El Camino Portugués: Porto to Obidos

dscn1982Wednesday, 28 September. A memorably great day, and the first seriously warm day since we left San Sebastian. We got separated at first, so that we crossed the Douro River on different spans of the Luis I Bridge. Using our phones to effect a rendezvous outside the port wine tasting rooms on the Gaia waterfront, we made our way to the Atlantic on the south bank of the river. Continue reading

El Camino Portugués: Santiago to Porto

dscn184322/9/2016, Thursday. Back in 2013, Cheryl rode the Camino Francesa and the Via de la Plata, the latter stretching from Santiago to Seville. Remembering the ugly suburbs and industrial zones south of Santiago, and the heavily travelled N-550, she suggested taking the train to Vilagarcia de Arousa. After Vilagarcia, we biked the Michelin three-star roads of the Rias Bajas peninsulas. Continue reading

El Camino Inglés: El Ferrol to Santiago de Compostela.

dscn1748Friday, 16 September.  We awoke to threatening skies. With dawn at 0730, once again we did not get up early enough. We struck out from Ribadeo past the beautiful beaches west of town. Light rain followed us all day. However, the only two times that it poured heavily, we managed to be under cover, including lunch in Foz. Continue reading

El Camino del Norte: Deba to Ribadeo

dscn1575Monday, 5 September. Dawn came late as is usual in these parts. If it weren’t for the hikers setting their alarms, we would have slept until the sun came up after 0830. Spain occupies the same longitudes as England, but keeps Western European (Continental) time. During Daylight Saving Time, that makes the sun some up (and go down) two hours later than solar time. We never got used to that. Continue reading

El Camino del Norte: San Sebastian to Deba.

dscn1620This is the beginning of a very special journey. The Way of Saint James (El Camino de Santiago in Spanish) was inaugurated in 831 AD. For almost 1300 years, pilgrims have walked (and now biked) to the Cathedral in Western Spain where the Biblical apostle James is buried. There are several different routes that the pilgrims can walk, marked by distinctive blue and yellow signs. The Northern Way (Camino del Norte) runs from France along the coast of the Bay of Biscay through the Basque Country, Cantabria and Asturia, to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia.

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Vancouver, BC and Redmond, WA: living with nature

DSCN1472From Saturday, 6 August until the middle of the month, I concentrated on completing the book translation. The client’s offices were closed until 22 August for the traditional Italian Ferragosto holiday, so this job did not have deadline pressure. However, I needed time to prepare for our coming bicycle tour. Continue reading

Tofino: trekking with amenities

DSCN1371In the last trip update, I mentioned our long weekend in Tofino on Vancouver Island. Once the western end of the TransCanada Highway, this fishing village just north of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is a jewel that attracts thousands of visitors every year. In very few places on the planet can you enjoy so much unspoiled nature, but still find a good meal and a comfortable bed at night.  Continue reading