2016 becomes 2017

Now that the Christmas festivities are over, it is time to bid farewell to 2016 and look forward to 2017. While I did enjoy my short jaunt on the Camino Fisterra in September, 2016 in general will not be missed. Also while I am writing this post, I hear that Carrie Fisher has just passed away. Sigh, may she rest in peace, along with the many other people who have been taken far too early. How and ever, closer to home, my broken wrist should shortly be healed fully and I hope to move into my new humble abode in the first quarter of the year. I say all this with two fingers crossed behind my back, while keeping hold of my collection of 4-leaf clovers!

But one thing that I’ve been quietly planning since September was a return to Spain and the Camino Frances. I can’t seem to pull myself away from it. My destination has been unclear however. One time, I wanted to walk the meseta, the next I wanted to try the Camino Ingles, and another I had wanted to try the Camino Portuguese from Porto. This is the downfall of only having two weeks to work with. I was really unsure of a starting point until November. But I’ve made up my scattered mind now and have decided to walk from the beautiful city Leon to Santiago de Compostela, 300 km over a period of roughly 14 days. I have chosen April 25th as my start date and have my flights and accommodation in Leon arranged. While I have walked from Leon a number of times, I haven’t walked beyond Sarria since 2011. I have chosen Leon as a starting point as I really enjoy the hills from Astorga to Molinaseca, especially on a warm day. I am also going to see if I can avoid the end stages in Brierley’s guidebook. The towns of Hospital de Orbigo, El Acebo, Cacabelos and Las Herrerías may be small but they are fab places to stay. Other times, I have passed them not giving them a thought.

So now is a great time to create the #caminodesantiago2017 hashtag and write how I’m getting on until April. Kit-wise, I have little to change which is a saving grace! I was also given a little action camera over Christmas which I fully intend to use. I have ordered a little clip that will attach it to my backpack strap so I can take plenty of random videos and photos.

And just to finish this post, I want to wish you all a happy New Year! Feliz Ano Nuevo!



The Best of 2016 – Instagram

instagram-v051916_200Instagram is officially defined as an online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing, and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, and share them either publicly or privately on the app. It is increasingly being used to share photos from everywhere around the world and about a whole host of subjects, including the Camino de Santiago. There are many people who use the service to share photos with friends and family while walking the Camino. However, with the growing popularity of the routes in Spain, more are using Instagram to gather information or fill the gap before they return on another Camino.

At the end of last year, I wrote about my favourite accounts but I suppose now I want to update and expand a bit on those favourites. You should click on the below links and have a browse some of their photos. Instagram is a completely free site and I suppose the only downside is you may want to buy some airline tickets to Spain once you have finished.

In no particular order:

Robb Mac – An Australian who says that the Camino is her beautiful obsession

Andrew Suzuki – Andrew is a filmmaker, photographer, philosophiser and pilgrim. Most of all he is the creator of the Beyond the Way documentary.

followingthearrows  – Kat Davis is a serial walker, pilgrim, thru-hiker, adventure-seeker & blogger.

followtheyellowarrow – Micah walked the Camino Frances in June 2016 and recently created a dedicated Instagram account about the Camino. He has already built up a large following.

paulwalshpilgrim – Paul has uploaded a large number of photos depicting my walk across France and Spain.You can find out more information of his photo project on www.paulwalshphotography.co.uk

setmeravelles – I know Pablo through this blog. While his Instagram is not dedicated to the Camino, all his photos are taken in Spain. He has also recently walked a portion of the Camino Norte. His blog is at www.setmeravelles.com.

donalomahony – Donal is a fellow Irishman and loves the Camino, just like myself. He has taken many photos of his times on the Camino from 2013 to 2016.

caminomyway – This was actually the first account I followed way back in 2012. Randall is author of Camino De Santiago In 20 Days. He uses his Instagram to share photos of his country Canada as well as of his time in Spain.

caminodesantiagopage – Run by pilgrim Jess Bowenn, this account has a massive 22,000 followers. It is a veritable “Best of” from the Camino. Jess offers users to message her with a photo and it will be displayed on this page.

walktosantiago –  I know little of this man’s Camino, but he has a large following. He has taken some special photos, with great use of colour.

wisepilgrimguides – The creator of the Wise Pilgrim mobile guide, however, he uses his account to take black and white portrait pictures for pilgrims on their final day into Santiago.

everystepcounts2016 – Viktor walked from Sweden to Spain (over 3000km) for a number of charities. Overall, close on €10,000 was raised after arriving in Finisterre in September. You can follow his trip here.

iperegrinos – Another account showing the best of the Way of St. James.

throughthearrows – Photos of a Spanish couple walking the Camino Norte in the middle of 2016.

Ivar Rekve – Owner of www.caminodesantiago.me and resident of Santiago. His photostream makes me want to pack my bags and move to Santiago.

pilgrimhousesdc – And finally, photos from Terra Nova Pilgrim House in Santiago. Pop in if you are around. Their website is www.pilgrimhousesantiago.com/blog.

And don’t forget you can view my photos at www.instagram.com/clearskiescamino.


…it’s got a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?


..I haven’t got used to writing it yet, but at least we have got one extra day to try and complete all those New Year’s resolutions, eh?

Christmas was good but I’m happy to be out of silly season. There wasn’t much walking done however, as the weather was as Irish as you can get. However, I was one of the lucky ones as hundreds of homes around Ireland were destroyed due to flooding. The beautiful Lough Derg Way which I walked last year, and the towns surrounding it, is submerged in water. The weather in general has been unusual for this time of the year with tornadoes in America and extreme heat in Australia. I find it insane that some people still don’t believe in global warming.

Anyway, moving on…

product_thumbnailI’m really eager to receive a new purchase in the post next week. I love keeping an eye out for books (paperback or kindle) about the Camino and I have found one written by Luke Darracott. Luke walked the Camino a couple of years back and decided to write about it before going. He also video logged his journey. Once I receive it and read it, I will post a review. It can be bought online on lulu.com. I love the cover art, it’s very vibrant and it’s just like the Camino during the months of May and June.


And finishing up for now, I’ve decided on returning to Spain in September when I will walk from Ponferrada to the coast. I haven’t walked this section since 2012 so I’m eager to return. More on that later.