My recent trip to Sunshine Coast afforded me plenty of opportunity to bushwalk and hike at altitude in preparation for my upcoming Kumano Kodo pilgrimage in Japan.
My Camino buddy Megan is joining me in Japan. As Camino de Santiago pilgrims our Kumano Kodo pilgrimage will reward us with ‘dual pilgrim’ credential.
The dual pilgrim recognition is due to both of these pilgrim trails being UNESCO world heritage. In Japan the sacred sites & pilgrimage routes are in the Kii Mountain range, and in Spain the Camino Francis route which is an 800km journey from St Jean Pied de Port in the French Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela in the far west of Spain.
Reids Creek is historically popular for gold mining, (Beechworth is an historic gold mining town after all) with thousands of people lining the creek bed. It was also the scene of riots, and more than 15 murders.
Today the Reid’s Creek Walk which is flat most of the way, with plenty of signs explaining the area, is a pleasant day hike taking the walker across lush green fields and along the creek (good for a paddle if hot). Start off from the Woolshed Falls carpark.
The only steep part of the walk is toward the end where the last 300m heads up a flight of natural rock steps. It’s a scramble and hiking poles definitely help. The view of the cascades is lovely and worthy of a few moments rest stop.
Beechworth is a further 2km walk along the gorge road (or powder magazine track) to Camp Street (another last push uphill).
Return via same route to Woolshed Falls carpark from where you start the 14km return hike.
I’m a steady hiker. I departed at noon and arrived back to the car at 5pm. Within this timeframe I enjoyed a beer and arvo tea at Billsons Brewery for 45 minutes.
Wonderful few days spent with my Camino room buddy Megan, and Suzanne whose also from my Camino journey in 2018. Both visited Rutherglen and we enjoyed the food, wine, bushwalking and a peregrina get together evening at the B&B
Montserrat is a spectacularly beautiful Benedictine monastery about one hour North West from Barcelona. The natural beauty surrounding the monastery is simply breathtaking. Noticed lots of hiking paths, next time!
A wine tour lunch & tasting session followed.
Covered a large area today, such great weather for it!
The neo-Gothic bridge on Carrer del Bisbe is known locally as the ‘Pont del Bisbe‘ or ‘Bishop’s Bridge’ and was constructed in 1928 by Joan Rubió i Bellver.
Took the cable car to Montjuïc Castle which is an old military fortress, with roots dating back from 1640. It’s a stunning location with far sweeping views across BCN and the port.
Just in time for pintxos & a beer I got down to another barrio Poble Sec. it’s a bit like Hardware Ln (Melbourne) meets Nth Fitzroy.
More strolling around landed me back on La Rambla & seeking out a place for dinner. Remembering a recommendation I headed into Les Quinze de Nits under the portico of the Placa Reial and was not disappointed.
The skies cleared after a night of steady rain, rolling thunder & the odd flash of lightening. The sun appeared mid-morning after a leisurely Saturday morning brekky with my hosts.
Completed my journey along La Rambla covering the lower end toward Barceloneta & the marina. The Olympics left a plethora of infrastructure in Barcelona including the Maremagnum Mall at Port Vell.
Following a seafood lunch in Barceloneta & a beachfront stroll I returned via another area known as El Born, which was very charming & houses Picasso museums.
A full day, here’s how it went.
Firstly got to say, the Barri Gotic area of Barcelona where I’m staying is marvellous. Central, charming, gothic & interesting. I woke to a simple but lovely breakfast with my hosts Ron & Tadaaki. A quick wardrobe change & I was out on La Rambla which is exactly 1.2 kilometres long and nearly everyone who visits Barcelona walks along it. La Rambla was laid out in 1766, following the contours of the medieval city walls that had bounded this part of Barcelona since the 13th century.
The Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria, often simply referred to as La Boqueria, is a large public market in the Ciudad Vieja district of Barcelona & only 100m from my accommodation and one of the city's foremost tourist landmarks. It’s not cheap! But it’s amazing to visit!
Then just 5 minutes away I visited the Palau Güell mansion which was designed by the architect Antoni Gaudí for the industrial tycoon Eusebi Güell and built between 1886 and 1888. It is situated on the Carrer Nou de la Rambla, in the El Raval neighbourhood of the city of Barcelona.
Beer o’clock so headed to the Placa Reial. This square is so beautiful, it's no wonder it was named "royal" (reial Catalan for royal). The elegant ambiance of the Plaça Reial is accentuated by a fountain, streetlamps and palm trees, and it is one of Barcelona's best-loved porticoed square. I loved it!
Strolling again & exploring this quarter was brilliant. The shopping amazing! Churros & hot chocolate for arvo tea before getting ready for my evening at Casa Batllo (House of Bones). Sadly the rooftop concert with Reyko was cancelled due to rain but I still thoroughly enjoyed viewing the Gaudí designed casa.
I’m in love with the Spanish rail system. Fast, smooth, comfy and well priced. Barcelona has impressed me already. Great Airbnb, excellent location in the Barri Gotic area and signs of St James looking out for me everywhere, even in my apartment building!
Last catchup, last drinks, last icecream, last of Madrid. With my pending trip across to Barcelona tomorrow I took one last lap of Madrid, catching up with my Camino buddy & roommate Meg & her hubby Pete.