A bit of the Camino de Santiago..

Old Jul 24th, 2010, 02:24 PM
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A bit of the Camino de Santiago..

I have just finished watching the fireworks here in Santiago after 10 days of Camino. I will write a quick report when I get home next week. It has been wonderful and am quite sad it is "over" for now. I have tons of great memories which will entice me to return.

I highly recommend many parts of this trail, even if you only have a few hours. There are definitely special spots to take into consideration a detour if you are in the area.

Scenery, historic villages, farmlands and you are always meeting interesting people along the way.

I am not a true pilgrim, but have walked the walk, and done as much as I could. I surprised myself several days. It can be grueling, but it has been rewarding.

More to come.
P.S. The pulpo ( octopus) around here is fabulous.





I
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Old Jul 24th, 2010, 04:14 PM
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Please do post about your walk. I have hopes of someday doing the camino. What are the fireworks for? Anything special?
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Old Jul 24th, 2010, 04:35 PM
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Thank you lin, very interested in hearing your observations. I've been wanting to do this for a long, long time.
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Old Jul 24th, 2010, 04:44 PM
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Linca

Congratulations and I hope you had a buen camino. We have a friend who has a self-published book about his many caminos. No, my wife is not in the book. He a most generous and kind man.

It is called ANÉCDOTAS DE ENDIKA http://www.librosenred.com/libros/an...sdeendika.html

And it is only available in Spanish.
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Old Jul 25th, 2010, 04:49 AM
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Catching this Parador computer for my 15 minutes!!

One of the observations I would have is if you are NOT a true hiker/walker, do not be intimidated by this. I almost did not come when I saw my husband's itinerary ( 23 km day one.. 19 day two.. etc. etc.). He assured me I could just go as far as I could/wanted every day and things would work out.

I did the Camino the wimp's way. But it was fun. I always knew I could catch a taxi or wait for a back up car later in the day to collect me if I ran out of steam. And of the 16, a few of us did once in awhile. There were others ( the majority.. and all ages, from 14 to 66) who did "the whole sbebangs".. which I doubt I will ever do.

The experience is TOPS. The scenery many times, but not always, unbelievable.. and the company the best.

I promise to write a short wimp's report on the Camino.. it may entice others like myself to get on board!

The fireworks are every year the night before the 25th, Saint Santiago.. the reason behind this Camino.

This year is a Holy year as the 25th falls on a Sunday. My husband has done the Camino ( certain legs of it) a few times but this is his second "Holy Year". The King and Queen and politicians were here for the festivities.

More to come.
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Old Jul 25th, 2010, 06:04 AM
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I am definitely interested in the "Wimp's Camino"!! Were you with a tour group, you mentioned waiting for a back up car.
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Old Jul 25th, 2010, 08:50 AM
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We were with a group of local friends who live in the area and do this camino ( the French route) and others frequently as a family reunion with their kids ( all grown and married or with partners).

In my opinion, no tour group is needed, but, as I will write more extensively later, in high season one cannot count on the free/cheap albergues. We saw people exhausted after searching and searching for a place to rest their heads from town to town.. this was a particularly busy year.

Unless you are prepared to sleep under the stars, reservations are a must.

We had hotel/pazo ( palatial home) reservations along the way. The back up car was used when one of us didn't feel like walking.. or had a bad foot, and was available to meet up for lunch and coffee along the way. This happened three out of the 9 days.

We were very lucky with the weather.No rain and mostly sunny skies and occasional cool breezes.
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Old Jul 25th, 2010, 09:32 AM
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I am waiting to hear about this wonderful idea: I never thought a "wimp" like me could do any of this Camino, so it will be wonderful to hear more about how you did it!
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Old Jul 25th, 2010, 09:39 AM
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I was stuck in the airport at Santiago at this time..picking up a relative whose flight was delayed so near but so far!…BTW Jean-Michel Jarre is playing in the city this weekend too. and the concert is free!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IecKzZ3b10o
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TH_9ICLp3LU
http://www.lavozdegalicia.es/fotos/2...3476686306.htm
http://www.lavozdegalicia.es/fotos/2...5541398376.htm


Enjoy the rest of your vacation the weather is set to stay very good.
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Old Jul 25th, 2010, 09:48 AM
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Should add these photos from the locla newspaper...look at all of those pilgrims in Portomarin.
http://www.lavozdegalicia.es/fotos/2...3592667959.htm
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Old Jul 25th, 2010, 10:47 AM
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ribeira.. I was wondering how close/far away you were. We leave tomorrow morning for Valencia.. so no concerts for us. I saw his poster.. we have one of his records.

Parts of this trail can definitely be done by anyone. 150kms in a week, obviously, are a bit of a challenge for some.
A preview of some things I have learned for myself.

There are a lot of COOL little places to stay ( private albergues that take reservations) ON the trail itself. Doubles are about 35E but have a bath. Bunk beds in a room with 12-18 with shared bath around 9 euros.

There is an agency that will transport your bag or backpack for 3E to your next lodging. Is this unreal or what? My friends didn't even know about this. I think this is the best little tidbit I discovered as it will allow me to come, walk the trail backpack/suitcase-FREE, as long as I am organized and know at least in which town I want my luggage dropped off.

Every bar/café along the trail seems to have a list of locals or other cafés who will rent an apt. or bed when all other accomodations are full. Many of these cafés have a few basic rooms themselves.

No need to worry abut injuires. The Red Cross is available and the trail is well monitored with easy access to get you out if need be. Accommodating walkers will use their cell phone to call a taxi for you to be taken to the next town if you are too tired or lame to continue.

Besides the pilgrimage spirit of this trail, it is so unique in that not only is it 100's of kms. of marked, groomed paths (in most cases) but it takes you along through many medieval towns and passes by churches from the 11th century and impressive monasteries.

I did not see any young children on the trail until the last day. But other walkers are from 14-90 yrs old. All colors, sizes, shapes and forms. You tend to complete about the same distance every day as others, so you begin to recognize others and the greeting "buen camino" each time you pass, with some actually brings on deeper smiles and recognition of familiarity.

I hope to have details in place in a few days so I can actually write a more coherent report. I am sure I will be able to convince a LOT of wimps that this is a fun trip not to be missed, and ending it in Santiago the day before his St.s day is a great culmination.
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Old Jul 25th, 2010, 11:45 AM
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Hi Lin,

Congratulations from another "wimp" who is planning to do part of the Camino the same way you did. Thank you for sharing, looking forward to more details. Would apppreciate if you could share the names of the hotels/pazos where you stayed.

¡Feliz día de Santiago! Wish I was there!
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Old Jul 25th, 2010, 01:28 PM
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Hi cruiseluv! A few of our group has gone out now for even MORE food.. and I couldn't bear another plate of anything. Instead of losing several kilos I am afraid to get on a scale as this has been one huge meal after another.
When I write my report I will give options of where I would have stayed myself, if just travelling with a family member or two. We were such a large group that it really dictated the lodging, our friends arranged it all and I have no complaints.I would steer clear of large towns, but sometimes this is the only option for large groups or latecomers. We stayed in Sarriá at the NH  hotel. This was not quaint. Sarriá is not quaint,so unless I had nowhere to stay on the trail itself I may not stay here again, although we all really enjoyed the hotel and had decent food here. It is next to the river, so not right on the main street.Here in Santiago we are at the Parador de los Reyes Católicos where reservations were made two years ago. At the time they only had 14 rooms left after our group signed up. We were 27 on this trip the last three days.
We also had their spectacular dinner "noche de fuego" which was like an elite wedding.. later with reserved seating outside to watch the fireworks. I would splurge and do this again. The rooms are pleasant and the food at dinner was beautifully displayed and tasty. It was a regal way to celebrate our journey together to say the least.It is certainly quite a reward to walk into this historic building, the old hospital for the pilgrms and relive memories of past visits. My husband and I enjoyed two nights here many, many years ago.There are plenty of nice accommodations here in Santiago. The San Francisco 4* hotel is just behind the parador and also an historic building, for example.More Tuesday if I get my notes in order!
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Old Jul 25th, 2010, 01:29 PM
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sorry all the paragraphs disappeared after my quick editing!
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Old Jul 25th, 2010, 02:28 PM
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I am glad you enjoyed it!
We were in that area last week and saw many pilgrims. I was fascinated by it all and bought a book to educate myself more.

ps - I LOVE the octopus too!!
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Old Jul 25th, 2010, 02:42 PM
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Can't wait for more of your excellent report! I've been to SDC years ago and would love to return via walking part of the camino. Thanks for sharing!
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Old Jul 25th, 2010, 03:25 PM
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I can't wait to hear more! This is something I've been thinking about doing.
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Old Jul 25th, 2010, 04:21 PM
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Linca

Did you walk enough to get your Compostela?

Did you have percebes?
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Old Jul 26th, 2010, 12:59 AM
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I have walked more than enough to get the Compostela but the lines are soooo long we have to leave. We didn't even get the Santiago stamp here. We have tried to get them twice at 8 in the morning and it is impossible. So we must move on.

The trail is especially wonderful when the groups move past you and you are left among the trees in solitude to trek a bit on your own. With so many people on the trails we were surprised at how uncrowded they would become at times.

There are definitely parts of the trail that for wimps and scenery seekers can be avoided quite easily. I will try to list a short version for those who only have a day or a few hours in the region.

I have never read a guide book nor done this before so my information will have to be taken with a grain of salt. I have, on the other hand, throughly enjoyed true pilgrim reports. There are some very professional writers out there doing a beautiful job of transmitting it all.

If you google "pazos de galicia" you will find some lovely accommodations.
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Old Jul 26th, 2010, 04:34 AM
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Lin, that's too bad about not being able to get the Compostela, but now that you know how much you enjoyed it you might decide to do it again! Are you going back home or are you continuing traveling?

The evening celebration at the Parador sounds interesting. We stayed at the Parador the first time we went to Santiago and were underwhelmed by the rooms and service. The historic nature of the place made up for that though.

Ivar, thanks for the website link.
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