Coda: The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela 

Since it took a little over a month to get here, Mikey decided to devote a full day to the Cathedral of Saint James.   The most famous facade is known as the Puerta de Gloria. Although the Baroque exterior which is being renovated was a later cosmetic addition, the church was built in the …

Coda: A Little Trip to La Coruña

Housekeeping note: Last year, Mikey used the word "fin" to preface all posts following his and Frank's arrival in Santiago. It was intended to reference the Spanish/Latin word for end. T.S. Eliot aside ("...to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from"), there is still more to come. …

Camino Day 28: Sobrado dos Monxes to Arzua 

We bade farewell to the monastery today and headed to the penultimate stop Mikey and Frank made on their pilgrimage last year - Arzua.        Although this monastery is only part of the Northern Camino, we would quickly arrive in Arzua where the our route joins up with the French and Primitive Caminos. The …

Camino Day 27: Miraz to Sobrado dos Monxes

Mikey awoke well rested and ready for the last real uphill part of the Camino. While it would be much less dramatic than previous climbs, today features the highest physical point of the Camino del Norte and a whole lot of wilderness.        The part Mikey was not expecting was how close we …

Camino Day 23: Lourenzá to Abadin

The guidebook said that today would be hard. The guidebook said that today would be long and uphill. The guidebook said nothing about what to do when the achillies  region of Mikey's left foot was so blistered that he would have to make one of the steepest and longest ascents of the Camino in flip-flops. …

Camino Day 17: La Isla to Villaviciosa 

There is really nothing like going to sleep in a thunderstorm. The even pattering of the rain on the roof and the rolling thunder rumbling in the distance are things Mikey has grown to miss since moving out west.   When this is repeated the next morning, however, it is not as enjoyable. You see, …

Camino Day 16: Ribadesella to La Isla

Just a few observations before we get started: 1) La Isla isn't an island. 2) Mikey almost skipped the walk today. 3) Rain blows - especially when it's blowing. 4) Considering said rain, we don't have a lot of pictures of today.   Remember how we opened the windows last night to hear the rain? …

Camino Day 15: Llanes to Ribadesella

Today was pretty long, but the sights were stunning as usual. Upon leaving Llanes, Mikey noticed that he had not refilled the water bottles - oops. Finding no fountains along the way he really felt like he was up (*something*) Creek.   Nope, it was just Poo! Yeah, that's right, there's a town called Poo. …

Camino Day 13: Comillas to Colombres

Today we said goodbye to the province of Cantabria and began our trek through Asturias. Although the walk was an easy-going 20 miles, Mikey wanted to have the included breakfast at his hotel. As it didn't start until 9am, we left a little later than expected.   Aside from being "carb-o-licious," it was just cute! …

Camino Day 12: Santillana del Mar to Comillas 

Today's hike was all pavement. While that was a bit tough on the feet, the views coming out of Santillana were rather stunning. Also, It rained a bit last night and so the day was overcast and cool. After yesterday's 90+ average, 68*F was so welcomed!   These Cantabrians really take pride in dressing up …

Camino Day 11: Santander to Santillana del Mar

Today was definitely hard leaving Santander. After hitting snooze way too many times and crawling back under the covers, Mikey put it best by likening getting up with skydiving. I mean, why would you jump out of a perfectly good plane?! Well, the first step is the hardest. Early on, we crossed a bridge that …

Camino Day 10: Guemes to Santander

After a peaceful night's rest at Father Ernesto's, Mikey enjoyed a leisurely breakfast of coffee, local fruit from the estate, and fresh-baked bread with homemade jams (also from fruit grown on the property.) We reluctantly bid adiós to the British couple and headed off for an easy day of coastal hiking.   Yep, this was …

Camino Day 9: Laredo to Guemes

Today began a bit later as the first ferry to Santoña departed at 9am. Ergo, Mikey had a leisurely breakfast of coffee and stale bread courtesy of out nuns of perpetual prohibition of pleasure. I mean, for 10€, couldn't they have sprung for juice or doughnuts?! Just sayin...   Anyways, we had a 5km walk …

Camino Day 5: Markina-Xemein to Gernika

Today began much better than the previous. After coffee with a couple of new-found Irish friends, Mikey headed out of town for a brief walk alongside the highway.   From the very start, the path was well marked and (most importantly) dry!   Still, Mikey stopped to empty and then refill his water bottles with …

Camino Day 4: Deba to Markina-Xemein

According to the Eroski "Northern Camino Guide" (Eroski is like a Basque Super Target), today's trek is one of if not the hardest of the entire Northern Camino. As the blisters and calluses have begun, Mikey took an afternoon nap after the beach yesterday and got up extra early this morning.   Oh, and that …

Camino Day 3: Getaria to Deba

Following a mostly restless night, Mikey was happy to get on the trail this morning. Although early departures have thus far resulted in more free time in the afternoon to explore, he's identified two major drawbacks to this strategy. 1) There are no cafés open at 6am, so this means no morning coffee. 2) It's …

Camino Day 1: Irun to San Sebastián 

So, there's that classic "journey of a thousand miles" bit, but Mikey's just doing 500. Still appropriate? Anyways, he got started at 6:03am local time and it was 17*C/63*F. While he almost considered a jacket, the uphill climb left him soaking wet in just short sleeves. But, we're getting ahead of ourselves. On the way …

Paris or Bust!

Mikey finally made it to Europe! His direct flight from Atlanta to Paris was rather uneventful with the exception of that rough part when he made what he now surmises was an inappropriate reference to the film Airplane instead of simply declining the fish entree. (Yeah, by now he's probably on an FAA watchlist somewhere out …