Lonely Planet Writer

Pathfinder pics: life on the Camino de Santiago

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Lonely Planet Pathfinder Jonathan Look (bravely) walked 775 km along the Camino de Santiago in Spain. Here he gives us a snapshot of the stunning scenery he witnessed along the way.

'The Camino de Santiago, also known as the Way of Saint James, is a collection of pilgrimage routes stretching across Europe. Its history differs, but legend holds that this is the location where the remains of Saint James were enshrined after his martyrdom in Jerusalem in 44 AD. These images were taken along the most popular of these pilgrimage routes, the Camino Francés, which runs approximately 775 km from Saint Jean Pied de Port, on the French side of The Pyrenees, across northern Spain to the city of Santiago de Compostela.'

In full bloom

A photo posted by Jonathan Look (@lifepartii) on

'There were so many beautiful sights along the route like these fields of yellow canola in full bloom. At every turn we saw things that raised our curiosity, but the Camino is good at keeping its secrets so sometimes we had to use our imagination to apply context to all the amazing things we saw.'

Venture off the beaten track

A photo posted by Jonathan Look (@lifepartii) on

'At Villambista we were starting to move closer to the meseta (Spain’s central plateau) when we came across this locked down church. It was an eerie sight as there was a medieval fountain and a modern playground, but no one there. We did however pick up this little companion for a while!'

Get back to nature

A photo posted by Jonathan Look (@lifepartii) on

'In Castilla y León we were back in the mountains and found ourselves walking along trails with little, if any, company. It was drier here and the clear views made the walking magnificent. Luckily we didn’t have to pass any of the snowy areas you can see in the distance of this photo!'

Walk back in time

A photo posted by Jonathan Look (@lifepartii) on

'Castillo de los Templarios, in the city of Ponferrada, is a 14th-century castle that used to host the Knights Templar. This complex of towers, walls and courtyards sits among the center of town and soars over the more modern buildings. It felt quite strange to be moving freely on the fortress grounds knowing that in the 14th century this was a mighty place that housed the secretive Knights Templar. It was a great reminder of how temporary everything is.'

Make a toast

A photo posted by Jonathan Look (@lifepartii) on

'The vineyards dominate the landscape near the village of Villafranca del Bierzo. Nestled between the dry plains of the meseta and the green mountains of Galicia the area provides a perfect climate for the region's emerging wine industry. The flat terrain made it a great place for picking up the pace, but we did linger in few places to enjoy some delectable food and wine.'

Planning the next adventure

A photo posted by Jonathan Look (@lifepartii) on

'Walking the Camino de Santiago across Spain was one of the hardest and most rewarding things I have ever done. It is always good to get back to my home base in South East Asia, but I know it won’t be long before my wanderlust kicks in again. Luckily, Lonely Planet provides the ultimate wish list and I look forward to perusing it here on the banks of the Mekong River.'

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