Camino de Santiago

Trip Start May 11, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

(Chelise) Where do we start? What do we say? We havenīt been able to upload any photos until this point or write any entries on our hike across the top of Spain. At the point I write this we are 18 days into our trip. I came into this trip thinking it wasnīt going to be very cool and weīd be racing to each destination to secure a bed, but itīs been so fantastic. Weīre hiking the way of Saint James, approx 750kms with our packs. Loads of people do it all the time. You get a credential which is stamped at everystop to say where youīve been and you get a certificate at the end. There a a lot of different Caminos all over Europe. Camino means path. Weīre doing the one in Spain.

We got to Pamplona from Barcelona and found out we could catch a bus that evening to Roncesvalles which would be our starting point. That night we arrived in a gorgeous, densly treed area in the hills with 2 bars. Each night Peregrinos (Pilgrims) stay in an albergue which is for pilgrims only. They open at a certain time and depending on the individual one, we have anywhere from 4 to 100 beds in a room. Our first night was in a huge place with 100 bunk beds. We were really excited and slept really well after our bocadilla (baguette with ham and cheese) and vino - which we quickly realised would be what we would be eating on a regular basis. Wine here is really cheap and actually cheaper than all other things you can put in your stomach. Itīs a nice ending to the day and helps you sleep when everyone is snoring around you.

Our first day we hiked 27km through gorgeous scenery, cows with bells and wooded areas. We were so charged with excitement and energy we outhiked everyone we saw and only took 1 break in a small town we thought had an alburgue. Itīs here that we met our 2 awesome travelling companians. Fleur, a fellow Aussie and Amber, a Canuk!! We have been inseparable since and itīs sooo nice to finally have some girls around more than boys (not that I donīt love boys - I do).
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