Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Film of my Camino journey 2013.  Not terribly complete but combined with the published photos will give a good overall view of what it was like. Mari & Carol who featured in the earlier part of the film are 2 Brazilian girls I met in Pontivy and who I joined to cycle to the south of France. Mari subsequently cycled the Camino herself.

 After the privilege of cycling through Galicia and northern Spain and experience the friendship and hospitality and travelling back via coach, train and ferry the train disaster brought home the shortness of life and how it can be suddenly ended.  We should try to live for the moment and not let worry for the future drag us down  Gerry

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Post Santiago

Another adventure
Santiago was incredibly hot.  Got bus on Saturday to Irun.  8.30 am to 11 pm  Saturday 06/07
What a ride.  Wall to wall scenery all the way.  Northern Spain is beautiful.  Amazing.  Visited Coruna,  Gijon,  Santander, Bilbao,  San Sebastian.  Nice taxi driver bought me to a nice hotel Irun.
Great night's sleep .
07/07  Taxi to Hendaye,  fast train to Paris.  Change stations and then train to Cherbourg .  Camped rough in Cherbourg
08/07  Very good day in Cherbourg.  Visited La cite De Mar.  Excellent.  Cycled to a beach and relaxed for a while on the ferry at 4 pm.  Lovely crossing .  Up early and saw a pod of Porpoise.
9/07 Met good old friend in Dublin,  lovely evening,  Go bus back to

Galway on Wed 10/07.  Adventure over but back in 1 piece.

Day 26 Friday 05/07/13. Burres to Santiago

Last stage.  Only 35 k to go.  was still up at 6 waiting for the dawn. 
Mixed feelings-Glad of what I have achieved physically & Mentally,  Both have been tested,  Getting lost,  Sorting out problems on my own,  Using the elements to help me,  The nice policeman on the scooter in Tohema,  The people I met (especially Mari & Carol)
I'm glad to get to Santiago but sorry the adventure is over.  Feel humble and thankful, 
The last 35 k were easy.  No problems with hills or energy.
Got to nice hostel Roots & Boots by 10.30.  Time to change and wash and get to pilgrims mass in the Cathedral.  Yipeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

(photo of Cathedral did not come out. This one is not mine)

Day 25 Thursday 04/07/13 Sarria to Burres

89 K Foggy Morning,  Good cycling morning.  Its soon burned off and the temp was circa 38 D.  I crossed 12 river Valleys,  Every decent was followed by a steep ascent.
Weather really hot in the afternoon saw stage end T De F . M Cav win a stage.  Had to rest when climbing, I was getting tired quickly. Pulled into a nice roadside Hostel.  Lady in next bunk had no English but we managed to wish each other good luck in  the


Day 24 Ambasmestas to Sarria.

70 K 
The hardest day I've ever had in cycling.  Climbing all day beginning with 600 m climb up O'Cebreiro. Like a wall.  Met the Spanish lads from Vitoria again.  Also took a

wrong turn which added on unneeded extra K's At the top there was still a tough 15 k up and down before a great decent. Stopped in Sarria,  Nice hostel in an old house. 

Day 23 Tuesday 02/07/13 Murias de Dechivaldo to Ambasmestas

95k   38 degrees
None of the problems of yesterday clammy weather has cleared but it's very very hot.  Cycles well until I got very tired.  Sharing with 2 Italian cyclists and a mother and 2 daughters.  Mario is 77 and Carlo is 73.  I must change my message whistle,  its causing me more embarrassment.  Mario is Super Mario.  He has cycled from Miami to LA.  Cycled to the Artic circle.  Walked from Trieste to Monaco via the A

lps.  We can all take inspiration from him.  Age should not be a barrier. 

Day 22 El Burgo Ranero to Murias De Dechivalso Monday 01/07/13

106 K
Today I ran out of steam .  I was OK until lunchtime but the afternoon was hard. 15 k short of target.  Bike running well,  All road now.  Met up with 2 Spanish cyclists Olier Rodrigues and his father in law Javier Lopezde.  Olier is from Vitoria ,  loves Galway  and comes to Galway playing Irish music. Nice hostel in a small village,  Met 2 nice German teenagers.  Good English and can also speak Spanish & French.  Feel tired

Day 21Sunday 30/06 Hontanas to El Burgo Ranero

125 K  26 degrees  
75% on pathway.  went on the road when the path was too rough.  Hot,  amazing countryside.  great cycle.  Finished at 4.30 hot and tired.  Amazing countryside,  Great cycle.  Drinking coke a rare event. hostel was an old building made of daub.  Very comfortable.  Hosted by

an American lady living in Holland.  Her name is Lee.  She is a serial Camino walker.  Met US medical student who is walking the full Camino with her uncle.

Day 20 Saturday 29/06/13 Pancarbo to Hontanas

102 K   Fast road to Burgos, Including a high climb . V Busy road.  Festival of St Peter & Paul was on in Burgos, Very colourful parade in traditional outfits   Joined the French way outside Burgos .the path is not easy but do-able. Temp mid 20s.  Nice,  Breeze with me .  Pulled into Albergue .Met Italian and Spanish pilgrims.

Day19 friday 28/06/13PM Vitoria to Pancorbo

AM Took in an excellent tour of the Cathedral.  Also had time to have a look around the city. Really nice city.  The Cathedral was the inspiration for Ken Folletts book 'the pillars of thr earth'.  Found it hard to get out of Vitoria,  Roads as shown on the maps don't exist,  The WAY was not suitable for a buke.  Lost 2 hours.  Eventually I went down a track that was going in the right direction ,  It led to a tarmacked road . (pure luck). 
Nearly lost the bike on a decent.  It had picked up speed suddenly and I could not brake because of the surface.  The bike rode around the bend with no help from me. It just followed the bend.
Scenery amazing.  Hot but with a nice

breeze.  Pulled into a truckers hotel near Pancorbo. 

Day 18 tuesday 27/06/13 Beasin to Vitoria

75 K including the longest climb of my life.  650 meters to Otsaurte. Switchbacks and everything.  weather warm,  Not too hot.  Had a liitle siesta under a Tree beside a fountain in a village.  Stopped at cafĂ©/bar in Vitoria dieing for a coke.  Angel by Jimi Hendrix was just starting to play as the barmaid came out to me.  Funny.  Amazing Albergue de la Catedral in Vitoria.  Recently renovated ,  Very comfortable with full facilities.  Vitoria is a lovely city ,  Full of cycle paths and also an ancient section. Rock band from the UK ' the Waybirds' were playing that night. very good.  Mari (Brazilian Girl)texted. She is going to do the Camino in a few days.

Day 17 Wednesday 26/06 Irun to Beasin 50K

Into the unknown.  Found the WAY.  It was impassable for a bike.  After Oirtzun I went on the road.  Plan B,  using map from Carol. Met a festival in Hernani.  A mix of Tug of War and hitting people with air filled bulls bladders.  Sore thing.  Some of the local people could be Irish, Fair haired and fair skinned and

similar music.  A policeman gave me directions out of Tolosa.  Then a lovely cycle way to Beasin along a river on Tarmac.  Got to a lovely Albergue.  Great welcome by 2 Spanish hosts.  Met Arthur from Estonia, a third time walker.  Had a lovely evening discussing musice and Arthur and our hosts worked out a route for me for a few days.