We are very happy to announce officially today what some of you had already noticed: our new passenger transport service along the Camino de Santiago. Now we don’t just transport your luggage, but we can also take you wherever you need to go.
Whether it’s from your airport to your starting point, or back home once you’ve finished your Camino, now you can also book your transport through our website. We operate both taxis and private hire vehicles, using a fleet of modern and comfortable cars up to 7 seats. And as usual, this is all backed by our more than 10 years of experiencia in the Camino and our thousands of satisfied customers.
Try it now, at https://taxi.caminofacil.net/en/
2019 begins, and as always, we at Caminofacil are looking forward to meet our friends at the Camino de Santiago again to assist them in everything they need. Some of them are veteran pilgrims of past years, while others are walking the trail for the first time. In any case, we’ll be happy to help you so that your experience is as trouble-free as possible.
This year we have introduced some news at Caminofacil. One of them is the passenger transfer service, which some of you know already and will be announced officially over the next few weeks. The other big news is our new corporate logo, which we introduce here. It’s our first logo change in over ten years, and we believe that it accurately reflects the forward-looking and customer oriented values that characterize us.
We’ll be introducing this new image in our website in the coming weeks, as well as in our stationery. We look forward to see you on the Camino with our new image, and we hope that you’ll see in us the reliable partner that we’ve always been for pilgrims.
Have you decided to make the Camino de Santiago and chosen the Northern one (Camino del Norte)?
Then we’d like to help you so that your experience can be awesome, referring you to 6 places that you can’t miss.
The fact is that, although there are many more landscapes, villages, monuments… that you can’t miss in the Camino del Norte, we want to highlight these 6 places (if not, we would lengthen this too much):
1- Monastery of Samos
If you take our advice, do not just watch it from outside; it’s worth entering and visiting it.
It’s an architectural ensemble from the 16th to 18th centuries that comprises a neoclassical church, two cloisters, etc.
If you’re traveling the Camino del Norte, you can’t miss taking a walk through the charming streets of this noble and aristocratic town, seated over hills that shelter its lovely beach and its little harbor.
We recommend touring the old square, the church, and some houses in the town center featuring the popular architecture of the 18th century.
3- Enjoy the Cantabrian Sea
It will “wash your feet” in a large stretch of the route, that through the Basque Country and Cantabria lies along the shore, very close to the sea.
It’s a really spectacular stretch that leads to Castro Urdiales.
4- Walking among vineyards
Another landmark in the Camino del Norte, although it should be said that it’s true for every stage of the Camino de Santiago, is having the possibility of walking among vineyards.
In this case, you can travel through the vineyards where the delicious Txakoli wine comes from.
5- Faro de Plata (Silver Lighthouse) in Pasajes
You just can’t miss the views from the Faro de Plata in Pasajes, as they will rest engraved forever in your memory.
A panorama of the Gulf of Biscay that, although being tough to accomplish due to the steepness of the stairs, is really worth it.
6- Playa de las Catedrales (Cathedrals Beach)
The 26th stage of the Camino del Norte stretches from La Caridad to Ribadeo… We recommend a lot that you to take advantage of this stage, or the next one, to lose a little time and go to the Playa de las Catedrales.
We don’t have much to say that haven’t yet been said about this natural marvel.
And we end saying that in future articles we’ll show you other places that you can’t miss in the different Caminos: Francés, Aragonés, Primitivo, Portugués…
Baidu, the most popular Chinese search engine, has announced new alliances to offer virtual tours to the Camino de Santiago (and El Prado Museum and the route of Don Quixote) to Chinese users.
In this way, after their first digital museum success, dedicated to the architect Antonio Gaudi (with more than 3.5 million visitors), they stand up for the Camino as a tourist attraction for their users, putting at their fingertips the possibility to become a virtual pilgrim.
Thus, Baidu wants to go a step further, and has reached some agreements with the objective of creating additional virtual tours, among them the Camino de Santiago.
How will the Camino de Santiago tour be like?
We understand that, the same way that Chinese Internet users can visit today the digital museum dedicated to the architect Antonio Gaudi, it will be done through an application developed by Baidu Baike, an online encyclopedia owned by the big Chinese search engine.
This way they will be able to travel different routes with 360º panoramas and photos with 20 billion pixel resolution.
A possible addition will be a virtual tour with VR goggles (the same way the Sagrada Familia cathedral can be seen to the smallest feature today).
A different pilgrimage.
It’s true, this way of peregrinating to the Holy Door of Santiago de Compostela has nothing to do with the real thing. First, because it’s always better living it in person than seeing photos. And because, as good as the image quality could be, you will always feel there’s something missing. And second, because it lacks those real world experiences that enrich the Camino so much.
However, in case traveling the Camino and coming close to the magic places that make it up is something inaccessible to you, the best option is a virtual tour featuring the smallest details.
We impatiently look forward to its presentation, and the visitor numbers it could reach…
Are you going to walk the Camino? Are you determined to make some stages? Then, this article can help you. We want to offer you some advices that we know will help you in this adventure.
- comfortable footwear
One important maxim for a nice Camino experience is wearing comfortable shoes that you know adapt to your feet and your step. Think: you’ll spend hours and hours with them on.
A spare pair won’t do harm, just in case…
- give importance to breaks
Sleep at night, take small breaks on every stage, take a nap… Resting will help you recover, and recovering will let you go on the next day.
Otherwise you’ll get a tiredness buildup and you won’t be able to reach the goal.
- set yourself for realistic stages
That you know you can surmount with your current physical condition and your aptitude… otherwise you will be stifled and feel frustrated. It’s not required for every pilgrim to walk the same distance every day.
- beware the meals
We know. In Galicia, as well as other parts of the Camino, meals are delicious and hearty… but if you have a bellyfull at lunch, you’ll have a hard time walking afterwards.
So, if you want to proceed after lunch, have light lunches and more generous dinners. Furthermore, it’s better to rise early and get sooner to the lunch, and later spend the afternoon resting.
- enjoy the Camino
Last, but surely not least, enjoy the Camino; it’s a one-off experience… imbibe other cultures, meet people, enjoy places, etc.
And now, at last: Buen Camino for everyone!
There are few places along the Camino the Santiago more significant for the pilgrim than the monastery of San Juan de Ortega, in the Burgos province. Built by the saint of the same name (known in the English speaking world as Saint John the Hermit), the monument has been associated with the pilgrimage to Santiago since its foundation.
Juan de Velázquez was born in the village of Quintanaortuño in 1080, and from his youth he devoted himself to improve the Camino de Santiago, building bridges and paving roads in collaboration with Saint Dominic de la Calzada. The decision of building the monastery came from his pilgrimage to Jerusalem. According to the legend, when traveling back to Spain he suffered a shipwreck, and San Juan prayed to Saint Nicholas, promising to build a chapel in his honor if he survived. He did, so back home he started the work in the zone of the Montes de Oca, close to his hometown.
The San Juan de Ortega monument is comprised by the original chapel, a romanesque church built along it (where the saint is buried), the monastery and the pilgrims’ hospice. From the artistic point of view, the church’s main highlight is the capital of the Annunciation, which depicts the story of the angel Gabriel’s visit to the Virgin Mary.
The miracle of light.
Speaking of this capital, one of the most interesting phenomenoms associated with the monastery takes place in it, the so-called “miracle of light”. Every equinox (March 21 and September 22), at five o’clock (solar time), a ray of sunlight enters the church and illuminates the capital, going from left to right, “telling” the story of the Annunciation.
We are getting closer to autumn, one of the most popular seasons for walking the Camino de Santiago. It’s also the season, however, when rain and storms start to become more frequent. For those pilgrims walking the Camino, this presents a small but non-negligible risk: being struck by a lightning during a thunderstorm.
The risk of being hit by a lightning is indeed much higher in the countryside than in the city, since there are no tall buildings with metallic structures that might act as lightning rods. In order to prevent this, the best thing is to plan our route so that a hypothetical storm doesn’t catch us in the middle of the stage. Thus, we should follow these guidelines:
- Pay attention to weather forecasts.
- When in the road, observe the sky in case there are dark clouds or lightning flashes. Seek shelter in a safe place immediately if that’s the case.
- During the summer, thunderstorms tend to take place after four in the afternoon, so try to plan your route so that you reach your destination before that time.
If, despite all, we are caught by a storm in the countryside, this is what we should do:
- Avoid any high places, such as hills, and seek shelter in lower zones. It’s not a good idea to lie down on the floor, though, since electricity can travel along the ground.
- Get rid of all metallic objects, and leave them at least 30 meters away. This also includes powering down and leaving cellphones.
- In the same way, we should avoid metallic objects: fences, electric poles… as well as masses of water (rivers, puddles…).
- Do not run, and much less with wet clothes. Your movement could create turbulences in the air that “attract” lightnings.
- Avoid open, flat spaces, since we will stick out in the landscape and we could also attract lightnings.
- In the same way, we should not seek shelter underneath solitary trees, rocks and other features that stick out from their surroundings.
Where should we hide then? A good place could be a forest or group of trees, specially if there are other taller trees nearby. However, the best place to hide in the countryside is a closed car, with the engine turned off, radio antenna lowered and windows closed. If lightning strikes it, the car will be electrically charged only on the outside, while the inside will be protected, thanks to the physical phenomenon known as “Faraday cage”. Nevertheless, we should be careful not to touch any metallic parts of the car once we get out.
If we cannot get in the car and have to remain outdoors, the best thing is to squat as low as possible, with hands on the knees and touching the floor only with your shoes.
If a person has been struck by a lightning, these are the first aid measures that we should perform:
- If the person struck is unconscious, check for breathing and pulse.
- If there’s no breath, mouth-to-mouth resucitation should be provided. If there’s no pulse, perform CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). People suffering from cardiac arrest due to a lightning strike have more probabilities of recovery than those due to other causes; therefore, first aid should be performed as soon as possible.
- Check also for other injuries, such as bone fractures or burns. Do not move the patient if there are vertebral fractures.
- Keep the patient warm until medical help arrives.