Spain
Praza da Inmaculada

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    • Day 37–39

      Day 34 to Santiago de Compostello

      June 11 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

      And here we are... suddenly it's over. Took it slow 🐌

      Somehow just did not want to get to the end...

      Lots of emotion... from the point where you see the cathedral to when you reach it... by all people on the road... you can feel it & see it... met a young Israeli guy who walked with his horn & his friend with a Bible...Read more

    • Day 35

      In Santiago

      May 15 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 12 °C

      Well, today I got a 6am bus from Muxia back to Santiago. From 8 am till 8 pm, I was on the move. I’ve just sat down in a vegetarian restaurant, and the food looks fabulous. It’s called A Porta Verde, and I will let you know.

      I have walked all over town, visited the Pórtico de la Gloria (I knew that photography was prohibited in the Pórtico, but I thought it was OK in the Gelmirez Palace —after innocently taking pics of some of my favorite civil Romanesque carving, I was told it was prohibido but that I could keep the fotos), I went to Ivar’s office, I’ve started my olive oil purchasing (yikes, have prices risen!), I got my compostela (no wait in the pilgrims office at about 6 PM, after more than 2000 compostelas had been issued), bought bubble wrap, went to my favorite frutería, and have met three forum members in different places. Not necessarily in that order.

      The one sad event came in the late morning. I went up to the market and headed straight for my favorite little booth selling lots of canned Galician products — sardines, bonito (a special tuna), etc. The place was locked up. I asked the butcher in the next stall if she knew anything about the owners. I had met them about 15 years ago, and I went there every time I came to Santiago. About 10 years ago, the woman told me that her husband had dementia, and I got regular updates every time I got to Santiago. The butcher told me that the husband has died and that the woman has gone to A Coruña to live. No more Conservas de Galicia.

      My pictures are for my peregrino friends who will recognize all the spots, except for maybe my favorite frutería, where I got 4 clementinas and 4 mandarinas for 65 céntimos.

      P.s. I am eating my wok bowl and it is very good. Lots of vegetables and great seasoning.
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    • Day 9

      Day 6

      September 17, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 25 °C

      Pretty sure Fitbit will be calling me, only 13k steps today after walking between 31k & 42k per day. I walked over 80 miles in those five days. There is no doubt my cardiovascular system got a huge boost from doing this. A lot of elevation change for these flat-lander lungs, so today was an easy day around Santiago beginning with getting my Compostela, exploring the Cathedral, a haircut, and a rooftop tour (in Spanish) of the Cathedral. Pilgrims are able to get a discount on tickets, but I'd left my passport with final stamp showing I completed Camino in my room. I had digital proof from my email confirmation but still asked, "Can't you look at my feet?"

      This walk was what I needed right now, thank you Terry and Stephanie for inviting me. I hope it makes the days to come a little easier, I'm sure it will.

      Tomorrow I say goodbye to Spain, the Camino and my time here. I find I'm already thinking about which route to take next time . . . Buen Camino 🚶‍♀️
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    • Day 8

      Day 5

      September 16, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

      A 12 mile walk into the Cathedral of St James today and not bad, few big hills, but gradual. Odd to hear a plane right over head, but Camino goes right past the runway. As Stephanie and I left Santiago for Sarria, we passed pelegrinos walking in. Today that was us. We knew the botafumeiro doesn't swing at every Mass, but lucked out, it did after Mass. Pretty amazing. Eight men manage the pulleys to make it swing towards the side naves. I wish I could load the video, so cool. Look online, I'm sure it's out there or watch "The Way".Read more

    • Day 23

      Day 15 - Final walk into Santiago

      April 26 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 52 °F

      Finishing a Camino totally embodies the sentiment “the thrill of victory and the agony of de-feet”

      It’s easy to be all hyped up when you finally enter the Cathedral Square in Santiago. You get caught up in the sound of bagpipes playing, people hugging, finishers trying to get their perfect picture and then running to the Compostela office to get their proof that they actually made it. And then once you’ve had your shower and a good meal (favorite Italian restaurant is in Santiago 😉) you hit a wall and feel like you could sleep for days. Plus you can’t even comprehend what it is you do tomorrow if you don’t have to set your alarm, pack a backpack and start walking for hours.

      Our route from the Cathedral in Porto to the Cathedral in Santiago on the Camino Portuguese Coastal route was roughly 310 kilometers since we added 2 more days doing the Spiritual Variant (and so glad we did).

      What an adventure it was! I always say “never again” but Tom and Miguel were already planning a "guys" Camino during our celebration meal. 🫤
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    • Day 10

      An end is a beginning in disguise

      March 9, 2023 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 12 °C

      In a stroke of near genius I explored the petrol station over the road, and they have a coffee machine. That’s enough to get me going in the morning. The N550 isn’t to be taken lightly though; it’s a fast road and even for a Tufty Club member like me, dangerous. (You’ll have to google that across the pond)

      Come to think of it Tufty would have been squirrel roadkill in Spain, as they drive on the other side of the road. The public information programmes of my youth didn’t anticipate foreign holidays.

      Regrettably Mrs HtD has picked up a virus and is feeling rather ill indeed. I’ve had a good look at options to get straight back from Santiago to Manchester; but the timings and routings simply don’t work. The train situation through Vigo and into Portugal is poor, so bus to Porto on Saturday and fly Sunday.

      Notwithstanding the above, a splendid evening locally with three delightful peregrino/as. The first time I’ve actually met up with some of the very few currently walking this route. The two Germans are big lads - and that’s a relative statement as I’m a bit of a wok-smuggler myself. Renowned early risers they’re off at dark o’clock in the morning.

      The morning arrived, as it so often does. Last night’s café was open at 0700, so real coffee was available and off I set in what I can say with new-found authority was nearly six litres per square metre per hour of precipitation. Near torrential.

      A welcome second stop at the Parada de Francos and then head down and plough on to the O’Camino at Milladoiro where cold boiled eggs were on offer.

      Shortly after the rain eased and by the time I was stood in front of the Cathedral it has stopped raining.

      With a degree of pleasure whilst taking my ease, in came my two German friends ten minutes after me. If only I knew the German for shadenfreude I could explain how I feel.

      Really not much to report on the route. I’m pleased I got the extra distance in yesterday and my over-riding impression is that the pandemic has done lasting harm to the infrastructure of this route, much as I thought on the Meseta this time last year.

      (Oh, actually, there is. About 4K out of town in the vicinity of an underpass the trees en route are ‘decorated’ for a good 400m with literally thousands of blue disposable masks and tied-on tissue paper streamers. Absolutely dreadful someone’s invested a lot of time and effort in making a real mess.)

      Santiago; where I’ve been many times before; feels different. It’s wet and there are not many folk knocking around. I’m surprised that gaita player hasn’t been given the hard word by now, it must drive the cathedral staff up the wall. I don’t know who I’m mis-quoting but a gentleman is someone who knows how to play the bagpipes but doesn’t.

      Surprisingly I’m enthused by the arrival of a large group of young people. They’ve clearly put some effort in as there’s a lot of limping going on; but they light up the place on what’s a dull day. Normally I could give the child-catcher from chatty chitty bang bang a lesson in intolerance, but I’m making an exception for once.

      The pandemic and economy seems to have taken its toll on Santiago. The Bodega San Roque has gone the way of all flesh sadly. It was excellent. I’ll have to do a bit of research.

      I holed up in a small bar near the cathedral and one thing led to another but some time later checked in at the Altair, 400m or so out of the centre and on the inbound route for the ingles. I’ve always stayed here; comfortable and well staffed and with a good sized bath.

      And that’s about it folks. Maybe a final short post tomorrow. This time last year having been MRI scanned I thought I was a dead cert for double knee-replacement. Turns out I was wrong for now.

      I’m not looking forward to a 4-hour bus to Porto, but needs must. I can cancel the train tickets when I’m on the bus, but it’s of dubious necessity as the trains seem to be in chaos anyway.

      I did collect a Compostela; but as I’ve already got enough to paper the back room I had it dedicated to Mrs HtD.

      Thanks all, it’s been a pleasure. I should be back on Camino later this year all else being equal.

      David
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    • Day 34

      Santiagoooo

      November 3, 2023 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 11 °C

      First rest day in over a month spent mooching and chilling to the max. Also just realised I took virtually no pics apart from this random assortment lool. Went to pilgrims mass in the eve (took it very seriously ofc, zero messing about) before a final meal 🥹 The night before Alex bought everyone postcard books and we all wrote notes and memories in each others and it was SO SWEET will very much miss them all :(Read more

    • Day 16

      Santiago de Compostela

      May 25, 2023 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 75 °F

      We made it to Santiago de Compostela 270 kilometers behind us. Our Camino Journey 2023 is complete. We are weary. We entered from the far west and didn’t see any signs, arrows, pilgrims, until …. We did.
      It was strangely like a street party. A cacophony of languages raised in excitement. Everyone seemed to get a burst of energy having crossed the finish line.
      We decided to check into our hotel anxious to be free of the backpacks. Then the most important helado stop before heading to obtain our certificate.
      We were Peregrino 918, & 919 of the day. 😊
      Very quick & efficient. Sadly feels commercial but that doesn’t diminish the feeling of accomplishment.

      Can’t say it’s Spain, perhaps just the Galcia Region, but there is much trash, & noise pollution. People do not wish to make eye contact and begrudgingly offer an Hola (No Hola for you!) in response to our cheerful Buenos Dias.
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    • Day 33

      Day 30 Ponferrada to Santiago

      October 20, 2023 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 59 °F

      I wasn't sure what I wanted to do after Ponferrada. Did I want to continue walking on my own or not? Aside from going to Santiago I had no more special spots on my list to visit, and in 2 days walk there would be a large influx of new pilgrims walking the last 100 miles from Sarria (making accommodations more challenging to find), the weather appeared to be getting progressively worse, and I had already walked these segments with Randy and I was really missing him. In my estimation I had nothing but stubbornness and false pride to justify continuing. So I made my way to Santiago this afternoon. I visited the famous Cathedral de Santiago, the Mosteiro de San Patio de Antealtares., Casa do Dean XVIII. and took a ride around the historical district on a mini train 🚂. (I was quite disappointed, especially in comparison to the one in Leon). I am staying a couple nights, so more to come tomorrow.Read more

    • Day 15

      Not too tired now...

      May 22 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

      Before I start, Ray has reminded me that the heat should now be off him re washing up liquid in the dishwasher. Mind you, he's been banned from the kitchen anyway, ("Result!,' says Ray!). This is because attention is now focussed on Luke, who walked ahead today listening to his BIAY and managed to miss the arrows, so ended up near some poly-tunnels, totally off course. He also broke a glass last night, leaving me to write a grovelling apology to our host 🙄😂😂. In the true spirit of the camino, though, he's been forgiven. 😂😘😘

      After a great night's sleep none of us really wanted to get up! Our apartment was just fab and a day off to relax would've been ideal. We weren't catching the Pilgrim boat until 1200 though, so we had a lazy morning eating a later breakfast (thank goodness for that bread!) and just taking our time. We watched an earlier boat depart and dolphins feeding and playing as the boat departed! That was really special! 👏👏👏
      After a quick walk around town (Vilanova wasn't that big) we collected our bags and headed to the Maritime station, just opposite our apartment. There were quite a few pilgrims already waiting so we hoped there were enough places on the boat! We were first in line though (that good old English tradition of queueing), and so first on board to claim seats up front so we could see out of the front of the boat.
      Everyone managed to pile onboard and it really was quite a packed boat, but sitting at the front was great because we were out of the water when he went fast 🙄😂. The skipper occasionally gave us information about where we were and pointed out the Twelve Stations of the Cross as we cruised past them - massive stone or wooden crosses on the shore front.
      The journey lasted about 90 minutes, so Marcel was in his element 😂. He loved it! Sid, too, felt quite at home, having arrived in Santiago de Compostela by stone boat centuries before 🙄😂.
      We reached Pontecesures and began the day's walk, first to Padron, just 3km away, for lunch, which was delicious and just what we needed for the remaining 13km to Teo. 😋 😀 😜 Sid had a go at the Padron peppers but didn't get the hot one! And we had chips. 😋😀👏
      The walk was, peculiarly, quite a difficult one. Not because it was uphill or rocky or boring - far from it - but because, by 1500 each day we'd usually stopped walking or weren't too far from our accommodation. Now, we were only just starting to walk, and it didn't feel right🙄😂.
      So on we trudged, and it really did feel like that at times, for another 3 1/2 hours to our next stay. It was a large stone built house owned by Restaurant St Martiño, so there was a ready supply of food and drink right next door 😋😀👏.
      After a refreshing beer (or other drink) we took showers and went back for food. Then it was straight to bed for what we hoped would be a good night's sleep. Ha ha ha - cue dog barking at 0200 that woke us all up, plus (speaking for myself) aching limbs and feet.
      Ah well, it was our penultimate night - we'd be reaching Santiago de Compostela the next day, so none of that mattered!
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