Thursday, April 26, 2007

Video On My Camino Primitivo 2007

Camino Primitivo (April 2007)

Watch on YouTube

Hope you enjoy the video clip.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Camino Primitivo - Day 13 (End)

Today my second camino has ended. The last 19 km from Pedrouzo was a nice morning walk. I got to see old Jim yet again.

Got into cathedral just in time for the mass at noon. I have decided to stay today and tomorrow in this happy city, seeing the pilgrims come in and crying in joy.

Will be leaving tomorrow night (overnight train) for Madrid and departing from Madrid on Friday, finally arriving home on Saturday.

One note. This pillar of Saint James is under restoration. As you can see, a barrier has been put around it. Bummer. Pilgrims this year won't be able to put their hands on the pillar and knocked their heads on the small statue behind it.

For Bernard's Son ReJohn

A stone of hope to carry for my way. No Cruz de Ferro on this primitive route. I am leaving it on this stone cross after the mountains, in a little town after O Cadavo. I hope his operation is successful.

*Update: The heart operation is a success. I am relief.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Camino Primitivo - Day 11

My camino primitivo effectively ends today as I am back on the French way.

Lugo to Melide. Darn, so crowded and noisy at the albergue.

Because there is no albergue after Lugo, the original plan was to walk from Lugo to Palas de Rei (35.2 km). I don't know how I did it but I have followed the shells and ended up much further up in Melide. I have to check the distance but it has got to be more than 40 km. I had walked almost non-stop from 7.40 am to 6.40 pm (11 hours!).

I am totally exhausted. Just finished my meal and will be sleeping very soon. No pictures this time, but I promise more when I get to Santiago in 2 days time.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Camino Primitivo - Day 7

My first update after 7 days. I am now in Grandas de Salime. One of the few towns big enough to have internet access.

Tomorrow I will be leaving Asturias and entering Galicia. It will be a tough day. See for yourself.

The mountain on the other side is Alto del Acebo (not the same as the french way). This was a shot from this morning. I am now somewhere at the bottom. Over the top of the mountain is Galicia.

Camino Primitivo is also in many ways more primitive than the Camino Franca. Many albergue are situated in a place with only farm houses and no food so you will have to buy provisions in advance. Many villages are so small there is not even a bar to have coffee or restaurants for a meal. You will be considered lucky to have coffee before the afternoon. I ended up drinking too many cups near the end of the journey each day. Let's hope the situation is better after Galicia.

Albergue in PeƱaseita. Beautiful view. No restaurant but at least there is bar nearby. All the laundry you see is mine. Shared it with 2 other pilgrims that night.

On the other hand, the albergue are usually empty. This time I am lucky to have 1-4 pilgrims to share the albergue throughout the last 7 days. No need to fight for the bath and beds. :)

This camino goes through a mountainous area. You go up and down quite often. It can be cold and misty, but when it is clear it is like being in heaven. Not recommended for the first timers, but for anyone who has done the French way, this will be a very good one to go next. It is very different experience, but the essence of the camino is still there.

I'll write again when I am able. For more pictures, it will just have to wait until I am back.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Camino Primitivo - Day 0

Arrived just before 7 am at the train station in Oviedo today. It was raining. What a way to start the camino. Waited until about 10 am to find out that I could not get my credential (pilgrim passport until 6.30 pm). That's it, I won't be able to start my camino until tomorrow (5th April).

Meanwhile, there's nothing I could really do except checked in a pension and look around the city. One good thing that comes out of this is that I don't need to make a detour tomorrow to see the beautiful pre-romanesque churches around Oviedo.

San Julian is in the city, Santa Maria del Naranco and San Miguel de Lillo about 45 mins walk on the hillside in the outskirts of Oviedo. The churches is stunning. So small and beautiful.

Santa Maria del Naranco

And 500 meters away, San Miguel de Lillo

These photos are courtesy of Stanford U. and Oviuni since I had forgotten to bring my USB adaptor for my camerphone to the internet cafe.

Oviedo is a very nice city. It's big but very comfortable. I particularly liked the fact that it has lots of pensions and hostals next to big hotels.

Also went shopping for a pair of walking sticks. With the credential that I have just got, I can now recharge from all the travelling and transits, and head off into the hills tomorrow to start my camino. I will switch mode from a tourist to a pilgrim then.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Waiting In Madrid

I am currently in Chamartin station in Madrid with 5 hours to kill before my overnight train to Oviedo. Currently writing this at the internet booth at the station since I have nothing better to do.

I hope to start my camino bright and early tomorrow. Hopefully no delay in getting my credentials (pilgrim passport) at the church in Oviedo.

Checking on the weather in Oviedo, it does not look good for tomorrow. It's going to be wet. The following 2 days however are looking better.