A TOURIST in Santiago de Compostela, Spain

I’d always planned to get to the Holy City on foot or by bike.

It’s one of the 3 Christian pilgrimage cities: Jerusalem, Rome and Santiago de Compostela.

Pilgrims have been walking here for over a thousand years to pay tribute to the shrine of Saint James the Great, now the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.

The Old Town is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

I’d originally planned to cycle from Porto, Portugal to Santiago. BUT there were no rental bikes available out of Porto. So I arrived (eventually) by bus.

YES I felt like a pretender. Tens of thousands of other visitors look legit — like this guy.

I stayed 3 nights in a magnificent building, Hostel Seminario Menor, one of the most important stops on the Camino.

I got some work done in my monks / College student private room. (19 Euros). And did a LOT of walking around the city.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

A huge surprise to me was to see a massive ultramodern complex called City of Culture.

It’s impressive. But generally seems to be considered a white elephant, not attracting the numbers of visitors anticipated.

See more architect drawings and photos.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Visiting Porto, Portugal

I was happy to get back to Porto in 2022. It’s one of my favourite tourist cities. And is one of the fastest-growing European tourist destinations since Ryanair made it a hub.


Along the Douro River is the place to be in the evening.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Livraria Lello Bookstore, Porto

Though it’s a hassle to get a ticket, I managed to visit one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world. Built in 1906, a mix of Art Nouveau and Neo-Gothic styles.

J.K. Rowling once lived in Porto, no doubt getting some inspiration from this magical setting.

She named Salazar Slytherin after the Portuguese dictator Antonio de Salazar.

Porto, Portugal

Tour Divide 2022 POSTPONED 🤨

I was hoping to cycle out of Banff in June 2022. START on the Tour Divide with the pros.

Ride to Montana. Do some hiking.

Then cycle to visit friends in Idaho.

But getting my NEW TOOTH installed in Lisbon, Portugal took longer than anticipated. I’ll be adventuring in Europe May / June 2022 instead of riding Montana.

HOPEFULLY I’ll be there for Tour Divide 2023.

Click to see a larger version of the Tour Divide map by Aussie Alex Hotchin.

Click for larger version

Lisbon AGAIN — May 23rd

I had dental implant surgery in Lisbon in November. Expen$ive — but excellent. A dental holiday.

Six months later I’m headed back to have my implant installed. Finally.

I’ll be arriving May 23rd, 2022.

Click PLAY or watch highlights on YouTube. (3min)

Tourists love Lisbon.

Fantastic street art for pretentious influencers. 😀

Planning to cycle part of the Continental Divide

I was inspired by Lael Wilcox to pencil in a date on my personal calendar:

Friday, June 10th, 2022 at 8AM – Banff, Alberta 

That’s the start of the 2022 Tour Divide Mountain Bike Race.

UPDATE.  I had to cancel this adventure for 2022.  Hopefully I can reschedule it for 2023.

It’s free. No registration. No commitment in advance. I could show up … or not.

I’d dreamed of lining up with Lael and watching her for about 45 seconds as she pedalled out of sight.  😀  Sadly Lael is not racing 2022.  She’s in Europe this summer, instead. 

The Tour Divide roughly follows the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (GDMBR) is the most recognized and important off-pavement cycling route in the United States, if not the world.

The route crisscrosses the Continental Divide from north to south starting in Banff, Alberta, Canada and finishing at the US/Mexico border in Antelope Wells, New Mexico.

I don’t have time, bike or talent to do the whole thing. But I’m hoping to ride the start down into Montana. Then divert over to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho where I broke down on my 2019 Great American Rail-Trail  bikepacking adventure.  Dave Adlard had to rescue me.  😀

MIGHT do some hiking in Montana. Then head for the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes.

UPDATE:  In 2019 an alternative further west was announced:

Western Wildlands Route (formerly Wild West)

This adventure is the flagship achievement of Bikepacking Roots, a not-for-profit advocacy group founded by Kurt Refsnider and Kaitlyn Boyle in 2017. 

It’s less technical and easier for touring bikes than the Divide — so I may divert on to the Western Wildlands starting at Eureka, Montana.  I’ll see how I’m feeling at the time. 😀 

Blue line to the west is the Western Wildlands Route

Likely I’ll end up making a loop of the two routes, returning to Calgary via Eureka.

For navigation I’ll likely be using the paid FarOut app (formerly Guthook) as it’s the most popular for both Divide and Wild West.  But I hope to have backup maps, as well.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Here’s the Lael Wilcox documentary that got me started planning this trip.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

related – Lael Wilcox Is the Best. Why Does Anyone Else Bother?

(via Adventure Blog)

My Electronics Bag for Travel

I stumbled upon the HIGHPASS HYBRID BRIEFCASE BACKPACK in an electronics store. And was instantly impressed with the look, feel and weight (762 grams or 29 ounces).

I discarded the shoulder strap, further dropping the weight.

On the road, I frequently need to day trip with my laptop and a just a few extra items. Jacket. Snacks.

Read a review.