Caminar ala medieval

or how to do it with as little modern thingies as possible

If you happen to have any pictures of me from the Camino, send them to Will be very much appreciated!


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first snow here!

Posted by camino-medieval on December 2, 2012 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (2)

it' already been a month since I came home. gosh, how time flows faster here. I blinked a few times and the first two weeks just disappeared.
I invested in a 2G external disk to store all my photos (the computer didn't have nearly enough space); I am now arranging the first photo card. still.
it's been quite rainy this past month and I found out that I have too much energy now. I need to go out and walk, or bike, for a couple of hours, to loose at least some of it. ha. I even went to skofja loka (rewalking the first day of my camino) to visit a friend, got there in 3h45 (although it is 20km) and didn't even break a sweat!

and, for the first snow of the season, I updated some of the accommodation lists. all of slovenia and italy, and camino fisterra. enjoy!

take care!

back home!

Posted by camino-medieval on November 1, 2012 at 3:35 PM Comments comments (1)

Zubiri - Roncesvalles

Peter showed me the correct tracks in two confusing forks in the morning, so that I started without having to think too much or having to backtrack. the climb was long but not as bad as I remember going down, which is of course different then going up. soon it started drizzling then raining when I got to Alto de Erro. but it was still somewhat ok in the forest. later, in the open countryside between villages, it wasn't so pleasant. I rigorously rested for 15min, twice, in Lintzoain and in Viskarret. in Burguete I stocked, literally, in the supermercado, for today's dinner and for tommorrow's snacks; there are no shops of any kind in Roncesvalles.

but albergue, which is now a big affair on four floors in the monastery complex, had machines selling ready-made microwave food. the new kitchen had four microwaves for that purpose, and stoves. I shared dinner with a french guy, because I made too much, wanting to get 'rid of' the extra pasta.

Roncesvalles - Saint Jean-Pied-de-Port

rain didn't stop all night, or in the morning. I waited till it was full light, and with a catalan peregrino, who only wanted to climb to Col de Lepoeder then continue towards Santiago, we tackled the steep leaves-covered slope, following the former roman road. they were crazy, this romans, how on earth did they get anything up there with carts or wagons? the road is impossibly steep in some places!

after a more or less level stretch on the first part of the downhill ridge I was still protected with a forest. that was good, because when I hit the road, the real fun started. the wind got in full swing, hitting me in the face with the rain, so much so that I had to walk bent over, downhill! luckily it wasn't too cold, but without a shelter of any kind I could only keep walking. after 4h of this battle I reached Orisson refuge, and suddenly found myself below clouds and with no more rain. but a cold wind picked up. it was so strong that in an hour - which I needed to descend to SJPP - the sky was almost clear of clouds and the sun was shining! many of the 34 pilgrims that I counted on the way down must have had an amazing day when they reached the top!!!

the guys of the french association that runs the municipal albergue were really nice. efficient too, considering that they had to manage 300 pilgrims a day in summer! I went to the train station to see what kind of a ticket I can get - as it turned out, only till Genova and with a strange connection in Nice, - the guy was really unhelpful.

Saint Jean-Pied-de-Port - home (in 49 hours)

in the morning I looked up to the pyreness and saw snow on the highest peaks! I took up a residence at a computer, to find out a better schedule, and where in Nice I had to go to get to my next train. then I went to mass to listen to basque singing. it's nice, different. I imagine once people felt like that a bit, not understanding a thing, when the masses where in latin. I expected the basque to remind me a bit of albanian language (both of them being very old) but, unexpectedly, it reminded me of hebrew! then I explored the town a bit, it's lovely, SJPP, with pretty old houses and their inscriptions on the lintels. then I winded away time in the pilgrim office, chatting with association guys and with pilgrims that came in that day. still a lot, considering it was the end of october.

finally, it was time to leave! I got on my train, 18.05, but was deprived of the views because the clock changed during the night and it was already dark. in Bayonne I changed for the couchette to Nice where I ended at 8.33 the next day. there I went to the first train to Ventimiglia and there straight to the ticket office, to get my italian tickets. the lady was very helpful and we figured out the best schedule according to my wishes - I wished to go back the same way I walked (and not via Milano). with some time on my hands, I headed to the sea and listened to the waves baching on the peebles, and the peebles rolling down into the water. the day was cold but without a cloud, and when there were views available from the train - much of the route is through tunnels - they were spectacularm the ligurian coast is really beautiful. in La Spezia I changed for Parma, but it was again so late, 18.16, that I didn't see a thing crossing the Apenines. from Parma a short hop to Reggio Emilia where I spent the night in the hostel.

in the morning I grabbed my breakfast and headed to the train station, going to the first train to Bologna that left. I had a bit tight schedule today, and the italian regional trains are notorious for being late - I had to count on at least 15min! in Bologna I went on the first train for Venezia, hoping that maybe there will be an earlier connection for Gorizia. there wasn't but at least I got to Venezia on time. Gorizia I reached just in time for the international bus for Nova Gorica in slovenia (there are no train connections between italy and slovenia anymore!, italy didn't want to sign some contracts) and bought my last ticket. it was rather strange, waiting at the train station where I could easily understand everyone. I found I had some trouble thinking in slovenian! the last ride was along the emerald Soca river and past the Julian Alps with their snow-covered peaks glowing in the setting sun, a beautiful conclusion to my amazing journey.

my dad greeted me at the train station, and my mom had the bags and the spray ready when I got to the top of the stairs. I didn't want to risk a possible invasion of bedbugs at home, so everything was put in bags, sprayed and left overnight on the terrace. the cloudless full-moon night became a rainy night then a rainy autumn day, probably signalling that it is time for the reality to kick back in.

take care!

almost, almost (Zubiri)

Posted by camino-medieval on October 25, 2012 at 9:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Lorca - Cizur Menor

another beautiful autumn day, although by late afternoon the clouds from the west have covered the sky. up and down on parts of the original roman road to Cirauqui, shopping for dinner in Puente la Reina, a bit of losing and finding camino frances out of Puente la Reina and Obanos, then the steep stony climb up to Sierra del Perdon, with an autophoto with the metal pilgrims.

in albergue Roncal in Cizur Menor I met america Wendy and australian Helen and we shared dinner of pasta with some veggies, good sheep/goat cheese, baguette and a small bottle of olive oil from the machine.

Cizur Menor - Zubiri

the weather deteriorated during the night, on the way through Pamplona it was raining really heavily (even grumbling a couple of times) and my boots, despite being wrapped in plastic bags and creamed, didn't hold more then an hour. then it was the usual slosh-slosh. after Trinidad de Arre the rain started to clear a little, by Zuriain it practically stopped (yuhey!) and by Zubiri the sun managed to peep out a few times. now it's somehow blue-grayish up there, but the prognosis for tomorrow is rain again. we'll see.

a flemish guy in albergue Zabaldika has been staying here for a few days, waiting for his new passport and painting around the village. today, he made a copy of one of his own paintings - of the medieval bridge - for a friend of the hospitalera, and we discussed in detail the interesting differences in both paintings, as they were finished in different weather conditions.

it's so close now, Saint-Jean, and I am as excited to get there as I was when finishing to Fisterra. :-) still there are pilgrims coming, not as many as before, but a steady stream. many still have huge backpacks and the talk mostly resolves around first-days-troubles, blisters, kilometers, beer.

take care!

first real autumn rain (Lorca)

Posted by camino-medieval on October 23, 2012 at 9:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Santo Domingo de la Calzada - Ventosa

the drizzle and the rain started to get stronger today. the mud in the field tracks started, too. wanting to avoid some of it, I took the road to Cirinuela and from there connected directly with the camino, even saving about 1km. already after braving a lot of mud, just after Azofra, the rain started to fall a lot denser and heavier and didn't stop until the next day. I decided to go to Ventosa nevertheless, as I was wet anyway.

albergue there was lovely and warm, the reading room being warmed by a small fireplace. and the company was quite something. there was a french guy, on a bicycle, who was carting behind him not one, but two pullies. among the things that he had with him were three matresses, a guitar and a fishing rod!

Ventosa - Logrono

rain, rain, rain, practically all day. I opted for the minor roads, to avoid the mud at least, but my boots got soaked through nevertheless. so I stopped in Logrono, in albergue municipal which kindly provided newspapers for drying (or attempting to dry) the boots. as it was sunday, everything was closed in the afternoon, save one shop which provided the ingredients for a dinner.

Logrono - Los Arcos

the prediction was for the weather to improve. true, it didn't rain in the morning, but it was still all grey and foggy and there were occasional drops from somewhere. it was perfect for the small white-shelled snails to come out and laze about, and I had to slalom between them a lot. but by Torres del Rio the clouds did move away and the blue sky started to show. I met an irish couple and learned that I had been lucky - they had three days of non-stop rain! by Los Arcos we were basking in the warm sun.

albergue I wanted to stay in was already closed so I went to Casa del Austria that I knew, had my clothes washed and dried in a machine (yey!), got a a gift of a pilgrim from a metal wire (made by a guy helping in the albergue like hip-hip-hip-ta-dam) and tried to save the life of a tiny mouse who was determined to hop about the street - it wasn't scared at all when I approached, lifted it on my cap, even touched it! - but it kept getting back to the street and at last I went away because I couldn't look as the cars were driving around and above it.

Los Arcos - Lorca

today was a beautiful autumn day, warm and the sky almost clear. the heavy dark brown soil got a pinkish tint in the first morning rays, that is, where the wheat hasn't already sprouted small green leaves. they are beautiful, the rolling fields of Navarra, whatever the season.

at the moment I am alone in albergue Bodega in Lorca, a huge stone house with free internet, which I am using to check some of the train schedules for going home, and a kitchen.

take care!

ya en Santo Domingo de la Calzada!

Posted by camino-medieval on October 19, 2012 at 11:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Itero de la Vega - Hornillos del Camino

up and down the beautiful meseta. the first steep up of 18% has been cemented, no rolling stones there. and on top the drizzling rain mostly stopped for the day. meseta still has that something, the infinite wide space, the horizont...

an interesting crowd has gathered in albergue in Hornillos, really wordly; a south african, a kazastanian (my first!), canadians, and various europeans. the local shop has adapted to microwave kitchen, as there is no stove in the albergue.

Hornillos del Camino - Atapuerca

a looong day of 40km, and that was because albergue in Cardenuela where I wanted to stay, was closed. the bar too, which was the frist not good sign. I had to climb over Sierra de Atapuerca to get my bed, in the albergue with a kitchen and thankfully small dorms. the entry to Burgos is quite stretched and boring, but the exit along the river is beautiful, with one long park of various trees and dirt paths.

the rain has been following me the whole day, popping few drops on my head here and there, but the real shower started when I was already under my shower, at about 17h.

Atapuerca - Villambistia

so, a shorter day was in order. very windy, across Montes de Oca. the traditional photo with the mountains at Fuente de Mojapan. very friendly lady in the shop (there is now a shop!) in Villafranca Montes de Oca. then a stretch along the busy N120, with lots and lots of trucks and not worth the shorter route; I almost got driven over by a truck.

clean and almost empty albergue in Villambistia, a warm welcome from Inmaculada, and a good dinner with bean salad from her son. Inmaculada said that last the number of pilgrims dropped by 70% from last year! I can't even begin to imagine how the camino and the albergues must have looked like.

Villambistia - Santo Domingo de la Calzada

drizzly and windy and sometimes a little sunny; it is autumn. the countryside is still beautiful, now more brown and a little green, too.

the big albergue in Santo Domingo luckily has not-so-big dorms, a kitchen and a big sitting area with fine sofas. still surprisingly lots of pilgrims, all with muddy shoes and pants, that trod the camino. the cathedral now has an admission!

take care!

flat lands of Leon (Itero de la Vega)

Posted by camino-medieval on October 15, 2012 at 9:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Mansilla de las Mulas - Bercianos del Real Camino


there's not much to say about the landscape in all of this country of gently rolling hills or flat lands of Leon. the wheat is all gone, leaving behind dark yellow landscape, beautiful if the sky above is clear blue and spotted with white clouds. sometimes the mountains to the north dot the horizont.

the friendly albergue parroquial in Bercianos, housed in the 17C casa rectoral, has 'grown' in the last seven years and now boasts lots of bunkbeds. but the little mouse that I remember scurrying around during the night is still there, although it must have grown quite a bit, judging by the sound of its footsteps. it was the first night after summmer that the albergue was not full. we had lively communal dinner, with special veggie menu. and I met a french guy who I met three years ago in Los Arcos and Atapuerca; he recognised me, I didn't remember him.


Bercianos del Real Camino - Calzadilla de la Cueza


still on the senda along minor roads. some trees, particularly those nearer streams, have grown and now form a shady canopy above pilgrim's heads.

in Moratinos I stopped at Reb's, through whose blog I discovered Camino Invierno (and wanted to meet her). she is involved in lots of different works of various caminos in the wider area, lastly she was helping with Camino Vadiniense, the one I crossed in Cistierna. her partner and her invited me to lunch they were about to have and also boiled me three eggs for the route (they said the chickens lay so many they don't know what to do with them) - they made a fine dinner (and survived the bongy hike, too!). thanks, guys!

albergue in Calzadilla was a bit disappointing. it was clean, but very stuffed, with 20 bunkbeds in one big room, with only about 50cm between them. the showers were tiny, and men's and women's toilets all in one space. but the most alarming thing was that hospitalero, who prided himself on being clean, and didn't seem to be at all concerened that someone might carry bedbugs. he was actually offended when asked if he knew how a badbug bite looks like, saying that he doesn't.

I crossed the halfway of Camino Frances today!


Calzadilla de la Cueza - Villalcazar de Sirga


the long and mostly flat roman road from Calzadilla to Carrion de los Condes is a lot nicer to walk on now, being refurbished with fine white gravel. on the other hand, the senda from Carrion to Poblacion de Campos has also been refurbished and is now a tiring trail of more or less round stones of various sizes that don't give a good footing.

there was a sizable lively slovan crowd in the welcoming albergue municipal in Villalcazar - a slovak, a polish couple and a slovenian. with a danish, we made dinner, putting together all the vegetables we had, mixing them with pasta and tomato sauce provided by hospitaleras (it was sunday and too late to go shopping).


Villalcazar de Sirga - Itero de la Vega


I avoided some of the tiring senda by walking on the main road; if nothing else, it was faster. I forgot how really flat this part is, all the way from Villalcazar to Boadilla, although the last part - from Fromista to Boadilla - is along Canal de Castilla. the weather was sunny again today, and after the morning's almost zero (there was some frost here and there) quite warm in the afternoon. I was actually tempted to go further, but decided that 30km would suffice.

I took the opportunity and washed my hear and some of my clothes. Itero is a quiet and somewhat confusing village with an old rollo (jurisdicial pillar), houses of adobe, and a church with an interesting portico. albergue municipal has beds only and a small kitchen. I wonder if there will be more then two pilgrims here today, the crowds have thinned, but I am still surprised at the number of pilgrims that I meet every day. nope, there are only Barbara, an italian, and me.

take care!

badbugs! (Mansilla de las Mulas)

Posted by camino-medieval on October 11, 2012 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Triacastela - La Faba

the climb up to Alto do Poio then O'Cebreiro is long but the views back to Galicia are far-reaching and beautiful. just before reaching O'Cebreiro, the route crosses a forested summit and there were some yummy bluberries along the path!

'german' albergue in La Faba is a real gem. hospitaleros are superb, they talk to everyone, arrange everything, have a small shop if you lack something, spray you up and down and wash everything you have if you have badbug problem (one german korean came in, scratching himself all over), and give you milk and coffe and cookies in the morning!

La Faba - Pieros

a steep but short morning descent to the valley floor then a whole day of big and small roads to Pieros, a village tucked under the celtic castro.

hospitalera Mar knows a lot about the history of the little village (the roman road run along the valley below, and the church was the first one consecrated in the entire region), and the mountains I am going to tommorrow or the day after. the vegetarian dinner in the small albergue in Pieros was very good, the cous-cous with raisins and whole almonds was the best I have ever eaten!

Pieros - El Acebo

the first part was crossing the big valley from Cacabelos to Ponferrada, on roads mostly and uninteresting. I did get to pick a few fresh figs from a bucket by the church door in Fuentes Nuevas, yum.

walking towards Molinaseca, the mountains started to call to me, and I decided to continue on, up this beautiful beautiful Montes del Bierzo. I was so full of energy that, even after more then 20km of roads, I climbed 8km and 500m high difference in a bit over 2h! that certainly must be proof enough that these mountains hold an incredible pulling energy. they were sacred to all peoples leaving in the region.

El Acebo - El Ganso

a terrible night, more then half of it spent fighthing the bedbugs. I should have left the bed when I spotted (and killed) the first one. after the second tickling on my hands, I grabbed all my things, went downstairs to the big table and started cleaning everything by searching and killing every badbug I saw. I found more then twenty, some huge, of 8mm! I went through everything twice and checked my sleeping bag at least six times. only a bit later I was joined by three anglishmen who were sleeping in beds around me, they also couldn't sleep, cleaned their staff and went walking at 5am. that was a night I do not want a repeat of.

up and down Cruz de Ferro, not that badly 'decorated' in things not stone as I feared. 

when I arrived in friendly albergue Gabino in El Ganso, hospitaler gave me a big black bag, I put all my stuff into it and it got heavily sprayed. later, my clothes got washed in a machine as well. but I did a good job in the night, not one budbag fas found.

I am gonna be a bit panicky from now on, I am sure. at least for the days to come.

El Ganso - Hospital de Orbigo

leaving behind the last mountains for a while. they said goodbye with a beautiful sunrise and a rainbow just a little to the north of the route. 

I meandered through Astorga a little on my own, missing a turn at the start. two farmacies didn't have the granulos I needed. I stopped in albergue Siervas de Maria to say hello to the german hospitalera I met in San Xil.

then I decided for the original route along the main road, to see what it is like. definitely not worth torturing the legs for the 1km less, it's almost all on the old road beside the new road.

in Hospital I again landed in the beautiful and welcoming albergue parroquial (there was clasiccal music playing when I entered!). I think it's actually the most beautiful albergue in all Camino Frances.

Hospital de Orbigo - Virgen del Camino

continuing on one or the other side of the busy main road. the legs were hurting quite a lot towards the end but a good night's sleep helped and in the morning they were ready to go.

Virgen del Camino - Mansilla de las Mulas

the weather was very interesting today. above me sometimes cloudy with sun, sometimes cloudy with small showers, but looking around, both were mixed together and sometimes half of the sky was blue and sunny and the other dark gray and rainy. 

I mostly passed through Leon, not really stopping, only in the beautiful 1827 farmacy with the original wooden furnishings, to stock on tubes of my homeopathic granulos; I bought three tubes, just to be on the safe side. 

and I discovered today that tommorrow is a major fiesta in all of Spain and everything will be closed. all the pilgrims were packed in a small shop around the corner of the albergue in Mansilla.

take care!

plan R (Triacastela)

Posted by camino-medieval on October 4, 2012 at 10:30 AM Comments comments (0)

plan R (retour, if you haven't gusessed already) is working nicely. today I have left the last 100km behind and the number of pilgrims has lessened a bit. there are now mostly the 'true' pilgrims, a small backpack in sight only here and there. the weather has improved and will hopefully stay the same tommorrow when I am crossing O Cebreiro.

Fisterra - Muxia

an on and off drizzling day (it was mostly following behind me, thankfully) with the sea in sight (and sometimes smelling distance, too) almost all the way.

Muxia is a small town on a narrow peninsula of huge granite boulders beaten by huge waves that carried the smell of salt and the sound all the way to the albergue Xunta which is up on the hill. it was magnificent, seating on the shore and listening to the beating waves. :-) and I almost saw the sunset! there was one cloud just above the sea that covered the sun as it was setting into the sea.

Muxia - Dumbria

the route backwards is not waymarked and sometimes I had to guess a bit. it is beautiful, still the least used of the routes going to the sea, passing a couple of lovely romanesque churches with different decorations (Moraime and San Martino de Ozon), and still having some grassy stretches!

the albergue in Dumbria is one of the newest and modernest, with automatic lights, floor heating, and echoing spaces. I thought I'll be alone but in the end about 15 people slept there! I shared cooked chestnuts with Julia and Isabelle who picked them on the way.

Dumbria - Vilaserio

the last stretch of the way to Muxia is on some really beautiful and soft grassy tracks that I tried to enjoy as much as possible before hitting the roads.

I headed straight to the little room on the first floor of the albergue municipal in Vilaserio. later an interesting company joind me in the albergue, german Ana and french Manuel (who met in Santiago four days ago and were freshly in love), german Manuela and french Joan (who met on camino del norte and were not a couple). from hospitalera we obstained a small electric plaque and one big pot cooked chestnuts, pasta, and a huge pumpkin. we ate from the pumpkin's halves. it was a very special evening.

Vilaserio - Santiago

a looong day of 40km! not planned,  but somehow I couldn't stop before Santiago. and then everything in the centre was booked and had to go 2km further east to albergue Acuario! I was pretty beat. the albergue was very nice, though, with lively colours, big kitchen, paper towels, and a smiling hospitalero.

Santiago - Salceda

eh, another mostly sleepless night. a man beside me snored in all positions all through the night, and the woman above him had monologues in her sleep.

the first pilgrims heading to Santiago I met almost at the doorstep of the albergue, at 7h30! the exit up to then down Monte do Gozo is nothing to write about, but the descent through eucalyptus woods to Amenal (I remember going down to Santiago from there) was a nice surprise.

when I arrived in the albergue they said that they forgot my booking! my then the senor remembered my call (there are not many slovenians on the way, how could he forgot?) and I got a rooms with two beds and a private shower for the same price! later Alison from Ireland joined me. we slept very good that night. the dinner was an elaborate affair and my merluza fish came complete with mussels!

Salceda - Melide

still lots of pilgrims. lots of those with little backpacks and big shells, especially. I say 'hola!' to all, but the true smile mostly goes to those with big backpacks and seasoned features (and boots).

in Arzua I paid a visit to the post office and sent home my big scallop shells, mostly because the big one started to smell a bit seawidishy, although I kept washing it with fresh water.

the private albergue in Melide had a usable kithen, but hardly a space to eat (taken over by four payable computers), nowhere to wash clothes (we did it in the bathroom or in the kitchen sinks), and dirty floors. and was expensive for what it offered. but I did get my risotto with veggies.

Melide is actually quite a lovely town.

Melide - Ventas de Naron

the first (and hopefully the only) drizzly and rainy day in galicia. but there was a bit of sun, too. the hills are getting a bit gentler as I go east, and are now covered in pines rather then eucalyptus trees. there are still lots and lots of pilgrims. some stop and ask where I am going. some take photos of me. some even want to take a photo with me (those were coreans). some say that from afar I really look like a medieval pilgrim, with the poncho billowing around me. one guy even said I look like a little red riding hood in my red poncho and a red cap. hehe.

the albergue in Ventas de Naron had only two small dorms with uncrowded wooden bunkbeds. it was full of talkative australians so the dinner was very lively.

Ventas de Naron - Morgade

a morning drizzle on the way down to Portomarin. rio Miño was very low on water and the ruins of the former town were sticking out along both sides of the river. surprisingly, almost all the bridges and roads were still in a very good condition, and used by locals, too. there was once another big bridge spanning the river that is now almost disappeared. instead, part of it is used as a 'hunting ground' for fish for some local specialities.

the tiny albergue in Morgade is in a lovely 17C stone casona for which some say that was a pilgrim hospital in the 14-15C. it has only six ready-made beds so I was hoping for a good night's sleep. Rebecca and Laura came in the afternoon, from Triacastela on the direct route, saying it's a bit long but plausible. so I decided I'll go there too. they recommended a few albergues for further use.

Morgade - Triacastela

two galicians that came in the evening were the cause of much snoring during the night. I slept only about half of it. sigh.

galicia granted us another warm sunny day! up and down and up and down across little and big hills, across pastures with lovely stone walls and through shady oak and chestnut forests. in Sarria I stocked on chocolate rolls and info. I chose the shorter route, via Calvor and San Xil, the one we did the first time, in 2005. but I don't at all remember that there is such a long big climb on the way, up to 900m! on top, I took a break and joined two nice germans who gave me some water (there were no fountains since Sarria and I was almost empty) and two vanilla pudings. the descent was much faster, thankfully, past the first really big old trees that I remember seeing in galicia. I went into the first albergue I saw, and got a bed in a small dorm and free internet!

take care!

plan R (Portomarin)

Posted by camino-medieval on October 3, 2012 at 4:50 AM Comments comments (0)


just a short notice that I am still kicking! it's difficult to find a free internet on camino frances. yup, camino frances. since I obviously miscalculated, or I am running or flying, I have one month left! and what better way to use it then to go back to france on camino frances? I can't think of a better way, you agree?

it's quite special, going home. towards the rising sun, and a big venus in the mornings.

I meet all of the pilgrims that are going to santiago. 'hola!' has become a permanent word in my vocabulary. it's interesting to observe pilgrims, too. some are tired, carrying big backpacks and looking at their feet, but when you say 'hola!' and smile, they look up and smile back so radiantly. others are talking or listening to their i-pods and hardly say back anything. on this last stretch there are also lots of those with small backpacks and huge shells, mostly spanish but also german and english-speaking.

galicia has been nice so far, drizzling and a little showering only yesterday and a bit today. I am hoping it will stay this way, or get better, when I will cross the mountains!

I am actually on the internet in an office in casa de cencello where the señora has been so kind to let me use it for 15min!

take care!

autumn has arrived (Fisterra)

Posted by camino-medieval on September 25, 2012 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (3)

Sanitago - Vilaserio

a hearty breakfast to set me on the way for this long day. knowning the route amazingly kept it shorter (normally it gets longer because you remember things by not remembering some parts of them; makes sense?). the weather held up, with the wind getting stronger as the day got older. in Vilaserio I headed straight to albergue municipal in the old school (owners of the private albergue deny its existance if asked), and to my pleasant surprise it improved! there are now three beds, one with a proper canvas and two with a matress. I occupied one of the small rooms on the upper floor. at first it looked as if I would be alone, but by late afternoon four more pilgrims arrived and installed themseves on the ground floor on the matresses.

Vilaserio - Olveiroa

the night was wild. the wind was unbelievable, blowing sideways and horizontal, and forcing the stormy rain to follow the same direction. it was also whistling through some holes in the building. I was hoping very much it will improve by morning.

morning was a bit calmer. the wind didn't blow all the time, there were 'only' strong gusts that were bending the trees and moved me around  the route. quite literally. about half way to Olveiroa it started to get even stronger and longer and was joined by heavy downpours. I wisely decided to stay in albergue xunta in Olveiroa. I say wisely because, not long after I showered, whole hell broke loose and didn't stop well into the night.

Olverioa - Fisterra

I woke up about 3h30 and it was calm outside. that was a good sign.

morning was gray and cloudy, but nothing like yesterday. I headed across the beautiful mountains and moors that run almost interrupted from Olveiroa to Cee. on the way Robert from USA joined me and we discussed our equipment, diets, fountains, and petroglyphs (there are supposed to be the remains of a petroglyph on a rock along the way, but we couldn't find it).

the route is now waymarked all the way through Corcubion which was having a fiesta that day, with a mass, a small orchestra, and firecracers.

all day the sun was trying really hard to get through the clouds, popping out for a few moments here and there. but when I - finally! - reached my favourite spot - a rock with the first and beautiful panorama of the Fisterra bay spreading out ahead - the clouds somehow disappeard from above, the sky was blue, and the whole bay basked in the sunshine! it was amazing!

and then another pilgrim came along, the sun hid behind the clouds and it was all gray again. is that magic?


an obligatory day in Fisterra. this time cloudy, windy and drizzly. I transferred to a private albergue with a kitchen (there are lots of these now in Fisterra but only a couple have a kitchen), climbed up to Monte Facho and its three summits of white rocks called Piedras Santas (it was blowing fiercly, too), there encountered four mares with curious foals, descended back to santa Maria in Fisterra (and was lucky some german pilgrims were having a mass inside and could pop in), waited out a heavy shower in albergue, went for the obligatory paseo along the beach in search of scallop shells (I found plenty and huge ones, too, the heavy winds must have torn out lots of seaweed attached to various shells), and found a free internet in CeMIT while the library is being renovated.

and, I encountered an austrian guy who walked the camino in full medieval regalia! clothes, cape, hat, leather water bag, home-made linen backpack, and shoes!!! I was impressed. unofrtunatelt he was leaving that day and I couldn't bombard him with all the questions I wanted to.

take care!