Camino Finnesterre. Day 7. Cee to Finnesterre

After fantastic tapas last night and a good giggle thrown in we crashed at 9am. Living the high life !

Full nights sleep and we didn’t rise until 7am. Pain au chocolate was the order of the day

We then set off on the journey to Cabo Finnesterre. Quick photo opp at the harbour in Cee. Ready to rock

After about an hour we came out of the forest and found a fantastic beach. Boots off !

After another cafe con Leche we set off with just over 7km to go

We were back in forest for an hour and then Finnesterre was in view

As we came down the hill there was a 2 km beach and it made sense to stop for a beer and a bit of reflection

Reflection lasted 2 beers !

We headed off again on the last section of our journey. In Finnesterre we stopped to pick up some bread, ham, cheese, olives and beer for celebration when we get to the ‘End of the World’

Once through the port we had 2.5km up one last hill and we were there at km marker 0.00km

Luckily the rain had stopped today and we had some sun so we sat and chilled and had our lunch before we threw our stones in the Atlantic. Each one has some significance to each of us. Here’s the videos

Then walked back into the port to celebrate. Julie bought Bob a big cigar to celebrate, and he did !

We then played cards and had a fantastic steak to celebrate along with lots to drink and started planning our next adventure in 2020……

Stats for the day

35,000 steps. (Total so far 420,000)

23 km. (Total so far 220 km)

3,000 calories. (Total so far 30,100)

160 flights of stairs. (Total so far 1,402)

Courtesy of Bernie’s Fitbit

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Camino Finnesterre. Day 6. Ventosa to Cee

Sleeping in a room with 38 people and being on the top bunk of a wobbly bed probably wasn’t the best solution for a good nights sleep !

We were up at 5.20 and on the road just before 6am, head torches firmly in place. After yesterday’s 35km slog we had another hard day ahead and the weather forecast wasn’t good.

We knocked out 14km by 9am and I didn’t feel the best so spent most of the walk by myself about 50 yards behind Bob and Burny. The rain was bad and we arrived at the first cafe for some brekkie and I was knackered.

A good cafe con Leche and a rest were the tonic and we set off again with a tough climb ahead. Here’s today’s walk profile

I also managed to find another football pitch, Tresmonte FC. Here’s the video. I have one big stop to make at Santiago de Compostela FC when we get back there on Saturday. They used to play in La Liga so should be a good sized stadium.

The weather took a turn for the worse and turned into the worse day by far, walking the fog and rain coming sideways

Rain Rain Go Away. It didn’t. We managed to stop for a boccadillo and a local church was the driest spot. Closest Burny has been to a church since 2016

We then had 15km over the hill before we dropped into Cee for the night. At last we came upon Cee and saw the sea for the first time

were now away to do laundry as my gear is humming slightly and having a beer whilst we wait. A game of cards me thinks…..

Tapas for dinner and an 9pm bedtime. #knackered

Tomorrow is our last day and we are 18km away from Finnesterre and the Atlantic the Ocean. In the Middle Ages people thought that Finnesterre was the ‘end of the known world’ and tradition states that when you reach lighthouse and you throw the stone you have been carrying throughout your pilgrimage into the ocean. WE’RE READY !

We’re going to sing a song for tomorrow’s arrival. Suggestions please…

Stats for the day

50,000 steps. (Total so far 285,000)

34 km. (Total so far 197 km)

4,500 calories. (Total so far 27,100)

187 flights of stairs. (Total so far 1242)

Courtesy of Bernie’s Fitbit

Camino Finnesterre. Day 5. Ventosa to Santa Marina

After a fantastic meal last night with Julian and his wife and a good nights sleep we were up at 6 and on the road for 6.45am with a long day ahead.

Our first stop for breakfast was closed as was the second and we ended up doing 13km before we found somewhere.

My eagle eyes were on and on the way I found the remains of the Tresmonte FC football pitch. Rusted goals and totally overgrown. I had to walk through a field to get to it

We had 2 hours of cloudy weather and no rain and breakfast was upon us in Negriera

As we left Negreira we had a photo moment. Who’s the band ?

And some more pics from a lovely village we walked through

Then the heavens opened and we donned ponchos. After a short while I spotted the second football pitch of he day and this one was overgrown as usual. Video below:

With lots to cover today we upped the pace for a while

We ended up covering 35km today and it turned out to be he hardest day so far. But luckily the sun came out and we recorded a video for everyone.

Suggestions for tomorrow’s video gracefully accepted as we have 34km to do tomorrow

We got to our lodgings tired but there sun was shining and a beer was In order with game of cards

Stats for the day

50,000 steps. (Total so far 235,000)

35 km. (Total so far 163km)

5,500 calories. (Total so far 24,600)

275 flights of stairs. (Total so far 1055)

Courtesy of Bernie’s Fitbit

Camino Ingles/Finnesterre. Day 4. Sigueiro to Ventosa

Up early again and a fantastic little breakfast laid on for us

we left at 6.20am and Spanish Juan asked to walk with us for 12km which was the first stop for cafe con Leche

Coffee and croissants were sublime but bob realised he’d left his glasses in the last Albergue. Juan was straight on the phone to see how we can get them. Let’s see….

So we now set off for Santiago and the cathedral and low and behold it’s absolutely peeing it down. Heavy thunderstorms forecast for the rest of the day. We arrived in Santiago in heavy rain. Tried to video the arrival but wet selfie stick and I dropped the camera so limited video 😦

We passed some lovely old buildings. Grace, this one is for you

Coffee and a brandy was in order at the same cafe we celebrated in 2 years ago plus a video for our wives.

Well that was that, and we set off on the final leg of our trek and our final destination, Finnesterre, and the Atlantic. Here’s a couple of pics of the weather and the guys on this stretch

I almost forgot to mention my Camino de Football ! And yes I found another football stadium. FC Villestere. That’s 5 now.

My son Charlie gave me a special Lego Camino guy to bring with me and here’s a pic I took for him. He has the daft same Lego figure by his bed 😍

We stopped in a fantastic house run by a couple and await dinner with them tonight. Paella! Fantastic food and company with Maria and sandy from Quebec and Alabama.

Bob says hi to mum and we all wish her a happy birthday for tomorrow. Have a great day !

Stats for the day

41,000 steps. (Total so far 185,000)

30 km. (Total so far 127.7km)

4,600 calories. (Total so far 19,100)

167 flights of stairs. (Total so far 780)

Courtesy of Bernie’s Fitbit

Camino Ingles. Day 3. Hospital de Bruma to Sigueiro

After an early night last night we had an avalanche of noise last night. Snoring, moving and the other stuff people do in the night. !

So we were up at 6am and on the road at 6.45. Rain was due and it started pretty soon after left. Ponchos at the ready !

So after an hour we needed a break and had a stop for cafe con Leche and toast and jam. Gorgeous !

The rest of Day was walking in heavy thunderstorms so didn’t take any pics, although for half an hour it stopped and low and behold I found another local football ground hidden in the woods. It’s now my Camino de football

Bob also found the time to be a tad funny when he found someone rubbish

We then arrived in Sigueiro absolutely wet through to the skin and our boots were soaking. We found an Albergue and got everything off to have a full wash and dry.

After wed’d showered I went on a walk around the town and found another football club, Sigueiro futbal Club. The Camino de Football continues…

Every day we collect stamps (cello) in our pilgrim passport and keep collecting to get our com0,etiolated certificate (credential) in Santiago. For those that didn’t see these last time here it is

Showered, shaved and feeling better we head out for our traditional pilgrim meal and a game of cards. The current score is 1 game each. This is played over the whole walk with the winner pocketing €1. High stakes game with bragging rights for 2 years.

Tomorrow we arrive in Santiago de Compostela with heavy rain scheduled all day. It’s been 2 years since we arrived here after a months walking. But the main reason for the trek if walking to Finnesterre which takes another 3 days and is 100km

In ancient times Finnesterre was thought to be the end of the known world. We cant wait to get there, look upon the Atlantic Ocean and throw our stones into it, tg3 ones we’ve carried throughout our journey. We’re hoping to watch the sunset but rain is scheduled all week. Let’s see

Stats for the day

39,000 steps. (Total so far 144,000)

27 km. (Total so far 97.7km)

4,500 calories. (Total so far 14,500)

90 flights of stairs. (Total so far 613)

Courtesy of Bernie’s Fitbit

Camino Ingles. Day 2. Miño to Hospital de Bruma

Well, what a night. Burny has been up all night with food poisoning. Not good !

We had a rainy start at 7am with ponchos on right from the off. We had a 12km walk to Betanzos and we’re worried that we wouldn’t find anything open at 9am on a Sunday. We managed to find one cafe open. Everything else closed.

We had a good chat with “Eddie the Flemish guy”. A real Camino dude that has done about 11 canimos so far ! Betanzos was a nice little town too with a very steep walk to get into the little streets

After brekkie we continued our walk and came across some unbelievable sights. Some of the villages in northern Spain have been deserted by the young people who have left for large cities and we came across a football pitch and local stadium. Both overgrown and deserted with no young people to play

This Football stadium at Meangos used to be used by Deportivo La Caruna as a summer training ground and is now overgrown and in disrepair

We then got back into the eucalyptus forest and had a deer jump out of the hedge right in front of us. It looked at us waited a while and then jumped back into the hedge. Brilliant !

We got to pasedo for lunch and had the best Spanish omelette I’ve ever had !

We ended up doing 38km and reached a little Albergue in hospital de Bruma

Stats for the day

55,000steps

38.7 m

5,500 calories

325 fights of stairs

Courtesy of Bernie’s Fitbit

Camino Ingles – Day 1. Ferrol to Miño

Well…. After a late arrival and getting to bed at about 2am, we were up and out about 8 and headed down to the port and the traditional starting point on the Camino Ingles. This is the place pilgrims would alight from boats arriving from Europe and start there journey to Santiago.

Along the way we also saw our first shell in the road.

After a cafe con Leche and a pain au chocolate we were ready to hit the road. We saw the strangest things, one which we don’t know what it was but looked strangely like a KKK statue.

The first hour was through the industrial area of the city but we soon veered off the beaten track and into forests of eucalyptus trees

We head into Pontedeume and had a tapas lunch after a walk by the sea. Lovely !

The weather along the way got hotter and hotter and we had to take breaks. Lol

Stats for the day

50,000 steps

32km

4,500 calories

198 flights of stairs

Courtesy of Bernie’s Fitbit

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/andrew-burns27

Camino Ingles – Travel Day

Well the day has come and we’re ready for the next stage of our Camino adventure, the fabulous Camino Ingles.

It’s travel day today and we’ve decided to do a mini Camino for Charlie and walk 3 miles into Worcester and symbolically through our stones into the River. Charlie wants to make a wish when he does and I’m sure he’s wishing for more toys ! Here we are setting off and on route.

Charlie looks ready for the real Camino already ! In fact we have already agreed to do some of the Camino Francés when he is 10 along with his brother and sister. (John & Grace, you’ve been warned)

Sarah and Charlie eventually waved me off at Worcester station for the long trek to meet my Pilgrim buddies.

I met Bob at Paddington and we zoomed over to Heathrow. It was at this stage Burny told us he was still in Bristol and didn’t think he would make the flight #panic

So we did what anyone else would have done, had a few beers and tried not to worry

We were called to our gate to board with only half an hour to go and the little tinker arrived after running from the coach park, through customs and the departure lounge ! Here we are when he got here

We arrived in Ferrol at 1am and hit the sack as we had an early start to Day 1. More to follow tomorrow 😀

here is Burnies Just Giving page link. Any spare coppers would be greatly appreciated. https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/andrew-burns27

5 days to go

With just 5 days to go before we set off on another adventure.

Burny is doing some fundraising for his journey in aid of Cancer Research UK. If you have a few spare pounds it would be greatly appreciated. Here’s the link:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/andrew-burns27

The BLOG starts in 5 days. Eyes peeled !!

Camino Ingles. Last prep walk

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10 Days and counting until we leave for Northern Spain on another adventure on the Camino de Santiago. The Camino Ingles awaits….

The Camino Ingles – “the English Camino”

120km walk which we will cover in 3.5 days arriving in Santiago just after lunch on Tuesday 5th June 2018.

The first 2 days on the Camino are spent weaving along the coast with the sea always in view, visiting quaint villages. I’m sure we’ll have a beer or two in the sunshine ,

Well then connect with the Camino Finnesterre and walk another 100km to the coast and the Atlantic Ocean. Tradition has it that you throw a stone into the ocean that you have carried on your trek and throw away whatever it is that the stone represents.

This was my last long walk so enjoy the video and pics

Prep for Camino Ingles

Sunday 22nd April. Just under 6 weeks to go and after training and climbing Mt Snowdon a few weeks ago I haven’t managed to walk since. So set off early at 6.30am, sun shining and the birds in full chorus. Enjoy

we’ll be doing the blog everyday during the Camino and publishing on Facebook too. 6 weeks and counting…..

Climbing Mount Snowdon

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We have 12 weeks to go before we set off on the Camino Ingles but before that I had a certain mountain in Wales to conquer. I’m climbing Mt Snowdon with a fantastic group of people, the leadership team from Incentive FM and we’re doing it for a really worth charity, Scottys Little Soldiers. Scottys supports children who have had a parent/s who have died whilst in the armed forces. If you can spare a few quid that would be great. Just Giving Link

Our original summit attempt was cancelled due to the ‘ Beast from the East’ weather front, -26 at the summit would have been a tad cold.

So… we decided to re schedule the climb for the 13th March and the weather was really nice although it was due to be cold at the top. We set off about 8.30am having our picture took outside the snowdon train station.

The first mile was a killer ! Straight upwards with no let off really got the blood pumping, but the views were spectacular

Our team of 9 settled in and for the next 3.5 hrs took out time assisting each other and took breaks along the way eventually arriving just short of the top where the Pyg track meets the Llanberis route. Thank god we didn’t come up that route as it looked really hard with all the snow and ice.

we then had something to eat and drink before we took on the summit. From here it looked daunting and miles away…

But we made it in about half and hour and what an achievement ! We all walked to the summit together as a team. Brilliant

what a day it was and great to do with the team from work. A real team approach ! Bruce made a video of the day. Hope you like it.

2018 is here and training begins

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Xmas is well and truly over and the training for my two 2018 challenges starts. Our main adventure on the Camino de Santiago starts on June 1st and we are hiking the Camino Ingles (The English Way) and Camino Finisterre.

Snowdon

Before that I am also walking with a fantastic group of guys from work and hiking to the summit of Mount Snowdon for the charity Scottys Little Soldiers. It’s a fantastic charity helping children who have lost a parent whilst in the Armed Forces. If you have a couple of pennies to spare the link is as follows: Scottys Little Soldiers

Camino Ingles

This years Camino adventure starts in Ferrol. The Christian medieval pilgrims from the North, who were mostly English would disembark in the ports of A Coruña or Ferrol, on the north coast of Spain and begin their pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela from there. Hence, the name, the English Way. It’s a journey of about 120km to Santiago and will take us 4 days. We have decided not to stay in Santiago on arrival and drive onwards to Finisterre.

Camino Finisterre

The Camino Finisterre takes only an additional three days to complete the pilgrimage to the medieval “end of the world.”  This ancient medieval pilgrimage route, a total of 88 kilometers, was often taken after completing the Camino Frances to Santiago. Finisterre was considered to be the end of the known world in the Middle Ages and held special spiritual and physical significance. And this significance seems to survive to this day… we plan to open a bottle of red on the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic and watch sun set ! Can’t wait…..

Camino Ingles – Our New Challenge

One year to the day we started out on the Camino Frances we are planning our next Camino.

On June 1st 2018, we are going to walk the Camino Ingles and then carry on to Finnesterre and the Atlantic Ocean. !!

Our Camino blog will be in full flow as before.

More details to follow

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Day 29 – the day after

We arrived and promptly had a few beers for an hour or so with our good Friends from Holland

Not long after we ate and collapsed into bed ! Must be the tiredness 

We were up and out early but didn’t really know what to do as we’d been up and walking for so long. A really wierd feeling. 

After welcoming our friends from Bermuda into Santiago we went to see mass and watch the Butufiermo (swinging ball thing) but alas they didn’t do it so that paid heed to those plans. The cathedral a was glorious sight though


We then had an afternoon kip and went to meet our Camino friends for dinner


What a trip ! We ended up doing what we’ve done all trip, we went to bed early again. Lol

I think we’re ready now to come home to loved ones and family. Can’t wait 😍

Big thank you to all the people we have met along the way apart from Ulrich and his snoring cousins!

More importantly thanks to my 2 amigos. We’ve shared a lot, not argued once, done the same handshake every morning, had so much playing games, laughed every single day and been best buds throughout. It was a pleasure to do it with you !! Where next ?


Adios and buen Camino 

Day 28  – Salcede to Santiago

Well today’s the day ! We wake up early and had to wake a snoring Burny up for the second morning in a row. 

After 28 days of hard slog , no trains, buses or taxis We’re here !  We will have walked every step of 800km !

We wet off in the dark again and feel really strong ! Overtaking day trippers the whole way. At 23km out we took a snap


We planned to take pics every 5km at the markers but after this every metal marker had been nicked so couldn’t. Here’s another 10km away pic instead 


We plowed on with a great sense of excitement, well we have walked a long way ! This is us on the road

On the outskirts about 1km away we decided to stop, have a beer and reflect. We had 2, just letting the upcoming achievement sink in


So we set off and entered the old town shortly afterwards. We could see the cathedral in the distance so knew we were close. The buildings were magnificent. Look at that door Grace 🙂


We wound our way around small streets to a small tunnel with bagpipes playing. Through the tunnel was the cathedral. We made it ! The cathedral was covered in scaffolding but what the heck, we’re here ! 


Here’s mine and Bobs video, I’ll let them do the talking 

We also met our friends Leike and Peit from Holland and we had a few beers to celebrate

We are going to watch mass tomorrow and see the Butafumeira (the swinging incense Burner) and welcome some other friends we have met on the way into Santiago. 

1 more blog to go later today and that’s your lot 🙂

Day 27 – Melide to Salcede

Sleep – check. Breakfast – check 

And we’re off at 6.30am. Burny slept for 6 hrs  but I struggled to get up and my legs just ache. Ibuprofen calling !


We have 27km planned today and all across paths, streams and woods. Should be a good day. 

I spoke to soon, this turned out to be a really hot day and I struggled for most of it. Lunch was taken in the forest and we had a gorgeous ham and cheese bocadillos 


The sun got hotter and I couldn’t find my hat. Someone had it…


Oi. Give it back


The day took its toll. It we arrived at our albergue. A room of 8. Let’s hope the snorers go somewhere else. Here’s the bedroom 


Tomorrow is the big day and we have about 27km to get to Santiago. We arrive in’golden square’, one of the 4 squares surrounding the cathedral. We still have the sense of trepardation as we don’t want to stop walking but do want to get there. It’s really weird. After this far and so long we would like to carry on !!

We’ll load up lots of pics and videos from our arrival tomorrow. Wish us luck

We got 2 great videos wishing us luck yesterday and here they are

Mum, Tracy & Holly in Yorkshire

Russell Greener in Gozo

Day 26 – Ventos de Naron to Melide

Finally had good wifi and here’s the video of the Sarria stairs. WARNING. there was a hobbit passing and if your easily offended by swearing please don’t watch !

Hope you enjoyed that. Anyway it was another night in with a loud snorer. Japanese John and French Lucille this time ! Bob was awake from 3am. So we’re up and off early again. 

Today was an easy 28km stroll and we completed is rather easily although from Palas de Rei we were astounded by the number of people doing day trip Camino walking especially the number of Irish people. We stopped for brekkie and a coffee and Burny was up to no good


We made our way through fields and streams and just cracked on


We passed through a gorgeous village and nicknamed the bridge ‘splitters bridge’. Well that’s our humour


We arrived in Melide at 1pm and have our own room !  Yeehaw 😳

We went out for a tour and visited a church 

And then had octopus for dinner. Not my bag !


2 days to go people and still waiting for those videos …

Steps today – 35,000

Total steps so far – 1,114,000

Day 25 – Barbadelo to Ventos de Naron

Another wifi dead spot so can’t load the stair video. Tomorrow maybe 🙂

Great night yesterday with some new friends from Canada. Tina, Jordan and their 14 yr old son Mathew, great fun !! As well as our old friends from Bermuda, Rob and Rex. The house swap has been organised !

Question. Why do Spanish toilets have time operated light switches on about a 15 second duration, but put the light switch further away than your arm can reach ?  Just asking…

We were up and out again at 6.15 and pounded out 8km by 8.20am and had a lovely coffee. We are in a routine !!  Especially the 2 old women I am travelling with, nuff said.

I was writing this earlier and felt good but realised I made a big mistake today and didn’t have breakfast and as we hit about 13km the dizziness came over me and I struggled until we got to Portomarin for 7km. As I write the boys have left me to look for a barber and i have ordered an omelette and coffee before I pass out !


We’ve not really had any hard mental days yet but today was one of those, feeling crap and missing family ones ….  

We have also talked about what getting to Santiago will make us feel like. After walking for 24 days we feel like we can’t stop but know we have to. We want to get there and celebrate but approach with a sense of trepardation. Strange

We had a tiring afternoon, especially me, with some tricky descents from the hills 


The evening accommodation seems miles away and flagging we arrived around 3pm. 

Steps today – 45,000

Total steps so far – 1,079,000

Day 24 – Triacastela to Barbadelo

Woke up after a good nights sleep. I actually slept quite well considering the 20 man room we were in. Here’s the first pic of an albergue room and the bunk beds we have to sleep on most nights. Spot the 2 boys already in bed !

Anyway were up and off at 6.15am and spend most of the morning up above the clouds with a planned 24 km today. We are in forest most of the time walking across gushing streams, listening to nothing but the birds and just enjoying each other’s company. The hunt for a feather for my hat continues. 


We found a little cafe run by an old woman and had a great coffee and walnut cake breakfast. 


We then powered on through to Sarria. It’s the typical starting point for a lot of Spanish people doing the minimum 100km that qualifies them to get their compostela certificate in Santiago. Having walked 700 km already we stop the urge to point out people’s new boots and new backpacks ! Splitters !  That’s our code for newbies. Well it’s keeps us laughing. 

After a while a rather large set of stairs appeared. Well, someone had to run up em. Bearing in mind my legs haven’t worked since I played football, I was quite happy that I could !!

VIDEO loaded later. (Wifi crap)

We then had the best bocadillos we’ve had in a while. They were whoppers too

We decided to get ahead of the crowds and choose an albergue at Barbedelo. What a surprise awaiting us. All for 9 euro a night ( that’s 6 quid)


We’re now in countdown mode with only 110km to go !!
We could do with some ‘keep on going boys’ video messages. So send em through to markscamino@gmail.com

Best one features in tomorrow’s blog !!!  Get creative guys

Steps today – 31,000

Total steps so far – 1,034,000

Day 23 – Las Herrerias to Triacastela

Early start again today and we’re off on the road at 6.10am, hoping to do our millionth step today. 

In the first hour we climbed more than we did in the whole of yesterday and climbed over 2,000 ft. It was damn hard and Breakfast awaited us. Coffee and chocolate cake !  Well that’s all they had !

From here it was uphill again and the whole time we were walking in mist and couldn’t see the views at all. They should have been here !


We got to the summit of Alto do San Roque where there is a great pilgrim statue and the views are magnificent !  We didn’t see them …


After this we head downhill for over 3 hours and cross into Galicia for the first time 


After a while the fog lifted a tad 


We passed through small villages and one was abandoned the church was fantastic and you could ring the bell yourself so I thought I would 

In fact the village churches just kept on coming. 

Today was our millionth step too !!   Pic to follow. So we had a beer to celebrate and the sun came out !!

Steps today – 47,000

Total steps – 1,003,000

Day 22 – Cacabelos to Las Herrerias

6.15 am start and ready to go. 600g ibuprofen dropped !! 🙂

It’s a nice cool morning and we cover 8km quite quickly through undulating valleys and vineyards. Awe inspiring !

We stopped for brekkie but as usual this early in a morning, it’s closed !


This village is great. You just pile your wood burner logs up outside!


We pass into Villafranco for another go at breakfast. It’s the gateway to the next mountain range we have to climb.


The castle, bridge and river are lovely.


After eating we have about 5 hrs of an uphill climb. It’s going to be tough. Along the way we found a great pic opportunity


The village cemetery was quite a sight too


Today was the first time we started to see pilgrims with new boots and backpacks etc. Obviously people that have started along the way and not done the whole thing! It doesn’t go down well with me and Bobby! Splitters !

Anyway, onwards and upwards…


After another 31km day we arrived in Las Herrerias and promptly ate as were starving


Steps today – 45,000

Total steps so far – 956,000

We could do the millionth step tomorrow ! And breakfast with the Bermuda Triangle 😉

Day 21 – El Acebo to Cacabelos

Well !  Ulrich was alive and noisy in our 24 person room last night along with his brothers and cousins. What a racket !

We hit the road about 6.30am and what a joy it was. We hiked downhill dropping about 1,500 ft along dry mountain stream beds through hidden valleys and then alongside some small lovely gurgling streams. 


We then came upon Molonesca. One of the nicest villages we have come across. We had coffee and decided this was somewhere we would bring the girls !!  Burny stopped for a religious moment. 



It was then by road to Ponferrada, it looked a tad boring but in the centre was one of the last examples of a Templar castle, built in the 12th century. Cracking stuff and wish I could have looked around it, but we have a long day ahead. 


I did buy Charlie a Templar sword and shield and have taken a sworn oath the get it home with breaking it !  He’ll kill me if I don’t!


The remaining 14km to Cacabelos was long, flat and really really hot but we made it. 33km in total today and we have a room of our own tonight !!  Burny even had a paddle in the woods on the way 😉


We’re laying up tomorrow with another 30km hike just before another mountain range to get over !

Steps today – 46,000

Total steps so far – 911,000

Day 20 – Santa Catelina to El Acebo

We had a great dinner last night. Salad and egg and chips ! All enjoyed with the company of susanna from Germany and Tina from Denmark.  Great company and took our Yorkshire mickey taking in good form. 


Tina headed out with us in the morning as she has no head torch. We torched the way.

Ibuprofen Tablets dropped. Foot pain ? What foot pain ! I look forward with competitive glee for your return …..

We headed off for our ascent on the biggest mountain we have to conquer and a visit to the Cruz de Ferro (the iron cross). Pilgrims normally leave a stone they have been carrying with thoughts of a loved one or something they want to let go. The stone symbolises this. 
Well on arrival it was a tad disappointing. The local council workers were taking people’s left behind symbols etc, and throwing them away. I guess they do this every day. People were also climbing the pile of stones smashing other symbols as they walked. We didn’t leave anything. Another quiet spot, somewhere private, will get my stone. Here’s a pic anyway 


Next stop Manjarin. The last known home of a Knights Templar. 



Then on to the top of Alto de Zerezales. It’s 4,500 ft above sea level and the views were breathtaking. Tired or what !



We then dropped (quickly) 1,000 ft into El Acebo. It’s a fantastic looking village and our albergue is clean, although we think Ulrich van Schnitzel Burger has made a return !!


Every door on the village has heather on it. Warding away bad spirits we are told


And finally a quick snap of where we are on our journey across Spain


Steps today – 45,000

Total steps so far – 865,000

Ps. We’ve walked 14 marathons in 20 days !!

Day 19 – Hospital del ortigo to Santa Catalina 

After a 7pm bedtime last night and a crap nights sleep we set off at 6.30 am with a 28km walk ahead of us and a hot day forecast. 

After a breakfast stop of toast and jam we stopped for a little pre lunch at cafe Oasis in San Junto. Folklore says they have the best tortilla on the Camino. We can confirm it too. Glorious! And only 2 euros as well


We then had a long walk ahead in the hot sun but came across a little  oasis in the middle of nowhere. A donation only oasis run by David and his partner Susie. She was walking the Camino 7 years ago stopped at David’s oasis and never left !  They provide food and drink for pilgrims on a donation basis only and sleep by the side of the track all year round. Susie was a real inspiration

Burny hit the hammock too


We came across a large cross and as we are all religious (not) thought we have a pic. 


The afternoon was a real slog but we went through a gorgeous little city called Osterga and got a couple of great snaps 

Burny met Gandolf


The remaining 5km was rather hot with my feet hurting like hell. I think the video explains

And here is our final place for the night

Steps today – 39,00

Total steps so far – 820,000

Day 18 – Leon to Hospital del Orbigo

We slept in for once ! Had a couple of beers last night to chill too. Well at £1.50 a pint we had too !


We left the outskirts of Leon just after 7am for a day walking through wheat fields in cloudy windy weather.  We passed through a lovely village about half way


Lunch was at the side of the track. Sardine, cheese and tomato sarnies again !


We arrived at our destination about 3pm weary and thirsty after covering 33.5km. It’s an historic village and looks fantastic. There is a medieval jousting tournament on this weekend.  Shame we missed it. 

We adjourned to a nearby sunny spot for a drink and food. We’re all tired out


Steps today – 45,000

Steps so far – 781,000

Day 17- Mancilla to Leon

6am late start today as we head for Leon. First day I have used headphones and I pretty much walked most of the way by myself striding out ahead. Thinking. 

Past a small local church on the way with another stork on it


And notice of how far we still have to walk …


On arrival in Leon we got to the cathedral and unbelievably met our friends from Bermuda again Rob & Rex. Hope the shin gets better Rob !


Luckily we arrived just in time to witness the Corpus Christi church parade where lots of kids were getting their first communion. Reminded me of Grace 🙂


The following parade was fantastic. ​



Onwards and upwards

Steps today – 34,000

Total steps so far – 736,000

Day 16 – El Burgo to Mancilla de las Mulas

Late start at 7am as we are only doing 19km today. We’re knackered after 4 x 30km+ days in a row so thought it’s about time we had a rest day. 

We passed a great bar in Relegios where we had lunch. Some scenes from ‘the way’ were filmed here. 


Everyone is encouraged to make their mark on the building. So we did !

Bottom left. “Mind the Gap”


We then powered on to Mancilla de las Mulas and it rained on the way. Ponchos out again !!

We ended up in an albergue in bunk beds in a room of 24. Joy… Quick walk around town before a beer and the champions league final. All athletico fans here me thinks !


Steps today – 31,000

Total steps so far – 702,000

Day 15- Terradillos to el Burgo

Another 5am start and the pain is taking its toll. Legs feel like lead and I’m grumpy. 

Jacques de Molay bids farewell to all pilgrims and away we go


Today was another 32km day (that’s 4 in a row) and rather boring again walking by the side of the road. Burny set a fast pace and we couldn’t keep up and both me and Bob are a tad down today. Sure we’ll pick up. 

For about the 10th time so far we passed a roadside grave of a pilgrim who has died on the Camino. Sad stuff


Someone asked for a pic of us in a field so we promptly sat in a field of poppies


We arrived in Burgo and are the tiredest we’ve been along with feet that kill like mad, mine especially. As we made out way into the village we spotted the church steeple with 4 storks nests on it. These were about the 20th we’ve seen. Pic for Colin 🙂


Steps today – 46.000-

Total steps so far – 671,000

Day 14 – Itero de la Vega to Terradillos de la Templarios

TODAY WE PASS THE HALF WAY STAGE

Another 5.30am start in the dark with 33km planned today. 

After 6km we stopped in Carrion de les Condes for breakfast and had the usual. My Spanish is getting quite good although I can only ask for 3 cafe con leches and pain au chocolates. Lol. Ps. And cerveza too


We then had to walk down an original Roman road that was 17km long with only 1 stop for water. It was a nightmare walk. Long, hot and tiring. 


But we walked with some friends we have been bumping into along the way from Bermuda. Rob and Rex Burns ! Great company and a pleasure to meet (are they related to Burny ?) see you again soon guys


After the long walk over the Meseta we arrived in Terradillos de la Templarios. History lesson is in the name ! This was another Knights Templar Stronghold and our hostel is named after Jacques de Molay, the last grand master of the order. The village is over 800 years old !  History lesson over ! 😉

After arrival we had a beer with our roommate for the night, Debbie from Germany 

I also had a request from someone (not to be named)  to go from Santa beard to 70’s gringo. Pic later.

Pic requests to markscamino@gmail.com

Steps today – 46,000

Steps so far – 625,000

(Courtesy of Burny’s Fitbit)

Day 13 – Itero de la Vega to Villalcazar de Sirga

Another 5.30 start after Bob turned the bright lights on at 5am !  Especially as we hit the sack at 8pm last night and slept 9hrs. Best nights sleep yet !

We covered 32km today and feel great but have a few small hot spots on our feet although my foot is starting to really bother me. 

Today’s walk was mainly along the canal path and had more echoes of Yorkshire and it was cool too. We even saw the Spanish version of the 5 rise locks at Fromista

And then onwards mile after mile so took a couple of snaps whilst thinking on the ‘way’

We arrived in Villalcazar about 2pm and found a great albergue to stay in. The town has fantastic history and was one of the main strongholds of the Knights Templar. The church in town that they were based out of is really big and imposing. Originally this town had 8 pilgrim hospitals and was a major stopping route on the Camino. Great place to rest our feet!

Anyway wifi is bad and my beer awaits. 

Ps. Highlight of today was singing our own lewd lyrics to Ilkley Moor Bah tat. If your from Yorkshire you’ll get it…..

Steps today – 45,000

Total steps so far – 579,000

(Courtesy of Burny’s Fitbit)

Nearly half way…

Day 12 – Hornillos to Itero de la Vega

Early start today, up at 4.45am. We set off in the pitch black and didn’t see anything for over an hour. When the sun came up we had about 2 hrs in what I can only describe as feeling like we were in the Yorkshire dales, but only with hot weather. The scenery was breathtaking


We happened upon a lovely village for breakfast. You know what’s coming next – cafe con Leche and a pain au chocolate !  Yum yum. Here’s a pic of the boys walking into the village


Trouble is brewing though as I have a old hairline fracture in my right foot and the pain today is really bad. Thank god Sarah sent me with lots of painkillers! On top of that I have my first blister too

We then passed through a fantastic old town called that used to have 8 pilgrim hostels in the Middle Ages and was lovely. A castle was on the hill and the village weaved its way around the bottom of the hill. 

The next 5km were really hard and uphill all the way but the view back was fantastic

Got to the top!

We then plowed on to our destination covering 32km. What a day and here’s the video of the day too

Steps today – 45,000

Total steps so far – 534,,000

(courtesy of Burnys Fitbit)