FINALLY – the Camino de Santiago

I’ve many times been asked IF I’d done the Camino. Surprisingly, the answer was NO. Until now. 😀

The Camino de Santiago … known in English as the Way of St James … is a network of pilgrims’ ways or pilgrimages leading to the shrine of the apostle Saint James the Great in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where tradition holds that the remains of the apostle are buried.

As with most hikes that can be cycled, I prefer to cycle. At least 10% of pilgrims cycle rather than walk or arrive on horseback. They are known as ‘bicigrinos’ or ‘bicigrinas’, bike pilgrims.

My PLAN is to ride León to the famous cathedral. About 325km. Perhaps a week. No rush.

The total length starting in France is 825km.

You need to cycle at least 200km in order to receive a Compostela certificate in Santiago (as opposed to minimum 100km walking).

Nearly 350,000 Compostela pilgrim certificates were issued in 2019. I won’t be lonely. 😀

The Camino Francés, or French Way, is by far the most popular of many routes. Roughly 60% of pilgrims choose this camino over other options.

Though no guidebook is needed, I picked up a paper copy of Mike Wells’ Cycling the Camino de Santiago (2019). I’d listened to a good interview with the author.

Wish me luck.

Many folks only know the famous pilgrimage from the 2010 Martin Sheen movie. It’s very good, by the way.

Click PLAY or watch the trailer on YouTube.

500 Days in the Wild

Dianne Whelan is making a film about her solo adventures on the non-motorized Great Trail (the Trans Canada Trail).

From pushing 150-pounds of bike and packs over rocks, to hiking through flooded bogs, paddling the largest lake in the world, snowshoeing through dense coniferous forests, skiing across wind-blown plains, the trail beckons.

Dianne travels the ‘Old Way’, the slow way of the turtle,seeking wisdom from those that live close to the land, asking the questions “what have we forgotten?”

“What do we need to know?”

500daysinthewild.com

Click PLAY or watch a teaser on YouTube.

related – Is it called the Trans Canada Trail … OR Great Trail?

Hiking Prince Edward Island

Everyone loves PEI, one of the Canadian Maritime provinces.

Population only about 165,000.

Nora, Marian, Danny, and Bryson were first to do the NEW Island Walk as a thru hike.

  • 700 km
  • 32 sections
  • one month
  • easy compared with most other thru hikes

A detailed guidebook is available:

Digital: Etsy
Paperback: The Bookmark

I’ve cycled a lot of PEI myself. As it’s quite flat, I’m predicting cycling the Island Walk will be even more popular. Alasdair Veitch cycled it.

Details on theIslandWalk.ca

Hiking the Faroe Islands

If Iceland seems too tame for you, consider hiking the Faroe Islands, an autonomous country of the Kingdom of Denmark.

I’m hoping to get there myself next summer. 

Click PLAY or get a glimpse via Rannvá Joensen on YouTube.   (4K)

 

Some of the best hikes include:

  • Lake Sørvágsvatn, Bøsdalafossur Waterfall
  • Kallur Lighthouse, island of Kalsoy
  • Slættaratindur (882m)
  • Mykines Lighthouse
  • Draganir (Sea Stacks)

Here’s a hiking map of the islands.

It’s included in an excellent free hiking guide (PDF).

I’m planning to arrive by ferry from Denmark on my touring bicycle.

Dreaming …

Norway ➙ Faroe Islands ➙ Iceland

Dream by BestHike editor Rick McCharles

Many of my hiking travel plans have been cancelled starting March 2020. Pandemic. 😕

IF possible in August 2022, here’s my PLAN.

Cycle and hike Norway on my Trek Checkpoint touring bike.

Catch the ferry in northern Denmark. Stopover in the Faroe Islands.

Continue to Iceland for yet more cycling and hiking.

Fly out of Reykjavik.

Price for that ferry starts at 404.00€ plus meals onboard.

It’s 30+ hours to the Faroes. Another 15+ hours to eastern Iceland.

Travel between the islands is not difficult, I understand. Here’s an overview map of popular hikes.

Photo by Tomu00e1u0161 Malu00edk on Pexels.com
Faroe Islands photo by Tomu00e1u0161 Malu00edk on Pexels.com

Crossing Iceland on Foot

Łukasz Supergan posted a terrific summary of options for hiking across Iceland.

I’m looking to do some bike touring and hiking summer 2022. #research

Łukasz did the #4 route (green) in winter, for example.

He recommends we do it in summer.

Variant no. 2 may be the easiest, but it leads through the roads used by cars, which may be tiresome.

Variant no. 1 is more demanding.

Variant no. 3 is the fastest traverse from all of the options. Going east-west requires more time and planning, and it is combined with bigger difficulties (less roads, more paths and sometimes the wilderness, crossing the rivers, long distances with no water). Choose it, if you are sure of your skills and you can survive far away from people. …

Crossing Iceland. Part 1: the route and preparations

I’m also researching options for bikepacking Iceland.

Trek Checkpoint 4 – Bikepacking or Mountain Biking?

I’ve customized my NEW 2021 Checkpoint ALR 4 for Bikepacking.

Transportation to-and-from hiking trailheads. (VIDEO)

BUT … occasionally I’d like to take off the panniers and use the aluminum gravel bike for single track.

So far, so good. So long as I keep my tires on the ground. The suspension is … not great.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

My NEW Trek Checkpoint ALR 4

By BestHike editor Rick McCharles.

I’m considering FUTURE trips to Iceland, Norway, northern BC and/or Yukon. Great hiking. Bad weather.

For transport to trailheads, I’ll fly with my own touring bike.

Though it wasn’t easy during the pandemic, I did locate an appropriate ride IN STOCK. For the past week I’ve been testing my 2021 Trek Checkpoint ALR 4.

So far, so good.

This gravel frame is aluminum, not steel. Base weight 10.12 kg / 22.3 lbs — though I’ve already customized it with a number of add-ons.

The fewer flats the better. SO added heavier Bontager HARD-CASE ULTIMATE tires.

Having had racks fail in the past, I added Bontager DELUXE MIK pannier racks front and back.

Good lights. Fenders and kickstand.

Click PLAY or check it out on YouTube.

I’ll use a Sportneer 7mm, 3.2ft-long, combination bike lock. Not the most secure lock available, but convenient and only 1.57 pounds.

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