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Tom's Walk to Santiago for Border Holiday Group - Daily News

23rd April - Countdown started - 5 days to go
24th April - And now it is four!
25th April - three to go!
26th April - and counting
27th April - packed and ready to go!
28th April - in flight and arrived safely at St Jean Pied de Port

29th April - Day 1 - over StJPdP to Roncesvalles over the Pyrenees by 14:00. It was quite a tough day but allegedly the most difficult on the route. A little bit of rain on route but nothing to speak of so Ive been working on my tan.

30th April - Day 2 - Rain this morning but have done 38 k so am just outside Pamplona.

1st May - Day 3 - Reached Meneru, 34 k today. Weather cloudy but some sun and no rain. Irish coffee ice lolly for lunch

2nd May - Day 4 - Now in Los Arcos so have walked about 38k today. Mixture of sunshine and showers, but not Scottish type showers. Missed out on the wine fountain so may have to walk back 20 k in the morning,

3rd May - Day 5 - About 41 k today in foolish weather. In Navarrete - Rioja country!! All going well so far

4th May - Day 6 - Sunday, day of rest! But not for a pellegrino. Had intended 23 k but settled for 39. Sunny all day but cool enough for walking. Tried some Rioja last night and finished up playing guitar and singing in the pub. I should have asked for sponsored silence.

5th May - Day 7 - Arrived Villafranca Montes de Ova guessing 30 k. Distances don't tie up, I passed a sign 555k to Santiago and 5k further on it was 575k, must be a space warp. Warm all day today, so it is not easy walking East must have a lop sided tan. (Official figure 528 k to Santiago, I'll use this website for all in future. Means I have walked about 250k in 7 days or around 35 a day which sounds about right.)

6th May- Day 8 - Slightly cloudy today so better for walking. Have reached Burgos and am lashing out 5 Euros to share with 3 ladies! Pics of stone circles, typical way markers, and my first attempt at a "selfie"
First blister today but small and on top of big toe so no problem.

7th May - Day 9 - Hot today from 08:00 but got about 38 k and reached Castrojerez. Now into the meseta which has long low hills and miles and miles of cereal crop. People have a thing about piling stones for some reason and the other shows temperature at 20:00 last night.

8th May Day 10 - Reached Villarmentero de Campos. About 34 k in hot sunshine. Some long hills in the morning but afternoon flat along the Castallan canal.

9th May - Day 11 - Reached Terradillos de Templarios. More a day of kilometers crunching than sight seeing. Very flat like the Orange Free State. Great party meal last night, picture attached along with two Italians who have been on the same schedule as me for a week. Carrion? Of course I'm carrying on!
I had 3 milestones today. 1. Am now less than 400km away,2. Have passed half way. 3. Have now walked 400 k
But now the hills start again.

10th May - Day 12 - Another kilometre crunching day now in Reliegos, 42 k today in hot sun. I cannot shake these Italians, they are starting at 05:00 in the dark. No pics unless I go out later.

- 11th May - Day 13 and some good and bad luck. First there was a little shady cloud so it was not quite so warm. However at the place I intended to stay, the hostel had closed so had to walk on another 9 km. I am now in Villadangos delParamo and having walked about 45km am now below the 300 to go.

12th May - Day 14 - Reached Santa Catalino de Somoso. Now into the foothills of the mountains which suits me better. I think my extra miles yesterday may have lost the Italians. Weather still hot but snow on hills and cold in early mornings, 1.5 Celsius at 7:30 this morning

13th May - Day 15 - Much nicer scenery now. Crossed the highest point on the way at Cruz de Ferro and deposited the Eildon stone. Am now in Molinaseca so about 36 k nearer Santiago.

14th May - Day 16 - Arrived Villafranca del Bierzo and the hostel is built into rock, see picture. I saw my ideal house as well complete with own vineyard. Another 32 k off the list and the 200k barrier broken.

15th May - Day 17 - Have reached Hospital da Condesa, probably the toughest set of climbs since day 1 In the Pyrenees. Now in Galicia and scenery is beautiful

16th May - Day 18 -Reached Barbadela just over 100 k to go. Galicia is beautiful and hard work, up and down. Too much like hard work for pictures but note the snow poles on the road. No surprise I suppose at 4000 feet. These hostels are rough just sat for three hours with my feet in the pool. Absolute heaven!

17th May - Day 19 - A couple of milestones today, first passed the 100 k to go, then the 700 km walked. Am now in Ligonde about 74 km from Santiago and hope to get there Monday. Last night had my feet in a pool at the hostel for a couple of hours - ecstasy!

18th May - Day 20 - Have reached Arzua in striking distance of Santiago. May go straight there tomorrow or stop 2 km short to give the whole day. The distance has flown in so currently plan to go on to Finisterre. Picture of the other side of walking, the laundry!

19th May - Day 21 - In Santiago and fully certificated, or maybe certified would be more appropriate! Overcast all day so easier walking and rain for a couple of hours. Walked 780 km across Spain then struggled to find the pilgrim office! Intend to set off for Finisterre tomorrow. Pictures of the Italians waiting for their compostellas, and the Santiago sign.

20th May - Day 22 - Torrential rain during the night and more forecast. So have booked a flight today, Tuesday. Quitting while still on a high.

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Date: 20/05/2014