El Camino

El Camino is The Way of Saint James.

It’s St. James the Greater as apparently there was another James the not so Great. You can read all about him in the New Testament. He was killed in Jerusalem, but for some reason his body was brought to Spain. After that everybody forgot about it. Than (some eight centuries later)  they found his remains again and pilgrims started to flock to Santiago de Compostela, where he was reburied.

Chapel in Santo Domingo with my bicycle

Chapel in Santo Domingo with my bicycle

On the Camino I sleep in albergues which are run by the hospitaleros. You are kicked out by 8 am when it’s time for the God-fearing pilgrim to get on the move.
I stop by the side of the road to eat bread with Cabeza de Cerdo, and I get my dictionary out to see what that means. It means ‘pigs head’.
Later I stop again to pick some of the grapes. They are grown for making wine, they are small and very sweet. They taste delicious.
In the albergues, the pilgrims sleep in dormitories where the lights go out at 10 pm. Some pilgrims snore and I don’t expect they will go to heaven. Luckily I have earplugs.
Most pilgrims don’t sing hymns all night long (the reason I brought the earplugs in the first place) and won’t refuse a glass of wine.

In Logroño I cross the river Ebro. In Burgos I have a resting day to see the city. It is monumental. In a small restaurant, close to the cathedral, I eat the plato del dia. I check to make sure it isn’t macaroni.

After Burgos I cycle on the meseta. It’s very flat and I ride 130 kms from Burgos to Sahagún in one day. It don’t make any photo’s. I don’t know why. The albergue in Sahagún is an old building and looks decrepit from the outside, with pidgeons flying in and out of the crumbling walls. Once inside it looks a lot better. That evening I have dinner with some French pilgrims and we drink a few beers. The Spanish wine is awful, they say.

It’s hot for the time of the year and if my speed drops to around 10 km / hr, flies start buzzing around my head. Apparently 10 km / hr is their top speed.


3 thoughts on “El Camino

  1. Anton

    Goed nieuws lees ik: de laaste dagen ben je niet meet fout gefietst, althans volgens je eigen statistieken: Number of wrong turns : 1 zillion (zelfde als vorige week)

  2. Anton

    Astorga ? Ik dacht dat je naar Kaapstad ging, niet naar Santiago? (of eigenlijk was de route niet Kaapstad – Vuurland – Santiago- Alaska- Siberie- Australie ? )

  3. Mathieu Diepman

    Goed bezig! Hier begint het herfst te worden. De pepernoten teller staat op 1 kg per dag maar we beginnen te verslappen 😉


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