Guest Post by Jane V. Blanchard who is author of Women of the Way Embracing the Camino. You can purchase the book on Amazon or the e-book . To view the book trailer or purchase an autographed copy, visit Woman of the Way 2011
I am a 62-year-old modern-day pilgrim. In 2011, I and approximately 300,000 people trekked a network of ancient pilgrimage routes leading to Santiago de Compostela. In 1987, the Council of Europe proclaimed these Ways or Caminos to be the first European Cultural Itinerary.
I hiked 500+ miles across northern Spain on the most popular route, the Way of St. James (Camino de Santiago). Many pilgrims start in St.-Jean-Pied-de-Port, a small French town on the border with Spain, summit the majestic Pyrenees, traverse the high central plateau known as the Meseta, and then proceed westward to the cathedral in Santiago. Read more
The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela (Galicia, North West), is placed where the “Camino de Santiago” ends
This post is one in a series about Espana provided by Lesbianas Viajeras, a Spain based company specialising in travel in Spain and beyond especially for lesbians.
- Tours to Spain for all Women
- Accommodation in Spain for Women Travellers
- More Women Travel blogs about Spain
Karen’s website is www.caminocalling.com
‘Camino’ is Spanish for ‘way’ or ‘path’ and ‘Santiago’ translates from the Spanish as ‘Saint’ (Sant) ‘James’ (Iago). There are many Caminos de Santiago - pilgrimage routes that begin in France, Italy, Belgium, England and beyond. Some are still clearly marked and walked by modern pilgrims, although most are not as busy as they were in medieval times. However, the Camino Frances, across Northern Spain has just about surpassed its medieval popularity. Read more
It should have been a short and relatively easy day, but my leg was swollen and painful, so I walked slowly with a strange flat footed gait.
Rosemary had lent me her walking stick which had been useful for threatening dogs and crossing muddy streams, but now came into its own as a support. The quiet woods and shady lanes of the past few days gave way to new towns and building sites, with road works and new tarseal obscuring the Way.
After going up a steep hill on a new road, beyond MillaDoiro, I could see no Way marked, so chose ‘down and north’. Not a good choice as I ended up by the river I wanted to cross into Santiago, but no bridge. So up the hill again, asked for help from two people who gave me contradictory advice, decided to head for the nearest bridge, and limped off.
Later I learned that this spot was the scene of three separate assaults on women travelling alone, only a few weeks ago. Each had hesitated, trying to find the way, and a man had offered to show them – leading to complaints to the police and an arrest. The guide book had been promising the uplifting sight of the Cathedral spires in the distance, but all I could see in the rain was chimney pots aand cranes. Read on
Ponte Sampaio to San Antoninio 23 kms.
Today Danielle joined me for a pretty walk through the tiny steep streets and old Roman roads of the villages, through vineyards and small holdings, to the beautiful city of Pontevedra. We called in at our Lady of the Camino sanctuary,the Shrine of the Virgin Peregrina, again full of beautiful flowers. When the churches are open, they look as though as wedding is about to happen.
My afternoon was solo again, and was meant to be an easy walk. Read more
Ceridwyn writes: Each day, I started where I left off, usually by a wayside marker, with a bright yellow scallop shell pointing its rays in the direction i needed to go. The number of km is also on the marker. It was so great to see it drop from 115km t0 99 to 83 and down to 49- over half way. The markers have been erected by the Spanish government and are such a welcome sight. Read more
This week Danielle and I are support crew for Ceridwyn who is going to walk the pilgrim’s trail from Portugal to Santiago – a distance of 115 kms over six days.
We have booked a beautiful stone cottage in a rural area – Casa do Curralino which is near the village of Morana, close to Pontevedra and Caldas de Reis and the N550 road which the pilgrims trail very roughly follows. Lovely English hosts, a luxurious tiled bath, perfectly renovated, Wood fire, self catering, friendly dog, great garden… Read more