Walkabout California

Hiking Inn to Inn

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Entering Galicia

Leaving the plains of north-central Spain, the pilgrim climbs and decends through the mountains of eastern Leon and into Galicia.  As each day passes and the Atlantic Coast draws nearer,  the terrain becomes more lush and verdant.  Ascending out of Rabanal for 1,000 feet, we reached the highest peak on the Camino, Cruz de Ferr, at 4,938 feet.  The trail passes through dense forests of oak, eucalyptus, birch, chestnut, and pine. Climbing out of Villafranca, the trail ascends 1,200 feet, drops…

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Added by Tom Courtney on October 29, 2011 at 11:29am — No Comments

Catholic Spain

Spain has deep Roman Catholic roots, going back, legend tells us, to Christ´s apostle, St. James, Santiago.  The pilgrim passes through perhaps a half a dozen village each day, almost all dominated by an ancient stone and wooden church.  We often stop to sit in the cool, dark sanctuaries for a moment of contemplation and to experience the beauty and devotion  represented by centuries old statues and paintings of the saints and Holy Family.  We have occasionally attended services in churches…

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Added by Tom Courtney on October 22, 2011 at 12:21pm — No Comments

Leon

I entered the narow, winding streets of the old city of Leon.  It was the day of the festival of San Froilan y las cantaderas and a grand medieval faire filled the plazas with hundreds of booths selling roasted meats and octopus, pastries, sweets, jewerlry, soaps, perfumes, clothes, wood carvings, and tarot readings.  People were dressed in renaissance costumes.…

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Added by Tom Courtney on October 15, 2011 at 9:17am — No Comments

The meseta

After hiking the verdant foothills of the Pyrenese and through the lush vineyards of La Rioja, the Camino enters the meseta, flat tabletop land that covers 40% of Spain.  For the next 120 miles the pilgrim ascends long mesas and descends into broad valleys.  Wheat fields stretch for as far as the eye can see, now freshly harvested in early October.  Rivers, lined with cottonwoods, meander through the plain.  Small medieval villages along the rivers, break up the sameness of the terrains.…

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Added by Tom Courtney on October 10, 2011 at 10:53am — No Comments

Burgos

The ancient city of Burgos was founded in 884 as a defensive fortress for the Kingdom of Navarra against the Muslims to the south.  Today´s pilgrim hikes several kilometers through stark, modern Burgos before passing through 14th century walls, under Arco de Santa Maria, and into the magical old city.  Here the streets are narrow and winding, there are few cars, but the lanes are busy with foot traffic.  People crowd the shops and sidewalk cafes.

After 13 days of hiking and 180 miles,…

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Added by Tom Courtney on October 7, 2011 at 10:07am — No Comments

A day in the life of a pilgrim

After a few days on the Camino, the pilgrim´s life settles into an easy rhythym.  Albergues may be small with only a dozen beds or big with bunk beds for 100 in a large room.  It is wise to sleep with earplugs or you will enjoy all the sounds of nocturnal humanity.

People begin to stir around 5:30am.  alarms beep, pilgrim pack away sleeping bags and prepare to hit the trail.  I usually am out of bed by 6:30 and hiking by seven.  This is my favorite time of day.  It is still dark and…

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Added by Tom Courtney on October 5, 2011 at 9:27am — 1 Comment

Entering Rioja

The Camino traverses western Navarra Province mostly on country trails, passing through small villages, always dominated by a church, the tallest building.  Pilgrims are a major source of revenue, and many villages will offer a cafe, a fountain, and possibly a small inn and/or albergue.  The harvested grain fields of the rolling farmland yielded to bountiful vineyards as the trail approaches Rioja Province, the home of some of Spain´s finest red wines.

I entered the city of Logrono at…

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Added by Tom Courtney on October 3, 2011 at 7:14am — 1 Comment

Stopping at a country inn along the Camino

Pamplona is the capital of Navarra, a semi-autonimous province, the south being more Castilian, the north, Basque.  The Basque are a fiercely independent people.  Linguists tell us that the Basque language, Euskara, is one of Europe´s oldest and has no know relationship  to any other language.  It is as if the basque…

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Added by Tom Courtney on September 27, 2011 at 2:30am — No Comments

Hiking through the foothills of the Pyrenees

The hike from Roncesvalles to Pamplona took two days, climbing and descending the foothills of the Pyrenese.  Most of the trail was on mountain paths, ascending to ridges and dropping into the valley of the Rio Arga, which the trail crossed and recrossed.  Early in the morning, before dawn, I hiked with the north star to my back and Orion high overhead, passing through the ¨woodlands of the witches,¨ a dense beech forest.  During the 16th century, it is said that covens of witches practiced…

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Added by Tom Courtney on September 24, 2011 at 7:30am — 1 Comment

Hiking el Camino de Santiago de Compostela



I have wanted to hike el Camino de Santiago de Compostela, the Way of St. James, ever since I read Pualo Cuelho´s book The Pilgrimage more than a decade ago.  Now, with the publication of Walkabout Northern California: Hiking Inn to Inn this spring, I decided to give myself the gift of a 500 mile trek across northern Spain.

 

The legend of the Camino began in AD 813 when Pelayo, a religious hermit, heard the song of angels and followed a star to an ancient Roman… Continue

Added by Tom Courtney on September 22, 2011 at 8:07am — 2 Comments

On the SF to Half Moon Bay hike walking on sand?

I plan to walk from SF Fort Funston to Half Moon Bay, as in the book. I have a few questions.

Was there a lot of walking on sand? If so, what shoes should be worn and were the tides a problem or dangerous?

Also, is there a good place meet up with people at Fort Funston (i.e. a parking lot or building that can be easily found with a car)?

Added by Jennifer Breckler on September 11, 2011 at 5:31pm — 1 Comment

San Diego County Beach Walks

My wife and I are planning a two day walk along the beach from Torrey Pines State Beach to Oceanside Pier.  If anyone has done this we would like to hear your thoughts and suggestions.

Added by Barry Pulver on June 15, 2011 at 10:07pm — 1 Comment

California Trails & Greenways Conference-fyi

Trail Professionals and Advocates,

Mark…

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Added by Christie Kelley on October 1, 2010 at 8:56am — No Comments

Walkabout Point Reyes National Seashore

With 71,000 acres of coastal hills, dense forests, pristine beaches, and 140 miles of hiking trails, Pt. Reyes National Seashore is a walkabout paradise. It is only an hour and a half north of San Francisco by car or bus. This walkabout…

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Added by Tom Courtney on July 9, 2010 at 7:30am — No Comments

planning our trip

We are thinking about coming out for a group hike this summer. We have budgeted airfare and food expense, but have not yet received our Travel Insurance Quote. We are not sure if this is a necessary expense, but want to make sure we have all our bases covered. For all of you guys who have coordinated group trips, what do you think? Is this something that we need to do or not. Some in our group have… Continue

Added by Cammi Madison on April 5, 2010 at 4:37pm — No Comments

Marin Walk

My husband Tom and I spent this past weekend hiking in Marin, as a celebration of our 9th anniversary. We left the kids with my folks and took off Friday morning to the Headlands, where we talked with a volunteer in the Visitor's Center. They had not heard of Walkabout and weren't sure what we should do about the car. Finally, after a few discussions and phone calls with other docents, it was decided that we could leave the car in the Headlands, and a pass was written out for us, which we left… Continue

Added by Elizabeth Boegel on October 7, 2009 at 10:56am — 2 Comments

Walkabout Mendocino Coast, August 2009

Hello fellow hikers! My wife and I just finished the Mendocino Coast Walk . It was our anniversary gift to ourselves. On our way to Albion, we stopped and tasted wines in Anderson Valley, had a picnic at Husch, and then drove on to the coast. A great start!



Checked in at Albion River Inn where staff members were not familiar with Walkabout, but they should be now. To help celebrate our anniversary, complementary wine in our room and two glasses of champagne for our dinner. We had a… Continue

Added by Ted Milkoff on September 8, 2009 at 9:26am — 1 Comment

wine country walk

seems that the Anderson valley, Napa and Sonoma valley areas are ideal for a inn to inn hiking trip. Has anyone got some ideas on a 3 day hike in these valleys?

Added by Hilary Gans on July 20, 2009 at 4:08am — No Comments

Exploring Lassen Volcanic National Park

Along the Pacific Rim’s Ring of Fire, the Cascade Mountains reach as far north as Mt. Garibaldi in British Columbia. This range of massive volcanoes stretches south through Washington, Oregon and Northern California. At its southern tip lies Lassen Peak, resting from its most recent eruption in 1917. Surrounding the mountain is Lassen Volcanic National Park, a wild and exotic Northern California treasure.…

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Added by Tom Courtney on June 26, 2009 at 8:30am — No Comments

Hiking Inn-to-Inn on the Marin Coast

Hike the coastal bluffs and forests of America’s western edge, some of the most beautiful country in California.  This moderate 41-mile, 4-day Walkabout starts in Marin Headlands, just 10 minutes from the Golden Gate Bridge, and hikes to Point Reyes National…

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Added by Tom Courtney on March 20, 2009 at 4:30pm — 5 Comments

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