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The Camino de Santiago
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. 3626 Visits.
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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.

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In Front of the Leon Cathedral
Getting ready to head out.

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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.

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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.

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The Hostel in Leon
Originally a hostel for pilgrims, this has been converted into a nice hotel.

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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.

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Ponferrada
Walking the main street in Ponferrada to the museum.

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Vineyard Along the Camino
Too bad they weren't ready for drinking...

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Elana on the Camino
Approaching an old cemetery.

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Villafranca del Bierzo
At the end of the 28km trek, we arrived in Villafranca.  This is the 16th-century castle of the Marquesses.

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Day 3 - Elana Leaving Trabadelo
A small village of about 10 buildings.

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Portelo
Elana befriended an old lady in Portelo.  One of about 20 residents on this small village.  Time to learn Spanish!

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Church in the Valley
There's a small town in the background.  That's our next stop.

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Mike on the Camino
Most of the trail, we saw no one.  Every now and then we'd run into other "Peregrinos".

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Steep Climb to O Cebreiro
Reminded us of the Inca Trail, or Half Dome.

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Running with the Bulls
Elana re-enacting the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona!  This town, Laguna de Castilla, had about 8 residents.

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Entering Galicia
This marker represents entering the province of Galicia.  Only 152km to go!

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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!

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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.

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Local Church
Each town, no matter how small, had a church, just large enough for the local population.

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Rain, rain, rain
As we got closer to the coast, it rained more and more.  Good thing we had rain gear!

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Another Small Church
For a town of about 10 residents.

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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!

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Road Through Triacastela
Rush hour.

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