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)

Day 11 – Borgos to Hornillos del Camino

After yesterday’s mega day we gorged on pizza last night and promptly went straight back to the hotel. By the time I had showered Bob was snoring his head off !!

We were up and out for 7.30 as we planned a short 22km day today and we’re sorry to leave Borgos. It’s a lovely city and we’re sure to come back for a city weekend soon !

We had brekkie which I can only describe as the biggest doorstep toast I’ve ever seen


One last quick pic of the cathedral before we left


We left through tree lined parks in dappled sunshine and had our picture taken with a pilgrim statue


We stopped for cafe con Leche (again) and then the climb to get on the Meseta. This section of the Camino is through wheat fields and its damn hot and lasts about 3 days. We stopped in the shade for a self made tomato, cheese and sardine sarny. Gorgeous !


After yesterday’s 40+ km we decided to call it a day at 22km and only just found a hostel. The Camino seems to have got really busy ! 

Afterwards Bob cooked for us and it went down a treat.

Long one tomorrow so bed beckons.👣👣👣👣
Steps today – 34,000

Total steps so far – 489,000

(Courtesy of Burny’s Fitbit)

Day 10 – Vilafranco to Borgos

5.30am start with head torches and we are aiming for Borgos, some 40km away. 
We passed through loads of small village and ended having cafe con Leche at this ace house


We also had brekkie with 2 Brits we have been meeting up with along the way since we started, Paul and Steve. Today we said goodbye and buen Camino as they are laying up before Burgos. 


We powered on through for loads of miles and had to stop for water


My commando look !! Ps it was windy 
about 14km later we finally got to Borgos and got a proper hotel !!

We walked 41.5 km in the end, our best day yet !!

Steps today – 58,000

Total steps so far – 455,000

(Courtesy of Burny’s Fitbit)

Day 9 – Viloria del Rioja to Villafranca Montes de Oca

We ended up having a great meal last night cooked by our hosts 


After yesterday’s long one we have a short 23km to Villafranca Montes de Oca. We’ve decided to wait up here as we have a large mountain to get over tomorrow and the next stop is nearly 15km away. 

We stopped for second breakfast at Belgorado and had a rather good Spanish omelette sandwich ! Here’s Burny afterwards


Then a 10km hard slog through wheat fields in the hot sun. 

We are staying at an old 14th century pilgrim house and it’s fantastic. We checked in and came out and discovered a Spanish wedding about to happen 


In search of a cold beer we found a locals bar, ordered a couple of beers and asked for some tapas or ‘pinxtos’ as they call it here. We didn’t know what we would get but god was it nice !  Chicken, pork, rabbit, black pudding, chorizo bread and olives ! More protein than we’ve had for a week


Steps today – 30,000

Total steps today – 397,000

Courtesy of Burny’s Fitbit

Ps. Question of the day

Who are these 3 people ? 


Answers on a postcard to markscamino@gmail.com
I bet no one gets all 3…….

Day 8 – Azofra to Viloria del Rioja

Left early today at 5.30am, head torches at the ready ! Another long 32km day ahead with 25c sunshine on the way. The sunrise was fantastic 


After 15k we arrived in Santo Domingo and stopped for cafe con Leche and a rather large Danish type thing. Gorgeous !  We also found his great water fountain next to the cathedral. Someone had to jump on



We’ve had a day of going from small village to village just walking through fields. Pretty boring. It took a couple of other pics. One just for Grace


After 32km we ended up at Parada Viloria albergue.  5 euro each for the night and the pilgrim meal is ‘donativo’. That’s donations only. It was an old barn and brilliant. Let’s hope the food is good

Steps today – 45,000

Total steps so far – 367,000

(Courtesy of Burny Fitbit)

Day 7 – Naverette to Azofra


Slow day today after a long one yesterday and just covered 24km in wind and dull skies.  We said goodbye to our Dutch friends Lieke and Piet


The route was through soulless roads and tracks and didn’t go through one village until we got to Najera.

After that we saw a lovely church (pic for Grace)and fields upon fields of vines. Well we are in the Rioja region !

We are staying at the 60 bed albergue in Azofor and its 2 to a room !  Cracking 


Just ready for a coffee and a game of cards in the village square


Steps to day – 38,000

Steps so far – 322,000

(Courtesy of Burny’s Fitbit)

It’s been a week now and we have completed 220 km so far !  Whoop woop

Day 6 – Torres del Rio to Naverette

No sleep again ! Thanks to Ulrich van Schnitzel Burger !!  Well that’s what we called the noisiest person I have ever come across….. Lol

We were up at 4.45 am and on the path at just after 5.15am with head torches lit. It was pitch black !

Today was a bit off a boring day as a lot of it was walking through commercialised areas so no pic opportunities, although I did like this one in a tunnel under a road 


We plowed through Los Arcos and Logrono and then climbed high to the reservoir above the city. Pic opportunity


We finally arrived in Naverette at 2.15 pm. 9 hrs of walking and we did 38km. The best day yet ! That’s a marathon too !!!

A welcome pint when we arrived at the Pilgrims Albergue run by Michael a German. We also met Laica and Peter a Dutch father and daughter combo that have walked all the way from Holland. Over 2 months walking !

Suggestions for pictures please. 

We get bored at times for pic opportunities so any pic ideas welcome. Email me at – markscamino@gmail.com
Total steps today – 50,000

Total steps so far – 284,000

(Courtesy of Burny’s Fitbit)

Day 5 – Azqueta to Torres del Rio

We had a fantastic time in La Perle Negra auberge last night. 8 people in a Spanish ladies home called Helena, and she cooked us all a home cooked meal. 3 Brits, 4 Germans, an American and 1 from Brazil. We were in her loft and the food was brilliant !!


We set off at 7am which turned out to be a big mistake ! More later…..

Anyway after 15 mins we were in a great position to see the sunrise which was fantastic. 


Today’s walk was through undulating countryside and was really great after leaving behind the city walks of Estella. Apart from that today was a warm, warm day! 

Every night we have to get our ‘pilgrim’ passport stamped so thought I would show you all what this looks like 


Today’s total was only 24km as it has tipped 24c and we were knackered. So checked into an albergue and got a cold beer and plan a game of cards 🙂

Note to self. Set off early before it gets hot !!

Couple of extra pics


Total steps today – 36,000

Total steps so far – 234,000

(Courtesy of Burny’s Fitbit)

Day 4 – Puerto del Reina to Azqueta

We left at 6.30am this morning with the sound of birds singing, a lovely gurgling brook and a soft breeze  blowing through the air. What a sight and after some sleep last night were feeling ready for the day ahead. 26  km to Estella was the target.  

We have the climb a large hill today and traverse 3 medieval villages. 


After 2 villages we were ready for a well deserved water break 


We finally arrived in Estella and decided to have lunch. We’d picked up supplies and had Yorkshire Tapas by the river. I had to bury a package in the woods first though !!


We have decided to plow on for a few miles especially as the red wine fountain is a km away and it’s free !!  I knew I brought a cup for something


We finally booked into a brilliant albergue and await dinner soon. Our host Elena seems really friendly. A Beer first me thinks


Steps today – 45,000

Steps so far – 198,000

(Courtesy of Burny’s Fitbit)

http://www.justgiving.com/markscamino 

Day 3 – Zabaldiki to Puente la Reina

Well, 12 people in last nights albergue and i must have been so tired that I actually slept ok. Til 5am anyway. 

We set of at 7am with Bob and Burny feeling giddy. I tried to have a good work orientated conversation with them and got this look 


Ps Burny had fun with the nuns !

Onward to Pamplona and my 2 muppet friends ate brekkie in record quick time and the devoured freshly baked pain au chocolate. Can’t explain how nice this was !!

We then started the trek to Alto del Perdon and arrived in the afternoon after a massive steep climb. 750m above sea level. What a view !

Then back down another hill again …  We have done another 35km today and the last 3 km was really hard. Feet hurt so much

Burny even stopped for a foot break 


I even managed to have a break of my own 🙂


And finally today’s video 🙂

A few beers in the sunshine finished off the day. Bed at 9pm as another day walking tomorrow. 

Note to self

1, plan ahead and buy food ! The spaniards don’t  get up early

2, wear sun cream. Everywhere !!

3, don’t try and walk to far …

Steps today – 51,000

Total steps so far – 153,000

http://www.justgiving.com/markscamino 

Day 2 – Roncesvalles to Zabaldika

Well, before I tell you about today’s journey, last nights sleeping antics have to be explained !  We experienced the Camino dormitory anthem last night, which is the constant snoring and farting from over 100 people all sharing the same space. Now I can snore with the best of them but a woman in the next cubicle eclipsed even Bob !!  It was like sleeping next to a run away train…. 

I was up at 3am and didn’t really get back to sleep again. The lights in the dorm were turned on at 6am with the monks from the monastery singing songs whilst walking up and down. Great sight to behold.

We were packed and ready to leave by 6.15 when we opened the door to a torrential thunderstorm. Ponchos on and off we went getting thoroughly wet through. It rained for be next 4 hrs !!

At Espinol we had breakfast. Fantastic sandwiches and Spanish omelette.

We have really pushed ourselves today and covered 37.5km !  Which has taken over 9hrs as the whole day has been walking in forest, great views but tough going. Took this great pic;


We finally arrived at the albergue in Zabaldika which is a small church run by Nuns !  The sisters of the sacred heart !  And it is a ‘donation’ only albergue. Let’s hope the evening pilgrim meal is good although we have to go to Mass beforehand !!

Total steps today – 51,000

Total steps so far – 102,000

Day 1. Huntto to Roncesvalles

We’re up early today and off at 6.30 am. Today’s walk is up and over a section on the Pyrenees.  In fact we have to walk for over 6hrs covering 22km and walk from 400m above sea level to over 1400m. That’s ascending over 3000 ft today !  That’s like a 30km day on the flat. 

We stopped at Orisson for breakfast, cafe au lait and a ham and cheese sandwich ! The views from here were amazing:


From here it was a steady climb up and up and up ! Until we reached the Spanish/French border and crossed over onto Spanish soil for the first time. Here a pic of the border crossing:


It also rained all day !!  From the border it was up to summit and back down through a forest until we arrived at the medieval monastery at Roncesvalles. Tired and ready for a hot shower !  We managed to get a bed in the dormitory and are in bunk beds in pods of 4. The three is us are in with an older lady from Germany. Think we will have to apologise to her before bed as sure Bob and burny’s snoring will keep her up !! The dorm has about 100 people in it. Cozy 🙂
First day completed and not feeling to bad either. Result !

Total steps so far – 51,000

http://www.justgiving.com/markscamino 

Arrival Day 

4am start his morning after meeting the boys and having a couple of beers last night. Tired to say the least, along with a sense of excitement after 20 months of planning and lots of training. 

Eurostar to Paris and the TGV down to Bayonne arriving at 3.30pm in the afternoon, 9 hrs on a train !

We arrived in St Jean Pied de Pont around 4.30 and visited the credencial (Camino passport) office and registered to get our passport that we need to have stamped at each hostel we stay in. 

Pic of us leaving the credential office 


We then decided to start early and took on a little 5km walk up a sheer slope. It took an hour and a half and the thunderstorm that came along drenched us all. 

When we arrived at our hostel we had dinner with 22 people from all nations and had a blast. 

6am alarm set for tomorrow morning. 

Total steps so far – 18,000

Difficult day leaving home

I have just gone through the moment I wasn’t looking forward too, leaving Sarah and Charlie at the train station in Worcester… And the little man was crying his heart out 😥

Long journey ahead starting at 5am Thursday morning. Before that I have a fantastic day planned wth clients and colleagues !!  Can’t wait