Tag Archives: Spain

The Camino Frances (The French Way) – Sarria to Santiago de Compostela

 The Camino de Santiago is one of the most awe-inspiring and beautiful treks in the world. Following in the footsteps of the Romans, the Knights Templar, pilgrims and modern day adventurers, trekking El Camino is an experience you will never forget. From Sarria to Santiago, you will trek under the shade of old oak trees into peaceful hamlets set against the rolling green backdrop of Galicia. At night, you will experience Spain’s colourful culture and cuisine. There are many different routes of El Camino, but below is a sneak peek of what it’s like to trek El Camino with Inspired Adventures!


Today you start out of Sarria leaving behind the gorgeous cobblestone streets, small churches and quaint tapas cafes. The day starts off with a steady climb through thick dense forest, it’s so incredibly green it’s amazing. You’ll pass small streams and moss covered trees. Pilgrims will pass you along the way calling out a friendly “Buen Camino” (wishing you a safe and happy journey). Arriving into Portomarin, you’ll cross the river and wind your way into the main square where you’ll find the Church of San Xoan de Portomarin. Pilgrims hang out at the cafes and bars surrounding the main square celebrating with a cerveza or vino after a long days walk.



Saying farewell to the little town of Portomarin, you’ll start by crossing back over the River and rise steadily on an open country trail. You will pass nice hamlets such as Gonzar and Ventas de Narón and tackle a few big hills today but be rewarded with the view from the top. We take plenty of stops, taking our time and enjoying the Camino! We arrive into the town of Palas de Rei, a small Galician village. Our hotel, the Complejo la Cabana, is just outside town with big balconies to relax after the days walk.



Today is the big one! Starting out early as we have a lot of distance to cover. The walk today also features 3 big hills with the last known as the ‘leg breaker’. We stop for lunch in the lively market town of Melide, where octopus, Galicia’s most classic dish, is readily available in the pubs and cafes that line the street. As you get closer to Arzua, you’ll pass through the pretty hamlet of Ribadiso crossing a small bridge and trickly stream–it’s a nice place to pop your sore feet into the water! Finally you arrive into the town of Arzúa, famous for it’s local cheese. You’ll find many places to eat, drink or get massages!



Day 4 is one of the prettiest days on the Camino. You’ll be walking through mainly forest areas, thick with eucalyptus trees making you feel right at home. Not too many hills today, the walk is easier on the body. In the afternoon we arrive into Amenal and our hotel right on ‘the way’.



This is it! Today’s destination is the end of the pilgrimage, Santiago de Compostela! We start by winding out way out of Amenal and alongside a main road and the airport, bit strange after being out in the countryside the last 5 days. Soon though we are back on a quiet trail lined with rows of tall eucalyptus trees. You pass through Monte do Gozo, a vantage point where you will catch your first glimpse of the spires of the cathedral in Santiago. From here you make your way down the hill and into the outskirts of Santiago. Goodbye country and hello to Santiago. From here you wind your way for roughly 4km through the streets of Santiago before you find yourself on the northface of the Santiago de Compostela Catheral. Pilgrims and locals gather here and clap people in as they make their way into the main square, the Praza do Obradoiro. You’ll find many pilgrims lying on the ground, staring up at the Cathedral and basking in the sun.

The beautiful old town of Santiago de Compostela, a UNESCO heritage site since 1985, is worth exploring. There are plentiful cafes, bars, shops and is home to one of the oldest universities in Spain.


Feeling inspired?

Check out our calendar for our 2017 El Camino adventure!


Culture shock: 6 travel moments all adventurers will relate to

Travelling is perhaps one of life’s greatest treasures; from visiting new and breath-taking lands, to meeting different people and diving headfirst into cultures so unlike your own, to the tantalising food and overall life-changing experiences that are bound to happen when you leave behind comfort and familiarity.

Anyone who has ever travelled will have no hesitation in sharing that while travel is fun and exciting, it is equally confronting and eye-opening to discover that while we are one human race, our cultures can vary dramatically. Here at Inspired, we all are avid lovers of travel, so we’ve rounded up some of our best culture shock stories for your enjoyment!

"I really hate condoms in my food"


Biggest culture shock?
“I lived in Spain for a year and probably one of the most embarrassing and funny culture shocks I experienced was getting the hang of the language. Once I tried to say, “I really hate preservatives in my food” because I thought the word preservativos meant preservatives. Turns out it actually means condoms so I said to everyone, “I really hate condoms in my food.” Oops!” – Angie

Blog Angie Hwang

What's a helmet?


Biggest culture shock?
“I was working on a sailboat in Sicily for two months and each morning I’d ride on the back of my host’s motorbike to get to the boat. He refused to let me wear a helmet and pretty much everybody in Sicily has the same motto! That was a big shock for me because literally every morning I’d fear for my life. We also had to carry all the food with us for the day so I’d just be sitting on the back holding onto huge watermelons and pasta. A very strange site but it was a lot of fun!” – Laura

Smiles not allowed


Biggest culture shock? 
“As a child who grew up in developing countries like Africa and Thailand, my biggest culture shock was actually when I went to London. Everyone seemed so grumpy all the time! You couldn’t smile at people on the tube because they’d give you the dirtiest look back. London basically just has really unique etiquette rules but once you figure them out, it’s one of the best places to live.” – Charlie

A holy experience


Biggest culture shock?
“Biggest culture shock for me was visiting the famous Ganges in Varanasi and witnessing the burning bodies of the Ghats. I’d never seen a dead body before, never mind a burning one. I was both appalled and enthralled all in one. The whole religious experience was nothing short of fascinating!” – Lexi

Living on "African time"


Biggest culture shock? 
“I went to Kenya to volunteer at four different schools in rural areas where I taught the kids different sports. The biggest culture shock for me was the conditions of the schools. I understood it would be basic, but I was shocked as some of them were just four walls with a roof. Also, the kid’s uniforms were torn into pieces and all in the wrong size, and 80 per cent of them didn’t have shoes! “African time” was also interesting – everything was always running late. But people didn’t get upset or anything, they knew they would eventually arrive and everything would be fine. A bit scary when you need to get to the airport though!” – Jo

Blog Johanna Bearder

So...where's the toilet?


Biggest culture shock?
“There were a few culture shocks in Cambodia but personally, the biggest one was the squat toilets! I’m a hygiene nut and have never been very confident using anything other than a western toilet so having to use squat style toilets was a big one for me. However, I overcame the fear and am now a confident squatter! #toomuchinfo ?” – Ally

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Discover amazing cultures around the world when you take on an Inspired Adventure! Visit our calendar to view all upcoming trips.


Essential Spanish phrases for travel

With an estimated 400 million speakers worldwide, Spanish is spoken by more people than any other language except Mandarin Chinese.  And with some of our favourite adventures (trekking the Inca Trail and walking El Camino de Santiago) taking place in Spanish-speaking lands, we thought it prudent to share these essential travel phrases, en español. 


1. Por favor/ Gracias  Translation: Please / Thank You
The first and most important phrase to learn wherever you go: a simple “please” and “thank you”.

2. Hola! Buenas días/noches – Translation: Hello, good morning/evening
A simple greeting – appropriate to call out to people you pass in the street or exchange with friends.

3. PerdónTranslation: Excuse me
If you need to pass through a group of people, or accidentally bump into someone, use perdón to remain polite.


4.  ¿Dónde está…? Translation: Where is…?
Looking for a toilet (baño) or bus (autobús) during your travels is pretty likely. Remember dónde está and even if words fail you beyond this simple phrase, you can probably act out what you’re looking for and get your point across.

5. ¿Cuánto Cuesta? Translation: How much does it cost?
Even the most frugal traveller will need to buy something, be it a bus ticket or roadside snack. Cuánto cuesta is your friend to make sure you pay a fair price – just ask it before you commit to buying anything!

6. ¿Puedo ver el menú? Translation: May I see the menu?
Ask this, and then hope for pictures of the food! Also useful to determine the price range of meals before sitting down.

Expressing yourself

7. Me llamo ___ Translation: My name is ____
Introducing yourself in another language is always fun. Just remember that the double “ll” in Spanish is pronounced like ‘yah’ or ‘jah’. This shouldn’t sound anything like the English word limo.

8. No quiero…(nada)  Translation: I don’t want…(none)
Especially useful in shops or markets when you do not, in fact, want any.

9. “Lo pasé muy bien”Translation: I had a very good time.
Had a great time? Tell someone!

Feeling Inspired?

Check our Inca Trail or Lares Valley adventures in Peru

Read more about walking El Camino de Santiago in Spain

Learn more Spanish phrases