Border crossing into Spain
Just before 06:00 in the morning I start my walk from Saint Jean Pied de Port. It’s going to be a warm day and I’ve got a big climb ahead. Around 09:30 I cross the border between France and Spain. What a magical moment! I also have a magical view and figuratively & literally I feel like I’m in the clouds. At ease I walk the rest of the journey to Roncevalles.
From Roncevalles it’s 790 km to Santiago. I’m really looking forward to it!
All of a sudden I encounter more fellow walkers than usual, a lot of pilgrims start their journey to Santiago in Saint Jean Pied de Port. They just started ‘fresh’ and I overhear complains about shoes and blisters, very recognizable…
Starting in Pamplona I walk via Logrono to Villambistia near Burgos. With excellent walking conditions, it’s much cooler than previously in France. Currently it’s between 7 and 11 degrees which is unusual for Spain.
During my world travels I’ve stayed in many hostels, but for the variety I now choose to sleep and eat in small guest houses. Most of the time the host cooks some food and in flawed English and Spanish we try to have a conversation. I’m absolutely loving it.
Camino Frances is a busy part of the route where the most important stuff is taken care of : Food, water and sleep. In every village I come across a public water faucet and a nice restaurant for coffee or lunch.
In front and behind me there are always a few walkers. One of them, with a large beard, is already walking for weeks (from Prague) and somebody else is walking on flip-flops?? Ah, that person is suffering from blisters…. Almost everyday I see happy Philippe from France. Everybody has their own reasons for walking, there’s something cosy about it.
I see purple lavender fields…
I see the sunrise over the valley….
I taste the local Rioja wine and feel a happy person.
From Burgos to Leon
It’s a long and flat area with lots of farmland, just like France really, only a bit more arid. Sometimes I put on a motivational piece of music and happily sing along. Like Armin van Buuren “It’s such a beautiful life… dance the night foreeeeeeverrrrrr”. This way, I’m making real progress.
Along the way I still visit a lot of churches. Some are completely clad with gold. I also visit Burgos and Leon, nice cities which both have a gigantic cathedral, beautiful!
Everywhere there are yellow arrows which direct you to the route; on the floor, walls and posts. It makes it very easy to follow and I don’t have to keep an eye on my route anymore.
It’s a lot less busy on the road than I previously in Roncevalles noticed. I sometimes walk many kilometers without seeing anybody walking in front or behind me.
Almost in Santiago!
I’m having a really good time. Maximum enjoyment.
After Leon I’ve once again walked in the beautiful mountains! In the morning I usually start walking around 07:00 AM and enjoy the extraordinary sunrises and valleys filled with clouds. When the sun starts shining, the clouds vanish into thin air.
Cruz de Ferro
The rocks and pebbles around this cross are put there by pilgrims and rid them of possible problems, they leave the burden behind.
I also leave a little pebble and realise that I currently don’t experience any problems whatsoever. What a good feeling.
Soon I’ll arrive in Finisterre and I will have accomplished what I wanted to accomplish, very special. At this moment, I can’t imagine not walking anymore. But first, towards Santiago!
Daydreaming about century old routes walked by pilgrims all through the ages, that just like me cross mountains and forests walking to Santiago de Compostela…. But arriving in Santiago feels different, it’s just busy and touristy and I’m not aware of the journey I just finished. I pick up my certificate and continue my journey directly to Finisterre.
To the end of the world
The ‘Camino’ follows an old road to Cabo Fisterra, the cape on the end of the world, also known as Finisterre. There, on the end of the world, the sun went down and began the empire of the dead and of the rebirth. In the middle ages many christian pilgrims followed this old tradition, to walk on from Santiago to Fisterra.
And now, I’m walking these centuries old trail to Finisterre. It’s a beautiful walk that takes four days. As soon as I can see the sea, I can ‘smell’ the finish line and the smile on my face is unstoppable.
I arrive in Finisterre and take some time to rest. Then I am well aware of the journey I’ve conquered. What a exceptional performance and insane amount of kilometers!
I’m also a bit sad it’s over, but a very happy feeling predominates.
I feel ZEN and happy, met so many nice people and had a lot of interesting insights. It’s all just excellent!
A journey I’ll never forget
Would you like to read part I and part II to Santiago de Compostela?
Part I https://www.marianaroundtheworld.com/en/europe/to-santiago-de-compostela/
Part II https://www.marianaroundtheworld.com/en/europe/to-santiago-de-compostela-part-ii/
Saint Jean Pied de Port – Roncevalles – Zubiri – Pamplona – Maneru – Los Arcos – Logrono – Najera – Granon – Villambistia – Cardenuela Riopico (nabij Burgos) (300 km) – Tardajos – Castrojeriz – Poblacion de Campos – Calzadilla de Cueza – Calzada del Coto – Reliegos – Leon (500 km) – Hospital de Orbigo – Murias de Rechivaldo – El Acebo – Camponaraya – Vega de Valcarce – Triacastela – Morgade (725 km) – Palas de Rei – A Calle – Santiago de Compostela – Negreira – Picota – Cee – Finisterre (925 km)