How strict are the hostels in VIT


2005 The most beautiful spring of my life

Table of Contents

A journey for the soul
The idea
The history
The trip
Way of St. James / Routes
The way
The hostels
The pilgrims
A path that has a goal - to return home
The documents and sources
Santiago cake / pastel de santiago

A journey for the soul

Search where you come from
Where are you going
And to whom you have to give an account one day.
Roland Breitenbach

For over a thousand years, people have left their mark on the path to becoming an apostle. For over a thousand years, historical and ecclesiastical monuments as well as spiritual experiences like pearls on the path, which was declared a cultural monument by the Council of Europe in 1987. The golden stars of the European countries have since marked those routes steeped in history on a blue background, which unite beyond the Pyrenees to the Camino, the path par excellence, and lead to the end of the world.

I invite you to join me on this path that exudes a mysterious attraction. It is possible to start the pilgrimage at your own front door and get across Germany, France and Spain to the great goal,
if you have enough time, or if you walk the route in stages.
I have decided to start the path in the Pyrenees and go to the end of the world.

I thank Rudi, who started the path with me so that we could walk part of the path together - an unforgettable experience!
I thank everyone, my family, my friends and parents, who accompanied me in thoughts the whole way, who sent us companions such as the Irish travel blessing, glucose and leg cream, angel teddy and lots of good advice.
I owe my good equipment to Moni.
But I am also grateful to the Lord God,
for the time that I had for this journey and for myself,
for my health and the great condition,
for all adventures and experiences
for all friends and companions I got to know and who were help and support,
for the many encounters on the way,
for the sun, the laughter, the nature and the many flowers.

The idea

And suddenly you know it's time
to start something new
and to trust the magic of the beginning.
Master Eckhardt (1260-1328)

It was during a pilgrimage to the Kreuzberg in the late 1980s that I first heard about the Camino de Santiago, and I cannot say why, but this path and this destination Santiago fascinated me from the first moment. It was already clear to me then, no matter how, at some point I would go this path, what I was not aware of, how long or how difficult or what extent this hike actually was.

In 1988, Pastor Roland Breitenbach made a pilgrimage to Santiago from Le Puy in 40 days. I followed it in the newspaper and then got a picture of it two years later while giving a lecture. My decision had been made, I will go this route, but not under the conditions like Roland Breitenbach. He ran 40 km a day and the hostels were not that well developed back then. A mysterious wish had established itself. It took me years to let him out of me.

Last year in Advent a package came from Thilde and Alfred, "Hiking on the Spanish Way of St. James" from Dumont. “In 40 days to Santiago” I could manage that, the daily routes were very well described. It didn't take me long to make up my mind, from that day on I only had one goal, I will go this route in 2005 and I only have to plan.

Often I did not dare to tell about my great journey, because immediately the biggest concerns came up, "what alone do you want to go"?
Yes, I wanted to go alone, even if nobody thought I could.
What made me do it?
To go on pilgrimage to the third great place of pilgrimage in Christendom?
Getting off for a while and leaving behind everything that has accumulated in life?
Just to be there for me once and forget about work, family, the many little things, everyday life?
Just be there for me once, think nothing, do nothing - just run.

I found great support in the last few weeks in the book "Jakobsweg" by Carmen Rohrbach,
at Jolante's, she introduced me to her equipment,
during the conversations with Gudrun (the mother of Katharina's girlfriend),
She told me about her path two years ago with great enthusiasm, gave me a lot of valuable tips, encouraged me in my project and encouraged me.
But I will not forget your statement “You will be afraid beforehand”, and I admit I did, because everything was too unknown for that.
This fear was increased a little when I met Georg shortly before my departure. He had walked the route in 2003 in great heat and it was not always easy for him. While reading his report, I realized how well he had prepared himself for the way, especially for the different heights, passes, etc., which I wasn't really aware of until then.

The history

Places of pilgrimage are the secret capitals of the world, intersections of human hope that never ceases, even when people no longer think they know. Places of grace in a merciless world ”, Konrad Adenauer once formulated this definition, and it is very apt.

The pilgrimage routes we know today originated from trade routes, some of which were used as trade routes as early as 1000 BC. In the Middle Ages, the Christian pilgrimage was made.
The best known way is the Way of St. James, it follows nothing more than a beautiful but quite questionable legend.

The apostle James the Elder had proselytized in Spain, returned to Jerusalem and led the Christian community. After his martyrdom, two of his disciples, Athanasius and Theodorus, put him in a boat that, led by angels and wind, sailed to Galicia in seven days. There it landed at the Padron bishopric. The disciples took the body out of the boat and laid it for a few days in the bishop's church before they buried it in what is now Santiago de Compostela. The transfer took place on July 25th, this day is celebrated today as the main holiday of the apostle.

The graves of the apostle and his disciples were forgotten. The recovery is described in the Codex Calixtinus: Around the year 842 a hermit became aware of the graves through the appearance of light and wonderful sounds. Bishop Theodemir was called and opened the tomb, identifying the contents as the bones of the apostle James. The news spread very quickly - except in Rome there was nowhere a grave of the apostles!
The fact that the relics of the apostle James became an important pilgrimage destination in the Middle Ages is related to the fact that the apostle intervened in the history of the country by participating in a battle between the Moors and Christians of the country.
The second "discovery" of the remains of the apostle James revived the old pilgrimage. Since then, the stream of pilgrims from Europe and the world who seek, honor and “embrace” the apostle of the Spaniards and the West, as custom dictates, has not stopped.
The more pilgrims came, the more James became the patron, advocate and helper of the pilgrims, which made him popular outside of Spain. Many of his depictions show him as a pilgrim with a pilgrim hat, a pilgrim's shell (scallop), a pumpkin bottle filled with water and a pilgrim's stick.

The origin of the scallop can be found, like so much in the context of St. James, in legend. According to her, a Portuguese knight on horseback was standing near the Padron, the landing stage of the ship carrying St. James brought to Spain. When the horse saw the wondrous glow that fell on the apostle from a star, it was so disturbed by the sight that water leaped and carried the knight with it into the depths. The disciples of James saved the knight. When they pulled him on board, they were amazed to see that his body was covered with scallops.

The scallop was not taken from the sea at Padron or Finisterra. They were bought in Santiago from their own devotional merchants. It consisted of gagat (pitch coal) or metal. On the basis of this James shell it can be proven today how far the Santiago pilgrimage has spread in Europe. This is how it was found in Schleswig and Scandinavia.

The trip

May the road go towards you
May the wind always be on your back
May the sun shine warm on your face
And the rain will fall gently on your fields
And until we meet again
God hold you tight in his hand
Irish travel blessing from Ingeborg Henneberger

Email from Rudi, written to relatives and friends after his return from Burgos:

Buenos dìas, dear friends of the Camino de Santiago,

I was still a bit tired because after a long day of travel home (on foot, by bus, plane, train and car) I arrived here in Kolitzheim at 5.00 a.m., I want to write how we are doing.
Unfortunately, I had to go home again and Christine is now walking alone the way, the Camino, from Burgos to Santiago de Compostela. She won't be alone, because like-minded people are on the way and our thoughts accompany them on the further way.

One after the other.
Our start was on Friday, April 8th, 2005 by train from Würzburg to Frankfurt. Flight via Barcelona to Pamplona.
First hostel search (Albergue) and orientation tour. We were happy to find the first clue on the Way of St. James, yellow rays of sun on a blue background. We just thought, oh god, this is gonna be something. However, the eye was quickly trained later to discover all signs and indications, whether sunbeams, arrows or points on house walls, on trees, on street signs or on the street.

Chris, a young American from Indiana, showed us where there is food for the pilgrims, the Peregrinos.
On Saturday we still had time in Pamplona, ​​because the bus to Roncesvalles didn't leave until 4 p.m. A city tour would have been nice, but the weather was so bad that we went from church to church, because they were all well heated. We went to a wedding and in between we went to restaurants, cafes and bars. It rained and snowed continuously.

The further the bus took us into the Pyrenees, the more snow there was. In Roncesvalles it was 40 cm. Getting a taxi that would take us over the pass to France, to St-Jean-Pied-de-Port, was unthinkable. But we didn't give up hope for the next day because we really wanted to start from there.
The Albergue was beautiful, a converted tithe barn, about 80 beds, an indescribable atmosphere like in a church. Pilgrim mass with the pilgrim's blessing in all languages ​​(the pastor preached far too long, we said at the end - but he told us), pilgrimage and in the bunk bed.

The next day no improvement in the weather was to be expected. The storm could already be heard in the night; more fresh snow; After endless phone calls, we couldn't get a taxi across the border and if so, we could only have walked along the street, because the footpath over the pass was not accessible.

Everyone else had already left - we had been hoping for so long - only Laurence, a 19-year-old girl from Canada, was still there and the hostel parents (Dutch) urged us to move on.

!! Christine is calling right now; dream weather today; she met Laurence again, she is doing very well !!

Laurence, a girl like our Katharina, we were the first pilgrim to really notice "in terms of equipment". Well dressed, equipped with everything you need. A great picture. We have become even paler, how wg. of the snow anyway.
Laurence was also the last one I met again on my way back to the bus station in Burgos - nice.

So we trudged off in snow and wind after all. Since the Camino could not be seen, we only walked along the road until the early afternoon in snow and a strong headwind. It was only from the Erro Pass that we dared to take the still snow-covered but walkable footpath to Zubiri, our destination for the day. Small community hostel, pilgrimage meal, 10 a.m. lights off.

The bad weather accompanied us all days. We had heavy rain every day. Storm, wind - always head wind, snowfall, freezing rain, so the whole imaginable bad weather program. For two half days it was so that you could go "topless", i.e. without a fleece jacket and a rain or wind jacket.
Put on a rain cape, so hardly see anything, but taking it off again was somehow not a problem. It was just a shame that one wg. the rain or wind could often only see the way and not see the beautiful landscape.

The hostels we slept in were very different. From beautifully furnished to a little spartan. Bunk beds everywhere. You can quickly see which ones are most suitable. Preferably downstairs and then next to each other (only succeeded twice) we went through all conceivable variants, upstairs and downstairs, both separately upstairs, etc. From eight bunk beds in the room to 80 people in one room, everything was there. The sanitary facilities are consistently good. It becomes routine to find the best time to shower and still have warm water. The cat washing in the morning was often only with cold water.
The snoring was surprisingly limited. The worst thing for us was the tight sleeping bag. It feels like being in a coffin. He always had to be pulled up to the top so as not to freeze. We also stoked the stove to keep it bearable.
We were lucky in Atapuerca. It was too cold for a couple from Forchheim and they moved out again and moved to a hotel. Otherwise we would have had to sleep in a bed that was too narrow in the coldest corner of the rustic hostel. We went to eat together in the evening (there is hardly any food in the restaurants before 8 p.m.) and then in a bar for a vino tinto. Didn't even notice that it was after 10 p.m. So let's go, take off your clothes in the dark, find a sleeping bag and collect all the blankets. Unique experiences. The couple flew back with me too.

The times in the hostels were strictly observed. After the first night in Pamplona (we had time) I was woken up three times at 8 a.m. and urged to get up, and at 10 p.m. the lights inevitably went out without warning.

Our hostel in Villa Mayor de Monjardin was very familiar. The hostel's father greeted everyone with a glass of water and made breakfast himself.
There were few bunk beds. We slept on mattresses on the floor. Toilet and shower were also in the room, only separated by half-high walls. At night a cycling pilgrim, I mean he was from Chemnitz, had to breathe once in a while. At that moment all the other 20 pilgrims were standing upright in their sleeping bags and only thought "thunder". To everyone's astonishment, the bowl remained whole. He was then no longer seen - drove away.
All pilgrims write a diary. The senior high school teacher ret. from Chemnitz had three thick books with her. One for the daily records, one for entering addresses of pilgrims etc. and one for describing the photos taken. If he had had to carry the books, he would have collapsed after a few kilometers.

We also had to haul, but our daily stages were:
Cizur Menor
Puenta la Reine
Villa Mayor de Monjardin
Torres del Rio
Santo Domingo
Burgos in total 261 km

Walking this path was an incomparable experience. It was nice to meet people from all over the world. I think of two Finnish girls who already had their bunk beds next to us in Roncesvalles and whom we met again and again as far as Burgos.
We have lost sight of Terra, 24 from Pensylvenia. (was also on the bus to Roncesvalles) She had no warm clothes and no directions. Studied for a year in Marburg when Florian and Katharina were also in Marburg. Has been teaching in Namibia for two years. We were only there recently - such coincidences. She also reminded us of Katharina. The poor girl had blisters. Christine has the ones with red ones! Feet streaked with threads still plastered. You will surely meet again.

The first German who greeted us with "Grüß Gott" at a fountain while filling up the water bottles in a village square was an Austrian.
Karl, 55, also had problems with his legs, he stayed behind too. But has time because he doesn't have to be home until May 28th, then his son will marry.

Others were much faster and saw it more for sporting reasons.
We were often together with Seppi from Holland. But then she was before us. Christine will surely meet her again, because there is still a lot of time to Santiago.

Or a couple from Australia.She was around 60, was out with her lover. The man was at home. She made the path for the second time, always knew the best hostels in advance and knew the best pilgrim restaurant. She compared a lot. I mean the path is unique and definitely different every time. Fortunately, the lover had complaints and they had to take the bus. Met her again in Burgos in front of the cathedral. Will keep going by bus again and again

So many others will be remembered. E.g. Edith 24 from Quebec, studies law, always hops and laughs or Sophia, 44 from Spain has been on the road for 18 days. She started in her home town of Barcelona. It was Sophia who first told us about the papal election.
John from USA will go again next year with a small group of his students.

Everyone came to the Camino de Santiago in very different ways. In any case, it was a great community and after the first day of running you simply belonged to it. It all looked the same with the backpacks and it all went the same way.

It was nice to run alone and still meet familiar faces again and again during breaks or in hostels - often only after days.

It was a great experience to enjoy the solitude. Walking for hours along grain fields, olive groves, peach plantations or vineyards.
Ol olive groves, peach plantations or vineyards to walk along.
The villages with their churches, which are often too big, can be seen. Many houses and courtyards that have already been abandoned are on the way. Often nice to look at for the "camera", but they also mean the slow decay, the abandonment of an entire region. We often wondered who was cultivating the fields and vineyards, because there was often no one to be seen.
The boys move away and work and live in Burgos or other larger cities.
It was just wonderful to walk on the asphalt roads, the dust paths (which weren't dusty), the dirt roads, and narrow ascents and descents.
The cell phone was off until the last day and there was no talk of work or other obligations - that was good.

Running next to each other, talking to each other or one after the other and just walking and looking for an hour. To take advantage of the slipstream of the other. To learn again to walk straight with closed eyes, to orientate oneself only to the running noise of the partner and simply to feel the different underground beneath your feet. To sense holes and puddles, even if you weren't looking. A nature experience.

Having time was the most precious thing.
We defied the bad weather, had no blisters (I got a tiny one), had no lower back pain or sore muscles. It was just an indescribable feeling. I said to Christine she walks with the ease of a gazelle and the stamina of a leopard.
It was amazing because we are not otherwise runners and never carry a backpack.

We had respect for many older ones that they took it upon themselves and came along, with many young foxes we were surprised when they complained of all kinds of pain.

It was just a great time and I don't want to miss it for anything. Farewell in Burgos was very difficult.

My return trip was also an experience. March to the bus station in Burgos; Met Laurence again near the inn; The Forchheimers are there, actually wanted to take the bus to Madrid or a rental car to Pamplona; nice that you were there now; Asking three times whether the right bus is also - then a big and loud palaver but didn't understand anything.
The right bus drives past Vitoria (transfer station); my companions get nervous; I just shrug my shoulders because I wasn't paying attention, had walked the Camino one more time and saw Christine running in front of me; thought only St. James will judge it; then doubt, look for a map, smart man prepares, because in his time there was no motorway and if you were lucky there was still an exit.
Pamplona; still time; Bar - Vino Tinto and what to eat; Time goes by too quickly; Order a taxi - taxi drivers are on strike --- too far to walk, no bus leaves; The waitress in the bar sends us to a large hotel so that the hotel bus may take us to the airport; works; Bus is there but leaves later; Bar -Vino Tinto, Florian calls - the office has been broken into, computers and laptops gone, but already knew about it from the secretary who wanted to warn me when I come to the office at the weekend; Vino tinto; soon it didn't matter whether we still catch the plane; Unfortunately it still worked, otherwise >>> search for a hostel and started the journey again.

I am sure we would have met in Santiago de Compostela.

These were some impressions from our journey together. I would still like to be there.
Christine will contact you by email when the opportunity arises, which I will be happy to pass on. The next few days I will also be posting pictures on the Internet at:

But now to the washing machine, freezer, answering machine, garden and appointments, appointments.


If you want to go fast, go alone.
But if you want to go far, go with others. "

African proverb from Renate

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Way of St. James / Routes

My Way of St. James from Roncesvalles - Cabo Fisterra approx. 900 km

April 8, 2005 Kolitzheim - Frankfurt - Barcelona - Pamplona

April 9, 2005- Pamplona - Roncesvalles by bus at 4pm

April 10 - 22 km
Roncesvalles - Zubiri

April 11 - 25 km
Zubiri - Burlada - Pamplona - Cizur Menor

April 12 - 25 km
Cizur Menor - Uterga - Eunate - Puente La Reine

April 13th - 36 km
Puente La Reine - Cirauqui - Lorca - Villatuerta - San Miguel - Estella - Irache Monastery -
Villa Mayor de Monjardin

April 14 - 21 km
Villa Mayor de Monjardin - Los Arcos- Samsol - Torres del Rio - Santa Sepulcra

April 15 - 34 km
Torres del Rio - Viana - Logrono - Navarete

April 16 - 22 km
Navarete - Ventosa - Najera - Azofra

April 17th - 16 km
Azofra - Ciruena - Santa Domingo Calzada

April 18 - 15 miles
Santa Domingo Calzada - Granon - Belorado

April 19 - 25 km
Belorado - Villafranca - San Juan de Ortega - Atapuerca

April 20 - 16 km
Atapuerca - Burgos

April 21st - 31 km
Burgos - Villabilla de Burgos - Tardajos - Rabe de las Calzades - Hornillos del Camino Sambol - Hontanas

April 22nd - 30 km
Hontanas - St. Anton Monastery - Castrojeritz - San Nicolas - Itero de la Vega - Boadilla del Camino

April 23 - 27 km
Boadilla del Camino - Canal de Castilla - Fromista - Villalcazar de Sirga - Carrion de los Condes

April 24 - 27 km
Carrion de los Condes - Calzadilla de la Cueza - Ledigos - Terradillos de los Templarios

April 25 - 32 km
Terradillos de los Templarios - Moratinos - San Nicolas del Real Camino - Ermita Virgen
del Puente - Sahagun - Ermita San Roque - Nuestra Senora de Perales - Bercianos del real Camino - El Burgo Ranero

April 26th - 38 km
El Burgo Ranero - Reliegos - Mansilla de las Mullas - Leon

April 27 - 33 km
Leon - San Marcos - Villadangos del Paramo - Hospital de Orbigo

April 28th - 18 km
Hospital de Orbigo - San Justo de la Vega - Astorga

April 29 - 22 km
Astorga - Santa Catalina de Somoza - El Ganso - Rabanal del Camino

April 30th - 29 km
Rabanal del Camino - Foncebadon - Cruz de Ferres - Manjarin - El Acebo - Riego de Ambros - Molinaseca - Ponferrada

May 1st - 30 km
Ponferrada - Columbrianus - Fuentas Nuevas - Cacabelos - Villafranca del Bierzo - Pereje

May 2nd - 15 miles
Pereje - Trabadelo - Vega de Valcarce - La Faba - O`Cebreiro

May 3 - 21 km
O`Cebreiro - Alto de Poio - Triacastela

May 4th - 23 km
Triacastela - Sarria - Barbadelo - Pension

May 5th - 25 km
Pension - Ferreiros - Portomarin - Gonzar

May 6 - 32 km
Gonzar - Ventas de Narion - Palas de Rei - San Xulian - Casanova - Leboreiro - Furelos - Melide

May 7th - 12 km
Melide - Arzua

May 8 - 32 km
Arzua - Pedrouza-Arca - Lavacolla - San Marcos Monte de Gozo

May 9 - 5 km
Monte de Gozo - Santiago 12.00 p.m. pilgrimage mass

May 10th - 22 km
Santiago - Negreiro

May 11th - 34 km
Negreiro - Olveiroa

May 12 - 22 km
Olveiroa - Conaubion

May 13th - 16 km
Conaubion - Cabo Fisterra

May 14th
Cabo Fisterra - Santiago by bus

May 15
Pentecost Sunday / 12.00 p.m. pilgrimage mass and farewell
Santiago - Madrid - Frankfurt

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The way

The first step is crucial
All others are only the result of this decision
Roland Breitenbach

Walking means following the rhythm of life, the step of the heart. Whoever pays attention to his steps, to his heart, to the flow of the breath, who discovers that we are part of the rhythm of this earth. Walking long distances slows down, simplifies, cleanses and empties life so that the pilgrim can open up again.

Just as the wise men from the Orient followed the star, the shell was the sign of the way for us, shining with yellow rays like a sun on a blue background.
Whether on the way, on houses, embedded in the ground or as a golden shell in Roja, it was always there and guided us, how happy was it sometimes to see the shell again?

From Rudi's email:

“Everyone came to follow the Camino de Santiago in very different ways. In any case, it was a great community and after the first day of running you simply belonged to it. It all looked the same with the backpacks and it all went the same way.

It was nice to run alone and still meet familiar faces again and again during breaks or in hostels - often only after days.

It was a great experience to enjoy the solitude. Walking for hours along grain fields, olive groves, peach plantations or vineyards.
To see the villages with their often too big churches. Many houses and courtyards that have already been abandoned are on the way. Often nice to look at for the "camera", but they also mean the slow decay, the abandonment of an entire region. We often wondered who tended the fields and vineyards, because there was often no one to be seen.
The boys move away and work and live in Burgos or other larger cities.
It was just wonderful to walk on the asphalt roads, the dust paths (which weren't dusty), the dirt roads, and narrow ascents and descents.
The cell phone was off until the last day and there was no talk of work or other obligations - that was good.

Running next to each other, talking to each other or one after the other and just walking and looking for an hour. To take advantage of the slipstream of the other. To learn again to walk straight ahead with closed eyes, to orientate oneself only to the running noise of the partner and simply to feel the different underground beneath your feet. To sense holes and puddles, even if you weren't looking. A nature experience.

Having time was the most precious thing.
We defied the bad weather, had no blisters (I got a tiny one), had no lower back pain or sore muscles. It was just an indescribable feeling. I said to Christine she walks with the ease of a gazelle and the stamina of a leopard.
It was amazing because we are not otherwise runners and never carry a backpack.

We had respect for many older ones that they took it upon themselves and came along, with many young foxes we were surprised when they complained of all kinds of pain.

It was just a great time and I don't want to miss it for anything. The farewell in Burgos was very difficult. "

How did Gudrun say: "The path is like life, you will run your life again"
The first steps and days as in childhood, everything is new, with time you become safe and experienced. In the course of the way there were so many memories, whether it was the dusty village streets or the people you met along the way, or simply the long time you had to think. So much that had long been forgotten was suddenly there again, as if it had only been yesterday. And like in life - there is no turning back. The path, the landscape, the people, the villages and towns, the beautiful Romanesque bridges and churches made every day a new experience.
Every encounter, whether with Spaniards or pilgrims, was connected with a greeting, loudly one shouted a good way to a “Boun Camino”.

Where is your path leading to?

I don't know where the way is going. But I want to trust that
he has a goal. I want to trust that it is worth going on.
I want to be surprised by what the long way to go
Gives opportunities.
And I don't want to wait for the things that might just be about one
other way there.

I want to be happy about what is already in my way today,
Flowers, fences, obstacles, people I meet or accompany me.
I want to be happy as long as I can go on and see and hear
and smell.
And then one day I will hopefully know that it was the right way, mine
Way .... I hope a good way.

Poem by Henriette

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The pilgrims

From meeting people
We'll only find out
Who we are.
Roland Breitenbach

Whether in the past or today:
The pilgrims set out primarily to honor God. Her belief in God and trust in the saints is her motivation for a sometimes arduous journey. The pilgrims ask for forgiveness of their sins, but also for healing of serious illnesses. A pilgrimage involves physical exertion and requires a great deal of self-conquest regardless of all weather conditions.
A pilgrim experiences a special kind of community on his way, he finds help, solidarity and charity.

Chris, from Indiana, was the first pilgrim we met in Pamplona, ​​he was on the road for two days, today he came from Roncesvalles over 40 km, left his friends behind, he was already on the right pilgrimage, we had our first pilgrimage with him . Yes, and there were the pilgrims from Italy, France, Australia, Brazil, Canada, USA, Holland, Belgium, Scandinavia and told each other their experiences. We were almost jealous that we couldn't have a say and couldn't wait to be real pilgrims.
What motivates an American like Chris, 33 years old, to take this path?
You will never get the correct answer!

Laura and Marie, the two girls from Finland, were standing at the big bus station in Pamplona, ​​who would have thought that we would start together today and finish the journey together in 35 days? The two were very shy.
In Roncesvalles we slept next to each other, Marie snored, but the two of them were well equipped when it came to clothing. We spent another night together in Cizur Major, and then met again in a cafe in Los Arcos, only then was the spell broken and the four of us were happy to see old friends again. Marie had problems with her knees. You have quartered yourself in Sant Juan de Ortega and complained about the cold and the simple hostel.

In the bus in front of us in the seat was Terra, the girl from Pennsylvania, she was as old as Katharina, had been a teacher in Namibia for two years, had not been at home for a long time. A Spaniard had told her about the Camino de Santiago in Namibia, she only had a light hooded jacket, the closer we got to Roncesvalles, the higher the snow, but she was very optimistic, she only had problems with her new cell phone.
But she came over the Pyrenees, despite the simple clothes, we saw each other for the last time in Torres del Rio, she had so many blisters, I would like to know what happened to her, but we didn't think we'd be each other then not see again!

Besides many others, Seppi, the Dutch woman, was on the bus with me. She immediately reminded me of Ulli, and she was like that, always with a smile on her face.
We both, the same age, the same physical condition, we could have walked well together. I would have loved to meet her again, but she was always two days ahead of me, but we'll meet again.

Some came with us by bus to the monastery to begin the journey, many have already been there, had already been on the way from St. Jean-Pied-de Port for a day. Again we looked enviously at the pilgrims, they already had a reason to look after their legs and feet and they were able to tell about their pilgrimage. It took the longest time for us too.
There was Laurence, 19 years old from Canada, I will never forget this girl in my whole life. Whenever I don't want to or can't anymore, I will keep this look in mind. It was the morning after the night in Roncesvalles, it snowed and stormed all night, the wind whistled around the walls, we were definitely one of the last to get up, always watching what the others were doing.Suddenly we were almost the last and it was clear that we too had to go, even though they wouldn't have chased a dog outside the door! There was Laurence, young and radiant all over her face, top equipment, gaiters, Gore-Tex boots, hat, Gore-Tex jacket, great pants, just like from a sports shop and full of energy - I have the girl looked at and at that moment it was clear to me that if she goes out there and makes it, we'll make it too!
This look accompanied me on my way!
We were still together in Cizur Major and in Puente de la Reine, she then told us that she had finished her studies and would like to walk the three great religious paths of the world until she is 25 years old, for the Catholic Church the Camino de Santiago, for Buddhism in Mongolia and for Hinduism in Nepal - we were thrilled.
She then met three young pilgrims and the four of them ran together, cooked, danced and laughed.
When Rudi and I broke up in Burgos, it was she who met him on the way to the bus station - and two hours later in Rabe de las Calzades when I left the village, she was sitting at the cemetery wall and writing a diary How happy we were, it was our day together to Hontanas, a day that we both will not forget, the wide plateau of the Meseta, and then finally the village of Hontanas, as if nestled in a nest, we enjoyed it in the private hostel to be together, slept like kings, in the morning then her friends were back - we broke up and didn't see each other, I always had hope to meet her again, we came to Santiago on the same day - but We have not seen each other anymore! Today we email each other.

It was Petra who gave us the guy with the private hostel in Hontanas, she was there before us, she was always the first in the morning and in the evening. We have met before, in Sant Juan, she was traveling alone, very sporty and agile. Before dinner she sat there and learned French or Spanish - I couldn't understand how to carry the books around with me. It was our first evening here with a lot of Germans and a Dutchman, he played the harmonica for us.
Everyone went their own way the next day, it was a very nice day with lots of sun, endless meseta to Castrajerz, I decided to walk to Boadillio del Condes, it was so nice to walk over the old bridge, and then from a distance already the old ones To see dovecotes, and then this old hostel from the 14th century - and who sat there and learned French or Spanish - Petra. Oh, how happy we were to meet again. It was clear to both of us that everyone would go their own way, we would not agree on fixed goals - but we always loved being together in the evening. Finally someone with whom you could exchange all experiences, address all problems, speak German, we walked up and down the village street and somewhere the two of us were already best friends. Petra had two French friends, we were together in the hostels for a few days.
Only in Coadillia del Condes and Melide we were not together, we never said goodbye early, Petra was one of the first to leave the hostel in the dark, she went very well, even better than me, she was always early Afternoon at the hostel, had no problems neither blisters nor pain. She was always there when there was something to translate, and in the evening we sat together over the pilgrims' menu.

I am so grateful to have got to know her, she was usually already in a shower by the time I came, I will never forget, it was April 30th when I came to the hostel in Ponferrada, the hostel father, a German, had taken forever to give me There was a bed, it was the last one in the room where Petra was, and she said when I came: "Christine get ready, today is dance in May", I felt like anything else, it was always like that in the first one Wait a minute, when you had a shower, the world looked different again.

Sofia, the mother of the Camino, as I called her, the Spaniard who started her way in her home city of Barcelona and followed the arogonian way. She also stayed in Eunate and was such a real pilgrim and Spaniard.
When we first met in Torres del Rio, she had already run 500 km. She knew everyone on the way and if not, she quickly got to know everyone, she had all her feet wrapped in plaster (plaster is very good and cheap in Spain), and has helped everyone. We both understood each other from the first second, were always happy when we met and then always walked a bit together. She was a special pilgrim, a Spanish one, didn't get up early in the morning, but then got started and often ran her workload until late in the evening. If you didn't see them, you could hear them, loud as the Spaniards are, with their cell phones and laughing.
You can recognize the Spaniards, they go to the hostel and have a siesta first, not like the Germans, showers, making beds and washing clothes. At some point the laundry is washed, then hung dripping wet on the line, only Germans have clothespins.
Through Sofia I was with many Spaniards such as Salvio, Antonio and., And thus got to know a lot about Spanish customs and specialties.
Sofia loved pilgrimages, she has already been to Santiago twice, once via the Camino Porto and via the Camino Plato from Seville to Santiago.
It was also she who announced the results of the papal election to us in Atupuerco on April 19th.
Sofia also walked all the way to the Cap, it was just a shame, her plane left a day earlier than mine and we couldn't take the last steps together.
I would have loved to drink the champus with her.

Rolf from Hamburg was there the last few days on the way to the Cap. He had also come the Aragonese route, always one day behind me, he surprised us with champus on the Cap.
p Champus surprised Champus surprised. Champagne surprised, it was a feast.

Dorothee from Aachen
Martin from Switzerland
Oli and Andreas from Bielefeld
Carol and Andrew from Australia
Fabiane and Diego from Brazil
John from USA
Chris from England

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The hostels

When you go
Do you find people on the way
And you find yourself
Roland Breitenbach

We were excited about these hostels, about which so much has been said!
We were impressed by our first in Pamplona, ​​we were 10-12 in one room. It was a passage room, everything went through to the toilet, shower, laundry room, kitchen - but it was relatively quiet, everyone was very disciplined, we were very surprised.
"The Kaoten are all at home"!

Every evening anew, where is the hostel, especially in larger places, especially in the cities, the whole thing was connected with a search. We never had to be afraid, there were always free beds at this time of year, we could always choose the bed.
We were relieved when you stood in front of the hostel, whether from the community, church or private.

"The same procedere as ever day!"
As soon as you entered you knew exactly what to expect.
There were some where you were warmly welcomed by the hostel father:
“Sit down first and have a sip of water” in Spanish, but everyone could understand it. Then only after a break did he guide us through the hostel, show us the bed and familiarize us with the house rules. This reception wasn't always there.
Often you arrived and then: "Pilgrim ID, nationality, age, cashier, house rules ..."
It made you feel like a number, without a registry you wouldn't have got a bed. It also made it clear that there is a lot going on in summer and that you can't get through without a certain order.
With the pilgrim's pass, you were authorized to use a hostel for only one night.

Once you had your bed, you immediately began to set up your home and the boundaries were quickly drawn. Everyone organized a bit of space in front of the bed, where you could spread out your backpack and your belongings. It wasn't always easy, especially when you slept upstairs. Sometimes there was also a locker to lock up, but that was a luxury.

Spread out sleeping bag, towel over the used pillow, all bags out,
then shower if there was space and wash clothes.
Once a week I would always come to a hostel with a washing machine and dryer, and then everything would be washed. After that I always felt like I was reborn.
There were also hostel parents who did this for us.
I then still organized a blanket. My sleeping bag weighed 800g, which was not enough for the time of year. Without a blanket, I would always have frozen in spite of long underwear.
Usually there was still time to read and write until you went to a restaurant nearby at 8:00 a.m., where the pilgrims' menu was served. It was always nice when we were a group of pilgrims. It was always interesting to hear the individual experiences.
The pilgrim menu, priced from 5 to 11 euros, can only be recommended. You could choose between different starters (salad, pasta, ham, soup, beans, etc.), then there was also a choice of different main dishes such as pork, beef, lamb or fish mostly trout and everything fried with french fries or eggs with ham and as a dessert There was also pudding, yoghurt or cheese or Santiago cake in Gallizien.
I really recommend trying everything, especially the regional specialties are very good.
There was also white or red wine, we were always full and had the right bed weight. Sometimes we had to hurry because the hostels closed at 10 a.m. and the lights went out - then it was quiet. It was amazing, but everyone was tired and slept and snored.
I always fell asleep straight away and slept very well until three o'clock, but then sleep became easier and the many snorers didn't let me fall asleep any more. I couldn't take ear plugs. At 5 a.m. at the latest, the first plastic bags rustled, a terrible noise when everything is quiet, and what is it called:
"When a swallow flies, everyone flies"
As soon as the first one gets up, the hustle and bustle starts, like in an anthill, sleep or rest is no longer possible.

I was always one of the last to get up around 7 o'clock. I then mostly had the sanitary facilities to myself because most of them were already gone.
My breakfast consisted of a banana and a liter of water with a vitamin tablet. In some hostels, the hostels offered breakfast if the next stop could not be reached in two to three hours. Some hostels also had cooking facilities, some pilgrims used this every day. For breakfast and dinner there was sizzling, cooking and leftover food such as half onions and eggs.
The hostels had to be vacated by 8 a.m.
I preferred to walk for two to three hours, then stop off at a bar and enjoy a cup of coffee. The Spaniards make a first-class coffee for one euro, then I had a bocadillia laid out for me, with ham and cheese or eggs, which was always very good. If it was a large bocadillia, I could eat it again at noon.
Whenever there was a supermarket or a panaderia (bakery) on the way, I always bought fresh pastries, fruit and yoghurt and then later had a picnic outside or in the village square. In the late afternoon I usually stopped by a bar again.
It was always an experience - these bars. In the villages in particular, they were almost extinct in the afternoon, but as soon as you ordered, half the village was there, especially the men, where they always came so quickly. Every little town had a bar, well furnished and clean, often run by women. What would not be possible with us either, you go there, including the women in the late morning or afternoon, to the bar. You are mostly at the bar. I always enjoyed the time, first of all you got to know the locals, you met other pilgrims, could read the newspaper, albeit in Spanish, and go to the toilet, which of course was very important.

One of the most impressive hostels was the old barn (pilgrims' hostel) in Roncesvalles, run by a Dutch couple. The barn had an atmosphere like in a large church, a room for 150 people, but beautiful. In the basement with new sanitary facilities and washing machines, a shelf with utensils that pilgrims no longer needed, but were once again vital for someone. Very dear Dutch, the hostel mother slept with us.

We will not forget Villa Mayor de Monjardin either, a very simple hostel, an old barn, a huge room with only partitions, everything open to the top, but such a warm hostel father, you have forgotten all the hardships. The landlady in the village cooked especially for the pilgrims, real home-style cooking, rabbits with vegetables, very good.
When I came to El Burgo Ranero after 11 days, I could hardly believe my eyes, the same hostess father as in Villa Mayor de Monjardin, the same warm welcome: “First sit down girl and have a sip of water” - later that happened Riddle solved, the two were twins! It was a beautiful hostel made entirely of clay.

In Hontanas I arrived with Laurence, we walked down the village street and passed a private hostel and then came the community hostel in an old building nicely renovated. We then decided on the private, small bedrooms, everyone had a locker, super nice and large showers - just like in a hotel. I would never have dreamed that I could still choose my hostel!

The hostel in Azofra was also brand new, built by the Dutch, there were only hostel-style double rooms, was well done, but as always there were too few showers and toilets for the many pilgrims. We were still lucky, the hostels weren't full at the time, I don't want to be here in summer.

It was also a special experience when the hostel's mother cooked dinner for us, as in Boadilla del Camino and Terradillos de los Templrios. Once you can enjoy real home-style cooking, you don't have to walk far anymore, the whole family is on the job and helps out. The pilgrims then sit together and there is singing and music.

I had the most terrible experience in Carrion de los Condes. Gudrun strongly recommended that I spend the night there in the monastery. When I arrived it was raining and right at the entrance to the village was the monastery, Santa Clara. A young man "very friendly" showed me a room, cruel, it was a hole, I was supposed to take the last bed, no window in the room, everything was full, I put my backpack down and paid 5 euros. I went to the cafe in the town and ordered a bottle. I thought to myself that after a few glasses of wine I might be able to lie down in it, close my eyes and sleep, showering and undressing was out of the question. After an hour two pilgrims came, we started talking and when Paul heard about my stay, he asked me to come to the parish hostel, there was still a lot of space and it would be very nice. I got my backpack and moved in there immediately. Was at the pilgrim menu with Paul, he ran 40 km a day, didn't have that much time, we never saw each other again. In the morning when I left the city, I saw the monastery "Hotel Monasterio de San Zoilo", a three star hotel, on the outskirts of the city. It was beautiful, it would have been a pleasure but alone? Gudrun was right!
In this parish hostel we were awakened by the pastor at 5.30 a.m. with music and the Lord's Prayer, which reminded me of my time in boarding school.

When I was planning my trip, I decided to spend the night in the hotel once a week so that I could sleep in peace and have a proper shower and breakfast. But I didn't feel the need for a hotel on the way, I was always drawn to the hostels, after being alone a lot during the day, I was happy to be with the other Polgern in the evening.
glad to be with people.
I couldn't have imagined that you could get used to a simple life like that, get along with so little clothing, no make-up, no cell phone,
no luxury ..
But this humble life was so beautiful, so simple I didn't miss anything. On the contrary, I enjoyed living so simply.
The only luxury was an internet cafe to write home every now and then.

In Leon in the women's monastery it was compulsory to attend the devotion at 10 o'clock. I didn't understand anything, but the singing of the nuns was very beautiful.
More and more pilgrims were on their way from Leon, especially more Germans and Spaniards.
It was only noticeable that many of these pilgrims had always been in the hostels until I arrived, mostly sat with a bottle of wine and tore the biggest slogans, blocked the clotheslines and knew exactly where the next bus stop was.It soon became clear that “these pilgrims” walk a few kilometers early and then they take the bus and are always the first in the hostels, nobody has overtaken them. I don’t want to know what they’re talking about at home !!

Sofia called the retired farm “an oasis on the Camino”. Gudrun gave me the tip to stay there. Stopping at an old farm in Gallicia was a special experience. It was a single courtyard with a beautiful garden, Gallizischer Hòrrera (granary), patio (inner courtyard in Spain), construction and furnishings quite typical and originally for Gallizien and a very dear family. We had a nice room with two large beds and a bathroom. Sofia enjoyed a full bath in the evening and in the morning and they cooked for us, yes it was an oasis. Sofia went to bed again after breakfast, she had to enjoy the oasis a little longer.

The closer we got to Santiago, the bigger and simpler the hostels got. Mostly junta hostels, where someone sat in the evening hours and registered the arriving pilgrims, but then the pilgrims were left to their own devices. The hostels were all the same in the facility and free of charge, i.e. there was a can and anyone could make a voluntary donation. You should also pay 5 euros there, because everyone expects a bed and clean sanitary facilities.
All other hostels had fixed prices of 4 to 10 euros.

I couldn't get used to sleeping in my sleeping bag until the end, it was always too tight. During the day when I ran, I had no pain, no blisters, but the soles of my feet burned at night. When my feet came together in a tight sack, I would always wake up. It wasn't until the morning when I had my shoes back on and took the first steps that the stinging went away. How did Petra mean: "Leave your shoes on!"

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A path that has a goal - to return home

Mail after returning:

Hello your dear camper companions,

I'm back, I've arrived in Franconia in my homeland, where I am at home.

Yes, I arrived in Santiago de Compostela on Monday, it was a great day for me, we stayed in Monte Gozo on Sunday,
It was then only 5 km to Santiago, so I could really enjoy the walk early and was already standing in front of the cathedral at 10.30 a.m.
a feeling that cannot be described
In any case, had a lot of time to enjoy the cathedral, the square, St. James, the pilgrim's office with the collection of the Compostela and all the many friends and companions who reached the goal with me and to celebrate,
a highlight was then the pilgrimage mass at 12 o'clock in which the censer was waved, a nun sang beautifully, unforgettable, is normally only done on Sundays, a very special luck, a German group paid for it.
I could only have stayed in and in front of the cathedral, there is a very special atmosphere there, I felt really magically attracted, was also warm, and didn't want to leave.

With Santiago I had reached a goal, but my great wish was to finish the way to Finisterre,
and so I started early on Tuesday, then my mood was no longer so good, we had almost only nice weather for the last three weeks,
and today it was pouring rain and somehow I didn't want to admit it, my step wasn't the same as it was before Santiago.
There were still three hard days, fog early in the morning, then stages with 8, 10 and 15 km, small villages with lots of cows, but the path and beautiful scenic days with sun and new encounters.

There were almost no more pilgrims on the way, only the tough ones you met in Negreiro on Tuesday evening in the hostel, they all had the same goal, the cap,
and so it was clear that we will be together for the next few days.
It was interesting that almost everyone had taken a different route
Theo from Belgium ran the Camino Plata, from Seville to Santiago over 1000 km
Rolf from Hamburg started the Camino from Italy
it was a new beginning, we were a small community and were looked after accordingly by the hostel parents,
Every evening there was a meal together, mostly bread soup with wine and fruit.
the villages had no hot food in their bar (if there was one at all), so we were happy about every plate of soup.

On Friday (the 13th was also our 27th wedding anniversary) the time had come, after breakfast together at 9.30 a.m., the first time in the whole time so late, the three of us (also the first time) started running together to the final spurt, the last 15 km.
At noon we reached Finisterre, a small town, located in a very beautiful bay,
and then it went off with a rucksack to the cap - and then the way didn't go any further on the cliffs, and I was aware that my way is now at the end, I have arrived.
we celebrated there together, Rolf had a bottle of champagne, there were always surprises, some threw their sticks into the sea, some burned an item of clothing that they had been wearing all the way ...
yes and then I slowly became aware that it is the end - the end of my path!
I was very happy and also very grateful to have achieved this goal so well
and to look back on such a beautiful journey.

After a very good farewell dinner in the evening, a great hostel and sleeping in in the morning and saying goodbye to dear friends, the time had come to take the bus back to Santiago, yes, and the tears could no longer be held back, the first day since five Weeks when I didn't start walking, the way and the good time came to an end, the many friends you left behind ... the weather changed too, it rained heavily.

My graduation was Santiago again, I wanted to experience another pilgrimage mass on Sunday, again censer and the beautiful singing, and of course Pentecost, a special day in this place, I was richly rewarded, although it only poured until the airport on Sunday evening it was beautiful, i still met many friends,
E.g. a Canadian couple, you were with us at the first dinner in Roncesvalles and only went with us one day and you arrived on Saturday and we met at the pilgrimage mass,
or the two girls from Finland, you were the first we met on the bus ride together in Pamplona, ​​I saw you for the last time on the day Rudi drove home in the evening, but never gave up the hope of meeting you again when I did went to dinner in Santiago on Saturday, we met in front of the bar, Laura and Marie and they said, you too had hoped to meet me again, we had a nice evening together.

Yes, the circle has come full circle - then I just wanted to go home, was glad that I had rebooked my flight, I would not have wanted to stay in Spain any longer, I had reached my destination and after these weeks I was longing for Rudi , Florian, Katharina, Franken and all of you and after all that I left behind.
I am so happy to be home healthy again!

Yes, a part of my path and of my success you have also been my dear companions,
I was so happy when I read your emails, Rudi emailed them to me in Santiago, so I was able to read them in the afternoon, I cried and thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your companionship in thoughts and prayer, you have all carried along,
thank you for everything you gave me on the way, thank you for the lovely cards that were waiting for me at home, it is good to have friends and companions, not only on the Camino, no, for a lifetime.
I pressed St. Jacob three times, I pressed him along with all of you, all of you were always with me.

I will write a report about my journey, I think in a few weeks it will be on the Internet with a few new photos

I'm still at home for two weeks, on May 30th. work again and then experience how my path will continue !!

Greetings to all of you

from your pilgrim who has returned home


I was on the way to Santiago in Compostela,
to myself and to God.
I return home transformed
rich in external and internal experiences
I turn to everyday life anew
come to places
where I meet friends again
where I work and rest,
where I want to continue to live.

The questions, problems and people
Are still the same
Only I'm not the same anymore
when I set out

I see old new
freed from constraints,
I let myself into the familiar on my path in life.
I don't have to anymore
Love, work, suffer: - I am allowed!
To live anew is given to me
Because I live from within, from God.

I can only live again in God forwards
On the pilgrimage of my life
with your blessings.

From Reinhilde Prinz

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Pilgrim pass (apply about three weeks in advance from the Franconian Jacobus Society)
Identity card
Check card (approx. 200 euros in cash)
Bags for passports and money, always worn!
Digital photo
Backpack (content 35-40 l, light)
Backpack protection
Water bottle
Sleeping bag (800 g), almost too light, sometimes froze
Hiking shoes (Jack Wolffskin, light, no Gore Tex)
1 pair of stockings (Faber right / left)
1 pair of spare stockings
1 pair of comfortable socks
1 pair of pants (light, comfortable, not divisible) for every day
1 pair of pants for the evening (light, sports pants)
2 T shirts
4 sports briefs
2 half-sleeved sports undershirts
Long johns and a long-sleeved shirt for the night
Fleece jacket
Gore Tex jacket
Rain cape
Headgear for the sun
Had cloth
2 microfiber towels (one for the pillow at night)
1 pair of light slippers for the evening and the shower
Jack Woffskin laundromat, practical to hang up!
Shampoo for showering and washing clothes
Medicines (Voltaren, blister plasters, calcium, magnesium, etc.)
Dextrose, granola bars
Clothes line
8-10 clothespins
Notebook and pen for notes
Dumont travel guide "Hiking the Camino de Santiago in Spain"

Laundry and clothing preferably microfiber, light, comfortable to wear, dries quickly

Weighs approx. 7 - 8 kg together, ideal for carrying!
1 - 2 kg are added daily, water and food!

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The documents and sources

"Trust in him,
He leads,
He guides you
just courage "

Antonia Werr

“Hiking on the Spanish Way of St. James”, Dumont active

"Way of St. James", Carmen Rohrbach

“The shadow wanders silently”, Roland Breitenbach, Schweinfurt

Franconian St. Jakobus Society, Würzburg e.V.,

"The Spanish Way of St. James", Dietrich Höllhuber, Werner Schäfke, Dumont art travel guide

"Pilgrimage according to notes", Bernhard Wegscheid Werneck, Gasthof Krone Post

"The Way of St. James", Ulrich Wegner Herder

"The cuisine of Spain & Portugal" Elisabeth Luard

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Santiago cake / pastel de santiago

This simple but extremely delicious cake made from almonds, eggs, sugar and lemon peel can be bought by pilgrims along the Camino de Santiago even in the smallest of towns.

For 1 cake

350 g unpeeled almonds
4 eggs
175 grams of sugar
Zest of 1 lemon

Grind the almonds,
Beat eggs with sugar until frothy,
Stir in the almonds and lemon zest.
Line a flat cake pan with parchment
Pour in the dough and bake at 190 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes.
To serve, sprinkle thickly with powdered sugar.
Holds well, can be baked well in advance

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