So much to say! So little time…

Get Off The Road
We’ve had so many experiences over the past few days its hard to keep track!

I got a marriage proposal!!! We are going to get married in Santiago. Michelé from Italy presented a gorgeous ring pull from his juice carton in front of all our friends, it was a special moment for all – and Ally is excited about planning the wedding – But we have not seen Michelé since then, so i might already be divorced…

photo (17)I also got us lost on an adventure! It involved a major highway crossing much like that old arcade ga

me froggy where you tried to cross the multi lane highway without getting squished (we looked more like turtles thou with our backpacks) and parents don’t shake your heads at this story – we survived! There was also laying on a fence so that Ally and Eric could climb over then Eric so generously volunteered to hold the sticks so Ally could help me get over too… 3km off track and ripped pants later a farmer stops his tractor in the middle of the road to stop us turn us around and tell us wrong way wrong way wrong way!

photo (18)Alex the gorgeous college student from America introduced us to “hiking dating”. Eric being the romantic he is has adapted this to the Camino way and since its inception we have all been on many hiking dates 🙂 no second dates have occurred so far but only being half way, there is still plenty if time… Unfortunately one thing about this dating technique is sometimes you get stuck with a dud – and the heckling happening behind you from Eric and Ally does not help the situation – thank god for loose shoelaces or an approaching town to interrupt such occasions 🙂

Another highlight is our community dinner at the Albergue in Hermanillos where Matt from Canada volunteered me to cook (there were no restaurants in the town to eat at) so what started as a pasta dish for 8 people turned into a dinner for 18!! That’s how it works – more pilgrims turn up to stay so you ask them to join in! Trip to the shop for some ingredients or a bottle of vino and that’s their contribution 🙂 what a great night! Best thing about cooking is I didn’t have to wash dishes (thanks Ally)

photo (20)After dinner we attended mass at the local church (shocked I know) it was Saint James Feast Day so it was appropriate plus as pilgrims we all wanted to pay our respect to those on the Santiago train crash.

Witnessing the holy communion in Latin and Spanish was pretty good experience 🙂 Our host at the hostel gave us a local experience where he made us a fire drink with vino and some sort of spirits coffee beans and lemon rind… We all got a glass and it was like warm honey and whiskey going down your throat with a bit of a kick at the end 🙂

To top off a fantastic night it was brother Shawn’s birthday (we have 2 monks traveling along the way that we run into from time to time) so brother Shawn had happy birthday sung to him in 7 different languages! Completely fantastic 🙂

From Hermanillos to Mansilla de las Mulas for a 25km day with the hope of an Albergue with a pool the only thing keeping Eric in good spirits (that and ABBA on his iPod) we passed houses built into hills and stairs to cellar doors leading to nowhere scattered in villages to reach a walled town with the perfect afternoon activity – a gorgeous river with a rope swing!

No I didn’t do it – the water was freezing!! But many countries joined us at the river and most braved the cold to test out the swing! Jim from England set the bar (or should I say swing) high, Benz from Hungry gave it a red hot go and Brittany from the U.S I think got the most air!! Ally from Australia with the promise of a bottle of vino caved to the pressure and joined the crew who swung – if only I captured her attempt on camera… You’d all be so proud!

Meeting old and new friends at each stop always leads to impromptu adventures and our night here was no exception. My night started as another joke cliché an Aussie, a Pom, & a Spaniard sitting at a bar….

Ally’s started with a trip to the ice cream shop and the pastry shop…. Meeting at a local restaurant where I had complete food envy of ally’s 3 course sumptuous meal of squid ink black risotto, then, amazing meatballs in delicious sauce. Followed by a triple chocolate cake! I on the other hand had ham and eggs – I also lost the Ashes Noughts & Crosses series to the Pom 🙁

photo (16)But the vino flowed as did the conversations and there were 7 countries sitting at the one table telling stories and creating memories. PLUS there was an exercise bike in the toilet. Don’t ask me why… It is Spain.

I woke up the next morning and was greeted with a site that one can only describe in person… The only thing that made me feel better is that others witnessed it too (it wasn’t a mirage)

My head a bit sore (I do not know why ?? 😉 ) I was wondering if I was going to survive the 20km to León? With Ally and Eric to keep me entertained 5km down the road my head cleared and the 3 of us motored on.

Stopping for coffee and WiFi while listening to Beethoven, i rated the toilet a 1.5 (ewww) – it was a change to see hills and traffic again.

It wasn’t long till the strange site of a big city appears – we start to feel the unnerving sense that we are going to hit a horrible industrial part if town to drudge thru (Burgos comes to mind with a spine tingling shudder) but before it got too much and we lost our sanity again (that happens often out here) a 12 km delayed toilet stop for Ally & Eric as I scared them away from the 1.5 rated one came just in time.

photo (19)Finally the old town wall appeared (these big cities have an old town right in the centre – always the place we head too) and with relief we found the centre. You couldn’t miss it with the 12th century massive gothic cathedral – another beautiful site!

The nuns took care of us at their place with a €5 bed and a very unacceptable 9.30pm curfew… Probably needed after last night thou…

León is a beautiful city full of stunning architecture beautiful pastries and good times. Except the 9.30pm curfew.

We met up with fellow travellers

And the bonus of a local (thanks Victor) and sampled the drinks and tapas at a few bars – a great thing in Spain is that you buy a drink and get a tapas plate for free! Yum! Plus one bar had a chocolate fountain with mash mellows to help yourself, go figure…

After a chat and catch up with the crew we’ve hung out with the last few nights (Jim, Emlie, Victor, Benz, Victoria, Mr Lee) we farewelled them with the hope that we will see them another time along the way (we are going in different directions) they had a few laughs about our curfew but with our vino and plastic cups we spent the night in the court yard swapping stories and welcoming our new walking buddy Michelle who just arrived, until the nuns yelled VAMOOC!!! (away quickly) and it was time to go.

Sunday in Leon meant mass in the cathedral an experience that one can not pass up – wow. Even better is that one of our favourite monks Father Emanuel assisted too!! All pilgrims that went felt pretty chuffed that one of our own was up their 🙂

So the non practicing Christian and the Jew have been to 2 catholic mass’ in one week! I think our quota is done till Santiago 🙂

Leaving León meant another big milestone and that means its the start of STAGE 3!!! The last leg of our journey…

The mountains await…

Buen Camino!

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Sunflowers & Blisters

Arm Wrestle

WOW so much to say and I don’t know where to start… Maybe with the fact that I just beat Canada at an arm wrestle!! 😉

So it’s been a while since I last blogged, and we have been walking still (that bit doesn’t change) some days better than others that’s for sure.

SunflowersFrom going to the most strict Albergue where the host is obviously only in it for the money…  to sitting around a large table in an Albergue on top of a hill in a little place called Hermanillos de la Calzada and there are about four of us here all writing in diaries about our journeys so far. ..

Since we last left I’ve seen one of my most beautiful daily sites : fields and fields if sun flowers 🙂 the Meseta (desert) was not going to hold a lot for us but it was definitely a surprise. Yes it has the hard hard way of unending roads if white gravel that seem to lead to to nowhere… A harsh sun above, but a welcoming breeze just when you’ve had enough. Some days where paved with what seemed like the bottom of a dry creek bed others the soft red dust… Just walking to the horizon in front was what we set out to do because unlike before there are long stretches of road with no villages in front to set your sights on.

Portable First Aid StationIt’s the people you  met on the road that make this journey and we’ve met some new friends and caught up with old ones again 🙂 it’s so exciting to see someone again! We’ve only known them for 24 hours and then 5 days down the track you run into them again! Our Dutch friend Erik has kept us entertained for the last 3 days 🙂 God love him cause we do!!! We caught up with the pommy Jim who is still soldering (his knee is better but now his shin is bad…) and Michelé from Italy has got every pilgrims worst nightmare the mother of all blisters on his big toe! He is suffering 🙁 the locals are so friendly and at each Albergue they pull out their first aid kit and fix you up… Give you instructions in Spanish on how to care for them and send you on your way.

Pilgrim FriendlyWe’ve heard some horror stories, a girl who got 14 blisters!! She had to rest for 2 days. A guy whose shins were so swollen they became infected and he had to go to hospital – he is still determined to finish the walk thou…

Then there are the other type of stories, there’s a chick from Lithuania who did a mammoth 47km one day, she was going to sleep for 3 hours and then start again!! She wants to get home to see her peppermint bloom??? The Dutch couple who quit their jobs, walked out the front door of their house and have been walking to Santiago since, 3.5 months down and another month to go…

We’ve been happy with our 26 – 28km days with a few 30+ days thrown in – and the absolute pleasure of a 19km day thrown in soon….


Wrong Way Go Back!

More Sunflowers

Stage 1 – DONE

27.9km today to a little town called Agés.. Some parts felt like we were walking in Australia 🙂 up at falls creek and at other times trekking thru Nail Can it was very uncanny how much it felt like home….

Today started much like every morning up and packed by 6.30am have a yoghurt and a banana double check we have everything then it’s one slow step in front of the next… It takes about a km to warm up and force your feet in to another day of walking, and then all of a sudden the sticks are clicking and we are admiring yet another sunrise over the hills 🙂

photo(3)Belorado has a Hollywood type feel walking thru it this morning – it’s own walk of fame 🙂 there bronzed in the Camino path is the boot and hand print of Martin Sheen 🙂 The Way star who so very convincingly made us want to do this in the first place! Very cool.

We stop in Villafranca for a kafé con leché and a supply run at the supermarket – this is the town where Ally made us do a runner… Stopped at a kafé I’m leisurely out the front while Ally orders – I here thru the window “umm Kell, this is not good.. We need to go… Grab the bags” and she makes some excuse in her broken Spanish and we are off! Down the street – apparently the waitress wasn’t up to speed on her cleanliness OH&S – finishing a smoke, emptying garbage and making coffees all at the same time is NOT acceptable… I know we are ‘roughing it’ but you gotta draw the line somewhere!

photo(1)A much nicer cleaner place was found, refuelled we hiked up yet another mountain – with the Wind Turbines in our sites that’s where we wanted to get to 🙂

We run into new and familiar faces on the way 🙂 loud Italians who I can’t believe can walk up a mountain and still talk that fast without taking a breath! The happy German who doesn’t know much English but with a smile and a wave and plenty of hand signals we think his make is Ern. And Leon the happy Brazilian who floats along the way with such ease it makes us mere mortals jealous.

Following the ridge along the top and eventually heading back down into civilisation we pass thru San Juan de Ortega – with a population of we think 16, and one Albergue, we are feeling good to continue thru to Agés after a stop, some lunch (another ham and cheese roll) and Ally visiting the church (me “take some photos ill look at them”) we head off into our first walk in rain – lasting only 15 mins it was a refreshing change than just sun.

photo(10)Heading down into Agés Ally and I realise how much we did today and we pretty stoked with our efforts we’ve gotta be close to 300km now…

One of the first things you do when you find a bed is find a power point to charge iPhone and iPod – after that – the next thing is to look around for familiar faces 🙂 Ann & Jon Franceś from France are here and Michelé from Italy! We have a long discussion about films and directors (does that surprise you) and we even convince the Italian to have Spanish Pizza for dinner (don’t tell his friends…) New friends are made from the US – a family homeless at the moment as they move Guam to Washington decided to walk the Camino while waiting to get their house… A new addition to add to our Camino family Mum and Dad Amy & Dave, and their son Zac (who is biking – don’t hold that against him, he has a bell) let’s hope we run into them again 🙂

photo(5)Heading to the big city of Burgos next… An easy 26km away…


After a delicious chocolate croissant and a donated kafé con leché from Zac (we are living on €4.60 till Burgos) we hit the trek only to run into our English film maker Mark 🙂 with a quick catch up we hear about his adventure to see the archeological dig site of the first human! Wow – the oldest site in the world is in Spain – if only we knew….

Mark stops for his morning cup of tea (he is British) and we head up the hill! Boulders – rocks – stones – pebbles – what ever you call them that is our road up – it was worth it! There is a beautiful view and breeze up the top! At this point Ally has a moment – we both do, a feeling you get, a wow feeling, about what we are doing, and that it all seems possible.

photo(4)It’s amazing how that can all change in a few hours…

Down the other side we go and run into one of the funny sites you see on the way – huddled in a circle in the middle of a fork in the road is a bunch of 6 pilgrims, studying a guide to see which direction to take.. We all laugh and decide to go right – if we get lost we get lost together 🙂

All roads leads to Burgos! Some are better than others and Ally and I took the worst one… A decision made with our Brazilian Leon – as he floats off ahead of us we trudge thru the Indian Jones part of our trek! Lucky we had sticks!

Coming out the other side with the city before us you cannot fathom the dismay when we realise we have only hit Villafranca and Burgos is still another 9km away… Gutted.

Those km are thru an industrial site (Bron your breathing technique came in very handy thru this) a straight hard main road with no shade no scenery no love for the Camino.

Thru the harsh outskirts of Burgos we follow the yellow arrows. Someone needs to buy the Spanish a measuring tape – because at the 2.5km sign to the Albergue is seriously about 4.7km off its mark!!

One does not get happy when seeing these signs – one gets sad 🙁 because one knows it is wrong.

A slight ease of pain happens when you see other pilgrims in the same state as you – what’s better is when you finally see your bed for the night! (Lets ignore the Disney line we had to go thru to get in that joint) We’ve set up – showered – washed clothes – Burgos you better be worth it!

photo(6)WOW only 10 meters up the road. WOW the Cathedral de Santa Maria – totally worth everything we have gone thru! An overwhelming place full of stunning history and sensory overload! After listening to part 20 on the audio tour it all became a bit much – and Ally enjoyed my refreshing take on what each of the following 7 stages of the cathedral were 🙂 the pictures do not do it justice, you have to come and see it for yourself xx

While your are here you can also check out the awesome castle ruins.. A castle which began construction in 884 (yep no 10th or 11th century here – early days, the year 884)

It took a few hundred years to reach its monumental completion and then the people didn’t like it anyway and used it for storage! (This is the History 101 Kelly version) plus a fire in 16th century gutted it before the French tried to take over Spain… All in all another wow moment. The views from there were amazing – again worth the trip.

photo(9)On a lighter note the discovering of a bucket of 5 beers for €3 added another fantastic element to Burgos, Ally Mark and I set up on the street and welcome our fellow pilgrims to join us – all amazed at our find – when the rain forces us inside the pilgrims take over the top level of the bar – France, Italy, Austria, Brazil, Germany, Canada, Ireland, England, and more are all represented and of course the Aussies (and how stoked was Ally to lead the crew in the chorus of Aussie Aussie Aussie!!)

One of the funniest things I can remember from that night is that Ern, our German friend is actually Peter our German friend – oops

So it’s back to the Camino and thru Burgos we hit over 350+ km’s done (ya us!) ahead is the Meseta (the desert) and our next stage to the city of Leòn…

How will we go?

We’ll keep you posted.

Until then

Buen Camino!



Don’t Steal My Underpants

3-wineOne part of the Camino that you love is hearing stories from other pilgrims 🙂 after a day of walking you see new and familiar faces at the Albergue you pick for the night… You grab a bottle of vino for €3 and you catch up with your new friends swapping stories from today and your travels so far 🙂

Like the couple who had underwear stolen on their first night in St. Jean only to be reunited again in Roncesvalles when the American he had spoken to the night before about why someone would steal underwear and socks.. Realised he had “accidentally” acquired his…

Or the Galician teacher who joins us around the pool (did you like how I just throw that in there) who is trekking home on the Camino telling us tips and stories of what lies ahead…

We also met Michelé from Italy on our way today who walked with us for some time, in advertising too he is not currently working so he is walking instead 🙂

Though we are all from different countries we all have something in common whether it is language, work, interest or just the fact that we are walking the Camino.

path-beside-roadLeaving Santo Domingo early this morning it was looking to be an easy 23km – however with half the trek running along side the main highway it is hard to get into the normal peaceful rhythm you usually find out here – though we did find a toilet and rated it a 9.5 out of 10 which out here is pretty massive. It had a seat which means it starts at a 5…

Spotted along the track were quaint little villages (one with the most amazing warm chocolate croissant) that we were excited to pass thru as it meant we were closer to our destination Belorado… And our Albergue with a pool! Ya, another icy cold pool to soak sore feet and tired legs 🙂 it’s the small things..

Tomorrow sees us on a looong climb up to St. Juan de Ortega or maybe if we can reach the town of Ages instead (let’s hope it’s not too old – maybe just a 15th century church unlike the 11th century one we saw today…)

Who knows, I’ll keep you posted – in a few days as with population of 50 in these towns I doubt there is free wifi…

Buen Camino

Chicks and Chickens in Spain

photo (1)We are proud of us today walking 30+ km’s today 🙂 to tell you the truth it wasn’t that eventful….

photoThere were no bulls running, no one stole our sticks, we got a bed (admittedly in a room with 88 other people), we walked and got no injuries – however the ache in the feet travels up your legs after 25km…

So what can we tell you??

We got up at 5am this morning.
We past by a sign that tells us we have 576km to go till Santiago.
Kafé con leché is getting better with each day.
We met an English film maker who doesn’t personally know Colin Firth. (Ally = guttered)
We sat by a giant bee hive which no one can tell us the history of..
And a French lady stole Ally’s personal space to such a degree that all I can do is laugh while I’m typing thinking about it…
We saw another way to do the Camino – by mountain Scooter!
We discovered €3 can buy you 2 glasses of wine and 2 pinchitos.
photo (2)We got a years supply of Ibuprofen for €2.

We also discovered a new type of road…. Red Clay. And after a night of rain it is Red Clay Mud. Not the best to walk on but comparing it to the gravel and pebble track, we don’t know which was worse.
Maybe we are getting used to it… With the big dramas we’ve faced over the past week, are we just adjusting to the Camino life??
We will keep you posted… Off to find some ice cream!

Spent the evening out the front of the Albergue talking to different countries, guys cutting each others hair – clearly not hairdressers but short all over was the style. An elderly man broke out in opera for a song or two with applause from everyone, then a ukulele came out and the holiday feeling followed… I can’t sing but my help was appreciated 🙂

photo (6)10pm curfew was approaching, so we all head into our room for sleep… Lets hoping the guy next to me doesn’t snore….

Another morning starts with a line of peregrinos trudging up a trek slowly waking up and psyching themselves up for the walk today… It doesn’t help when the first 1km is straight up a hill.. I thought Spain would be flat.

Today is an easy day only 19km we can do that by lunchtime 🙂 the legs although still feel the 30+km from the day before – never mind it’s a pilgrim life!

Scenery today consists of vineyards, whet, spinach farms, and dry fields… The undulating fields find a rhythm and soon we’re halfway, and on top of another hill there is shade, and seats, and company…

An elderly Spaniard greets us with a smile and seats – he tells us in very good english that he comes out here 3 to 4 days a week to provide chairs for peregrinos and to practise his english. This guy is about 75 years old and travels 40km to sit here and converse with us 🙂 such a nice man, we have our own personal Spanish lesson – well Ally does because she is the interpreter, i just listen and jump in when I understand.. A French couple joins our group and the Spaniard breaks out in fluent French! Show off 🙂

We hit the road and by noon we’ve hit Santo Domingo our stop for the night – seeking refuge in a very very very basic Albergue run by nuns (it’s only €5) we settle into our routine of shower – wash clothes – hang clothes and find cold beer – and food of course 🙂

This is a town of 5,000 people and they have this incredible cathedral that could fit every one of them! Amazing! Saint Dominic was a great advocate for the pilgrims back in the 15th century – remind me to tell you about the rooster and the hen sometime… Even Ally loved my history lesson…

Off to see a Spanish puppet show in the town square with a bottle of vino 🙂

Buen Camino!

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Starting today was not good…. I could find my tape for my feet… My pack wasn’t sitting right on my back… And our sticks had disappeared!!! What!

Ally and I set off struggling with the thought of travelling without our support crew (our sticks) I couldn’t get comfortable my back feeling strange, Ally saying the same with hers… It was not looking to be a happy 20km trek.

Leaving our loving host Parko and the comfort of our Albergue the SOL (sun) must have felt our unease as he allowed cloud cover and cool breeze to provide some comfort however not seeing the sun rise like normal added to the list of hardship for today..

signThen came the time to stuck it up and just keep walking, our first hill (with no stick). Reaching the top we can see in the distance our next stop a small town with a big church (like all small towns here) called Viana 10km away with the hope of good kafé.

Up and down we walked both swapping horror stories of what may have happened to our support crew… When in silence a familiar sound of click click could be heard???

We both ponder the thought – could it be??? We pick up the pace and see a few pilgrims all with sticks up ahead – they sound like ours… Didn’t we see them yesterday with no sticks? Ally us comparing height and colour – very FBI like coming to the conclusion that we have confirmation – pilgrims have ‘acquired’ our sticks! ‘

The challenge is catching them, the hills are steep and they have the help of sticks… Finally they stop for a break and we have the chance to catch up.

We have practised our diplomatic approach, as with any pilgrims innocent till proven guilty… ‘Hola’ is always a nice opening…

beautifulcityThe 2 girls from Netherlands were happy to have found the sticks owners! They were at the end of their beds (yes – which was also next to mine…) and with no bags with them (yes, our bags were in lockers) they thought they had been forgotten and were going to reunite them with the owners at the next stop. Truth be told we would’ve done the same 🙂 but who cares! We got our support crew back and blitz the morning 10kms.

Relaxing at Viana and fruit packed for our snack – sticks in hand we set off for our stop today Logroño another 11-12km away and seem from the top of the hill as we leave the town.

It’s comforting to see your destination in the distance 🙂 your goal is set and looks attainable.

A few days when you don’t see where your headed can bring you down a bit because you start to feel heavy in the foot and you mind starts to complain where are you going and how much further??? You can’t count on the signs posted on the camino either one might read 8.7km to go then you walk for an hour to discover the next one says 8.3km to go!!

We hit Logroño is good time, find our bed for the night (€10) and discover a beautiful old city 🙂 a lovely afternoon to have distracting us from our 31+km trek tomorrow…

Let’s not dwell on that – that’s tomorrow 🙂 until then Buen Camino

The wine giveth & the bed taketh away…


Finally walking into Estella (said as Rocky Balboa would say it) was a thank god moment – not too long to go… Then about 15 minutes of walking thru the town we start to wonder how bloody far does this town go??!! Reaching the peak of yet another long concrete hill and a sign for a Albergue ahead one was thinking quit now and have wine for breakfast.

But the suburban jungle was fading away and a very large sign with the word vino was in site! It has been 14km since our last stop and all we wanted was our bread cheese fruit and vino…

What a moment we had! One of the reasons of doing this in the afternoon was to experience this with little to no peregrinos as usually Estella is the place to end that days journey, and the fountain is a first stop in the morning.. We had it right!

part2bWe heard a solitary “Buen Camino” greeting as we entered the pearly gates of heaven – opps sorry I mean the wrought iron entry to the fountain…

We made a new friend 🙂 Ronald from Austria (not Australia) he was traveling the way solo and the 3 of us set up a picnic, shared food and stories and drank the delicious vino from our water bottles. What a wonderful afternoon.

Stories shared on the way are great to hear. Ronald shared some history from his country and his calming voice and detailed expressions kept us interested and continually asking questions. History, religion, family, and wishes were swapped amongst the three of us. All in between refilling our water bottles with vino 🙂

Getting late, we bid farewell to our new friend and continued along the way to get to the next Albergue only a few km’s down the road…

6.2km to be exact – with light fading and feet screaming to be set free from their shoes it is amazing how one can be on such a high then shot down to the lowest of lows when the town we entered has no accommodation in it and the next town is 3+ k’s away… We walked separately at that point both contemplating What the F we are doing!!!

Up yet another hill we reach Villamayor de Monjarden with 2 Albergues we are surely safe for the night! Ya!!

“I’m sorry we are full. There is no floor space either, full also… But we do have a solution, you can sleep in the shelter in the town centre!” A happy volunteer tells us smiling at 730pm at night after walking over 30km that day….

We hold our breath… Nod our heads – and remember this is the Camino – this can happen! But no worries we can use the showers for €2 so things are looking up!

part2cUpon inspecting our patch of concrete (our bed for the night) we laugh and met yet another friend who makes the night seem not completely s**t – Eric from Holland! He and his companions are with us tonight – all in all 6 of us..

The kindness of strangers comes out again with the offer of sleeping matts for us who have laughed at the people trudging these along the Camino (why would u need that!) a tiny bit of comfort makes all the difference …

After more wine and beer (we needed it to numb the body for the night ahead) we go to bed… If only someone could turn the street lights off?? Towel as a pillow and shirt for an eye mask – this is going to be fun!

The church bells tell us each hour that goes by and the town dogs serenade us with their howling – no they don’t we just want them to shut up!!!!!!!!

Somewhere between 1am and 5am a few hours of restless sleep happened until I’m awoken by the pilgrim wanting his sleeping mat back – yep some start that early!

So if you can’t beat them – join them and after 31.8km the day before and sleeping outside on the concrete in the town square we are off with the loving help of a musli bar from our gorgeous Eric – today lets go easy….

19km later on a road i like (no boulders or gravel) and we hit Torres del Rio!! This little slice of heaven for €10 at an Albergue with a POOL – Spanish sun eat your heart out we are stopping here for the day 🙂




Breakfast with Peaches & Chilli


We left the quiet streets of Obanos early, heading into Puente La Reiena for breakfast – a delightful bakery with good kafé con leché (coffee with milk) and a disgruntled employee who obviously didn’t like working that early…

Things were looking up when our German friend rocked up with his travelling companions Peaches and Chilli the donkeys! They have been travelling on foot from Germany already for 2 1/2 months.. Peaches took a particular liking to me and my kafé and I think we made friends to meet further along the road.

Well it’s time to start walking… With no love from the Spanish sun and a few hills to conquer we set our positive thoughts on reaching one of our exciting milestones… Fuente de Vino!! The wine fountain!! Now just 24km to get there…

dont-stop-til-santiagoThere is a lot to think about when your walking, and your well wishes and supporting messages are awesome to ponder… Some of you have even said you wish you were here with us!
Let me tell you why you glad your aren’t:
1. Spanish SOL (sun) it’s hard it’s hot and it blisters your skin…. (One cannot wear enough sunscreen) it always looks like you’re wearing socks even if you are not.
2. You become puffy in Spain – cankles are the norm here and some how the bones in your wrist disappear!!! What wrists…
3. Beds are limited… More about that later.
4. Gravel and boulders and white roads… Some villages help you along the way by providing a white concrete path full of uneven boulders… Then you hit a river of gravel about 8 layers thick, I’m not sure which one is worse
5. What goes up up up for a long time, goes down really quickly AND steeply.

So these are the things we consider as we walk along a path, trek, road whatever we call it, it is forever changing and it has only been 154km 🙂

Buen  Camino!

From Parties To Pilgrims

monumentoWhere we left you yesterday, Ally and I were wondering what our rest day in Pamplona would hold… It held a lot!

mojitoFirst and foremost is the finding of the most delicious Mojito ever. Ever.

We stumbled upon food stalls in the local park, must be lunchtime… (Close enough – with our lack of sleep time was irrelevant) what goes perfect with Paella? Mojitos!!! And these would go perfect with anything 🙂 when ordering our third, we didn’t even have to ask, they knew what these 2 Australian chickas wanted 🙂

Restricting our shopping urge was hard.. The markets were good… I’m sure Ally can find room in her bag for a few things….

sangria-fightA good thing was catching up with a familiar face from home – home being Albury! Half way around the world and Ally and I catch up with Rob and his mate Simon – being our second night in Pamplona we were more than happy to show the guys the sites 🙂 from bands and parades to sangria fights and roof top dancing (Spanish grease mega Mix goes off!!) the four of us had a great night meeting new people and telling them that “we bought a Jeep”. With plans to meet up the next morning Ally and I headed home in the hopes of some sleep next to the note club outside our window… (Closing the window, ear plugs, pillows on heads – did not help at all).

6am once the music stops its time to get up to head to the Bull Run again only this time with all the common people down on ground level – with no sign from the boys (they got the wrong bus) we squished in between some Bolivian, American and Canadian tourists ready for our 6 sec glimpse of the bulls running past us again – the atmosphere electric we were happy to be a part of it.

squashedWith a quick coffee and breakfast with Rob and Simon once they turned up and a lot of laughing about last nights antics (how did we end up on that balcony listening to Savage Garden and Crowded House???) it was time to strap on the backpacks and follow the shells!!

Today found Ally and I in a moment where it really came to us what we are doing 🙂 With the purchase of our new STICKS we found ourselves upon a mountain after a very hot and hard climb with the Monumento Peregrino. A sight that we both think significant in our journey. A good site, and satisfying and beautiful one…

Then it was down hill- quickly. It’s strange that to get to the top it was long winding hard road – then they decide, that’s enough! Get down the bottom quickly!! In a straight line! Thank god for our sticks….

Having a late start left us hot and bothered in the hard Spanish afternoon sun so we pulled up short on our destination to a quite village which has free wifi so it will do 🙂 plus we can catch up with our new friend Brazil. After a 30km day, dinner had , and the church bells chiming its 9pm we are off to bed.

See you on the other side of another 30km day.

Buen Camino





Crazy Town!


We’ve been in Pamplona for 24 hours now and this town is crazy!! San Fermin Festival puts everyone in a happy mood, friendly, drunk, and loving… You really do feel sorry for the people who have to work during this festival.

We walked in looking around at the amazing beautiful buildings, distracted by a few party revellers wandering the streets still singing, dancing and drinking from the night before. We hit the main square grabbed prime spots at a kafé and ordered our first delicious churrios – YUM.

A drunk Irishman came over shocked we were not drinking yet and offered us his drink. A drunk Spaniard Paul befriended us too – we had no idea what he was saying, it wasn’t the language barrier it was the drunk barrier!

I know I’ve said drunk a lot already but it is San Fermin Festival!

We found our over priced accommodation easily so close to the heart if the centre, our box for the next 2 nights… Out of place in our trekking clothes it was nice to go shopping!! White and red is the only acceptable attire here! Thousands of people wearing it you feel like a local when you have it on 🙂

The party in the streets happen 24hrs a day! Parades, bands, singing, dancing pop up one after another to get anywhere you just join in!

crowdOne motto in this town is – if you can’t beat them.. Join them! And that’s what we did 🙂 the beer is cold the sangria good and the ‘local’ favourite red wine & coke mixed together ‘calmuchle’ – – drunk from a litre plastic cup! We had a go at everything!

After the afternoon at Bar Windsor, where we were befriended by some locals whose only English phrase was Rock and Roll!!! We were very grateful to have to go to catch our authentic Spanish experience…. The Bull Fight!!

The stadium was huge! The crowd excited! The sites, sounds, colours and spectacle was amazing a once in a lifetime experience for both of us. We witnessed 6 bull fights. 500 – 560kg angry bulls running out to the roar of the crowd – a brass band breaks out behind us everyone sings!! Then the drumming group start playing and the cheers happen! It’s a brutal experience  to witness – sadly by the end you are a bit desensitised by it.

coffeeOn a sweeter note we were adopted by the family beside us 🙂 offering us cake and cherries and their own coffee (with alcohol of course) during the fights and they were amazed how far we had come and were happy for us to be there.

The crowd spills out onto the street afterwards and the night begins we were excited to catch up with our Camino friends Ranier and Igor again – having a local with us was good 🙂 we got around the back alleys, tiny bars and big drinks Igor told us a lot about the Basque Country and culture and we witnessed a crowd break out into dancing their traditional dance the line just got bigger and band turned up and the singing started! Crazy!!!!

And the party never stops… Never. We do wonder what this city would be like outside of the San Fermin Festival? It’s hard to imagine..

With little to no sleep, as you can’t when the band is just outside your window… This morning we made our way to our Balcony spot for our next local experience… Running With The Bulls!!! The whole experience is over in 6 minutes – at our spot (dead mans corner) you witness crazy people running away from 6 massive bulls and its flashed past you in about 6 seconds! You hold your breath the entire time!

We are at Grandma’s apartment and she ushers us in side to watch the rest of it on TV – it was a good run today a bull broke away from the herd and gouged a few runners… Yep that means its a good run!!

Another day in this crazy city awaits us… I wonder what will happen?

It is strange to say but we are both looking forward to putting our backpacks back on tomorrow and start walking again to witness more of the amazing country 🙂

Until then Buen Camino!