At dawn on our first day, some of us awoke with rather thick heads from first night celebrations in Madrid.

Our pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella was underway once again. This, our first day back on the ‘Via de la plata’ as pilgrims, marked 5 years to the day that we began our trekking adventure.

Since starting at the foot hills in the French Pyrenees in St Jean back in 2013 we have covered over 1100 Km on foot in just over 8 weeks, this week we will be one of the greatest distance we have attempted in one go with a 167 Km target ahead of us.

…and so our journey begins – after retracing our steps from a year ago – driving to the airport , taking a 2 hour flight , followed by 2 trains , 2 metro journeys and finally a four hour bus journey to Aldeneuva del Camino, we arrived at the point we finished last April.

With just half a days walking today we arrived at our designated Albergue to find it closed for a refit.
This left us no choice but it stay in the local Hotel with Gastro restaurant.

Whilst waiting for our rooms , the host provided us with beer and tapas , with all the excitement of food , Davin promptly dropped his on the floor (no problem – 3 second rule applies) then the host, returned every half an hour like clock work to tell us the rooms would be ready in just 10 more minutes – 2 hours later we were finally shown to our rooms – rather different to the usual deprivation of hostal bunk beds and a standard pilgrims supper, we were treated to ensuit accommodation and a slap up meal
prepared by our local host.

Early to bed after walking in the sunshine, the next few days will be quite different with a drop in temperature and wind and rain forecast.