Let the silence touch you
Let the silence touch you. Come travel with me. Together, and sometimes on your own. You want to walk in Spain, to the west, towards Santiago. But where do we arrive?
Actually.. we are going to walk the other way. More towards ourselves. In our western world we always have a goal to reach. We look at the clock, we think of the future. Like a time line. What if you let this go and embrace the eastern way of thinking.. the rhythm of nature, the cycle of the seasons in which everything comes back, the circle of life. Like a ritual road-without-an-end..
We will wander. And wonder about all that we see. Haven’t you got enough to-do lists on the fridge at home already?
"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” ― Lao Tzu
This timeout is a gift to yourself.
I am offering this 17-days journey from April 30th-May 16
(one place left!)
and from October 5th in a slightly different schedule.
Walking together and experience the Meseta and the hills of Galicia, while discovering some of the most beautiful and impressive landscapes of the Camino. We will walk in small groups of a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 5 people. The average day walk is 15 kilometers.
The next trip (April 30- May 16) has probably 1 place left. Ask me about it for the latest news. We will travel by car from Holland and we wil meet in Burgos.
With a minimum of three bookings we will travel to Spain again in October 2019 and spring 2020. It will be a 17-days journey with some days of retreat in the Galician mountains. The average price is €1.500,-, including 16 nights in dormitories or double rooms.
What is included: guidance, meditations and rituals, Spanish speaking guide, pilgrims passport, personal travel advice, packing list.
What is excluded: tickets and transport to and from Spain and in Spain, meals, insurance, extra costs for a private room (in a lot of places this is not possible).
Depending on the village or town, we will stay in quiet, small albergues and occasionally in a pension. If you would like a private room (not available everywhere) you will spend more. You will receive personal advice about your initerary, stay and equipment.
I can't book tickets abroad, but I can assist you with any questions you may have about travel and transportation options. From Holland we fly from Amsterdam to Madrid, Santiago or Bilbao. From there we travel to the Camino the next day. The meeting point depends on your initerary. From the UK and North America there are frequent connections to Spain, esp. to Madrid and Barcelona.
The walk is from Burgos to Carrion de los Condes, and - after a transfer -from Astorga to Ponferrada. The walk is around 120 kilometers, with some short bus or train trips.
You can sign in at any moment, but due to flight prices it is best to book Walkwithsimon as early as possible. Do not book any flight until your booking and the try-out have been definitely confirmed by Walkwithsimon.
When you book you will receive a travel schedule, a packing list, a list with questions for you and personal travel advice. You will get your pilgrims passport when arriving in Spain.
NB Subject to alterations
Together and also on your own
A group trip with Walkwithsimon doesn't mean you should walk together day by day. As a guide I walk together with anyone that wants or needs this, but you can also follow your own pace. Sometimes you want to walk together, sometimes on your own. Every day is different. Some people like to meet new people, others have a more individual experience.
Places to stay
Recently I travelled to Spain to select the places to stay for this try-out. It was the third time I walked this part of the Way.
The Camino Frances offers a lot of accomodation. So our journey will have a rich variety in albergues, pensions and occasionally a hotel. What these places have in common is that they are quiet, with a good atmosphere and personal contact with the staff. It's not possible to book a private room in every town we stay in. What I try to avoid is the big and noisy dormitories, but there may be rooms with 8 to 12 beds. As a group we will not have a seperate place to stay everywhere.
Good walking weather
The climate in Northern Spain is usually pleasant, but in summer the heat can be intense. The best walking months are in spring and autumn. We will avoid the busy holiday period. September and April are good walking months, with temperatures around 20-25 degrees you can enjoy the terraces that are everywhere. Best walking hours are from 7 AM to 1 PM. In the morning it might still be dark in autumn, but it's nice it will be light soon on our walk. The afternoons might be quite warm, untill late. It is also pleasant to arrive early in a new place to stay, so you'll have time on your own in the albergue, or take a look around. Sometimes there is so much to see, we'll arrive a bit later in the afternoon.
An average 20 k day walk is not to heavy for most people, especially when you get used to the day rhytm. I can recommend you to test your pack and equipment at home by making some good day walks with full pack. Then you can make adaptions in your equipment. It might be an advantage to improve your walking condition, that's up to you. Personally I think the quality of your shoes is the most important. Don't start the walk in brand new shoes. For people with sensitive feet (and actually everybody) I recommend Gehwohl footcreme. Start using it at least a week before you leave for Spain.
Meals and bars
Spanish bars are usualy hospitable and relaxed. Pilgrim menus are offered everywhere, comparable to day menus. The price is € 8-10,-, including wine or water. Three courses are offered, but the quality is not the same everywhere. For vegetarians Spain doesn't offer a lot. Pilgrim menus are often the same, so a picknick or a salad might be a welcome change. We might be able to prepare a meal ourselves now and then. It's even better when the hospitaleros provide us with a common dinner. You can often make your own choices in how and where you want your dinner. Your expenses (meals, bed and personal stuff) will be at least €25,- a day.
* A gift of €12,50 per person (including myself) is donated by me to the well controlled projects of FairClimateFund. to compensate for the CO2-emmissions through our journey.
* Flying is the main source of pollution. At this moment the train doens't offer a real good alternative (price and travelling time). In May we will travel by car, which is in between flying and train seen from the environmental perspective.
* We always take our waste with us. And sometimes I collect a bit for others :)
* Local wells have excellent water in Spain, I know where to find them. Take your own bottle with you and please avoid the oneway plastic bottles.
* Where ever possible we support the local entrepreneurs (stay, meals, bars). I never use booking dot com and other booking sites, due to the hight costs for the hospitaleros.
* The offering vegan or organic food is still not abudant along the Camino. If there are possibilities we use them. I find it important nog to consume to much meat.
** NB Subject to alterations. The price of the Oktober journey may vary due to the concept of the journey.
Let the silence touch you