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Monday, 25 April 2011

EL CAMINO - PART 2



As all you avid readers of this blog will doubtless remember, silly old people do some very silly things. I'm referring of course to our plan to walk from our front gate along the Pilgrim's Route to Santiago de Compostela in far western Spain. We got to the Pyrenees last year, a distance of just over 200 kms in just under two weeks. Great fun, but hard work.
Anyway, it's over 1,000 kilometres from our house in M├ęzin to Compostella - and there's a long way to go - so we decided to start out on stage 2. (If we're still around, we'll give the next stage a go later this year - and with luck, one day we'll get to Saintiago and complete El Camino).
Last time we stopped at the frontier town of Valcarlos (just past St Jean Pied de Port) so that's where we started from this year. We went up the old Pilgrim path from the bottom of the Pyrenees to the top in one day - but what a day! Up and up and up. And then up some more. Then, just when we thought we were at the summit, there was lots more mountain to climb.
Well, after lots of adventures in Spain, we made it. It was a truly great experience, and we arrived, as planned, in San Domingo de la Calzala - of cheap Rioja and chickens in the cathedral fame - exactly on schedule: 215 kms in nine and a half days. Not too bad for old farts like us.
Outstanding walking, superb views, amazing countryside, interesting villages and of course Lynne had a very good guide and truly excellent company all the way.
Met our neighbours Sue and Andy for two evening meals and they helped us cheat (just a little bit) by taking one of our bags on one of the days.
The above pics give an impression of what Lynne felt about the trip.
Note: with one meal we were offered ONE free drink. We asked for wine and that's how it was served: pint jug of Rioja. Not a bad reason to visit Spain as often as possible.

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