Thursday, 30 April 2009

Cóbreces to San Vicente de la Barquera

Thursday 30th:
15.40: Terry has arrived in San Vicente de la Barquera, 24km from Cóbreces. There was a diversion round roadworks on this stretch too,which added extra kms. He is staying in the albergue in San Vicente and found an internet café, so I can add pictures to the recent posts. The sun is shining after a damp morning, and all is well.
17.30: He has washed, and dried, all his clothes and powdered his boots ready for tomorrow.

Terry says he is halfway (in kms walked) from Exeter to Oviedo. He hopes to make Oviedo for next weekend and will then decide which route to take. At present the snowline is down at 900mts and the path goes up over 1000mts, so he may re-trace his route , by rail, and walk along the coast.

The view is across the harbour to San Vicente, which is entered over the bridge. The great 13th century church of Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles is on the far right above the town and the Picos de Europa are in the background.

The rainbow is on the road near to Cóbreces; a reminder of God's promise that it will not rain for ever (!)
(If you click on the photos they will come up full screen)

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Santillana to Cóbreces, via Novales

Wednesday 29th
Terry lost his way in some road works just outside Santillana del Mar, but soon found the Way again. He had lunch in Ciguenza near Novales. He has now reached Cóbreces where he has a bed in the Abbey for the night. At 15.35 he was going to look for some Coca Cola! Vespers at 18.45. Total of 20.4km today.

Ponies grazing near to where Terry had his lunch.

Boo to Santillana del Mar

Tuesday 28th:

It has been very windy, but not wet while walking from Boo to Santillana del Mar. Today's distance was really too long and was hard, but Terry said he went round the long way rather than over the railway bridge on the lines. The 'rest of the world' was doing so but he decided not to even though it put 11km onto the total for the day.

Terry is in the albergue 'Arco Iris' (Rainbow) at Santillana, where he ate spent the evening chatting to the 'hospitalera' (warden) in Spanish while he had his meal.
We stayed in the 'Camping' above the back of the village many years ago, looking down over it and made our first journey to Compostela, by car, from here. That is where the dream of walking began and it has taken 15 years to come to this point.

NB If you are using Google maps to follow the route this is Bóo de Pielagos. There are two other places called Bóo in northern Spain

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Santander to Boo

Monday 27th
13.15 (Spanish time) Terry sent a text to say he had arrived safely. He had lunch and then walked 16km out of Santander to Boo, where he stayed in a hostería for the night. Once again he missed the real rain, it started as he walked through the door. They made him welcome and even carried his rucksack up to his room for him.
At the Communion service in Chudleigh last week Terry spoke of the healing of blind Bartimaeus and how he followed Jesus (Mark 10 v.46-52). The Greek word used means 'road' or 'Way' - Bartimaeus became a follower of the Lord. As Terry walks on the Way during his Camino he will be praying for our farming community and for farmers worldwide. A particular concern which he carries in his heart, as you can see in the older posts.

The road out of Santander
The road into Boo

Monday, 27 April 2009

Sailing to Spain

Day 6: - a rest day(?) - Sunday 26th - Terry left Plymouth in the afternoon, sailing to Santander. Expected time of arrival 12.30 p.m. (Spanish time) on Monday.

Leaving Plymouth, in the rain
Arriving in Santander in the sunshine

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Ivybridge to Plymouth

Day 5: Saturday 25th - from Ivybridge to Plymouth, 20 km.
I missed all the rain, although it was very wet at times. In Plympton I actually had my poncho in my hand when I unexpectedly met an old friend. He insisted I went for a coffee with him and his wife. Their church is thinking about a Pilgrimage in 2011. It was good to meet them again, and also to miss the torrential rain.
After refreshment and as the rain had stopped I walked to Marsh Mills roundabout, on the outskirts of Plymouth, and stopped for lunch in Sainsbury's café. The next heavy rain came while I was in there (having fish and chips). Then on to Devonport and my overnight stop. As my host was out until early evening I went into the local Pizza shop for 2 hours! I am very grateful that they let me stay so long, although I did eat one of their 10" pizzas during that time. Helped to make up the 900 calories I had walked off and kept me out of the final downpour.
So a dry day walking in spite of the weather. Thank you Lord.
Now I am praying for a calm crossing tomorrow.

The large butterfly, nearly as big as my hand, seen near Buckfast yesterday.

Buckfast Abbey to Ivybridge

Day 4: Friday 24th April. Another fine day for walking.
Near to Buckfast I saw a large and unusual butterfly, an escapee from the nearby Butterfly farm maybe.
Then on over the Clapper Bridge at Harbourneford, used by pilgrims of past centuries and showing signs of much use on the granite slabs.
I arrived in Ivybridge just after 2 p.m. and after leaving my rucksack at the inn went to explore the town. (I had booked ahead here as there is very little in the way of B&B near to my route) They serve evening meals so I am well fed again and looking forward to the last stage on the way to Plymouth. The weather could be wet tomorrow (Saturday 25th) so I may be glad of my poncho.

Buckfast Abbey

Day 3:Thursday 23rd April.
A good walk to Buckfast Abbey where I received a warm welcome from the Brothers, who were expecting me. I joined them for a meal and for Vespers. The accomodation is excellent and they have refused to take a donation as I am a Pilgrim. I am moved by their generosity. Lauds at 7a.m. followed by breakfast and then on the road again.

My first glimpse of Buckfast Abbey across the River Dart

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Chudleigh to Liverton

Day 2 of my pilgrimage and I set off from my home church, having led the mid-week Communion service. Again friends, and my wife Valerie, came to support me and pray for me as I set off. I walked to the Post Office at Liverton, where they stamped my Pilgrim's passport. To fit in with timing to Plymouth I returned home again for one last night, back to Liverton tomorrow. Then I am truly on my way, next stop the Guest House at Buckfast Abbey.

Day 1 Lunchtime

Day 1 - lunchtime on the Haldon Hills, and I have made good time to here. The weather is just right and I have just over an hour's walk to my first overnight stop.

As I said in an earlier post I would appreciate your prayers for determination and safety on The Way, as well as any donation you feel able to give to FCN.

If you can, please give on-line at :-
Just Giving FCN. Thank you.
You can read more about FCN (Farm Community Network) at :-

Friday, 24 April 2009

Day 1 Morning

Tuesday 21st April

Day 1 - 9am and I leave from the west door of Exeter Cathedral and walk downhill towards the river. Early pilgrims would have passed this, now ruined, chapel on the old bridge over the River Exe. Then on over Haldon, as described below.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Leaving Exeter Cathedral

Well, I'm finally into serious walking! I left Exeter Cathedral this morning at 9.00 a.m. after attending the 8.00 a.m. service of Holy Communion. It is humbling when people make a special effort to be there to bid farewell and God speed. Bishop John of Plymouth left home early to be with us and give me a 'Pilgrim's Blessing'. JaneB came, along with some friends of my wife Valerie and myself and representatives of FCN Devon. An emotional service which I shall always remember!
I then had company walking from the Cathedral, down Forestreet and over the ancient mediaeval bridge with its ruined tower from the travellers' 'chapel on the bridge'.
The walk over Haldon Hill is strenuous but not too difficult - just a matter of keeping going. Easier going up the 1:6 than coming down! In the days of stage coaches they had a number of horses stabled at the foot of the hill to assist on the drag to the top - 'trace horses' for those who know about these things!
I now have two nights in Chudleigh and then to Buckfast Abbey guest-house on Thursday night, Ivybridge on Friday and into Plymouth on Saturday.
We will try to keep information coming on this blog - certainly until I leave Plymouth on Sunday on the 4.00 p.m. ferry - after that it may be a bit more erratic, depending on cyber-cafes etc.

For those who are walking - 'Go well and Safely'
For those who remain behind - 'Stay well and safely'

If you don't know the Roncesvalles blessing used by Bishop John of Plymouth it can be found at

Sunday, 19 April 2009


A prophetic photo taken the year that I was ordained deacon! At the time I was working on a farm on the edge of Dartmoor. The first Church in which I served labelled it
"Father Terry with his previous flock"!
Called to follow in the footsteps of Moses, David, Amos and the rest.
The problem as always, is that with privilege comes with responsibilities. As I follow The Way to Compostela, I am aware that not many people can take 6 weeks out of their lives, so I count myself among the privileged.
What about responsibilities? Try as I might, a lifetime spent pastoring sheep - 4 legged and 2 legged - is not going to be set aside. I will need to be open to what has been called 'Camino moments'': times when there is a need, or an opportunity to serve - or be served!
In your prayers for me, please remember that I am not cutting myself off from human contact and that I need to be open to the Lord's leading and guidance. This will be especially relevant here in the U.K. as I walk from Exeter to Plymouth. The Spanish folk are used to pilgrims, here we are something of a novelty.
Please pray that a quiet witness to God's love will be part of my pilgrimage.

Thursday, 9 April 2009


Words from the prophet Isaiah always seem to me to be as appropriate for Easter as for Christmas when they are normally read.

"For behold darkness shall cover the earth and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you and His glory will be seen upon you." (Isaiah Chapter. 60, v. 2)

As we wait for Easter Day the darkness closes in. Gethsemane and Good Friday are like the valley bottom! Then suddenly the light of the risen Lord Jesus appears, dispelling the darkness, shining in and through our hearts and lives.

I took this photo one misty morning. Darkness in the valley bottom, the sun rising over the hill behind the trees, and the mist clearing to reveal the world in all its beauty.

My 'training walks' have been times of inspiration and quietness as I have sought out new ways and followed waymarks on local footpaths.