Your Stories, Your Camino…

Have you recently walked a Camino? If so, I’d love to hear from you.

Now, I realise that walking all or part of a Camino can be difficult to put into words. It took me a while to process all the thoughts in my head after my first Camino in 2011. What I am ideally looking for is a short synopsis of your Camino – where you walked and for how long, what positives you took from it, and if you had any bad experiences. If you could write about 100 words and include a picture or so, that would be ideal. Maybe you have created a video of your time on the Camino? If so, send me the link and I will post it. I will post your summary so others who may have not walked the Camino will take note. I think it will be very helpful.

Let me know if you are interested in getting involved by emailing me at clearskiescamino@gmail.com.

 

New – The Celtic Camino

I reported this on my Facebook page yesterday but I realise a lot of my readers do not use Facebook.

Yesterday, I went along to a talk given by the Camino Society of Ireland about a proposed Celtic Camino. There was a large crowd there and we had the attendance of the mayor of A Coruna, Xulio Ferreiro, the Spanish ambassador to Ireland, José María Rodríguez Coso, and some of his team from the Spanish embassy.

At present, the number of pilgrims who start their Caminos from the northern coastal town of A Coruna is relatively small compared to the Camino Frances. A Coruna is a starting point on the Camino Ingles (along with Ferrol) but is 75km in distance and not long enough to receive a Compostela from Santiago Cathedral. However, delegates from a number of Camino Societies in Europe met last December, along with members various tourism bodies in A Coruna, to think of ways to promote A Coruna as a starting point and enhance the Camino Ingles. They came up with a proposal to present to the Cathedral. It was proposed that pilgrims can receive a Compostela by walking the 75km from A Coruna to Santiago, provided the remaining 25 km is walked elsewhere on a pilgrim route. This idea was presented to the Dean of Santiago Cathedral and it was agreed to. At the moment, the Camino Society of Ireland are deciding which on which routes to use in Ireland. Once you walk this, you will be given a certificate by the Irish Camino Society. You bring this with you to Spain, walk from A Coruna and present this to the pilgrim office in Santiago. You will receive your compostela then. The Spanish embassy are also in talks with Aer Lingus to introduce a direct flight to A Coruna.

This also is a great opportunity to market the current pilgrim paths in Ireland as many people from other countries can walk the 25km and walk from A Coruna at a later stage.

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More information: here and here

Camino By Sea / Camino Na Saile

February 19th sees the start of a new series on Irish TV called Camino na Saile (or Camino by Sea in English). It will be shown on our Irish language TV channel over the course of 3 weeks. It documents the journey of 5 men who sailed from the south of Ireland to A Coruna over the course of 4 years. For 800 years, people have sailed from Ireland to A Coruña in Northern Spain and walked to Santiago de Compostela from there. These men have done their own version of this historical voyage in a Naomhóg (or a currach) they built themselves in this Modern day Celtic Odyssey. Stage 1 of the journey follows the crew on a journey across the Irish Sea and the English Channel to reach Brittany in Northern France.

 

Now I understand that the majority of my readers live outside of Ireland, and will be unable to watch it, however you can do so online on www.tg4.ie/en/player/home or via the Mobdro smartphone app. If you download the app at www.mobdro.com on your phone and search for TG4, you will have no problems viewing the series.

It starts at 8.30pm GMT on the 19th of February and continues each Sunday after that. Happy watching!

 

 

Osprey Talon 33 Backpack

Just a quick post about the above. I’ve been eyeing it up for quite a while now, even before my recent Camino Finisterre. There are many different sites and forums that rave about it, because of it’s many pockets, because it is well-ventilated and because it is probably the lightest pack on the market. However, this particular rucksack is not sold in Ireland for some strange reason. So, for my recent trip to Spain, I stuck with my trusted and loved Lowe Alpine Airzone 35-45litre and left a change for another day. It’s a great bag “but” it’s a little too big for the Caminos that I usually take, which are 1-2 weeks.

The left is the Osprey Talon and the right is my current Lowe Alpine.

As mentioned before, my next outing in Spain will be along the Camino Ingles next May. However, before then, I have a good bit of testing to do when it comes in the post. This is the first time I have purchased a pack online without trying it out beforehand, but I can always send it back if it doesn’t suit. I think it’s safe to say that 2 packs will suffice now 🙂 Here’s hoping my Lowe Alpine doesn’t read this post!!

Here is a review of the Talon 33:

I Have an Itch..an Itch to Return..

I am home less than three weeks now and naturally enough, I am beginning to think of where my feet will take me next year. I don’t expect next year’s Camino to be long, 2 weeks will be fine. A have a number of options:

  • St Jean Pied de Port and continue for 11 or so days – I haven’t walked from St. Jean since September 2014 and I miss the climb out and up to Orrison. However, the Camino Frances is usually extremely busy unless I walk in the off season.
  • Astorga – Santiago de Compostela – Another section that is due a visit. I love the walk from Rabanal to Molinaseca. I haven’t been beyond Sarria since 2011. However, along with it’s beauty comes it’s crowds.
  • The Camino Portuguese from Porto – This was a runner until last week. The coastal route, or Senda Litoral looks great. It is quiet, the route touches the ocean and it is short. However, there is a lack of municipal albergues and I would need to book my accommodation ahead. It is one for the future, and at that stage, there may be more albergues
  • Then, there was also my old favourite, the meseta, from Burgos to Leon. However, it would be my fourth time walking through it. I need a change.

In have decided to stay in Galicia and walk the Camino Ingles. The English Way originates in Ferrol or A Coruña. It was a medieval pilgrimage route for people from Britian or elsewhere in northern Europe, who arrived by ship to the ports of A Coruña and Ferrol.

I have no dates decided as of yet. On walking to Santiago, I will continue to the coast and visit Muxia. Today, the Camino Ingles starts in Ferrol or A Coruna and is just over 120km from Santiago. You will only be entitled to a compostela should you start in Ferrol as the distance from A Coruña does not exceed 100km. It is a much quieter route to Santiago with 2,174 pilgrims collecting compostelas in August 2016 compared to 14,936 pilgrims who walked from Sarria.

Walking alone for most of the day did seem to catch me off guard on the Camino Finisterre, so I guess I am prepared for much of the same on the Camino Ingles.

ruta-camino-ingles

However, the Camino Ingles is a tough trail, it is no walk in the park. It takes pilgrims on many climbs and descents. Betanzos to Hospital de Bruma, for example, has a steep climb of 500m in just over 5km. The Camino Ingles, according to many guidebooks, can be walked in 5 days, but I may walk it in 6 days, breaking the above stage into 2. But just like my recent walk to Finisterre, any plans made can be thrown out the window.

day3

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.

Camino Ingles – Everything you need to know

I’ve been thinking of this route for quite a while now and the more I think of it, the more I can see myself booking flights and slinging on my backpack for a return to Spain.

Chapter 1. Verse 1. in Camino de Santiago Addiction.

It won’t go away I’m afraid. Hmm.

So what is the Camino Ingles?

Well, it is a much shorter route than the well established and well structured Camino Frances and weighs in at 110km. It starts at Ferrol and ends in Santiago. It is perfect for those who don’t have the time to walk a full Camino (ahem..me!) and also would like a compostela at the end of it. The Ingles is very different to the Frances as there is a certain degree of planning that you need to make before you leave. There aren’t as many albergues; you don’t pass as many towns; there aren’t as many bars for refreshments, so all these things need to be taken into account before you start out each day. Before starting my last Camino from Belorado, I had no idea where I was going to end my first day, however, I, more or less, know where I will stop for the entire Camino Ingles at this stage. So here goes nothing….

Day 1 – Dublin to Santiago – Bus to Ferrol.
Day 2 – Ferrol – Pontedeume – 19km – Albergue de peregrinos de Pontedeume
Day 3 – Pontedeume – Betanzos – 20km – Albergue de peregrinos de Betanzos
Day 4 – Betanzos – Bruma – 27km – ??
Day 5 – Bruma – Siguiera – 24km – ??
Day 6 – Siguiera – Santiago – 17km – ??
Day 7 – Finistere Day 1
Day 8 – Finistere Day 2
Day 9 – Finistere Day 3
Day 10 – Return to Santiago
Day 11 – Santiago to Dublin

Oh, as you might see, I would like to include the Camino Finistere as I haven’t walked this section before. So Santiago won’t be the end of this Camino for me (insert happy smiley face!!). I have no idea on dates just yet..it could be May, it could be September, it may well be in 2017, all I know is this will be my next Camino!

So what do you need to know about the Camino Ingles (English Way)?

The Camino Inglés or English Way was taken by pilgrims coming from Northern Europe. Ferrol used to be a very important trading route. This Way has two starting points: A Coruña and Ferrol. A Coruna is a larger town to Ferrol but is situated less than 100km from Santiago, so if you walk from there, you would not be entitled to a compostela.

ruta-camino-ingles

On the first few days, you pass through the coastal towns of Pontedeume and Betanzos, which will be a culture shock to those who have only walked the Camino Frances. The second part of the walk heads inland, and takes the pilgrim across rural landscapes of Galicia heading South towards Santiago de Compostela. All in all, the walk takes 5 days at the most, but you can walk it in 4 at a stretch.

Where can you get details on accommodation?

Full details can be found on www.gronze.com. Also, make sure you purchase Johnnie Walker’s printed guide from the CSJ site.

Any internet sources?

There is plenty of information online and plenty of previous pilgrims who have walked this route. I would encourage you to look at the below sites if you are considering walking this route.

What is the terrain like?

This is Galicia. It will be tricky and there are many ascents and descents to consider. However, the Camino Inglés is very well waymarked and you do not need a detailed map to make your way to Santiago. If you have good training behind you, and can carry a backpack, you will do fine. Maps of sections of the route are provided in the guide above. Mundicamino.com provide great profiles of each stage.

MiñoBrumaREm

Anyway, that’s all for now. More news on the Ingles will be posted soon.