(Mid) Week Watch – Maggie’s 4 Caminos..

Maggie Woodward is no stranger to this blog and has contributed a number of times. She regularly posts on her own blog – Trepidatious traveller, and I would encourage any future pilgrim to read through her posts for information.

This April, Maggie walked near to 1000km through 4 Caminos – no mean feat. The 4 routes were the Camino Madrid from Madrid to Sahagun, Camino San Salvador from Leon to Oviedo, Camino Primitivo from Oviedo to Santiago and finally on to the coast on the Camino Finisterre. You can read daily updates on her blog.

However, Maggie put together a video on YouTube showing how she got on. Great viewing and some of these routes are the future.

Don’t Stop Walking – Season Two

I’m a big fan of Andrew Suzuki’s work on the Camino de Santiago. His two series – Don’t Stop Walking and Beyond The Way have been massive hits over on Facebook. We have already been treated to Season One of Don’t Stop Walking, which is a pilgrim’s guide to the Camino de Santiago. A handy digest of do’s and don’t’s which will surely point you in the right direction during your planning. If you haven’t seen Season One – go do so now!! I’ll wait until you finish….

Done?

Ok 🙂

Now you are ready to start watching Season Two. Episode One contains a top ten list of essential foods you need to try while in Spain and Portugal (No, pulpo though!!), while episode Two breaks down the top ten extremely small items that you must bring with you on your Camino. What I like about his videos is his sense of humour, you are guaranteed to have a smile on your face at the end. Plus, you will be eager to watch the next episode!!

More information can be found on his website: www.beyondtheway.net.

Weekend Watch #38 – Anna Schleicher’s Camino in 2016

Ok it’s not the weekend just yet, but I thought it’s a great time to start posting some great Camino videos from YouTube. This one is less than 2 months old and has already over 8,000 views. Hopefully one day I will be able to post a video as half as good as this. Props to Anna. She seems to have had a blast.

A Brief Overview of Tapas

When you travel to Spain, you may encounter something that is known as tapas. This may be entirely new to you, if you haven’t been there before, so it’s best if I describe them to you. Tapas are a wide variety of snacks in Spanish cuisine. They may be cold (such as mixed olives or cheese) or hot (such as beef, squid, or pulpo). Tapas is all about sharing, and tapas are usually from between €1 – €2 each. Sometimes, you pay for a beer or for another drink and you get a complimentary dish for free. That’s why tapas are so popular in Spain. It is very common to see people moving from bar to bar ordering a drink and receiving a tapa.There are many Tapas trails in major cities in Spain, including Pamplona, Logrono and Madrid. The serving of tapas is designed to encourage conversation, because people are not so focused upon eating an entire meal that is set before them.They are also often eaten standing up.

Some of the more common Spanish tapas include:

  • Aceitunas: olives, sometimes with a filling of anchovies
  • Albóndigas: meatballs with sauce
  • Calamares: rings of battered squid
  • Chopitos: battered and fried tiny squid
  • Chorizo al vino: chorizo sausage slowly cooked in wine
  • Croquetas: a common sight in bar counters and homes across Spain, served as a tapa, a light lunch, or a dinner along with a salad
  • Empanadillas: large or small turnovers filled with meats and vegetables
  • Gambas: prawns in salsa negra (peppercorn sauce)
  • Patatas bravas or papas bravas: fried potato dices (sometimes parboiled and then fried, or simply boiled) served with salsa brava a spicy tomato sauce.
  • Pimientos de Padrón: small green peppers originally from Padrón (a municipality in the province of A Coruña) that are fried in olive oil or served raw, most are mild, but a few in each batch are quite spicy.
  • Pulpo a la gallega (Galician-style octopus) or polbo á feira (octopus in the trade fair style) in Galicia, is cooked in boiling water, and served hot in olive or vegetable oil. The octopus pieces are seasoned with substantial amounts of paprika, giving it its recognisable red color, and sea salt for texture and flavour.
  • Tortilla de patatas (Spanish omelette) or tortilla española: a type of omelet containing fried chunks of potatoes and sometimes onion

In select bars in Spain, it is common to order many different tapas and combine them to make a full meal.

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In Spain, dinner is usually served between 9 and 12pm, while Spaniards finish work between 5 and 6pm.  Therefore, food is only available in the form of tapas in the time between finishing work and having dinner. This is one of the downfalls of being a pilgrim!

Sometimes, especially in northern Spain, they are also called pinchos (pintxos in Basque) because many of them have a pincho or toothpick through them. The toothpick is used to keep whatever the snack is made of from falling off the slice of bread and to keep track of the number of tapas the customer has eaten. Differently priced tapas have different shapes or have toothpicks of different sizes.

If you are walking the Camino Frances, I’d encourage you to seek out some Pulpo in Melide, Galicia. It is one of the most common tapa in Spain and was voted one of the ‘Seven Wonders of Spanish Gastronomy’ in 2016. You can read up more about Pulpo here.

An idea of some tapas:

 

Weekend Watch #37 – Tom Kilman’s Camino

Happy Weekend & Happy Halloween!! It’s that time of the week to post a Camino video! This one is one of the more popular videos on YouTube with over 11,000 views at the time of writing. It is a well put together video of three guys who walk from St. Jean Pied de Port to Santiago during August 2016. The music is fitting too. I found it funny listening to their opinions of the Meseta and checking into a pension in Fromista. Enjoy!