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The trek

Pilgrims of all faiths and backgrounds have traversed the Camino for over a thousand years.

* The journey originally began at one's doorstep, though this is not conducive to modern trekkers, for example American pilgrims needing to cross the Atlantic.

* While there are a number of established routes leading to Santiago from all directions, the most popular is the Camino Frances, which crosses the Pyrenees mountains along the Spanish-French border starting in St Jean Pied de Port (above).

* The route covers 800km through northern Spanish countryside. Follow the yellow painted arrows marking the road.

* It's up to you to set your pace – if a pilgrim walks 12-15 miles a day to reach the next town for the night, they can reach the Cathedral de Santiago in six to eight weeks.

* There is a Pilgrim's Mass held at noon each day in the Cathedral.

* Remember that in Spain all shops still close on Sundays – you may find some markets, depending on your location.

* Most importantly, remember to apply Vaseline to your feet every morning before setting off.


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