Viana to Navarrete; Camino to Santiago de Compostela 

The church bell rang as we left Viana; it was 7:45 am. 23 k, approximately 35,000 steps and 6 hours we arrived in Navarrete. 

Today was another pleasant walk. Beautiful mural painted on the walls, on sign noted 661 kms to Santiago, arriving on Navarrete another sign said 575 kms. The miles are slowly being walked. 

Estella to Los Arcos

After a rainy day off on Estella we headed out this morning, it was a cool start to the day, but before long the sun was shining and it was a lovely 17 k walk. 

Beautiful countryside, I am editing photos and publishing the blog using my phone, not convenient for long stories, so I will let the photos speak for me! 

Camino to Santiago de Compostela; Pamplona to Uterga 

We started our slow steady climb to Cizur Menor, and the Alto de Perdon by walking between fields of wheat blowing in the wind. 

The climb steadily increase, the views of Pamplona and the valley below were stunning.

At Zarriquiegui a hamlet about 10k out of Pamplona, we rested for a bit in the 13th-century Romanesque Iglesia de San Andrés. Our timing was perfect, as these two gentleman were singing, it was a delightful and unexpected pleasure. 

It was very windy at the top of the Alto de Perdon, the iron sculptures of the first pilgrims, and if you look beyond the sculpture you can see windmills in the distance.  In 2016 wind energy was the second source of electrical generation in Spain and  Spain is the fifth country in terms of installed wind power. Every Alto seems to have dozens of these large windmills on them!  

Our journey today 17 k, 28500 steps 4C when we left this morning, cold wind blowing most of the day with a high of 13C. Sitting at the end of the day on a sunny patio, with a glass of wine,  we will remember this as another lovely day. 
 

St.Jean Pied de Port; the Camino Francés 

The Camino Francés traditionally begins in St-Jean-Pied-de-Port.Two-thirds of pilgrims arriving in Santiago walk the Camino Francés, of which 10% start their journey here, walk south on the Rue de Citadelle, past the Notre-Dame church, and through the gate of Norte -Dame. 

I used a long exposure for the photo to show the pilgrims walking down the road. This represents the beginning of their journey.

We start our walk tomorrow. 

A week of planning and preparing…..

This has been a week of planning and preparing for our next trip and the camino. Our plan is to start our walk from St. Jean Pied de Port, France on April 22 2016. With that in mind I have been going through some of the photos from our previous camino,  a walk down memory lane. I walked to remind myself of the places we will see, and make sure we had time in certain places to see some of the sites we didn’t have time for last time.

With all the time spent on planning and preparing for the trip I have not picked up the camera more than once or twice this week. The photos on my Instagram stream this week were from our previous camino. These are some of my favourite images that give a sense of the camino, lots of walking, quiet days together on the road, early mornings are the best.

Let me know if you have any questions about the camino. Here is a google map of the route, and a link to the camino forum, full of information.

Hopefully next week I will have some new photos for you.

Walking the Camino with a Instamatic Camera

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walking the camino to Santiago de Compostela Spain with an Instamatic Camera! 

in 2012 Bill and I walked the Camino to Santiago de Compostela among the many things we carried, was the Fuji Instamatic Camera, and 5 packs of instamatic film. Each day we took a photo and mailed the photo home, my own postcard. Here are just a few of the photo. I have finally decided it is time I should put all of these memories in one place, another time I will show you the map book we used to find out way!

I had read about Polaroid Postcards, but at the time polaroid wasn’t easily available, so we travelled with a Fuji Instamatic Camera. Some of the photos didn’t make it home, some had lost their stamps but still arrived home. I put the address and stamp on the front so that the postmark and info would be on the same side as the photo. I eventually started to tape the stamp to the card to make sure they didn’t fall off.

Most people walking the camino try to adhere to the suggestion that the backpack should not be more than 10% of their body weight, it will come as no surprise to many who know me that my camera gear exceed this guideline, and this was before I added in the Instamatic camera and film. I do have to thank Bill, my wonderful husband, who always help to carry the equipment. The images are a wonderful keepsake from the walk

Tui to Santiago de Compostela

Tui to Santiago de Compostela 105k in under 22hrs.

Tui to Santiago de Compostela 105k in under 22hrs.

We just leaving Praza Obradario, just in front of the Santiago Cathedral when we witnessed these 5 women march, with full packs and carrying their weapons, into the Praza.  As they arrived the other military personnel that where already there welcomed them with a cheer and loud applause. It wasn’t until the next day when we went back to the square that we found out what had happened.

The next day, in the square was a big celebration, with a military band, bagpipes and all,  we learned that the women were part of a group who had walked the Camino Portugues from Tui, Spain, a city along the Spanish Portuguese border, 105 kilometres to Santiago de Compostela in under 22 hrs!   The four teams, three men, and own women’s team, that had completed the camino received medals.

The ladies didn’t speak any English, but were happy to pose for a photo, it was one of the other officers who told me of the events. He also said many who walked ended with injuries, and a few who started didn’t finish.

From Madrid to Toledo

Toledo Cathedral, Toledo Spain

Toledo Cathedral, Toledo Spain

We have left Madrid and taken a 30 minute train ride to Toledo Spain. Some of you, who have been following the blog for a while might remember that the plan was to walk the Via la Plata, a medieval camino route from Seville to Santiago de Compostela. We had walked the Camino Francis about 18 months ago, and really enjoyed our time in Spain and walking. The Via la Plata is a different route, much further between towns meaning longer walking stages, fewer travellers or pilgrims on the road, and not as well accommodated. We found we were not really enjoying ourselves. We do understand that the idea behind a camino, and we don’t expect to enjoy everyday, but still, this is our journey and so we have left he Via la Plata route, and are no longer walking north towards Santiago de Compostela. We are taking sometime off the camino path, and we are going to get a little rest, travel by train and visit some of the world heritage sites in Spain. That is what brought us to Toledo, and this great Cathedral, more about it tomorrow.

 

Spring on the Via la Plata

Rain on the Via la Plata; Spring on the Via la Plata

Rain on the Via la Plata; Spring on the Via la Plata

While it has been raining for days along the Via la Plata we have managed to be indoors when the showers hit. Not so yesterday!

It was not a heavy cold rain, like we are used to back home, but a light rain, on and off during the day. On the plus side, the trails were not too messy, and we no longer wonder why we are carrying our ponchos (they add considerable weight for one piece of clothing)

We passed the Prosperpina Reservoir not far from Merida and I noticed the raindrops on the lake. How lovely and peaceful it seemed to me, it really speaks to the walk through the Spanish countryside that we have been experiencing.