This was a challenge…To stay on the bike
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Footage courtesy of ITV
My friend Terry joined me at Reading. We met at St James church where father John stamped my pilgrim passport and we discussed the connection between Santiago Reading and Marlow and the hand of St James. Next stop
Titanic was my Downs Syndrome brother Martin’s favourite film (along with the Sound of Music and Crocodile Dundee.) Every Christmas when we played charades Martin would pick one of the ladies to stand with him arms outstretched, and we
You don’t always need the local language. I know it helps but….. I met the local herdsman and his herd of cattle. Wet have a great chat going moo! A music festival was on in town. Music is universal
Coast lines always deliver secrets. I was following the narrow gauge railway line and it went alongside the beach. There was a wonderful booming noise and spray everywhere. Of course such things are tide and weather dependant. And there I
It’s been in my mind for some time. I’ve been pondering it for a number of years. It was only once I said it loud that I wanted to attempt this that things really started. There were comments. You
Half way along Spain’s North coast is the port of Santander. Famous for its beaches and it’s bank, it’s an important spot along the Camino del Norte. I cycled into town as my Brittany ferries flagship arrived. Just time to
Cows and pilgrims. The herd were unhappy to be moved. But understood the cow hands command. Off they went with the calves dashing along behind. I enjoyed our interaction without a common tongue. There are lots of German pilgrims
The general rule of thumb is take less. Whatever you think is essential cut it in half. You are going to be carrying it and everything is heavy after a while. Everything. Even tissues! So with that in
The track led through the village. There was a stile and a footpath. I followed it carefully over rocks and around the corner. Where I came face to face with huge long horned cows and their guardian bull. They
There’s nothing like it for realising the distance travelled. Weeks ago coming out of Burgos I stood and stared at the snow capped mountains away to the north. Today those same snow capped mountains were away to the south.
It was an odd sort of place and I wasn’t entirely convinced I’d made a wise choice. But I arrived late, hot and bothered, with little energy left in me, my bike or my phone. Okay make the most
I enjoy people watching. Especially in other countries where they do weird stuff. Like scything the grass. What’s wrong with a lawn mower or a goat? At least this chap wasn’t in his slippers like most of the other
We all love a field of cows, munching, mooing, pooing, and grinding those teeth on the grass. I stopped at a Camino sign and the sound of the cow bells prompted me to recite my favourite maytime cow poem.
I can hear brother Martin saying: “nice church!” as we stare at the altarpiece. Indeed it’s one of the gems of medieval European art. I like the idea of a Martin Mallett name tag finding it’s way behind such
In the middle ages every church or monastery of any importance had a relic. A fragment of the true cross. A bone of a saint. And people would travel far and wide to see them, and of course pay
I got a puncture. No surprise there. Bikes are always getting punctures. Except this bike. In seven weeks of cycling across Europe, I have had no tyre issues at all. Not even needed to pump them up. Today, up
Most pilgrims first glimpse of Santiago is from Mont Gosso where the status of two grateful pilgrims point to the spires of the cathedral. For me it was my final view of Santiago on a wild and wet afternoon
I was on a quiet winding road through the hills. No traffic. Around every corner and hair pin bend there was a babbling brook, a bank of ferns, and trees coming into leaf. How do you paint such a
I want to do a message in a bottle. Send a Martin Mallett name tag out into the sea. I found the perfect blue bottle in a recycling bin. To the name tag I added: A photo of Martin
In the middle ages something like a quart of a million people walked the Camino from their homes. They would cross Europe and head for Santiago De Compostela and then turn around and walk home again. It was a
Visited Lugo FC stadium #forzaLugo Very welcoming club in league two. The pitch and stadium look terrific and the interview area by the main reception is great! I’m in. A signed on Lugo fan. Plus I’ve got 2 new
It’s the other end of the earth. They are 20 miles apart. And pilgrims tend to have a favourite. Finisterre for the Lighthouse and cape. Muxia for the Chapel and the waves. It is relentless, with the sea smashing
The Romans called it finis Terra the end of the earth. To them it was clear there was nothing out there except sea and death. Many pilgrims since the earliest days of this pilgrimage have continued the extra 100
It’s the bit at the top end of Spain that is utterly different from the rest of the country. It has its own language, its own customs, and definitely its own weather. It also had its own topography and
I’ve cycled 2430 kilometres (1500 miles) from home to Santiago de Compostela. The target is the Great Baroque Cathedral where the cousin of Christ, St James the apostle is said to be buried. Everyday they say a pilgrim mass
He was sharpening a blade. A massive blade. Done sort of machete. And he was sitting there in his slippers! I was absolutely fascinated by his absorption in his job with no thought of health and safety. So I
A great monument deserves a great story. The longest bridge on the Camino is at Hospital D’Orbigo and the story involves a Knight in Armour, a fair damsel and a scrap for love! Back in the middle ages some
Along the way pilgrims are supposed to get their pilgrim passport stamped to prove they’ve actually done what they claim to have done. I’ve filled up three passports cycling through England, France and Spain. I went along to the
“Make sure you follow the road right down to the bottom…..” Said my hostel host. Bellasar is worth a visit. I was enjoying a pleasant descent which became a 10 kilometre free wheel whizz down through the trees and
I stopped because of the carved figures in this glorious memorial. With clasped hands in prayer I am reminded of brother Martin….
There are lots of different routes to Santiago de Compostela. I’ve been on the way of the Plantagenets, the way of Tours, the way of Vezelay, and through Spain on the Camino Frances. But now at Pontferrada there’s a
There are lots of different routes to Santiago de Compostela. I’ve been on the way of the Plantagenets, the way of Tours, way of Vezelay, and through Spain, the Camino Frances. But now at Ponferrada there’s a choice. The
It’s 1500 metres up to the iron cross in the mountains of Leon. Higher than Ben Nevis. I cycled up it on my lovely Giant E-Bike. You pass by spiritual tributes in the fence and climb and climb. At
This route passes through lots of rural Europe so you can expect to see animals along the way. I’ve seen pilgrim donkeys, but this was a first. Sheep sharing the road with me. Lots of sheep! Unbelievable!
Every person you pass calls out: “Buen Camino!” Which translates as ‘good trip.’ It’s a really encouraging greeting and makes you feel like you are doing something special and worthwhile. “Buen Camino,” we all call to each other. I’m
I needed a cuppa and a piece of tortilla. I stopped at the bar and sat down to refresh. And standing at the bar were a group of friends putting the world to rights. It was such an easy
Today I met a pilgrim with four hooves, ‘Salome’ the donkey. She woke me up this morning braying and I just assumed it was a local donkey. A few hours later, she was with two French men walking the
It’s half way along the Camino, but only if you start at Roncesvalles in Spain. As I started at home in England I’ve already cycled 2000 kilometres…. Sahagun is an ancient Roman city and its gateway is truly astounding.
There’s a lot of pleasure in having your hair cut somewhere new. How about a different country where we don’t speak the same language? This barber is next to my accommodation and he’s just won the lottery! 50,000 euros.
The plains of Spain… That should be a song… Oh it is. And the rain in Spain falls mainly on where? So show me how plain the plains are and if they ever get wet…….
I came across a famous St Martin’s church in a place called Fromista. Looks just the place for a Martin Mallett moment. Let’s take a look…
I stopped and painted when I saw the distance church. It was a relief to know I was about to see civilisation again.
This is my favourite story along the way of St James. In Santa Domingo Cathedral is an ornate hen house with two live roosters in it! Why? It’s a story of sex, miracles, and incredulity. Santa Domingo was a
I am constantly thrilled to see the changing landscapes each day and over each hill. How could the world vary so much? But it does. As Navarre gives way to Castile the big ring of mountains surround an enormous
I was cycling the Camino track and enjoying the constantly changing landscape. One of the highlights is the Van Gogh yellow oil seed rape and it’s overpowering perfume. In the south of France I saw acres of it, here
Just out of Estella is a famous monastery with vineyard attached. I was reminded of the first miracle at the fountain… Water or wine?! Yes please!
This is a city famous for a mad week every July when the foolhardy take on the famous bulls to run the streets and try and escape death… Or worse! The great way to arrive in Pamplona is by
High up on the mountain is a string of wind turbines. You know you are in a windy spot when you see these graceful turning in the breeze. Or whirring like demons in the freezing rain and gale force
Every village has a church and on an adventure like this I find I can’t go past without taking a look. Is it the history? The special story? The architecture? It can be anything. Take today. I was just
It began with rain which lasted all day…. The Alberge team in St Jean Pied De Port gave me an encouraging send off through the gate and up the mountains. Kings and Princes and simple pilgrims have passed this way
I always ask the nice people at the tourist office what their favourite view of their city might be. In this case they did along the city walls… So that’s where I headed. I set up paints, brushes and
It is, as I keep telling people, not a jolly….There is always weather you contend with, to begin with snow and Arctic cold. Last week biblical rain that Noah would have loved. This week sunshine and wind.Full on in
The undulating rolling foothills of one of Europe’s great mountain ranges…. It’s a joy….. Until it rains biblical rain. This is a winter which doesn’t want to end and the weather has it in for the cycling artist.
The tiny old town of St Jean at the foot of the pass over the Pyrenees is small enough to fit in your pocket. It’s basically a steep cobbled street or two between three ancient stone gateways. It feels
It was a fun day filming for Saturday night takeaway… I’m the armour plated Knight!
Martin’s name tags… We sew them onto clothes. So they won’t be lost. So we know where they belong. Among Martin’s possessions are his name tags. I hold them and feel the threads, the threads of family, of how
Listen to Timmy’s interview on BBC Radio Berkshire, where he discusses his huge 2,000km cycle trip to Camino de Santiago and of course his dear brother Martin, who sadly passed away last week.
Thank you so much for the kind comments about dear brother Martin. We are greatly comforted by the support and condolences. Never doubt it is a great comfort like a warm blanket. We are touched to see how Martin’s
There are lots of highlights in the glorious city of York, and this is one I came across because it was raining…. ‘Grab a brolly‘ said Mrs Mallett and I found one in the car, bright Timmy type purple.
Thank you Aberdeen for welcoming brother Martin into your beautiful glistening granite city. It was his home for over half his life and you meant the world to him. You can view the article published in The Press and
My local MP and prime minister, Theresa May, came to hear all about my Camino de Santiago and the local connection to her constituency. I told her the story how for 900 years the Hand of St James