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. 

The history of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela

St. James, Santiago Cathedral

The Way of St. James is the pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain. It ranks along with Rome and Jerusalem as one of Christendom’s great pilgrim destinations.

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By the 12th century, the Camino had become a rather organized affair and what is widely regarded as the world’s first travel guide, the Codex Calixtinus from around 1140, provided the would-be pilgrim with the rudiments of what he or she would need to know while en route; advice for pilgrims, informing them where they should stop, relics and sanctuaries they should visit, bad food they should be wary of and commercial scams, including in the author’s opinion, other churches who claimed to hold relics of St. James. The book provides a valuable insight into the life of the 12th-century pilgrim.

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Just before Sunrise, Sept 20, 2012, Santa Maria de Real, Najera Spain

By the 12th and 13th centuries, half a million pilgrims made their way to and across northern Spain and back each year. Local kings and clergy built hospitals, hostels, roads and bridges to accommodate them. The Knights Templar patrolled the Camino, providing protection, places of hospitality, healing and worship, as well as a banking system that became one source of their fabled wealth.

There is evidence of a pre-christian route, the celts used this route across northern Spain, to Finisterre, the end of the world. For them, watching the sun set over the endless waters was a spiritual experience.

Castillo de los Templarios_Ponferrada Spain_IMG_3979

Castillo de los Templarios_Ponferrada Spain

Some of it winds its way over the remains of pavement laid down by the Romans two millennia ago, they built infrastructure, including a road from Bordeaux in modern France to Astorga in northwest Spain, to mine the area’s gold and silver. Some of the original road remains on today’s Camino.

A combination of the Protestant Reformation initiated by Martin Luther around 1520, the Enlightenment and European wars gradually suppressed the Camino. In the 17th century Louis XIV of France forbade his subjects from going to Santiago in order to stop trade with Spain. The Camino fell into disfavour but was never abandoned.

The European Union has designated a network of four pilgrimage routes in northern Spain in 1993. The network of routes represent 1500 kilometres, and includes historical sites, cathedrals, churches, monasteries, hostels, bridges and natural landscapes. Pilgrimages were an essential part of European culture and spiritual life during the Middle Ages. Along the route pilgrims were provided with everything they needed to ensure their physical and spiritual well-being. The route contributed to the economic and social development of the towns along the way, and the movement of large numbers of visitors contributed to the two-way exchange of cultural advances between the Iberian Peninsula and the rest of Europe.

Now, after centuries of slumber, the Camino is alive with upward of 250,000 pilgrims—and growing—yearly.

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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.

My Week in Photos and on Instagram

We had a relaxing week with my family in Puerto Vallarta, and during our visit to Puerto Vallarta we celebrated my parents 60th wedding anniversary, I feel incredibly blessed to spend this time with them.

When we were not celebrating their milestone we wandered the streets, and checked out some of local restaurants. Between meals and margarita’s spent some time on the beach watching the waves roll in.

I hope your week was a good one.

This week on Instagram

 

We had a great time in Melbourne, getting out to see all the sights. I loved riding the old tram. Free throught the City Center the trams they are a great way to get around to all the different things to see.

I want to thank Leanne Cole, who was kind enough to get up before dawn and take the train into the city. We spent part of the morning waiting for sunrise! While we had a beautiful blue hour, when the Yarrow River was magnificently still, we did not get a colorful sunrise. While I would have loved to see the sky full of pick’s and purple clouds, I am more than happy with the wonderful reflections of the city buildings and bridges in the river. If you are interested in learning more about dramatic range photography, long exposures, head on over to her website and order the Dynamic Range Magazine it is full of great information.

 

 

 

 

Melbourne

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Bill and I spent yesterday wandering around Melbourne;  we visited the Royal Botanical Gardens, watched one of the graffiti artist in Hosier Lane, witnessed a group of small children learning to ride a skateboard and crowding onto the historic city tram #35 with all the other tourists!

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

Angel Place Birdcages, Sydney Australia

Angel Place Birdcages, Sydney Australia: copyright jmeyersforeman 2015

Angel Place Birdcages, Sydney Australia: copyright jmeyersforeman 2015

From our visit to Sydney, last June….The Angel Place Birdcages were originally installed as a temporary exhibition, but they became so popular they have been kept in place. Another element of the installation is a recording of beautiful bird sounds that serve as yet another reminder of species not inhabiting the area any longer.

Bordeaux Train Station

Bordeaux France train station; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014

Bordeaux France train station; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014 

One of the lovely old train stations Bill and I had the pleasure of spending a little time visit last year. I love the old clock, it and the architecture of the building are reminiscent of another period of time. Built in 1898, we can only image what it would have been like sitting waiting for the next train during the days of the old steam engine!

Just a little side note, this image catalogued with a stock agency. Stock photography is not a major source of income, but it does allow me to make available some of the many travel images in my personal catalogue for publication. It is always nice to hear that one is being utilized. That joyous “I’ve been picked” feeling, and a few extra pennies in my pocket for coffee! A nice way to start the day.

I hope yours starts with some good news.