About Dieter Daehnke

Born in 1941 in Gdansk, Poland. In March 1945 the family fled the Russian army. Met my wife Uta in Hamburg and as she is South African, I followed her home. We live in Cape Town, have 3 children, and 2 wonderful grandchildren. I established an Engineering company and since its sale, I enjoy walking Caminos. I have recently completed my book 'Journey of a Stickman'.

Winter Walk – day 14

Day 14  –  Castrojeriz  to  Frómista   (25.5 km) Today was the final day of my adventure. In September I had started the summer walk in Frómista, and now, in February, I was ending my winter walk there. As a result I will have completed the Camino Francés from Roncesvalles at the foot of the Pyrenees, right up to Santiago de Compostela. My guidebook tells me that, without detours to places that especially interested me and that were off the regular Camino, the distance is 773 km. Inclusive of deviations, I probably had walked a nominal distance of 800 km. When I got out of bed in the large dormitory in Castrojeriz that morning it was still dark, but I could … Read full text

Winter Walk – day 13

Day 13  –  Rabé de las Calzados  to  Castrojeriz   (29.1 km) Apart from my struggling with the clay, the walk was wonderful and lonely. Not lonely in an unpleasant sense, but wonderfully peaceful – I felt on top of the world. This might give the impression that being alone is the preferred state – that I or we pilgrims are burdened in the company of others. Obviously this is not so, in fact, in time I, and surely most of us, would regard absence of company and lack of communication debilitating and distressing. Communication in general and being able to communicate effectively is a major subject which I would like to examine in the context of awareness and honesty: When awareness … Read full text

Winter Camino – day 12

Day 12 – Santo Domingo to Rabé de las Calzados (12 km) It was still raining the day after my Santo Domingo experience and, after returning to Burgos and visiting Monasterio de las Huelgas Reales, I was again on my way due west. At about five in the afternoon I reached Rabé de las Calzados which had the only albergue open during winter for the next seventeen kilometres. It was the place for my night’s stay, although I had only walked twelve kilometres. The albergue was surprisingly modern and well kept. I had a double-storey building all to myself and the wife of the hostelleria cooked a three-course dinner and made a wood fire in the ‘dining room’ hearth, all … Read full text

Winter Camino – day 14 > my last day of the winter camino

 Today was the final day of my adventure. In September I had started the summer walk in Frómista, and now, in February, I was ending my winter walk there. As a result I will have completed the Camino Francés from Roncesvalles at the foot of the Pyrenees, right up to Santiago de Compostela. My guidebook tells me that, without detours to places that especially interested me and that were off the regular Camino, the distance is 773 km. Inclusive of deviations, I probably had walked a nominal distance of 800 km. When I got out of bed in the large dormitory in Castrojeriz that morning it was still dark, but I could see that new snow had fallen during the … Read full text

Winter Camino – day 13 > excerpt 2

Castrojeriz is an unusually stretched-out town. It nestles along the base of a conical mountain with the impressive ruins of a great castle above. To warrant this size of castle and this rather large village, there must have been considerable fighting around here, probably first between Muslim and Christian forces and at a later stage between Castile and Aragon. To my surprise I found a supermarket in a room smaller than our lounge at home, but size did not matter. In the excitement I bought far too much – queso, smoked chorizo, ham, jam, fruit and a box of biscuits – to celebrate my last night. Further on I stumbled across a bar that served menu del dia inclusive of … Read full text

Winter Camino – day 13 > excerpt 1

Day 13  –  Rabé de las Calzados  to  Castrojeriz   > excerpt 1 Apart from my struggling with the clay, the walk was wonderful and lonely. Not lonely in an unpleasant sense, but wonderfully peaceful – I felt on top of the world. This might give the impression that being alone is the preferred state – that I or we pilgrims are burdened in the company of others. Obviously this is not so, in fact, in time I, and surely most of us, would regard absence of company and  lack of communication debilitating and distressing. Communication in general and being able to communicate effectively is a major subject which I would like to examine in the context of awareness and … Read full text

Winter Camino – day 12

Day 12  –  Santo Domingo  to  Rabé de las Calzados   (12 km) It was still raining the day after my Santo Domingo experience and, after returning to Burgos and visiting Monasterio de las Huelgas Reales, I was again on my way due west. At about five in the afternoon I reached Rabé de las Calzados which had the only albergue open during winter for the next seventeen kilometres. It was the place for my night’s stay, although I had only walked twelve kilometres. The albergue was surprisingly modern and well kept. I had a double-storey building all to myself and the wife of the hostelleria cooked a three-course dinner and made a wood fire in the ‘dining room’ hearth, all … Read full text

Winter Camino – Day 11

Day 11  –  Agés  to  Santo Domingo de Silos   (23.7 km) Snow had fallen during the night in Agés and it was bitterly cold in the morning. We walked past Atapuerca along a quiet tar road and shortly afterwards the Camino path branched off, leading uphill to Alto with the cruceiro. After that it was downhill to the valley with Burgos in the distance. There were car tracks visible on the snow-covered road and the landscape on either side was white. Later, on the trail to the cruceiro, new snow and wind had obliterated any traces of previous footprints and the path was difficult to identify. Vegetation was sparse and a crooked barbed-wire fence running uphill was partially submerged in … Read full text