Camino Day 63 (Villar de Mozarife to Astorga) 31K- #CAMINO #HIKING

Today was a day for sadness and excitement. I was excited because the Magician and I were only two days from Cruz de Ferro (a large cross). At the cross you could leave a stone you carried all the way from home here (to represent the burden you would leave on the pilgrimage). The one I had with me I’d actually picked up a few months before in Costa Rica. It had the strips of a tiger on it, representing to me, that if I wanted something badly enough, even I could Continue reading Camino Day 63 (Villar de Mozarife to Astorga) 31K- #CAMINO #HIKING

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Camino Day 62 (León to Villar de Mazarife) 23K- #CAMINO #HIKING

With our little group of four we left the hotel late in the morning, enjoying a long and leisurely breakfast in León. The city was buzzing in the Continue reading Camino Day 62 (León to Villar de Mazarife) 23K- #CAMINO #HIKING

Camino Day 61 (Reliegos to León) 29K- #CAMINO #HIKING

Today we’d be walking to León! It was the last major city before Santiago, and I was starting to feel the end of the walk. In 20 days time I’d be home for my Mum’s birthday. This made me sad to finish, but I also felt guilty as I knew my mum was in hospital (from a broken leg, which was complicated as she is paraplegic). This left me with a strange conflict inside. Sadness, guilt, Continue reading Camino Day 61 (Reliegos to León) 29K- #CAMINO #HIKING

Camino Day 60 (Sahagun to Reliegos) 33K- #CAMINO #HIKING

Our little group of the Texan, my Little Sister and the Magician left our municipal late. We bounced through Sahagun, finding the half way sign! The Magician and I had walked ¾ of the route from Le Puy to Santiago. Most of that, we had been Continue reading Camino Day 60 (Sahagun to Reliegos) 33K- #CAMINO #HIKING

Camino Day 59 (Ledigos to Sahagun) 23K- #CAMINO #HIKING

We left Ledigos late in the day, walking on to the Terradillos de los Templarios, which used to belong to the Templar Knights. They were set up to protect pilgrims to Palestine, which then expanded to protected all pilgrims (including those to Santiago). The Templar Knights were dissolved when the church abolished their order on 13th October 1307. This was set into motion Continue reading Camino Day 59 (Ledigos to Sahagun) 23K- #CAMINO #HIKING

Camino Day 58 (Carrión de los Condes to Ledigos) 25K- #CAMINO #HIKING

Today was an epic-ally exciting day, we were going to get to walk with my Little Sister and the Texan! Needless to say the Magician saw an opportunity for me to improve my French and my Little Sister’s English. Talking via google translate is a bit weird to be honest. And it has taught me, never trust google… translating to the male and female in French from English is treacherous! It ends up with you Continue reading Camino Day 58 (Carrión de los Condes to Ledigos) 25K- #CAMINO #HIKING

Camino Day 57 (Castrojeriz to Carrión de los Condes) 46K- #CAMINO #HIKING

This morning was our walk in moonlight on the Camino. So sneaking around at 2am in the morning in the middle of a dorm room is not particularly easy (surprise surprise). I did have a terrible urge to wake everyone in the room up and try and make them come with us because everything felt wonderfully magical to me right then. I’m not sure people would have appreciated that though.

My Brother set off as quickly as possible, wanting to find a nice spot to have a fire.  Continue reading Camino Day 57 (Castrojeriz to Carrión de los Condes) 46K- #CAMINO #HIKING

Camino Day 56 (Hornillos del Camino to Castrojeriz) 21K- #CAMINO #HIKING

After the wonderful evening in the restaurant (Green Kitchen), we went back for breakfast. Here I watched my Brother cleanse the owner and room with holy wood. She was really sweet, as afterwards she then gave him breakfast and a pair of Camino socks. Its small moments like this, you see Camino magic. I spoke to the owner afterwards about what it was like working on the Camino. She spoke honestly about the challenges of being able to integrate with locals, and how it can take a huge amount of your time. We talked a lot about how if you put Continue reading Camino Day 56 (Hornillos del Camino to Castrojeriz) 21K- #CAMINO #HIKING

Camino Day 55 (Burgos to Hornillos del Camino) 22K- #CAMINO #HIKING

We woke up and left the fancy hostel pretty late, so late my Brother got fed up waiting for us and started walking. After several weeks of dreading my birthday, it had finally appeared. After the magic of the night before with my friends and the Magician, I felt the ghosts of that day disappear. It was like a milestone had been crossed and I wasn’t looking at the day and thinking, huh, Continue reading Camino Day 55 (Burgos to Hornillos del Camino) 22K- #CAMINO #HIKING

Camino Day 54 Rest Day in Burgos- #CAMINO #HIKING

Today was our rest day in Burgos! We managed to convince a lot of our other friends to take the day off with us. Unfortunately we got kicked out of the Municipal bang on 8am though, so no nice lie in. We all clambered out of the municipal together and had a goodbye breakfast together with our Spanish friend and my Little Sister. My Little Sister was off to find her Texan, and start her beautiful love story, as he was purposely waiting further up the trail for her. Continue reading Camino Day 54 Rest Day in Burgos- #CAMINO #HIKING

Camino Day 53 (Agés to Burgos) 26K- #CAMINO #HIKING

We set out late this morning after a long breakfast with my Brother and the Magician. The walk out of Agés was along a road with few and far between cars. I walked in sight of the Magician, but alone for a large part of the morning. It was going to be my 35th Birthday in a couple of days. I was nervous, my last birthday had been a disaster. My ex and I had a birthday tradition which involved being sung happy birthday in the morning and served cake in bed. Well he’d decided that it didn’t seem important anymore as I’d been busy with my new job. He realised this was a mistake after I’d gotten very upset. Reliving these memories, Continue reading Camino Day 53 (Agés to Burgos) 26K- #CAMINO #HIKING

Camino Day 52 (Belorado to Agés) 29K- #CAMINO #HIKING

In Belorado there’s no where to have breakfast, so we chowed down on some terrible fake processed chocolate croissants from a local shop. The Magician, my Brother and I walked out from Belorado together, till we got to the small town called Villafrance Montes de Oca. Pilgrims used to recover after crossing the Oca mountains here. Being a pilgrim back then was very dangerous, with robbers leaving them easily open to attack.  On the other hand, pilgrims also used to have a bad reputation. This was because they could be people walking the Camino to escape criminal punishment (i.e. thieves). And they might even be doing the pilgrimage with no way to feed themselves (so they would steal). Continue reading Camino Day 52 (Belorado to Agés) 29K- #CAMINO #HIKING

Camino Day 51 (Santo Domingo de la Calzada to Belorado) 20K- #CAMINO #HIKING

We hadn’t seen my Brother the  day before, so we spent all morning walking together. A happy little trio. So here I’ll answer a question you’re dying to know the answer too! Just how do you entertain yourself on a 1,000 mile walk? Your days are filled with slowly changing scenery. Some filled with glorious nature, other smothered in industrial noise and smoke. Sing together, listen to music. I might have a small habit of dancing down the Camino. A grown woman, dancing with a 30 pound hiking bag? Yes, it just looks weird. And you’ll have long deep philosophical talks of life, the universe and the why to it all. So there are few ridiculous games we played to break these bits up too. One is ‘What she said!’ This is something you say after someone says something that a woman might say related to sex. The other is ‘Roger’. Effectively you have to say ‘Roger’ after someone burps. You have to do this quickly, as the last one to say it gets a smack around the head… These are deliciously childish games, that are extremely satisfying to help break those serious moments. Its even more fun (gross confession now) but I can burp on command and say words at the same time. So, I pretty much always win at Roger. Cue evil villain laugh. Continue reading Camino Day 51 (Santo Domingo de la Calzada to Belorado) 20K- #CAMINO #HIKING

Camino Day 50 Sotés to Santo Domingo de la Calzada 35K- #CAMINO #HIKING

The Magician and I set off late in the morning down the hill. The sun was rising quickly and burning off the mist which was curling round the small clumped buildings in Sotés. Once we got down the tarmac road, we reached the Camino again. The dirt track had a golden colour with the small towns highlighted in the distance. On the way now we could easily see the next stops we’d get too. This was a simple motivation for more coffee and food. Today took us to the first major town in a while, Nájera. After Pamplona was sacked by the Moors in 924, the Kings of Navarra residence was moved here. During the War of Independence though the French destroyed large parts of Nájera. This gives the town a huge amount of history here, but is now just a very small town with a number of old churches. Continue reading Camino Day 50 Sotés to Santo Domingo de la Calzada 35K- #CAMINO #HIKING

Camino Day 49 (Logroño to Sotés) 20K- #CAMINO #HIKING

Today we set off with my Brother and the Magician again. They spent a lot of the morning walking ahead of me. The Camino this morning was along dusty roads next to a high way across Spain. I paused once by a chicken wire fence which was filled with pieces of wood set out in crosses. This was one of the first clear signs of the Catholic church and this being a walk of devotion that I’d come across. A sign which was based from Camino walkers collectively together putting signs of their faith on the walk. I felt conflicted in this moment. When I’d reached Pamplona, I’d seen clearly how the church was using fear to create devotion. This had made me start to see that, although, till that point I’d classified myself as Christian. I no longer was. Being here, it just felt creepy to be honest. I started to see that when I saw signs of Christianity, I felt a strong level of judgement. Kind of ironic when you think the path I was walking on is a Christian one based on devotion and pilgrimage. Continue reading Camino Day 49 (Logroño to Sotés) 20K- #CAMINO #HIKING