Riffing on Post Camino Blues

Camino podcaster Brendan Bolton asked recently: “When you hear the phrase ‘Post Camino Blues’ what is the first thing that comes to mind for you?” The way I see it, it’s kind of a late night Tapas bar staring into your vino tinto listening to a lone musician singing a …

Camino 2018 – The challenge of returning to daily life

From Sarria onwards to Santiago de Compostela, I found myself reflecting on what I had learned on the Camino, and wondering how I can take what I’ve learned back into my daily life. How do you reintegrate back into the life you left behind? I know this is something countless …

Camino 2018 – It’s All in the Mind

What about the mind? You reach Logroño, and by now you are getting settled into the Camino’s routine, and you are starting to feel like a pilgrim on a pilgrimage. But what does that even mean, and how might we think about it? What makes this different from, say, a …

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?

Final preparation for the Camino

With our final training walk with backpacks before the Camino, it is time to reflect on not just the physical, but the mental preparation and final pack, both physical and mindful.

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 …

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 …

People of the Camino

At a small Fiesta in Puenta de Orbigo on the Camino de Santiago, we saw this young woman playing the bagpipes. Her face was a study in concentration as her fingers moved skillfully over the chanter. Life did not appear to be easy in these towns. It is said that the weight …