Camino 2018 – Care of the Self

How do you conceive of walking 800km/500 miles when, like me, you typically take the car to the local shops less than a kilometre away? It’s a scary number, even more so when you look up at the Pyrenees, and see the vultures circling. Does that bell toll for me? …

Camino 2018 – The Ordeal of the Mountain

What is it about starting a pilgrimage with an ordeal by mountain? Is it a test of resolve? Or is it to give us a glimpse of the reward for our efforts in the majesty of the scene laid out before us?

Hands-free trekking umbrella

What the…? This post is my solution to using an umbrella hands-free. Sometimes when hiking, or walking with trekking poles, it can be useful to use an umbrella. Now, before I get shouted down by the ultra-lightweight hikers, it is, of course, a personal choice. The problem with an umbrella …

Pack a light heart – and travel positively

How do we stay positive when we travel? We’ve all been there. The flight gets cancelled, the accommodation is unavailable, the unexpected happens. We experience frustration – often magnified when we travel, perhaps compounded by language difficulties and cultural differences. What happens next is up to us. Tourists demand, pilgrims …

Bridges across the Camino and across the world

Bridges. We cross them routinely, often barely noticing they are there. Yet without them, we would have to take long and circuitous detours or make dangerous crossings. So I like to pause sometimes and reflect on the bridge builders, whether physical or metaphorical, and nod my thanks to them for …

Camino de Santiago (French route) – The complete index

Camino de Santiago Our journey from St Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostela 20 Sept – 1 Nov 2016 The Complete Index There is something undeniably special about walking the Camino de Santiago. As one of the great medieval pilgrimage routes it draws people from all over the …

Encounter with the Secret Pilgrim

I had heard rumours of a so-called secret pilgrim, or hidden pilgrim, from the concierge at our hotel in Santiago. It was all a bit cryptic, so I decided to find out more. But first, it was time to visit the museum and tour the cathedral – including hugging the Saint. …

Camino Kilometre Zero at Finisterre and on to Muxia

Finisterre We felt that our Camino would not be quite complete without a visit to Kilometre Zero at Finisterre, and a side visit to Muxia. Finisterre is reputedly the place at which the boat carrying St James’ body landed on the coast of Spain, and the place where the local …

Santiago moments, and an encounter with the Botafumeiro

We were looking forward to seeing the famous Botafumeiro, but we wanted to make sure we had our Compostelas, or certificates of completion. So first thing, we headed down to the Pilgrim Office to receive our Compostela – the certificate we receive to mark the conclusion of our pilgrimage. There …