Santiago de Compostela: The Food & Beverage Edition

Yep, you guessed it - this is a whole post dedicated to food and drink found at the end of the Way. Regardless of which path a pilgrim takes, he ends up here and gets to try some amazing dishes. Part reward and part exploration of Spanish and Galician gastronomy, Santiago is a food and …

Camino Day 39: Ponte Ulla to Santiago de Compostela

Since we scored a private room for our last night on the Camino, there was no rustling of backpacks to wake us up early. Ergo, we slept until a little after 7 am and finally made our way down for coffee a shortly after 8. Today's walk to Santiago was a mere 21km, so we …

Camino Day 35: Xunqueira de Ambía to Ourense

Maybe it was the clean laundry or, perhaps, the early bedtime, but we slept soundly last night and were eager to get on the road. After all, there's a private room with cotton towels waiting just 25km away. (Look, just try wearing all synthetic clothing and sleeping in a different bed every night for two …

Camino Day 30: Asturianos to Puebla de Sanabria

Last night was a nightmare. As in, we bunked near the absolute worst snorer Mikey has ever experienced - and this isn't his first time at the proverbial rodeo. From the rapid-fire gasping for breath to the sound of respiratory drowning and explosive bronchial thunder, we can only surmise that the offender is a very …

Camino Day 29: Rionegro del Puente to Asturianos

We slept a little late today since the cafe didn't open until 8 am and Mikey really needed coffee today. Many Camino towns have various displays of pilgrim-related art. A lot of it is by local artists and approved by local councils. Most of it is pretty bad. The weather also appeared to be really …

Camino Day 28: Tábara to Rionegro del Puente

With the exception of two loud pilgrims who were stomping around at 5:30 am, We were the first to leave the albergue just after having coffee at 7 am. Let's face it - we can get an early start while still maintaining civility. The sunrise was very beautiful this morning and it looked as though …

Camino Day 25: Villanueva de Campeán to Zamora

The albergue emptied out rather quickly this morning as all were excited about the short hike (18km/11 miles) into the walled city of Zamora. It's funny how distances like these become negligible when one averages between 30 and 40km each day. But, as expected, there are always those who do more and those who do …

Camino Day 24: Calzada de Valdunciel to Villanueva de Campeán

Stereotypes be damned, our German bunk mates were not very punctual this morning. So, as usual, Mikey counted it as a win since he was not the last to set out this morning. This was the creek over which we crossed this morning. As it was just 7:30 am, we caught a beautiful sunrise that …

Camino Day 23: Salamanca to Calzada de Valdunciel

As we've mentioned before, one of the hardest parts of staying in a private room at a hotel is leaving it behind. So, instead of waking early to beat the AM bathroom rush, we hit snooze and relaxed knowing that there was no competition for sinks or whatnot this morning. Yes, we packed most of …

Camino Day 21: Fuenterroble de Salvatierra to Morille

We had the option today of taking one of two paths. Practically equal in distance, one led through two towns to our destination while the other climbed up a mountain and had no stops en route to refill on water or food. Given our double day yesterday (and still sore feet), we decided to opt …

Camino Day 20: Aldeanueva del Camino to Fuenterroble de Salvatierra

As we mentioned before, today was to be a "marathon day." By this, we mean exceeding the 42 kilometers that comprise a normal marathon race. Why do this? Well, Mikey got a really good rate on a hotel for our scheduled rest days in Salamanca but forgot to check its cancellation policy prior to booking. …

Camino Day 19: Oliva de Plasencia to Aldeanueva de Camino

What a wonderful night of sleep we had! The beds were so comfortable and Mikey barely noticed anyone else in the room. As a very diplomatic pilgrim put it, "Oh, Mikey, you're a very light snorer." Hmmm... On our exit, we encountered still more crocheted decorations about the town. Let's just say A for effort …

Camino Day 18: Galisteo to Oliva de Plasencia

We left the walled city of Galisteo in an early morning fog. While not unusual to experience morning fog in these parts, the river crossing and dramatic views of the city played well with it. This is a view from a medieval bridge that spans across the river. Looking back on the city was almost …

Camino Day 16: Casar de Cáceres to Cañaveral

Wow, these pilgrims were on the move this morning! We woke just before 7 am and were the last to leave by 7:30! Although not too proud of our slumber, on a positive note, we noticed this metal sign while turning out the lights in the albergue: Rough translation: "Go, Pilgrim. Go to Santiago. Give …

Camino Day 15: Aldea de Canto to Casar de Cáceres

Maybe we mentioned this before, but Mikey is one of the youngest pilgrims by far on this particular Camino. Now, to be fair, 1) it is prior to Summer break, so most students are still finishing coursework; 2) the Via de la Plata is the longest Camino in Spain, so most young employed persons would …

Camino Day 12: Villafranca de los Barros to Mérida

Thankful for a good night's sleep, we got up at 5:15 am and took a long, hot shower. Now, if you've never done the Camino de Santiago before, this probably doesn't seem like a big deal. However, since pilgrims carry all their gear in a backpack, absolutely no one showers in the morning - otherwise, …

Camino Day 11: Zafra to Villafranca de los Barros

Zafra turned out to be quite a nice town. Our "discovery" of a castle and the eccentric owner of that restaurant made for a fun time. The nuns (even though Mikey has a morbid, albeit totally unsubstantiated, fear of such orders) had offered a very relaxing experience and the hospitalero even shook Mikey's hand and …

Camino Day 10: Fuente de Cantos to Zafra

It rained the entire evening yesterday and all last night, so we cautiously left the convent and decided to go back to the church for a better picture of the tower before heading off into the open countryside. After snapping this image of the bell tower, we walked to a nearby cafe and sat outside …

Camino Day 9: Monesterio to Fuente de Cantos

Last night was a little bizarre. We stayed in an albergue (as usual) but were alone in a dorm room that could house 18 pilgrims! Apparently, no one else showed up and it just worked out that way - but, we did catch Mikey sniffing himself a few times just to make sure. After such …

Camino Day 8: Almadén de la Plata to Monesterio

As Mikey's bed was located right next to the open kitchen, when a grumpy Italian man started rutting about making his breakfast at 6 am, there was little use in many protestations. However, the final straw was when he turned on the kitchen lights at 6:10 - clearly breaking the 10 pm to 7 am …

Camino Day 4: Las Cabezas de San Juan to Utrera (and Beyond!)

Perhaps we’ve said it before, but what a difference a day makes! We woke up this morning to clear skies and great weather in which to walk. Still, Mikey wanted to enjoy our luxury apartment digs for a little while longer - well, that and his shoes were still rather wet. We finally left Las …

Camino Day 3: El Cuervo to Las Cabezas de San Juan

It seemed like this storm front would be sticking with us for a bit, so Mikey was in no hurry to leave at first light. Instead, a leisurely mid-morning coffee and fresh juice finally urged us on from the hotel/restaurant where the gusts of wind almost literally flung Mikey flailing in his poncho into the …

Camino Day 2: Jerez de la Frontera to El Cuervo

The torrential rain actually woke us up at 6 am this morning as Mikey had left the window open overnight. Looking out, we decided to sleep a bit more in hopes of waiting it out. It’s one thing to encounter rain while hiking (and we have gear for this), but beginning one’s day in a …

Camino Day 1: Cadiz to Jerez de Frontera

Today we said goodbye to Cadiz and officially began the Camino. Although hoping for an earlier departure, the rain that began last night continued until almost 9 am this morning. Once it cleared, Mikey wanted to get a few last pictures of the city. Above is the Plaza of St. John of God with City …