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Tuesday, 15 September 2015 11:26

Food Notes: Pear & Plum Jam with Port and Mint

Food Notes: Pear & Plum Jam with Port and Mint
By Nancy L. Frey, 15 Sept 2015

In August Jose and I picked crates of fruit at his mother’s ancestral home in Melón, Ourense, Galicia. We decided to make jam. I looked on-line for a pectin-free recipe and came across a great site called Northwest Edible Life (www.nwedible.com) where we found exactly what we were looking for. We made a delicious jam following her basic jam recipe that we’d like to share with you.

Pear and Plum Jam Before


We’ve included before, during and after shots of the jam. We used 1kg each of Stanley prune plums and Dr Jules Guyot or Limonera pears. The Stanley plums are an European variety with a much funnier and descriptive name in Spanish -  cojones de obispo (bishop’s balls) due to their shape and color (Roman Catholic bishops wear purple robes). Who Stanley was or what his nether parts looked like, I don’t know! The sweet and juicy Limonera is ideal when ripe.

Pear and Plum jam


We macerated the fruit with sugar for 18 hours and then slowly simmered until soft. For extra flavor and a bit of “zing,” as the recipe author suggests, we added Tawny Port wine we picked up in Porto, Portugal on our Camino in Portugal tour last July. For our dry zing we used peppermint from my herb garden where I grow both medicinal and culinary herbs. The zings are subtle yet add noticeable and delicious undertones that allow the plum and pear to shine and resonate. Enjoy this idea!

Pear and Plum jam Finished

Published in Latest
Tuesday, 18 November 2014 12:44

Martin Codax: Waves of Vigo


Waves of the Sea of Vigo: A 13th C piece of sung love poetry

Text and Photos: Nancy Louise Frey
Music: The Dufay Collective, Album: Music for Alfonso the Wise, Song #12

Waves of the Sea of Vigo Waves of the Sea of Vigo

Waves of VigoWhen I lead each tour I enjoy incorporating a new story or some piece of fascinating history. Tomorrow we will be starting our Camino in Portugal tour and for the last couple of weeks I’ve been listening to the haunting love songs of medieval Galician jongleur Martín Codax. Little factual information is known about him except that his writing and composition style places him in the 13th C (roughly the year 1230) and that he was probably from the Galician fishing village of Vigo. In 1913 seven of his poems/songs were discovered by accident by an antiquarian bookseller in Madrid (Pedro Vindel). His seven Cantigas de Amigo (a fascinating genre of Iberian medieval poetry expressing the angst of absent love from the female point of view) are unique because they contain both the musical composition (six of the seven) and the lyrics whereas usually only the lyrics have come to us down through the ages and contemporary musicians need to invent or recreate the musical style.

Waves of VigoIn these songs the singer refers over and over again to her missing love and Vigo, a (now) city on the sea about 40km south of where I live in Spain. The Galician coastline is stunning – deep tidal estuaries meet the open Atlantic with white sand beaches, rocky, hilly shorelines and forested hills that reach down to the sea. I’ve accompanied this post with a few photos I’ve taken of the coast around Vigo and of waves in the winter. It’s rare to hear a voice so clearly and profoundly from the past. The song I share here is the first of the seven and is called Ondas do mar de Vigo (Waves of the sea of Vigo). On the tour we will be driving along the Bay of Vigo and then walking along the shore accompanied by the “waves of the sea of Vigo”. The language is Galician-Portuguese which was the dominant language for poetical expression of the time in the Iberian Peninsula. The singer in this rendition manages to capture the pain of not knowing whether your love will return or not. She looks out onto the waves and wonders, over and over, will he return? I love to watch the sea and I’ve also felt that pain of not knowing whether or not someone will return. I’m attracted to this feeling of connection to a distant past through a common human emotion of longing revealed here both by the lyric and the music itself. Accompanying the article is the Dufay Collective’s rendition of Martin Codax’s Cantigas de Amigo with Vivien Ellis singing. This appears as song #12 on their CD Music for Alfonso the Wise.  Here is my English translation. Enjoy this link to the 13th C and this very special and beautiful part of the world:

Waves of VigoOndas do mar de Vigo               Waves of the sea of Vigo,
se vistes meu amigo?                have you seen my friend/lover?
e ai Deus, se verrá cedo?           Oh God, will he come back soon?

Ondas do mar levado,               Waves of the rough sea,
se vistes meu amado?               have you seen my love?
E ai Deus, se verrá cedo?           Oh God, will he come back soon?

Se vistes meu amigo?               Have you seen my friend/lover?
O por que eu sospiro;               for whom I sigh;
e ai Deus, se verrá cedo?          Oh God,will he come back soon?

Se vistes meu amado?               Have you seen my love?
O por que ei gran coidado;         for whom I worry greatly;
e ai Deus, se verrá cedo?           Oh God, will he come back soon?

Published in Latest
Friday, 03 January 2014 20:50

2013 On Foot in Spain “Year in Review”

 

June 2013 Walking Death Coast Near Cabo VilanIt’s been another great year thanks to all of you who make On Foot in Spain possible! Putting together our own 2013 On Foot “Year in Review” has brought back wonderful memories of amazing luck with rain seeming to be all around us except on top of us in both April and October, unbelievable wildflowers in June along the Camino, the richness of harvest time in Portugal and the stunning views in the Basque Country and Galicia that fill the heart and soul. One of the things I love about leading On Foot in Spain tours is that I am constantly taken back and reminded of what is most important in life: friendship and caring about one another, beauty found in nature, the thrill of knowing and challenging one’s body, the appreciation of the simple pleasures in life.

Memories flood into my mind of these simple pleasures from this last season – swimming in the cold, refreshing mountain waters of the Lor River in Galicia; eating one of Jose’s picnics after a long walk; leading people over a hill where I know a glorious view awaits them; getting to take my shoes off to walk down pristine Traba beach and watching the others ahead of me doing the same; foraging on blue berries, blackberries, grapes, apples and all the other gifts of the Camino; sharing some of these moments with Sam and watching him absorb it all like a sponge; hearing the storks from their weighty nests high upon the church towers; gorging on cherries in June in the Bierzo valley; milking sheep and tasting the fresh milk; listening to people’s stories and sharing my own…

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words so here is a collection of images from 2013 that we hope you will enjoy.

Nancy & Jose

View 2013 Year in Review Album

Published in Latest
Tuesday, 31 July 2012 20:43

Portugal

Portugal

Enchanting borderlands, coast and mountain landscapes Porto to Santiago de Compostela!
Using the Caminho Portugues (in Portuguese)/Camino Portugués (in Spanish) as the backdrop for this culturally rich 7-day tour, we will be roughly following the same trails taken by pilgrims heading from Porto, Portugal to the tomb of the apostle James in Santiago de Compostela. The riverside, historical city of Porto will be our launching point for our journey that will go beyond the Camino and expose you to many fascinating aspects of Portuguese and Spanish (specifically Galician) pre-Roman history, folk life and culture. Over the course of the seven days we will walk sections of the Camino as well as explore other trails near to the pilgrim’s way selected for their cultural interest or natural beauty.

Northern Portugal and southern Galicia are both characterized by green rolling hills separated by expansive valleys whose inhabitants have managed to retain their largely rural lifestyles. In both areas we will enjoy the bounty of their gardens, pastures and sea beds as well as their world-famous wines including Port from Porto, Vinho Verde (young white wines) from the river valleys north of Porto and the white Albariño from southern Galicia. The very comfortable accommodations that we have selected will also enhance your enjoyment of the areas as they are conveniently located in the historical quarters where we stay.

Map7 days & 7 nights (4 nights in Portugal and 3 nights in Spain)

Starting Point: Porto, Portugal

Ending Point: Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Level: Easy (walks range from flat to rolling terrain with minor ascents and descents; while most trails have even walking surfaces not all sections of each trail are groomed and boots with ankle support are required)

Walking Days: 7

Total Distance: 49 km/30mi

Distance including optional walks: 73.1km/45mi

Single supplement fee: €300

Weather: The region is blessed with mixed Mediterranean (warm and dry) and Atlantic (temperate and humid) climates. In May expect possible temperatures from 15 to 25 C / 65 to 80 F with sunny and partly cloudy skies. Being the Iberian Peninsula`s greenest corner watered by weather off the Atlantic, it is possible to have showers in late May.

What is and isn`t included:
The trip price includes accommodations (double occupancy), all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) each day (except for one lunch and two dinners), all entry fees, pre-departure information, experienced guides (Nancy & Jose), air-conditioned support vehicle, all transportation during the trip. Airfare to Spain is not included nor is insurance or transportation to the start (Porto, Portugal) and from the end point (Santiago de Compostela, Spain).

Daily Itinerary

Day 1 - Porto, Portugal
We will gather in historic Porto, an UNESCO World Heritage city, located at mouth of the Douro River and long-famed for the wine that gives the city its name, Port.
Historically, boats would bring the harvest down the Douro from the wine fields upstream to Porto where numerous bodegas transformed the grapes into the well-known spirit.

After walking the city`s twisting, hilly streets of its historical quarter and learning about the city`s past as northern Portugal`s most influential urban center, we will cross the river and visit a wine cellar for a visit and tasting. We will dine this evening in a charming port side restaurant and begin to enjoy the flavors of the Portuguese kitchen.
Our hotel is located conveniently in the historical quarter. Walking Distance 3km/1.8mi w/ optionals 4.5km/2.8mi.


Caminho PortuguesDay 2 - Guimarães, Portugal
After breakfast we will shuttle to our trailhead at a 12th century Romanesque church to walk our first section of the Caminho Portugues starting from the village of San Pedro de Rates. Following rural lanes through small villages, we will wend our way through the countryside and then enjoy a picnic lunch from a lovely lookout adjacent to one of northern Portugal`s numerous centers of pilgrimage, the Santuario da Senhora da Franqueira (the sanctuary of Our Lady of the Franqueira).

After lunch we will shuttle to and cross the historic town of Barcelos on foot. Barcelos, well-known as a center of local handcrafts - especially ceramics, is responsible for the country`s national symbol, the rooster. As it turns out the rooster became important in Barcelos precisely because of the Caminho de Santiago! We`ll find out why. In the afternoon we`ll head to Guimarães considered one of Portugal`s most beautiful cities, also an UNESCO World Heritage city and the probable birth site of Portugal`s first king Afonso Henriques.

Our hotel is located in the heart of the historical quarter. This afternoon you will have the option to walk around the town to learn about its important sites: the intact stately, castle dating from the 12th century, the majestic 15th century Palace of the Dukes of Bragança as well as the charming historical quarter which includes the Santiago Square. Walking Distance 6.4km/3.9mi Optional Walk in Guimarães 9.4km/5.7mi

Day 3 - Guimarães, Portugal
The morning’s walk takes us to the nearby 19th century San Torcato sanctuary where the incorrupt body of this 8th century martyr (he was trying to stop the advance of Tarik`s Arabic army which was set on conquering the Iberian Peninsula) is found.

The walk passes underneath the curious, high Portuguese grape arbors as well as the field that was allegedly the site of the decisive battle that gave birth to Portugal in 1128. After the walk, we will shuttle to an outstanding pre-Roman archaeological site and national monument, Citania de Briteiros, where we will see the extensive ruins (defensive walls, moats, streets and more than 150 buildings with circular, elliptical and quadrangular forms) of a large fortified village or castro lived in by Iron Age peoples. From Citania we will shuttle to Bom Jesus, a spectacular example of a large-scale Portuguese sanctuary with a long flight of stairs leading to its main door. Return to the hotel in Guimarães. Walking Distance: 9.5km/5.9mi w/ optionals 12km/7.4mi

Ponte de LimaDay 4 - Ponte de Lima, Portugal
We start the day walking a lovely rural section of the Caminho de Santiago that takes us directly to Ponte de Lima and our hotel. Ponte de Lima is famous for its elegant 16-arched medieval bridge of Roman origin (it retains 5 of its Roman arches!) spanning the Lima River. We will continue our walk strolling through the winding streets of the small town that retains its medieval towers.

You will have free time and lunch on your own. Ponte de Lima is set low in a rich valley surrounded by rolling granite hills covered with dense pine trees. This afternoon we will offer an optional visit to the Lagoas (Lagoons) Nature Reserve. This afternoon we will offer an optional walk continuing along the Camino through lush countryside and rural villages and even a stretch of Roman Road (6km/3.6mi). Walking distance: 13.6km/8.4mi w/ optionals 19.6km/12mi

Day 5 - Baiona, Spain
Galicia CoastlineFrom Ponte de Lima we ascend the last great pass that separates Portugal from Spain. Our walk starts just on the other side of the pass giving us great views north to Spain as well as close-ups of rural Portuguese villages and lanes. After reaching Sao Bento and having our picnic, we will head down to the once great frontier town Valença do Minho whose imperious, heavily fortified castle (which managed to fend off Napoleon in 1809) watches carefully over the Miño River and its Galician counterpart, the town of Tui.

We will stop in Valença to visit the fortress that is a haven for Spanish shoppers who come here to buy linens. We will head to Baiona next along Galicia’s scenic southern coastline from A Guarda, Galicia`s southernmost point, past the coastal monastery of Oia giving us breathtaking views of the cliffs, beaches and fishing villages.

Our day`s destination is the coastal town of Baiona and the parador dramatically set in the 16th century Monterreal Castle that once protected the town from sea -bourne danger with its 3km of defensive walls and three towers. Baiona also happened to be the first port that the ship the Pinta reached in 1493 - news of the discovery of America spread like wildfire. Walking Distance: 8km/5mi w/ optionals 9.6km/6mi

BaionaDay 6 - Baiona, Spain
Today you have the option of a free day on our own (lunch would also be on your own in this case) in Baiona enjoying the salt air on the outstanding maritime walkway and small town or joining us on a magnificent coastal walk around Cabo Home (Cape Man). We'll shuttle from Baiona past Vigo, Galicia's premiere fishing port. In the 13th C, medieval minstrel Martin Codax wrote from Vigo the hauntingly beautiful medieval sung, love poetry Cantigas de Amigo - a set of love songs written from the woman's perspective while she waits for her love on shore. Read Nancy's article and hear one of the songs - Waves of Vigo.

North of Baiona, this highly scenic walk takes us around the Costa da Vela. We’ll pass three lighthouses en route and get outstanding views of the Cies Islands National Park just off the mainland.

You may want to take a dip in the sea at the end of our walk where’ll we enjoy a picnic lunch on a white-sand beach protected by pine trees that reach down to the shore. Walking Distance: 7.5km/4.6mi

Day 7 - Santiago de Compostela, SpainRomanesque and Baroque Cathedral
On our way to our trailhead, we will briefly stop at the Río Barrosa ethnographic center to see how the local people took advantage of the river`s power to set up a series of mills to grind their corn, wheat and rye.

In a very short stretch there are 14 mills descending the hill as in a cascade. Our last walk starts in Caldas de Reis once a thriving medieval town and currently a haven for spa lovers eager to soak in the naturally hot mineral waters that come bubbling out of the ground. After our picnic we will head through lovely forested areas of native oak and chestnut trees and past thick green pastures.

Afterwards we`ll head to Santiago de Compostela and walk the last stretch to the Romanesque and Baroque Cathedral, the long awaited destination for millions of faithful pilgrims over the centuries. We will visit the historical quarter`s highlights and then you will have free time before we reunite to say farewell at our final dinner. Walking Distance: 8.5km/ 5.2mi w/ optionals 10.5km/6.4mi

Published in Itineraries
Tuesday, 31 July 2012 20:41

Places

On Foot in Spain Walking & Hiking Educational Adventures specializes in small group (6 to 14 people) walking tours in northern Spain since 1999. We emphasize Spain's rich cultural heritage (art, history, folklore), its stunning and varied landscapes, flora and fauna as well as provide the finest in lodgings and regional cuisine.

Join owner-guides cultural anthropologist Nancy Frey (PhD, UC Berkeley) and writer, mountaineer Jose Placer (co-author Walking in Spain, Lonely Planet, 1999 & 2003 and Walking in Scotland, LP, 2001) on an unforgettable walking or hiking tour to one the following:

GALICIA - isolated coastal walks, abundant and varied seafood, ancient mountain villages, Celtic remains
PICOS DE EUROPA - emerald-green pastures, dense forests, soaring peaks, delicious cheeses and hearty stews
CAMINO DE SANTIAGO - medieval pilgrimage route, unparalleled artistic treasures, northern Spain's grand tour
COMPOSTELA - walk last section from León through green Galicia, earn the Cathedral's Compostela certificate
BASQUE COUNTRY & PYRENEES - Europe's oldest people, Guggenheim Museum, French and Spanish coastal and Pyrenees walks
PORTUGAL - Enchanting borderlands mixing coast and mountain landscapes, selected highlights of the Camino Portugués from Porto, Portugal to Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

On Foot in Spain - Rosalia de Castro, 29, 15886 Teo, A Coruña, Spain.

 

Published in Latest
Tuesday, 31 July 2012 20:37

Itinerary

CAMINO DE SANTIAGO: On Glory Roads
The Road to Santiago rarely fails to impress: the constantly changing landscapes, diverse flora and fauna; the encounters with unique and inspiring people; the varied legends of pilgrims past and present; the countless artistic and historical treasures found at every turn; the possibility of enjoying both silence or the animation and color of a Spanish fiesta; or the knowledge that your footsteps join those of millions before you across a thousand years of European history.
We walk in the shadows of this past and seek as well to understand those created in the present on our walking tour along this great medieval pilgrimage route.

See Itineraries

COMPOSTELA TOUR: León to Santiago
Join us for this special 7-day tour starting in León and continuing through the rural Galician countryside. You will be eligible to earn the Cathedral’s certificate of completion, the Compostela, as we walk the last 100km over 5 of the 7 days.
Enjoy bucolic country lanes, enchanted forests and countless hamlets as we wend our way over the rolling hills to the ancient city of stone, Santiago de Compostela.

See Itineraries



GALICIA, Celtic Spain: From Sea to Mountain
Wedged in between the roaring Atlantic and the gentle eastern sierras in Iberia’s northwest corner, Galicia is a magnificent combination of rolling, irregular countryside, 750 miles of breathtaking coastline, numerous deeply penetrating fjord-like estuaries as well as mixed forests and winding rivers.
On the tour we explore the wild coastline, the sea an ever-present right hand companion, as well as Galicia’s mountain, valley and river systems with delightful walks in forests rich in flora and fauna.
We'll pass small, rustic villages, archaeological ruins and witness traces of antique ways of living and working.

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PORTUGAL

On this 7 day/night walking tour we roughly follow the medieval pilgrim's way from Porto, Portugal to Santiago de Compostela taking in the area's beautiful green mountain and valley landscapes as well as spending two nights on Galicia's spectacular southern coast in Baiona. We stay in three UNESCO world heritage towns - Porto, Guimaraes and Santiago de Compostela.

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BASQUE COUNTRY & PYRENEES: Europe's Oldest Culture
Straddling the gentle western Pyrenees, this region is home to Europe´s oldest living language and civilization, breathtaking coastal and low mountain trails, prehistoric remains, sensational award-winning food prepared with charateristic Basque flare and charming seaside towns and high country villages.
Also included in our itinerary is a visit to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.
Learn about Basque history, culture and folklore, enjoy lush coastal and hill trails, and treat your palate to a gastronomic odyssey.

See Itineraries

 

PICOS DE EUROPA: Heights of Emerald Spain
Lofty green and grey, the Picos de Europa play sentinel to the Cantabrian Sea only nine miles away. Surrounded by thick stands of beech and oak, sculpted by four strong river systems and modified by hundreds of years of shepherding, the ever changing limestone Picos offer a unique environment and a wide variety of walking opportunities through lunar-like high mountains, crystalline glacial lakes, lush woodlands, winding rivers, high open pastures and alpine meadows. We’ll explore the National Park’s most stunning trails and introduce you to the shepherding traditions that have made the Picos famous worldwide for their pungent blue cheeses.

See Itineraries

Published in Latest
Tuesday, 31 July 2012 20:31

Reading List

 

To make your journey more enjoyable you may wish to read about the areas we’ll be visiting and about Spain in general. If these are not available in your local library or bookstores most are available via the internet at www.amazon.com, Adventure Travel Bookstore (1800 282 3963 in US and Canada) or Mountaineers Books (1800 553 4453 - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). Also look for the website: www.wild-spain.com for information and interesting articles on outdoor Spain.

SPAIN

Walking in SpainWalking in SpainWalking in Spain (Lonely Planet, 1999, 2003). Miles Roddis, Nancy Frey, Jose Placer, Matt Fletcher and John Noble.



On Foot in Spain owners, Nancy Frey and Jose Placer, have chapters on Galicia, Cordillera Cantábrica (Picos de Europa), the Basque Country and the Camino de Santiago. The 2003 book covers all of Spain but not the Canary Islands.


Foster, Nelson and Linda S. Cordell, ed. 1996. Chilies to Chocolate: Food the Americas Gave the World. University pf Arizona Press. Kerper, Barrie. 2003. Northern Spain. The Collected Traveller. NY: Three Rivers Press.



A good collection of articles covering parts of Spain hard to find information about in English including Galicia, Asturias, the Basque Country and Cantabria

Measures, John. 1992. Wildlife Travelling Companion: Spain. Wiltshire: Crowood Press.

A general guide on flora and fauna of Spain good if your travelling across the country but not a specialist’s guide.

Hooper, John. The New Spaniards. Penguin. 1997.

Hooper manages to provide a well-balanced accounting of Spain as it is today and why.

Lalaguna, Juan. A Traveller’s History of Spain. 1996

Excellent, compact summary of Spain’s complex history.

Crow, John A. 1985. Spain. The Root and the Flower. Berkeley : UC Press.


GALICIA

Barlow, John. 2008. Everything But the Squeal: A Year of Pigging Out in Northern Spain.
Barlow, a native of England, has a great time exploring Galicia’s food traditions focusing on pork with his Galician vegetarian wife. A funny read. We won’t be eating nearly as much pork as he!

Borrow, George. 1842. The Bible in Spain.

19th century English Bible salesman George Borrow relates his experiences, in an often humorous fashion, in this excellent volume on mid-19th C Spain. There are accounts of areas we’ll pass through including Finisterre.

Casas, Penelope. 1997. Spain’s Green Corner. New York Times Travel. April 27, p. 12, 29.
Good general overview of Galicia’s coastal highlights.

Frey, Nancy. 2004. Galicia. Coastal Corner. Spanish Magazine. June (Issue 5), pp. 16-25.
Now find the article HERE!
An article describing Galicia and its highlights from Nancy’s perspective as someone who has lived in the region since 1997.

Frey, Nancy. 2003. Serra do Courel: Galicia’s Wild Frontier. Originally published on www.wild-spain.com.

Now find the article HERE!
Here I describe the beautiful range south of the O Cebreiro pass with an emphasis on the geology, flora and fauna.

Gemie, Sharif. 2006. Galicia. Histories of Europe Series.
A good general overview of the region with a strong focus on modern history.

Kerper, Barrie. 2003. Northern Spain. The Collected Traveler. An Inspired Anthology & Travel Resource.

The author presents a very comprehensive annotated bibliography of themes not just related to northern Spain but Spain in general in addition to good selected articles about each zone of the north including Galicia.

Michener, James. 1968. Iberia. Spanish Travels and Reflections.

While everything else in the book is terribly outdated, his chapter 13 – Santiago de Compostela offers a great read with solid historical information.

Jenny Chandler and Jean Cazals. 2005. The Food of Northern Spain: Recipes from the Gastronomic Heartland of Spain.

Beautiful photography and delightful prose in this lovely book on food in northern Spain.

Rivas, Manuel. 2003. Vermeer’s Milkmaid: And Other Stories

Rivas is a contemporary Galician author who writes about his region and this is just one suggestion to introduce you to his work.

Rosalía de Castro.
Considered to be Galicia’s finest 19th C poet, her work is full of nostalgia and strong sense of landscape and place. Follas Novas(New Leaves) is a good start.

Also check out the following website which has many resources about Galicia:
https://emol.org/zucker/genealogy/galiciaspain.html


PICOS DE EUROPA

Ena Alvarez, Vicente. 1996. In the Picos de Europa (Translation from Spanish). Leon: Edilesa.

General book on the Picos.

Browning, Frank. 1998. The Apple of Spain’s Eye. San Francisco Examiner. Travel Section. Sept 13, pp. T-1, T-4, T-5. Travel article on Asturian sidra

 

CAMINO DE SANTIAGO

Clissold, Stephen. 1974. Saint James in Spanish History. History Today 24 (10): 684-92.
Excellent general overview of the development of the pilgrimage and cult of St James.

Coelho, Paolo. 1995. The Pilgrimage. A Contemporary Quest for Ancient Wisdom.

One of the most popular and controversial contemporary Camino books. Brasilian best-selling author, Coelho takes us on his mystical journey along the Camino in search of wisdom. He provides spiritual exercises.

Egan, Kerry. 2004. Fumbling: A Pilgrimage Tale of Love, Grief and Spiritual Renewal on the Camino de Santiago. Doubleday.

Personal account written by a Harvard graduate student of theology. After her father died of diabetes she walked the Camino.

Follet, Ken. Pillars of the Earth
Masterpiece novel set in 12th C Britain during the period of transition between Romanesque and Gothic architecture. Follet develops a fascinating human and historical journey that even coincides w/ the Camino.

Pilgrim StoriesFrey, Nancy. 1998. Pilgrim Stories. On and Off the Road to Santiago. Berkeley: UC Press.
Nancy’s anthropological study on the contemporary pilgrimage which brings to life the multitude of experiences of the modern traveler along the Camino based on her hundreds of interviews with pilgrims from 1992 to 1997.

Gitlitz, David and Linda Kay Davidson. 2000. The Pilgrimage Road to Santiago. The Complete Cultural Handbook. St. Martin's.

The title says it all. The guide covers art, architecture, history, folklore, flora and fauna.

Hitt, Jack. 1994. Off the Road. NY: Simon and Schuster.

Humorous and irreverent personal account of Hitt's 1993 walk to Santiago.

Hoinacki, Lee. 1996. El Camino. University Park: Penn State Press.
Deeply felt personal account with a strong spiritual emphasis by an older man who walked to Santiago.

Jacobs, Michael. 2003. The Road to Santiago. Pallas Guides.

Architectural guide for travelers along the Camino.

Lack, Katherine. 2003. The Cockleshell Pilgrim: A Medieval Journey to Compostela.

In the late 1990s, while an English cemetery was being moved, a 14th C pilgrim was discovered buried with his scallop shell. Lack, a historian, attempts to reconstruct his journey and 14th life on the road.

Laffi, Domenico. 1997 (1681). A Journey to the West. The Diary of a Seventeenth Century Pilgrim from Bologna to Santiago de Compostela. Trans. James Hall. Leiden (Netherlands): Primavera Pers and Santiago: Xunta de Galicia.
Delightful account and translation of Laffis 17th C journey. His eye for detail leaves us with a memorable legacy and Hall has added excellent illustrations to accompany the text.

Maclaine, Shirley. 2001. The Camino. Journey of the Spirit. Atria Press.
People either love or hate this book. Maclaine walked to Santiago in I994 and then wrote about her spiritual, physical, other-worldly and celebrity experiences along the way.

Melczer, William. 1993. The Pilgrim's Guide to Santiago de Compostela. NY: ltalica Press.

First English translation of the 12th C pilgrimage guide Codex Calixtinus that helped popularize th pilgrimage route. His translation and first-rate historical background and extensive notes, bring to life this fascinating and invaluable document.

Michener, James. 1968. Iberia. Spanish Travels and Reflections. NY: Random House.

While everything else in the book is terribly outdated, his chapter on the Camino (Chapter 13 - Santiago de Compostela) offers a great read with solid historical information.

A food lover's pilgrimage to Santiago de CompostelaMoore, Tim. 2005. Spanish Steps. Travels with My Donkey. London: Vintage Press.
Funny account of this Englishman’s trials and tribulations walking with his donkey to Compostela.

Mullen, Robert. 2010. Call of the Camino. Myths, Legends and Pilgrim Stories on the Way to Santiago de Compostela. Findhorn Press.
Mullen blends issues of mind, body and spirit in this engaging account of his walk along the Camino.

Newman, Sharon. 1997. Strong as Death (Catherine Levendeur Mysteries). Forge Books.

Murder stalks Catherine and her husband Edgar on their 12th C journey to Compostela. She must use her wit to figure out who among the assorted traveling companions did it!

Nolan, Dee. 2010. A Food Lover’s Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Penguin
A journalist and olive oil producer Dee fulfilled a dream walking the Camino with us and then wrote this exquisitely beautiful book in which she let her heart and palate be her guide.

Nootebaum, Cees. 1997. Roads to Santiago. Detours and Riddles in the Lands and History of Spain. NY: Harcourt.

This popular Dutch writer takes you with him on his long journey through Spain to Santiago covering many, many topics.

O’Marie, Sister Carol Anne. 1993. Murder Makes a Pilgrimage. NY: St. Martin’s Press.

Modern day murder mystery set on the contemporary Camino with a septuagenarian nun Sister Mary Helen as the protagonist and unlikely crime solver.

Rudolph, Conrad. 2004. Pilgrimage to the End of the World.
Very good and thoughtful, compact travel essay by an art historian who walked to Santiago.

Rupp, Joyce. 2005. Walk in a Relaxed Manner. Life Lessons from the Camino. USA: Orbis Books.
Rather than the typical diary account Joyce, a 60+ walker, focuses on the basic messages she took from the pilgrimage: Live in the Now, Listen to Your Body, Don't Give Up, Trust in a Higher Power, Humility.

 

CAMINO IN PORTUGAL

Camoes, Luis Vaz de.16th C. The Lusiads. Oxford University Press.
Considered to be the greatest epic writer of his time, Camoes writes nostalgically about the age of oceanic discovery just as Portugal’s golden age was dimming.

Gomes, Tania. 2006. Flavors of Portugal. Thunder Bay Press.

Provides interesting recipes including unusual family ones in this bilingual edition.

Hermano Saraiva, Jose. 1998. A Companion History of Portugal. Carcanet Press.
Good historical overview of Portugal’s fascinating history.

Kaplan, Marion. 1998. The Portuguese: The Land and its People. Viking Press
Kaplan is a photo journalist and her writing is strongest when discussing the art and architecture.

Russell, Peter. 2001. Prince Henry ‘the Navigator’ : A Life. Yale University Press.

Deals with this key figure of Portuguese history toppling many of the legends surrounding his personage and giving excellent contextual material surrounding his life and age.

Saramago, Jose

He is a Portuguese Nobel Laureate who has published many works including the non-fictional: Journey to Portugal: In Search of Portugal’s History and Culture, and the wonderful, haunting work of fiction, Blindness (Harvest Press).

 

BASQUE COUNTRY & PYRENEES

Barrenechea, Teresa and Mary Goodbody. 2005. The Basque Table: Passionate Home Cooking from One of Europe’s Great Regional Cuisines. Harvard Common Press. he Lusiads.
Wonderful introduction for foodies.

Gallop, Rodney. 1970. A Book of the Basques. University of Nevada Press.

Excellent collection and analysis of Basque folklore from song to dance to witchcraft.

Kerper, Barrie. 2003. Northern Spain. The Collected Traveler. An Inspired Anthology & Travel Resource. Three Rivers Press.
Great collection of articles by well-known writers on a variety of topics covering all of northern Spain.

Kurlansky, Mark. 1999. Basque History of the World.
A very readable but incredibly biased description of the Basque people from pre-history to the present day. It can’t be taken seriously as a historical account as many of his outrageous claims are not backed up. His take on the current situation with the Basque terrorist organization ETA is misinformed and one-sided and should be taken with a grain of salt.

Laxalt, Robert and Joyce. 1999. The Land of My Fathers: A son’s return to the Basque Country. University of Nevada Press.
Memoir written by the son of a Basque immigrant who returned to visit his father’s village in Spain. Laxalt is considered to be one of Nevada’s finest writers and has written several books set in the Basque country including the award winning A Cup of Tea in Pamplona.

Sevilla, María Jose. 1990. Life and Food in the Basque Country. New Amsterdam Books.
Discover the Basque Country and its people through its food culture. Good, leisurely read.

Woodworth, Paddy. 2007. The Basque Cultural History. Signal Books.

Irishman Paddy Woodworth has been writing about the Basques for thirty years and is most well known for his take on the Basque terrorists, ETA, in his Dirty War, Clean Hands. The book provides good background information on the Basque Country in general.

Published in Latest
Tuesday, 31 July 2012 20:27

Years 2007 & 2008

CAMINO DE SANTIAGO 2007 & 2008
 
I will treasure the memories and inspirations from the trip for many years to come. The friendliness and compassion that you two emit so easily are such a rare gift that gives so much to the people who travel the road with you. I hope you realize that. You two are where you are meant to be and I was blessed to be part of it.

Take care and happy travels.
Pat Belanger, September 17-27, 2008
Turner, Maine USA


Thank you Nancy & Jose for sharing your time and expertise. You both made our experience of the Camino so special. The way you work together and so obviously love what you do was inspirational. It showed us all that we can follow our dreams and achieve whatever we choose if we believe in what we do. Thank you so much.

Nancy’s knowledge was phenomenal and I found her information and explanations of medieval history both interesting and informational. I loved the way that Nancy was able to give us a realistic picture of life during the different centuries. The organization was unbelievable. You both kept us to a timetable without apparent effort and stress but also allowed us freedom to go at our own pace. Great balance of walking, visits and free time. The picnics were fantastic! Let us know when you publish a book of your recipes. Thanks Jose for allowing us to sample the local specialties. I loved the mixture of old and new lodgings and all were in wonderful locations.
Sue Dodd, Sydney, Australia, 2-12 May 2007

I can't thank you enough for the trip of a lifetime. It was wonderful, the camino, the countryside but also your brilliant organisation with Jose. Looking back we packed such a lot in, but never felt rushed, and I'm still digesting all the historical and architectural information. Went to Salisbury Cathedral last week, and gave my husband a lecture on gothic architecture!

Thank you for everything - if I shut my eyes I can still walk the camino, and I'm so grateful to On Foot in Spain for making it all happen.
L. Bull, June 4-14, 2008
Bradford-upon-Avon, Wiltshire, UK


Nancy: of the numerous trips I’ve taken over the years, you beat every guide in your knowledge and presentation. A+++. Jose’s salads are great and the local cheeses a real hit! This was for me a very inspirational trip that I will not hesitate to recommend. I admired the way you and Jose work together. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge, enthusiasm and inspiration with me.
Adrienne Peschon, 14-24 May 2008
Middletown, Calif, USA


I congratulate you for choosing a diversity of places, each one with its own character and charm. Bravo Jose on the picnics! They were wholesome, abundant, varied and pertinent to the regions we were traversing. Your personal touch and dedication, knowledge, experience, care revealing the love you both have for the Camino was all transmitted to us. These 11 days will live with me and my wife for a lifetime. Thanks for this great gift.
Santiago Wong, Port Jefferson, NY, USA
September 17-27, 2008


Thank you, Nancy and Jose, for making my Camino experience such a memorable one – you listen, you affirm, you challenge and I will go home enriched. One can’t ask for more than that!! Blessings upon you and your family.
Lesley Gerrish, Melbourne, Australia, Sept 19-29, 2007

Yes, we are back home safe and sound. All we have done since then is talk of the Camino, you, Jose and our tour mates. About our Camino, no words can describe my personal experience. Thank you again for everything. It has been the most amazing trip of my life time. There is nothing that could surpass this experience.
Sue Do Vale, Johannesburg, South Africa
Sept 17-27, 2008


Absolutely first class on all counts. Nancy is a vast fund of knowledge and obviously keenly enjoys giving her clients the vast spectrum of her knowledge – both factual and folkloric nature. The whole tour ran like clockwork and there was a good balance of free time. I chose the full walking time but individuals had choice. The extra excursions were very valuable. The experience will provide long lasting happy memories. I will go home with a much greater appreciation not only of the Camino but of Spain in general. The fact that this was my second trip with On Foot In Spain speaks for itself!
Ray Smith, 2-12 May 2007
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada


Thank you for being an amazing guide, in the many depths of ways that that can be interpreted. I was touched by Nancy and Jose’s patience, caring and warmth. And especially the individual time that Nancy spent with each person ensuring that they got the experience they were looking for. Thank you so much for everything and turning my dream into a reality. And also for the nuggets of truth and wisdom imparted along the way.. I am only just starting to understand what an impact this trip has made on me and I must say coming home has been a strange experience. How I wish I was still with you guys right now looking forward to one of Jose’s lunches. I am extremely grateful to you and all the people on the trip. You are inspirational.
S. Mounsear-Wilson, April 23-May 3, 2008
Johannesburg, South Africa


I really wanted to thank you, Jose and Sam for all that you did. I have been a do-it-yourself traveler up until the camino and I thought I would feel closed in and limited by a tour. As it was happening and even more as I think back, I realize I could have never put together such an incredible 11 days. In large part it was the details-the paths, the churches, the hotels, the local knowledge, the historical knowledge, the food-all of it was perfect- even the weather! But in addition to that, there was that wonderful ambience the pervaded every moment of every day. I loved being on foot, I loved every step. Thank you so much.
Angie Moore, April 23-May3, 2008
Portland, Oregon, USA


This has been the most amazing experience of my life (apart from having my kids!). It has been almost impossible to put into words to share with family and loved ones what the Camino is, what it meant to me and the sense of not only physical but personal achievement. Thank you both for your wonderful hospitality in sharing this very special part of the world (and your world) with us. Every small detail and thought which you both have put into On Glory Roads did not go unnoticed – down to the library on the bus, the poetry, music, writings, picnics, variety in accommodation and many more things too numerous to mention.

Finally, thank you for your wonderful company, great humour and good cheer!

Buen Camino always,
Kim Williams, Sept 17-27, 2008
Sydney, Australia


Have arrived in London, and still walking the Camino, if that makes any sense.

Over lunch with friends have been telling them about my journey and about you , and the way you organised out journey, what we saw , how I coped or at times didn't, and how I am a (little) filled with admiration for myself (sic), but mostly for you and Jose and how you managed it all!! Believe me , I am very grateful that I was with your group.

After lunch I was sitting in the garden paging through one of the books of the Camino which I bought in Santiago, and I realise just how much we covered and just how much we saw.

I’m filled with a deep sense of gratitude that I could make the journey, and know that it's an ongoing one....not sure how, but I know it! (besides the obvious point that I want to do it again, and, maybe, again!). Guess I'm hooked!!!! Thank you Nancy and Jose!!
Francis Antonie, June 4-14, 2008
Johannesburg, South Africa


The Camino journey combined the best of life; new knowledge, new friends, the open air in all weather and an opportunity for reflection. Without a doubt the experience has changed the shape, style and content of the book project greatly for the better.

Angie and I would like to thank you and Jose again for all you did for us and for the efforts which clearly go on behind the scenes.
Angela and Duffy Clemens, May 14-24, 2008
Sydney, Australia


It’s an experience that touched me deeply. Not only did I learn much of Spain’s history, architecture, art and culture but the Camino also made it possible for me to: 1) SEE and appreciate the majesty and beauty of God’s creation from the massive blue sky, the curving mountain tops and rolling hills, the ever changing landscapes of trees and bushes, wildflowers in purple, yellow and white, rose hips, muchsrooms sprouting here and there, down to a lovely green insect crawling on the ground; 2) HEAR birds chirping, roosters crowing, cows mooing, bells clanking as shepp cross the road, trodding footsteps and walking sticks, greetings of ‘buen camino’; 3) FEEL the warmth of the sun, the cool breeze, a flower petal, a prickly thistle; 4) TASTE the wild blackberries, the raindrops; 5) SMELL cow’s manure which one can get used to after awhile, the aroma of the eucalyptus trees. The Camino, above all, made it possible for me to MEET in the tour, a special bunch of wonderful people from different parts of the world and develop new friendships.

Nancy and Jose, thank you for making all of these possible. Thank you for making it a very special 65th birthday celebration for me. Santiago and I will never forget this wonderful experience!!!
Rosalie Wong, Sept 17-27, 2008
Port Jefferson, NY, USA


After a really frantic time at work it was wonderful to be so well looked after, absolutely nothing to organize and to be in beautiful country with the surrounding history coming alive through the stories, music and visits. I think were were also blessed with a wonderful group of people who to a ‘man’ were all out to enjoy the experience – I didn’t hear a complaint!. Your organization was excellent!!! This is a well oiled yet flexible team, where it all happens seamlessly and with good humor and great charm! Jose’s picnics were fantastic with a variety and quality food. I especially enoyed the local, natural products selected by Jose.

I got your book Nancy in Santiago and enjoyed reading it when i was in Rome. For me reading it after rather than before the trip was good as I could relate directly to the stories and place them in the landscape (both physical and mental). I especially enjoyed the history around the walk and the development of Spain that you shared with us.

I've said before the best marketing you can do is do a good job - i have been raving about the trip and how special you three made it, thanks again for a special time, jen
Jenny Ward, Sydney, Australia
September 19-29, 2007


Thank you for a wonderful, wonderful walking trip. Today I am planted once again behind a desk / computer and it doesn't seem real. However the walk, that's what seems real and I can't get it out of my mind. I am continually retracing my steps (isn't that funny?) People say to me "bet it seems like a distant memory" but no it doesn't. I am so thrilled that so far it is all still in my head (& heart?) Beautiful, beautiful memories I shall have & I thank you for that. My husband can see how much I enjoyed it and is busy making noises like he wants to come with me on the next one

- yes dreaming about another already. Believe me when I say I won't forget you all.
Lorraine Stinton, September 19-29, 2007
Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand


Thank you Nancy for a perfect 11 days, it was an absolute privilege to be part of your tour. I’m certainly the richer for it.
Martine Thompson, September 19-29, 2007
Melbourne, Australia


I find it hard to say all that this experience has meant to me – to revisit the Camino and parts of Spain with David and to see Nancy and Jose again. It has been like seeing old friends again.
Susan Marthens, Portland, Oregon, USA
April 23-May 3, 2008


I feel very sad that the walk is over. Up to this stage of my life, it has been one of the greatest experiences of learning about my inner self. Thank you Nancy and Jose for being really great company on the walk.
Max Marriott, 2-12 May 2007
Sunbury, VIC, Australia


Australia,
Nancy is extraordinary – a real scholar but also a good communicator, shows good judgment on what to include and a lovely sense of humor too. The picnics were wonderful. Thanks to Jose for his efforts to emphasize the local cheeses and meats, varied salads, the local melons, terrific and yet an appropriate light lunch.
Caroline Hoppin, 19-29 Sept 2007
Brookline, Massachusetts, USA


I've been home for almost a week now and have spent the time savouring every moment of our walk along the Camino. I feel as if I have been on another planet. It has been one of the best travel experiences I have had and certainly one of the best things I have ever done for myself. M and I felt so bereft on the Sunday after the tour was over. We went to Finisterre, which was incredibly beautiful, but it was not the same without you and the others with us.

We want to thank you for bringing the Camino to life for us with your passion and expert knowledge of Spanish history, culture and religion. You have given us both your gifts of compassion and understanding and for that we will always remember our journey to Santiago. You are the best tour guides I have every experienced. You gave us a wealth of information in an interesting, informal manner. What touched me the most about the quality of the toru was your passion for what you are doing. It showed in everything you did.
Lucille Evans, May 2-12, 2008
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada


I've been back in Canada nearly two weeks now, and still feel "discombobulated”. Part of me is here, and part of me is still back there with you. You were both so wonderful to me on the tour. I can't thank you enough. I hope someday to be able to see you again. I think you're both angels, or at least saints. Santa Nancy and Santo Jose: that's how I think of you. It's a wonderful thing you're doing. I hope you know that, and will continue to derive a great deal of pleasure and satisfaction from it for many years to come.
Maureen Hunter, May 2-12, 2007
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada


I can only say that I count myself most fortunate indeed to have been part of this tour. I could not have wished for two more personable people to guide me on it and one of the major ingredients of journy’s success has to have been the warm tone you gave to everything we did. As far as I’m concerned, you couldn’t have done it any better than you did it for our group. With deep thanks for everything,
Fred Voss, May 2-12, 2007
Alexandria, Virginia, USA


It was such a lovely group and I connected deeply with so many. It was even a richer and fuller experience than when I walked with you along the Camino the first time. Nancy I valued your passion for the historical/cultural/spiritual aspects; how well you related to each of us. For me – again it was a joy - and slowed me down and helped me ‘fine tune’ my life where I’m at…Plus I learned TONS… The picnics were outstanding Jose and greatly appreciated. Thank you both for this life experience.
Betty Anne Smith, May 2-12, 2007
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada


Every day I felt was my favorite day. I liked the beauty of nature and art. Nancy’s knowledge is incredible. She has the Camino in her blood. I learned a lot because of Nancy’s effective ways of sharing information. The picnics were scrumptious. It was a most amazing experience.

Petra Kinsman, May 14-24, 2008
Santa Clara, Calif, USA


To me, the most important aspect of the experience was that it took a group of strangers and turned them into a group of people who knew and liked each other – a group of friends.
Evans Cheeseman, May 2-12, 2007
Southborough, Mass., USA


Nancy and Jose, thanks again for your kind consideration. The trip as it stands is seamless – you have done an extraordinary job of putting together this tour! The art and history of Spain are now embedded in my soul – the music and food a fond memory too. Thank you.
Bonny Dickinson, April 23- May 3, 2008
Portland, Oregon, USA


I really didn’t know what to expect but never dreamed it would be this wonderful! Nancy you have an unbelievable in-depth scholarliness and ability to convey it all from legend to anthropology to art and history. Your ability to figure out how long things would take and write and keep to the schedule is amazing. The organization was incredibly smooth. Jose is a master chef – and selector of the best for us to try. The picnics were a highpoint of everyday!
Sarah Cheeseman, May 2-12, 2007
Southborough, Mass, USA


This really was an exceptional tour. I was able to get a sense of the Camino – the physical aspects of the walk as well as the historical and cultural dimensions. Nancy and Jose you were both warm, inviting and wonderful guides. Thanks so much.
Matt Ferro, April 23 – May 3, 2008
Westlake Village, Calif., USA


Nancy, your enthusiasm, in-depth knowledge and love of the Camino and Spain brought the Camino alive for us in a way that others would not match. We appreciated the relaxed approach to managing the flow of activities. Jose’s continuous behind the scenes work was very much appreciated. We are thrilled with our experience on our Camino; being able to share yoru deep knowledge and love for this region was an exceptional gift. The small size of the group and Nancy ability to engage all the participants created an intimacy that was very special; this was further enhanced by the lovely interaction of Jose and Marina. Thank you Nancy and Jose.
Kathy Glinski & Paul Doucet, May 14-24, 2008
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada


Nancy’s non-competitive approach made everyone very comfortable. I enjoyed all the walks as they were so different. Nancy was excellent – very knowledgeable and always prepared. Very effective with her storytelling manner. I loved her grasp of the whole period – the architecture, history and people of the times. Also the music enhanced our experience. I am very pleased and grateful that I made this trip. I had a wonderful and rich experience. Our group was delightful.
Mabeth Sanderson, 14-24 May 2008
Sonoma, Calif, USA


The predeparture information was extremely thorough and after having completed the tour I know it was also very accurate. I loved the wide variety of landscapes covered in the walks and I enjoyed every one. Both Nancy and Jose show great attention to detail and really care abouth the knowledge they are imparting to the group. It was a wonderful experience with extremely knowledgeable, kind and caring guides. I saw places I would never have seen otherwise and will have fantastic memories. Thank you.
Anne Fitzgerald, 4-14 June 2008
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Best vacation in many years. Excellent introduction to a part of the world I had not really ever visited. Had fun in many ways and learned /experienced the culture and history. The Camino experience was a great context. The group dynamics were an added benefit. Thanks for the wonderful experience.
Jim Westfall, 4-14 June 2008
Redwood City, California, USA


Nancy’s passion for knowledge – as well as depth and breadth was unparalleled in comparison to other tours I’ve taken. Wow! Impeccable planning and fantastic variety of accommodations. Your efforts to make this trip exceptional were noted and effective. Can’t wait for further excursions with you!
Abigail Stockham, 4-14 June 2008
Cleveland, Ohio, USA

CAMINO PORTUGUESE 2007 & 2008
In all the travel I did 'before Graham' and 'with Graham' I can honestly say I have never experienced such a well organized or well orchestrated week of adventure. (And that includes all of Europe, Central and South America, USA and Canada.) Graham would have loved it!

I truly believe your success because of your individual character and the wonderful relationship you have with each other and your family. It spills over into everything you do. There was a perfect balance of walking, learning, laughing, respect for and interest in each participant, good food, wonderful places to stay, personal spirituality and a oneness with the world around you.

At the same time there was strong, calm leadership which gave each participant trust in you both. We knew we could give ourselves over to the experience, the details were taken scare of.

I could rhapsodize over field, flora and fauna. I could express my surprise that I was walking in the historic footsteps of thousands before me. I could describe the awe of an old history compared to my country's newness. (I could be honest and tell you that there were times when I was very challenged,a leg and a back that will not straighten due to osteoporosis are not easy companions on such a walk). Instead, I hold dear the small, simple things that make the whole of the experience....lemons hanging like great yellow orbs, the taste of freshly squeezed orange juice, the smell of the newly turned earth, the clear rushing water, the joy upon sighting Magic Man Sam and Jose who could appear suddenly on the trail out of the mist, the rain or the sun and the smile that I could not suppress as Nancy led the way wearing her straw hat, the rain streaming from her umbrella....Mary Poppins in hiking boots.

Five? Give it a ten. I would be happy to have you use my name as a reference. (I am planning a Jose' picnic for July.)

Yours with love and admiration,
Jacqueline Donohogue, 23-29 May 2007
Calgary, Alberta, Canada


I would most definitely recommend this trip to others, in fact I already have. The tour as a whole provided an opportunity to walk parts of northern Spain and Portugal which would have been difficult to access without the help of local experts. As a walking enthusiast, it was a dream come true. I loved the opportunity to walk through so many different types of terrain. We received the equivalent of a college level course in the history of the Camino as well as an overview of the art, culture, and gastronomy of the regions we visited. You prepared us perfectly. As someone who likes to research things in advance, I appreciated all the information you sent.
The tour runs like a well-oiled machine. Clearly you have thought this through and refined it through years of experience. Everything was like clockwork. You seem to strike the perfect balance between walking, resting, picnicking, cultural exploration, shopping, browsing, etc. Even the bathroom breaks and cafe stops were well-timed. I knew you were an expert in the Camino and had published a book about it, but what came as a great surprise was the incredible brain download of information in such an articulate and fascinating way. I could listen to you talk about the Camino all day long. Your knowledge of the subject matter is most impressive. Aside from all the information, we felt like we were in such good hands. We felt very safe and comfortable, and that is very important. You and Jose took such good care of us. It really freed us up to enjoy the walks and everything we were experiencing since we didn't have to worry about any logistics. I thought you chose an excellent bus driver as well.
Nancy Straus, July 6-12, 2008,
Evanston, Illinois, USA


It was a pleasure to be on the tour. I meant it when I said I would remember the lunches. They encapsulate the gracious introduction to another land and culture. I got from the tour a sense of the history and geography of the northern Iberian peninsula and of the pilgrimage to Santiago in particular. I also learned to appreciate the beauty and productivity of a part of the world that was new to me. I definitely would recommend this tour to others.

The predeparture information was thorough and honest. All the sections of walking were my favorites. I enjoyed them all.

The tour flowed nicely. It was good to have free time to rest or wander. Your knowledge and experience as guides were outstanding. I learned something every time I turned around. I especially liked the music and the historical anecdotes during the bus rides.

I wish I had taken business cards from the restaurants, especially the last two that we went to as a group. I liked all the hotels, and was especially impressed with the Parador at Baiona.
R. Reeback, Albuquerque, New Mexico
July 6-12, 2008


Thank you once again for what was a spectacular and memorable experience on the Camino and beyond. I’ve heard that it takes ten years to become expert at just about anything. You have surely attained that distinction as tour guides and hosts. All the best to you both and to your family.
B. Straus, Evanston, Illinois
July 6-12, 2008


The level and amount of walking corresponded to what was described in the pre-departure information. The segments that were selected for our walks provided a great variety of natural, cultural and aesthetic experience and witnessed of the organizers knowledge and care for both the comfort and safety and the quality of experience of the walkers.

I came away with deep respect and appreciation for the knowledge, understanding and heartfelt empathy and love demonstrated by our guides for the landscape, the culture and the history of the places we walked.

Organization: I could not ask for anything better. You indeed are smooth operators!

Ah, those picnics! Rain or shine, Jose can prepare a meal at my house any time.

I enjoyed the variety in the restaurants we sampled.

I am happy to be a reference if so required.
Judith Peavy, 23-29 May 2007
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

GALICIA 2007 & 2008

You were the consummate leaders. I’ll gladly recommend or write anyone about you and your extraordinary abilities. Meeting you and Jose was the highlight of the trip. Each of you has so much knowledge, it was humbling to try and remember as much as possible.

The scenery, the history, the solitude of the places combined to make the experience one that will live forever in my memory. Nancy and Jose did all they could to make it so.

My favorite section of the hike was walking along from one to the other of the small villages located in the coves or fjords of the Atlantic along the coastline.

The pre-historic and round stone castro remains would be a strong second place of highlights to visit. The old restored guest house that I think was at Vilamor was especially fascinating.

The tour was obviously well-planned and well carried out. All details were carefully handled. Nancy and Jose are so knowledgeable and so adept at hiking, that there was never a minute that I felt concern. I knew they had been over every inch of the way many times. They knew the trails. They knew the inhabitants. They carried cell phones, so they were able to call help should it be needed. I trusted them implicitly, and always would. Nancy tried to make things easier for those of us who were not the strongest hikers. She did this with grace and tact. The two divided the group on more than one occasion, so that those wishing the most strenuous experience could have it without being held back by the slower persons.

The picnics were works of art as well as gastronomy. The salads and combinations of offerings each day were amazing. Each day’s food was more delicious and interesting than the last. The settings were always well-selected and lovely. The variety seemed endless, as well as colorful and bountiful. The selection of restaurants in the evening was also quite varied as well as delicious. We were given every opportunity to try the local specialties as well as staple foods for those who did not like to try new things. It was clear that the day’s hike was planned around the location of the lunch break. Jose was always there and ready for the group to rest and enjoy his art.

The hotels in Santiago were especially well-equipped and modern. They were located in the heart of the city. The other locations were chosen for their unique locations or to illustrate the local condition. They were not necessarily as well-equipped or modern, but were all clean and acceptable. All were picturesque in one way or another. For a unique and memorable vacation that is challenging physically, there can be no better choice than “On Foot in Spain.” Thank you for all your obvious efforts.
E. Weil, July 22-29, 2008
Goldsboro, North Carolina


I meant to write to you long before now to thank you for making our trip so amazing. I have told so many people about what a fabulous adventure we had - hoping to drum up some friends for a future Camino walk with you!

Looking back at the photos, I really can't believe all that we saw and experienced - these are all places that I never would have gone in my wildest dreams and that most people will never see. I especially loved all the stories and myths, and your comments about life in Spain today. I am still in awe of the people we saw along the way. To think that there are people in our world who walk through the streets of a remote mountain town with an ancient scythe on their shoulders blows me away. The view from the lodge in Piornedo - so beautiful! The most beautiful place - in my opinion - was the ocean view along the rocks by the Virxe da Barca. I loved the public art there commemorating the oil spill in 2002. The most moving part of the trip was on the very first day when Nancy showed us the alabaster column at the Cathedral in Santiago. The column contains the impression of a hand, made by the thousands of pilgrim hands across the centuries. That is the sacred image of the place - the faith of thousands in one hand print!

Thank you once more for a "mountain top experience." I can’t imagine that I will find anything like it again. It will be hard to come down from the mountain.
J. Brautigam, July 3-10, 2007
Dublin, Ohio, USA


I loved the Laxe Beach, and the Río Lor river sections, the Verdes river park. The optionals were great. All the picnics and meals were delicious and the organization seamless. I would never have done this on my own and I’m going to suggest the tour to friends. It was a fantastic trip. Jose is my homeboy.
Robert Garrow, July 3-10, 2007
Dublin, Ohio, USA


Your knowledge was amazing and much better than I expected. All the stories and tidbits of information made the trip that much better! All the restaurants were wonderful and they each gave a good introduction to local culture. I really enjoyed the trip and the fact that I learned a tremendous amount everywhere we went. If I come to Spain again, I will be a repeat customer.
Jessica Garrow, July 3-10, 2007
Boulder, Colorado, USA


I have never taken this kind of trip before and I really did not know what to expect. But I must tell you that the two of you run a superb and seamless operation together and I would highly recommend this to any of my friends who enjoy walking and hiking. This was certainly a highlight for me in ’07. Next time I’ll have to do the pilgrimage. Nancy and Jose you are fantastic! Thank you. I have given several people your website address. I thoroughly enjoyed my holiday with you and would highly recommend it to others. It was an amazing experience and I'd like to do the pilgrimage at some point.
Rachel Danon, July 3-10, 2007
Jersey City, New Jersey, USA


This has been a fantastic cultural, educational and physical experience. We could not have been more surprised and delighted with each day’s activities, food and accommodations, but you managed to charm us more each day. It all seemed so perfect. Breaks just when needed – never felt rushed. Right amount of free time and walking. Your operation runs like a well-oiled machine appearing effortless.
Eric & Liz Wolter, July 3-10, 2007
Belvidere, Illinois, USA


I do believe that I am now ruined for any other organized tour. Nancy’s knowledge of culture, topography, flora, fauna, history, etc is incredible. She has a depth and breadth of knowledge that I’ve not before encountered. Jose your picnics were EXCELENTE! Thank you. I think that future holidays will prove disappointing – perhaps I should limit my European vacations to On Foot In Spain!
Mae Schaefer, July 3-10, 2007,
South Amboy, New Jersey, USA


COMPOSTELA 2007 & 2008
Everything about On Foot In Spain was so much more than I anticipated. Your knowledge of the history and culture of the country, the well chosen segments to walk, perfect accommodation, great selections of local food, beautiful landscapes and your sensitivity and attention to detail made for a perfect walk. We were all well cared for. You are two very special people who are much appreciated. It was a pleasure to meet and share with you and a special thanks for sharing Sam.
Marilyn Harris, September 1-8, 2007
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


It was for me a wonderful experience to walk to Santiago with you and the group. Every aspect of the week exceeded my expectations. Our co-walkers were a delightful group. You and Jose must be the most careful, experienced, hard-working and charming leaders possible. Keep leading these walks. You have really cracked it and have a very important place in the history of the pilgrimage. I was convinced of this before I came and the pilgrimage has surpassed my expectations.

Accommodation, meals, picnics, the pacing of rest-breaks were all just right. Even the sheer effort it required of me was a bonus whose effects I have still not entirely absorbed. Thank you, thank you. I would not consider such a venture with anyone else in the future. (I am, by the way, tempted by the Roncesvalles trip.)

I have told so many of my friends and family how magic the trip was. Somehow, without trying to make it profound, it has affected me deeply. The more I live beyond it, the more it gives me a sense of taking hold of my life. What an experience for someone so old!

As for your tolerance of my struggles, another thank you. Please, both of you, accept my thanks for all your planning and organizing over the years which has resulted in a really memorable sojourn for such a disparate group.

You are ACE !
Barbara Richardson, October9-15, 2008.
Birmingham, UK


Nancy and Jose, thank you for a journey of the heart as well as the legs, for the opportunity to push the envelope, walk in the footsteps of the past and wonder about what is around the next bend in life.
Katherine A. Botelho, Sept 2-8, 2008
Franklin, Massachusetts, USA

Thank you for all you did for us during the Camino. We were very fortunate to have you lead us through this journey. Nancy, I do want say I was so impressed with the attention you gave each pilgrim, each day. I was very touched when you lent me your hat after the storm. Thank you, Jose for preparing those beautiful lunches and for carrying my suitcase whenever I couldn't handle it.

With grateful thanks for opening so many doors,
Ann Pereira, Sept 2-8, 2008
Selangor, Malaysia


Your knowledge was fantastic! All the info and music, etc added to the enjoyment and meaningfulness of the experience. I could not have wished for more ‘sympatico’ guides. You provided the perfect balance – very smooth operation. Your thoughtfulness and kindness to all was so much appreciated. I am so grateful that I did the Camino this way with you and this fabulous group. It was a real family experience right from the start. If felt divinely perfect. I have thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. Your gentle way has made this Camino for me. It will be a lasting memory and a highlight of all my travels (Editors note: Written by a professional in the travel industry who has travelled to 65 countries around the world).
Rachel Rhind, Holy Week 2007
Wellington, New Zealand


Overall this has been a wonderful experience. Nancy & Jose, thank you for making my Camino possible. I saw and felt how much you both love what you do and that to you this is a passion and not just a business. The 7 days were organized and paced perfectly. The extra excursions were a nice break from the regular walking routine. I was very happy with all the lodgings especially the bathroom facilities! O Cebreiro was my favorite because of the location and atmosphere. Thank you.
Marissa Almendral, Oct 9-15, 2008
Yonkers, New York, USA


I have done numerous tours and have visited many lands. This would have to rate No. 1 – being operated and owned doubtless makes the difference. Having said that , Nancy has amazing energy and is able to relate to all people – and seems to enjoy greatly sharing her knowledge. Sharing her music too was a nice touch as well as her library. The knowledge was the BEST in every possible way. Nancy is always on hand to check everyone is on ‘target’, her knowledge is unique and she gives the impression she is still passionate about it and ever so willing to share it. Jose is a treasure – quietly making it all coordinate ever so smoothly. It has been a truly remarkable journey. May you and your family continue this wonderful work, giving so many the great chance to share in an unique experience.
Myra Wooderson, Sept 1-7, 2007
Auckland, New Zealand


On a scale of 1-10 you (Nancy) were a 10+ - simply outstanding and I loved the history you included. Your complete package is a super value. I would bet none of the other operators have the quality and value of your tours. I was even a bit apprehensive that you might not have what we were seeking based on your price. You and Jose were great! It was one of our best overall travel experiences ever! We can tell it’s a team effort and the two of you do it so well. Thank you.
Laurie & Shiela Slocum, Sept 1-8, 2007
Eugene, Oregon, USA


This was magical. Mike never thought that he would enjoy a week of walking – he loved it! And, I feel wonderfully recharged. Thank you, Nancy and Jose.
Susan and Michael Mackey Sept 1-7, 2007
Vancouver, BC, Canada


This was a unique experience for me. I have never taken an organized tour before and was very pleased by the family feel you provide. It was wonderful to have support during my first attempt at the Camino. Nancy and Jose, you are very thoughtful and considerate people and that shows in the way you conduct your tours. Thank you very much.
Jane Mingay, Sept 1-7, 2007
Toronto, Ont, Canada


Nancy and Jose were exceptionally good and I felt completely comfortable with their combined experience and knowledge. Nancy’s academic background is invaluable in lending rich factual details to the tour educational component. In the predeparture communications the warmth and charm of Nancy’s personality comes through immediately. My favorite sections of the walk were those around Melide. I loved the farms and the greenery on the paths. You two are great guides. The combination of serious planning and a good sense of humor works perfectly! Your caring attitude shows through clearly. The availability of the bus was reassuring. My favorite aspect of the tour was that it was customized so nicely to the group. Certain ‘rules’ must be observed but the tour also accommodates slow and fast walkers, religious and non, older and younger walkers as well. I can't tell you what a great experience our Compostela Tour was to me and to all of us. We all feel more bonded than ever as family and will cherish our memories of our camino tour forever. Thanks for a great pilgrimage, Nancy and Jose.
Kay Mumphrey, Holy Week 2007
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA


Fue una magnifica oportunidad de hacer el Camino con un grupo harmonioso y compatible. Siempre es agradable conocer personas y nuestro grupo fue muy especial. Contar con ustedes como familia fue una bendición. Gracias.
Clarissa Brugal, Holy Week 2007
Santo Domingo, Republica Dominicana


We could not ask for any more knowledgeable guides. Your enthusiasm and love for Galicia were infectious. We did not anticipate how much history, architecture and cultural background would be introduced to us. The tour was delightful – all that I expected and much more. I see the trip not as life changing (life changes every day) but as ‘life expanding’ – we are taking away a wealth of experiences to remember and greatly enjoyed the company of the othes on the trip. Thanks for your expertise and organizing abilities. Your genuine care for us and love of Galicia was very evident.
Joyce & David Benjamins, April 12-18, 2007
Grosse Point Woods, Michigan, USA


I found the tour a VERY positive experience. Thank you to you both Nancy and Jose! I know that there went a lot of hard work and preparation into making this a pleasant experience for us all – we really appreciate and will definitely recommend you to all our friends (and anyone else who wants to listen!).
Christine Truter, Cape Town, South Africa
April 12-18, 2007


Thank you, Nancy & Jose, for providing such a memorable experience on all levels. You demonstrate great professionalism in your organization, thoughtfulness and caring of participants. It is a complete program in terms of introducing the culture of the areas traveled, introducing local foods and providing fine lodgings and restaurants. Cheers to you both!
J. Tower, Oct 9-15, 2008
Rescue, Calif., USA


What I feared is now happening. I sit here in my office and wonder: Did I really appreciate and enjoy our walk as much as I should have? The flashbacks are now starting to come through and I wish I was there on the road again. But this is my problem.

I just want to say “Baie Dankie” again! It was a wonderful experience which Bettie and I will never forget and you made it possible. When we had the opportunity last night to report back to the rest of our study group, we 6 were unanimous in our view that we stroke the Jackpot by choosing you as our guides. “Baie dankie” again for your sensitivity and being so well informed about the Camino and Galicia and sharing it with us and being prepared to listen to all our stories from South Africa.

It was a privilege to meet you both and your children.

May you be blessed as a family and may you keep on being a vehicle to help people to connect (if I may use David’s wonderful expression) to the Camino and their God and themselves.

Thank you so much again. It was indeed “baie lekker”!
Michiel and Bettie Strauss, April 12-18, 2007
Welgelegen, South Africa


Many thanks for a great trip, truly wonderful, and made even better by your company! It has been an amazing experience – very well run and enjoyable!
Mike and Jill McNamee, 9-15 October 2008
Wallasley, UK


Nancy & Jose manage to make this feel like a visit to a personal friend. They are professional, knowledgeable as well as warm and welcoming. The lodgings and tour management were excellent, group size great and the picnics were definitely the highpoint of each day. Thanks for a memorable experience!!!
Mercedes Olivieri & Charles Hurley, 9-15 October 2008
Burke, Virginia, USA


What a wonderful week we all had with you in Spain. Thank you for making it so memorable. We have talked about the Camino a lot during our travels and feel our lives have benefited from the experience. Hoping we will meet again.
Merryn and Rod Pearse, 9-15 October 2008
Sydney, Australia


I found the combined energies of yourself & Jose worked well to give us a great experience. The blend of structure & some free rein did come in handy allowing us to limp in last all days! The lunch & dinner choices were great as was the commentary and music that accompanied the side trips. The experience was not just physical but held facets of the spiritual and artistic and culinary - all beamed into better light with the fellowship within the group.

May this work that you & Jose & the rest of your family do so well continue to flourish and bring you satisfaction. It is also work that facilitates friendships & encourages interaction & I hope these return to enhance your lives in many ways.
Linda Pereira, 2-8 Sept 2008
Dandenong North, VIC, Australia

Published in Client's Feedback
Tuesday, 31 July 2012 20:26

Year 2006

CAMINO: ON GLORY ROADS 2006

Beyond your talent for sharing knowledge, beyond perfectly chosen accommodations and walking segments, beyond beautiful landscapes and great food, you offered something even more memorable and meaningful. Even though we weren’t at your house, I felt that you were sharing your home with me and the others – not just your family, your country, or your region, though those were all important elements, but (for lack of a better word) your world: yourselves, your spirits, your sensibilities.

The organization was excellent, my best overall tour experience. You’ve obviously given thought to every detail and allow enough flexibility to suit individual preferences. Thanks again for a fabulous trip. I will recommend it highly to anyone interested in this area.
S. Zolliker, San Diego, CA, USA

It was a pleasure to watch you both operate together as a team and as a married couple – an inspiration for all of us. You’ve done an excellent job with the hotels – quite spectacular. Your knowledge exceeded expectations. We learned so much about Spain – both historically and culturally. This was one of my best travel experiences to date. We enjoyed every moment and will reflect and savour the details. Loved it!!! Thank you very much.
G. & R. Lepage, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

With Nancy’s attention to detail, her expansive knowledge and passion for the Camino, supported by Jose’s wonderful meals, enthusiasm for the environment and sensitivity to all our needs, a superb experience for the body, mind and soul. With thanks,
E. Smyth, Toronto, ONT, Canada

This tour has exceeded my expectations. Jose and Nancy, your watchful care of us all, combined with knowledge, passion, a sound tour structure and ample people skills gave us more than any list of graces might capture. Your preparedness and passion was exceptional. Thank you for this experience.
M. Daley, East Malvern, VIC, Australia

The tour ran like clockwork without the feeling of being herded and badgered. Particularly impressive was the extent of concern for the well-being of guests and the manner in which Nancy & Jose undertook their responsibility in this regard. Nancy was very knowledgable, responded to questions with ease, admitted when didn’t know the answer and when possible undertook to find the information. Jose provided valuable insight into local history, politics, current events. Overall the tour was excellent – most appreciated the interweaving of social and political history into the development of the pilgrimage. Obviously great care and consideration has been put into the tour. It was well-balanced re spiritual, history, iconography, story telling, local customs, cheerfulness and patience. Jose and Nancy, thank you for sharing yourselves with us.
R. Drew, East Malvern, VIC, Australia

I was constantly impressed with your depth and breadth of knowledge. Achitecture, Christian folklore, Romanesque, medieval history and local culture and flowers all contribute brilliantly. You could get another PhD in this! The internet booking was exactly what I wanted. Email was good, efficient communication form. You made the whole tour look quite seamless despite some unexpected hiccups. I originally expected to not do the optional walking but the quantity was just right. Jose’s picnics were brilliant! I loved the local specialties and explanations of each item. I have thoroughly enjoyed the tour and will be recommending it to many people – Australia and America. Thank you for the thought you put into it and all the very best wishes for your future.
S. Tepe, East Malvern, VIC, Australia

The walking was beyond my expectations; the countryside we walked in was stunning. Nancy’s guiding and care were wonderful. The picnics were absolutely delicious. Jose is a star! I would certainly like to do another On Foot In Spain walk and will be recommending this one to friends. Everything went like clockwork. A truly memorable 11 days.
L. & T. Sherwood, South Yarra, VIC, Australia

The walking was great! I did not expect so much variety in the terrain. Nancy, we learned so much from you on this trip. It was exceptional. Jose, your knowledge of local practices and the current economy was great. Everything ran very smoothly and always on time. We knew very little about the Camino before starting and we feel we have gained so much from this tour. Thank you for a great experience!
S. & M. Brown, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

The tour met my expectations but went beyond it because of the family we travelled with. Nancy and Jose - your love for each other, the Camino and your guests was very special. I wish your family much joy with a new baby and many wonderful years along the Camino.
R. Gestier, Sydney, NSW, Australia

The pre-tour information was the best that I have encountered. It covered all that one needs to know without being over the top. Nancy is the BEST. The commentary, the stories, the historical perspectives make this the most enjoyable and unforgettable of tours. Excellent organization – we packed a lot into 11 days. Jose, the picnics set a new standard for picnic lunches. It was a most rewarding experience with beautiful walks, cultural education, gastronomic stimulation and an awakening of spirtuality. Thank you for hosting us so generously.
E. Neff, East Malvern, VIC, Australia

We are home and still reveling in the wonderful trip with On Foot In Spain along the Camino. We want to thank the two of you for an exceptional travel experience. Saying goodbye was very difficult because we felt like we were saying goodbye to two new friends. While we had high expectations for the trip with you, we both came home raving about how it had exceeded our expectations. From the beautiful scenery to the knowledge about art, architecture, history and culture to the wonderful food and drink to the delightful people and even the good weather, we found the trip to be the great experience we hoped for.

You do a wonderful job of anticipating issues and needs and then deftly handling any situation that arises. I should also mention that your tour is a very good value.

We wish you both well and hope to join you on a future trip in a year or two.
G. & J. Dixon, St. Louise Park, Minnesota, USA

The tour overall was a 5 with 5 being the best. Because of my age (73) and condition (a strong, experienced walker with arthritis), I didn`t expect to do the optional walks, but I did! I couldn`t resist them after I saw the perfect village on the optional walk the second day. The pacing throughout the days--walks, picnics, commodious bus rides to trailheads and hotels, and more walks--invited me to rise to each occasion, refreshed and ready to go. I feel more assured of facing whatever the future brings, with ultreia! Thank you, Nancy & Jose
E. Hope-McCarthy, Merrimac, Massachusetts, USA

COMPOSTELA TOUR 2006

Thank you for a life changing gift - the experience on the Camino. Due to your dedication and devotion to the Camino, you have made it possible for people like me to enjoy and learn from the Camino even on shortened pilgrimages. I am so grateful that you have made this possible through hardwork, good organization, great team work, but most importantly, your hospitality, friendship, and care.

As I told you, Nancy, it’s been a real treat for me to revisit art history and architecture of the medieval, Renaissance and Baroque periods with someone so passionate about it as you are. Very fun! You have a very gracious yet firm way of managing group dynamics. Not a simple matter – attending to individual needs yet keeping the group moving forward. Very well executed: You both make a wonderful team in work and life.

A special thanks you to Jose for helping with suitcases, preparing and shopping for our lunches, watching for lost sheep, caring for us on other levels having to do with non-functioning poles, anything broken and blisters. A dear, dear man!

I hope our paths might cross again. And many blessings on this ministry and keeping the Camino alive.
K. McGray, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Thank you for an experience of a life time. This trip was truly was a grand experience for me. I thoroughly enjoyed the group and have many fond memories of our mutual experiences--which I shall have for many years to come. Your hard work and dedication is greatly appreciated.
H. Flores, San Jose, CA, USA Sept 2006

We`ve been home a week--time to wash and put everything away, talk to all our family and friends about our experience, and reflect on it ourselves.

This was the most remarkable travel experience we have had. I was seeking a spiritual experience, and I was not disappointed. L. came along with some trepidation, fearful about her ability to make the walk and to survive between restrooms, and she was surprised to discover she had greater strength than she knew. (I knew, but she didn`t.)

I shall not forget the "lessons of the Camino" which I mentioned at our farewell dinner. {Travel light, but don`t scrimp on water. Pay attention to the yellow arrows. Slow down, but don`t stop, on the steep places, and take your time and enjoy the level places. Be cheerful--most folks along the way wish you well. There is more than one Way.}

We both appreciate your passion for sharing your enthusiasm and your profound scholarship regarding the Camino as well as the friendliness and hospitality you both demonstrate.
L. & L. Johnson, Monroe, Louisiana, USA

Thank you for this trip. For me it was a long overdue re-acquaintance with Spain and with Galicia in particular, both urban and rural. Among the many memorable parts of the journey were O Cebreiro, a village in the mountains with plenty of atmosphere and which represented a beautiful introduction to Galicia and the less remarkable Arzua which offered high standard accommodation and restaurants where you could eat heartily at such reasonable cost. I am grateful that you gave me the opportunity to see Galicia in greater detail this time.

I am confident that you are at the top of the tree in this sort of leisure pursuit. Jose is a masterchef in outdoor prandial preparation and you, Nancy, impart your extensive knowledge so well. Thank you both for the personal touch. I am considering another tour with you sometime in the future.
R. Burgin, Bath, UK

We loved it! Nancy and Jose – you are a wonderful team – taking care of all the details, adapting to your group. Thank you so much!
K. Baer and R. Wallace, Vashon Island, Washington, USA

What an unforgetable jouney we had to Santiago de Compostela. You and Jose have done a wonderful job of organizing and running this tour. I cannot think of anything that you could do to improve the quality of the tour. The information that we received from you was excellent. The planning seemed perfect. Your information regarding the spirituality, physical geographical areas, history, customs, food, (yes, especially food) were of great benefit. I learned much form you and am grateful for this. All of the Inns that we stayed at were quaint and comfortable. It was pleasant being in a "family" group throughout the walk. Little Ms. Boo was a delight. I especially enjoyed teasing her.

Consuelo and I are doing some very preliminary legwork on another tour through On Foot in Spain, perhaps from the Portugal area to Santiago. But this would be at least 2 years away.

Regarding suggestions for improvement of the tour, it is perfect the way it is. I would not change a thing.

However..... I still believe that Consuelo`s idea regarding Jose writing the official "On Foot in Spain" cookbook is a great idea. I am serious. The book does not have to be fancy. We really enjoyed the lunches that we had. If everybody bought a book of his recipes, then we would all bring back home a little more from the walk than memories. Every time that we used one of the recipes, we would remember this memorable event. If Jose does develop the book, we want to be one of the first to purchase one.
F. Yepiz, San Jose, California, USA

The Camino de Santiago was more than just a walk but more of a cultural experience for me regarding the ways of the Galician people, the regional foods and the beautiful architecture, but most of all, your personal family setting. So with this combination this made my trip to the Compostela so much more complete and satisfying.

I love your team effort and I appreciate all your hard work that you and Jose put into this endeavor. This is why your tours our so successful.

And now I’m only left with good memories that I will have forever! Thanks!
C. Yepiz, San Jose, California, USA

The amount of walking seemed just right and carefully thought out by you: a gradual build-up, not too demanding to start but a satisfying challenge. Nancy is extremely knowledgable and communicates effectively while still encompassing vast quantities of relevant facts in a limited time. I was never bored by what she said. I also enjoyed the music on the bus. I enjoyed the local specialties of the picnics as well as Jose’s delicious salads. The lunches were healthy which I appreciated. All the lodgings were clean and comfortable. I was surprised by the excellent quality in light of the cost of the holiday.
B. Sherlock, Stockton-on-Tees, Clevand, UK

This was a great experience for me. I enjoyed the walking and I appreciated Nancy’s knowledge and expertise about the Camino and Jose’s organization and helpfulness. Great job!
G. Thomas, Portland, Oregon, USA

Wow- Nancy you are a walking encyclopedia. Thank you for a memorable experience. My El Camino was rich and pleasurable. I was overwhelmed by the information and the care you took to provide such appreciated hospitality. I find myself filled with the urge to walk and to take every opportunity I can to satisfy my heart’s desire. I’ll recommend this tour to others with the confidence that they would have as wonderful time as I did. Thanks so much.
L. Forseth, Wayzata, Minnesota, USA

I want to thank you for the trip of a lifetime. In spite of or because of my injury, the pilgrimage turned into not only a wonderful hiking experience but also a spiritual journey. The kindness of the group made the inconveniences of travel manageable and helped me appreciate theCamino even more.

Thanks to your recommendation Ken,Christel, and I were able to experience the ceremony of theBotafumeiro from the North/south transept. It was absolutely amazing.It completed the journey.
L. Vitanza, San Jose, California, USA

Portugal: Camino Portugues 2006
Many, many thanks for all the planning and orchestrating of our tour. Every day was a marvelous adventure, replete with history and cultural sagas and topped off with gastronomic delights. I will be unpacking this story for years and it was my delight to be a part of this tour. You are excellent at what you created and whatever language one wants to use about you two discovering each other and developing this style of adventure for those who follow – it is awesome. I do look forward to how and when our paths will cross again.
C. Fulton, Calgary, Alberta, Canada


This was such an incredible experience. I want to thank you for everything you’ve both done to make this so much more than a tour of two beautiful countries. You’ve left an indelible mark on me to start experiencing other cultures and countries. Thank you also for your constant patience with my endless questions. You were a wonderful couple to share this adventure with.
J. Lane, Frisco, Colorado, USA

Your astounding presentation of Portugal and Spain – its terrain, history and cuisine – have left us sad to leave but fondly looking forward to a return trip. Thank you!
D. Ramadan & B. Gallup, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

I’m now home in Oz after great time away – highlight was undoubtedly the Portuguese Camino. Thank your both so much for superb leadership. I particularly enjoyed Nancy’s fascinating presentation of culture & history, myths & legends along the route. Jose’s picnics will remain a wonderful memory forever. Hotels and evening meals were also very carefully selected.

Please include me on on future mail outs concerning your company.
M. Schweitzer, Tooronga, Australia

Another glorious adventure with you is now coming to an end. Thank you both so much for all your extra efforts and special touches on our behalf. It touched my heart and opened my heart again. Many blessings.
R. Enslin, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

We really enjoyed our On Foot In Spain experience on the Camino Portuguese. You are an excellent guide. Pat has been telling about the trip to the point that peoplehave asked herfor your website. Thanks for the effort that you and Jose obviously put into the organization of your tours.
F & P Slama, Montgomery, Illinois, USA

We loved Portugal and our walk was all we hoped it would be. I now have 1500 digital photos to deal with...Thank you both for looking after us so well and providing another memorable experience for us to cherish.
J & J Campbell, Canberra, Australia

Published in Client's Feedback
Tuesday, 31 July 2012 20:25

Year 2005

COMPOSTELA TOUR 2005
After returning I wondered often what could possibly make a simple walk so memorable. Yes, there was interesting history, remarkable architecture, and fascinating folk lore. And all that came alive off the lips of a master storyteller who knew how to blend those components without destroying the integrity of any. But at the end of it all the magic ingredient was the personal warmth tirelessly provided by you and Jose; two people who seemed genuinely to enjoy their craft and the company of the people who came to be shepherded from Roman walls to nightlong community festivals.

E. Stephans, Stamford, Connecticut, USA

This was the fulfillment of a plan that began 15 years ago. My expectations were high and were exceeded in very way. Thank you Nancy & Jose.
M. Delorme, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

I am not a tour kind of traveler but in this case the tour enhanced the experience because of Nancy’s knowledge and the great services provided – bus access, picnics, organization, lodging, etc. I called my 22 yr. old daughter tonight and said ‘Someday you should do this-‘ Exercise, culture, history, good food and excellent guides made for a great trip. Muchas gracias!
M. Stanislaw, Mercer Island, Washington, USA

I loved it! I learned so much about this region. I ate wonderful food and excercised every day and walked with wonderful companions. Knowing that this path has been walked by countless humans over hundreds of years made it all the more special. What a delightful sample of regional foods! Yum! Jose is wonderful. Oh my god, did Nancy know a lot! She answered every question wth knowledge. She knows this area of the world intimately. I loved the walking and the small villages, mountain trals with cows and sheep wandering about. I wouldn´t want a tour any other way.
L. Drahos, Vashon Island, Washington, USA

Many thanks indeed for making our holiday so enjoyable. Really it was a very rich experience - far beyond my expectations. I felt that I got much more out of the Camino than I thought possible. It had such a sense of history walking where thousands upon thousands had walked before. Also walking itself is a relaxing, meditative activity and I shall definitely now do more walks. It was also great going to Lugo, Leon, the monastery and other sights and having them explained to us. I feel I have a good sense of Galicia now and also, of course, of its cuisine. Many thanks again.
M and O Parr, London, England

Thank you and Jose so much for our wonderful comino experience. It was a very interesting, happy and rewarding time , thanks to your preparation and delightful manner. Congratulations and more thanks for a very special experience, I hope we can meet you on another trail soon.
J and J Hall, Sydney, Australia

Camino: On Glory Roads 2005
Dear Nancy and Jose - I couldn`t let you start your next trip without a quick message to say bon voyage as you set off on another camino and to say thank you for making our camino so very very special. You both looked after us so well, the experience was and still is overwhelming and I could not have done it, the way I wanted, without you two very lovely people. It was wonderful to share the journey with you and to share my family with you and I hope in years to come you will look back on this particular camino as one of friendship, laughter and family-
T. Quantrell, Surrey, England

Outstanding! I feel we have some new friends that will last after this trip. We have also had a major introduction to a new world of knowledge about a very specific subject. What a wonderful, memorable trip we had with you and your family "on foot in Spain!" Thank you for putting so much of yourselves in every aspect of the trip. You both were exceptional hosts and guides. We talk and think about the trip every day. The overwhelming feeling is a MUST return to Northern Spain; AND travel with On Foot In Spain again! Thanks a million.
J. Mansfield, Abu Dhabi, UAE

I didn´t really know what to expect coming to Spain. Being able to walk and see most of the Camino helped me understand the many sentiments of the pilgrims of old. Your knowledge of just about anything I might have inquired along the journey made the trip much more informative and enlightening. I will never forget this unique trip and I thank you.
D. Peake, Fredericksburg, Texas, USA

Thank you for a wonderful trip throught Spain. The walks were enjoyable, scenic and educational and the picnics were always superb. You were great at showing us the highlights of the walks while explaining their significance within the Camino. I appreciated that your lectures were so informative and yet not boring. I feel as if from your lectures I gained an understanding of the pilgrimage to Santiago that most would only obtain through making the entire voyage themselves. Thank you for making me feel welcome and informed of a place that is obviously very special to you.
F. Fordyce, Florissant, Missouri, USA

Thank you for a wonderful trip in Spain. I couldn´t have asked for a better guide or anyone who knew more about the small towns and cities we passed through. Amazingly, you seem to know the answer to every annoying question we ask. I´m really glad we found such a knowledgeable, personable, patient person to lead us on the Camino. Jose’s picnics were especially enjoyed, charming delight every day. And finally, it was a huge bonus to be able to watch Marina toddle around and look so cute at everything she did. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
R. Fordyce, Florissant, Missouri, USA

Nancy’s knowledge of all aspects of the history, geography, flora, fauna, religious aspects was boundless. You obviously love this whole area and way of life. Nobody else could have brought so much life and enthusiasm to the trip. Great, very healthy picnics Jose! Please bring out the cookbook. It was a great time overall. A real sample of this fascinating country. It was also a great group of people. Nancy really knows hot to give good advice re what to expect and what to wear. I would definitely recommend this to friends at home and I would love to do another On Foot walk.
A. Tierney, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

For the tour as a tour – great balance and depth, superb execution and patience. For the interpretation of the Camino, 5 stars. For managing to give 8 very different people 8 very satisfying experiences, 5 stars. I wasn´t sure why I had to come, but it’s been satisfied. Thank you.
E. Hamer, Chicago, Illinois, USA


GALICIA: FROM SEA TO MOUNTAIN 2005
Nancy and Jose – This trip had it all! Beautiful walks along the sea coast, light houses, Roman ruins, interesting very ancient churches and villages, beautiful mountains and mountain views, delicious food, and good company! The picnics stand out as a high point of the trip – unique to On Foot. Thanks for the regional specialties. The tour was extremely well organized. All the excursions added to my understanding of the area and the people. The lodgings were great. I especially liked the views at Laxe and Piornedo. I also liked staying in Piornedo and Vilamor because they were so unusual and remote. Santiago is a wonderful town I loved learning about and seeing. In addition you provided information about everything we saw – It was a wonderful trip. Thank you for making it possible.
E. Gerlock, Nashville, Tennessee, USA

The trip could not have been any more wonderful! Everything seemed to run so perfectly which is a testament to your careful preparation. I can´t say enough about your excellent knowledge and preparation!!! Learning about Galicia made the hikes even more enjoyable. Thank you for sharing your wealth of information with us. Jose’s picnics were delcious, colorful and had excellent variety. I especially liked his salads. Each dinner was delicious and special. Thank you again for a wonderful 8 days!
A. Cannon, Nashville, Tennessee, USA

It felt like I was being shown a unique part of the world by friends who really love it! Nancy is the most knowledgable guide that I have every had. Thank you for a very interesting and exciting time in Spain.
D. Clapp, Chicago, Illinois, USA


PORTUGAL: CAMINO PORTUGUES 2005
The people in the group were wonderful as were Nancy and Jose. The two tours I have taken with On Foot In Spain are the best I have ever taken.
J. Lerner, New York, NY, USA

It was a wonderful adventure – learning, growing, meeting new people, renewing old friendships, being receptive to a new cultural philosophy, etc. etc. I feel enriched and blessed indeed. Your rich input Nancy, the incredible teamwork shown by you both, the lovely group – combined to make for me an unforgettable life experience/adventure. Thanks again for this fabulous experience you provided for us.
B-A Smith, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Well, I had a fabulous time! Major positives: 1 ) large, comfortable bus with excellent driver and a very good sound system; 2) great choices of lodgings in interesting locations; 3) good food – morning, noon and night; 4) well planned hikes with a variety of terrains in the countryside and historical districts; 5) most of all the superb teamwork of Nancy and Jose who provide intelligence and energy in everything they do!
J. Frey, Rescue, California, USA

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