Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Camino de Santiago’

In April of this year, just one month after we went into lockdown, my daughter introduced me to the Conqueror virtual challenges. A friend of hers was participating in them, and knowing how much I love walking, she thought they would be a fun idea for me too. Initially I was like…hmmm that’s a bit expensive, but hey I like the Hadrian’s Wall medal, so yeah, why not sign up and do just the one (please note, at the time I said “just the one” 🤪🤪)

I signed up, downloaded the app and for the next week I swore and spluttered as I tried to get to grips with how it all worked…and I walked. But soon enough I figured it out and in no time at all I was adding on the miles and watching my progress.

My very first walk …

The organisers are very clever… besides the fact that the app has (actually) been beautifully designed, the features keep you hooked as you progress along the route…click on the map and you can see ‘where you are on the route’ and until I figured how to turn it off, all the other virtual travellers who were either with you, or ahead or coming up behind. I found that a bit busy and switched to only me.

A little too busy for me, but wow, there were a lot of people on the same route

Besides that, you get award notifications (via the app)…Flying Start Award 5%, or Trail Blazer 20% and Halfway There Award 50%, a bit like a coach would do, keeping you motivated.

Virtual coaching

If you click through to the actual challenge they have 2 stats: Distance and Time which show you the distance you’ve covered and how long it’s taken you. You can set the length of your own challenges. I usually overstate mine and end up completing well before my expected date – then you get a message that says “well done Cindy, are you sure you’re not a pro? Or “you’re well ahead now” LOL Brilliant.

Besides that excitement, they intermittently send you virtual postcards telling you more about the route and the history of said route or the country you’re virtually walking through – and they have really put a lot of thought into it. I get a thrill each time a new postcard pops up in my email.

Conqueror virtual challenges – Hadrian’s Wall
Conqueror virtual challenges – Hadrian’s Wall

They’ve recently introduced a new feature and for every 20% of the challenge you complete, they plant a tree in conjunction with their partners Eden Projects; their reforestation programs help the environment and reduces extreme poverty by employing local villagers. The trees are planted all over the world, from Madagascar and Indonesia to Central America and Haiti. Being eco-conscious and concerned about the destruction of our planet, this was an exciting feature and keeps me heading for the 20% markers. I’ve planted about 20 trees so far ☺☺👏👏👏

Conqueror virtual challenges

At the time I started the Hadrian’s Wall challenge I was working in a wee village in Somerset; Nether Stowey, miles from anywhere, out in the countryside and right slap bang on the Quantocks. Give me the name of a walk to do, and I’m there…🚶🏻‍♀️🚶🏻‍♀️🚶🏻‍♀️

Stepping out on Hadrian’s Wall virtual challenge

And so, during lockdown, I used most of my 1 hour allocated free time for exercise and I was out exploring and walking, the kms/miles soon added up. Using the calendar on the app I added a description of where I’d walked and added a photo for each day’s mileage and looking back its brilliant to see what I did each time I went out ‘boots on’ walking.

Suddenly hoorah!! To my excitement I completed Hadrian’s Wall challenge….I marked it as completed and waited in anticipation for my medal. Yes!!! You get a real life medal, and it is beautiful, a real solid medal on a lanyard. Clever clever organisers.

My first medal – Hadrian’s Wall

At that stage I was like okay, that was fun but I’m not going to spend anymore money on this….

Until I did 🤣🤣🤣 I ‘happened’ to look at the website and saw the Camino de Santiago challenge….my resolve dissolved. I loved the medal, and since I’m planning on actually walking the Camino in the next couple of years, I decided to sign up for ‘just one more’. So I signed up for the Camino de Santiago; at check out, they offered a 15% discount for doing 2 challenges….how could I resist!

And so my one challenge became 3 as I signed up for the English Channel challenge as well – of course the medal had NOTHING at ALL to do with my choice hahaha. Of course I had/have no plans to actually swim the English Channel, but I’ve walked along the beaches and waded in the sea often enough…so, I walked. The distance is only 34 miles and within 4 walks I was done! Whoo hoo…another challenge completed (30/09) and my medal was in the post! Some people actually swim laps in a pool while doing this challenge.

How could I possibly resist this??

Now what? I really really didn’t want to spend any more money on this, but! I follow the Conqueror Conquest Challenges on instagram and one day to my cost, I noticed their new challenge : The Ring Road – Iceland! OMG Sold to the lady in the corner LOL Dammit it. The medal is absolutely stunning. I caved, and not only that but I bought the 5 challenge pack as mentioned in an earlier post, as well as the 2020 Challenge which lists all my walks from 01.01.2020 right through to 31.12.2020 – super awesome. Of course the amazing medal had nothing to do with that either. My goal for 2020 was to walk 1600kms (1000miles) again, since I didn’t in 2019.

….and so I bought The Inca Trail – Peru (since completed), The Ring of Kerry – Ireland (since completed), The Ring Road – Iceland (for 2021), The Cabot Trail – Canada (for 2021), and the 2020 challenge. And then for good measure I added the Great Ocean Road – AUS (currently walking) and Alps to Ocean – NZ (for 2021).

Conqueror virtual challenges I’ve completed
Congratulations on starting the Inca Trail Challenge. This is a 26.2 miles / 42.1 km journey from Ollantaytambo District, Peru to Ponte da reserva de Machu Picchu, Peru.

This trail is so beautiful and full of historical value and because of that, UNESCO declared it a “World Heritage” site.

Machu Picchu — A New Wonder of the World

Richard L. Burger (an American archaeologist and anthropologist) thinks that Machu Picchu was built in 1450 – 1460.

The reason it was built is unknown. But most archeologists agree that the city was built to be a “royal” estate.

They think that the Inca emperor Pachacutec ordered the construction for himself, most likely after a successful military campaign. However, it is interesting that although it is considered a “royal” estate, it has not been inherited.

How is the journey so far, Cindy? Don’t forget to drink plenty of water and rest from time to time.

But at the rate I’m going trying to complete each challenge asap to get the medal, I’ve already exceeded my 1600km target and am close to completing 2020kms, my current total is 1749kms including today 9th December LOL – an awesome challenge!! Its been good to push myself to achieve that target.

Conqueror virtual challenges
Conqueror virtual challenges

And so, I’ve gone from signing up for 1 challenge to 10…..I love it. It’s a bit crazy really, but I love walking, and these challenges really keep me motivated, and the medals…..well, they really are beautiful and had a lot to do with my decisions..

In fact you can join up and either walk indoors, run, swim, cycle either indoor or outdoors, you can do rowing and skiing, you can participate even if you’re in a wheelchair, and of course outdoor walking which is my preferred method of exercise. It’s just brilliant.

As for the future…well there’s the John O’Groats to Land’s End challenge …that’s quite far at 1733kms/1083 miles, so I’ve looked at that for 2022 and maybe I’ll plan to walk that in real time and follow the virtual trail at the same time…😉

Now, I wonder what other challenges they’re going to design? I have no doubt that I will in all likelihood sign up for those as well. This could keep me going until I fall over…kaputski!! LOL

and unbelievably (or not) just last week I signed up for their latest challenge: to climb Mount Fuji – Japan…virtually of course 😁😁😁 The medal is absolutely stunning, why would I resist

I mean, come on seriously…why would I not!!

And that brings me up to 11 challenges!! To say I’m addicted would be an understatement….

Why not join me and sign up to complete a couple before the end of 2020 and maybe set yourself a challenge for 2021. If you sign up via my link you get a 10% discount, as do I on my next challenge. https://www.theconqueror.events/r/CE1474

See you at the top!! 🇯🇵

Read Full Post »

I follow The Pilgrim’s Trust on Instagram and reading through their current posts I came across these two links that you may enjoy reading:

1. BBC Travel and pilgrimage – I didn’t realise that the Camino de Santiago was only recently given a boost by Franco.

2. 10 Pilgrimages you might enjoy walking – I found this article to be of great interest due to my love of ‘going on pilgrimage’.

Its amazing just how many pilgrimage routes there are in the UK and they haven’t even mentioned St Cuthbert’s Way, St Augustine’s Way and The Two Saints Way.

Have you walked any of these pilgrimage routes? Which was your favourite?

Follow The Pilgrim’s Trust on Instagram

I’ve started a new Instagram profile @overthehillstilltravelling for my travels if you’d like to follow. Give me a 👋👋 if you do….it’s relatively new, but I’m adding images as I go..

Read Full Post »

At the beginning of the year, just after lockdown, I decided to join the Conqueror Virtual Challenge and signed up to walk Hadrian’s Wall – 145km (England). As you progress they send you postcards with interesting information about the walk.

the medal

Mostly so I could keep up my enthusiasm for walking, having a goal during lockdown was so helpful. In the meantime I’ve decided to walk the real Hadrian’s Wall – now scheduled that for 2021.

I’ve subsequently done the Camino de Santiago challenge – 772km (Spain). I did this while working; using my kms walked while on duty and various other walks at the various places I worked in. My medal is in the post.

The English Channel challenge – 34km (I finished that with short walks over 4 days) much as I would have loved to swim the distance for this challenge, I have NO plans to actually swim the English Channel….end of! LOL

the medal is in the post 🙂 It’s stunning

All of the above counts towards my goal of #walk1000miles2020 and despite deciding to not sign up for any other challenges, guess what….LOL I’m signing up for the pack of 5 which includes a choice of some awesome virtual walks: Great Ocean Road – 240km (Australia), Inca Trail – 42km (Peru), Ring of Kerry – 200km (Ireland), The Cabot Trail – 298km (Canada), and The Ring Road – 1332km (Iceland). I’m also going to buy the 2020 challenge coz the medal is awesome. I’m sure I can finish the 4 shorter distances this year and I’ll do the Icelandic Ring Road in 2021. The medals are so beautiful and I love the motivation the app gives me as I watch my progress.

I’m also keen to do the John O’Groats to Lands End virtual challenge and will save that for 2021 as well.

If you’d like to join me on the Conqueror Virtual Challenges click here for the link There’s a terrific little app that you can update as you go and it shows your progress on a map, you can join as part of a team or just go it alone. For every 20% of the challenge you complete the organisers plant a tree (I love that idea) and at the end of the challenge you get a fantastic, quality medal. It’s good fun and you learn about the different places as you reach each milestone.

Read Full Post »

I had such a wonderful afternoon. Met up with a young woman who I connected with on instagram via her Camino posts and mine, about 2 years ago.

Since then we’ve enjoyed each others posts, both Camino and other life stories. She’s been to Broadstairs a few times but I’m usually away so we never managed to meet up. But finally, my dates at home were conducive for her to visit the area and so we planned to meet today.

It was so gratifying to be able to talk to someone who has also walked the Camino, someone who understands the impact it has on your life, and ‘gets’ more than just the basics.

Although her journey was 6 weeks and mine only 11 days, we found so much in common with our experiences; mentally, emotionally and physical. We spoke solidly for over 3 hours.

We agreed that on the whole, unless you’re sharing Camino experiences with someone who has actually walked a Camino, most people’s eyes glaze over after 10 minutes or so. Which is not a criticism, but rather an acknowledgement that they don’t ‘get’ what you’re talking about.

Her experience of the Camino was vastly different to mine; she was 21 when she walked 6 years ago, and I was 62 when I walked last year. Her distance was 790 kms whereas mine was 240kms. Yet, despite the differences there was so much we could share about packing, what we actually needed by way of clothes vs what we thought we’d need, about injury and how we dealt with them, and how we related to other walkers.

After listening to her experiences it confirmed for me what I suspected….the French route is completely different to the Portuguese route. Not just in geography, but in the set up and the way in which pilgrims connect. There seems to be more opportunity to form deeper relationships.

It was a relief to be able to talk to someone who understood what I meant by the ‘essence’ of the Camino.

Read Full Post »

I saw this graph going around the various Camino pages on Facebook and thought I’d share it with you.

How interesting to see where people are from, and which routes they walk.

Camino statistics 2017

Camino statistics 2017

I must admit that I was surprised at how few people were from the UK.

It’s also useful to note that not all pilgrims register for a Compostela on arrival at Santiago. I met quite a few pilgrims who were walking their 3rd or 4th Camino and weren’t bothered about getting a Compostela (certificate). So I guess the numbers are higher than shown here.

As for myself, I’ll be sure to obtain a Compostela for every Camino I complete 😊😊

Read Full Post »

On 11th September 2017 I set off on my first Camino, from Porto to Santiago de Compostela, via the Portuguese Coastal Route to Caminha, then inland to Valenca and the Central Way from Tui to Santiago; 240 kms along one of the most amazing journeys of my life.

Portugal was fantastic and I enjoyed the most wonderful weather and scenery along the whole route. My favourite towns were Vila do Conde, Caminha and Valenca, then the delightful Padron in Spain and of course the 2 cities: Porto and Santiago (both UNESCO World Heritage Sites).

I was very lucky to witness the swinging of the botafumeiro at the Santiago de Compostela cathedral on the night after I arrived. It was a phenomenal sight with hundreds of pilgrims gathered in the cathedral to give thanks for a safe journey and to witness this amazing event.

Apparently the botafumeiro is swung every Friday evening at mass and at other times/days if someone pays to have it swung. It’s not a given at every service. I can however recommend attending the pilgrim service even if, like me, you are not religious. It’s a beautiful building that resonates with the history of the aeons, of the prayers of the thousands if not millions of pilgrims who have humbly knelt there for religious reasons, and filled with the gratitude of pilgrims who are quite simply happy to have arrived safe and in one piece…and even some who have not….blisters being the most common ailment.

Read Full Post »

Whoo hoo, my Camino map arrived. It shows all the different Camino routes in Spain and from beyond the borders ; its stunning.

Looking at the map I’m made aware of the fact that despite having walked 240kms from Porto in Portugal to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, my route really was just a very very short distance in comparison to many of the others.

Wise Pilgrim's Guide map

Wise Pilgrim’s Guide map

My daughter joked that I should walk them all 😳😳😳🚶🚶🤣🤣🤣 Uhmm, yes, I’d need a 2nd life to do that!!!

Here’s the website if you’d like to buy a map or one of the guides. This is not an affiliate link

Read Full Post »

After months of reading up on other people’s facebook posts, reading blogs and posts on Camino forums, I finally narrowed down my Camino packing list.

packing for the camino, how to pack a backpack, camino de santiago, long distance walking, portuguese coastal route, porto to santiago, solo travel, women who travel on their own, baby boomers travel

My Camino 2017 packing; I’ve made relevant adjustments for walking in the UK

Items that I removed from the final pack before leaving: top left image; gloves, sandals, and I changed my walking socks after testing the marvellous socks I found at Mountain Warehouse; double thick…

packing for the camino, how to pack a backpack, camino de santiago, long distance walking, portuguese coastal route, porto to santiago, solo travel, women who travel on their own, baby boomers travel

some of the many articles I researched and a bit of a laugh

Admittedly I had bought a whole load of items while I was in South Africa in May 2016, but I realised over time that most of it wouldn’t really be needed/suitable for a Camino in September. I will however make good use of them when I start walking in the UK….we all know how changeable the weather can be here so no doubt the double fleece jacket, woollen beanie and thick woollen gloves will come in handy for those trips. So for now they shall remain at home.

One of the items I bought which will come in handy is the Glowstick which is of course packed.

So at the final Countdown to my Camino, this is what I packed:

Osprey Mystic Magenta Tempest Talon 40 – my erstwhile backpack 1.08 kgs

Osprey Water Bladder 1.5liter                                                            0.700 grams

Sandals (walking sandals swopped for flip flops)                               0.120 grams

Fleece – lilac                                                                                      0.500 grams

Jumper – lilac                                                                                     0.220 grams

Hiking pants x 2 pairs – black (packed)                                              0.620 grams

Hiking pants 1 pair – black (to be worn)                                             0.310 grams

Quick drying T-shirts x 3 – magenta (packed)                                    0.360 grams

Quick Drying T-shirt to be worn                                                          0.120 grams

Panties x 7 (black) & pantie liners x 20                                              0.100 grams

Hiking socks – double thick x 5 (black)                                               0.250 grams

Hiking socks – double thick – worn                                                      0.050 grams

Wick away inner sock liners x 2                                                          0.050 grams

Bras x 2 (one on & one packed)                                                         0.050 grams

Night t-shirt (slogan: everything hurts – gift from my daughter)          0.210 grams

Towel – magenta (quick drying) & face cloth                                      0.230 grams

Rain poncho (now ditched in favour of a lightweight poncho – 20g)   0.395 grams

Extras:

LED Light (glowstick)                                                                          0.020 grams

Pale blue scarf with silver scallop shell pattern (gift from daughter)   0.040 grams

Pilgrim’s Scallop Shell                                                                         0.020 grams

Pilgrim’s Passports                                                                              0.030 grams

Orange Emergency Sheet                                                                   0.230 grams

Silver Emergency Foil Blanket                                                            0.010 grams

Various odds and ends (pack 1)                                                         0.180 grams

Various odds and ends (pack 2)                                                         0.310 grams

Various odds and ends (pack 3)                                                         0.110 grams

Phone charger and cord                                                                     0.050 grams

Emergency travel charger for my phone                                            0.220 grams

Teabags (vital and essential for my morning cuppa)                          0.030 grams

Toiletries                                                                                             0.800 grams

(shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, face wash, face cream, hand wash, dish-washing liquid, toothpaste, detergent gel, toothbrush, dental floss, comb, nail clippers, emery board, small scissors, shower gloves, incognito spray (100 grams), citronella oil, Epsom salts, rehydration salts, immodium, various vitamins)

Below are images of what I’ve packed for my next Camino – new additions would be the pink travel case (not yet sure it’s going to be useful), small day pack for those days I send Pepe ahead (it’s a marvellous little bag and folds away into itself and weighs next to nothing). The bits and bobs have been dramatically reduced, I did find the little velcro straps to be incredibly useful as well as the elasticated straps with clips…good for hanging socks to dry.packing for pilgrimage, long distance walks uk, packing for the camino,packing for pilgrimage, long distance walks uk, packing for the camino,packing for pilgrimage, long distance walks uk, packing for the camino,

packing for pilgrimage, long distance walks uk, packing for the camino,

packing for my impending UK walk – my fabulous new puffer jacket and my wonderful Pepe; Osprey Mystic Magenta, packed and ready to go

packing for pilgrimage, long distance walks uk, packing for the camino,

the noodles came in handy one night after a very long day. I used the tea bags 3 times and the mug never LOL

Some stuff you just don’t need. 😉 It’s really tricky packing for a long distance walk, especially in a foreign country. I took way too much of medical supplies like plasters and stuff (they are in plentiful supply in all the large towns and some of the villages you pass along the way).

medical supplies, camino de santiago, walking the camino,

clearly took far too much stuff LOL

Admittedly, despite advice to the contrary, I took a load of stuff I really didn’t need – most of it came home with me. LOL

I’ll be rechecking my list before I start along The Pilgrim’s Way and hopefully I can ditch some more items before I start…..

Buen Camino

Read Full Post »

After completing my first Camino de Santiago in September 2017, I realised that the camino ‘bug’ had well and truly bitten…..at the time I was sorely tempted to cancel my flight and head off to start another route instead of returning home…. I didn’t of course but oh my, how I would have loved to be able to do just that. Prior to this, as mentioned in my previous blog I had completed 2 ‘caminos’ in the UK; Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales route from Southwark to Canterbury and The Way of St Augustine from Ramsgate to Canterbury…both of which I can highly recommend, although be warned the Chaucer route is mostly now on busy traffic routes, so not as scenic or tranquil as the St Augustine route which is mainly through fields and alongside rivers, and taking in quaint English villages till you reach the outskirts of Canterbury.

the way of st augustine

Fordwich; a Domesday Book village on the Way of St Augustine. The Town Hall is awesome! loved the houses

Camino meaning: way, path, journey, good way.

I love walking (also mentioned before 😉 ), and although I’m not in any way religious, the idea of ‘pilgrimage’ appeals to me greatly. I’m happy to take random training walks, especially when I’m working and have limited time, but there is nothing quite like having a specific destination in mind. There are hundreds of fantastic walks in the UK and I plan to walk as many of them as possible, but it’s the long-distance pilgrimages/walks that appeal to me most. I love the idea of the routes linked to saints….they all have a fascinating link with history and since I find the history of the UK absolutely fascinating 😉 these are the routes I’ll focus on first.

Since I’ve decided to walk at least 1 new route of the Camino de Santiago every year for the next 6 years (or more). Researching the different routes has been fascinating. My planned route for September 2018 is the Camino Inglés, frequented by pilgrims from northern Europe, Ireland and the UK as a short easy route to Santiago. I’m also planning to do at least 1 long-distance pilgrimage/walk in the UK each year. So since there is a link between the UK and the Camino Inglés, I’ve decided to precede that walk by following the Pilgrim’s Way from Winchester to Canterbury…many roads lead to Canterbury 😉

Winchester

Winchester

The Camino Inglés. “Sometimes called in Spanish the Antiguo Camino Real, the Camino Inglés provided a short, direct route from Ferrol or A Coruña to Santiago and was therefore used by pilgrims of various nationalities from northern Europe, who had travelled to Galicia by sea”. Ref Confraternity of St James

The Pilgrims’ Way is the historical route taken by pilgrims from Winchester in Hampshire, to the shrine of St Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral in Kent.

To that end, planning my pilgrimage has begun. Google has as always been a trove of information and I found this fantastic website; pilgrims way uk, that not only gives you lots of information about the route, but has a fantastic map highlighting accommodation options, restaurants and shops, points of interest like memorials, historical sites/ruins, monuments and statues and points of interest, but most importantly it highlights churches along the way where you can get your passport stamped. This is VIP!!

canterbury cathedral way of st augustine

Finally through the city walls and so to Canterbury Cathedral

Canterbury, Kent

Canterbury, Kent

From there I’ll leave the next day for A Coruña in Spain and make my way to Ferrol for the start of the Camino Inglés to Santiago de Compostela. I had planned on taking the ferry from Plymouth where they have a ‘pilgrims start’ to Santander and then make my way to Ferrol over a few days, but when I did the pricing it was over £300 for the trip…so that’s off the list….I guess I’ll just have to stick with flying. A shame really as I wanted to make the trip as authentic as possible.

pilgrimage to santiago de compostela, the way of st james,

the body of James being taken by sea to Padron in Galicia Spain before being taken to Santiago

It has been widely accepted that over the centuries ‘the way’, whether here in the UK or indeed even in Europe, has undergone numerous alterations, diversions and even obliteration, depending on the era and which king was on the throne…think Henry VIII who was incredibly destructive. So in effect there is no ‘absolutely real’ pilgrim’s way, but rather an extension or addition of routes that over time have become ‘the way’. There are of course the ‘purists’ who are hell bent on ‘proving’ that one way or the other is the ‘correct way’ but even they, the learned scholars of pilgrimage, cannot agree on which was the ‘original’ way…regardless of the route (someone I knew from a few years ago springs to mind….his arrogance in his ‘certainty’ of the real route was breathtaking…in fact I cut him out of my life due to his bullishness. And he wasn’t even an expert but rather someone who dabbled in the history). Even as I write, the Camino Inglés has undergone a reroute to accommodate the pilgrims who don’t want to follow the previous route over some mountains on day 2…because they have to exert themselves. So ‘the way’ is really dependent on which country you’re in, where you start and your intentions whilst walking. In centuries past, most pilgrims, especially in Europe simply stepped out their front doors and walked to Santiago. When I walked my Camino in September 2017 I followed the Portugues route as marked by the yellow arrows and markers, but since much of the way in Portugal, from Porto to Caminha, is now along recently built boardwalks above the beach, you can be sure that was not the original way.

31 days of gratitude, camino de santiago, walking the camino, portuguese coastal route,

Keep the ocean on your left and head north…

The Pilgrims’ Way is the historic route apparently taken by pilgrims from Winchester to the shrine of St Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral in Kent. The route closely follows a pre-existing ancient track-way generally dated by archaeological finds to around 500–450 BC. The prehistoric route followed a “natural causeway” east to west on the southern slopes of the North Downs, probably in existence since the stone age.

along the pilgrims way north downs

along the Pilgrim’s Way on the North Downs near Oxted

I loved my Camino, I enjoyed every single day despite the pain and exhaustion I endured on some days, but in all honesty, planning the walk is the part I most enjoy. The research unearths some fascinating and often surprising information and of course anything to do with the Roman and earlier eras piques my interest no end and I end up following links across the internet…it’s almost a journey of its own. The frustrating aspect of this research is that I am not able to follow through on much of what I learn and have to bypass the places I discover. If not, I’d be walking forever….the history linked to the various routes is extraordinary, and I’m hard put to not get too enthusiastic about following links. I also get really frustrated because of course I’d like to see it all….but time does not allow.

I was sorting through my possessions in December, in the process of downsizing, and found a book; The Pilgrim’s Way – Nellie Kirkham (published 1948), that I acquired somewhere along the way (sorry for the pun 😉 ). I immediately started reading it and was soon totally absorbed, my desire to walk the route now becoming urgent rather than just a desire. So many fascinating places to see enroute. I wonder how much will have changed since she walked.

After I discovered the Pilgrim’s Way UK website, I immediately set about planning my days. There are so many amazing places and points of interest. Although I’ve been to both Winchester and Guildford a couple of times, I’m pretty keen to explore them again in my capacity of a pilgrim….I’ll have to try find out more about places that pilgrim’s of old would have known….like the castle ruins in Guildford and of course the cathedral in Winchester…which by the way is an amazing place to visit if you’re ever thinking of heading that way.

Meanwhile the route planning continues and next on the list is packing for pilgrimage in the UK, and the route in Spain.

Here are a couple of websites you may find interesting.

http://www.pilgrimswaycanterbury.org/history-of-the-pilgrims-way/

https://www.csj.org.uk/planning-your-pilgrimage/routes-to-santiago/routes-in-spain/the-camino-ingles/

Have you walked any of the Camino routes or pilgrimage routes in the UK? I’d love to hear from you; if you have, please do leave a comment. 🙂

In case you missed the Camino 2017 blog posts; the start of my camino Porto to Vila do Conde

Read Full Post »

I was chatting to my daughter yesterday and remarked that I had been particularly blessed this year. Usually when you get to the end of the year you kinda feel like there is more that could/should be done before the year ends (well I do), and the last few days of December are spent cramming in just a few more activities. But this year I can truly say that I have had a year jam-packed with adventures, and for that, I am truly grateful.

inspirational quotes

Die with memories, not dreams

So to that end I decided to list my 2017 adventures, and was astounded at how much I had actually done, and how many places I have actually been to besides all my Camino 2017 practice walks that took me to some fantastic places. So this is my final blog for 31 Days of Gratitude – Day 31 – 2017 in review.

January

New Year’s Day swim 01.01.2017 Broadstairs Beach, Isle of Thanet, Kent

New Year's Day, Broadstairs

New Year’s Day, Broadstairs

Wedding Dress shopping with my daughter

wedding dress shopping with my daughter

wedding dress shopping…so much fun

Isle of Wight, Hampshire, England

visit the isle of wight

A visit to the isle of Wight

Places I went while I was there; Nettlestone (1086 Domesday Book village),20170116_144130-01 Bembridge Windmilll, Brading Roman Villa, Carisbrooke Castle, Cowes, Ryde, rode on a Hover craft, The Needles and Quarr Abbey.

And Osborne House


Magic Lantern Festival – Chiswick Park, London

Canterbury, Kent

Canterbury, Kent

Canterbury, Kent

February
Oxted, Surrey – the Greenwich Meridian runs through the town

Oxted

A closer look at Oxted

Limpsfield, Surrey – a Domesday Book village

Down House – home of Charles Darwin

Down House; home of Charles Darwin and his family

Down House; home of Charles Darwin and his family

Tatsfield, Surrey – a Domesday Book village

tatsfield surrey

South East England’s highest village; Tatsfield. Ref wikipedia: “In Anglo-Saxon England, Tatsfield lay within Tandridge hundred. In 1086 it was held by Anschitill (Ansketel) de Ros from the Bishop of Bayeux. Its Domesday assets were: ? hide. It had 2 ploughs. It rendered 60 shillings (£3) to its feudal overlords per year.”

Tandridge & Crowhurst, Surrey

Tandridge & Crowhurst

Tandridge & Crowhurst

Dublin, Ireland

 

Trim Castle & Trim, Ireland

March
City of Winchester, Hampshire, England

Winchester

Winchester

Torquay, seaside resort – Devon

torquay

Torquay

April

Pisa, Florence, San Gimignano, Poggibonsi, Sienna, Lucca – Italy

 

May

Newcastle, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

Newcastle, Ireland

Newcastle, Ireland

Belfast, Northern Ireland

 

Giants Causeway, Northern Ireland

 

Dark Hedges – Game of Thrones, N. Ireland

the dark hedges northern ireland

The Dark Hedges – scenes for Game of Thrones were shot in this area

Sevenoaks, Kent, England

 

June
Tonbridge, Kent, England

Ironbridge, Shropshire, England – UNESCO World Heritage Site

Lenham, Kent, England

Lenham

Lenham

July
Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales route – Southwark to Canterbury

Battle of Britain Airshow, Headcorn

St Augustine’s Way – Ramsgate to Canterbury

August
Arundel, and Arundel Castle, West Sussex, England

Bromham, Houghton House with my lovely friends Lynne & Tim and Elstow (birthplace of John Bunyan) – Bedfordshire, England

Bronham, Houghton House, Elstow

Bromham, Houghton House, Elstow

Zip Line with Zip World in London with my daughter

September
Walked the Caminho Portuguese – Porto, Portugal to Santiago, Spain 240 kms – Both UNESCO World Heritage sites

Coimbra, Portugal – UNESCO World Heritage Site

Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain

Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain

Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain

October
Montgomery Castle, Montgomery, Wales

Montgomery Castle, Montgomery, Wales

Montgomery Castle, Montgomery, Wales

November
Caernarfon Castle, Wales – site where Prince Charles was crowned Prince of Wales

Caenarfon Castle, Wales

Caenarfon Castle, Wales

Ffenistogg Railway Line Train ride; Caenarfon to Portmadogg through Snowdonia

Ffenistogg Railway line Caenarfon to Porthmadogg, Wales

Ffenistogg Railway line Caenarfon to Portmadogg, Wales

Climbed Mount Snowdon, Snowdonia National Park, Gwynedd – highest mountain in Wales

Mount Snowdon, Wales

Mount Snowdon, Wales

Montgomery, Powys, Wales – The Treaty of Montgomery was signed 29 September 1267 in Montgomeryshire. By this treaty King Henry III of England acknowledged Llywelyn ap Gruffudd as Prince of Wales.

Montgomery, Wales

Montgomery, Wales

December
Snow in Wales

Snow in Wales

Snow in Wales

Christmas in Broadstairs, Isle of Thanet, Kent

xmas 2017

Christmas 2017 with my delightful family

And in total, between 01.01.2017 & 31.12.2017 I have walked well over 1100 miles.

What an extraordinary year; 2017.IMG_20171231_100927_404

p.s. Days 14-30 Days of Gratitude will follow shortly….I eventually ran out of time 😉

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Cafe Catalina

Life, as told by the caffeine-fueled Cat Ramos

Wake up!

Operation Get A Life

40thousandkm

: around the world :

Dining with Donald

Donald on Dining in and Out.

Laura Bruno Lilly

The road ends, but the journey continues...

Wet and Dusty Roads

Camino stories & other journeys

Roman Life - Food, fountains and fabulous Romans

An authors tales and travel advice to inspire, inform, and help create your Roman experience https://www.amazon.com/author/brontejackson

Londiegan

A Londoner and a San Diegan

The A to Z of Travel

The encyclopaedia for global travellers.