Fiesta on the Camino- Walking with a Hole in the Shoe to Estella

What happens when the pilgrims don’t like to party?  It’s all here on Day 5 of Heather’s walk along the old pilgrim route “The Camino de Santiago”. Hola!. Probably a two-part chapter. 640 km to go and loving every minute.  If you’re not au fait with kms, times by 5/8 to get to miles.  (Sorry, not meant to be an insult.  But do it in your head, never trust a calculator). So what was all that worry, planning, reading about prior to the journey?  How was I going to find the albergues (pilgrim hostels)?  … A flippin’ great sign over the door marked Álbergue, Heather! How will I find food? Bread shop?  Supermarket?  Cafes?  It´s just Spain, not the Atacama desert. What on earth was all that worry and planning about?  I...

Walking the Camino de Santiago With Heather – Pamplona

Heather has packed in a couple of days worth here; from Lancashire accents in central Pamplona to techno statues at Puenta la Reina and a few crafty commercials for … BAMBOO!? Lots of friends but where´s the family!! Hi everyone, So I´m walking around Pamplona, see, when I hear this voice shouting ´Hallo Heather´!  Surreal!  Just wonderful.  Then I bumped into another of my new friends.  I was just about to think I mught go to the cathedral again (museum of old instruments as well) when I bumped into a veritable host of friends who said it was closed; so we all went onto Cizur Menor (where?).  Four euros a night!  And help yourself to any food going, just put a bit of money in the box to cover it. Yesterday I heard the torrential rain in the night but set...

Walking the Camino Day 2

Today Heather lets us know the true delights of coffee and croissants with a soggy bra while walking day 2 of her Camino. Hi everyone, I´m sure I won´t be writing every day but while there´s an Internet…. I went to Pilgrim´s mass last night.  No, I´m not anything religion-wise but all the pilgrims went to the front and received a blessing in every language going for their journey.  And there was a statue of St Jacques/ St james/ Santiago so it all felt a bit humbling and beautiful.  Cherryll, the stained glass windows were unbelievable. Well I slept;  mostly!  I did have earplugs and for those of you reeling in horror at the thoughts of 100 people sleeping in one room, not all the beds were occupied.  So that´s ok. There was a thunderstorm and lights on.  I...

Walking the Camino de Santiago – Dispatches From an Old Friend

Walking the Camino de Santiago is a pastime that’s been around for a good thousand years apparently! As walkers and climbers, I suppose we all have to look our age in the eye one day and face up to the fact we ain’t youngsters any more.  All the parties these days involve decades 5, 6, 7 and even 8!  (Dennis at 80 could give a few of you a run for your money on the Camino).  Many years ago I went out for agood while with a lady called Heather.  She came out walking and scrambling with me a couple of times, but in my absence she had really got into walking on her own account. As the circles of life turned and circumstances changed, we started bumping into each other  quite often.  We have been in contact quite regularly in recent years and become quite...

Scotch Mist and Scramble in Sandbed Ghyll

As the summer holidays approached, it was obvious the monsoons were about to kick in.  The steady drizzle of scotch mist on the windscreen as we headed down St. John’s in the Vale confirmed that the day’s options were indeed the wet wander or the even wetter scramble up a ghyll.  What I couldn’t believe was that for a couple of the day’s gang the concept of the “Ghyll Scramble”  was a completely untested idea. We set off in pretty crappy conditions with much chuntering going on and Martin upping the ante with tales of upgrading and “… it’s a 5 now!” “Never fear!”, replied I.  I’d been there before, I well recalled its November, pre annual dinner, pushover nature!!  Thing was though,...