Thursday, 3 October 2013

Trip recap, some tips

Its been a few weeks since the Powton Pilgrims completed thier peddle pilgrimage on the Camino De Santiago de Compostela, and I thought I would come in and post some thoughts about the trip, and ideas if you were silly enough to take such a trip on yourself.

Training, start early, ride lots, and the more hills and longer hills you do while training the better. Makes the trip that much more enjoyable. Lyn did a great job booking hotels along the way, something we needed to do since we needed seven rooms. Depending on the time of year, and size of your group you may or may not need to book in advance. We rented a van, learned that anything above seven passangers does not get insurance covered under the standard visa rules. Hired a guide to be our driver, so no one had to drive. He was great to have, and he did an awesome job.

Do over ... Smaller group, smaller van, and bring someone that speaks Spanish and bring a driver, find someone that wants to see Spain , but wouldn't want to ride the Camino. You do see some awesome parts of Spain! Much smaller group more than six, whos conditioning is not in doubt, and ride each day without a fixed destination, as some days you may want to cover more ground, others less. Maybe Do it over 17 days, allowing you to stay
in some towns if you want. We rode every day, no breaks, and got the ride done as "planned"; departing on the 1st, arrived on the 15th. I am sure a few of us could have done it in a couple less days without much more effort, maybe just a little less beer and wine. Another key, make sure no budget issues, money buys you comfort on the Camino! if you have any budget restraints you can go the cheaper option on accomodations, and of course you can go cheap on food as well.

We had very good accomodations (thansk again lyn) , and ate very well almost every day. I did have Nuun tablets for my water, and cliff energy , and cliff protien bars to eat, oh plus Gu mint chocolate gel as needed.

Bikes ... Glad we went with rentals ... Thank you Bike Iberia, they held up very well. Full suspension is the way to go if you if you are going to ride the walking path, as these were newer Giant Anthems, you have the option to shut off the suspension. The down hills can be extreme, so I know I fully utilized all my suspension and breaking ability. Reflected on bringing my own bike, nope ... I would not want to, the bikes took a beating, and would need a full service when you got them home, unless you at a full DIY'r the cost of the restoration service, the shipping to and from would be greater than what we paid for the rentals (325euro).

While we have fully enjoyed our time in Europe after our ride, I'd suggest just booking a two or three week trip focused purely on doing the Camino. The cost of shipping of riding gear home so that we did not have to lug it around Europe was excessive (two duffle bags,under 30kilos ... 690euro)

Most important ... Just do it ! Doing the Camino was worth it

Monday, 16 September 2013

Some interesting pictures

A Templar Knight castle !

Morning bike prep

Tourist stop

A high point on a day ... Meaning nasty hill ... Stopping for a rest

Linda found another cool character along the way

The girls chatting up some Spanish guy .. Oh right our guide/driver Javier

Just in case you needed directions

Killing time waiting 

Found a fun option in the camera ... Takes years off me !

A interesting canal we crossed over

Ain't they cute together ! Coming up on 32 years ...

Powtown peloton 

Powtown power boys ! I'm sure we were not thinking "so how far back are the women folk now" 

Nope not us ! Some other crazies swimming in another canal we crossed 

Had views like this over and over ... Price was always worth it (aka hill climb)

The final stop ! 

Sunday, 15 September 2013

We have reached the end

We have reached the end of our ride !

Group pictures taken in front of cathedral ....

It was quite a nice ride ... Through many little villages ... But most enjoyable was the trail wondered through a forest most of the way today. But really really tired oh hills ... 

The walking pilgrims were not as bad as I expected .

Group dinner planned for 7 tonight ... Honest we will try and get some pictures added so tune back in here over Te next week or so and pictures will appear !

Hope you have enjoyed following our journey. 

It wasn't as hard as I had expected ... Thought I would feel
Completely drained ... But not so much at the moment ... Must be the rehydration strategy we were coached by mr Gray to follow . 

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Doug's favourite t thing ! Who would have know

Ok ... At
First I thought hey were rest stops ... But little did I know there were pictures taken each time

Almost there! And it's getting crowded

Ok, feeling done today. 55k's almost four hours of riding ... Done with hills ... Who invented the darn things? I know I have seen bulldozers around, flatten some of these hills already ...

Stopped in Melide, about 45 k from Santiago. By the end of the day, just wan the ride to be over, generally means trying to speed up , but really get slower.

Crowded traile, definitely notice more walkers, some clearly hurting, bandages on knees, or looking like they have very very sore feet. Some look to fresh to have walked for long, as we are within 100 k, I bet that is all some are doing. Really though, do you have to walk three or four abreast blocking the trail? Oh even worse, one little section no one was on the trail besides the road, which looked perfectly nice to walk or ride on ... But nope they were four wide on the road. Just happened to be on a downhill ... Didn't quite create enough of a wind blast to blow off their hats when I zipped by.

Today was some very enjoyable and small towns. Interesting speed control methods used by some.

Those that stick to the highways miss many of the interesting little things you see along the trails, and the smells! Which can be quite bad, some are just down right outrageously horrible. Always makes me thing of the little Thai villages Leslie and I have been in, sleeping over the cows, pigs and chickens ... Amazing how little those ones smelled, but not here in Spain ... Yuck

Over 800 k complete and no casualties! Yeh ... Everyone is still riding.

Friday the 13th postmortem

Forgot all about it being Friday the 13th until the silly old man tried to run me over on the highway. We generally ... Over 90 % of the time ... Stay on the trails.

Fridays ride was a tough one, started with a climb of over 700m, in 9.2 k winding us up and out of a valley where we had stayed the night before. The rest of our Friday was another 45k mostly downhill.

Stayed outside of Sarria, along the pilgrim trail at a "hostel" but more upscale than the standard ones. Been hearing stories of bedbugs in the pilgrim Albergue's/Refugeos. Glad we went with the better accomodations.

Regular rehydration and refueling night ... Probably not the best tactic for surviving the Camino, butheh only two more days of rising.

The lightening Peddler, and his partner the Paradise peddler joined in the fun today! Great having them along.

Friday, 13 September 2013

$@&$&&$$ old Spanish f$&@head

This is the dumbass Spanish old shit that hit me today !

Clipped my handlebars and wrist with his mirror