12 | Camino Frances eBike | Santiago at last
Good morning, guys. It is day 11 on the Camino Frances, and today we have a rainy day. Yes, my bike was all wet when I woke up this morning.
People started getting up at 5:30, and by the time I woke up around seven, the whole wing was empty. So I left the albergue at 7:30, one of the last ones to leave, and now I'm just on the search for a place to have breakfast because everything seems to be closed. Today, we have a 65-kilometer day to A Salceda. We're gonna pass through Melides, Palas del Rei, Arzua, making it almost all the way to Santiago but holding just before getting there because I don't want to reach the Cathedral on a rainy day.
We'll do that tomorrow. [Music] [Music] Good morning pilgrims, on Day 12 of the Camino Frances. I'm talking to you from A Salceda. I'm 27 kilometers away from Santiago, and what happened on Day 11, you may be asking? Well, yesterday it rained like crazy, more so than on Day 1 from Saint-Jean-pied-de-port to Roncesvalles. So, I made my way from Portomarin to A Salceda, which is a town in between Arzua and O Pedrouzo.
I did it last time around when I walked from Melide to this point. It's a very long day. I just wanted to be as close as possible to Santiago because I'm going to continue on on the Camino de Fisterra. Now, yesterday started with a foggy morning on a 14-kilometer climb, and just after that, after I reached the top, it started raining, and it did not stop until I got here to this pension where I'm staying on the side of the road. very nice, had everything that I needed, so I didn't know how to leave this place. So now, I guess I have to head out.
The sun is already coming out. We have a crisp morning, foggy, with you know the right temperatures just to start this day, and I think the people that are starting this morning in Arzua are finally starting to trickle into this area. Up ahead, I have the ones that just left O Pedrouzo. Those are the ones that I'm going to encounter on my way to the cathedral. I'm just going to stop there for a little bit, take a couple of pictures, and then continue on. [Music] Now, this last section, I'm gonna try and stick to the road as much as possible simply because I know that it's just full of pilgrims excited to make it to Santiago, and I just want to give them their space.
If you want to see the section from Portomarin to A Salceda, I recommend you check out my 2017 Vlog series or from 2021 when I came back and I did Ponferrada to Santiago. Also, you can check it out from Arzua to Santiago on my 2019 Camino del Norte series. I got it covered three times, so that's why it wasn't such a loss yesterday that I wasn't able to record. Now, the Camino de Santiago on an e-bike man, tips.
What I wish I knew, of course? Well, it was a first for me, and I really, really liked it. I know some people out there hate cyclists. I never had an issue with them in all my Caminos, and I've done quite a few. I'm just always aware of my surroundings. I'm always looking behind me because sometimes the best views are not in front of you, they're just behind you. So, I highly recommend that you also stick to the right or the left side of the path.
Check out my brakes, I'm on this descent right now. Another thing that I wasn't too sure about was the range on the battery on the e-bike. So, on mountainous terrain, it varied from like, I don't know, 40, 50, 60 tops.
On flat terrain on La Meseta, I was able to get 96 kilometers out of it. I think I'll talk to you guys down there. I don't want to fall off on the last day.
[Music] Now that's just a little better. Just flew right by O Pedrouzo, the last major town where Pilgrims stop before the final approach into Santiago. I think from O Pedrouzo, we're less than 20 kilometers away.
Now, bicycles, that's all we're talking about today. Originally, I had planned to do it in 15 days. That was my goal, and I just got it off the internet, like one of those stage breakdowns from a cyclist. I always knew that I wanted to go, if possible, to Fisterra because I try to finish all my Caminos there. I don't know, there's just something special about that place for me. The battery is a tricky part because when you do run out of it, as you will, depending on how much you rely on the motor, if you put it on Turbo like day one from Saint Jean to Roncesvalles, I only used like 20 kilometers.
If you keep it on Eco, you could go as far as 96, 100, it all depends. So if you run out of battery, this bike weighs a lot, about 50 pounds or like 25 kilos plus all the weight that I'm carrying. So if you have to pedal, man, you better pray that you're going downhill because if you're going up, it's going to be even worse. So yes, rely on the motor just to make the ascents easier and then on the way down, just turn it off.
I don't know how far I'm going today. I guess I'll judge it by the time I make it to Santiago, see if I have only used one bar, and then in the town of Negreira, which is like 20 kilometers away, where the first stage of the Camino de Fisterra, when you're walking, is supposed to end. I'll judge it from there again because from Negreira, I think we have like a 12-kilometer climb, and I don't want to run out of battery there because the Camino de Fisterra has more elevation gain, more ups, and downs, and I don't know how to judge the battery there. If I make it past Negreira, then for sure tomorrow, I'll be in Fisterra, and then in the afternoon or maybe the next day in the morning, Thursday morning, I'll take the bus back. The bus lets you take a bicycle.
I think they have room for like four, so that's why I have room to play because Friday morning, I have a flight to Madrid, and Friday afternoon is my flight to Miami, and I can't miss any of those two flights or it will get very expensive. so, Another descend, almost in Santiago, I think I'm gonna get there around 10, maybe for a mid-morning snack. [Music] [Music] I'm by the airport's perimeter, so getting closer and closer to Santiago, and let's just talk a little bit about the pros and cons of doing the Camino on a bike. I'd say the biggest downside is that you're always on your own, so it would be akin to doing the Camino Francis in reverse, I would say. So if you can bring some company, a friend, or a family member that's into cycling like you are, it will make it that much better. I saw a few other pilgrims on bicycles that I came across every now and then, but those were far and few in between.
Some of the trails that you're going to be passing through are just incredible. I just had a blast. I had a blast when I had it all to myself.
You're going to start to notice, since you're doing like two to three stages, walking stages in one go, you will see the pockets of pilgrims and then empty spaces in between. When you see the pilgrims, try to use a bell, a really loud one, yell out "Buen Camino," "Bici," "bike," whatever, just trying to get their attention because currently, there's some friction between the walkers and the cyclists, and we want to try to avoid that. I think I'm going to start doing more trips like this, especially when it's a Camino that I know very little about. I want to go out, explore it on a bicycle, do it really quickly, and if I really like it.
then I can come back and do it on foot. Now, as far as which bike do I recommend? Well, I'm a newbie in this arena. I've had mountain bikes all my life and road bikes, but nothing like what I've just done over the last few days, a couple of weeks. So just get a really good one. I would recommend you rent it, that way you don't have to worry about, you know, bringing it here, then taking it back home, and it wasn't really that expensive. It was about 500 bucks for 15 days. I also got an insurance policy on it, and I haven't had any issues whatsoever, so far.
no flat tires, no dropping the chain, no problems with the motor, even though it got drenched for like two days. So I guess I was lucky, I don't know. There are also so many bicycle shops that I saw in multiple towns, so in case you do have a problem, you're not far away from... Buen Camino! from a place so you can fix it. Another descent. [Music] Now, here we are in Monte do Gozo, where we get our first views of the towers, the cathedral.
For the longest time, I didn't know where the statues were because they're not on the main path; you kind of have to take a detour. You can still see them in the distance, and when you're on foot, I don't know if I would come this way. So there's Santiago. I'm going to head into the historic city center, go through those streets that I already know so well, and finally make it to the Cathedral, of course. What a great moment it will be. [Music] [Music] So, guys, we finally made it to Praza do Obradoiro, facing the cathedral.
and a What an incredible trip that I highly recommend you do if you really like hiking and cycling. Doing the Camino de Santiago on a bike just really opened my eyes to new possibilities. This is not the end of the trip, as I always say, the end of one Camino is the beginning of the next. We're going to Fisterra for some extra credit. The End of the World is just a place that I really like to end all my Caminos if possible. I either go walking, on a bicycle, or by bus.
It doesn't matter; I'm heading in that direction. So I guess I'll see you Santiago. [Music] Now, on your way out of town, you better make sure you follow the arrows because I got lost on my first time, and I lost about two kilometers on what turned out to be like a 42-kilometer day.
Yeah, passing through Santiago and not staying here feels oddly weird and satisfying. Santiago, for me, has always been like the end of the trip, so I have mixed feelings about the city. Sometimes I love it, sometimes, you know, since the journey for me is the goal, is the destination, reaching the finish line feels kind of sad because I have to get back to the real world.
So, passing through it, man. I didn't even stop to get coffee there. Just took a couple of pictures, filmed, and I'm out. Look at this place now. It's incredible how quickly you're thrust out into the woods once you leave Santiago.
Once you cross over that bridge next to the park, and this Camino is like less than 90 kilometers long, so I should be there in no time. [Music] [Music] [Music] Man, I had forgotten how steep and uneven the terrain to Fisterra is, at least this section here when we're in the forest. Later on, it's going to open up into agricultural fields.
So, this section kind of reminds me of that stage from Triacastela to Sarria but when you take the variant that goes through Samos. Same feeling, incredible, beautiful, gorgeous, highly recommend you do it. Still climbing. [Music] What an amazing morning! The trail is just gorgeous.
It is more beautiful than I remember it, and look at this, we're now by the river. I met quite a few playful pilgrims along the way, buenos dias on this section. Of course, there are way less than in the days past, and there is also a little bit less support. Three bars I've seen so far, one was closed, it was the first one. So, I managed to get some Café con Leche just to warm up and a slice of tortilla Española, and we're back in the forest, which I love.
You guys know that I love the forest. Not only does it give you protection from the sun, but the atmosphere is unmatched. Check this out.
[Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] Whenever you have the opportunity to take an alternative, especially if it follows the river, go for it because the views are always incredible and you don't see that many pilgrims. All you see are locals just enjoying a stroll in the park. But then when you have to reconnect with the Camino, of course, you have to pay the price, as I am right now, climbing this hill. It's so rocky that I can't use the bicycle. I have to get off and push, and pushing it uphill is gonna take a pound of flesh out of me.
Well worth it, for sure. Battery-wise, it ranges between 10 and 15 km depending on the gradient, so I don't trust it on the way down, and I'm not too afraid when I'm going up. That number fluctuates.
I'm looking at the bars, and I have three out of five, but I know that third one is about to go, so let's say two out of five. [Music] It didn't cost me a pound of flesh, which I wouldn't mind losing a pound, an extra pound. What it did cost me was my sunglasses. Yes, the ones that I bought on the Tour du Mont Blanc in Courmayeur, Italy.
I dropped them somewhere. I backtracked on foot but could not find them. But I have to say, today, it was worth it. today has just been gorgeous. I had forgotten how beautiful this section is, incredible, and tomorrow we get to see the sea for the first time on this trip.
Wow, and getting into Cabo Fisterra, it's gonna be an emotional moment. That's where I decided to become a YouTuber and leave my 20 years of career in television behind. Was that a smart move? I don't know, but I'm traveling the world and I'm just having an amazing time. [Music] Well, we finally made it at 1:20 p.m. to Vilaserio, the town where I'm staying in this albergue which at the moment I'm the only person here.
I decided to have lunch here in the same place and I had company. I had hungry hikers next to me. So I had a salad and I also had the Lomo with French fries and an Aquario which I've been drinking lately. Wow, man, like a 65-kilometer day again. Let me see, 62.17, and I keep saying that I can't judge the battery consumption, but then again, I made it here with only two kilometers left.
Yesterday was like one kilometer left. So far, it's just been spot on. I'm under, I think under 50 kilometers to Fisterra. Tomorrow is going to be another incredible day, the last one, and you know, then the bus back to Santiago maybe in the afternoon.
That's what I'm thinking, just to play it safe, and also so that I can spend Thursday in Santiago exploring it with an e-bike. I can go to all the places and now I have to do laundry for the very last time on the trip, including my travel clothes. [Music] [Music] Well, the sun is setting over the mountains over there.
I think that's where the ocean is. It's been a very chilled afternoon just here seeing the pilgrims passing by on their way to their accommodations. You know, there are so many places here spread out that you can stay, and I did laundry. It didn't dry up, so I had to hang it here from this fence, and you know, just had dinner at 6:30 and went for an omelette with ham and fries and vino. So it's all good. See you guys tomorrow at 7:30 so we can start walking once the sun comes out on the last day of this trip, of course.
See you then. [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music]