The Camino de Santiago represents many things to different people, for some it is a religious pilgrimage, for others a challenging activity holiday. The route to Santiago de Compostela consists of a network of long distance paths, and rustic inns and hostals that allow the traveller to savour the sights and hospitality of northern Spain. Whatever one’s motivation for travelling along the camino de Santiago, the journey is a chance for people to bond with friends and family in their pursuit a common goal, or for the solo traveller to make new friends on the road.
There are several routes to Santiago. The most popular Camino Francés runs east-west from from the French Pyrenees. The Camino de la Plata runs north from Seville, through Extremadura. The Camino de Levante leads North West from the Mediterranean coast at Valencia.
I had done a couple of weekend cycle-camping trips over the years, but this was to be my first multi-day tour. My plan was to head out from home on Wednesday morning, pick up the Camino de Levante nearby and follow the little yellow arrows towards Santiago. My training had been non-existant, but figured that I would soon find my rhythm.
As I collected my kit together I checked the weather forecast and noticed that the week ahead was going to be dominated by north-westerly winds . I was going to be cycling into a cold, wet head-wind all the way to Galicia.
With less than 24 hours go until my planned departure, I decided to flip my route. Instead of fighting into a wind, to cycle up to Santiago, why not get a bus up to Santiago and cycle home?