Monday, 21 July 2014

Final You Tube Videos

For those that may be interested I have created two additional You Tube videos. The links to these videos are found in the blog entry below and in the Camino Videos section in the right hand side of the blog.

The link to the most recent walk on the St. James Way and Finisterre completed in late May 2014 is shown below...the video clocks in at just over 19 minutes in length.

St. James Way and Finisterre

The second link covers my entire 88 day 2,600 km walk...titled Long Walk in Europe Entire Journey 

Long Walk in Europe Entire Journey

Compiling the entire journey in a YouTube video took a fair while to compile and stretched my learning new software skills to the extreme! I decided to document the entire journey for two reasons. 

First it is a special personal recollection of the entire walk...lot of good memories there! When I am in my mid 90's and perhaps not able to complete such a journey (Well everyone needs stretch targets!) I will have the souvenir.

Secondly I am about to become a first time grandfather later this year. We have a very special trip planned to Japan to see the baby shortly thereafter..oh and to see Lise and Steven too! My plan is to sit with my grandbaby...just the two of us quietly...with popcorn and something to drink...and watch the  Long Journey Video. Hopefully he/she will enjoy the popcorn as a one time special treat, stay awake and interested throughout the clocks in at 69 minutes in length!

Oh that reminds me of why I don't have a third reason which is to share the entire journey with 69 minutes in length I suspect there may not be too many takers. However be forewarned that it it wins best documentary at next years had your chance to see it first!

This will be my last post on the Camino plans for another long walk of this magnitude in the foreseeable future. A number of shorter walks are floating around as ideas...if I do any of them I may just use this blog to document point in creating a new blog...honestly I would have forgotten how to do so.

Have a great summer!


Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Camino Finisterre (May 21, 2014) - Day 88 Olveiroa to Finisterre

My long walk is complete...I made it! A great day of walking 38 kms in 7.5 of the best days of the 88 walking days! For me this is the completion of my walk from Rorschach Switzerland to Finisterre, for Marc he somehow physically persevered to walk from Saint Jean Pied de Port to Finisterre and for Cyrille he completed a promise to his friend to cycle and mostly walk from Nantes France to Finisterre.

Marc and I started at 6:30 and after half an hour of rain we had perfect walking conditions for a few hours...then steady/pouring rain for the better part of two to three hours...capped off with great weather coming into Finisterre and to the Faro at Cabo Finisterre. We were so lucky...those last 7 or 8 kms just flew by!

All in all a really scenic day capped off by a spectacular walk into Finisterre along the beach.

We are staying at the Hostal Mariquito...a great location just beside the municipal albergue and the bus depot. Our 8:20 bus tickets to Santiago de Compostela are purchased...we have our Finisterre Compostela. I am going to frame those Compostela's!

As I write this Marc is trying to type an email on his iPod Touch...Nancy, Pierre, of my fondest Camino memories. Please take the iPod Touch away from Marc when he arrives home...please!

We walked to the Faro early afternoon...we had a good weather window to do so...we did not go down to the beach or burn any clothes...didn't seem like a necessary thing to do at the time...well truth be told we didn't know how to get down to the beach! With the weather conditions it is unclear as to whether there will be a spectacular sunset this evening...if there is Cyrille will see it as he is preparing to leave for the Faro shortly...he left after us this morning and we just hooked up together in Finisterre a short time ago.

Today can only be summarized through pictures.

Breakfast...we next ate at 5:00!

Not too many rainbows on the Long Walk

First view of the end of the Long Walk

Walking it home to Finisterre

Marc and Guy at cross at the Faro

Guy at km 0 marker YAHOO!

Marc at km 0 marker!
Faro Finisterre

A lone shoe at the end

So that's a wrap for the blog...I expect one last blog entry when I complete a YouTube video on the St. James and Finisterre ways. 

I have just had a blast doing this...great fun! Great memories...most importantly great people I have met along the Way. 

Thanks so much for reading and for your funny and encouraging comments/emails...they meant so much to me.

Final and most important thanks to Dawn...without your support I could never have made it. Je t'aime.



Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Camino Finisterre (May 20, 2014) - Day 87 Negreira to Olveiroa

Not much to be said today...absolutely soaked as we walked 34 kms over 6.5 hours. The day was split into sections...the first 3 hours it rained/poured continuously...the next 3 hours it rained lightly on and off with the sun making a brief appearance...the final 30 minutes it just poured!

Everything we own is wet...trying our best to dry out at the Casa Loncho in Olveiroa...last night booked a room for the three of us for 20€ each. At this point this was a golden decision!

We had a breakfast break 2.5 hours into the day...then walked 4 straight hours to Olveiroa. Why...there is absolutely nothing between our first stop and Olveiroa. Interestingly at our breakfast stop we were charged 6.4€ for a hot chocolate and two pieces of Santiago cake (nothing else there)...the fellow beside us paid 2.8€ for a glass of orange juice. These are absurdly high ripoff prices...the owner knew he had the only game in town!

I took three pictures today as the camera was put away due to the rain.

We heard from Paulo who is safe and sound in Recife Brazil...hope your lawyer duties are exciting my friend!

Last night's supper was, without any question, the best of the entire Camino. We ate at the Cafe Imperial where home cooking is the main feature.

Unfortunately we did not ask her name however she went out of her way to help us choose food and was quite funny as well!

Lentil soup!
Veal cutlet...a little big!

Salad for two!
After our great supper we had a small ice cream treat...all of this for 8€! Incredible food and atmosphere!

We also paid a visit to the Supermercado...some interesting cereal choices! The few pictures of the day...



Our room
Long walk planning

As my walk winds down I went back to look at the initial planning I did...way back in early 2013.

Planned walking days - 95                   Actual walking days 88
Planned rest days while walking - 5    Actual rest days while walking - 2
Planned rest days at home - 0,             Actual rest days at home - 204
Planned total distance - 2403 kms       Actual total distance - 2600 kms (estimate)
Planned avg walking day - 25.3 kms   Actual avg walking day - 28.4 kms 

Best laid plans obviously change big time!

Tomorrow is the final walking day to Finisterre...unfortunately we have a very long day of 31 kms to Finisterre and an additional 7 kms to Cape Finisterre and back. Accommodation availability caused this longer day!

Tomorrow is supposed to be a carbon copy, perhaps worse, than today in terms of rain. If it is we will not be able to see the sunset at Cape Finisterre or participate in the traditional burning of an article of clothing on the beach. We may choose to take the bus back to Santiago de Compostela late tomorrow...depends on the weather and how we feel.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Camino Finisterre (May 19, 2014) - Day 86 Santiago de Compostela to Negreira

Back on the easy short day of 22 kms over 4.5 hours. There was a fairly lengthy uphill climb over 3 kms or so which added some challenge to the walk. The walking was varied with some really nice was raining off on on through most of our time walking.

Some of you have asked to see a video of the Botafumeiro swinging...Marc took a 44 second video and it is now available for viewing on the right hand side of the blog under Videos on St. James Way - Botafumeiro...hope you enjoy!

This morning I found it hard to get the motor going...a lot on my mind and 89 kms left to go seemed like a long way to go. I had to remind myself that my personal goal had always been Finisterre as opposed to Santiago de Compostela so I started to walk...

On Saturday evening we had a great last meal with Paulo just outside the train a super classy move Paulo quietly slipped into the bar and paid the bill in full. That was unexpected but surely appreciated. After our meal we walked with Paulo to the train station...gave him some guy know a handshake and an arm on the shoulder and wished him safe travels. We were so very lucky to have met Paulo and walked with him.

Supper with Paulo - Lamb casserole and potatoes NOT FRENCH FRIES!
On Sunday we had a real easy lazy day...some postcards, a bit of looking in stores and a nice walk out to where the university campus is...Cyrille was our Santiago de Compostela guide for the day.

In our travels we met a few pilgrims that we had crossed paths with on the Way. 

Daniel (Brazil) and a pelegrina he met on the road
We had first met Daniel the first night in Roncesvalles where Marc and I had supper with Daniel, Paulo and Chico...all from Brazil. Daniel had us sign a t-shirt with our names and country.

A few pictures from our day of rest...

Pizza by the slice...super cheap!

Santiago pie - super good courtesy Cyrille

Amazing column at Santiago cathedral...note handprint of millions of pilgrims over the years carved in column. Could not place our hands due to construction

Supper at Hospederia de San Martin where Pilgrims menu was available...quite the room!

Green beans with ham
Salad, tomatoes, pork and FINALLY FRENCH FRIES!

Some type of pudding...not so much to my liking!

Pictures today were somewhat limited due to rain...

Follow the yellow arrow

Beautiful medieval bridge at Ponte Maceira


We are in the Albergue Acera in Negreira...nice clean Albergue however have been spoiled over the past weeks!

On to Olveiroa tomorrow or 33 kms and then Finisterre another 37 kms...guess that meant we really had 92 kms from Santiago!