Day 14 Return to the Foreboding trail

(This blog post is later than usual as uploading photos became traumatic! – I also needed a rest but unfortunately became bedridden for a few days in finisterre with a cold and fever but don’t worry im ok now and will try and catch you all up) I had bid farewell to most people from…

Day 11 Calas del Reis to Padrón 21.75km 7 hrs (207.35km)

I woke in my disappointing hotel room early and heard the swish of tyres against water outside on the street. I knew it might be a little wet again. I popped downstairs and grabbed my packed lunch. It was impressive to say the least! A ham and cheese triple decker sandwich an orange a banana…

Day 7 Tui to O Porriño 17.1kms 5hrs 16 mins (121.6kms)

I headed down the cobblestone streets in front of the convent first. I woke too early and couldn’t go back to sleep so I ate the nice breakfast that was waiting and juiced my own oranges. I was too slow for the Fräulein and the young one and felt I was holding them back when…

Day 4 15km 4.5 hours Casa Fernanda to Ponte do Lima (59kms)

This morning started with a breakfast of bread bread and more bread. It was a communal breakfast and, although Fernanda wasn’t herself up, her husband was up feeding the masses and washing dishes before heading off to work. They certainly went out of their way to make people feel comfortable but it also seemed like…

Day 3 Barcelos to Casa Fernanda 12kms and a cat nap!

So yesterday I took the opportunity to try out some public transport options in Portugal. First I bought myself a coffee at the nice corner cafe, I also bought myself a Nata (custard tart) and a spinach and cheese pastry to tuck away in my pack. So off I went to the tram station. The…

Arrival – The English Way

I was heading to A Coruña to decide whether I would start the Camino Ingles from there because it is said to be the original starting point for pilgrims arriving from Ireland and England. The trouble was it was only 75 kms and if I hadn’t already walked 25 in my home country (even though…

The Irish Spy and the Reconnaissance Mission

So anyway after three days the Irish spy arrived in Burgos to undertake her reconnaissance mission for future caminos. She also planned to soak up some sun as it had apparently already left Ireland for the year. Of course with daily weather changes in burgos at this time of year her visit for some sunshine…

Resting in Burgos

So what have I been doing since Nájera? Well you may recall that I headed to Burgos for a few days rest and recuperation before the Irish Spy’s planned arrival. During this time I managed to take a tour on the Disney train seeing some important sites that I may have missed on foot. I…

Day 17 Exit stage right! Salir a la derecha!

It was dark and warm outside this morning. It had been warm all night. Our room had the two windows but with no breeze it was better to get some circulation from the dormitory. In the morning a French lady said it was a nice sleep because she felt lovely and cool and it didn’t…

Day 16 In memory of dumpster diving

I delayed going to the salon until 5.45 this morning. I had had a difficult nights sleep and was awake much earlier than this. I kept imagining Chinchas! Thank heavens I was just imagining! Our sheet washing and Mavis’s vacuuming had taken care of that! (Or had it – how old was the bag, did…

Day 15 A frenzy of cleaning

This morning I stood outside and watched a bit of the chaos in the salon. I am the first one up each day. I put the washing on, then I give the pilgrims biscuits. I open the salon door and let them escape. But I dont turn the lights on until closer to 6.30am. Everyone…

Day 14 That’s not a ham! This is a ham!

We had been murdering Chinchas and their families for two weeks now. We had stopped them in there tracks on arrival, we had drowned them, cooked them, asphyxiated them, and last but not least, Mavis had squashed them! It sounds creepy I know but they can arrive in the Hilton as well! It seems like…

Day 13 The Sun is Shining, the birds are singing!

After the rain last night it was interesting to see the river all chocolate and fast. I helped an old lady out with her bag transfer and also asked our Jacotrans friend to take some sandals a Frenchman had left behind and leave them in belorado! An old local man had been over catching yabbies…

Day 12 The Calm before the Storm

So this morning I actually slept in until 6.15! Can you believe it. It’s not because anyone has been waking me. In fact apart from the first couple of days where we had a baptism of fire because of the lack of handover, for the most part the early risers have been very quiet. Maybe…

Day 11 Monestario Delicio

Today was Sunday which meant chica de limpiar was here again. There had been a bit of ruckus last night when the Belg drinker arrived back and annoyed a few people. Of course then there was a lot of snoring which has the potential to annoy anyone and everyone. You may recall my comment yesterday…

Day 10 I’m off on the road again I’m on the road again

Wish I could sound like canned heat! My cousin Paul can! And don’t worry, I was on the road again but only for a short time – I didn’t run away from the Albergue! We all thoroughly enjoyed our morning! So this morning was like a dream. It was Saturday and the Chica de limpia…

Day 9 A break in the chaos!

Yep – even the Italians were quiet out in the salon this morning; barely a whisper before 6am. But then I’m afraid to say, a great challenger for the international snoring title had moved himself to the emergency bed beside Mavis last night. These people preparing to leave early were likely all absolutely shattered! Perhaps…

Day 8 A feast to remember

The latecomers 🥴 were looking contright this morning I thought – well not all of them actually. One or two were a little frantic. Starting to get hungover frantic that their washing was missing. Of course they didnt think to politely ask the nice hospitaleras where it was! Don’t worry we didnt throw it out!…

Day 7 – Ground hog day ? Or not?

Gotta say it’s starting to feel a bit like ground hog day in the morning! Except today we bid farewell to Hans and the Blue Mountaineer so it was nice to speak “strayan” for a minute or two! There was a lovely Taiwanese girl also who impressed me with her morning ritual. We had not…

Day 6 Biscuit Perfection!

Well the few Italians here were – you know – not exactly early to bed but certainly early to rise! I don’t understand actually. When my beloved and i left early to beat the heat last year we barely spoke if we were in a dormitory and were paranoid of waking others. The Italians thus…

Day 5 – Sheet rolling perfection!

First let me apologise for the poor grammar and spelling errors. This Blog is stream of consciousness typed on a fold up keyboard with an iPhone. Editing is not a priority but will come with time! Meanwhile take heed that I too am disturbed by the numerous truncations, incorrect autocorrects and missing words! Eventually all…

Day 4 The case of the missing bragas!

Last night, after retrieving their washing from outside, we chased the Italians who had returned late from a bar crawl to bed at 10. There were still 2 older Italian couples , who had arrived late, still out eating as they were desperate for food. Out of the kindness of my heart I had agreed…

Day 3 A scandalous breach of Vegemite and Tim Tam Rights!

Today the hospitaleros were supposed to have a day off as a cleaner comes on the weekends. But day off doesn’t really mean day off when Mavis is in control. I actually slept in and didnt get up until 6! That’s not entirely true I was awake through the night because it was particularly hot…

Day 2 Speak More slowly please! Mas dispacio

Well I said I wake early – and after heading to bed at ten last night I didn’t disappoint. I was up at 5 and was able to farewell the early walkers – which was about 60 percent of the dormitory. There are 90 beds but we only had 38 pilgrims last night. Which means…

Day 1 Auspitalero Duties Begin!

I slept well last night. Boy did I sleep well! My luggage had arrived! I had my swimmers! I could use the most magnificent pool on the camino. By now, if you know me, you must be thinking every pool on the camino is the most magnificent. Well if you’ve just lugged a pack 30…

Day 3 Onward to Najera

This morning I swear I heard something I thought may have resembled gregorian chanting a little after 6am. I’m no talent scout, and I don’t want to sound too judgemental, but it sounded like a someone had forgotten to change the batteries in the record player! It wasn’t long until the team of hospitaleros came…

Day 2 Bienvenido a España

So I slept reasonably well again last night with my fleecy liner instead of my sleeping bag. They do provide a light blanket at Orisson so I definitely used it. I must also say it did get a little nippy during the night so, even though I’d requested the window to stay open, I closed…

Day 1 Sparking joy on the camino

I was awake before they turned the music on at beillari this time. The Dutch girl was also up early and we both tiptoed around getting ourselves ready while the two young spanish men who had arrived late slept soundly. I became their worst nightmare once the lights in the hall came on. I was…

Ultreia Ultreia – Onwards and Upwards!

“I absolutely have no idea what day it is. At least I have no idea how long I’ve been travelling. How long I’ve been in transit. How long since I’ve seen my beautiful backpack and my shock absorbing, folding, micro variable leki hiking poles!” That’s how the day started yesterday. My flight out of Dublin…

Lighters lighters – two for a pound!

Yep that’s how I remembered Dublin from my youth. “Loiters loiters two por a pound!” Peddlers shouting their wares and teaching me a whole new way of speaking. But not this time! Nope this time no peddling in Dublin’s fine city, only high end fashion and expensive second hand shops. But I had my own…

Welcome to Ireland

So my next flight saw me crossing the great European continent to my final leg of the long haul before transiting to the Camino. As the plane drew closer to Ireland, I realised that I was filled with eager anticipation. Was it because my trip years ago was cut short when Dad had a massive…

Going solo and lightening my load !

Yep you read it right! I’m on my own, I’m off! I’m taking it to the next level! Finally managed to shake free of my beloved who will sit gripping his chair by the fire at home, reading my blog with eager anticipation and quite possibly sipping beer, as I conquer mountains and forge through…

Day 40 Santiago a Santiago 4.65 kms – When the Going Gets Tough!

Well, actually, yesterday was tough. Today was a beautiful day – again! We had enjoyed the company of the young ones for a while at the lovely hotel the Choirmaster had booked for us. We had slept in the most comfortable bed we had seen since leaving home. And, ironically, I couldn’t use it but…

Day 26 León to San Martin 27km 9hrs 30mins

Before I get to our travels today I must point out that the albergue Globetrotter was the worst sleep we never had! The bar opposite was open until 5.30am and the noise was literally at our bedroom window. There was also someone allowing patrons of the bar in and out so they could use our…

Day 25 León rest day

I’m not sure it is possible to convey the sheer joy of sleeping in. My only dilemma was that I was starving and had to go down to eat in the dining room. Of course this effort woke me and meant I couldn’t get back to sleep. My beloved snoozed away until 10am – just…

Day 18 Hornillos to Castrojeriz 21.18km 7hrs 10mins

We were up early today and out the door first in the albergue again. I had had my first breakfast in the albergue. They even had a toaster! So much for not eating bread – the choice was bread or no bread. I also had a cup of tea. I was ready and waiting patiently…

Day 13 Granon to Belorado 15.86km 5 hrs 9mins – Our rest day

There was breakfast from 5am in our albergue today which sounded perfect. Our hospitalario Josu was even up to prepare it for us. In reality it was bread and jam with a couple of cereals and coffee or tea. It wasn’t much but we weren’t going far and we could have second breakfast an hour…

Day 7 Puente La Reina to Estella 7.45hrs 23.3km

Buenes Dias! Yay -we did it again. Up and out the door before sunrise – all three of us (or tree if your Irish). My beloved was unaware that we were on a time frame and had a secret rendezvous on the bridge at 5.45am. As many of the good albergues do, we found cereal…

Day 6 Pamplona to Puente la Reina 9hrs 26.7km

Before I start with todays post I want to let you know about a couple of other items I am pleased to have packed. I’m pretty sure I mentioned the sheeps wool the other day (fresh from the Nyngan farm I might add) but not sure that I praised the Leki hiking poles – they…

Day 5 Pamplona rest day

Just to keep you in the loop I thought I’d include this brief post. We ended up having a rest day in Pamplona as the cold or flu symptoms seemed to be hanging around me with aches and pains and fever and a bit of a runny nose. I decided to stay in bed until…

Day 3 Hola Navarre Espana -Roncesvalles to Zubiri 8hrs 40 24.56km

8hrs 40mins 24.56km Eu15 each bed Eu12 dinner – Total Eu54 It was exciting leaving Roncesvalles this morning. It was dark, cool, there was a buzz in the air because many pilgrims actually start the journey here – In addition I was pain free! We passed our friends in hallways and bathrooms and visited the…

Day 2 One Perfect day we’ll go out walking 18.6 km 6.5hrs

Day 2 Orisson to Roncesvalles I will admit to warming up quite quickly after leaving Orisson but once we reached 1100m it is fair to say that the weather was pleasant. Cloud cover and altitude meant that the walk today was a vast improvement on yesterday. Both times I had walked this path previously the…

Day 1 Up up up into fires of hell! Saint Jean to Orisson

Day 1 10.53km 653m elevation gain max 34C Buen Camino me amigos! Day one done and dusted! (Photos delayed due to internet issues!) The night cooled down, and after going to sleep with fan on and a very light sarong as a sheet I pulled my blanket on sometime through the night. One of our…

The End of the Transit

Just a quick post this time to catch you up on our arrival in Spain. We had a one night stop over in San Sebastián and another transit the next day to St Jean pied de port. A delayed flight meant we didn’t arrive in our hotel in San Sebastián until 7pm. We showered changed…

Up up and away

D day arrived and we were even escorted into the airport this time by James and Lydia-. Remember how late we were last time? I think the boys turfed us out on the kerb and sped off into the sunset. Liam and Bruce bid us farewell at home this time – I’m sure Bruce was…

Preparaciones para el camino

Buenos Dias amigos, after a growing interest from friends I thought I would provide you with a rough idea of how we are preparing for our second Camino Frances. Or more specifically, how “I” am preparing given my history of pain when walking. As most of you will recall (from reading the earlier posts) I…

Camino Calling!

Aargh! How on earth could they be thinking about walking another 800km? Will he again accompany her on this slow walk across Spain? Will they finally learn to flamenco? Will the feet hold up? Isn’t one ruptured plantar fascia, a stress fracture or two and a moon boot enough? What on earth draws people back…

Farewell and the International Camino Packing Champions!

Before I get to the farewell I want to share with you a little about our night in the Albergue.  The Roncesvalles one is the largest I have stayed in on the camino and for that alone it is worth the experience. There are hundreds of beds in a recently fitted out 3 storey dorm….

Just call me Mary – again! St Jean to Roncesvalles – part 2

I failed to mention a very important event in part 1 of this post, I have had a reconfirmation of the difficulties my name causes with many Europeans.   The concept of two vowels with two sounds actually is quite a challenge for some.  When we went to visit the lady who takes bags over…

Like a stroll in the park – Orisson to Roncesvalles – Part 1

Like a stroll in the park for some that is.  While we were eating dinner last night there had been some rain and thunder and,  just as the resident comedian and chef at St Jean had predicted, it was not before we had reached Orisson.  This rain had created the beautiful rainbow yesterday so we…

Hablar espanol o no hablar espanol? Este es la pregunta!

What can I say?  I apologise.  I was supposed to keep blogging as I kept travelling. Forgive me –  I became immersed in the travel experience and failed in my promise to blog.  I am back now.   No te preocupa!   Have I learned how to speak Spanish? Well if I keep practising I’m…

The Long Way Home – Paris and Beccles and London

In ten minutes we commence our descent into Sydney Airport. We have travelled a long way since leaving home in May. Not just in distance but in personal achievement. In doing things together. In celebrating being alive. I commenced this blog entry in London and wrote some more in Dubai then some more somewhere over…

Barcelona, Malta and back to London

Gaudie everywhere!   It seems forever since we finished our camino. We (I) thought if we had spent all the money to get over here (Europe) we may as well make the most of it as the chances of heading back in the near future are pretty slim. Anyway budget required we continue for the…

Marrakech express back to Spain

Marrakesh Train Station I bought some Moroccan pastries to take with us – may have overdone it! In order to ensure the adventure continued we decided to catch the Marrakech express backwards to Tangier rather than waiting around airports for delayed flights. Whilst waiting at the train station we eventually figured out it too was…

Still Wandering – Onward to Portugal Morocco

      It would be easy to assume that an 800km Camino can fit within the 30 or 40 days that some of the guidebooks suggest. After all – some people do it in 20 or even less and quite a number of our friends certainly did it in those time limits. But, after…

After the party…. from Santiago to Finisterre

Well the first day after we arrived in Santiago started with a fantastic buffet breakfast at the Hotel and a quick trip up the hill to visit Morgan Morgan Chris and Tim. You remember the American students who we adopted after bumping into them in so many albergues and bars don’t you? I think we…