Monday, May 2, 2011

The benefits of walking as a group

One advantage of being with a group is that you can share costs to do things most pilgrims can't afford to do on their own.

Express Bouricott is going to collect us from Pamplona and take us to St Jean for lunch! Caroline is even booking us into a little restaurant that serves typical Basque food. Then she'll take us all back over the mountain to Roncesvalles where we'll start our walk the next day.

In Logrono, I have hired a minibus to take us to the castle at Clavijo for a couple of hours. This is where legend claims that St james was first seen on his white horse fighting for the Christians in 841.

La Posada Roncesvalles
 I have also hired a taxi to take us from Villafrance del Bierzo to Sarria where we sill start the last stage of our walk. I've arranged for the taxi to take us to O Cebreiro on the way where we will have an hour for morning tea.
 From Ponferrada a mini bus will take us to the Las Meduals World Heritage site for a morning - something I've wanted to do on previous trips but didn't have the time or the money to do on my own.

Castle walls Clavijo
 On our first night in Santiago we will be collected at 8:30pm and taken to Fistera to watch the sunset (praying for a clear night) with a hamper of tapas and wines to celebrate the end of our walk. Sunset is at 10:17pm so we won't get back to Santiago until after mid-night.

We are booked to do a nocturnal walking tour of Santiago on the Friday night which includes a visit to the cloisters of the Parador and a Queimada at mid-night. You have to have 15 people to do these tours.

Marker O Cebreiro
 I have never seen midnight on the Camino so I'm really looking forward to these different experiences!

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