With some time on our hands before leaving Spain, we returned to Santiago in the hope of liking it a little better! We were not disappointed, it was the build-up to the Fiesta of St James and the city was bursting with pilgrims. We spent hours enjoying the buzz of the new arrivals and finished on a high with a magnificant firework display. En-route home we visited the start point of our 2015 GR11 hike at Cape de Higuer and enjoyed an unexpected coincidence.
After a short, unplanned break from the trail, we have arrived back in Spain to complete our GR1 adventure. 400 miles remain on our journey to Santiago and mythical Finisterre, and we return refreshed and looking forward to our ascent into the mountains of Cantabria.
In Week 7 we left the broad horizons of Navarra behind, and climbed into the verdant, misty hills of the Basque country. The locals we met were convinced we had lost the Camino, but we were glad to be back on lonelier trails doing our own thing, as is our wildpilgrim way! There was lots of waiting for the rain to stop and plenty of time for tea- drinking and contemplating as we reflected on how the hiking-life deepens our sense of time and the value of unnoticed things.
Week 6 saw us desend from the Sierras of Aragon to the plains of Navarra. The bustle of roads and cities was a shock to the system, but the big, dramatic skies and unexpected birdlife of the plains was a highlight of our walk so far. By the end of the week we finally had some company as we crossed the pilgrim ‘highway’ of the Camino de Santiago’.
Week 5 has taken us along some lonely remote sections of trail and cut a cross-section through the varied landscapes of Aragon, from the Sierra de Guara to the Hoya de Huesca and the towering red cliffs of Riglos. The weather has thrown in some challenges too, as has food resupply, but we made it through and now contemplate our descent to the plains of Navarre.
In week 4 we complete our journey through Catalonia and cross into Aragon through the mighty Mont- Rebei gorge. We walk through lost landscapes of abandoned villages, lose the GR1 on a few occasions and end with a tough climb into the magnificent canyon country of the Sierra de Guara Natural Park- one of our favourite places ever!
In week 3 the GR1 got tougher as we plunged into the jumbled geology of the Sierra de Cadi. There were some bird highlights, plenty of dog encounters (good and bad), some logistical difficulties, heavy packs and few more hotels than planned. A timely decision at the end made all the difference.
Thoughts and an update from week 2 of our GR1 hike across Spain. Almost 200km inland, we have reached the foot of the high country.