El Camino

Growing up, I was always aware of the Pilgrims of El Camino de Santiago. Figures of men with long staffs, funny hats and shells around their necks. Walking the 500 miles through the south of France and the Basque region, across the plains of Castile, to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia where the remains of their saint are buried.

Formerly one of the most important pilgrimages for European Christians, el Camino is still a highly respected and honorable journey of physical hardship, often religious intent, and perseverance. All along the walk are hostels and restaurants with board and food for pilgrims, and scallop shells everywhere you look. The shells being the classic symbol of the pilgrimage.

These days you can walk it, run it, cycle it and do it for whatever reasons you wish, religious or not. For some, like my mother and I, it will be proof of will-power, faith in our own capabilities and physical endurance, knee replacement or no! But for me and my family about a week ago, it was just for fun. We temporary pilgrims grabbed our walking shoes (or converses for those slightly less prepared) and joined the walk at its halfway point, for an hour or two of exercise.IMAG0461

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The route we took was beautiful. Derelict stone-stacked farm buildings on every corner, over fields of wild flowers and across streams linked up to mills. My fellow amateur photographer and I were unstoppable. To the frustration of Dad and brother!

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IMAG0573I instagrammed this picture of some little old cars huddled together in a forgotten barn.

IMAG0580We made some friends with the locals…

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IMAG0576Some of whom turned out to be not so welcoming after all…

IMAG0577And then onto the home stretch back down the hill to the town built around the old monastery…

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IMAG0616the local petrol station..

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After our exhausting journey, us pilgrims rewarded ourselves with a giant table of food and wine, a very welcome sight…
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It was such a lovely experience, definitely made me want to do the full walk! So watch this space… And would be really interested to hear from anyone who’s actually done El Camino! But sorry about the lengthy post, 400 photos in 2 hours, I had to share some…

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4 Comments

  1. Such a lovely place! Great photos xx

    Justine | BRIGHTON DREAM

    Reply
  2. I just watched a wonderful movie about the Camino by Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen called The Way. Very inspiring movie! You should see it. Lovely pictures.

    Reply

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