Santiago de Compostela

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I have just flown from Santiago to Zurich and am now on the train home. I really enjoyed Santiago. There were thousands of tourists there; I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many anywhere, but strangely eynough it didn’t bother me, in fact I loved it. Was this due to the fact that I had just “done” the camino, or just the atmosphere of the town – really special in the holy week? So, sorry, I didn’t find time to blog. I queued over an hour for my certificate, delivered my bike to be shipped home, took a tourist ride around the town on one of those little trains, saw 2 processions, had a massage and just soaked up the positive energy. I also did quite a bit of shopping. After being really tight with money for 3 weeks, I not only bought gifts for various people but also souvenirs for myself. My room was so close to the centre so I kept popping back for various reasons and it was also only a 3-minute walk to the airport bus. The big shame was that not only is the cathedral being renovated but there wasn’t even the otherwise daily pilgrims mass because of the holy week. I went to bed at my usual time of 11 again after often falling asleep at 9:30 on my cycling days
Ich bin gerade von Santiago nach Zürich geflogen und sitze jetzt im Zug nach Hause. Ich habe Santiago wirklich genossen. Es gab Tausende von Touristen dort; ich glaube nicht, dass ich jemals so viele gesehen habe, aber seltsamerweise hat es mich nicht gestört, tatsächlich habe ich es geliebt. Liegt das daran, dass ich gerade den Camino “gemacht” habe oder nur die Atmosphäre der Stadt – wirklich besonders in der Karwoche? Entschuldigung, ich habe keine Zeit gefunden zu bloggen. Ich stellte mich über eine Stunde in die Warteschlange um mein Zertifikat zu bekommen, lieferte mein Fahrrad ab, damit es nach Hause versandt wird , fuhr mit einem dieser kleinen Touristenzüge durch die Stadt, sah zwei Prozessionen, hatte einen Massage und saugte einfach die positive Energie auf. Ich habe auch ziemlich viel eingekauft. Nachdem ich 3 Wochen lang mit Geld knapp umgegangen war, kaufte ich nicht nur Geschenke für verschiedene Menschen, sondern auch Souvenirs für mich. Mein Zimmer war so nah am Zentrum, also bin ich aus verschiedenen Gründen immer zurück und es war auch nur ein 3-minütiger Spaziergang zum Flughafenbus. Sehr schade war, dass nicht nur die Kathedrale renoviert wurde, sondern dass auch keine sonst täglich stattfindende Pilgermesse wegen der heiligen Woche war. Ich bin zu meiner üblichen Zeit von 11 wieder ins Bett gegangen, nachdem ich an meinen Radtagen um 9:30 Uhr oft eingeschlafen war.

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Camino 2019 Day 19

I MADE IT!
My night in the 20-bedded dorm was remarkably good. The only thing that was a bit of a pain was that several young Spaniards were lying in, which made it difficult for the rest of us to pack up. I ended up searching for a couple of items as i didn’t have my usual system.
Once again the tour is in 3 parts, but i won’t share the other two as they were only 4,5 Km. and virtually no climb. I had carefully replanned the route using the digital map rather than place-names, but somehow it seems not to have downloaded properly. One it got going it was almost perfect. There are a couple of hills which meant pushing but lots of exhilarating rides down, never too steep or “bendy” to involve much braking. It was lovely weather. I took my first layer off before the second real climb and was ready to take the second one off by the time I got here. I reached Santiago by 1 p.m. but it was nearly 3 by the time i found my prebooked accommodation and settled in.

https://www.komoot.com/tour/62608539?ref=atd

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Camino 2019 Day 18

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Well, today was a super day. I had only planned 45 kilometres because of all the climb but I didn’t want to stop at 3 p.m. especially as it was so nice and warm. I took off my sleeves and leg-warmers and carried on, intending to do another 20k. Then I met an old man coming the other way with a big rucksack and a dog. He warned me that there was a long uphill stretch ahead and would I manage it with all the weight of my luggage. So I decided not to push myself right to my limits and stop here in the tiniest of villages but I found a lovely little B&B. There would also have been a hostel but… The pilgrims menu for € 10 was absolutely delicious including a huge albeit thin but beautifully cooked and tender as usual 3 courses with a bottle of wine (I did leave a bit in the bottle!). It’s not even 9 p.m. and I’m fighting to stay awake. I had computer problems again, so here are just the last 2 parts :https://www.komoot.com/tour/62310948?ref=atdh

ttps://www.komoot.com/tour/62322936?ref=atl

Heute war ein super Tag. Ich hatte wegen der ganzen Steigung nur 45 Kilometer eingeplant, wollte aber nicht um 15 Uhr anhalten. zumal es so schön warm war. Ich zog die Ärmel und die Beinwärmer aus und machte weiter mit der Absicht, weitere 20 Km. zu machen. Dann traf ich einen alten Mann, der mit einem großen Rucksack und einem Hund in die andere Richtung kam. Er warnte mich vor einer langen Aufwärtsstrecke und zweifelte, ob ich es mit dem Gewicht meines Gepäcks schaffen. Also beschloss ich, mich nicht an meine Grenzen zu stoßen und hier in den kleinsten Dörfern aufzuhören, aber ich fand ein reizendes kleines B & B. Es hätte aber auch eine Jugendherberge gegeben, aber … Das Pilgermenü für 10 € war absolut lecker, darunter ein riesiger, jedoch dünner, aber schön zart, wie üblich 3 Gänge mit einer Flasche Wein (ich habe etwas in der Flasche gelassen!) . Es ist nicht einmal 21.00 Uhr. und ich kämpfe darum, wach zu bleiben.

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Camino 2019 Day 16

English below
Heute war ein anstrengender aber wunderschöner Tag. Ich weiß eigentlich nicht, wie ich mir den Camino vorgestellt habe, aber am ehesten so wie heute. Ich war ganz stolz bis Fontebacon mit Gepäck durchgefahren zu haben. Dann habe ich durch den Ort geschoben und bin beim Fußpilgerweg weiter. Beim Eisernen Kreuz habe ich wider diese Engländer von gestern getroffen. Dann ging es noch ein paarmal auf und ab, danach kam die endlos-erscheinende Abfahrt bis. Molinaseca, absolut traumhaft waren die Ausblicke . Dort haben un 12 Uhr die Kirchenglocken mindestens 5 Minuten geläutert. Es waren viele Leute mit Palmsträußen vor der Kirche. Danach ist es nach Ponfeferrada und weiter durch ein schönes Tal bis hierher gegangen. Die Bergei js und rechts schienen sehr hoch.
Unfortunately, the second part of the track can not be shared on Facebook. I do not know why.
Today was a tiring but beautiful day. I do not really know how I imagined the Camino, but I think today was the closest. I was very proud to have cycled all the way to Fontebacon with luggage. Then I pushed through the village and continued on the hikers trail. At the famous Iron Cross, I met the English couple of yesterday and we took each other ‘s photos . Then it went up and down a few times, before the seemingly endless downhill stretch to Molinaseca. The views were absolutely gorgeous. There at 12 o’clock, the church bells rang for at least 5 minutes. There were many people with palm bouquets in front of the church. Afterwards the the route took me to Ponfeferrada and on through a beautiful valley. The. Mountains either side seemed very steep

https://www.komoot.com/tour/t62097293?ref=atd

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Camino 2019 Day 15

Well, for some reason I have no internet connection tonight so am writing this as an email to my blog, hoping it will send tomorrow morning. It was a very short ride today, after first underestimating the uphill ride I then overestimated it. I only cycled 25 kilometres AND had my luggage transported, so I was here by 1:15. I had to prebook this accommodation, so that they knew where to deliver my luggage to, otherwise I would have carried on, but the break was good. Unfortunately the transport of my luggage for the distance I want to do tomorrow is far too expensive, so it’s harder work again.This morning I stopped at the cathedral and who should I meet, but the French couple! That was the last time I will have seen them, as they aren’t continuing to Santiago, but off to Lisbon. I spent the afternoon sitting short-sleeved in the sun, replaninng my last few days, while the lady did my laundry and then talking to a lovely English couple. I went to church tonight 🙄🙃 thinking it would be a nice service for pilgrims and so did everybody else, as the church was full. It turned out to be a sung service in Latin (YES, Latin not spanisch ) no communion, no peace sign. There was a short greeting in English, mainly to tell us to switch our phones off. When it was over the priest went out. Everyone was still sitting waiting what wold happen next, until someone switched the lights off and waved us out!! At dinner there were few pilgrims in the restaurant I chose and they sat me at table alone. What a disappointment. However I got into conversation with the German lady at the next table. Although this is a hostel I have a single room with a bathroom shared with the lovely lady of the house.

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Camino 2019 Day 14

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I only managed 1 sentence last night before I fell asleep sitting up and that was full of mistakes! The day started off so cold, when I left at 8:30 and I arrived here at 6 p.m.with a sunburned face. I had long sleeves and legs on all day, but did strip off 2 layers during the course of it. The route was actually longer than Komoot shows (around 92 kms), but tbe battery on my bike computer ran out before I got here. I was understandably tired but I wanted to get as close as possible to the big climb which starts today. It was a very mixed experience.starting on quiet roads and getting busier on the way into the town of Leon. There were bike lanes on the way out, then quiet roads, then rough stuff, then an extremely busy road again. On one occasion I came to a bridge that was being repaired, with a traffic light controlling the one-way traffic. I waited a while on red and then cars started to come the other way, all spraying water. There was a huge puddle, which I though was too deep to cycle through, so I pushed Bonny (my bike) through the narrow part at the side. This consisted of concrete blocks with gaps inbetween joined with iron rods. It was very hard work pushing my way across them. When I got to the other end, it was blocked off by a huge standing concrete block. What should I do now? Noone got out of the waiting cars, so I was just about to take all the luggage off and lift the bike over, when a French couple on their bikes stopped and helped me. The 3 of us managed to lift it over WITH the luggage on. I keep meeting this couple – I think that’s the sixth or seventh time in the last couple of days and I was to meet them again again after having gone through the big city of Leon! I somehow got lost despite sat-nav and book and ended up again having to lift my bike over two low conrete walls. I chose not to go into the place which I had originally targeted, as that looked like being a big town, stopping in a village about 4 kilometres beforehand, tired but satisfied.

Ihttps://www.komoot.com/tour/61847730?

ref=atdch habe letzte Nacht nur einen Satz geschafft, bevor ich im Sitzen eingeschlafen bin und der war voller Fehler! Der Tag begann so kalt, als ich um halb 9 in der Früh abreiste und ich kam um 6 am Abend mit sonnengebräuntem Gesicht hier an. Ich hatte den ganzen Tag lange Ärmel und Beine an, zog aber im Laufe davon 2 Schichten ab. Die Strecke war eigentlich länger als die von Komoot (etwa 92 km), aber die Batterie meines Fahrradcomputers war leer, bevor ich ankam. Ich war verständlicherweise müde, wollte aber dem großen Aufstieg, der heute beginnt, möglichst nahe kommen. Es war eine sehr gemischte Erfahrung. Die Route verlief anfangs auf ruhigen Straßen, die aber immer belebte wurden als ich der Stadt Leon näherte, es gab Radweg b er in Verlassen der Stadt, dann ruhige Straßen, dann rauhe Wege , schließlich eine extrem befahrene Straße. Einmal kam ich zu einer Brücke, die gerade repariert wurde. Eine Ampel regelte den Einbahnverkehr. Ich wartete eine Weile auf Rot und dann kamen Autos in die andere Richtung, alle spritzten Wasser. Es gab eine riesige Lacke, von der ich dachte, dass sie zu tief war, um durch sie hindurch zu radeln, also schob ich Bonny (mein Fahrrad) durch den schmalen Teil an der Seite. Diese bestand aus Betonblöcken mit Zwischenräumen, die mit Eisenstangen verbunden waren. Es war sehr harte Arbeit, mich über sie zu schieben. Als ich am anderen Ende ankam, wurde der Weg von einem riesigen Betonblock blockiert. Was sollte ich jetzt tun? Niemand stieg aus den wartenden Autos, also wollte ich gerade das gesamte Gepäck abnehmen um das Fahrrad druber zu lupfen, als ein französisches Paar auf ihren Fahrrädern anhielt und mir half. Wir 3 haben es geschafft, es MIT dem Gepäck drüber zu heben. Ich treffe mich immer wieder mit diesem Paar – ich glaube, es ist das sechste oder siebte Mal in den letzten Tagen, und ich sollte sie wieder treffen, nachdem ich durch die Großstadt Leon gefahren bin! Ich habe mich trotz Navi und Buch irgendwie verlaufen und musste mein Fahrrad über zwei niedrige Betonmauern heben. Ich entschied mich, nicht in den Ort zu fahren, an den ich ursprünglich gedacht hatte, da dies wie eine große Stadt aussah. Also blieb ich etwa vier Kilometer davor in einem Dorf müde, aber zufrieden.

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Camino 2019 Day 13

Leider geht sich heute deutsch nicht aus..

Today was an easy day. It was extremely cold this morning, as there was a frost at night. I had met a couple of nice people last night including an Asian lady who lives in the Black Forest. I saw her twice again in the ladies bathroom and we sat together at breakfast. She set our earlier than I and must be a very quick walker as she passed me twice as I had to stop for various reasons. It became a joke and she asked if she could take my foto with HER camera. The tour was mainly flat, largely on tarmac, but either sharing with or close to the foot–pilgrims. I can’t believe how many there are! What must it be like in summer? This is what makes this trip so special, not only do you greet everyone with “Buen Camino” but also you get to know so many people of different nationalities in the evenings. Well my new Garmin Sat -Nav has been very good so far and I’ve tried to program it to Bike – Line routes. Nonetheless it took me down an unpaved track which wasn’t signposted as the pilgrims route. That surprised me, but I could see on the map that I shouldn’t go over the motorway, so I followed. The path turned out to be very muddy and my bike looked awful. Again I had to keep scraping the mud out between wheel and fork with a stick. After about 2 Km.I came to an unpassable flood and had to go back the way I had come. It wasn’t long before I saw a pilgrim coming towards me snd I turned around to
see the sign for the correct pilgrims way. It was also untarred, bur with lots of fine gravel, which kept the mud away. That track seemed to go on for ever and I wondered how bored the foot-pilgrims must be. The rest of the way was on roads , but which were quiet due to the nearby motorway.I think I’ll have to finish this in the morning as I can hardly keep my eyes open.

Next morning:

I managed 83 kilometres because there was so little climb and if I manage to do the same today I’ll be back on schedule.

https://www.komoot.com/tour/61745432?ref=atd

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