Direct contact with nature, adventures, spectacular landscapes, ancient architecture, religious tourism and much history. This is what the group of 17 Mogi friends sought when they planned to ride the 876-kilometer (registered on the bicycle odometer) of the Santiago de Compostela Road between southern France and northern Spain. They came back from there two weeks ago and shared the photographs and experiences with the story in The Diary.
The idea of the tour was of the merchant Eduardo Kendi Nakashima, of 47 years, organizer of the trip and great incentivador of the group. The only one who had already done the Path the other two times. “There was a lot of inexperienced cyclist with us, and that was no problem,” he says. Two members made the whole journey in the traditional way: on foot.
It’s been almost 10 months defining costs, dates and putting together maps. At least once a month the group gathered to get the details of the trip right. They left Brazil on September 3 to Pamplona. They waited for the arrival of the bicycles – some were on different flights – and on the 6th they took a bus and traveled 70 kilometers to the French town of Saint Jean Pied Port, where the French road begins.
The first day was the most difficult, according to entrepreneur Carlos Alberto Yamanaka, 52 years old. They had to cross the Pyrenees, the mountains that form a natural border between the Iberian Peninsula and France. “The path begins at 200 meters of altitude, but, to cross the mountains, we climb up to about 1,600 meters above sea level,” he reports.
The friends left together, but soon they were divided into groups – and some were alone – so that each one could enjoy the whole course in the best possible way. Each had a rhythm, and also ran the risk of not being able to sleep all in the same city. Even so, they always communicated by cellphone message. As the road is very well signposted by the famous yellow arrows, it was common to meet during the route.
The trip to them lasted 13 days. They passed through 150 cities, each with its own peculiarities, with different cuisines, people and hostels. The distance traveled depended heavily on the terrain found. In some days they could travel 120 km, but in others only 30 km.
Trader Paulo Miyazaki, 55, pedaled alone for four days. He took the maps on his smartphone, which he kept plugged in with an extra battery carried in the backpack.”It was the first time I did the Way. I left the group to feel the adventure of pedaling alone in another country. The experience is wonderful,”he points out.
Lawyer Vanderlei França, 55, is a Catholic and had a great spiritual adventure. “The landscape is excellent,” he points out. One of the most striking views was that of the shepherd touching a few hundred sheep in fields of southern Spain.”There were many vineyards, pear plantations, apple and wild raspberry. It would be free on the way to get us,”he recalls.
For more information on how to travel on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela by bicycle, merchant Eduardo Kendi Nakashima made the phone available at for contact. (Danilo Sans)