CYCLE THE CAMINO DE SANTIAGO
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
The descent from the outskirts of Santiago to the front of the Cathedral late on the Friday night after a 70k + cycle was awesome and made it all worthwhile. Personally, managing to cycle up all of the two mountain climbs was really satisfying too.
What did you think of your group leader?
I am full of praise for our group leader Jose, who found the best way through the trails and roads, managed our safety while keeping the trip challenging and exciting and found great places for us to eat! On our trip, some severe rain and winds had lead to some river crossings flooding which could have caused us real problems. Jose found the best way through with minimal interruption and all on spur of the moment - that's great leading.
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
I would certainly recommend you spend a good few weekends leading up to the trip getting your cycle legs ready - get plenty of uphills in (that's really important if you want to cycle all the way around). You will be cycling around 50-60k + a day so build up your distance, though there are plenty of breaks during the day. I would certainly recommend filling your drinks bottle with isotonic (especially for the two big mountain climbs).
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Be aware that the rental bikes (Spanish Orbea make) are OK but not great. I certainly made the trip fine on mine but would have preferred something more up to date and better spec. These bikes have heavy steel frames, the gearing is not particularly low and they use caliper brakes rather than disc. If it's convenient you might want to bring your own bike instead. I took my own saddle and SPD pedals but I wish I'd also taken a gel saddle cover too as my backside was either sore or numb after a day in the saddle! Be warned!