Trepidatious traveller

This blog is largely set out in three sections -

Click on Camino Frances for daily reports from the Camino de Santiago (Frances route), 500+ miles across northern Spain from the Pyrenees through Santiago de Compostela to Finisterre – which I walked with my daughter in April/May 2013

This year (2014) I have walked the Camino Portuguese. I set off from Lisbon in May and travelled north through Portugal, across the Spanish border and on to Santiago de Compostela (670 km’s). The daily posts are full of photos and useful information for future pilgrims.


Click on Asia
to read about my adventures with Ella (my eldest daughter) in Bangkok, Sri Lanka and India in July 2012 (a work in progress!)

Click A view of life to read about the joys and quirks of living in an Andalucian mountain village

19 Responses to Trepidatious traveller

  1. Gaye Miles says:

    Hello from New Zealand – have you typed in 2014 and meant 2013 ?
    Amazing journeys, well done – I’m hoping
    to begin my Camino in mid April this year – happy future travels

    • magwood says:

      Thanks Gaye, yes typo – thanks for pointing it out. Mid April is a good time to walk, but will be busy over Easter – apparently a lot of spanish walk at that time. I’m sure you will have an amazing experience. Buen camino!

  2. Shari says:

    Thank you for sharing your Camino experience with us! I walked the Norte/Primitivo last summer and am hoping to walk part of the Portugues from Porto to Santiago this summer. Have you found a good source for information on this camino? Any information you can share is much appreciated! Buen Camino! Shari

    • magwood says:

      Hi Shari
      Thanks for visiting my blog. I shall be writing a daily post when I start the Portuguese route on 1 May, so sign up to follow if you want to receive the updates.

      I get most of my information and inspiration from a couple of camino forums. The most lively and supportive is here –

      Also this forum has lots of useful information –

      And also see here for an organisation dedicated to the Portuguese route, including a 24 hour emergency help contact number –

      You can search the forums for blogs – I enjoyed the writing here, although it ends a bit abruptly – but a realistic view from someone who, like me, walked the Frances last year –

      Enjoy your planning – I have been out shopping for new walking pants today!

      • Cam says:

        Just lost my posting to your blog, blast…
        Anyhow, THANK GODDNESS Your posts made it on-line. I read and enjoyed everyone of them.
        Congrats to You and Ella for making it ALL THE WAY !! Your Parents, I’m sure are Proud of you !
        Buen Camino! or should it be Buen CaminoS! to you !!

      • magwood says:

        Thanks Cam, for your very kind comment. I am now gearing up for my second camino on the Portuguese route, from Lisbon, walking solo this time, although I have just learned that Ella might join me for a portion of the route, which is a lovely surprise. Are you planning a camino or have you already walked one?

  3. retha says:

    i’v walked the camino from St Jean to Santiago solo in 2012 and plan on walking from porto to santiago in July 2014 will be foloowing your blog!

    • magwood says:

      Hi Retha, thanks for your comment. I have just returned from a lovely walk in the spanish sunshine in the mountains. I shall have to start training more seriously now though, as I needed a snooze after just 13km – must do better!

      I should reach Porto by mid-May and I may be joined by my daughter for this stage of the camino, which will be lovely.
      Buen camino!

      • I’ll be in Porto by mid May. I start in Lisbon on May 6. I would like to start the day I arrive and need a hostel close to Lisbon for the first night. I want to get away from the asphalt. Hope to see you and your daughter. I’ll have a Canadian flag on my green back back.

      • magwood says:

        Hi Pauline, my daughter has decided that she won’t be able to take the time to meet me in Porto, so it will be all the way solo. It would be great if we bumped into eachother – the timescale should be about right. Maybe we should keep in touch!

  4. Aileen says:

    Hello I enjoy your blog and I see that you have done the camino! I was wondering did you find any good walking pants, that seems to be my struggle I am leaving April 30th , I am so nervous excited.

    • magwood says:

      Hi Aileen, I know that feeling well (nervous and excited)! I found the most important thing about hiking pants is the placement of the pockets. I found the most useful pockets to be on the side of the leg, between knee and thigh. They are easy and comfortable to reach, and I kept things like tissues (I had a constant runny nose all through my camino), sunglasses, rubber tips for my walking poles, etc. With no experience last year, I was really lucky to buy one pair with this placement, but the other pair with just pockets below the waist did not get worn very much.

      This year I have purchased two new pairs, which are very lightweight (282g and 254g) and quick drying, and both have the requisite side pockets. The make is ‘Ex-Officio’ and I was lucky enough to buy them in an outlet store for £29 each (I think the original price was around £60). I also bought one of their vented shirts for something like £12. It is all very well made. I found them in a store called ‘Orvis’ which also sells Barbour gear – the first pair in store (they only had one pair) and the second over the telephone. The make seems more readily available in the USA.

      I wish you and very happy and blister-free camino.

  5. Tatiana says:

    Hi Maggie,
    I enjoyed reading your Camino blog, day after day. My girlfriend and I will start from Porto on April 22nd. Do you recommend to bring a lot of warm clothes? You mentioned quite often that mornings were cold and windy.

    Thanks again for conveying your experiences and some good laughs. Your pictures are great too.

    • magwood says:

      Hi Tatiana, thanks for your comment. There were definitely some cold days and I was glad to have some gloves, and warm base layers that can double as sleep wear on cold nights. It is entirely ‘luck of the draw’ with the weather at this time of year, but I would say it is fairly certain that you will encounter some rain as you travel north. Buen camino!

  6. Aul says:

    Awesome! I’ve always wanted to go on the Camino de Santiago. Did you go on it for religious reasons, if I may ask?
    By the way, feel free to check out my blog at
    I’m writing a novel and want to get the word out. Thanks!

  7. Leona says:

    Hi, Maggie, Love your blog, love that you travel! This is the annual Frontier Days celebration in Cheyenne, maybe one year you can visit– than being a local, I have no other connection to the event, but it is a fun time for locals and visitors. Hope your summer is going well. Leona

    • magwood says:

      Hi Leona, thanks for your kind words. The rodeo looks great fun. I love events where so many locals get involved, which is why I love the attitude of the spanish down here in Andalucia – everyone joins in the fun – all ages, all walks of life. Right now it’s ‘feria’ season, all the local villages take it in turns to host a huge party for the weekend, where the fun starts late at night and continues until 7am.

      And then on 15 August each year the village of Cómpeta holds its annual ‘noche del vino’ – night of the wine – to celebrate the grape harvest. Read about it in my post

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