The Easter Break..a chance to renew..

It’s a little over two weeks before I return to Spain, on what will be my first Camino this year. As you know I start my walking from Ferrol but truth be told I started this Camino back in 2017, when I walked to St James Church in Dublin and gained a celtic compostela. Everyone should try their hand at the Celtic Camino.

So now I take this compostela with me to Spain, walk a few days from Ferrol, zip back to A Coruna and walk down to Santiago. And for good measure, I will enjoy the coastal scenes of the Camino Finisterre, all 90km of it. So that is 10 days of walking on this stretch. 10 days of Galicia with my brother and a high chance of meeting a few good people when I arrive in Santiago. What more could I want. It will tide me over until September when I arrive in Lisbon to do it all over again. I’m starting to like Galicia again!

Easter pilgrims to Santiago

I’m writing this on Holy Thursday and the numbers of pilgrims in Santiago have been increasing over the Easter period. To get an idea of the numbers, all you need to do is look at the Pilgrim Office website to see how many pilgrims received compostelas on any given day.

And if you want to peek at the stream of pilgrims on their way to Santiago, why not check out the webcam at San Marcos? I was looking at it on and off today. It can be addictive, however 🙂

Brand new Clearskies Camino patches

You may have noticed a new logo, I hope you like it. I have made an order for some patches. Hopefully, I will receive them before I leave for Spain. When I receive them, I will post a photo of them. Ideally, I’d like to sell them at a small price through Etsy. Let me know if you are interested.

Edit: I have received an image copy of the design of the patch, below. It will now be sent for production and I hope to receive them before I go to Spain.

Camino Society Ireland Information Event @ Cotswold Outdoor Dublin

For folks in Dublin, I want to let you know of an Information event given by Camino Society Ireland at Cotswold Outdoor, Trinity Street, Dublin. I will be there with other volunteers to provide information about the different ways, accommodation and gear. Any questions will be answered. This is on Wednesday, April 24th at 6pm and it is Free.

A few days off work

Now, I am off work until Tuesday. I haven’t had more than 5 hours sleep in 2 months so this is a perfect chance to catch some extra zzzz. Saturday, I may attempt a practice walk and following that, I will break into the left over chocolate. Happy Easter! Felices Pascuas!

Weekend Watch #54 – Camino de Santiago – The Journey

It’s the weekend again and boy! did that week go quick!

But not to worry, we have a great Weekend Watch for you. It comes from Efren, who has been creating Camino videos over on YouTube for months following a Camino Frances. He has now started a Camino Norte followed by a stint on the Primitivo to Santiago.

This video just sums up the Camino. It is pure joy. Plus it has one of my favourite artists “Woodkid” as music. The drone footage is fantastic! Enjoy!

For more great videos, check out the Archives.

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Just a few last things to do..

The bag is packed, I’m ready to go………ok! enough of the singing! The neighbours will start to complain.

But I am pretty much ready. I bought a new Samsung phone charger cable, walking trousers and a few items to restock my first aid kit during the week. So I am set. And forgive me if Europe is down with Brexit-flu, I’m a little bit high at the moment. I guess that’s what a Camino does to you. Even if it’s a short Camino. I have even bought a EU patch from Amazon to attach to my backpack.

Breoghan & the Tower of Hercules in A Coruna

I will be walking from Maynooth College on April 13th to Dublin along the Royal Canal Greenway. If you have an instagram account, why don’t you check out my photographs on that day and follow me. This should serve as good practice before I head back out to Spain. And if you live in the Dublin region, you are more than welcome to join me.

There are so many people I want to meet / see again in Spain when I return. Santiago is a vibrant city full of pilgrims and people that help pilgrims and even though I won’t be there for a full day, I plan to make the most of it before I walk to Finisterre.

2020

I have also been thinking ahead to 2020 and potential Camino plans. St. Jean popped into my mind for some reason last week and I began watching many various videos on YouTube of the town. I was there last in 2014 and loved my stay there. I want to go back, so maybe next year,

Clearskies Camino

This website will be going through some changes shortly, but I promise to make things as unnoticeable as possible. Please stay in your seats. 😉

I’ll be back before I go. Keep the kettle on!

A few recent walks

I’ve had a few walks under my belt in the last few weeks so I may as well post a few photos from them. They have been great practice for my trip back to Spain but I’m one or two walks short of being ready for May 7th.

Aware Harbour 2 Harbour Walk – St. Patrick’s Day

The day of the walk marked 50 days before my return to Spain and it was a perfect day to get a long practice walk under my belt. This walk would be like no other however. The Aware Harbour 2 Harbour has been a staple of St Patrick’s Day for years. It is a festive day, everyone is decked out in their green and they celebrate the occasion. Generally. the walk starts in the port of Dun Laoghaire and ends in Howth, 24km later, and people from across the country turn up to walk. So basically, it is something different than standing in a parade or drinking. All monies raised go to support mental health in Ireland.
A good time was had by all and I got a few kms under my belt plus I had great company!

Slieve Gullion Forest Park with Camino Society Ireland

A short walk but a challenging one. Slieve Gullion Forest Park is one hour drive north of Dublin and across the border into Northern Ireland. It was a fantastic day and I looked forward to meeting new people and hearing new stories. Being a volunteer with Camino Society Ireland takes you far and wide but I am comfortable with Dublin and the eastern coast. How and ever, after a brief information talk about the Camino de Santiago to a local audience, we took on one of the forest trails, close to 10kms. And it was mostly uphill from the off. A really enjoyable day and I really did learn alot about area with regard to history and mythology. The park has many trails and caters for all ages.

Find out more at shamrocksandshells.wordpress.com/recent-events

For those on the Camino Ingles shortly…

Betanzos…a town rich in Celtic history sits on the Camino Ingles between Ferrol and Santiago. It lies beside the Mandeo river and is a place to stop and look around once you have your day’s walking over. I am due to arrive here on the 9th of May and having seen so many great photos of the town, I am eager to see what all the fuss is about. The next morning, rather than continuing on to Santiago, I pick up my pack and make way for A Coruna.

The albergue in Betanzos is fairly new, having opened in 2013, and has over 30 beds for pilgrims. There are other accommodation of course in this fine town. This morning, news broke that, due to a water leak, the albergue will limit the number of beds to 6 each night.

So if you are walking from Ferrol shortly, it is best to plan ahead if staying in Betanzos.

Betanzos – Igrexa de San Fransisco

When your Mind is on the Camino but your Feet aren’t..

40 days and counting…

Do you ever have a countdown to your next Camino ticking away? I bet you have. I use an application on my phone telling me the number of days I have left before I leave. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or not but each morning I get a little bit giddy knowing that I’m a little closer to my return date. And when I return back to Dublin, the whole process starts again.

So what do you do to bide the time before your next Camino?

Get walking..

It is quite possible to walk the Camino with very little preparation. Provided you are in normal good health, are prepared to take your time and listen to your body, you are half way there. However, here in Ireland, we are lucky enough to have numerous walking trails and pilgrim paths on our doorstep. It is a shame not to use them. Throughout the year, there are various walking festivals in Ireland which provide perfect opportunity to get you ready for a trip to Spain. Or why not walk by yourself with your pack? You can find details of these trails on irishtrails.ie or pilgrimpath.ie. It might be the case in other countries.

Independent.ie

Are you comfortable with your Pack?

If you are considering carrying your pack on your Camino, you will need to be comfortable with it and it’s contents. Check it’s weight and if there is anything you don’t need, leave it behind. Try to walk with your pack a few times before you leave so you are sure it is the right size and all the settings are correct.

Join a Camino / Pilgrim Society

Are you talking about your experience on the Camino with a family member and they just don’t get it? Does it feel like you are talking to a brick wall? Well, by joining a Camino Society in your country, you get the chance to meet like-minded people (just like you!), share your story and give back to the Camino. Being a volunteer with Camino Society Ireland is a huge plus for me as I am able to pass on my experience to people preparing for their own Caminos and I can learn about new and exciting developments. And I don’t drive my family crazy!

YouTube / Movie

YouTube contains countless videos of peoples experiences along the different Caminos. From the very professional to videos made by pilgrims just like you and me. Watching them brings me back to the Camino and some offer helpful tips. Or you could watch a Camino related movie. The Camino Voyage springs to mind and I may give that a watch shortly.

And when you come home…

..Organise another Camino! Ah yes, the old doozie! For those of us fortunate enough to get away for another Camino, the 2nd best thing to being on the Camino is putting one together. Booking your flights and/or your first night accommodation (if needed) is a joy-inducing formula. Then there is Gronze.com, Rome2rio.com and plenty of other Camino planning tools to ensure everything goes smoothly.

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Weekend Watch #52 – Some of the best foods along the Camino

It’s the weekend again and we have a video for you as always.

This weekend we celebrate the many varied foods along the Camino and how to eat during your day. One of my favourite parts of the day is the morning – because of the number of breakfasts you can have on the Camino….there is no limit!

And a link to previous videos