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Posts tagged ‘Walking’

Camino – Portomarín (Day 28)

Date: Tue 4th June
Distance: 22 km
Temperature: Warm/Hot
Mood: Cheerful
Left: Sarria 8:45am
Arrived: Portomarín 2:45pm
Santiago de Composela: 93 km
Highlight: Jenny in shorts!

As previously warned, the Camino trail does get busier from Sarria, this becomes more apparent when nature calls!

Again, the scenery doesn’t disappoint and we were again blessed with a sunny warm day in a region known for its high rain fall. The trail is typically lined with moss covered stacked stone walls and plenty of greenery. The birds were particularly chatty and provided a good sound track whilst we walked.

We passed through plenty of little hamlets most with appealing Cafes tempting us for a break. We finally succumbed for a nice cold icy Coke.

It wasn’t long before we could see the township of Portomarín, a lovely town which overlooks a large reservoir. The town itself was quite lively with many pilgrims enjoying the sun, eating and drinking.

Only 4 more days of walking, we have now passed the 100 km marker… perhaps we are getting a little sad as our journey draws to a close.

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Camino – Belorado (Day 13)

Date: Sun 19th May
Distance: 23 km
Temperature: Very Cold/wet
Mood: Good
Left: Santa Domingo 8:15am
Arrived: Belerado 1:30pm
Santiago de Compostela: 551 km

Awoke refreshed, checked out, found a local bar for a quick bite and hit the road at a leisurely 8:15am.

Each day the temperature seems to be getting colder and higher odds for rain. We wear our wet weather gear for both extra warmth and in preparation for any rain.

Today again wasn’t the best day for photographing the local scenery due to a light drizzle, however we could have been walking through Gippsland with the green rural rolling hills. We were treated with 4 lovely small villages to break up the day. We had aimed at stopping for a coffee or hot chocolate at the first village, but so had everyone else. Whilst the local bar was making a roaring trade, we weren’t keen on waiting to be served so on we marched to the next village. Here we were able to get a seat at the bar and order hot chocolates only to hear familiar Aussie voices from a nearby table. To our surprise we found a couple of our Aussie friends (first met back in Orrison) just leaving.

After our hot chocolate pick me up, we headed off and were keen to get to Belorado so we could find some reasonable accommodation as we knew there were already a lot on the road with limited accommodation available.

With the village just in our sights, the heavens opened and gave us a good drenching as we scuttled towards our final destination. We enquired at a decent looking hotel only to be told they were fully booked, so we took our chances with a private Albergue around the corner that offered private rooms. We were greeted by a local with unfortunate teeth and no English and after a little hand gesturing he was keen to show us his private rooms. Thankfully they got the tick of approval and although it was a shared bathroom, it wasn’t too shabby, especially as we were paying 30€ for the night!

Not much to see around town so headed for one of the rare bars that are open during siesta and ordered some more hot chocolates. So much for loosing any rolls! Now just have to choose we’re to eat tonight!20130519-184959.jpg20130519-184844.jpg20130519-184859.jpg20130519-184911.jpg20130519-184853.jpg20130519-184917.jpg20130519-184905.jpg20130519-184922.jpg20130519-184930.jpg20130519-184941.jpg
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Camino – Nájera (Day 11)

Date: Fri 17th May
Distance: 30km
Temperature: Cold/Wet
Mood: Mostly Good (until the end of the day)
Left: Logroño 8:30am
Arrived: Nájera 4:40pm
Santiago de Compostela: 595km

Please forgive us. We know you were all looking forward to a relaxing Saturday breakfast whilst catching up on our daily blog!

SMB on wheels – Enjoy the ride fellas! (Your numbers are dwindling!)

Our accommodation in Logroño was fab! After a typical breakfast we checked out and hit the road. It was a cold 5 deg start and we copped a shower as we walked out of town. The Camino trail out of town is also used as a local walking track and we were greeted by most of the friendly locals as we passed them with the typical “Buon Camino”.

This was going to be another big day with 30km back to back. I had pre booked the night before a private room at an Albergue so we didn’t need to worry about accommodation when we arrived, but we needed to arrive before 4:30pm else risk loosing it!

We enjoyed a morning coffee break in the village of Navarette and bought some lunch supplies before continuing on. The weather was looking very ominous the further we walked until just before getting to the small village of Ventosa a storm came through bring with it hail! We made it to a small bar just before the downpour! After a hot chocolate and the rain subsiding and 12km remaining, we left after 2:00pm knowing we needed to get to Nájera before 4:30. With about 5km to go, the legs were letting us know that they had had enough and the feet were getting sore, until we finally made it.

Well on top of 2 x 30km days, being wet and tired we met our “Raymond” (reference “The Way”). Going from a lovely Hotel in Logroño to a private Albergue room in Nájera were 2 worlds apart. (Note: Many Pilgrims stay in the Albergues for their entire pilgrimage and enjoy the experience. We admire them! Call us “soft” if you like, we have sampled every type of accommodation on offer so far on the Camino and there extremes are wide!). To top the day off, Jenny ceremoniously dumped her backpack on her bed and minutes late realised she had emptied the remained of her water bladder all over the bed! After a quick shower (A shame we forgot to take a photo, you had to see it to believe it) and after rearranging the entire room (see photo) we headed into town for a quick bit of sightseeing (Whilst we didn’t feel like it, we always drag ourselves out to see the town we are staying in and in this case we didn’t want to hang around back in the room!) and we needed to eat something for dinner.

“Raymond” had offered us earlier to eat at his restaurant for 9€ each, but after passing by and seeing no one in there we decided to play it safe and choose the cafe with the most people in it! We enjoyed the company of a French couple at the table that had 2 words of English between them (twice as many words of French that we had between us). So was a very entertaining evening as we discussed our Camino adventures in broken English, Spanish and French and with a lot of hand gesturing!

Back in our room all settled in for the night we are treated to the noise of what sounds like a rodent! And did I mention there was no WiFi!!!

We have experienced a low point! But don’t expect it to last!

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Camino – Logroño (Day 10)

Date: Thu 16th May
Distance: 30km
Temperature: Crisp!
Mood: Good
Left: Los Arcos 8:15am
Arrived: Logroño 3:15pm
Santiago de Compostela: 625km

A big day ahead, so needed to get an early start. Enjoyed a light breakfast in the local bar before heading off in a very crisp morning, but clear blue skies defying the weather forecast once more! Sansol was the first small village we passed through. Still feeling strong we pushed on expecting more small villages along the way we could take a break at, but this wasn’t to be as the next village was 20km into our 30km journey!

We finally made it to Viana, a beautiful old town that many pilgrims pulled up stumps and made it their resting place. With energy levels fully depleted, we found a bustling local bar and ordered Cafe con leche’s and a couple of bacon rolls. Next was a visit of the local Church Viana Iglesia Santa María. We just made it in before being asked to leave as they were locking the place up for their Siesta!

Before the last of the shops closed, we managed to purchase some supplies to make a picnic lunch all for 3€!

Now that we had refuelled, we headed off for Logroño. We were now leaving the region of Navarre and entering a smaller Spanish region called Rioja, known for its wine. Before entering the city, we had our credentials (pilgrims passports) stamped by a lady who’s family has been welcoming pilgrims every day into Logroño for many many years. (2 generations)

Checked into our kind or Albergue! This one came equipped with a bath! After a long soak, we took to the town and visited most of the Churches, including one that has a Michelangelo painting!

Enjoyed the pilgrims menu at a local cafe and headed off for an early night as we have another 30km day ahead!!! Ouch!

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Camino – Estella (Day 7)

Date: Mon 13th May
Distance: 22km
Weather: Warm and sunny (got burnt)
Mood: High

Today the sun was shining and our spirits were high. We had paid our 4€ each for breakfast and arrived at the restaurant to find only a few well dressed pilgrims remaining. Suited us fine to have the place to ourselves! Breakfast was fantastic value and we stuffed our pockets with extra to take on the road!

Again the last to leave and a quick stop in town to purchase some lunch supplies before heading out over the 11th Century bridge and into the glorious Spanish countryside. Plenty of wild flowers, brilliant blue sky and a cacophony of birds singing. We really need to hit the road a bit earlier than after 9am! We are loving the rural scenery, the Olive fields and Vineyards and the villages we pass through. We rarely see much in the way of Spanish life which is a little disappointing. Spanish don’t seem to exist until after 7pm when they all come out, children and all into the village plaza’s where the kids play and the parents socialise over a drink or 2!

Around lunch time we bumped into our Melbourne friends at a popular cafe/bar (not hard to be popular if they are the only ones open along the entire route) We soon discover that we had enjoyed a full hotel buffet breakfast instead of the Pilgrims breakfast that was served down at the bar between 6-7:30am! (Whoops!) After walking the last few km’s with the Melbourne ladies we reached our destination of Estella. I had emailed a hotel before leaving Puente del Reine for a reservation as we had planned to have a rest day and Albergue’s only allow you 1 night.

We said our farewells and then needed to ask for directions from A local. A lovely young Spanish woman gave us very clear and detailed instructions with lots of agreement from her father. Unfortunately it was all in Spanish! At least we understood the general direction, so once in town consulted another young Spanish woman who had a tiny amount of English to get us to the Hotel.

After visiting the Church of San Pedro De La Rúe and a quick circuit around town we enjoyed diner back at our Hotel. Tomorrow is our designated rest day! Which means a nice sleep-in and no Blog! But also means we will probably lose touch with fellow Pilgrims we have been constantly bumping into along the way.

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