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El Camino: Day 13-14 (San Juan de Ortega to Burgos)

Posted on 26 September 2012 by christie

Burgos Cathedral

Burgos 12-15th Century Gothic Cathedral

The alarm buzzed and we laid in bed still pondering whether we should walk or take a taxi to Burgos (27.6 km away). I still felt terrible with a head cold and sore throat. I rushed to look out the window, in the back of my mind hoping it was pouring down rain as it would be an easier decision. The sky looked like it had cleared for the most part, but it was still freezing. On one hand I didn’t want to give in, take a taxi and miss walking a day of the Camino. On the other hand, I was sick, feeling awful and walking in the cold could make me even worse. The last thing I wanted was to jeopardize making it to Compostella. We also didn’t have any warm fleece or jacket. It was the first time we thought we had under packed.

We finally decided that hopping a taxi was the smart way to go. In the end everyone’s Camino is their own and one person’s Camino is very different from the next. The significance of the Camino is not how fast you walk or how many exact kilometers you cover. It’s about your personal journey through the time you spend on the Camino. Every journey is different and every person creates their own Camino. It is not a competition (although some take it as one). There are no rules. There are no time constraints. There is no right or wrong. There is only “My Camino”. Continue Reading

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El Camino: Day 4 (Pamplona to Puente la Reina)

Posted on 17 September 2012 by christie

Pamplona Tapas Bars

Exploring the Tapas Bars in Pamplona

The streets of Pamplona offer many opportunities for exploring tapas bars. We enjoyed a fun evening sampling Narvarrean wine and the local cuisine on Calle San Nicolas and Calle de la Estefeta (running of the bulls passage to the Plaza de Toros). Most of Pamplona’s sites are concentrated in a small radius, thus we were able to circle the main churches and tiny streets several times. Our hotel Maisonne was a luxurious dream. It made our decision easy to sleep in and start the Camino late the following morning. Brett’s knee was clicking and quite painful when walking, therefore he decided to hire one of the bag services to transport his backpack to our next hotel in Puente de la Reina. The cost was a mere seven euro.

Serenity of Walking the Camino

Serenity of walking the Camino

Today, our walk began quite late at 10:30 AM. The Camino led us through the other side of Pamplona across the grounds of the Universidad de Navarra and into a small village called Cizur Menor. We stopped at the Order of Malta (Albergue Sanjuanita) which has been a base for the Knights Hospitaliers since the 12th century. It’s situated on a hill beside a beautiful 13th century Romanesque church fortress (Iglesia de San Miguel Arcangelo). Upon entering the church, I noticed several knight’s flags hanging from the rafters. The Albergue was closed; however I asked politely in Spanish for a “sello”, and the woman kindly stamped our Camino credential. She also gave us tips for the upcoming rough 350m ascend and 250m descend over the next 12 kilometers. Continue Reading

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    Camino Chronicle: Walking to Santiago by Susan Alcorn

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    Walking Guide to the Camino de Santiago History Culture Architecture: from St Jean Pied de Port to S by Mr Gerald Kelly

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    The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle

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