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While I don´t have the certificate to prove it, I did complete the Camino Portugues to the best of Hermes´ability. Now, in the old city of Santiago de Compostela, we begin to go east to France on the Camino Frances. Most pilgrims work their way west to finish at this church, so the town is swimming with worn out, tanned, teary-eyed pilgrims of all ages and languages. Not so for this fresh-faced peregrina! We´re just getting started.

The Camino de Santiago is a celebration of the presence of St. James in Portugal. After his beheading in Jerusalem, supposedly his remains were brought back to Spain, where he had spent time preaching the gospel of his Lord. The cathedral is an astonishing accomplishment of Baroque design (with the help of nature´s verdant additions in its nooks and crannies).

There are many caminos, but the way across to France through inland Spain is by far the most popular. Still, many parts of the trail are really only pedestrian friendly, or would require a much more off-road bike frame to manage. I´ve got a guidebook in Spanish for “bicigrinos” that I´ll be using to help steer me through the major sites, and I´ll report back on how well their suggested roads do for cycling and sightseeing.

Here´s the basic map, expected to take two lovely and low-pressure weeks of riding.