The Camino

Additional notes to Spain page.

The Terrain

The route involved crossing four mountain ranges. First the Pyrenees (as we started on the French side) with a sixteen mile climb. Then undulating for a bit, to climb the Montes de Oca. Later a long stretch of plains, which were over 2000 feet, but flat. Next over the Montes de Leon the highest point in our trip at 4930 feet, then more up and downs to the final mountain range with a 29 mile climb, to 4345 feet into Galacia. The downhills passed very quick. Most of the climbs were fairly steady without being too steep.The mountain areas were the most scenic with Galacia being outstanding. Being so high, for us anyway, was quite revealing, as in the UK there are not many roads over 1500 feet, and anything above 1000 feet is generally moorland. In Spain we found them farming at 4000 feet.

Food and Lodgings

Commercial accommodation generally you only get the room, as one is expected to go out for breakfast. At the refuges we self catered as most refuges had kitchens, and sometimes we used them during the day for our lunch breaks. At a cafe the menu usually shows only the main item, you have to ask for the various vegetables or extras that you require, separately. An exception is the Menu of the Day, which is complete, fixed, and usually three courses.

Other

El Camino de Santiago. The way to Santiago has existed since the tenth century and there are four traditional routes across France which join in Spain. In recent years the Camino has become more popular and Pilgrims arriving at the famous cathedral in Santiago de Compostela are awarded a certificate if they have travelled on foot, on horseback or by bicycle.

We met many other like minded people of various nationalities and one highlight was that having arrived at our destination, a few minutes later we were welcomed by a couple from the Netherlands, who had arrived the previous day, having walked the whole way from their home in northern Holland, a distance of around 1500 miles.