Saturday, 17 September 2011 00:58

All team members reach the summit - See reports received by the Expedition Office

If you are interested in climbing Kilimanjaro we have escorted groups in January, June and September plus options throughout the year including or excluding flights from €1900. Also check out our gallery and news page for previous trips.

Trip Reports by: Lorraine Gordon - Team Leader/Guide

Guides: Ian O'Neill & Lorraine Gordon

Good morning Lorraine, back at desk since yesterday. Just a short note to say I found the climb a wonderful experience and to thank you personally for all the support and encouragement during the week and especially your efforts that got me to the top on the night climb. It is only now when I am home and have time to reflect on the photographs and talk to people, the hugh achievement personally and by you and Ian, to get the whole group to the Top.
All the best, Dermot

Post Trek Report: Well, the dust has settled and everyone is back from Safari and Zanzibar. Most of team has been in contact over the past few days and the feedback and comments coming in from everyone has been amazing - Second time round and I can honestly say the experience was as good and even better as my first time being out in Tanzania. Mount Kilimanjaro is often understated in her challange but the rewards reaped in each days trek far outweigh any moments of despair. It's not just the sense of accomplishment as you look back on height gained, or the amazing views, or the experience of the different terrains encountered- these are all part of what makes Mount Kilimanjaro so unique. But it's the people who are with you and that become an integral part of your adventure that each time makes this trek an unforgetable experience. Our support team of 61 lead by head guide Fredrick made our journey not only possible but awe inspiring as they each day set up Camp and cooked and aided us and throughout, were so kind and positive. Their smiles and camaraderie at the end of each days trek were welcomed! They work so hard to ensure that everyone's journey is the best it can be and without a moment of hesitation it can be said they were top class! As for the Irish team- what can I say! We had it all  - determination, glamour ('here come the girls), laughter, remarkable team work and strength. Everyday everyone worked together to ensure not only their day but the day of those around them went well. We set off as 18 strangers and returned to Moshi as one. On behalf of Irish & Worldwide Adventures, again we say Congratulations to you all! An amazing journey with you one and all

''Thanks so much for organising a fantastic trip for us and for taking such great care of us on the mountain - Best adventure of my life!''  - Ciara

''Lorraine & Ian, Just a quick note to thank you both for all your help & organisational skills (& patience) in Tanzania. I had a wonderful time & that's in no small part due to you & the rest of the amazing team in Moshi. Thanks again''  - Lisa

''Thank you for everything you did and how well you looked after us in Africa, Pat and I were really impressed''  - Jim

 

 

 

 

DAY 6 September 22nd: Success all reach the summit


The night begins:
All the team had little sleep in anticipation of what the night held in store for them. A bright clear night we were summit bound as we donned on our warm clothes and head torches in the dark of the morning to head to the summit. A long and arduous day ahead and all of us working together as a team.

Barafu Camp to Summit to Mweka Hut 

Elevation (ft): 15,300ft to 19,345ft (and down to 10,000ft)
Distance: 5 km ascent / 12 km descent
Hiking Time: 7-8 hours ascent / 4-6 hours descent
Habitat: Arctic

We all left camp in the early hours of the morning, it was dark and the only sound was the rustling of feet. The instruction to move upwards was give by Fredrick and the summit attempt began pole pole, the mantra for the night, (slowly slowly) we had 14 hours to go. We continued our way to the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers, moving in a northwesterly direction ascending through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. By the time we got there we where both mentally and physically exhausted. This is the most challenging portion of the trek. But after a few minutes rest we knew the summit was within reach.

At Stella Point (18,600 ft), we stopped for a short rest and were rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise.

From Stella Point, we made our way on the long slow 1-hour ascent to the summit - Uhuru Peak, the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa. We all look in awe at each other; the summit was achieved by all the team. Tear of joy, sorry and pain came to everyone naturally for all the team the dream of standing on the highest point on the African continent was achieved. Now the long descent from the summit begins.

Team on Summit

From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for lunch.

We will update the balance of our journey later.

The team: Ciara O Bien, John Gethings, Keith Sheridan, Myles O Brien, Dermot Scanlon, James Cummins, Patricia Cummins, Lisa Molan, Shane McCabe, David Murray Keane, Mary Murray, Neol Murray, Patrick Murray, Mark Murray, Nigel Heath and the guides Fredy, Francais ,Lorraine, Ian, Douglas, Alfred, Jasper, & Armani.

They are now all descending to Mewka hut campsite with 5 Kitchen staff and 49 porters for a celebration and a good night sleep before returning to Moshi tomorrow and the completion of the trek.

DAY 5 September 21st

Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp
Elevation (ft): 13,100ft to 15,300ft
Distance: 4 km
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

 

After a healthy breakfast (eggs anyone!) all the team were on the move heading to our head camp Barafu, the spirits high and no altitude sickness yet amongst the whole group due to proper acclimatization on the mountain. All the training at home and in Kerry is paying off. We left Karanga camp site and hit the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail and continue to gain altitude slowly as we ploughed our way uphill as we continued up to the Barafu Hut.

At this point, we have completed the South Circuit. The views of the summit from all around us were fantastic and our hearts ran faster at the thought tonight is the summit. We set up camp at around 1.00pm and had some lunch before walking a little higher to gain altitude before returning to camp to rest for a few hours.

We are now at high camp, resting, enjoying dinner as we prepare for the summit attempt later tonight. As we retire to bed the beauty of our surrounding is awesome, the two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are to be seen from this position.

All the team are feeling fine, the altitude is starting to click in and we are hoping all the team will feel well enough in the middle of the night to make a summit attempt.

Our next despatch will be to let you all know how we get fare on the summit push. Cross fingers and say a prayer that we all get to the summit and back safely to lower camp tomorrow.

 

Day 4 September 20th

Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp
Elevation (ft): 13,000ft to 13,100ft
Distance: 5 km
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert


Leaving Barranco Camp, we crossed, scrambling, a steep ridge passing the Barranco Wall. An unexpected added bonus for some, the team enjoyed and conquered the challenge and were rewarded at the top of the wall by the vast and beautiful views back down over Barranco. As we crossed the Karanga Valley, it started to rain, only dampening the spirit of the group for a short spell. We are now a well oiled machine! We made our way across a traversing slope to the Karanga Valley Campsite.

Cloud drops with Mt Meru peeping through

After a change and some tea, the clouds suddenly lifted and there was silence as we climbed out of the mess tent to witness a picture that will stay in our minds for a long time to come - the clouds had dropped below Camp and peeping over it's cover in the near distance was Mt Meru. We sat around the site gazing at this backdrop and as we did every night, found a new reason and energy in this to get us through another day!

This is a short day meant for acclimatization. All the team are feeling confident and they are awaiting a big day tomorrow.

 

Day 3 September 19th
Shira Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp
Elevation (ft): 12,500ft to 13,000ft
Distance: 15 km
Hiking Time: 6 and a half hours
Habitat: Semi Desert

 

All up bright and early today fantastic views as we made our way from our from Shira Plateau campsite which resembles a semi desert landscape making our way east up a ridge, passing the junction towards the peak of Kibo.

The clouds started to role in by mid morning. All the team continue in good form with little altitude problems. A few of the team had slight headaches. After lunch, we were feeling strong as a team- there was a few moments where it was felt by some that a descend to Camp without visiting the Lava Towers would be a good option. I admire strongly their decision to listen to the advise of the team and Freddy and continue in a slow pace, turning South East towards the Lava Tower, called the "Shark's Tooth." By the time we got to the towers, everyone was feeling the benefit of having taken in this extra acclimatisation and the picture is strong in my mind of 17 smiling faces surrounded by the overshadowing tower rock wall. Shortly after the tower, we continued down to the Barranco Hut at an altitude of 13,000ft where we camped for the night. There we rested, enjoyed dinner, and overnighted. Although you end the day at the same elevation as when you started, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day. All of the team arrived in camp in good form.

 

Day 2 September 18th

We awoke to another day and set off upwards toward Camp 2

Shira Camp (3840m)

Hiking time: 6h Distance: 9 kms approx

Habitat: Moorland

Having left the glades of the rain forest, the team continued on an ascending path, crossing a little valley walking along a steep rocky ridge, covered with heather, until the ridge ends. The route then turned West onto a river gorge at 3,658 meters. After lunch/rest, the team continued up a rocky ridge onto the Shira plateau.

At this stage, in an easterly direction, the Western Breach will be visible with its stunning glaciers, but unfortunately the cloud was down all day. Due west of Kibo, after a short hike the team reached the Shira campsite. The night at this exposed camp will even be colder than last night, with temperatures dropping to well below freezing. The team are all smiling and the form is good, bring on tomorrow!!

 

 

Team at Machame Gate - Bring it on..

Day 1 September 17th

The excitment was building all evening. Early start this morning and we are now passing through Machame Gat,  the starting point of our mountain adventure.
The gate was busy with porters gathering themselves to take the personal and communal loads after being weighed.

The team are all in cracking form. Onwards we went for 5hrs trekking with a rainy start, although it is a rainforest after all!! Before evening approached we setup Machame Camp (2980m) on the fringe of the rainforest just entering the alpine meadows. Good meal and off to bed with the rain heavy again overnight.

 

16th September: Briefing and relaxing

Today was a rest day for the team to recoup from the long journey and to have a full briefing in the morning at the hotel from Fredrick our head guide and our mountain staff for the trek which will start tomorrow. Everyone is in great form but understandably apprehensive of what will lay ahead of them for the coming days, but all the team are in good form and cant wait to get going. The afternoon was spent repacking for the mountain and enjoying the African way of life in Moshi before we leave for Mt Kilimanjaro in the morning

 


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15th September: All arrive safely

Everyone had a long tiring journey from Ireland with delays in Amsterdam before continuing onto Tanzania where the team were picked up by Nadir and our local staff at Kilimanjaro International Airport.

The team arrive late in the evening and retired to the comfort of our hotel resort in Moshi for a nice evening meal (and a sampling of 'Kilimanjaro beer') before retiring for the night for a well deserved rest.

 

Friday, 01 July 2011 02:20

Some of team taking in the views on Meet Day Hike

June 25th Meet Day/Fitness Assessment Weekend for the September Mount Kilimanjaro Team Members. 

What a weekend it was! Fourteen of the team were able to join us on our Free Meet Day offered to aid their preparation for their climb of Mt Kilimanjaro.

The aim of the day is to allow the team to meet with their guides and fellow trekkers, discuss the trek ahead, address any queries that may remain and run through the gear required.

We also hit the hills this weekend. We choose the route over Strickeen down into the Gap and crossed onto the 'Chimneys' to ascend Tomies Mountain. The routes we choose are part of Fitness Assessments covering terrains and exerting energy simular to that of a typical days trek.  

The benefit of this day has proved very successful over the past years and with most of the team staying to partake in the Night Hike, that together with the earlier hike simulates summit night.  The team left The Mountain Lodge on Sunday feeling ready to take on the challenge ahead.  

 

 

"Hi Lorraine, Thanks a million for a fantastic weekend. I can't wait until September!"  Kind Regards, Lisa

 

Two days of trekking in great company with good food and comfortable lodgings. Our Fitness Training Weekend for Trekkers is geared towards those wishing to take on a challenging trek or climb like Kilimanjaro, Elbrus or even Aconcagua and is recommended as part of a training plan. We suggest you complete this course early in your training plan or at least 2-3 months prior to departure. This course is an ideal way to assess your fitness level with a long day on the mountains while simulating the summit day by starting in the dark early on Day 2.

This course is designed for people who would like to use a guide to assess their fitness levels and to show them the fitness level required for trekking holidays that involve higher altitudes. (4000-6000+)

 

For more information on our Fitness Assessment Weekends or our expeditions to Africa and worldwide - contact us here at www.patfalvey.com

 

 

African Tour Leader Gerry Walsh enjoying day on Tomies


Wednesday, 15 June 2011 12:08
Published in Travel & Training News

 

We were delighted to be invited to the offical opening of the fantastic Lisleibane carpark facility at the base of Carrauntoohil and the two footbridges that allow safe access onto the foothills of the Reeks. 25 years work has seen it's fruition and Anne Lucey's article from the Cork Examiner covers the events of the day


Footbridges provide vital access to Ireland’s highest mountain
By Anne Lucey
Tuesday, June 14, 2011


TWO footbridges providing access to Ireland’s highest mountain Carrauntoohil, along with a car park for hillwalkers, were officially opened yesterday in the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks. The mountain hosts tens of thousands of climbers each year.
The €150,000 project, sponsored by Kerry County Council and Fáilte Ireland, also saw generous support form the local community, including the donation of land at Lislebby by Donal O’Connor.
The steel footbridges were made and donated by the Killarney-based German crane company Liebherr Ireland.

"This project provides a much needed carpark at Lisleibane, Beaufort, serving Carrauntoohil, and two footbridges in the Hags Glen area of Carrauntoohil, allowing hillwalkers to safely enjoy the experience of walking Ireland’s highest mountain," said Minister Jimmy Deenihan who performed the official opening.
"The designation of the Reeks as a candidate special area of conservation is important to protect the intrinsic heritage of the county and the development of walks allows locals and visitors to the county the opportunity to take in the peace and tranquillity of our highest mountain," he said.

The footbridges were named in honour of a local community activist, the late Patie O’Shea and the late Angela Kenny, a young woman who drowned a number of years ago in that area.
Mayor of Kerry, Cllr Pat Leahy said: "The safety of hillwalkers is very important and the carpark— which serves Carrauntoohil — allows for ample parking for tourists and hillwalkers," he said.

Lisleibane is one of two carparks now serving the Reeks area.

This appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Tuesday, June 14, 2011 

Thursday, 09 June 2011 21:58

Lar Fant, a good friend of Pat's and the team here at the Mountain Lodge, has climbed and trained at our school of mountaineering with us over the years, rang to fill us in on his recent successful summit of Mt Denali.

 

''I flew onto Denali on the morning of May 17th (a few days after Jerry O'Sullivan's accident)

It was my second trip to Denali having failed to summit in 2009 due to horrible weather. However, this year we got lucky with the weather and for the most part, the weather was kind to us with our attempt on the summit beginning at 8.00am on May 30th.

There were lots of teams and individuals attempting the summit that day, as the weather forecast was not good for the following few days. Progress was therefore slow but eventually, we got to the summit at c.18.30 and although cold, we had amazing views from the top.

After the photos, we headed back down and got back to camp (17,200) at 2.00am. Tired but thrilled to having made the summit of Denali at last - my 4th of the seven summits (having previously being on Kilimanjaro, Elbrus and Aconcagua with yourself Pat)

Denali was by far the hardest challenge so far but the experience of 2 years ago was invaluable and greatly added to my enjoyment of the mountain.

As we saw with Jerry's accident, there seems to be a lot of accidents on Denali this year and before we got into High Camp at 17,200 there was a serious accident with a guide and 3 clients falling on the Autobahn which resulted in the death of the guide and one of the climbers, with the remaining 2 climbers suffering serious injuries so as you can imagine our approach & descent of the Autobahn was one of caution as we had seen the 2 bodies being lifted off the mountain by helicopter before we started our summit attempt.

Only back in Ireland with a few days and already thinking of what's next, with Everest a possibility if I can arrange the time and the finance!'' Lar

We all at the Pat Falvey Mountain Lodge and Training Center want to congratulate Lar on his success and wish him the best on his future plans.

Wednesday, 01 June 2011 00:33
Published in Travel & Training News

Congratulation's Megan..we will be in contact in the coming days to arrange delivery of your €200 voucher for use against any of Irish & Worldwide walks, treks, climbs or expeditions!

We know you have a keen interest in 'travel' and look forward to planning with you your adventure!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by our stand and filled out our questionnaire. We are delighted to see so much interest in the outdoors and it was great to put faces to so many of you with whom we have spoken with in the past..and look forward to meeting again in coming months.

 

Tuesday, 31 May 2011 23:49
Published in Travel & Training News

Tony Nation and Ian O Neill led our first group on the Get Up, Get Out, Get Fit inititive.

The group walked from Carrigaline to Crosshaven and back. Everyone enjoyed the first of their 10 week walks plan that next week sees them heading to Ballyvorney for a 4 hour walk, as an introduction to uphill walking.

''It's just the kick I needed'' was just one of the comments from the group as the day came to an end.

To get more information on this fitness building program, call Tony +353 87 2757768 or contact us here at the office for details.

 

Friday, 20 May 2011 01:41
Published in Travel & Training News
And what an adventure weekend it's going to be!


We are just back from setting up our stand (No 19 & 20) - Having been given a sneak preview of what it in store, We can only say if you can come along, Do!

Find new ways to spend your time or develop your hobbies. Test the gear, try the activities and find out how to get involved in new adventure sports and holidays. We will be available throughout the weekend to meet with you and discuss your next adventure with Irish & Worldwide Adventures. We also have some giveaways at the stand so please visit us at 19 & 20 : See a floor plan PDF on download attachment link at the bottom of this article.

We have 2 tickets to give away enabling free entry on Saturday or Sunday, just text 'adventure' to 087 2594090 and a winner will be announced at 9pm friday evening. Competition Now Closed
Congratulation's Eddie Kavanagh of D24- See you over the weekend! We will be in touch to arrange for you to collect your tickets

Lorraine Gordon will be at the stand over the weekend to discuss Travel, Training & Expeditions

Tony Nation will be at the stand on Saturday & Sunday to discuss Bootcamps, Get Fit Programs & Teambuilding

Pat Falvey will be also be visiting the stand over the weekend and will speak at the 'Think Tank' supported by Outsider Magazine on Sunday at 13.30. See the Sunday Schedule below:

12.30 – Mark Flagler on tackling the International Appalachian Trails

13.30 – Irish explorer, Pat Falvey

14.30 – Adventure athlete, Mark Pollock, Geaorid Towey & Roisin Finlay

15.30 – The first Irish man to visit the deck of the Titanic, diver Rory Golden

16.30 – Ireland’s answer to Bear Grylls, Aebhric O’Kelly will speak about the psychology behind survival in the great outdoors

Have a look at Adventure weekend website for more details
Opening Times

Friday 20th May – 2pm-9pm

Saturday 21st May – 10am-9pm

Sunday 22nd May – 10am-7pm

Entrance prices

Adults: €15.00

Students & Seniors: €12.00

Children under 13 years: €6.00

Children under 3 years go free

Family Ticket: €40.00 (2 adults and 3 children)

Visit us at 19 & 20

Friday, 13 May 2011 00:13

May 07th brought Andy, Jack (10) and Shannan Timmins along with 22 friends to the foot of Carrauntoohil.

 

Since late 2010, we have had the pleasure of working with Andy and Sarah Timmins in organising their fundraising event to Climb Carrauntoohill for the Cystic Fibrosis Hopesource Foundation. With over 40 members of the Timmins family and friends down from Dublin, including a supporting team, the 25 climbers including Jack and Lee, both whom have Cystic Fibrosis, set of on what can only be described as a challenging day on Ireland's highest peak.

 

The rain was constant and heavy. The winds were high and often left us bracing ourselves against the elements. But under the guidance and expertise of Pat & Niall Foley, the team were in no doubt of a safe ascent and more importantly, a safe descent. Not once did the teams motivation flounder and an extra credit must be noted to the younger members of the team who would have been in their rights to call it a day at any point. But the strenghts that can be drawn from great leadership (both of the guides Pat and Niall and of Andy Timmins) held high and 7 hours after leaving Cronin's Yard, a very enthused team returned high with emotion and very,very wet!

 

I had the pleasure of assisting Pat and Niall in leading the climb and after working with Andy over the past 6 months, it was a great feat to be there to witness the day in all it's glory. Having met with most of the group on the Friday evening for a briefing, it was obvious that the climbers were heading back for a great evening of celebrtions and they definately deserved it!

 

Belated Happy Birthday to Jack who turned 11 in the past few days. We hope you had a great day and if your and Lee's positive attitude on the climb was anything to go by, we will no doubt see you guys back on the hills into the future!

 

''Hi Pat, Lorrainne and Neil, just wanted to thank ye all again for all your help and guidance on our recent journey up carrauntoohil for C.F...It was certainly as spectacular as it was difficult, given the day we had... And on behalf of our group, family and friends may I pass on our deepest condolances to the family and friends of your fellow adventurer John Delaney... Look forward to meeting ye all again, ok... cheers for now''  - John (the fireman) Timmins.

 

 

Cystic Fibrosis Hopesource Foundation is a 100% voluntary organisation
We have no salaried staff
We do not use professional fundraisers
We cover all promotional expenses from our own pockets
All involved give their time free of charge
Every cent raised goes directly to meet clearly specified needs
Our audited accounts are freely available for inspection

 

October 2010 Temple St CFOPD

''It's a Big Thank You to everyone involved in raising the funds that CF Hopesource Foundation contributed to the project. The total project cost €2.3 million and CF Hopesource contributed €545,000''
''For the past 3 months children with CF going to Temple St have been attending clinic at the new CF OPD and any child requiring treatment in between clinic visits has been going there too. The result is that parents can bring their children to the new clinic without fear of cross infection while at clinic. Also starting a child on IV antibiotics no longer needs to be delayed because of the lack of a treatment room''

 

2007: New testing equipment for Dr. Philip Murphy's Microbiology Lab at Tallaght Hospital primarily funded by the Forex Golf outing in Mount Wolseley. Many thanks to all who gave their supported. For CF patients, this means faster prescription of the correct antibiotic.

 

Funding the position of Dedicated Dietician for the Cystic Fibrosis Team at Beaumont Hospital

Providing seed funding for the position of Dedicated Dietician for the Cystic Fibrosis Team at Temple Street Childrens Hospital.

Fully funding a 2nd Dedicated Dietician post for the Cystic Fibrosis Team at Temple Street Childrens Hospital

Funding a Dedicated Physiotherapist position and the position of a Cystic Fibrosis Nurse Specialist at Temple Street Childrens Hospital

Funding the position of a dedicated Psychologist for the Cystic Fibrosis Team at Temple Street Childrens Hospital

Establishing a Long Line IV Service at Temple Street Childrens Hospital

€26,000 towards the purchase of a Micro Array Scanner for Cystic Fibrosis Research at Beaumont Hospital

Tuesday, 29 March 2011 05:58

Mar 26th & 27th Saturday morning brought some of our June and September Kilimanjaro trekkers to the Mountain Lodge for a Fitness Assessment weekend in preparation for their adventure ahead.

The weekend kicked off with a briefing on the trek - a presentation, a gear demo & briefing and a tips/Q&A session. After lunch, the team hit the Reeks for a four hour non-stop tough ascent that was to simulate a typical days trek on Mount Kilimanjaro. On return the team broke for the evening- some departed for home, some went for dinner - all to return to the Lodge for midnight.

At midnight, we loaded up gear into cars and set off for the Gap of Dunloe. Ascending Purple Mountain, this Night Hike was to show what the Summit Night attempt on Mount Kilimanjaro would be like, following an earlier day's trekking to final camp. As we climbed pass the lake, an explaination of simularities that we were meeting such as loose scree terrain, false summits, walking with limited visions was topped of by the freezing winds we met as we summitted Purple. A chill factor of -6 to -8 really put gear to the test. Ian, our lead guide provided us with an introduction to Night Navagation as we continued along our path surrounded by quickly dropping cloud. After 6 hours, we commenced desent just before the 'Chimneys' bringing us down 100 meters from our parked car.

Reviews include 'a great weekend' 'very impressed with very professional service' 'having done weekend, I am really excited and looking forward to trekking with yea' 'great weekend by a great company'

Our next Meet Day/ Fitness Assessment for trekkers will be held in June with Fitness Assessments available all year round. Contact us for further info or to Book your place now!

www.patfalvey.com

 

Thursday, 10 March 2011 08:41
Published in Europe

Camino

  • Overview

  • Highlights

  • Portomarin

  • Sarria

  • Grade

  • Tips & Gear

  • Dates & Prices

Trip: Camino de Santiago

 

Route: Sarria to Santiago or Portomarin to Santiago


Date: May - June - September


Duration: 8 Day/ 7 Nights Land Only


Grade: Walk - Moderate


Price: From €565 per person - Land Only

 

Walk the final stages of the Camino from Sarria or Portomarin. An 8 day trip with a choice of 111kms or 89kms walks over 5 days.

The Camino Santiago, or way of St James is one of the most famous pilgrimage walks in the world. It's history is steeped in a tradition of over a 1,000 years when pilgrims came to visit the final resting place of the Apostle who, legend has it, was buried initially in the year 44AD after his martyrdom by Herod, and whose final resting place was rediscovered early in the 9th century.

To complete the whole journey from beginning to end could see us cover a distance of up to 800km and more, depending on from where you start. However, our challenge will be much more modest as we begin our 5 day walk from either the town of Sarria or Portomarin.

Stay in rural towns and villages, some dating back to the 9th century with remain of Romanesque churches, bridges and early pilgrim hostels. Walk on well maintained tracks and paths through meadowlands and forests of poplars and eucalyptus. Enter the World Heritage City of Santiago and visiting they many historic buildings including the imposing Cathedral which evolved into the magnificent structure it is today over hundreds of years. Enjoy the company of fellow walkers from far and near along the way, or as we relax after each walk.

An 8 day trip with 89km walk over 5 days.

Our walk from Portomarin is similar to that beginning in Sarria, but without "that long day in the middle" and offers a more leisurely journey into Santiago.

 

Itinerary:

 

  • Day 1: Arrive to Santiago airport for the afternoon. On arrival, we will travel by private bus to the town of Melide (approx 1 hour drive) where we will spend our first night before continuing to Portomarin the following morning to begin our walk. We will have plenty of time to relax in our hotel before meeting up again over dinner and getting to know each other. *Direct flights to Santiago do not commence until May. Earlier trips will arrive at La Coruna, north of Santiago, via Heathrow.

 

  • Day 2: Walk Portomarin to Palas de Rei 22.4km Ascent: 340m The centre piece of Portomarin is the church of San Nicolas which stands in the town square. It was dismantled in the 1950s and reconstructed on higher ground when the original town was flooded to make way for a hydroelectric scheme. We will begin our walk from the church square, and crossing the river over a narrow footbridge will make our way through forest paths and farmland to arrive at our first coffee break (6km) A further 9km will see us stop after a leisurely walk for a bite of lunch before the final 7km stretch to Palas de Rei, our destination for the night.

 

  • Day 3: Walk Palas de Rei to Melide 14km Total Decent: 230m Though Palas de Rei is said to be on the site of the original Roman road between Lugo and Astorga, there are no major remains within its limits. Todays walk is short as we journey the 14km through oak and pine forests along stretches of restored Roman road as we cross from the province of Lugo to La Coruna and on to Melide where we spent our first night on arriving to Spain. And yes, there is a coffee break (after the first 6km) Time to visit the agricultural museum, church and courtyard, and civic offices.

 

  • Day 4: Walk Melide to Arzua 14km Decent: 40m Another short days walk takes us through much the same type of countryside and terrain, although the latter part of our journey sees us walking along quite country roads as we make our way to Arzua. In medieval times, we would have collected a few stones from the quarries in Triacastela on our way to Sarria from the East and brought them to the furnaces at Castaneda, a few miles beyond Melide, where lime was produced for use in the construction of the Cathedral in Santiago. We pass the beautifully restored 15th century hostel at Ribadiso before entering Arzua a couple of miles further on, with its very pleasing town square where, if the weather permits, we can sit with a drink and watch fellow Pilgrims pass by as the locals go about their business.

 

  • Day 5: Walk to Rua 18km Decent: 80m Our second last days walk sees us stroll through mixed countryside of pine and eucalyptus forest paths, wide open spaces and country roads. Watching the markers along the way, we can count down the distance yet to travel to Santiago, and very shortly we will be on the right side of 20kms. We will stop for a late lunch at a busy roadside café, and from there, its only a 40 minute walk or so to our hotel, our final resting place before entering Santiago the following day.

 

  • Day 6: Walk Rua to Santiago 19km Ascent: 100m Whether you started from Portomarin, from Sarria or from further East, this is a significant day on your journey along the pilgrims route to Santiago. The city is large, and this is reflected in the change of terrain as we approach the suburbs of our final destination. We pass through Labacolla where tradition has it that pilgrims washed themselves before entering the city. We come to Monte de Gozo, or Mound of Joy and then begin our final 5km walk into the city finally arriving at Praza do Obradoiro on which stands the Cathedral. This evening is free time to explore the city and its hospitality at leisure.

 

  • Day 7: Santiago Free Day to explore the city The luxury this morning is that we don't have to pack our bag and have them ready for collection! One of the highlights will be to go, along with pilgrims, walkers and visitors alike to the Cathedral for the mid-day Mass, after which, hopefully, will culminate in the swinging of the giant Botafumeiro. There is an endless list of historical buildings and sights to see, and parks to visit for a quiet moment for yourself after the journey. We will have one final meal together before heading for the airport (Flights arrive afternoon on Day 8)

Sometimes it is necessary to alter the location of the overnight stay There will be notes on the history and traditions of places of interest along the way.


An 8 day trip with 111km walk over 5 days.

 

Itinerary:

 

  • Day 1: Arrive Santiago airport for the afternoon. We travel by private bus to the town of Sarria (approx 2hr) where we spend our first night before beginning the walk next day. We will have plenty of time to relax in our hotel before meeting up for dinner at a riverside cafe 5 minutes walk from the hotel. Here you will receive your Pilgrims Passport which you will get stamped along the Camino and present at the Cathedral office at the end of your journey to receive your Compostla, or Certificate. *Direct flights to Santiago do not commence until May. Earlier trips will arrive at La Coruna, north of Santiago, via Heathrow.

 

  • Day 2: Walk Sarria to Portomarin 23kms Ascent: 220m We begin our walk at 08:30 from Sarria ''of deep routed historical and Jacobean tradition'' through the narrow streets which lead to the outskirts and over the remains of an original Roman bridge before passing under a massive newly constructed highway. This is a lovely days walk through wide open spaces, quite country roads and forests alike, punctuated after 6kms by our first coffee stop of the day. Another 7kms brings us to Ferreiros, a little hamlet of just a few buildings and where we have a lunch break before the last stretch into Portomarin (a further 9kms).

 

  • Day 3: Walk Portomarin to Palas de Rei 22kms Total Ascent: 340m The centre piece of Portomarin is the church of San Nicolas which stands in the town square. It was dismantled in the 1950s and reconstructed on higher ground when the original town was flooded to make way for a hydroelectric scheme. We will begin our walk from the church square, and crossing the river over a narrow footbridge will make our way through forest paths and farmland to arrive at our first coffee break (6km) A further 9km will see us stop after a leisurely walk for a bite of lunch before the final 7km stretch to Palas de Rei, our destination for the night.

 

  • Day 4: Walk Palas de Rei to Arzua 27kms This is a long walk, esp after the previous 2 days of over 20kms each (It is now you will be glad you got in some long distance walks at home over the last couple of months) Through Palas de Rei is said to be on the site of the original Roman road between Lugo and Astorga, there are no major remains within its limits. Today sees us walk through oak and pine forests as we cross from the province of Lugo to La Coruna. A coffee break after the usual 6kms or so, and then a lunch stop at Melide before heading on for Arzua, just under 14kms along the Camino. In medival times, we would have collected a few stones from the quarries in Triacastela on our way to Sarria from the east and brought them to the furnaces at Castaneda a few miles beyond Melide where lime was produced for use in the construction of the Cathedral in Santiago. We will walk into Arzua and stop for a well earned drink in the town square waiting for our bus to bring us back to Melide where we will stay the night.

 

  • Day 5: Walk Arzua to Rua 18kms Decent: 40m Our bus will collect us in the morning and drop us off again in Arzua, where our second last days walk sees us stroll through mixed countryside of pine and eucalyptus forest paths, wide open spaces and quiet country roads. Watching the markers along the way, we can count down the distance yet to travel to Santiago, and very shortly we will be on the right side of 20kms. We will stop for a late lunch at a busy roadside cafe and from there, it is only a 40 minute walk to our hotel- our final resting place before entering Santiago the following day.

 

  • Day 6: Walk Rua to Santiago 19km Ascent: 100m Whether you started from Portomarin, from Sarria or from further East, this is a significant day on your journey along the pilgrims route to Santiago. The city is large, and this is reflected in the change of terrain as we approach the suburbs of our final destination. We pass through Labacolla where tradition has it that pilgrims washed themselves before entering the city. We come to Monte de Gozo, or Mound of Joy and then begin our final 5km walk into the city finally arriving at Praza do Obradoiro on which stands the Cathedral. This evening is free time to explore the city and its hospitality at leisure.

 

  • Day 7: Santiago Free day to explore the city. The luxury this morning is that we don't have to pack our bag and have them ready for collection! One of the highlights will be to go, along with pilgrims, walkers and visitors alike to the Cathedral for the mid-day Mass, after which, hopefully, will culminate in the swinging of the giant Botafumeiro. If you listen carefully before the actual mass begins, you will hear 'Grupo Irlanda' being called out from the alter as each group of walkers who completed the minimum distance from Sarria is acknowledged. You will have presented yourselves along with completed cards at the nearby Pilgrims office the evening before and collected your certificate. There is an endless list of historical buildings and sights to see, and parks to visit for a quiet moment for yourself after the journey. We will have one final meal together before heading for the airport (Flights arrive afternoon on Day 8)

 

Sometimes it is necessary to alter the location of the overnight stay. There will be notes on the history and traditions of places of interest along the way.

Grade: Walk: Moderate

 

These are primarily walking holidays and require a reasonable level of fitness in order to get the most enjoyment from your week on the Camino. There is expert advice on hand to talk to you about the best footwear, clothing, etc for your walk.

  • Choose your walking shoes or light boots carefully. They should be designed for support, comfort and grip. Most blisters are as a result of poorly fitting socks of dubious quality.
  • Set out a training programme for yourself. Get used to walking continuously for four hours or so once a week. Speed or distance isn't important at the beginning, just keep moving at a steady pace and build up to longer walks over varying terrain. Use a walking pole if you feel it gives you support over rough ground. Choose one which folds easily and fits into your luggage case when travelling. Spend time choosing your rucksack, and beware of features that you don't need. A 45 litre capacity is ideal for a couple of weeks walking carrying your own gear. A rain cover is essential, although an internal waterproof bag is more effective.


Food and drink: Generally speaking eat what ever you like best, just eat plenty of it. And remember that you're eating today for tomorrow, so a substantial meal late at night is often a good thing for an early start and a long distance. Have a few bars or biscuits for a snack. Keep hydrated, a little and often, and water is best.


Plan tomorrow's walk: Check the map or the route, know the distance, tick off the coffee stops or rest breaks, be aware of steep climbs coming up. Be aware of any history or culture associated with the route and look around you to take in the sights. Carry a basic first aid kit - bandage for sprains, wipes and a selection of plasters for cuts or grazes, blister pads for the feet. If you are taking medication with you make sure that you have enough for the entire stay - and an extra supply in case of delays or emergencies.

 

Prices are per person sharing Land Only. Flights can be arranged for your trip. Contact us 

  • Sarria: May 4th - May 11st €615 per person

  • Sarria: Jun 15th - Jun 22nd €615 per person

  • Sarria: June 29th - July 6th €615 per person

  • Sarria: Aug 31th - Sept 7th €615 per person

  • Sarria: Sept 07th - Sept 14th €615 per person

  • Portomarin: May 11th - May 18th €565 per person

  • Portomarin: July 20th - July 27th €565 per person

  • Portomarin: Sept 14th - Sept 21th €565 per person

 

Price includes:

  • B&B in Hotels along the way (Twin Sharing)

  • Private transfer to/from Airports

  • Luggage transfers to the next Hotel along route

  • Walk Leader


Price excludes:

  • Personal items

  • International flights to/from Spain

  • Single Supplements Apply

 

 

 

 

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