Camino Inglés: Arrival in Santiago

Continued from Sigüeiro to Santiago.

When I started my walk from Sigüeiro, it was sunny and warm, but by the time I reached Santiago, the sky was grey and it felt like it would rain at any moment. This was exactly like my arrival in Santiago last year after walking the Camino Portugués. However, I was in a completely different state of mind this time, having learned a great lesson. I had prebooked a room so I wasn’t desperately trying to find a bed for the night. This time around, I didn’t care if it poured; I was going straight to Praza do Obradoiro by the Cathedral.

I headed right for the center of Praza Obradoiro and felt a euphoric sense of joy rush over me. I made it. My second Camino. And I was so high on life! Below is a video of my arrival.

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Camino Inglés: Sigüeiro to Santiago

Continued from Bruma to Sigüeiro.

Santiago or bust! This was the seventh, and final, day of walking the Camino Inglés. And I was just getting warmed up! Until I have enough time off work to walk a longer Camino, these shorter variations satisfy the calling.

First stop, Restaurante Cortés, across the street from Pension Andaina. I sidled up to the bar and ordered a café con leche.  Sometimes you get a sweet treat when you order coffee, but this time it was warm churros and cake!

Generous breakfast tapas on the Camino Ingles

Generous breakfast tapas on the Camino Inglés.

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Camino Inglés: Bruma to Sigüeiro

Continued from Bruma, where two Caminos converge.

What comes up must come down. Sure, it was a longer stage of 16 miles (25 km), but I was in for an easier walk on this day because it was mostly downhill, as the graph below shows.

I was out bright and early (for me at least) because I stayed in a municipal albergue and pilgrims need to be out by 8 a.m. On my way out of town, I was hoping the Casa Graña was open for a café con leche. I had forgotten to get a stamp in my credential the night before. They were totally closed, but I spotted a cute bunny hopping around their patio. Here’s the video of the Bruma Bunny.

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Camino Inglés: Bruma, Where Two Caminos Converge

Continued from Presedo to Bruma.

After the rest break at the AC/DC mural, I had enough energy to forge ahead, and I had a good tune in my head. I was keeping a lookout for the place where the Camino Inglés routes (one starting in A Coruña and one in Ferrol) converge. I thought this fork in the path might be it, but the spray painted arrow on the tree was way too subtle.

Then, I saw the two-sided shell way marker on a farm road. Continue reading

Camino Inglés: Presedo to Bruma

Continued from Betanzos to Presedo.

By splitting the Betanzos-to-Bruma stage (28 km), the walk from Presedo was more manageable at 10 miles (16 km). However, it had the steepest climb yet, with an elevation gain of nearly 2,000 feet.

Leaving Presedo was pleasant. Even though it wasn’t raining, the air was cool and heavy with moisture. Perfect conditions for hiking the Camino.

I saw a fixer-upper, an orange slug, barking dogs, and happy cows, as I trekked southwest toward Hospital de Bruma. I took a few short video clips to capture the beauty and feeling of this stage. Continue reading

Camino Inglés: Betanzos to Presedo

Continued from Exploring Betanzos.

This day’s hike was short but sweet, because I split this most challenging stage by staying in Presedo.  As my tracked hike screenshot shows, it was 8.5 miles (14 km), but it was still  a challenging and hilly hike with a 1565 ft. elevation gain.

Shell marker in Betanzos

It was a Dirty Girl gaiter and skirt day.

The hike out of Betanzos was steep and went from cobblestone to asphalt to gravel, and eventually, dirt paths over rolling hills with farms.

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Camino Inglés: Exploring Betanzos

Continued from Pontedeume to Betanzos

Arriving in Betanzos

Arriving in Betanzos

The entrance into Betanzos, a medieval town, is through the arched stone walls and cobbled streets. When I arrived, I was completely exhausted. Fortunately, the albergue had a friendly hospitalero, an available bunk bed, and because it was a newer municipal albergue, everything, including the bathrooms, was in much better shape.

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Camino and Hiking Events in January 2018

Happy New Year!  I’m squeezing in one last post of 2017 because there is a lot going on in January, starting with the New Year’s Day hike in the Oakland hills.  See more Camino-related events and hikes in the SF Bay Area below.

Free Oakland Hiking Tour on New Year’s Day and MLK Day (Jan 15)

Start the new year with a hike from Oakland’s Dimond District up to Joaquin Miller Park. This beautiful 7.5 mile hike will go through Oakland’s Dimond Canyon and Joaquin Miller Park, and will finish with a spectacular view of San Francisco Bay.

Oakland Hills Hike July 4 2017 with peregrinas Sheila and Abigail

Oakland Hills Hike July 4 2017 with peregrinas Sheila and Abigail

New Years Day: Monday, January 1 at 9:00am (leave promptly at 9:10am)
Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Monday, January 15 at  9:00am (leave promptly at 9:10am) Register here.

Where: Meet at La Farine Bakery: 3411 Fruitvale Ave, Oakland, CA 94602 – free parking in back
Details: Steady, 7.5-mile hike in Oakland’s largest wildland trail system, with some steep uphills and downhills, and narrow trails through the canyons. Bring water, sturdy shoes, and bus fare ($2.25).

“From right here in the heart of urban Oakland, we’re connected to a trail system that spans the entire East Bay. You could hike for days and days.”..—Stan Dodson, Tour Leader

I went on the hike in January and July and LOVED it! It makes for great Camino training. Here’s a highlight video I made. As you can see, it is a dog-friendly hike, as long as your dog is friendly and can handle hills.

Lake Merritt Walk + Optional Lunch & Wayfaring Film Screening
Saturday, January 6, 10:30 am

December 2017 Lake Merritt Walk

December 2017 Lake Merritt Walk

This is an informal gathering that takes place on the first Saturday of the month, rain or shine. The group meets at the pergola on the east side of Oakland’s Lake Merritt at 10:30 AM and starts walking promptly at 10:45 AM. It’s a level, 3.3 mile walk around the lake that takes about an hour. All are welcome. Afterwards, there is an optional gathering for lunch at Barlago Italian Kitchen, so bring cash to split the checks.

WayfaringDuring lunch, there will be a screening the Camino documentary Wayfaring – A Jaunt Along The Camino de Santiago. This film follows Scott “Squatch” Herriott, an Appalachian and Pacific Crest Trail veteran, on the Camino Francés in the spring of 2013. He interviews pilgrims, albergue owners, hospitaleros (volunteers of the Camino), and a few locals who like to flirt with young peregrinas. Read Wayfaring Film Review

Free film screening courtesy of Scott Herriott of Squatch Films.

RSVP: Space at Barlago is limited. Join on Facebook event for lunch and film.
Non-Facebook users email me at to RSVP for lunch.

Directions to the walk: Take BART to the 19th Street Oakland station (Lake Merritt station will be closed this weekend) and navigate your way to the Pergola. If you drive, make sure to give yourself enough time to find parking, as there are many activities on Saturday mornings in the Lake Merritt area.

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Camino Inglés: Pontedeume to Betanzos

Continued from Exploring Pontedeume.

The Pontedeume-to-Betanzos stage was 22.5 km (14 miles) and was a steep climb for the first segment and more ups and downs throughout the day. The graph below shows how steep it was with a 2,270 ft. elevation gain!

Next time I do this route, I will split this stage to stay in Miño so I can spend one more night by the river and have a more leisurely walk of roughly seven miles on both days.  This will also allow for an earlier arrival in Betanzos, a town worthy of exploring more.

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Camino Inglés: Exploring Pontedeume

Continued from Neda to Pontedeume

After our amazing time frolicking in the waves at Playa Magdalena, Nancy and I headed to Pontedeume, which is just across a 14th-century bridge.  My feet were a little salty and sandy from the beach so I walked those last couple of miles in my Z-Trail sandals, with my shoes strapped to my backpack.

Crossing bridge to Pontedeume

Crossing bridge to Pontedeume

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