Espinal to Zubiri: A sketch and a close call

After a sparse breakfast, (I’m beginning to wonder if the Spanish DO breakfasts!) we had a delightful walk through light woodlands, with a few short steep climbs. The light through the trees is wonderful. Welcome to Basque country We walked to Viscarret/Guerendiain (the latter being the Basque name) for lunch …

Roncesvalles and the Witches Wood

The first ‘modern’ European travel guide was written in the 12th century by monks accompanying Pope Calixtus II. It was, of course, the guide to the Camino (French route). So the guide, known as the Codex Calixtinus, became the definitive route – and the route today largely follows the one set …

Camino Frances: St Jean-Orisson

It is quite a challenge to start the day with a mountain. We stopped in at the Pilgrim Office early to get a weather report, then paused at the bridge for a photo before passing under the Town Gate, and remarked ‘we are not in the Shire any more…’ It …

Paris to St Jean Pied de Port

We arrived early at Gare Montparnasse – scene of that famous photo from 1895 where a steam train failed to stop and crashed through from the upper floor. You can read about that incident here And here is what it looks like today – that platform behind the glass front …

Paris – the final pack for the Camino

Arriving back in Paris after a two-day visit to Northern France to see some friends, it is time to get serious for the final pack. We will be sending a bag on to Santiago de Compostela with our smart clothes, so we will only have the bare essentials for the …

Camino Credential from Notre Dame Paris

We got out early to catch the gregorian Mass at Notre Dame Cathedral. It was breathtaking – and very moving. We noticed the font in the front of the cathedral with the words: ‘I am the way, travellers are looking for’ – translated into several languages – including Spanish – for …

Packing for the Camino de santiago

The Camino de Santiago (French way/Camino Frances) is an 800km/500 mile trek. It is a traditional Christian pilgrimage route from southern France, over the Pyrenees, and across northern Spain. The route is open for anyone to walk, whether for fitness, tourism, spiritual or religious reasons. The distance is not to …

Camino training – a lighthearted look

Training for any long walk, including the Camino de Santiago, an ancient pilgrimage route across northern Spain, requires some preparation, both physical and mental. Physical preparation – walking with backpacks Firstly, physical preparation must include walking on paths analogous to the kinds of track we expect to encounter, with distance …

Camino training

Our preparations have begun in earnest for our stroll across northern Spain later in the year. When I say stroll, 800km is probably a bit more than a stroll and so a bit of training is called for. Living in Canberra’s south-west I have easy access to the Weston Ponds …