Camino de Santiago
Our journey from St Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostela
20 Sept – 1 Nov 2016
[scroll down for links to each of the blog posts to follow our journey in detail]
There is something undeniably special about walking the Camino de Santiago. As one of the great medieval pilgrimage routes it draws people from all over the world – irrespective of religious belief or lack thereof – to do something extraordinary. To walk in the footsteps of a thousand years of pilgrims is a way to touch a deep cultural history – something we rarely get to do in a busy life.
Everyone has their own reasons for walking the Camino, but there is a common thread in that it seems to attract people of a somewhat altruistic and generous nature, and everyone is reduced to the minimum few essential items carried in a backpack. So it is, for the most part, a true leveller across social groups.
The Camino, like most travel, is at least three journeys in one. It is a physical journey, in which you discover what distance can be covered in a day’s walk, and the strange feeling of walking across an entire country. It is also an inner journey of the mind, as your perspective changes, your assumptions are challenged, and you have an opportunity to spend time out from a busy schedule to gain a new perspective on life. Thirdly, it is a cultural journey spanning a thousand years of history. As UNESCO has stated: “Europe was built on the pilgrim road to Santiago.” Buen Camino!
INDEX to the Camino posts
I have collected here links to the story of our journey to Santiago de Compostela in 2016 – feel free to dive in at any point, or to follow the story sequentially.
Trekking pole tripod – camera mount
Camino training – a lighthearted look
Packing for the Camino de Santiago
Camino Credential from Notre Dame Paris
Paris – the final pack for the Camino
Camino Frances: St Jean-Orisson
Roncesvalles and the Witches Wood
Espinal to Zubiri: A sketch and a close call
Abbey of Eskirotz and Ilarratz – a hidden gem
Pamplona rest day and a moment with Heidegger
Zariquiegui and on to the Mount of Forgiveness
The Wine Fountain then on to Villamayor de Montjardin
Villamayor de Jardin to Los Arcos – and a special sunrise
Azofra to Santo de Domingo de la Calzada
On to Villamayor del Rio – and some thoughts on the Camino
On to Villafranca Montes de Oca
Camino Frances: Haven’t seen you in Agés…
Burgos – And a Museum of Human Evolution
Burgos – A Cathedral, a Prince and a Toy Train
Leon – Stained glass to rival Chartres
Leon – Hogworts, a museum, and the weight of history
Hobbit houses, then on to Villar de Mazariffe
A long bridge and a fiesta – Puente de Orbigo
Cruz de Ferro – a poignant moment
The descent, then on to Ponferrada
Villafranca del Bierzo – and a Camino angel
To O Cebreiro – Gateway to Galicia!
Sarria – Beginning of the final leg
Portomarin – and a moving church
Off to Hospital – and an encounter with Spanish plumbing
Camino – Casanova scammers and on to Melide
Melide to Arzua and an encounter with raspberries
Pedrouzo to Santiago – Arrival at last!
Santiago moments, and an encounter with the Botafumeiro
Camino Kilometre Zero at Finisterre and on to Muxia
Encounter with the Secret Pilgrim