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~ C A M I N O   D E   S A N T I A G O ~
   The St Jean Pied de Port Team:
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The Journey:
24.04.13 - The Trekfa Team, consisting of Hadijah (Guía de Turismo), Dorian, Anna Marie, Adrianna, Michele, Zoe, Paul, Blanca and Alex) leave Sydney today for Barcelona. Stay for the Spanish Football League (la Liga) Espanyol V's Granada on 28th April then take the overnight sleeper on the 30th to Leon arriving there on the 1st May to start the walk the next day with Carmel and Robyn. Their trek has now taken them approxiamtely 200 kilometers since starting the Camino from Saint Jean Pied de Port. This evening they rest up in the little village of Azofra.
25.04.13 - The Team Leon has now arrived in Barcelona after a long 27 hours flight. Photo of our arrival at airport opposite.
They checked into their apartment accommodation and welcomed Alex to the group around midday on 25th April.  After settling in, they walked a short distance around town and then had a most delicious lunch for 10 euros each including entre, mains, desert and coffee. Friday 26th, they intend to do a few walking tours around Barcelona, visiting the Gaudi La Sagrada Familla and other city attractions.
Carmel and Robyn arrived this evening at Redecilla del Camino
28.04.13 - Carmel and Robyn are expecting to reach Burgos tonight and have now trekked approximately 286 kilometers from where they started in Saint Jean Pied de Port, Spain.
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Messages: 22.04.13
From Carmel: We are travelling well at the moment but are both challenged by this concept of siesta. just about everything shuts down for a few hours in the afternoon only to open up again at around 5 O'clock untill late. Our most economical day has been yesterday; 3 Euros for breakfast, 2.8 Euros for lunch (spanish omlette) and 4.5 Euros for dinner. Accommodation was a simple 5 Euros. We´re certainly taking this Pilgrim concept seriously!
The countryside is rich, lush and green with rolling hills, but doesn’t have the trees we are used to. We walked along an ancient roman road today - 2000 plus years old and crossed an absolutely magnificent bridge which was equally as old. Can´t tell you enough, of the history of this amazing walk. Yesterday, as we walked through
Villatuerta, we walked through another festival, a family event with closed roads etc, ‘you´d love it!’ Every event has beer and is served liberally! Every meal is served with wine. Beer is just 0.5 Euro, however I haven’t been able to find any ‘Boags Beer’ as yet! We stayed in Estella last night. Today our plan is to reach Los Arcos, then the following day to Logrono. I hope that you are walking well in Robyn’s shoes now that I have taken her away from the Trekfa Saturday Sunrise Team. Weather forecast for today is cloudy overcast with light rain, 3 degrees overnight with a high of 8 degrees. Expecting fine weather next couple of days with temperatures reaching 16 degrees. Possibilty of showers returning Friday. Have you learnt to use the washing machine yet?
From Helena: Dear Carmel and Robyn, I am following your journey and wishing you both an amazing time! ;)
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Messages: 23.04.13
From Claire & Pierre: What a pleasure to follow you every day (thanks for the site, Greg, it’s great!)! Congratulations to both of you for being there AND doing the Camino! It’s a pleasure to read your accounts...as it would be a pleasure to actually leave with the rest of the group tomorrow... Make the most of all these new landscapes, customs, try siestas, drink Spanish beer and wine(not too much!)....and with all that, have a fabulous walk. Cheers.
From Greg: Hi Carmel, you would never guess who has come back to twilighting after a nearly 6 year absence! The lovely Anne-Marie has returned :)
From Carmel: Just touching base from Logrono. We had a 28.6 k walk today & expecting to do 31 tomorrow arriving at Najera. We have had amazing weather with only little bit of rain. Yesterday was cold but none-the-less, great for walking. Today was warmer with more exposed walking - not so much of a cool breeze. The first half of the day was across grape farms and olive orchards. Farmers tending their fields in the distance was magical, along with a backdrop of a mountain range with snow on the peaks!
Robyn and I are going to try to plan a few longer days to try to make it to
Fromista by 30 April. We are meant to be in Leon on 01 May but can use that day to get across if our plan doesn’t work out.
Robyn is well, so that’s a good thing and my feet are still causing me grief, but at the end of the day a good rub & elevation is getting them back on the road the next day.
Robyn and I both agree it’s all the walking and
trek training we have done together with you that has stood by us on this trip. Without the continuous exercise each Wednesday night and Saturday morning, we are convinced that our trip would not be as enjoyable. We both thank you for your persistence in keeping us fit. We have built up over time an endurance and fitness that we call on occasionally, especially when we´re tired, feet hurt, the next hill seems bigger than expected, etc, etc, etc. Looks like you might be stuck with us both for many years to come!!!!!!
I miss you a lot and think of you often, hoping that everything is OK. As you can imagine the long days of walking give me plenty of time to ponder. I know you have your kayaking this weekend - don’t forget to say ¨hi´ to everyone for me. I hope you are managing and have lots to do to make the time go quickly!!! How is the grass and the garden?????  Í have about 10 minutes of internet left on credit so will jump on the Camino website to see what has been posted!!!
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Messages: 24.04.13
From Greg: Position Vacant: Home and Maintenance Person required, this jod entails lawn mowing and edging, general gardening, blower/vacuuming. This is a volunteer position ONLY.
Position Vacant: Surrogate (sexy) House Keeper required, must be fully domesticated and be able to multi task - Chores include: washing, ironing, cooking, cleaning, shopping and general home duties. The job is a 90 hour working week from Monday to Sunday with Sunday afternoon off each fortnight. Interested persons should forward their applications to: IAM.Suffering@trekfa.org or, alternatively by post to: I.A.M. Suffering, PO Box 241, Mount Kuring-gai, NSW 2080.
From Isabel Falson-King: Best of luck for your exciting new adventure. Big kiss to my mummy, ZOE FALSON who has departed Sydney Airport today Wednesday 24th April 2013. She is high in the sky and is no doubt having a glass of wine and passed out on the plane. Have lots of fun xxxx . Thinking of you all !
From Carmel: After leaving the crowded city accommodation of Logrono we decided to see if we could ´stretch´ ourselves out a little to push on to the small village of Azofra - have managed that but are now a little tired after the 36 kilometer trek. Robyn has named our accommodation in Azofra as Shangrilla. I think I remember her naming a camp site on the Walls of Jerusalem the same. We´re booked into a room for two with warm bed with plenty of room to spread out all for 7 Euros. Daily cost have averaged around 20 Euros which have included our accommodation, breakfast, lunch, dinner a couple of beers at the end of the day plus any nibbles. The walk was pretty repetitive, vineyards galore with not a lot of variety. However, to break the day, we had the company of an English born gentleman who has lived in Melbourne most of his life. A 72 year old, retiree who is thoroughly enjoying his freedom to walk the Camino. Truly inspirational! We hope to cover 26 kilometers tomorrow pushing onto a place called Redecilla del Camino with the following day we will hopefully arrive at Villafranca Montes de Oca.
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Messages: 25.04.13
From Mike & Jenny from the Circuit: Good to hear of your travels Robyn, and Carmel, and glad to hear you are feeling okay. Take care both of you and keep well.
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Messages: 26.04.13
From Dorian: Hi Carmel & Robyn, The weather at the moment on Friday and Saturday and Sunday in Barcelona and further west looks to be quite inclement with showers and rain.  I hope you are getting through this OK. Catch up with you very soon.
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Messages: 27.04.13
From Carmel: Today heading off from Villafranca Montes de Oca in light snow, a bit chilly.  Expect to arrive at Ages or Atapuerca tonight then try for Burgos on Sunday wich will put us approximately 286 kilometers along the Camino trail.
From Team Leon: Hadijah & Adriana went for an early morning walk at 6:30am (only just getting light) and decided to wander through Barcelona University, visited the bakery and came back bearing the most delightful artisan breads.  Breakfast this morning was fresh fruit salad of grapes, melon, strawberries and banana, followed by fresh breads, pate, and cheese, jamon (cured and aged ham) was absolutely to die for.
We were supposed to do a free guided city walk but the organisers did not turn up so our group of 9 decided to do our own city walking tour, specifically wanting to see the various examples of
Antoni Gaudí modernist architecture.  Our walk started through the Los Ramblas district at the Liceu Opera and walking to the Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona and of course dropped into the “Olive Shop” run by Columbians. A short detour via a nature photographic exhibition at the old hospital and library and then onto one of Gaudi’s most spectacular works, La Sagrada Familia Cathedral. The queues were so long we went for lunch instead, visited more Gaudi works and then back to the Cathedral later in the afternoon to tour the inside of the building.  Spectacular absolutely spectacular.
Navigated the subway home walking into our front door about 7pm. We ended the day with wonderful conversation amongst friends.
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Messages: 28.04.13
From Sharon Breslin at www.myflyingrooms.com: Hola Carmel and Robyn and Team Leon......Lifestyle Journeys is reading about your journey with great interest!  Keep going Carmel and Robyn, grit and determination along with letting go is what it is all about.
Just visualise that vino tinto or vino blanco in Leon when you meet up with the rest of the crew :)  I love those pastries shops and coffee, wish i was there to enjoy it with you all.  Ricardo will stand in for me and do an amazing job.  Safe Travelling and Buen Camino Sharon.
From Team Leon: A wet and cold day….all day so at 10am after another delicious breakfast of breads, cheese and Jamon we gathered our group of 9 and took the Barcelona tourist bus to see the sites.  This bus took the Red Route via the Olympic sites and Art Galleries at Montjuvic, Camp Nou (Barcelona FC) and other city attractions.  We completed a full circuit then lunched in Place Catalunya after which  we did the circuit again stopping off at selected places of interest.  Ariana hopped off the bus to see the Fundacio Joan Miro (Contemporary Art) while Hadijah, Dorian, Ana-Maria, Blanca, Michele and Zoe & Paul, two stops later hopped off to see the National Museum of Art (MNAC).   Hadijah, Dorian, Ana-Maria and Michele then continued on the Camp Nou to see the history of FC Barcelona while Zoe, Blanca and Paul stayed at the National Art Gallery till they were asked to leave at the 6pm closing.  Alex had returned to the apartment for an extra jacket (cold) and continued on to see other sites.  We all returned back in the apartment, coincidently, about 7:30pm.  After a quick couple of wines, onward to a “Flamenco” show at a local, intimate small club which was positively delightful.  In good Spanish tradition, a late dinner about 11pm and finally getting home after 1.00am.
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Message: 29.04.13
From Greg: Something has happened Carmel and Robyn's plans causing them to make the decision to stop walking and take the bus from Burgos to Fromista, stay the night then walk through to Carrion de Los Condes. From here they have decided to bus it through to Leon. There has been no explaination forwarded regarding their reason for this change. I do hope that it has not been caused through injury!
From Carmel: Stayed in Burgos last night (Sunday). Have now traveled over 300 kilometers which include our side trips. Having rest with bus trip Fromista then walk to Carrion de Los Condes followed by bus trip to meet up with Team Leon. Bus timetable does not fit into our previous schedule. We are both traveling well. Read More.

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