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.

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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

 

Montserrat Visit Report: A Day to Remember

Montserrat: A Day to Remember
by James Portelli

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Introduction

The Camino Aragones is arguably the longest Camino on Spanish soil, starting either in Barcelona or in Montserrat and continuing for over 1,000 km to Santiago Compostela.

We are starting the Camino Inglés soon but decided to experience a taste of Catalunya and visit Montserrat first. Montserrat is another renowned pilgrimage site and, being 45 km from Barcelona, can be combined with Manreza for a 4 or 5 day Camino with a day of rest in these two picturesque places.

How To Get There

We decided to travel by train from Plaza de España in Barcelona. There are various ticket options from train only to a full day all-inclusive ticket that covers the train, cable car, and funicular, as well as entry to the museum and Basilica. Even with the all-inclusive option there is still a fair amount of hiking that can be undertaken on Montserrat and, therefore, trekking gear and a walking stick is recommended for those who wish to explore beyond the hermitage to experience a panoramic view of Catalunya. The prices for the ticket options vary between 22 and 46 euros. We went for the all-inclusive ticket in order to avoid queuing at the various places of interest on Montserrat. If traveling by train, do not take one later than 9:00 a.m., since Montserrat does require a full day to experience.

La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

James Portelli is working his way toward Ferrol, Galicia, where he’ll report from the Camino Inglés. He just sent me a guest post about Gaudi’s famous masterpiece-in-progress in Barcelona.  I saw La Sagrada Familia in 1992 and thought it would never be completed. However, during my visits in 2007 and 2010, I was impressed with the progress! It is truly a must-see when in Barcelona.

La Sagrada Familia
By James Portelli

Introduction

With our Camino rendezvous at Santiago Airport scheduled for the 12th May, my wife and I decided to land in Barcelona, Spain, 5 days before to savor Catalunya. Our ‘to-do list’ included Sagrada Familia and Montserrat and otherwise do what tourists do before we donned the gear of peregrines Ferrol-bound to commence the Camino Inglés.

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Camino Collaborations

Happy May Day! I’ll be on the last 7-8 stages of the Camino Portugués Central route later this month.  Next year I plan to walk the Camino Inglés, and in 2018 I’ll share my experience on the Camino Francés. However, I want to provide details on these routes sooner, so I am collaborating with people who are walking this spring.  Camino collaboration was one of my intentions for 2016  for the blog, so I’m happy to introduce James Portelli as an official Route Reporter for the Camino Inglés 2016.

James and his wife Rituccia (“Tucc” for short) reside in Malta. They will meet up with friends on May 12th to start the Camino Inglés on May 13th  from Ferrol. After reaching Santiago, they’ll continue to Finisterre, so we’ll get to see a bonus report “from the end of the world.”

James takes gorgeous photos and documents his travels with the perfect amount of practical info and thoughtful reflection. Here’s a sweet intro that James provided to get a glimpse of what’s to come.

And the Journey Continues …

By James Portelli

Life is a journey mantra

The above is a photo of my mantra which I scribbled on a purposely available wall in a small tavern close to Hotel Langosteira in Finisterre in Autumn 2015.

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