The Tower of Hercules

Continued from A Coruña Beaches.

As this map below shows, there are a lot of things to see and do in A Coruña. Click image to enlarge.

After I left the beach, I saw some nice fountains, an aquarium, and sculptures. Aquarium Finisterrae is rated #6 out of 79 things to do in A Coruña, according to TripAdvisor. But I couldn’t linger: the Torre de Hercules was beckoning me, so ultreia e suseia (onward and upward.)

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Camino Francés 2017 Route Report – It’s a wrap!

Santa Cruz, California couple, Cathy Seitchik Diaz and David Stewart, recently completed their third Camino Francés.  They have shared the stages the Camino Francés—complete with daily distances, photos, observations and useful tips—in a four-part series:

Cathy is, quite possibly, the world’s happiest pilgrim!

Happy pilgrim Cathy Seitchik Diaz walks up the hill from Castrojerez

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Getting from Paris to Camino Inglés

Planning how to get to your Camino starting point can be easy and fun with the variety of apps and websites available. My favorites are the Rome 2 Rio App for transportation, booking.com for accommodations, and Google Maps for research and city navigation.

A Coruña is one of the two Camino Inglés starting points, but it is only 75 km (47 miles) from Santiago. In order to get a Compostela certificate, you must walk at least 100 km, so the more popular starting point is Ferrol, 118 km (73 miles) from Santiago. I didn’t want to skip A Coruña because I had heard that it is an amazing place, so I worked it into my pre-Camino itinerary.

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Camino Inglés 2017 Stages

A Coruña is one of the two Camino Inglés starting points, but it is only 75 km (47 miles) from Santiago. In order to get a Compostela certificate, you must walk at least 100 km, so the more popular starting point is Ferrol, 118 km (73 miles) from Santiago. I didn’t want to skip A Coruña because I had heard that it is an amazing place, so I worked it into my pre-Camino itinerary.

Pre-Camino Day 1 May 28

Hotel: Coruña Mar
Walked: 21 km / 13 miles

Pre-Camino Day 2 May 29 
A Coruña-Mont San Pedro. Bus to Ferrol.
Hotel: Parador de Ferrol (Reserve at Parador.es for pilgrim rate)
Walked: 14 km /  9 miles

This chalkboard at the restaurant in Pension Maragoto shows the stages and half-stages of the Camino Ingles. I decided to split the longest stage between Betanzos and Bruma.

This chalkboard at the restaurant in Pension Maragoto shows the stages and half-stages of the Camino Inglés. I decided to split the longest stage between Betanzos and Bruma by staying in Presedo. This made for a comfortable paced seven-day Camino.  Some people power through it in just five days. If you have eight days to walk this route, I would recommend splitting the stage between Pontedeume and Betanzos too.

My Camino Inglés 2017 Stages

Camino Day 1:  First Morning of Camino Inglés in Ferrol

Camino Inglés Day 1: Ferrol to Neda
Private Room: Pension Maragoto
Exploring Neda  
Walked: 15 km / 9.5 miles w/backpack + 4 miles site-seeing around Neda.

Camino Inglés Day 2: Neda to Pontedeume
Private Room: Hotel Eumesa

Camino Day 3: Pontedeume to Betanzos
Bunkbed: Albergue de Peregrinos de Betanzos

Camino Day 4: Betanzos to Presedo
Bunkbed: Albergue de Peregrinos de Presedo

Camino Day 5: Presedo to Bruma
Bunkbed: Albergue de Peregrinos de Bruma

Camino Day 6: Bruma to Sigueiro
Private room:  Albergue Quinta Andaina

Camino Day 7: Sigueiro to Santiago

Santiago June 5 – 7
Private room: Seminario Menor (3 nights 15 Euros/night)

Santiago June 8
Private room: Hotel Bonaval

June 9 flight to Paris on Vueling
June 9-12 Paris Marais neighborhood
June 13-14 Train trip to Trouville Sur Mer
June 15-17 Paris Montmartre neighborhood
June 18 Home, sweet home!

I will post detailed route reports on this blog. If you cannot wait, I posted some photos on a photo album Camino Inglés 2017 at Facebook.com/caminoprovides.

I also shared some photos on instagram at instagram.com/caminoprovides.

It was so good to be back in España! France was fun too.

Buen Camino!

View from my room in Neda

View from my room in Neda. I’m glad I didn’t take the shortcut bridge to Pontedeume!

Pilgrim Interviews: Four Men from Malta

I am happy to share another collaboration with James Portelli, the guest blogger who wrote route reports for Camino Inglés/Finisterre among many other insightful posts. For this one, James interviewed four friends from Malta who walked the Camino Francés in September and October 2016.

From left to right: John, Alex, Raymond and Pierre

From left to right: John, Alex, Raymond and Pierre

James and John, one of the peregrinos mentioned in this piece, had participated with other Maltese pilgrims on earlier Caminos raising over € 100,000 to support local charities.

Below is the interview, ‘Ultreya Pellegrini Maltin,’ which translates to ‘Onward Maltese Pilgrims.’ Enjoy!


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New Route Report: Vía de la Plata

I am happy to announce a new route report written by my friend Brien Crothers, another Northern California native. Brien hit the trail for thirty-three days of walking the Vía de la Plata in Wester…

More:  Vía de la Plata with Camino Sanabrés Variant

30 Years of Pilgrim Statistics

Every January, the Oficina de Acogida de Peregrinos (Pilgrims’ Welcome Office) in Santiago, Spain and the American Pilgrims on the Camino (APOC) publish the pilgrim statistics for the previous year. Among the various data is a chart showing numbers of pilgrims receiving Compostelas for each year dating back to 1986. When I first started to learn about the Camino, I was intrigued by the dramatic spikes for some years.

2016statsyears

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Camino Baltica, by James Portelli

Introduction: The Pomeranian Camino

When people talk about the Way of St. James, the more traditional walks in and around Galicia tend to spring to mind. But the fact is that Santiago de Compostela used to be one of the most popular pilgrimage sites and was visited by pilgrims from all Catholic kingdoms, princedoms, and bishopric states of the old world. This meant that travelers were journeying to Santiago de Compostela not only from, say, Le Puy (France), Salzburg (Austria), or Regensburg (Germany) but also from farther afield.

PomeranianWayMapLg

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My Camino Portugués Stages

The route I walked on the Camino Portugués Central is highlighted in red and the cities I stayed in are underlined on the map below.

Caminho Portugues Central (See below for map without highlights)

* See below for a full map without highlights

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Camino Inglés 2016 by James Portelli

This is a follow-up of the Camino Collaborations post where I introduced James Portelli as the route reporter for Camino Inglés. I just published the final episode of his five day adventure from Ferrol to Santiago on this page:
thecaminoprovides.com/routes/ingles2016/

Here’s a great photo of the larger group of Maltese pilgrims they met up with at the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. I can totally feel their joy and jubilation!

In front of the Cathedral in Santiago

James dubbed it, “the Rain Camino,” as it happened to be during one of the wettest springs in Europe.  Some of his friends called it “the cardio Camino” due to the challenging ascents and descents they had on the first three days. Whatever you want to call it, I am excited to follow in their footsteps next spring as I plan to do the Camino Inglés. I think I’ll take the shortcut over the bridge on the first day though. 😉

Much respect for James and his wife Tucc for sharing their adventures on this blog. I know that I and other pilgrims who plan to walk the Camino Inglés will benefit from these route reports. Their journey continued to Finisterre, a perfect way to complete their Camino, so  I’ll be sharing the Santiago to Finisterre route within the next few days. Read all stages of their Camino at: thecaminoprovides.com/routes/ingles2016/.

Take a look at the great Camino route map I found, courtesy of the Brierley Guides website, http://www.caminoguides.com/route.html

Camino Routes

This is featured on a new Routes page that I’ll be adding route reports to.

Be a Camino Route Reporter

If you have plans to walk a Camino this year and would like to be a route reporter for the many other Caminos, contact me.

#CaminoIngles #CaminodeSantiago