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Posts from the ‘review’ Category

Camino de Santiago Android Phone Apps

Just before I start, I must point out that this post is not for everyone. When it comes to phones or technology in general on the Camino, there are different types of pilgrim. There is the pilgrim who leaves his or her phone at home and wants to get the full Camino experience. There is the pilgrim who leaves his or her phone off whilst walking and uses it at the end of the day. And then there is the tech joy pilgrim. I am somewhere in the middle of the latter two. I usually have my Phone with me and use it as a Camera and a browser in wifi areas. However, there are more and more Camino related phone apps created with the pilgrim in mind. They have been developed with up-to-date information on the route and on albergues. Here are some of the best I have used while on the Camino. I own an Android phone so unfortunately, I can’t provide links for Apple devices. Here are just a few I have tried while in Spain.

Buen Camino de Santiago Pro (download)

Buen Camino de Santiago Pro

Buen Camino has sold thousands of guides of the Way of St James and continues to make available to pilgrims all the information required to complete the Way: maps, profiles, all types of accommodation and points of interest. You will find a profile of the route and maps, GPS of all types of accommodation and points of interest.

You can download the Camino de Baztán, Camino Francés, Camino Aragonés, Camino del Norte, Camino Portugués from Tui, the Camino Primitivo, and the Route extension to Fisterra-Muxia.

MAPS.ME – Offline Map and Travel (download)

An incredibly easy app to use. Download it and through wifi, download the maps that you need, whether it be Galicia or La Rioja or the whole of Spain. Then you will have offline maps on your phone before you go and save on mobile data. You also have the ability to create bookmarks which is handy.
It is also very useful if you are walking a quieter route.

Camino de Santiago Eroski Guide (download)

The Eroski Consumer guide shares all the secrets of the Way, exact kilometres of each route and stage, updated pictures, monuments and all the detailed description of the itinerary so you know at all times how to organize, what to see and what to do.
In the app you will find all the information the French Way (from Somport and Saint Jean Pied de Port), Camino del Norte, Camino Primitivo, Camino de San Salvador, Basque Way of Interior, Road Baztanese, Portuguese Way, English Way, Way Catalan by San Juan de la Peña, Via de la Plata, Camino Sanabrés and to Fisterra and Muxía.

The Wise Pilgrim Collection (download)

Along with the printed selection of guidebooks, there are a wide number of apps to choose from. There are apps for a number of routes. That said, I prefer the guidebook in this case and do tend to carry the WP guide with me when on Camino. But it is entirely your choice. The guidebooks can be bought at www.wisepilgrim.com.

Camino de Santiago Companion (download free demo)

Camino Companion is a guide for your Camino on the French Way. It lists more than 1,300 important waypoints (with 1,360 photographs) from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Muxia. 
The free demo covers the 42-mile (68-km) segment from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Pamplona. 
In-app purchases include:
– The 557-mile/896-km Camino Frances from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Muxia. The guidebook lists every waypoint in order by distance along the trail and how far away you are from each waypoint. The guidebook also includes a detailed town guide for major resupply points, towns, and services along the Camino de Santiago. 

The Way of Saint James – CaminoTool (download)

Another handy app that will help you find something on the Camino. CaminoTool helps you find what you need whilst ensuring the best quality and service: accommodation, restaurants, food, bars, pharmacies, podiatrists, dentists, hospitals, souvenir shops, footwear, excursions, taxis, bookshops.

miCamino – my Camino de Santiago Mobile (download)

Through miCamino you will discover the different routes that make up the Camino de Santiago.
You will learn information from 5 different routes ranging from accommodation to GPS.
The app connects with all major social networks too so you can share your experience.

7 Things I Learned On Camino De Santiago | Tarek Riman

I spotted this article online written by a journalist after he had completed the Camino Frances. Yes, but there are hundreds of these articles, I hear you say….! However, the points he has made have hit the nail on the head about what the Camino is, in my opinion.

Recently, I packed 2 small bags, boxed up my bike and hopped a plane to Paris. Lugging a massive bike box through Paris, I then took a train to Bayonne in southern France, assembled my bike and rode 3 hours to a town in the Pyrenees mountains called Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port where my journey on the Camino began.

Source: 7 Things I Learned On Camino De Santiago | Tarek Riman

2015..Waving Goodbye

2015 was a fun year…not a funny year, but it was eventful.

2015 logoThis blog grew in so many ways and so did my love for the Camino de Santiago. The name of the site was changed to ClearskiesCamino.com when I realised that I had much more to offer. This, in turn, gave me the motivation to write more.

The blog was also nominated for “Best Travel Blog” at the Irish Blog Awards. I didn’t win but I didn’t expect to. The fact that I was listed as a finalist (with 9 pretty impressive websites) gave me enough reason to continue what I have been doing for the last 3-4 years. After the Awards, I had an amazing banner created for me and everything was fitting into place.

So what were the highlights and low lights of the year? What made 2015 stand out? There were a few, other than what I have mentioned above.

1) My return to the Camino Frances in 2015
This has become an annual event at this stage, but I don’t plan it to be. May saw my return to Spain (for the 5th time) when I walked from Belorado to Molinaseca, over 320km. I flew to and returned from Bilbao. The weather was ideal and I met great people. I mostly walked alone so that was different to my previous Caminos. However I did damage some ligaments behind my knee which left me unable to walk properly for a while when I returned. The gear I used remained the same and I didn’t buy much else. However, I bought a new backpack in the Christmas Sales in January, a Lowe Alpine AirZone. It was perfect. I had intended to blog while on the Camino, but after two days, I threw that promise out the window. Instead, I wrote about my times there when I returned.

2) The Lough Derg Way
In April, I visited some Camino friends in Limerick and walked part of the Lough Derg Way. It was great preparation for my upcoming Camino in May and their Camino in June. The Lough Derg Way is one of the many trails in Ireland and takes you from Limerick City to a little town called Dromineer. It is very close to the River Shannon and all in all it is 30km. There is an issue with signage with this trail and we needed to ask directions a number of times, however the weather was great and it was just what I was looking for before I headed off a few weeks later. I returned in August to walk another stage.

3) A Lack of Decisiveness – 2016
From the time I returned from Spain, right through the year, there has been an eagerness to return in 2016. Where and when, or if I am returning at all, I don’t know. I had dabbled with the idea of walking one of the less populated routes, the Camino Ingles or the Invierno, but I prefer company so the Camino Frances is ideal. In the end I decided to choose early September from Ponferrada to Finistere, which is over 300km. It should take 2 weeks, more or less. Another reason for my lack of decisiveness is that I have an incurable condition called “Santiago-phobia” (in jest). I haven’t walked in Galicia since 2011, preferring the meseta and La Rioja. I often wonder what the crowds will be like. I will find out soon enough.

4) I Gave A Talk About the Camino
In May, I was asked to give a talk about the Camino along with two other friends. It was due to be given in September in Limerick and I was given the task of talking about the different routes, a bit about the history, and how to get there from Ireland. When the night came, a crowd of over 60 turned up. I was nervous to say the least but once I got going, I was fine. I hope, in the future, to be asked to give future talks.

5) The Introduction of the Weekend Watch series
Back in July, I decided to introduce a series on the site called “Weekend Watch” with the aim of posting a Camino-related video each Saturday. At present, we are at Number 22. There is no shortage of Camino videos on YouTube, Dailymotion and Vimeo. There are some people who post entire vlogs from the Camino or wait until they return. Give them a watch when you get a chance.

6) Denise Thiem
This has been a very sad year in the Camino community. Denise Thiem went missing in April of this year but her body was found in September. It is important to be extra vigilant now, especially around the Santa Catalina region where she was taken.

7) The Camino Through My Eyes
I decided to introduce this series to the blog back in October and it has been a tremendous success. I have asked 4 bloggers who have walked the Camino de Santiago a series of questions with the hope of passing on valuable information to those planning. What struck me is no two answers were the same. The most popular post of the year was belonging to Maggie Woodward in October. I hope to continue this series in 2016.

8) 40,000 hits
Just before Christmas, the site hit 40,000 views. This is a massive achievement and I only have you, the reader, to thank. I go into 2016 with confidence that this blog will provide future pilgrims with essential information.

If you could share my blog with your friends and “like” my facebook page, I would appreciate that.
Happy Christmas to you all.

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 3,700 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.