We spent 10 days trekking across northern Spain through 110 degree heat and pouring rain, staying in small bunks in monasteries (albergues) and carrying 25 pound backpacks. 200 miles later (with very sore feet) we arrive in Santiago, to see the remains of St. James. And this is supposed to be relaxing?
Date(s): July 23-Aug 5, 2005. Album by Michael Bang. Photos by Michael Bang. 1 - 24 of 84 Total. 3647 Visits.
1 Day 1 - Leon Cathedral This is where we started the Camino de Santiago. Some start near France, but most start around the 100km marker. We started at about 300kms away.
2 In Front of the Leon Cathedral Getting ready to head out.
3 Our First Trail Marker There were some yellow painted arrows on the ground or on buildings that helped us find the way to Santiago. You can see the Leon Cathedral in the background.
4 Real Basilica de San Isidoro An excellent example of Romanesque cathedrals. Consecrated in 1063 to receive the sacred relics of San Isidoro, Bishop of Seville.
5 The Hostel in Leon Originally a hostel for pilgrims, this has been converted into a nice hotel.
6 Day 2 The Templar Castle In Ponferrada, the Templar Castle was built by the Knights Templar. Rumor has it the Holy Grail is buried here.
7 Ponferrada Walking the main street in Ponferrada to the museum.
8 Vineyard Along the Camino Too bad they weren't ready for drinking...
9 Elana on the Camino Approaching an old cemetery.
10 Villafranca del Bierzo At the end of the 28km trek, we arrived in Villafranca. This is the 16th-century castle of the Marquesses.
11 Day 3 - Elana Leaving Trabadelo A small village of about 10 buildings.
12 Portelo Elana befriended an old lady in Portelo. One of about 20 residents on this small village. Time to learn Spanish!
13 Church in the Valley There's a small town in the background. That's our next stop.
14 Mike on the Camino Most of the trail, we saw no one. Every now and then we'd run into other "Peregrinos".
15 Steep Climb to O Cebreiro Reminded us of the Inca Trail, or Half Dome.
16 Running with the Bulls Elana re-enacting the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona! This town, Laguna de Castilla, had about 8 residents.
17 Entering Galicia This marker represents entering the province of Galicia. Only 152km to go!
18 Finally! I nice hotel room! When we arrived in O Cebreiro (a town of about 12 buildings), the entire town was booked. Luckily, there was one "luxury" suite left, so we took it. Whew!
19 Day 4 - Arrow on Tree Another marker on a tree, letting us know which fork to take. You always had to keep your eyes open for a marker.
20 Local Church Each town, no matter how small, had a church, just large enough for the local population.
21 Rain, rain, rain As we got closer to the coast, it rained more and more. Good thing we had rain gear!
22 Another Small Church For a town of about 10 residents.
23 Triacastela Tricastela ("three castles"), founded in the 9th-century, was a good stopping point. This village is known for stonemasonry. Pilgrims were once forced to carry stones on the trail to another city to help build a church. Not me!