After 69 days and 1,000 miles (1,600 km), we finished our pilgrimage from Le-Puy-en-Velay in France to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

This page contains answers to many questions people have asked us about our Camino. Our favourite photos of the journey can be found in the Gallery. On the first anniversary of our Camino, Kyle began a blogging project to post pictures and stories from each day of our journey. Links to each post can be found below.

Did we meet any interesting people?

Yes, many! We found that the Camino induced deep, personal conversations with virtual strangers on a daily basis. As you might imagine, our bonds with those we met first were the strongest, especially given our sense of shared purpose and the series of events that brought us together (all starting the same day, with the same goal). We felt like we had significantly less in common with those who started close to Santiago.

We began walking in Le-Puy with several Frenchmen (“our” day was almost entirely male, except for Ori). Steven and Emmanuel were both Air France employees, and we walked with them for several weeks over the course of our entire Camino. We finished within a few days of each other in Santiago.

In Le-Puy, we also met Karen, an English ex-pat who had been living in France for almost two decades. She was studying in Oxford (of all places!) and applied for the same job that Ori had at the Ashmolean. We also met Alain, Didier, Roger (who pulled a trolley instead of carrying a backpack), and several others. There were about a dozen people who set out from Le-Puy with us on April 7, 2011.

Later in France, we walked for the better part of a week with Robert, an Australian lawyer who does several weeks of the Camino every year. It was a lot of fun to compare notes on our respective parts of the Commonwealth.

The day we crossed the Pyrenees, we were two of at least 150 or so pilgrims. Right off the bat, we met Alfonso, a Quebecois ICU doctor with a first aid kit that contained “magic pills” (powerful painkillers), adrenaline, and more.

By the time we arrived in Santiago, we were one of many hundreds finishing the Camino each day. As you can imagine, it became increasingly difficult to get to know people well when there were so many walking.

Did we have any health problems?

Yes, many! Ori suffered from blisters from about the third day until our fifth week. Some of them became quite problematic, and caused Ori to take five days off from walking (in France). For these days, she rode in a baggage/pilgrim transport van while Kyle walked. We both walked the entire Camino Francés (i.e., the Spanish part) with no vehicular transport at all.

Kyle had no foot problems at all until we climbed the Pyrenees into Spain, which induced a small blister to form on one of his toes (quickly cured by Ori using all the blister-related medical knowledge she’d acquired by that point). Kyle also had some knee pain that was resolved using an elastic knee brace for a few days.

We both got violently ill only 50 km from Santiago; some kind of stomach bug rendered us unable to eat or walk for about four days. (We suspected a recent European E. coli outbreak, but we hadn’t eaten any of the problematic vegetables.) The illness and our reduced appetites meant that we finished the Camino with virtually no energy, and that those final few hills were much more difficult to climb than they should have been for such seasoned pilgrims.

Nevertheless, after all the blisters and sore muscles and other ailments, we saw it as a kind of final test, particularly of our ability to take care of each other even in times of personal need.

Did we take any rest days?

Yes. As alluded to above, we spent four nights in Melide, just 50 km or so from Santiago, while recovering from our shared stomach bug.

We also had a few planned rest days, including a night each in Figeac, Condom, and Carrion de Los Condes.

How was the weather?

Wonderful, on the whole. It rained only twice in France, and barely more than that in Spain.

That is, until we reached Galicia, famed for its “English” weather (due to its location – on the west coast of Europe). In Galicia, it rained every day, though never heavily. And it had the benefit of causing the landscape to be lush and green, which was much more familiar to us – and pleasant – than the dry, arid middle bits of Spain.

Did we stay in any interesting places?

Yes, many! We stayed in monasteries, private homes, tiny hamlets, and big cities.

Here is a list of the towns where we spent each night, with a link to the relevant blog post:

  1. Le-Puy-en-Velay to Saint-Privat-d’Allier
  2. Saint-Privat-d’Allier to Saugues
  3. Saugues to St-Alban-sur-Limagnole
  4. St-Alban-sur-Limagnole to Aumont-Aubrac
  5. Aumont-Aubrac to Nasbinals
  6. Nasbinals to Saint-Chély-d’Aubrac
  7. Saint-Chély-d’Aubrac to Espalion
  8. Espalion to Golinhac
  9. Golinhac to Conques
  10. Conques to Livinhac-le-Haut
  11. Livinhac-le-Haut to Figeac
  12. Rest day in Figeac
  13. Figeac to Cajarc
  14. Cajarc to Limogne-en-Quercy
  15. Limogne-en-Quercy to Le Pech
  16. Le Pech to Les Mathieux
  17. Les Mathieux to Montcuq
  18. Montcuq to Lauzerte
  19. Lauzerte to Moissac
  20. Moissac to Auvillar
  21. Auvillar to Castet-Arrouy
  22. Castet-Arrouy to Marsolan
  23. Marsolan to Condom
  24. Rest day in Condom
  25. Condom to Montréal-du-Gers
  26. Montréal-du-Gers to Manciet
  27. Manciet to Lelin-Lapujolle
  28. Lelin-Lapujolle to Aire-sur-l’Adour
  29. Aire-sur-l’Adour to Piphane
  30. Piphane to Géus
  31. Géus to Le Sauvelade
  32. Le Sauvelade to Lichos
  33. Lichos to Ostabat
  34. Ostabat to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port
  35. Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Roncesvalles
  36. Roncesvalles to Larrasoaña
  37. Larrasoaña to Zariquiegui
  38. Zariquiegui to Cirauqui
  39. Cirauqui to Villamayor de Monjardín
  40. Villamayor de Monjardín to Viana
  41. Viana to Navarrete
  42. Navarrete to Azofra
  43. Azofra to Castildelgado
  44. Castildelgado to Espinosa del Camino
  45. Espinosa del Camino to Agés
  46. Agés to Burgos
  47. Burgos to Hontanas
  48. Hontanas to Itero de la Vega
  49. Itero de la Vega to Carrión de los Condes
  50. Rest day in Carrión de los Condes
  51. Carrión de los Condes to Terradillos de los Templarios
  52. Terradillos de los Templarios to El Burgo Ranero
  53. El Burgo Ranero to Puente Villarente
  54. Puente Villarente to León
  55. León to Hospital de Órbigo
  56. Hospital de Órbigo to Murias de Rechivaldo
  57. Murias de Rechivaldo to Foncebadón
  58. Foncebadón to Ponferrada
  59. Ponferrada to Villafranca del Bierzo
  60. Villafranca del Bierzo to La Laguna de Castilla
  61. La Laguna de Castilla to Samos
  62. Samos to Mirallos
  63. Mirallos to Ventas de Narón
  64. Ventas to Melide
  65. Sick in Melide
  66. Sick in Melide
  67. Sick in Melide
  68. Melide to Salceda
  69. Salceda to Santiago de Compostela
  70. Post-Camino wrap-up

Comments are closed.