santiago by at least a millennium. It was a holy place for the Celts and the Romans thought it was the end of the world. Today, it is an extension of the Camino frequented by a higher proportion of young furry people.

Ruth -
I decided to stay on the Camino rather than the roads for the last two days because the tiny lanes and paths are so pretty. Many sections are rideable but for much of the climbing it was a hike with a bike and a suitcase. At one point a tree was down and it took the help of Gordon and another man to get all my gear over it. Who knew I would develop such arm and shoulder muscles on a bike trip.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Santiago de Compostela








We arrived yesterday with just under one thousand others. In Santiago we wanted to see the Cathedral, attend the Pilgrims Mass, eat Coquille St. Jacques and reconnect with many of our friends from the Camino.






We were successful on all counts and lucky on many others.
The mass concluded with the swinging of the botafumiero, the largest incense burner in Christendom. Eight men must pull the ropes to make it swing the full length of the transept.
During the mass we also spotted Maja and Gilde, who had just arrived. We collected Tunga in the square and the five of us had a wonderful final meal together. It only makes sense that the Camino, which began as a wonderful moving community should finish with reunions and friendship.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Things Lost Along the Way





With one day to Santiago its important to consider things lost along the way.
Ruth -
1. I have lost the ability to multi-task (Gordon claims he never had it.) I have no interest in listening to music or language lessons while I am riding, walking or hanging out. The only exception is talking, but then that is kind of like breathing for me.
2. My breasts. Every morning I put on my bra but I am not sure why anymore. I am using the recently vacated space to carry my extra pairs of socks and snacks, but there is still room for a puppy if I find one.
3. My need for speed. My average speed on the bike has been dropping like a stone. Today I averaged nine kilometers an hour, with a third of the ride on the road. I am delighted to now be on the trail most of the time. It is mostly like a hilly, recovered rail bed, slow going but beautiful.
Gordon -
Every passage has its fare, and on the Camino it is payable partly in pounds of flesh. As well as Ruth's breasts (I remember them fondly) we have both lost our bellies (unlamented), and my butt (this may be a deal breaker for our marriage). The Camino presents entrepreneurial opportunities for weight loss/fitness programs. Despite burning over 4000 calories each day I am rarely hungry and I am eating less than I do at home. Perhaps it is the slow burn that comes with walking, but it seems to be a painless way to lose weight. I am sure that at some point my appetite will return with a vengeance and I will have to be chained to a stake, and thrown loaves of bread, wheels of cheese and small animals. Maybe it is time to finish this walk.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Green (and crowded) Spain





Gordon -

Yesterday we came down from the mountains and entered well-watered and hence green Spain. We are enjoying the change immensely. The Camino in this region is typically a cart track between stone walls wending it's way through a series of small hamlets. Perhaps it's just the contrast, but we both feel this is the most beautiful section of the Camino.

It is also increasingly crowded. We passed though Sarria today, which is the last major town before the minimum 100 km required to earn a Compostela. It appears that the number of pilgrims has doubled. Our new companions are easily identified by their sprightly step, clean shoes and coiffed hair. Many of the veteran pilgrims speak derisively of those
walking only one hundred kilometers but we are enjoying the injection of energy and enthusiasm.

Ruth-
Today there was a huge contrast between the road and the trail. After a few kilometers of what could have been a section of the Island Highway I went back to the trail even though I had been warned that sections were pretty rough. It was so beautiful! I kept pace with Gord all day either cycling, pushing or on two occasions carrying my bike while Gordon carried my trailer. What a guy!




I have been reading the 12th century Codex Calixtinus which includes a Pilgrim's guide to Santiago de Compostela. It makes for very entertaining reading but perhaps not the best choice if you are only taking one guidebook. It is full of beautiful illuminations and strong opinions about different groups encountered on the way. For example:
"The Navarrese also have sex with their farm animals. And it is said that they put a lock on their backsides of their mules and horses so that nobody except themselves can have them."
It actually gets considerably more graphic after this but this blog is rated PG so I'll spare you the details. (Sorry Blair.)
Sadly one of two remaining copies of the original Codex was stolen from the Cathedral in Santiago this July.


Location:Loyo, Spain

Monday, August 1, 2011

No room at the Inn







We have heard many stories about pilgrims having problem finding accommodation on the Camino. We are now in the last two-hundred kilometers( the minimum distance required for cyclists to receive the Compostela). The number of pilgrims has swelled considerably and in addition we are at a very popular town, O Cebreiro . After a climb of over 800 meters, many pilgrims have arrived here to find that every bed in town is already occupied.



We were fortunate to have reserved a lovely room in advance, but our friends Gilde and Maja are jealously guarding a small sheltered ledge attached to the church. We are in a col in the mountains and the wind is bowing. We shared a picnic together on their ledge before I took Grandma (Gilde's violin), back to share our room. She's is too old and frail for open air camping.

O Cebreiro is the Baniff of the Camino. It is popular not only with pilgrims, but also with Spanish tourists. It is stunning and has the oldest fully enact church on the Camino, dating back to the 9th century. The holy grail itself is believed to have been hidden here during the middle ages. With all these things to offer it seems pilgrim weary and less welcoming. In all the other towns locals and even the Mayor will find places that pilgrims can bed down for the night. Here, this was not the case even for a family with two tired children who have walked from Belguim ( not all today).

It appears that at least twenty people are without shelter tonight. I tried to ask our host if it was possible to share our space but she was adamant that this was not permissible. I even approached the monks on behalf of the Dutch family and they ignored me and walked away ( I hope it was just my poor Spanish).

Postscript:
Bedbugs: nature's class leveller.
At one thirty Gord woke me up with the news that our bed was crawling. Argg! We spent much of our night washing our clothes in very hot water and then had a fitful cold sleep out in the living-room. Grandma slept though it all.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Best Things on My Camino





The door of Pardon at Villa Franca

Tunde, a friend from Hungary asked me today what the deepest or best moment was for me on the Camino. It's a difficult question and I don't have my answer yet but here are a few gems:
1. Laughter with people I have just met who open their heart to us.
2. Morning silence and sounds
3. The community of pilgrims
4. Being alone and never being lonely.
5. Being with people and never being lonely.




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Friday, July 29, 2011

Beautiful Stones








Yesterday we left the plains of the Meseta and are now climbing slowly up into the mountains. We passed through Astorga where we visited the Cathedral and Gaudi's bishop's Palace. He really was a complete genius.

Now we are in a mountainous area with picturesque stone villages. I took a detour yesterday to see Castrillo de Los Polvazares one of the best preserved towns in the area, but they are all beautiful.






We continue to meet lots of wonderful people. Last night we had dinner with a lovely couple who met and fell in love on the Camino last year. (She is Slovenian and he is Portuguese.) Based on a sample size of three we have decided that Slovenians are the most beautiful people in the world.






Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Gordon is Human





Well it took twenty one years to see any signs, but it seems Gordon is human after all. What... he broke his leg you ask? A sprained ankle ? Perhaps sunstroke and dehydration? No a muscle in his leg cramped. He actually took an ibuprofen, after limping the last 15 kilometers of a 38 kilometer day. He even momentarily considered riding my bike if I had been anywhere near. Instead I was at the Albergue singing and sharing a guitar with Jernij from Slovenia and two young Québécois .
Where is my compassion you ask? Of course I have lots, but after my own history of afflictions it's nice to know that he has limits too. We will make a shorter day tomorrow, and hopefully he will be just fine.



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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Leon: City of Godly Things





We entered Leon early so that we could have a full day exploring all the sights.

This is a place of Godly things. The Cathedral is a stunning 13th century one with more glass than stone. Another church, San Isidoro, is a 12th century Romanesque marvel. Our troubadour, Gildas from France, joined us in both places with his violin- playing Bach. It was so lovely and made the churches seem even more magical. Also attached to San Isodoro is a small chapel with a remarkable collection of unrestored but perfectly preserved 12th century frescoes.

And then there is the food. At La Cocina we dined on seafood stuffed red peppers, pork medallions in a blue cheese sauce, fantastic wine and homemade desserts that made Gord moan. So good in fact that we returned for a second meal in the evening. Probably the only day on the Camino that we ate more than we burned.

Location:Leon, Spain

Sunday, July 24, 2011

El dia de Santiago





It is 6:30 in the morning and Gord is off. I have the luxury of waiting for my 7:30 breakfast here at the Pension. We took an alternate route to this town, billed as the friendliest town on the Camino by our guidebook. It certainly is and the food here has been some of the best.




Here is Saint James in Le Puy en Velay - our original starting point on the Camino. He is often done up as a pilgrim or now that we are in Spain a Moor slayer; both images complete revisionism to suit the needs of the historical period. Santiago or St. James is the patron Saint of Spain, and today is his feast day.
St. James the Greater: one of the twelve apostles and the first to be martyred, is revered along the Camino with an intensity approaching that of the cult of the virgin.
Of course that's to be expected, this is a Pilgrimage to his remains.

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Albergue Altruism


San Martin Fromista



Ok, as the queen of justification it's time for a word about las habitationes. There are several levels of accommodation along the Camino and the ones in highest demand are the refugios and albergues. These are generally bunk beds in dormitories that are either donativos, where you pay what you can, or albergues charging between 3 to 8€. At the higher end of the accommodation spectrum there are many private albergues and hostals where a double room is typically between 20-40€.

Because I am on bike we are staying away from the municipal albergues that give priority (as they should) to the walkers. As a humanitarian gesture and in response to hearing concerns from many pilgrims that the cheap places are filling up, I'm sacrificing myself to the more available higher end rooms.

I have heard from many people who walk the Camino that staying in the huge dormitories is a necessary part of the pilgrimage and I'm sure it is. I know in France some of our best connections were made in such places. However, every day Gord and I hear tales of the terrible nights experienced by people who are either kept awake by late night partiers, snoring, smelly boots or the 5 a.m. rustlers who are racing to the next place. In spite of what we might miss Gord and I are very comfortable with our sacrifice.

Friday, July 22, 2011

A State of Grace

If words could describe how I am feeling this morning I would say I am in a state of grace.

Mornings are just stunning on the meseta and riding slowly through this spectacular landscape is such a gift. The weather is sunny but unusually cool- perfect. I can't believe that this is the area most commonly bypassed by pilgrims on train. I think it is so lovely. Much more varied than the Prairies in Alberta, but like them, full of beautiful vistas and big sky. The towns are nestled into valleys or up on fortified points and more like the towns we saw in France.

This is a calm and quiet happiness that I would love to hold on to. I am enjoying my solitude so much more than I expected. It is great to plan my deviations from the walkers' route, to see other villages along the way. I'm never lonely, and If I ever was the bars along the Camino are full of new friends.
Today: 48km, three cars, one tractor.



We are now in Fromista where there is one of the best preserved Romanesque churches I have ever seen.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Burgos





Pension Acacia, Burgos
Ruth-
We had another wonderful day on the Camino today. I wanted to avoid the N 120 into Burgos so Gord and I headed off together even though I knew the first 4 km would be a rough track over a pass. I walked pushing my bike over the rutted and stoney track until at the very top we had to detach the trailer and take each piece separately. I pushed the bike while my chivalrous husband picked up and carried my trailer over the worst section. I think he was pleased that there were two Australians to witness his heroic
efforts. After a rough decent the trail became a gravel road, but the walking was nice for a change so I continued with Gord until we found a village to stop at for breakfast. After breakfast I rode ahead for a bit and then would loop back for Gord periodically.

By the time We reached the outskirts of Burgos I joined Gord again for the long 10km walk through an industrial area that could have been anywhere in North America. The walking felt great and pushing the bike and trailer was pretty easy too.

Gordon - We finally entered the old walled section of town and visited the Cathedral. It is magnificent. Constructed quickly in the early 13th century, it has a consistent early gothic design. One significant later addition is an extraordinary tower at the crossing, described by the king at the time as "more the work of angels than men". There are some real artistic treasures inside as well. We realized that, as compared to France, this may be because the cathedral was not subject to the damage suffered by the contents of French churches during the revolution.

Ruth had an athletic day today. She walked 20 km and cycled 15. I suggested she have a swim in the river and call it a triathlon. This would have been difficult even if she had been so inclined, because the mighty Rio Arlanzon is only 10 feet wide and 6 inches deep.
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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

El Menu del Dia

Ruth-
We were warned that we would tire of the pilgrim dinners, but so far they are working well for us. The choices always challenge the bounds of our Spanish vocabulary so it is usually somewhat of a surprise to see what we have actually ordered. Who knew that merguez is actually fish not sausage? The first course is usually a complete meal in itself with options like a hearty mixed salad with tuna or egg, spaghetti, paella or soup. This is followed by more meat options many involving pork. It is amazing how many different words there are for pork dishes. This is not a country for vegetarians, even our melon today was served with ham.

Gordon - Wine is served with every meal except breakfast (an untapped market?). When we order a menu del dia a bottle with the cork loosened is generally placed on the table with the bread and the water. Initially we took it upon ourselves to see that no wine was wasted, but after a number of meals we realized that consuming the entire bottle is merely a possibility. A partially consumed bottle is topped up and presented to the next group of diners. In the cheaper establishments we were actually charged a "supplement" if we drank more than a large glass each.

A quick update on our progress: we have covered 270 km in our first 9 days on the Camino. This pace is more than sufficient to get us not only to Santiago, but also Finisterra. We have been fortunate to not suffer any foot or other problems thus far, and day by day we are getting stronger.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Love on the Way

Pension Toni, Belorado, Spain
Ruth:
When a Pilgrim from Bulgaria heard that my name was Ruth she dug out her camera to show me a picture of my name made in stones surrounded by a heart. The work of Gord earlier in the day you ask???? Well... no, but I like to imagine that I have admirers out there. The next day Gord heard the full story from a Belgian woman. Apparently a Frech pilgrim walked for awhile with an Austrian named Ruth but he failed to exchange any contact information with her. Since their separation he has realized that he is madly in love with her. Frantic and unsure whether she is ahead or behind he is leaving love messages in stone and telling all pilgrims to look out for her.
It appears that a number of people hook up on the Camino. Flirtation is rampant here and my days are open with very little supervision. Come lunch time however, Gord and I usually meet for coffee or a snack in one of the little towns along the way. Love really is in the air. Today, while I was waiting for Gord I watched a father attempt to take a picture of his daughter and a young cat. As he was fraimg up the shot a tom  cat entered he scene and mounted her (the young cat not the girl).

Friday, July 15, 2011

Fuente de Vino







Casa de Abuela
Gordon-
Today our route took us past a legendary point on the Camino - the Fuente del Vino. The monastery of Irache constructed a hospital for pilgrims in 1050, one of the earliest on the Camino. The monastery now operates a major winery and as their gift to the pilgrims they have placed a tap in a wall where free wine is available. Of course we had to raise a glass to Santiago, even though it was only 10 a.m. The wine was actually very good, or at the very least good value. There is also a webcam there which can be viewed at www. irache.com. When I arrived at the Fuente there was a group of young Italians with a guitar performing for the camera. What could be more pleasant than a glass of wine and music on a beautiful day?


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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Camino Moments




Auberge de Lorca, Lorca, Spain
Ruth-
Anyone who has made the pilgrimage to Santiago will tell you about their own Camino moments. These are the moments when just as adversity strikes things are magically resolved. Whether or not one attributes this to the workings of Santiago, magic or luck, Camino moments are truly an important part of this Pilgrimage.

Before leaving this morning our host invited us to watch the running of the bulls live. It was absolutely terrifying! At one point one of the bulls was briefly separated from the pack-an extremely dangerous situation. I watch in horror as several people were tossed or trampled. I really don't get it.
But I digress from today's Camino moments. After a four km climb and a gentle down hill my trailer hitch broke right at the point of attachment. Yesterday's off-road boulder experiment must have been too much for it. I was really hooped! Just as I was calling Gord however, a work truck stopped beside the road and one of the men found a clamp to tie the trailer to the bike. It actually worked really well, and I was able to continue coasting down the hill into Puente de Reina. Now, literally the first place in town was a machine repair shop! At first I wasn't very confident that it could be repaired but a man patiently drilled out the broken piece lodged in my bike and welded a new end onto my hitch pin and voila as good as new! He refused to accept any payment and wished me a buen Camino.

In Puente de Reina while I was waiting to meet Gord for lunch I met some Spanish cyclists that loved my bike and trailer so much that they took this photo and emailed it back to me. The bike and trailer have been very popular.At lunch we were reunited with Leighton so I again had company for the second half of the beautiful ride.




Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Death in the Afternoon







Ruth-
I am sitting just outside the Cathedral in Pamplona on the second last day of the San Fermin festival. During the festival the city bursts with about 1 million tourists and dare devils here for the running of the bulls.
I rode into Pamplona with a great guy from New Zealand. It was nice to have a companion for the ride into the city. We joined the Camino about 9km out and had a beautiful bike path the whole way in.
As we entered the city walls the smell of beer and urine hit us and we chose our route carefully through the broken glass. An American we met at dinner last night, who had visited Pamplona two days earlier, referred to the Vancouver riots as child's play by comparison.
The streets are terribly narrow for such a crazy event, and the barricades lining the route don't look like they would provide adequate protection for the spectators. The six bulls and six steers race through the kilometer route at speeds up to 24km/h!!!
Sitting in a square just a block off the main hub, is safe enough and great for people watching. I just talked to some Brits who ran with the bulls an hour earlier, and still looked very excited. They claimed it was safe as long as you stayed near the front... Right! The papers report however that between 200 and 300 people are injured each year. This year they have had 165 emergency services workers and 16 ambulances spread out over the route.Today, I guess was a relatively good day with only 7 people injured. A good day; unless your one of the bulls.

Later
Casa Carpintero Astráin, Spain

We have settled into a 400 year old B&B on the square of this tiny town. We are slightly off the Camino which might account for our very warm welcome here. I think some of our hosts, like the Señora from Larrasona, are a wee bit pilgrim weary.

Gordon - This evening we learned what became of the six bulls involved in this morning's run. We arrived at the bar for dinner just as today's bull fights were beginning, live on national television. I don't believe they carry this on TSN. While undoubtedly cruel, the picador and bandilleros cause real injury to the bulls and copious amounts of blood flow, we were riveted to the screen for two hours. The outcome for the bull is certain, but there is also the possibility of real injury or death for the human participants. In fact, one matador was thrown and trampled, but he returned to fight his second bull. It is sad to watch an animal go from magnificent athleticism to death in 10 minutes, but it was a compelling watch. And for sensitive, new age guys, please note that the six steers that ran with the bulls this morning are still alive and well and looking forward to tomorrow.

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Location:Pamplona, Spain

Monday, July 11, 2011

On Top of the Pyrenees or at least at a low pass.



Hotel Roncesvalles
Ruth-
It was a tough first day but I made it up the 900 meter climb over the Pyrenees and it is a wonderful feeling to be here. Gord and I took different routes this morning; he on the much higher Route Napoleon and me on the Valcarlos route. Every trip there is usually one thing I get really anxious about and today's climb was it this time. Although I would have loved one more lower gear, it was quite manageable with lots of rest stops and a bit of pushing. Nothing like the 17km of pushing I read on someone's blog. Eeek!
We were very lucky with the weather; it has been quite wet here but today the sun broke through by noon. As this shot suggests; sun is a rare thing in Roncesvalles.

Gordon - It was a glorious day on the route de Napoleon, which is the trail taken by most pilgrims in fair weather. The route climbs steeply at times, eventually rising 4,000 feet above St. Jean Pied de Porte. Unlike mountains in Canada, the Pyrenees are alive with human activity. Houses are found most of the way up, and the peaks are wide open pasture land dotted with herds of shaggy, horned
sheep. There are also a surprising number of single lane roads twisting over the landscape. Shortly before I reached the Spanish border I encountered a van selling drinks and snacks. In an effort to get pilgrims to stop, the vendor asked each one which country they were from, which he then entered on a chalk board. About 60 pilgrims had already passed ahead of me. Half of them were from either France or Spain, but in all about a dozen countries were represented, including Korea (9 pilgrims) and Israel. I was the first Canadian of the day.
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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Camino Eve

Gite Ultreia, St.Jean Pied de Port
The last time we were here was a much sadder time because we had to leave the camino. This time it is a starting point rather than an end. Tomorrow we cross the Pyrenees into Spain!!!!!
The Gite I pre booked in Roncesvalles for tomorrow night lost our reservation but they are giving us a room at their four star hotel for the same price. See- St Jacques is already delivering the goods! Of course the last fancy place we stayed at we had bed bugs so who knows.

The town is as beautiful as ever even though it is swarming with summer crowds. Sort of like Banff in July but with better cheese.

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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Bayonne




Hotel des Arceaux , Bayonne

Bayonne is a beautiful place to recover from a long series of flights. Unfortunately, my synapses are firing in slow motion so I won't try to write much today.
After a brief period of lost baggage we are now all reunited with our stuff. Cycling without pedals and wheels for the trailer might have been tricky; not to mention the scandal I would created cycling without cycle shorts.


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Saturday, May 28, 2011

My Bike Friday!

Rule # 1 Never start looking on the used websites unless you have money to spend. Yesterday I bought a used folding bike that I have been wanting for years. It is an older version of the New-World Tourist pictured here, but it has been lovingly cared for by it's previous owner Jim. It comes with a trailer/suitcase that the bike fits into too! I haven't tried out the trailer, but the bike works beautifully! With a few more test rides, it might be Camino Bound!

Location:Russell St,Victoria,Canada

Friday, May 20, 2011

Year Three: Addicted to the Camino de Santiago 2011

Gord and I will be returning to the Camino de Santiago in July 2011 to pick up where we left off at St. Jean Pied de Port (kilometer 760 of our journey). This time I will be on bike and he will be on foot. I am done grieving that walking is not in  my plans and ready to cycle over the Pyrenees for the second time in a year. In order to stick together Gord will be walking long days and I will be cycling short ones. This is the first trip we have ever done together where he will be working harder than me. We fly into Bayonne France on July 8, and I am starting to get very excited.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Information on the Camino Frances




There is so much information out there on the Camino Frances, but I would recommend you start with the The Confraternity of Saint James. Their overview of the route can be found at: http://www.csj.org.uk/route-camino-frances.htm.