Camino de Santiago Photos (updated)

A collection of Camino memories beyond blisters, bed bugs and bunk beds 🙂

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Sharon setting off from St Jean

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My turn to pose on day 1

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Mist in the French Pyrenees

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Sunday mass, Pyrenees’ style

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Soothing the pain after the 1st day’s walk to Roncesvalles

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Typical early morning start, Roncesvalles Albergue

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Getting back before the Albergue curfew, Pamplona

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Sightseeing on our ‘rest day’ in Pamplona.

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Sculptures in the hills outside Pamplona

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Sunrise to inspire the early morning walker

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Lonely sunflower

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The infamous fountain that dispenses free wine to pilgrims was closed.  Apparently the monks were holidaying in Ibiza.  It was pretty lucky really, as we passed it at 8am.

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During early September it was still very hot and at times there is little shade on the Camino.  On this day it was 36 degrees.

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The traditional pilgrim way to drink wine is out of a cows bladder.  Sharon demonstrating the official camino supping technique enroute to Estella, to the horror of the bar man, see hand, even though he was supplying the free wine!!

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Arty shadow shot

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We had a bit of a party in the Albergue’s kitchen with Montse to the amusement of a very strange Dutchman.  Viana….

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….errr, we were last to leave the Albergue in Viana, the sun is already up.

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Sharon caminoing…..

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….to the next town

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The Camino always seems to be up….

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….and rest breaks are needed

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The graffiti varies greatly along the camino, this is one of the better ones.

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Sleeping on the church’s floor, Granon

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Walking out of Granon in the morning, leaving unfortunately the Rioja wine region.

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Most of the time we walked together!!!

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Jana and Sharon entering ‘Castilla y Leon’

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Town festival at Belorado with our friends Jana and Dan

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My trusty walking shoes brought from home were causing heel pain so they were recycled in Belorado.

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Pilgrim ‘donativo’ refuge on the way to St Juan.  Note cheap blue running shoes purchased in Belorado which for a time alieved the heel pain

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Sun setting on the Monastery Albergue in St Juan

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One of several crosses along the camino, this one enroute to Burgos.

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My UK friend Sven’s Spanish double walking across the main plaza in Burgos.

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Multilingual Buen Camino sign at Burgos cathedral

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New for old.  At Burgos Sharon swapped out her old walking shoes for a pair of trekking trainers.

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Typical camino way marking

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At the top of the hill that hits you early when leaving Castrojeriz

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The Mesetas get a lot of bad press for being flat and boring.  We really enjoyed them and found them expansive in both sky and land…..

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….which helped me find some rare wisdom.  “Sharon, I think I’ve changed….”    Oh dear, it must have been the heat.

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Sharon next to one of the many pilgrim statues, near Fromista/Carrion.

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Matt now demonstrating the official camino supping technique……

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….along with our friend Claus.  Terradillos monastery.

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After the wine we all had a bit of a sing song.  We did not have any idea who the guitarist was, he just appeared, sat down and played, and then disappeared…….power of the camino?

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My favourite community meal along the Camino was at Terradillos.  We are sitting in the street outside the old monastery…..

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….and luckily for all of us they served pig’s ear stew.

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On the way to Leon

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Paella in Leon…..

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….ill in Leon the next day.  Sharon came up with the idea of using a Spanish Tortilla to cool down my forehead as I slept.  Forget all the hangovers, this was by far my worst day walking as I had both the trots (excuse the pun) and was vomiting.

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There were some interesting buildings in Astorga, for example a Gaudi palace….

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….and Sharon’s shop.

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Another important cross, the Cruz de Ferro.  Here you are supposed to leave your burdens behind in the form of a stone carried from home.  I was tempted to leave my rucksack!

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There were lots of references to the Knights Templars along the way.  One of their swords apparently.

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The old monastery albergue in Villafranca where we slept.

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In the mountains nearing La Faba.  By now our camino fitness and suntans were pretty strong.  Note, the blue cross country trainers that I purchased in Leon.  These were to be my third and final set of camino shoes and by far the most suited (and most expensive, typically) to the walk.

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Both of us feeling a sense of achievement and relief as we reach Galicia, the final region to walk through.  Only about 150 Kms to go now before Santiago.  A weary “buen camino”.

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But Galicia brought more mountains and colder weather…..

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…..but we were prepared with rain coats.  Finally it was worth carrying them all this way!

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Another Pilgrim statue in the mountains

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A typical ending to a day’s walk.  Just when you don’t need it, a stair case to climb to enter Sarria’s old town…..

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…..but charismatic Giovanni was waiting at the top for us, with wine!

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Less than 100 kms to go, or four days walking.

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Sharon ate Galician Pulpo (octopus) in Palais de Rei.

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Its been a long time on the road and a celebratory feeling starts to engulf us all.  Nina and Bianca ‘saluting’ the way at Ribadiso, only two days away from our destination

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Almost there!  We pass the first stone sign the states ‘Santiago’ on our last day of walking from the town of Pedrouza.  We are about 5 kms from the cathedral.

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Finally, we have arrived in the main catherdral square in Santiago after 36 days on the road.  Shame about the scaffolding!

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Liv’s arrival

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And Erkan’s

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Meeting up with friends made along the Camino.  The celebration starts……

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…..and ends with suckling pig.

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Day break on our final rest day in Santiago

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Waiting for the Pilgrim mass to start at the Cathedral de Santiago de Compostela.  There is a first for everything….

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It was a long way but this gave us time to see some great places in Spain and meet a lot of different people.  The camino bubble was an amazing experience…..

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….an experience which we reflected on during the 18 hour journey back to St. Jean.

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