Towns Along The Way – “E”

The next letter on the “Towns Along the Way” series is “E”, as there are no towns starting with “D” (I dare you to look!). There aren’t too many so here goes…working towards Santiago.

Espinal (map)

Espinal1Espinal is a typical Basque village and one of the first you will encounter after leaving Roncenvalles. At this point, you have 871km left before Santiago. It’s name in Basque is Aurizberri and on leaving the town you are faced with a climb to Alto Mezkiritz. While not many stop here, there are many accommodation options (www.gronze.com). I don’t remember much of this town as I had stopped in Burguette (the town previous), and was deep in conversation with new found Camino friends!.

Estella (map)

We meet Estella (or to give it it’s full name Estella-Lizarra) 115km from St Puente_Estella Jean Pied de Port. Estella is also part of Navarra and has a population of over 13,000 people. On entering the town, you cross the Picudo Bridge and are greeted with Church of San Pedro de la Rúa, a large Romanesque church. There are plenty of places to stay (www.gronze.com). I chose not to stay here in September 2014 however, preferring the small town of Ayegui a kilometre further on.

 

Espinosa del Camino (map)

95735316And finally, Espinosa del Camino is located about 40km (or 2 days walk) from Burgos. It is in Castille y Leon and has a population of just over 30 people. It makes a living from the Camino with a number of cafes and albergues (www.gronze.com). It was in this town that I met a good Camino friend and had a cafe con leche, only to be told I walk too fast. And that was my first day!!

Weekend Watch #22 – Navarran Timelapse

Guys, I’ve stumbled on gold!

I’ve found this gem of a video and I wanted to post it so you can see what I mean. I am a big fan of time lapse videos but when you find one created on the Camino, it is extra special. The maker of this one has put in a lot of work into this video with shots from St. Jean Pied de Port to Pamplona. I’m sure you all recognise these scenes if you have walked the Camino but it takes patience to sit in the same spot for hours on end while time passes.

Watch for yourselves…

Camino de Santiago. from Dominika on Vimeo.

Fitbit fanatic – guilty as charged.

Fitbit!

One of the many many “activity tracking wristbands” that measure your lifestyle from how many steps you walk in a given day; how many calories you lose to how many hours you sleep. Nike, Garmin, Jawbone and Microsoft all have products, and prices range from €50 right up to €250 depending on what features you are looking for.

simple.b-cssdisabled-png.h825b270eef65f5acc229a4cf487d8cc7I have been a Fitbit fanatic since the middle of 2014 when I bought a Fitbit Flex and I haven’t looked back. Yes, there may be other features on other brands that differ but the Flex (for me, anyway) was great for starting out. I am such a stat geek that this pulled me hook, line and sinker. I liked the thought of having a record of each of my walks stored and the tracker had a number of smartphone apps to choose from also. You can also set goals for yourself. I try to walk 50km per week. I try to use any excuse to get away from my desk in the office and watch my steps increase. However, the Flex has it’s downsides. It can come off your wrist with any amount of force and I have previously bought two replacement bands.

So, I used my upcoming birthday as an excuse to buyfitbit-charge-hr-heart-rate-and-activity-wristband-blk-large-fb405bkl-iset the Fitbit Charge, the Flex’s sturdier, more steadfast but more expensive brother. But I love it! I own it over a week now and it has given me even more motivation to get out and beat my goals. On it’s main screen, you are provided with the time, your steps total for the day, kms walked for the day, calories lost and the amount of floors climbed. While this shouldn’t be used as a replacement for a watch, I don’t need to wear one.

So, do you wear an activity band? How do you find it? Also, if you own a Fitbit, you can find me here!

Weekend Watch #21 – Camino Ingles

Hi all from a still stormy Dublin. It’s Saturday again and 20 days until Christmas Day! My weekly video for you is one from the Camino Ingles. It is short, at 5 minutes, and what struck me was how quiet it is. I have been looking for videos from the Ingles over the last few weeks and Vimeo and Dailymotion seem to have the best selection. Enjoy!

Camino Santiago / Camino Inglés / The English way from Carlos Ribas Monteiro on Vimeo.

In Bad Weather, I think of Sunny Spain

I write while most of Ireland is being bashed by storm force winds. The hatches have been battened down and Sunday should see an improvement.

Storm Desmond is it’s name.

This is the fourth storm in as many weeks we have been hit by and we have been accustomed to heavy winds, incessant rain and general foul weather. Before Desmond, we were greeted with Abigail, Barney, and Clodagh. To be fair, the west coast has been getting the brunt of the bad weather. I think of the homeless people also, who will struggle to find shelter. We, in Dublin, are hidden away relatively, like a child underneath a table when an aunt calls. We still have rain and wind however.

image
Storm Desmond

I can’t help but think of my times of Spain in times like these. Maybe it will change my mood? Maybe I won’t have to think of this weather too much then. I’ve been lucky not to walk in rain too much while on the Camino. My only experience  of rain was walking from Najera to Santo Domingo back in May 2013. It poured from the moment I left Najera..and it was windy, so double trouble. I had a decent enough poncho back then, but I still ended in Santo Domingo wet, and looking forward to get changed. The days in the sun have been so enjoyable though. Walking though the meseta in heat can be a real challenge for some, but I love it. I may experience a little more rain when I walk on the Camino Ingles through Galicia? Who knows!

I write this post hoping that my many memories in Spain will change how I’m feeling tonight..and in a way it has…so yeah! well done me!

Anyway…as the wind blows, it’s just a matter of time before the next storm approaches. Her name is Eva. I like the sound of that. I hope it’s calmer than Desmond.

Instagram – Some of my favourite Camino accounts

instagram-logo-icon-2Whenever I am not crossing Spain by foot, I am vicariously following other peregrinos as they make their way to Santiago. Some go to great lengths writing large blogs about each day (I can be guilty of this), while others like to capture a moment in a picture. Instagram is one of the best mobile photo and video-sharing and social networking services out there and are used by many to do the latter. I love to check in on those who are walking and see how they are getting on.

I’ve made a list of some of my favourite users who are either dedicated to the Camino de Santiago or who have walked the Camino and posted their pictures. There are a few on the list in Spain as I post.

I am also an instagram user and have uploaded pictures while walking. You can follow me at instagram.com/clearskiescamino