Wednesday, 24 September 2008


I like it here :)

€1.30 for a beer and tapas, or €2 for a fine Rioja and tapas. Cleared €12 in about 2 hours. I´m already feeling guilty about the relgious sell. Very tempted to take the bus shelter and bottle of wine route (it´s a very mild night), but a few guys have already eyed up my backpack and tripod.

Very nice little town. But, little and nice. Wouldn´t want to live, or get stuck here. Going to do a 10AM - 2PM session tomorrow, then set off again. I know of a derelict monastery within 4 hours walk. That will do nicely. Pretty sure all pilgrins have a fundamental right to squat a monastery for One night only.

Ah. Fuck it. Wine and bus shelter it is. €10 is money to be saved.

Olive Grove Techno

OK. Know I said I wasn´t going to do this for Three weeks, but I can sniff out interentz in any town as keenley as I can sniff out booze suppliers. I´m already bored with talking to myself. Might as well type to myself. So...

Olive, olive, olive, olive, olive, olive, olive, olive,
olive, rock, olive, rock, olive, olive, olive, rock, rock, rock,
techno, techno, techno,
Liar, cheat, liar, liar, cheat, cheat, cheat, cheat.
olive, rock, olive, rock, rock, rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrock!

I´m in Acala la Real, about 40 KM outside of Granada. Not bad going at all as I only managed to leave home at about 1.30PM this afternoon and have just spent a very pleasant Three hours enjoying the local park here. I´m either the bionoc man, or I´m a liar and a cheat. You decide for yourselves.

I always have good excuses mind. Very good excuses. I was waiting to leave Granada. Waiting for a friend to collect some stuff I was giving away when I heard some of the most terrified screams I´ve ever heard. Went out into the street to see what was going on and found a younf French tourist absolutely petrified. I went to help her and she just started crying. Gutted. Totally gutted. Already on an emotional high after packing away old photographs I almost cried myself. But, I didn´t. Fortunately my landlady speaks French and the house has nice tranquil, safe gardens. So, I took the victim of a mugging inside to gather herself and chat. 18 at most, very slight build, very beautiful and lovely with it. Total, fucking cowardly cunts.

My landlady later mentioned that I was the only person to go out onto the street to help. "Isn´t that shocking?" she exclaimed. Well, yep, it will always shock me, but never surprise me. You heard the terrified screams as loudly as I did and you chose to ignore them, so why do you think others wouldn´t?

Anyway, that may well be a side effect of the world I´m choosing to ignore for a couple of years at least. I happened to bump into some cowardly twat on my way out of town today. I now start my pilgramage not only with a limp, but also with Two knuckles on my right hand plastered up. Wrong - I know. So, send me to jail, or sue me, or summat!

Alcala la Real. I nice little town if a little unexceptional. Has a nice festival here in July. That´s all I know. Always to wasted to visit outside of the festival site of any festival local. Glastonbury has a tor. Alcala has a mini Alhambra on a mini mountain.

Despite the fact that it´s very quiet, I think I can clear €20 here this evening and tomorrow morning, so I´m going to take the gamble and sketch a panorama in the local park to pay for a safe bed. It´s a nice scene to sketch anyway.

Big public thank you to that man that gave me a very generous donation as I left Granada. Cash has already been converted into a decent sleeping bag, big bag of energy providing immitation jelly beans and a bottle of Rioja (and a cheating bus ride - a man would be stupid to refuse 40KM for €4) In future read the word ´travelled´as a euthamism for ´cheated´. I will say ´walked´when I actually have walked ;)

Please excuse spelling. I´m very tired. *Off to sketch*

I can already tell I´m really going to enjoy this journey.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

I'm Off!

First thing tomorrow morning.

Just about to unplug my modem and pack my PC. I have decided to do Three weeks without any digital technologies at all just to remind myself what life was about before the web. So, no blogging until I reach Merida (unless I decide to stay in Cordoba for a while to make a bit of cash).

Cash! Un problema grande!!! I've sold very little here in Granada during the past Three weeks. Spent last night negotiating bar tab clearance in return for paintings :D Most were more than happy and I'd far sooner the paintings went to people I know rather than strangers for far to cheap prices.

I'm taking the absolute minimum with me. Any essentials I've forgotten will have to be bought en route. I plan to make use of second hand shops for clothes. Plenty of quality socks are my only new purchase.

I'm starting with a limp :( So, I'll be going very slowly and very short distances for the first few days. I'm also hungover - to many red wine fare wells last night.

Look in here in about Three weeks time and I'll tell you what the world used to be like in the good old days before the internetz...

Wednesday, 17 September 2008


Well why not?

I'm doing this for many reasons. Firstly I was inspired after reading a book and finding out about other pilgrimage routes in Spain. It seems like a good way to explore this fantastic country. Taking time to enjoy the countryside, meet people and practice speaking Spanish without an Andalucian accent.

I will be improving my fitness. I'll also be learning new skills with a view to living 100% self-sufficiently at some time in the future.

I'll be visiting and meeting interesting people to interview. I'll be visiting some interesting places to document photographically. May even record music happenings on sound, if not video.

I'll be escaping the commercial world and effects of recession for as long as I can. Living on minimal income - something that actually teaches you how to enjoy life on a completely different level.

All sorts of reasons. I imagine some of the best reasons for going on a pilgrimage are reasons I haven't yet thought about. I may even find God, but I doubt that very much.

Fucking Hippie...

After walking around barefoot like a f****** hippie for much of the summer, I'm now clumsily stumbling around in huge hiking boots. They're taking a bit of getting used to. A couple of days of muscle toning and remembering to lift my step an extra inch up stairs and all will be fine.

Another slight change of plan. No Sevilla! I found a waymarked route that starts on my doorstep, so why not? From Granada and picking up the Via de la Plata at Merida. Some tough stretches between here and Merida.

Still much to get sorted before I leave. Time is running out.

Monday, 15 September 2008


Knee is fixed already :)

Managed to trip over carrying boxes to put into storage, but all is OK again now.

I'm off in just Five days time and really looking forward to it. Itching nervously with excitement and trepidation.

I still have to buy:

1. A quality sleeping bag.
2. A second hand Treo 650.
3. Some serious socks.

Already people are offering meals and beds when I pass their way. Several offers of meet-ups also. The world is a very nice place sometimes.

I'm currently trying to sell all my old paintings dirt cheap on the streets of Granada. Seems there is very little spare cash around these days. It's tough out there!

Hurt my KNEE

Blah, blah

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Gonna Get a Stick.

Apparently they're well essential.

Something to do with your arms, help up hills, good for battering the shit out of problems.

I'm off tomorrow into the valleys and mountains surrounding Granada to find a suitable arm of wood. Probably olive. It's good and heavy and carves true. I'll be carving my stick during my entire journey then sticking it on ebay :)

Friday, 12 September 2008



Almost ready. Have boots.

Don't have quality sleeping bag, tent, Treo 650, or cash :D

Suppose I'll have to buy a map also.

Fucked if I'm buying a guide book, or anything.

Sorting and storing my crap this weekend. May sell some of it. May not.

Think I'm looking at a daily budget as follows:

Cigs €2.65 for 20 L&M Rojo
Booze €3 for a reasonable bottle of Rioja
Food €3 should be good enough plus free fruits and stuff (hopefully friendly farmers also. There is an unwritten law in Spain that says I can help myself to anything I see growing anywhere so long as I don't get greedy)

That's it I think. I can survive very happily on that. Beds can be made anywhere anyhow!

So, anything I make above €8.65 pays for luxuries and cheating bus rides. This is going to be a piece of piss :D


I've wanted to walk to Santiago de Compostela since reading Tim Moore's 'Travels With My Donkey'. I'm far from religious, but the book was a fun read. With recession looming, stuffing all my stuff into storage and minimising outgoings seems like a good plan. I will be following pilgrimage routes across Spain for about 18 months blogging my progress (or, lack of it) here, posting photographs and sketches. I'll also be telling stories and history about the places I visit and people I meet.

I will be almost totally reliant on my ability to sell sketches in the streets of towns and cities visited along the way for income. I don't expect to make much and fully expect to have to sleep in some strange places. My website will also offer sketches, paintings, prints and photographs for sale: You'll also find a bit more information about me and my work there.

I'm not sticking to a rigid plan and I'm taking a different route to Santiago de Compostela to that walked by Tim Moore and his donkey. I won't always be walking alone either. Friends will be joining me at various points along my journey for a day, a week, a month...

I'll also be inviting absolutely anyone to come and join me if my journey interests them.

The proposed route may change after I have reached Santiago de Compostela. I'll be starting from Sevilla travelling through Fuente de Cantos - Almendralejo - Merida - Cáceres - Salamanca - Zamora - Ourense - Santiago de Compostela - Lugo (now effectively walking backwards along a pilgrim route) - Ponferrada - Léon - Pamplona (now leaving recognised pilgrim route) - Zaragoza - Barcelona - Taragona - Valencia - Murcia - and finally back home to Granada.

I may well be taking slight diversions to visit many friends en route also.

Next post: 'Preparation'. Haven't really done any yet!