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Astorga to Santiago de Compostella

This is not a coaching Blog, more a high level account and diary of the final leg (c 270 km) of my Camino Frances, having completed the other sections of this 800km ancient pilgrimage route during two visits in 2011. See blogs in July /August 2011. I would recommend the Camino to anyone who has the opportunity to take time out for reflection…
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Camino de Santiago

I am flying to Spain tomorrow with a friend to complete the final sections of the Camino Frances. This now popular old pilgrimage route, dating back to the middle ages, runs East to West along the North of Spain, from St Jean Pied de Port in the French Pyrenees to the cathedral dedicated to the apostle James in Santiago. Most…
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Camino Days 12 / 13

Day 12 Late start (8am) for 12km hike to St Juan de Ortega and onwards for further 6km to Atapuerca. First section was long and uphill through fog, with thick forrest heavily garnished by ferns and lilac. Found myself staying at the same hostel as four others from group that had formed a week earlier and that I had assumed I would…
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Camino Day 11

Sleep deprivation before start of day as locals ( including howling dogs and playful children) in Granon party until well into the early hours outside the hostal. Plan was to walk 24km to Villambistios, but on arrival there is a notice that hostal is closed on Tuesday´s ( and today is Tuesday !). So I marched on an additional 5km to Villafranca. Landscape different today…
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Camino Day 10

6 am start in the dark ( a bit risky...couldn't see where I was walking !) for 22km to Granon. Staying in the hostal which is fully integrated with the beautiful and characterful ancient church of the village. By now there is a well established group meeting up every evening and the destination for the next evening is broadly discussed and agreed. Feeling…
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Camino Day 9

Finally getting into my stride, today´s 23km to Azofra I found to be much easier than earlier days despite heat. More of the same in terms of scenery - Rioja vines and cut hay. Journey made shorter by joining up with some Germans´s I met the evening before. Stopped at church in Najera - lots of beautiful ornate churches in…
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Camino Days 7/8

Day 7 As by now I have a swollen left ankle to balance my gammy right knee I decided to go only as far as Viana (19kms), a lively village, with an athmospheric old square around the church of Santa Maria. Stayed in the hostal attached to the church - mats rather than matresses...too hard, never again! The journey had…
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Camino Days 5 / 6

Day 5 Pre-dawn start as carrying a knee injury and didn't know how long it was going to take me to cover the 24kms to Estella. Glorious dawn sunshine over the rolling hills of cut hay and vines. In the end it took me over 6 hours. That evening there was communal dinner at the hostal for over 30 overnighters.…
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Camino Day 4

Long day to Puente La Reina (25kms) - after leaving Pomplona walked into fields of sunflowers (some with smiles carved onto their faces by passing walkers), then high climb and descent. Tired as didn't sleep very well...lots of synchronised snoring going on around me last night ! With such an international bunch I have come across lots of different careers and lifestyle preferences,…
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Camino Day 3

Overcast and cool again, but no rain  - ideal walking conditions, but not what you expect in Spain in July. Much of the walk to Pamplona (Cathederal city of bull run fame) was on a narrow path through a dense wooded area, with just the forrest and a mountain stream for company - great. There is great comraderie on the…
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