Australia and Oceania, Asia, Europe · 12 Days · 34 Moments · May 2017

The Wives are off!!!

7 June 2017

Day 8: Castrojeriz to Carrion de Los Condes. 46 kms and a much easier day than yesterday. There seem to be a lot more pilgrims and cyclists as we head further west. The Meseta plateau has been described as boring but it is anything but. Miles and miles of wheat, maize and endless blue skies and a tail wind to enable us to gather speed to get to our next destination and enjoy the environs. We are staying in a beautifully converted monastery and as you walk in, you can't help but feel the vibe left by those who walked its halls. Can guarantee our bed will be a lot more comfortable than those slept on by monks who previously dwelt here. Makes the big hill getting out of Castrojeriz even more worth the work.

6 June 2017

Day 7: Burgos to Castrojeriz. 43 easy km's. Arrived at the accommodation in time for lunch. A walk to the Castrojeriz Castillo, nip back to our digs for a siesta and then a stroll through town to find somewhere to eat. The population of this beautiful village has declined substantially over the past few years. It feels like it is in permanent 'siesta' mode, an indication that the Spanish economy truly is struggling. Still, the people are friendly and they work hard to please and give comfort to the weary travellers that descend upon them. We are privileged to be sharing their tradition, culture and lives.

5 June 2017

Day 6: Burgos. Rest day. Much needed. It is so liberating to know that all we have to do today is mooch, take in the sights and check out where we are going to be eating dinner. The Cathedral is AMAZING and even if you are not religious, it is well worth the €7.00 to go inside and see how passionate people are regarding creating a place to worship God. The thing that puts you off are the gypsies begging outside and the dodgy buggers hanging around waiting for an unsuspecting tourist to let down their guard. Washing all done (a big thing believe me) and ready to take on Day 7. Only a few photos but more on Facebook. I don't know what these towns and cities would do without the Camino that clearly brings in a huge amount of cash. Off to get a feed 'cause the missus is getting hangry again.

4 June 2017

Day 5: Belorado to Burgos. The day started off not quite as well as expected. The missus had a flat tyre, the thunder and lightning rolled and we had heavy rain in parts . Temp down to 4 degrees but we managed to warm up with some hearty broth in a quaint little village called Arlanzon. We were frozen. Terrain was unimaginably hard for biking seeing us push our treadlies up a rocky hill for over a kilometre. Then we hit the mud!! By the time we got to Burgos, we were freezing and tired. Not an easy 53 k's but we made it. The bath at the hotel was a godsend and the black pudding, calamari, chorizo and patatas even better. Rock on our rest day tomorrow!

3 June 2017

Day 4: Certainly nowhere near as challenging as yesterday. 46 kms of undulating hills and a much better track (thank God). We know what hangry really means. We are complete bitches when we are running on empty. Something that will not happen again on this trip. Got to our accommodation in Belorado today by lunch time. Brilliant! Had the most amazing burger. Asked how we wanted it cooked! There is a medieval festival on here at the moment along with a market that attracts what seems to be the entire population. They eat tapas, drink beer/wine, laugh and chatter loudly. We have taken to following the locals to our beds for a siesta in the afternoon to awake refreshed and ready to drink their wonderful Rioja and talk until late. I have experienced time alone when Felicity Ferret has busted her arse to get to the next destination and I have been content to fall back...and breathe! It truly is an amazing thing to do. A time for reflection and clearing your mind of all the clatter.

2 June 2017

The closest I have ever come to feeling this fatigued was in 2004 when we did the 160km around Lake Taupo. I am humbled. Blessed, and totally buggered tonight as I write this. I am inspired by those pushing disabled members in their family along this route in handcarts. I am not religious but lit a candle yesterday in remembrance of those no longer with us. For the first time in 'God-knows-how-long' I offered a prayer. There is something truly special about doing this. There are so many people here from all over the World who are doing this for reasons that they themselves probably don't know. For many, this will be life-changing. It's bloody brilliant!!!

1 June 2017

Mues Cathedral and our dining room, in the cellar of the hotel.
The poor waitress had never made a Bloody Mary. Lucky Jen is adept at this and was able to guide her. Check out the size of her glass on the left. Boom!!
Our accommodation at Mues. A 350+ year old hotel. Mues has 50 inhabitants and rises to 60 in the weekend πŸ€”The free-loader loves this hotel.
Los Arcos.
A solitary pilgrim on a long path. I would love to know his reason for walking this path. So many different people of all age groups, nationalities and beliefs.
A monastery next to a vineyard. Brilliant. Oh to be a monk.
Stopped in at this church in Estella and was once again blown away by the way it makes you feel. Lit a candle for the first time in my life and felt so humble to have walked in the footsteps of thousands that had gone before
Stopped to give this little fella a lovey. Poor bloody thing tied up where there was no shade. Such a beautiful soul but he looked so sad
Breath-taking scenery and as we cycle past many pilgrims on foot, we are thinking this...Thank f@(> we are cycling
Well rested and well fed, Day 2 begins. Going to be a hot one. Brilliant accommodation so far. Excited about what adventures lie ahead for us

31 May 2017

Ready for our afternoon siesta. All three of us 😴
I remember Richard Brett taking a photograph here last year and thinking, soon we'll be there. Fantastic!!
Beautiful skies and getting hotter by the minute. Stopped here for a very welcome drink
Steady climbing all the way. HEAPS of people sharing the same path
Day 1: On the road from Pamplona to Puerta la Reina
Puerta la Reina - Queens Bridge. Bridge constructed for earlier pilgrims to make their crossing over the Arga River. When I told Jenni that the Queen had had it constructed, she said "What? Queen Elizabeth?" She is just so funny πŸ˜‚
Our next pad...
Parroquia de Santiago Y San Pedro
The streets of Puerta la Reina

30 May 2017

la Tasca de Don Jose Restaurant. Beautiful food, great service and totally the Best Sangria I have ever had. Things can only get better.
They count the time down until the running of the bulls. The Spanish are very proud of this tradition. It is their history. We parked our feelings up about it when we arrived. There are many stuffed heads and bodies of bulls that have died in the ring to remind you of this.
Our hotel for the first two nights of our journey. Can't believe I am eating breakfast in a cathedral. Bit like drinking beer at the Free House I suppose.
A beautiful day in Pamplona. Started off a bit poos when I unpacked our bikes to find wrong size with seats so high (unable to be lowered) we'd be guaranteed of doing ourselves serious harm. Sorted at a local bike shop where the assistant (who was the spitting image of Borat), made sure we were all go for the ensuing 730kms. A quick mooch around old Pamplona made us thirsty and hungry so we had to stop for some more yummo tapas. Check out the Policia standing next to the Town Hall. OK to smoke in public on duty! Doing what the Spanish do and hitting the hay for a quick siesta. Buenos Tardes 😴

29 May 2017

Along with free-loading bunny, we have arrived in Pamplona. Both Qantas and Emirates staff did themselves proud regarding service levels and care provided. Managed to score ourselves an empty seat in between us so we could spread out and relax more. High praise to the young guy who checked us in at Dubai. Tomorrow we start our cycle trip from Pamplona to Santiago de Compostella. Very excited about what we are about to experience and who we might connect with on this pilgrimage. More photos to follow.

28 May 2017

Finally made it here. A lovely Australian man swapped seats for the 14 hour trip so me and the missus could sit together. Ah, ain't that lovely. 28 degrees at 0730. Hitting the hay then off on safari. Amazing place. Can see why people would come here for a week. You get fined for dropping litter and not having a clean car. Thinking about getting in my 'kini and starting up a car wash!! Curry for breakfast. In heaven!! Set off on a dune safari in the arvo which was a bit of 4W driving. Poor woman in the front spewed her ring piece out but we LOVED it. (The 4W driving, not her spewing eeeh). The falcon show was spectacular. Kinda hoping the little guy would take a piece out someone's ass to be honest. (Squawk!). As it was Ramadam, the dinner (BBQ) feast didn't have its belly dancers. I did offer up my services but they were declined because although I do have the equipment, I don't have the moves. Oh well. I'll just have to stick to selling carpet. πŸ˜†

27 May 2017

Score! We had no one sitting next to us on the last flight so managed to have a lie down. Ready for the next leg...14 hours. Aaaah
Waiting to board for Melbourne then the worst part of the trip, 14 hours to Dubai. Hopefully our ar$e$ are tough enough for this ride and this time around I'm not sitting next to a smelly hairy drunk with halitosis! (Not talking about Jen either πŸ˜‰).