Archive for February 18th, 2018

Planning, planning, planning. What fun it’s been planning my 2 big 2018 pilgrimages; The Pilgrim’s Way from Winchester to Canterbury and Camino Ingles from Ferrol to Santiago and from there on the Camino Finisterre with a final journey to Muxia; the now agreed furthermost point of mainland Europe and an ancient pilgrims destination.

As mentioned in a previous blog, I’ve had hours of fun with researching what to see, reading the respective pilgrimage guides, studying the route on google maps, scanning airbnb and booking.com for suitable and not bank-breaking accommodation rates, then calculating the cost of these pilgrimages……and therein lies the rub…..or should I say months of hard work LOL. Ouch. It’s going to be a lot more expensive than I anticipated…especially the UK pilgrimage.

Accommodation in the UK does NOT come cheap. Unlike the albergues and hostels on the various Camino routes in Spain which cater for pilgrims, the best price I’ve managed to book for the UK is at one of the YHA locations – at £16 for the night, it’s very comparable to the accommodations in Spain.

AirBnB! How did we do without it before? It’s a gem, although not necessarily cheap, you can find some lovely accommodations and I have found a number of very suitable places along The Pilgrim’s Way. I had planned on staying the first 2 nights in Winchester, but after trying various places in Winchester, oh my gosh, talk about exorbitant…..as I said to the one lady I spoke to, I’m walking as a pilgrim, not visiting as a tourist. If I want to pay so much money, I’ll stay at a hotel. Winchester does not come cheap!!

But there it is. So instead I’ve altered my plans and have found some lovely accommodation in Southampton, which is brilliant since Southampton is a famous sailing off point for pilgrims travelling to distant shores; namely the point of departure for the Pilgrim Fathers aboard Mayflower in 1620, as well as many pilgrims from the UK departing to follow the way of St James in Spain. I’ve wanted to visit Southampton anyway, so this will give me the chance to add a day of exploration to the itinerary and explore the city for a day and there is MUCH to see 🙂

I’ve booked 9 of 18 nights for the UK….the rest will have to wait while I work some more and save up some more LOL ….the joys of travel. I’ve also booked 7 of 21 days in Spain and plan to make the most of the traditional alburgues and hostels along the routes on a ‘phone ahead and hope for the best plan’.

Besides planning when to start my pilgrimages and how many days to walk each route, I’ve had to do a budget projection right through to end October to ensure I can in fact earn sufficient income to pay for them, as well as calculate exactly how much I can squeeze out of my monthly budgets towards the main aspects of expected expenses; travel, food, accommodation, mementos and of course most importantly travel insurance. It’s going to be a hectic balancing act and my accounting background and love of spreadsheets is coming in well handy LOL

I can barely believe that I’ll finally be walking one of the long-distance pilgrimage routes in the UK. I have already followed Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales route from Southwark to Canterbury and the Way of St Augustine from Ramsgate to Canterbury, but neither of those routes was in excess of 100 miles. I have walked the Camino Portuguese from Porto to Santiago which was 150 miles, so that was quite good…..the Pilgrim’s Way from Winchester to Canterbury is 133+ miles and the 3 Camino routes in Spain will equal approx 135 miles. Although neither of them come anywhere close to the Camino Norte which is over 515 miles, and which I’m planning (hoping) to walk in 2019. Whew, wipe the sweat from my brow LOL

There are quite a few websites that I’ve frequented whilst planning these trips and I have found 2 of them to be most useful.

The Pilgrims Way Canterbury http://www.pilgrimswaycanterbury.org/

Confraternity of St James https://www.csj.org.uk/

I also purchased 3 Pilgrim guides that have been a mine of information:

The Pilgrim’s Way; Leigh Hatts – Cicerone

Camino Ingles; Johnnie Walker – Confraternity of St James

Camino Finisterre; Alison Raju – Confraternity of St James

Follow me on instagram as I travel along pilgrimage and others routes in the UK and Europe https://www.instagram.com/notjustagranny/

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