A Peregrino on the Way of Saint James
900 km mountain biking from St Jean Pied de Port to Finisterre. A beautiful and challenging adventure on the French way of Camino de Santiago. Over the Pyrenees from France to Spain. More over, enjoying the most famous monument Alto del Perón. And happy to fulfill the tradition for a true Peregrino to bring a stone and put it on the Cruz de Ferro. Further on to Santiago de Compostela and the pilgim’s mass at the Cathedral. Continuing to the “end of earth” Finisterre. If that wouldn’t be enough it was of great pleasure to continue to Muxia.
The French way – Camino de Santiago
- Day 1 – 46 km – Auberge Avellano -Zubiri
- Day 2 – 62 km – 108 km – Villatuerta -Albuerge La Casa Magical
- Day 3 – 53 km – 161 km – Logrono – Albuerge chill out
- Day 4 – 62 km- 223 km- Castildelgado – Albuerge Bideluze
- Day 5 – 60 km – 283 km – Burgos – Albuerge Casa del Cubo
- Day 7 – 75 km – 358 km – Mansilla de las Mulas – Albuerge Jardin del Camino
- Day 8 – 70 km – 428 km – Astorga – Albergue de Peregrinos Siervas de Maria
- Day 9 – 70 km – 498 km – Cacabelos – Albergue Municipal de Cacabelos
- Day 10 – 39 km – 537 km – O Cebreiro – Albergue de O Cobreiro
- Dag 11 – 67 km – 607 km – Portomarin – Albergue Xunta
- Dag 12 – 40 km – 647 km – Melide – Albuerge San Anton
- Day 13 – 53 km – 700 km – Santiago de Compostela
- Day 14 – 74 km – 774 km – Cee – A casa da fonte
- Day 15 – 30 km – 804 km – Fisterra – Pensión Finistellae
- Day 16 – 28 km – 832 km – Muxia – Albuerge Bella Muxia
Camino – Finisterre to Muxia
Finisterre – The end of earth
For a long time ago people thought this place was “The end of earth”. Then Columbus gave a geography lesson and put everything in the right place! 887 km from St Jean Pied de Port and I am happy and a little bit sad to reach the destination Finisterre.
Santiago de Compostela
In Santiago de Compostela after 800 km of biking! Joined a pilgrim mass in the cathedral, the proudness of the city. But first I will continue my pilgrimage to Finisterre and Muxia! To have a certification from there is much cooler! Buen Camino!
Cruz de ferro
A tradition for a true Peregrino is to bring a stone from home and put it on the Cruz de ferro!
La casa de los dioses – The house of the gods
After a massive hill and a smoking hot sun I came upon a beautiful oasis outside Astorga “La casa de los dioses”. I guy called David was offering drinks and fruit from his refreshment stand while not asking for money.
Stayed at an Albuerge run by a monastery in a small cozy town in Cacabelos! An older German peregrino in a white dress and hat with big necklaces caught my eye. With his long white beard and small round glasses he reminded of Gandalf. One of the tattoos on the arm was the Camino log0, which made me realize he was a serious hiker. An Italian Peregrino told me he had gone to Camino seven times. Early morning before breakfast time, I greeted him in German and we started talking! I quickly understood that he was sharp as a needle. He leaned forward and saw me in my eyes and said playfully in German – Ein Deutsch kann nicht ohne Kaffe kämpfen! (A German can not fight without coffee)! I was laughing out loud.
I’ve found a city for the next vacation, Astorga! It is a beautiful city from the Roman era! It has a peaceful city center without traffic.
By foot from Rome
The history of people are sometimes astonishing! Every person on the Camino got their interesting story to tell. I ran into an older peregrino on an uphill one early morning. It was something perculiar about him that made me curious. After exchanging some friendly phrases he shared his story. He started by foot from Rome in Italy. I told him I was impressed and asked what makes him continuing! The wise and simple answer was to put one foot forward and then the other repeatadly.
There is a beautiful and newly renovated albergue in Castildelgado with lovely hosts! I was delighted to share the evening dinner with a sweet family from Barcelona. To be on the road but feeling at home is one great thing about the Camino.
Surprises along the way
There are surprises along the way on the Camino. After an intensive hill pushing the bike while the legs screaming I hear music in the distance. While approaching I see a guitarr player under a tree sitting on a rock playing like candy for the ears. A red hat placed in front him asking for your kindness for a tune.
The Peregrinos (hikers) are a group of people that loves waking up early in the morning. While I was packing my sleeping bag one of them had packed the backpack, eaten breakfast and was heading out of the front door!
When passing by people they smile and wave saying – Bueno Camino! It’s a great feeling encounter these people even just for a few seconds. It creates new energy every time it happens.
Over the Pyrenees
They say the toughest part of the Camino is over the Pyrenees. From the French side to the Spanish. First it’s going up, up and up and then it’s going down. When reaching the Roncevalles you are at the highest point of the Camino. Worth mentioning is the Roncesvalles monastery from the 13th century built in gothic style. They offer accomodation for 120 people in one large room. The rumour is saying that the evening mass for the pilgrims is shocking.
A few ingredients are needed. A magical hostel, cool people, local red wine and a great chef cooking paella. Albuerga la casa Magical in Villaturta is a place were magic happens when people come together!
I met a friendly peregrino from Brazil! We ended up on the same steep hill sharing a moment together. He was fighting with his beginner English but we succeeded to communicate. I told him I come from Sweden! He was delighted and started talking about moauntintops and cheese! It’s not the first time someone mix up Sweden with Switzerland. I didn’t want to be un polite correcting him when he was so enthusiastic. I’m usually fast to enlighten when the country mix up arise. But with the sun burning my neck pushing the bike on the never endless hill, I just didn’t! This hill became even longer when he asked were in Switzerland I come from! – Luzern, I regrettfully told him! I rapidly changed the subject to talk about the weather!
This morning it happened again but wise from history I didn’t go that steep hill again!
Why do I do the Camino?
First, it’s a vaccation and I love to be active. Secondly, I find it interesting to explore and to be in the nature. Furthermore I’m hoping for cameraderie, to be part of something bigger together with others. Finally, it’s a spiritual adventure without any connection to a religion.
I have checked the kilos (weight) on my luggage, the kilometers (distance) to bike, calories to burn, liters of water to bring, Euros to spend and the Celcius (temperature) to adapt to! But I have missed out on one important number! Practice before action! It’s 800km from St Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostela. My training distance this year is 20 km!