As I started

alussa

The Path

Type Amount Information Comfort
Highway
1/20 Walking on the side of a paved highway (speed limit ~90 km/h)
- hard surface on feet, otherwise smooth
- cars driving by (may honk on pilgrims :)
- modern looking, naturally
-1
Small road 1/4 Paved, quite few cars. Going through small villages, where road may be paved with stones (a little hard to walk on, puddles when raining, nice-looking). 0
Dirt road 1/5 Ok on feet, mostly nice views and serene surroundings. 1
2-person path 1/4 Two persons can mostly walk abreast. Nice surroundings - trees, fields, flowers etc.
Loose dirt mostly good on feet, sometimes stony.
2
Mud rut 1/5 When raining, the small paths may turn to mud drains. Even the best hiking boots will get wet, unless you tediously avoid all puddles (which is very slow). Cowshit as a bonus. :) -2

Orienteering

You cannot get lost. Really. There are (the famous) painted, yellow arrows on every crossroads.
Sometimes a little faded, you cannot go more than half a kilometer without seeing them.

Transportation

We used bus to start the trip. Nice, on time. You can find the routes/prices on the net.

The Alberques

Type Price Information
Public
("Municipal")
3e Always very clean. Toilets, showers, kitchens (may not have any pots!), coint-operated washing machines and dryers. Price includes disposable sheets (but no planket).
Commercial 7-10e Extremely clean. Toilets, showers, kitchens, washing/dryed machines (extra pay).
Many have Internet computers (coin operated).

Restaurants

Most alberques have restaurants withing a few hundred meters. All restaurants we visited had menus at 7-10e. Food metered from chop-house ("okay") quality to extremely tasty (the small pulperia at Portomarin).

Basicly, if the place is full of local people, it should have quite good food.

Cooking by yourself

All alberques, public or private, had quite good kitchens - but most have very few dishes and some have none.
Some, but not all, alberques have fridges.

Medical (supplies)

Most villages have pharmacy shops where you can buy almost any medicines. In some places, albergues advertise nearby physicians, fysiotherapists or masseurs to help the wary traveller.

Costs (as we did it)

Day Lodging Dinner** Drink (alc.)** Breakfast Travel Total
PrepDay*
30€ - - (hotel) 15€ (bus), taxi (9€) 54€
1 3€ 8€ 5€ 2€ - 18€
2 7€ 9€ 3€ 4€ - 23€
3 8€ 8€ 4€ 3€ - 23€
4 3€ 10€ 5€ 3€ - 21€
5 10€ 9€ 3€ 4€ - 26€
6 3€ 8€ 8€ 2€ - 21€
7 30€ 18€ 12€ 5€ 9€ (taxi) 74€
TOTAL 94€ 70€ 40€ 23€ 33€ 260€

* Note: "PrepDay" and day 7 include a hotel night and travelling by taxi&bus (from/to airport & to O Cebreiro).
** Note: We wanted to enjoy the travel, so we ate dinners and most breakfasts in restaurants. And drank beer/wine.

For your enjoyment, theoretical calculations with 1) no hotel nights, 2) no alcoholic drinks 3) no restaurant use:

Day Lodging Dinner Drink (alc.) Breakfast Travel Total
NoHotel 34€ 70€ 40€ 23€ 33€ 200€
NoDrink 34€ 70€ 0€ 23€ 33€ 160€
NoRestaur* 34€ 27€ 0€ 9€ 33€ 103€

* Note: 3€ is calculated for each day for lunch/dinner and 1€ for breakfast.

Daily money usage

Type What Daily €
Ours
As seen on table above, including hotel nights (2 per hotel room) 29€
NoHotel No notel nights before or ofter the trip (there are alberques in Santiago) 29€
NoDrink No alcoholic drinks at all 23€
NoRestaur No restaurant usage. Self-made dinner, breakfast etc. Note: carry some pots/pans! 15€

Internet

All private alberques and most municipal we visited had (coin-operated) internet computers. Otherwise,
you can always find one in a net cafe or in a commune-supplied tourist information centre.

Also, wireless connections (Wi-Fi) are available on most alberques and mobile wireless networks
(from GPRS to 3G) work on most locations along the way.

People

We met people from: Spain, France, USA, Germany, Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Korea, Poland, Israel, Australia, Danmark..

Languages

In Spain, english is not very widely known. In smaller villages, no-one may speak it. In the alberques we visited (7), only in one staff person could speak more than a few words. Some people speak french or german. In short, you can assume that all persons over forty of age speak only spanish.

However, spanish is relatively easy to learn, expecially for people who know other roman languages. Buy a Berlitz tourist language guide or a similar small book, learn numbers 1-0, "please", "thanks", "how much" and "where" and you will be doing nicely. Also, sign language and mimics work well. :)

The weather

In Galicia, 200 days from 365 are rainy! During the summer season (June-August) the lower temperatures
may be as low as +7oC, when the higher may be as high as +40oC. Part of the Camino goes quite high on mountains, so walking can be chilly/windy. When it rains, the rain comes horizontaly...

My short diary

5.6. la Santiago -> O Cebreiro
(bussi 15e) Vanhasta kaupungista linjuriasemalle 20min kävely. Kuurosadetta, viinillä (1.30e+pulla) kafeirossa ennen linjuria (14:00). 17:00 kävelemään; isohko nousu, sataa kuin aisaa. 18:00 O Cebreiro, käsittämättömän keskiaikainen kivinen kylä. Ostettu hattu (3e), refugio (3e), siisti paikka. Matkamuistokrääsämyymälöitä on. Ravintolassa päivän annos huonolla espanjalla, pullo viiniä.

6.6. su Cebreiro -> Triacastela
21km. Triacastelaan tultiin n. 12:30. Sataa tihutti, kylmä tuuli, osan aikaa palelsi "%#¤%! Yksityinen albergue (7e), tosi siisti, 40 paikkaa, lämmintä vettä suihkussa. Amerikkalaisilla adhd. Sunnuntai, leipää ei saa kaupasta, paikat kiinni. Odotellaan ravintolaa aukeavaksi oluella.

7.6. ma Triacastela -> Sarria
Liikkeelle 7:20. 17km. Satoi xitusti, lehmänpaskaa mutarännissä. Yksityinen albergue (10e). Illalla katolisessa messussa, (esi)rukous suomeksi (hieno larppi). Amerikanojen kanssa illallisella, ihan hyvä leirisapuska. Nukkumaan juuri ennen sulkemisaikaa.

8.8. ti Sarria -> Portomarín
Ei satanut! Väliolut virkisti, rakkoja jalassa. 23(+)km. Jaloille rankkaa, ihan lämmintä, vettä kului vain litra kuitenkin. Saapuessa Portomarinaan jalat olivat aika lopussa. Toivotaan, että huomenna jaksaa. Iso albergue. Odoteltiin ovien avaamista. Kaupat ja kapakat tosi lähellä, basilikassa. Iso, linnoitettu kirkko.

9.6. ke Portomarín -> Palas de Rei
Aamulla (yllätys!) liikkeelle, pientä sadetta. Ihan normaali kävely.. Sarriaan saapuessa satoi niin saatanasti, onneksi löydettiin pikaisesti albergue. Municipal, 3e, oikein hieno paikka, kiemurtelevia huoneita, hienot posliiniset kylpyhuonekalusteet (wc-paperipidin yms). Vierailtiin _hyvässä_ mustekalaravintolassa, nam! Jalassa on rakko.

10.6. to Palas de Rei -> Ribadiso Arzúa
Rakko (ei virtsa-) on kipeä, teipataan. Matkan pisin etappi, 28+km. Jalkoja särkee, sukat kastuvat joessa. Ei ole kivaa. Helpottaa, kun vierailee kirkossa ja teippaa jalat uudestaan. Tavernan omistaja esittelee lapinleukua. Eväät naamaan, helpottaa hiukan. Aurinko alkaa paistaa!!! Loppumatkasta tulee jopa lämmin. Juomapullo(t) ajoitetaan hyvin, vesi loppuu juuri perillä (varamehu jää). Ribadisossa eka albergue - jatketaan 6km Arzuaan. Tosi pitkiä mäkiä loppumatkalla.

11.6. pe Ribadiso Arzúa -> Arca O Pino
Aamutee kuppilassa, 18km Arcaan. Jalkoja särki, puolet matkasta sumussa (mukavan viileää). Municipal,
odotettiin 1.5h, onneksi oli viiniä. Illalla hieno kala-annos! Söpöjä espanjalaisia tyttöjä.

12.6. la Arca O Pino -> Santiago Compostela
-no memos-

As I arrived

perillä

The pilgrim´s passport

passipassipassi

The feet

jalat