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A journey you’ll never forget: the Camino de Santiago from Sarria

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When you decide to take on your first Camino de Santiago challenge, you will be preparing yourself for a journey that will live with you forever. You will not only challenge yourself physically, but also see many beautiful sights and have so many new experiences.

Traditionally a pilgrimage, the Camino de Santiago is now a modern pilgrimage loved by those seeking a spiritual break from our busy world as much as hiking, cycling and cultural enthusiasts.

The Camino de Santiago is a large network of routes from many different starting locations, all of which are spectacular in their own special way. But for those on their first journey, the Camino Frances starting at Sarria with santiago ways is a perfect way for beginners to start.

Sarria, a place full of history and culture

Sarria is around 111km from Santiago, just over the minimum distance that is required for pilgrims to be eligible for the traditional ‘compostela’ certificate that verifies they have completed the Camino de Santiago.

It is a great way to really capture the essence of the Camino. The route takes you through beautiful towns and cities and charming medieval villages and inspiring landscapes.

In the centre of Sarria you have the chance to see beautiful churches,chapels, monasteries and pilgrim hospitals. The main street, rea Maior, is a gorgeous picturesque place and the Church of Santa Marina, the Castle and the Fortress of Sarria are well worth a visit.

From here there is a relaxed hike to Portomarin, 22 km away along country roads past traditional Galician granaries. Highly recommended is a quick stop to the Romanesque church at Barbadelo.

A beautiful green landscape and fantastic local cuisine

One of the best things about this route, is the beautiful forests, farmlands and rustic villages, and stonewall lined trails and paths typical of the Galician landscape.

Leaving Portomarin, the route crosses the Miño River and ascends to the Sierra de Ligonde. Heading through to Palas de Rei, you will see many quaint typical country villages, such as Gonzar and Ventas de Narón.

The next stage from Arzua to Amenal passes through beautiful forests and more quiet villages. You will also be able to see the famous statue of Santiago in the Chapel of St. Irene.

At each overnight stop there are quaint bed and breakfasts to stop at, and many lovely little local restaurants and eateries, so you can not only experience the stunning surroundings, but also get a taste of Northern Spain as well. If you want to split up any of the journeys, so you can take in a little more and ease the day’s hiking that is also possible. The pace and itinerary can be planned to how you like it

A great sense of achievement as you reach Santiago de Compostela

As you reach the final day of your pilgrimage or challenge you will feel a growing sense of achievement, and maybe even share that experience with other travellers on the route. A quick stock at Lavacolla, on the outskirts of Santiago de Compostela, where traditionally pilgrims would wash in the river to prepare for their arrival  in the city. As you approach along the Monte do Gozo hill you will be able to see your final destination, the Cathedral, in the distance.

Arriving at your journey’s end in Santiago

The architecture here is incredible. You will easily find yourself captivated by the historic centre, it is no surprise that it have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You must arrive in time to participate in the Pilgrim’s Mass. Here you can also receive the ‘compostela’ certificate, and take a little time to visit the city and local area.

You may even wish to relax there for a day or two before heading home and really take in the feel of the place.  A day trip to Finisterre or the Cies Islands comes highly recommended.

One thing is for certain, you will never forget the memories you have made, the friends and people met on your journey or the difference you now feel spiritually. In fact you may find yourself hooked and already planning to walk one of the other Camino de Santiago walks.

Hey all! Big thanks to Katy Blevins for handing over the reins to me at the end of 2017 to fulfill my new years resolution to write...often! Based in Miami, you can find me blogging about family life as a mother of two young kids. But i'll also continue the Chaos and Kiddos theme of business, fashion, parenting, product reviews, and...well, I could go on and on.

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Travel

Safe Driving Tips for Your Vacation

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Looking forward to your next vacation? More of us than ever before are hitting the open road, relishing the long winding roads and enjoying every stop and landmark along the way. There’s a lot to consider, from the route you’re going to take, to what to pack and how you’re going to keep your children occupied on the long journey.

Another element of your travels that you should consider is how you’re going to stay safe on the roads. Roads are much busier, there’s a lot of traffic to contend with, and there are unfamiliar towns and cities to navigate – the last thing you want is to find yourself caught up in a road accident… call a personal injury lawyer from Greenville if you’ve been involved in a car crash that wasn’t your fault.

So, with this in mind, I’ve gathered some simple, safe driving tips you can use for your next vacation.

Get plenty of sleep

Driving takes concentration and endurance, especially if you’re driving long distance. Therefore getting plenty of sleep the night before your journey is essential. In the days leading up to your trip, try to get as much sleep as possible, go to bed early and avoid drinking or late nights. If you struggle to drift off, don’t worry just keep yourself relaxed and avoid anything too strenuous in the days before you travel.

Share the driving responsibilities

If you’re traveling with another adult, consider sharing the driving responsibilities so you can help each other navigate the roads, keep an eye on each other and rest while the other takes the wheel. Falling asleep at the wheel or driving whilst tired is incredibly dangerous, and you’ll be endangering your own life, your passenger’s lives and the lives of other road users.

Drive defensively

Driving defensively means driving to save lives, time and money. Being aware of your surroundings, following the 3-4 second rule and not depending on other drivers. Brush up your defensive driving skills by taking a course before you travel or do some simple research to familiarise yourself with defensive driving practices.

Plan your stops

Of course, you want to get to your destination as soon as possible, but failing to make any stops will put pressure on you, leave you feeling fatigued and incredibly stressed and uncomfortable. Planning your stops will ensure you and your family can stretch your legs, get something to eat and enjoy your journey. It also means you’re more likely to get there safely.

And finally, keep your passengers happy

If you’re a parent you’ll know that traveling with kids often means fighting on the backseat, tears and incessant choruses of “are we there yet?”. Keeping your kids entertained on long journeys means that you can concentrate on driving, avoid missing your turn off and hopefully prevent a crash with another vehicle. Always bring plenty of snacks, toys and games to keep the little ones (and the big ones) occupied whilst you concentrate behind the wheel.

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Travel

Staying Safe on Your Honeymoon

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You have said yes, and are now legally married to your partner. You may have both been looking forward to your honeymoon, particularly if you found planning the wedding to be overly stressful. While it is good for you and your beau to be able to relax together and enjoy the beginning of your married life, there are still some safety aspects that you may need to remember.

It doesn’t matter whether you are having your honeymoon in the same country to keep costs down, or going abroad for an elaborate adventure. You need to put your health and safety, and that of your new spouse, at the forefront of any planning and decisions. If you do end up injured or unwell while on your honeymoon, then call a Long Island PI lawyer to discuss your options – any recourse would ultimately depend upon whether the incident was caused by neglect on the part of a business or person, or your own recklessness.

Drinking Water

Drinking water can be a problem depending on where you go. In some parts of the world, the water in the taps of your hotel bathroom will be absolutely fine for human consumption. In other parts, however, the water will not be sterile and should not be consumed. If that is the case, buying bottled water to keep in your room can be a good idea. While boiling water can help, it may be beneficial to also use bottled water in the kettle for making hot drinks.

Having bottled water is also a good idea to avoid any form of dehydration, particularly if you are in a warm location or are fairly active while on holiday. Signs of dehydration can include a dry mouth and headache. Ensure you are drinking enough fresh, clean water to avoid any complications this may cause.

Vaccinations

Some countries may also pose a risk of illness and, as such, will require a set of vaccinations before you travel. You may be required to show proof that you have had these injections prior to your flight, or else not be allowed to board. These illnesses should not be taken lightly, as they are highly severe, can sometimes be incredibly contagious, or may prove fatal. It is not worth the risk of catching these illnesses. If you do not want a vaccination, you should alter your honeymoon destination to one where these are not a stringent requirement.

Sun Exposure

Dangers from the sun can also cause potential injury while on holiday. Sunburn may not be overly dangerous in the moment, but extensive exposure to UV rays can cause skin cancer, especially melanoma, to develop. For that reason, wearing a good quality sun lotion is essential.

While your honeymoon should be one of the most enjoyable holidays of your life, it doesn’t mean you can throw all caution to the wind. By being careful and safe, you can help to ensure that your memories are positive ones that you can look back on fondly with your spouse for years to come.

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Travel

Hiring a Car in Texas

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If you’re not a local, visiting Texas can be a brilliant experience, especially if you like the heat and a bit of southern hospitality. Getting around a whole state can be fairly challenging, and relying on public transport is not always the most feasible or cost-effective option. You might prefer to hire a car for the duration of your visit, especially if freedom of travel and choice are important to you.

There may be some rules and laws you need to follow when you are in a different state or country to the one you usually live in. It is a good idea to research these potential differences prior to your trip so that you don’t end up in any trouble, for example, click the link for more information on ‘how to get DWI reduced in the state of Texas’.

As long as you meet certain requirements, you should be able to hire a car during your stay. Let’s look into it some more…

Age Requirements

To hire a car, most companies will ask you to be at least 18. This is due to you coming from outside the area, as you may not be as familiar with local laws. Younger drivers are, stereotypically, more likely to have an accident too. While the stigma surrounding young car racer stereotypes may be unfair, it is known that more experienced drivers do have a better handle of the roads. Due to this, rental companies would rather allow those who are more confident at driving on the roads, due to a few years of experience, and the face that older drives are more likely to have used a car in a foreign state before.

Rental Insurance

While some car hire providers may also include insurance within their quote, others will require proof of a policy before you can pick up the car. There are many insurance providers you can choose from. Just like with owning a car, you are required to have an insurance policy in place before driving. In Texas, a fault system is used, meaning you have to be able to cover the costs of any accidents you may cause. Due to this, the minimum requirement here is that you have $30,000 cover for bodily injury per person, $60,000 cover for bodily injury per two or more people, and $25,000 of property damage cover. These will all cover you in the event that an accident is your fault. While you can get higher cover levels than this, this is the lowest amount you can have in Texas to remain legally compliant.

Driving in Texas need not be difficult or concerning. By looking at the laws and ensuring that you have the correct level of cover, you would not have problems regarding documentation. Having your license and other paperwork on you at all times can help greatly if there is an issue. Ultimately, by practicing safe and sensible driving, along with following the rules, you can have an enjoyable time driving while working or on holiday in Texas.

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