Category archive - Spain

Walking the Camino de Santiago: Winter Pilgrimage

Walking the Camino de Santiago: Winter Pilgrimage

 

Since the release and unexpected success of the film The Way, it seems that walking the Camino de Santiago is on everyone’s travel bucket list. When I first walked the Camino back in 2003 it was little known to travellers outside of Europe and we felt quite the intrepid adventurers revealing our plans to walk across Spain.

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Walking the Camino de Santiago: A Packing Guide You Will Thank me For Later

Walking the Camino de Santiago: A Packing Guide You Will Thank me For Later

 

 

“There is no moment of delight in any pilgrimage like the beginning of it”

Charles Dudley Warner

 

I remember it well: the first hour of the first day of walking the Camino de Santiago in 2003. It began perfectly. I was super excited, full of energy (mostly from adrenalin, and the French pastry I’d eaten for breakfast) and ready to begin the trek into the French Pyrenees.

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Pilgrimage, Wolves and Bandits: Camino de Santiago

Pilgrimage, Wolves and Bandits: Camino de Santiago

It’s true, the idea of a pilgrimage is usually associated with a religious ritual or rite of passage: the pilgrimage to Mecca in Islam, the Wailing Wall of Jerusalem in Judaism and The Vatican in Catholicism.

 

But I am going to help myself to a little creative license here and suggest that any journey or travel can be considered a pilgrimage: and a non-religious one at that.

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The Road Less Travelled: Camino de Santiago

The Road Less Travelled: Camino de Santiago

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A Winter Camino, a Cancelled Flight…and a White Christmas

A Winter Camino, a Cancelled Flight…and a White Christmas

 

It’s a traveller’s worst nightmare. Well, one of them at least.

 

Those huge red, flashing letters next to the departure time of your next flight have the power to rattle even the most frequent of flyers: CANCELLED. A delay is frustrating enough but you see ‘cancelled’ and your heart just sinks.

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The Way To Santiago

The Way To Santiago

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(Tapas) Crawl Your Way Through Spain

(Tapas) Crawl Your Way Through Spain

“One cannot think well, sleep well, love well if one has not dined well”. Virginia Woolf

So we all know that secretly the only reason we travel is to try all the fabulous food and wine of a country. (It’s okay, your secret is totally safe with me) But, if you haven’t done so already, may I suggest you make your next culinary adventure a tapas crawl in Spain. I guarantee it will not disappoint. Read more

Journal Archive: Winter Pilgrimage, Camino de Santiago

Journal Archive: Winter Pilgrimage, Camino de Santiago

 Extract from my winter pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago last year:

“A few people have been emailing and asking why the hell we are attempting this pilgrimage in the winter months. I know I painted a pretty grim picture in that last post, but just to clarify…Apart from that week on the Meseta, this journey has been truly amazing. It is by far the most challenging, and the most fulfilling thing I have ever done. In so many ways. Sure, there have been ups and downs, as with anything, but I wouldn´t change a single moment of it – even the difficult parts. Yes, even the Meseta!! Hey, what doesn´t kill you makes you stronger, right??

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‘THE WAY’: A Film of the Camino de Santiago

‘The Way’ follows the story of a father who decides to complete his son’s journey to Santiago after he is killed in a storm  in the Pyrenees whilst walking his first day of the camino. Emilio Estevez wrote and directed the film and also acts alongside his on-screen and off-screen father, Martin Sheen. The story begins in St Jean Pied de Port where Tom (Martin Sheen) hoists on his son’s backpack and begins walking to the cathedral of Santiago some 780 kms away.
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Anticipation

Anticipation

 

Some people despise all the planning that comes before a journey. I love it! For me the journey officially begins as soon as I start to plan it. The anticipation is half the fun.

Of course I know the plans will change a thousand times before any kind of departure, and most plans tend to dissipate once you are actually in a place.  But all the research, reading, day-dreaming and discussion that precedes a departure is a constant reminder of what is now the inevitable: there is a journey ahead. Read more