Chris has sent me so many amazing photos from the Camino Santiago that I really wanted to post them here. He started his journey in St Jean Pied de Port, France, on May 19 and finished in Santiago de Compostela, Spain on June 19. The total distance, by foot, was 770 km (480 miles). The Camino is different than the Appalachian trail kind of hiking he did in 2014- on the Camino, hikers leave a hostel or albergue in the early hours, and hike until noon or sometimes beyond (it gets quite hot in the afternoons and there isn’t a lot of shade in some stretches of the Camino). Small towns and villages are generally spaced out every 5-10 km, allowing pilgrims to effectively choose each day whether they are up for hiking a 15 km, 20 km, 25 km, or 30 km day. Some hikers go it alone, while others hike with friends or join organized tour groups. A pilgrim has to hike the last 100 kms to get the “Compostela certificate” (or bike 200 kms).
While some hostels offer private rooms, many are shared accommodations such as bunk rooms, and most offer a daily set price that includes dinner, a beer, a bed, a shower, and coffee with breakfast, ranging from 25 Euro to 40 Euro per night. Sights along the Camino include the beautiful Pyrenees mountains, the cities of Leon and Pamplona, beautiful old churches from the middle ages, mosaics and paths from the Romans, cairns built by pilgrims over centuries, monasteries, and lots of nature. Here’s some highlights (click on photo to enlarge):