Sunday, 27 September 2009

The End.

OK. That's it for me as life as a pilgrim artist. No doubt I'll walk pilgrimage routes again at some time in the future. I'll also come back here and summarise in more detail after I've spent a bit of time normalising and chatting with old friends. Today ended with a policia local conflab. "Show me the law that says I can't sketch on the streets". Apparently I can paint, but not sketch on paper on the floor. It's got fuck all to do with art, and everything to do with being perceived as being poor. Why not go and demand a bug ridden albergue gets itself sorted out? That is doing Santiago no good at all. The vast majority of people enjoy what I do. It's harming no-one.

I'll keep this blog going for my next project.

Now I-m off to meet friends in the mountains and enjoy a proper holiday.

Saturday, 26 September 2009


I'm fucked. Totally allergy fucked from bedbugs.

The albergue staff here are continuing to accept cash from pilgrims even though there is absolutely no doubt they have an infestation of bedbugs.

I can't be arsed to walk around town to look for alternative accommodation. I'm tired. My body is blistering. Swelling up. I will willingly sleep on the porch. Peacefully. But, they insist on calling Policia Local.

I have asked a couple of times for a complaint form.

*Quick edit - the owner has just turned up*

Guess I'll update tomorrow.

Not Mosquito - Bed Bugs :(

And, it turns out I'm hiper-allergic, or summat.

The lying, money grabbing, fuck wits at Acuario Albergue in Santiago can fuck off. They have known they have an infestation for sometime, but have chosen to carry on collecting cash. Fuckers. I hate them.

Stayed again last night, so I have another 3 days of puss ridden, blister popping, swelling joint agony ahead of me. Cunts.

I shall not be letting them get away with it.

Fuck off end to my years walking camino. First albergue I have come across with a problem like this. Expensive medical treatment. Painful as fuck. All because they chose to take the cash. This is just a dressed up garage with hippie shit everywhere. 56 beds at €7 a night. You work it out!

Friday, 25 September 2009

Vigo & Ourense.

Just went to visit whilst I had the opportunity. My intention was to walk north along the coast from Vigo. However, I got eaten alive by mosquito blanco - I seem to be a bit allergic to them. My body is covered with scars.

Vigo was OK. Expensive and overated. Had the feel of a very tired end of season tourist town. Loads of roadworks and building restoration going on, so perhaps I'll give it another chance another time. Can of lemon pop €1.80! Sketching paper (usually €1) €3. I left pretty quickly and took a random bus to Ourense.

Ourense has hot water mineral springs. Exactly what the doctor ordered. Beautiful city. There are so many in Spain. Ourense would make my top 10. If you ever visit be sure to cross the roman bridge and visit the part of town where all the real people live away from the tourists.

Back in Santiago. No sleep for Two days. Still very itchy and sore. Plan to sketch and sell here (police permitting) for the weekend and then head to the mountains to visit friends.

Monday, 21 September 2009

A call for pledges.

Anyone interested in getting the ball rolling financially on my next charity project can make a pledge here.

It is simply a pledge. As soon as an account has been set-up and new charity established (or, possibly an existing charity) you will be sent an email reminder to honour the pledge paying the charity directly.

Absolutely no idea how much I will raise myself from sales of paintings, but I'm hopeful for around €10K. A lot will depend on publicity - anyone reading who knows how to do that, please let me know.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

An Intro to My Next Project.

Almost finished walking. A fabulous experience, but I'm looking forward to a more static life for a year at least.

I am going to rent a place on the North West coast of Spain and paint 5 seascapes a day. I will auction all paintings on the internet to raise more money for charity - hopefully a new charity that will offer camino experience to disadvantage people with a mentor. That is going to take a fair bit of organising. Until everything is established I'll try to raise funds to get the project started.

It's going to be a very wet seaside winter for me :) Don't care. I care more about having my own bed.

I have some work and exhibition commitments to fullfill next year, so will have to take a few short breaks from painting seascapes. Not entirely sure how this is going to work yet. It will happen mind, and I'll continue blogging here with pictures of each new painting. You will be able to see how my... erm... 'style' develops over the year.

For my own income I will be selling prints and sketches on the streets of Galician cities at weekends.

A loose plan at the moment. I'll post confirmed details here as soon as they are confirmed!

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

In praise of La Coruña bus station cafeteria.

Almost forgot this.

Burger with pork, bacon, egg, cheese and salad plus chips - €4.40. Take that Mr Kebap Pathetico man.

Tourist info incredibly helpful also.

I am getting ridiculous hassle from Policia local here in Santiago. Apparently it is illegal to sketch the cathedral. Blimey! I'm going to sketch a legendary LostPhotographer 360 degree panoramic umbrella this evening. Roll myself a big fat one and just sit in the middle of the plaza sketching and sketching and sketching. I can't see one single legitimate charge for sketching on an umbrella. I'll display a large 3 Meter x 1 Meter sketch also. Someone may ask me if it's for sale. Pathetic tossers. Arrest me if you so wish and I'll take every ounce of publicity from it. Arrested for sketching. Come on then.

Beautiful city. Love it here, but I actually got 2 police cars and and 4 police last night for having the audacity to sketch the cathedral without permission. I guess there's not a lot of real crime here to deal with.

Santiago de Compostela II

For all the walking I have (and have not) done this is only my second visit to Santiago. It's even more beautiful this time of year than it is at Christmas. The next couple of visits will happen far more quickly - just a case of filling in camino gaps rather than any more 1,200KM treks.

My excursion along the north east coast was fantastic. The most beautiful hiking I have yet to find in Spain. One stretch in particular was paradise. Lump in the throat natural beauty at every turn. Varied also. From boulders of granite to soft, pale dune beaches. A relatively easy 14KM hike along the coast from Laxe to Camelle following the obvious PR-G 114. Stunning!

Fish from the sea, fish from the rivers. Peaches, apricots, apples, pumpkin, sweetcorn, sweet juicy blackberries and much more all for free. I ran out of cash at Camelle after an almighty through the night fiesta and made way directly to Santiago, so I still haven't actually reached Finisterre. Maybe walk from here after all.

I have also met someone who has told me about an alternative 'pagan' route to Finisterre that follows megaliths and ancient monuments rather than Catholic churches and stuff. Interesting. I will investigate more.

My current plan is to rent a cottage on the coast in paradise for winter and spend a few months painting seascapes. Off season rentals are cheap and plentiful. I can make plenty of cash on the streets of Santiago de Compostela provided I get permission. I can't currently. Apparently all permissions are booked until November. I have one sketch half complete that I am determined to finish. There is absolutely no law in the world that can prevent me from sketching the cathedral surely?

Hopefully make a bit more money here before heading back to Oviedo to walk Camino Ingles. Rough plan. I am having to be very flexible.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

My Holiday.

I'm walking from La Coruña to Fisterra. It's not a camino route. I'm walking with sod all cash. No map. No guide. My intention is to forget about money completeley for a week, or so and just fucking well enjoy the real spirit of camino (even though this isn't a proper camino de Santiago).

It's beautiful here. Stunningly beautiful. Atlantic coast surrounded by lushness. Tiny little fields and fertile flood plains around bays and estuaries. Dramatic, mellowdramatic and subtle all at the same time. I want to enjoy it whilst the summer lasts. I may not get another chance. For all I know I could get stuck back in the rat trap one day and regret not doing it now, so now I do it.

It's almost harvest time. There's plenty of free food growing everywhere. Mushrooms are already about (oh dear! :D) and I have a fishing rod. I will sleep wherever is dry.

Feel like I sort of lost my way a little on a money focus. Raising money for good causes mostly, but I'm getting grief for that and it's spoiling my own experience.

This is my holiday. No internet. No mobile. No cash. No nothing.

I will enjoy :)

Camino de LostPhotographer - the wobbly route to Santiago.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

The Worst Kebab Shop in the World Ever...

... is in La Coruña. €5 for the most pathetic mouthful of meat, dribble of lettuce and white stuff. Not 100% sure, but there may have been a very small piece of onion in there also.

Just thought I would mention that.

Other than that, I like La Coruña. Money isn't good and it is expensive, but I like it. Not Spain's most beautiful city, but I like it. Fantastic swimming beaches.

Not sure what's going on on the sales front. Saturday and Sunday were business as usual. Yesterday was absolutely dire. Today has also been crap so far. Nothing has changed as far as I can tell. Just seems that everyone is in a dead grumpy mood and not interested in sketches at all. Rain is on it's way and I'm near skint. Expensive bed. Expensive meals.

Huge thank you for the tinned fish, bread and pears. You know you're in a good city when people go to that sort of trouble.

How did I get here? I cheated. Sort of. There were Three options from Oviedo. Three different routes and I wanted to explore all of them. I walked for about 60KM from Oviedo, then took the bus to La Coruña. From here I will walk to Finisterre before getting a bus back to Oviedo and walking a Third distance along the Second route.

It is just getting more and more beautiful. I'm almost speachless about the beauty of the countryside here. Tiny little fields cut out of forests and shrubs. Enchanting. Magical. If fairies exist they live here. I would like to live here also despite the rain.

Rain cometh. No money :(