Lucy and Oliver’s Camino Honeymoon

Our Camino Honeymoon

By Lucy Dominguez

When my now-husband and I got engaged and sat down to talk about the kind of wedding we wanted to have I think I surprised him. I told him I wanted to have a religious ceremony with lots of flowers, no reception, and a one-month honeymoon. I told him everything I knew about the Camino. My husband who hates everything about weddings and loves doing outdoor stuff was thrilled with the idea. We could not afford to do both the reception and the honeymoon of our dreams, so we decided that it was more important to have a transformative honeymoon than a big beautiful party. We were going on the Camino with the hopes that it would allow us to get to know each other better and fall deeper in love. So the planning began. Continue reading

Santiago Highlights: The Cathedral, from Roof to Crypt

Continued from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Santiago.

This post covers some of the fascinating aspects of the cathedral, including the rooftop tour, holy doors, botafumeiro, crypt, as well as the rites of embracing the apostle, and attending a pilgrim mass.

Rooftop tour of the Cathedral

If you enjoy great views, I recommend the Santiago cathedral rooftop tour. I did the Spanish tour because that was the only tour available on my last day. When I return to Santiago in June, I will book the English-speaking version of the tour.

Model of the cathedral

Model of the cathedral

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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Santiago

I found God. Well, maybe that is not so funny. However, it is what I least expected to get out of my experience on the Camino. So now here I am, two weeks away from being confirmed as a Catholic. How did that happen? Confirmation was never something I felt I needed. In fact, I resented the Catholic church most of my life, and I still have some issues with it.  If you recall from a previous post, My Rekindled Faith,  our family stopped going to church after my parents’ divorce. I completely lost trust in the church until my mom busted a myth that I held since childhood.

I will discuss what I’m doing for the Rites of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) in another post. For now, I just want to reassure my blog readers that I did not join a cult and nobody persuaded me to be “saved.” I was not preached to by any pilgrims, and I will not preach to anyone else. I just followed my vibe and realized that now is the right time, and my local parish is the right place.  A year ago I would have never thought I would be blogging about God, but this is part of my Camino. Now I see that the Camino really does provide, in more ways than I ever imagined.

Entrance to the Santiago Cathedral through the Holy Doors

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Camino and Hiking Events in April 2017

The rain has finally stopped and spring is in full bloom here in Oakland. It’s Camino training season, so let’s get right to it! Below is the roundup of Camino related events, hikes and poles workshops in the SF Bay Area for the month of April 2017.

Monthly Lake Merritt Walk in Oakland
Saturday, April 1, 10:30 am

A walk around Lake Merritt in Oakland is held every first Saturday of the month, at 10:30 am starting at the Pergola. Afterwards, there is an optional brunch in the area.  For April Fool’s Day, we are switching things up and walking counter-clockwise around the lake. Crazy, right?  Details and RSVP on NorCal Facebook Group. I’ll be at the walk and brunch with a pocket full of Camino patches and free stickers for anyone who asks.

The next Lake Merritt walk will be on Saturday, May 6, 2017. If you are in the Bay Area, join the Peregrinos Northern California Facebook Group to get details on this and other events.


Technology on the Camino @ Oakland Rockridge Library
Saturday, April 15, 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Have you wondered what technology you should take on your next Camino pilgrimage? Or do you feel that using technology on the Camino goes against the Camino spirit? Whether you like or loathe mobile phones, smartphones, tablets, e-readers, GPS, or any other type of mobile technology, this talk has something for you.

No more room at the inn! Pilgrims charging up their devices on the Camino Francés in Agés, Spain.

Devices being charged on the Camino Francés in Agés, Spain. Stop the insanity! Photo by Guy Joaquin.

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Injury Prevention Tips from Scott Williams

Injury Prevention Tips for the Camino 2017

Below is a presentation by Scott Williams on injury prevention that I recorded at our NorCal Chapter’s annual pilgrim blessing ceremony on March 18, 2017. Scott “Shroomer” Williams is active in the American Long Distance Hiker Association-West and has thru-hiked the Triple Crown (Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail).

Filming Scott Williams

Filming Scott Williams presentation on injury prevention tips for the Camino

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Camino Couple Giving Back as Hospitaleros

I am pleased to share a guest post by Francis Kim, the voice behind Our First Date All Over Again. I got to know Anna and Francis Kim at our SF Bay Area pilgrim events and training hikes over the last two years. We trained for our 2016 Caminos around the same time and recently attended Hospitalero training together in Los Gatos, California. They will make an excellent team at an albergue some day! Below is Francis’s take on serving as hospitaleros.

Francis and Anna Kim are ready to serve! They prepared these delicious tapas for our pilgrim blessing and potluck on March 18, 2017.

Francis and Anna Kim are ready to serve! They prepared these delicious tapas for our pilgrim blessing and potluck on March 18, 2017.

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Leave No Trace: Ethics for the Camino

Valerie Hartmann’s Camino made a big impact on her, as did a Leave No Trace training that she attended a few years ago.  Both experiences instilled a “tread lightly” mentality of stewardship toward our world.  Valerie put her thoughts into action by writing the report, “Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics for Camino de Santiago.” She recently shared it with us NorCal Chapter coordinators, and I am happy to help spread the word.  I completely agree that some people can be more respectful to the environment and fellow pilgrims. Her report is full of common sense and good tips to be a mindful pilgrim and keep the Camino litter-free. Add this reading to your pre-Camino checklist and consider treading more lightly on your next Camino.

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What it means to be UC Berkeley Wellness Ambassadors

One of my intentions for 2017 is to serve as a wellness ambassador to help to create a culture of health within the workplace by promoting staff participation in UC Berkeley wellness programs, services, and events.  My colleague Veronica and I were recently featured on UC Berkeley’s Be Well at Work Newsletter and you can read our interview below. Yes, the Camino does come up in one of my responses. It seems that lately more things are a ripple effect of the Camino!

Be Well at Berkeley – March 2017

Veronica and I posting flyers in English and Spanish

Posting flyers in English and Spanish

Laurie and Veronica have always been advocates for fitness both at home and in the workplace, so it was no surprise when they decided to become Wellness Ambassadors for International House. Ever since Laurie started at I-House in 2005, she rallied co-workers to join lunchtime hikes on trails around campus. The camaraderie within this informal hiking club formed many friendships over the years. Last October, Laurie started teaching yoga to staff at lunchtime on Mondays. Veronica joined I-House in 2015 as a Human Resources Assistant. She is often the first person a new employee will encounter, and she makes everyone feel welcome with her positive attitude.

We recently chatted with them to learn how their advocacy for health and wellness have inspired and made a real difference in the lives of others within their department.

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Francis and Anna Kim: Our First Date All Over Again

Our First Date All Over Again

By Francis Kim

I recall a quote from singer/songwriter Jason Derulo: “the biggest challenge is to continue on the same path. It’s easy to become complacent from the success you’ve had.” It captures the spirit of our Camino, as well our relationship with each other. But more on that later.

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Pilgrim Interviews: Four Men from Malta

I am happy to share another collaboration with James Portelli, the guest blogger who wrote route reports for Camino Inglés/Finisterre among many other insightful posts. For this one, James interviewed four friends from Malta who walked the Camino Francés in September and October 2016.

From left to right: John, Alex, Raymond and Pierre

From left to right: John, Alex, Raymond and Pierre

James and John, one of the peregrinos mentioned in this piece, had participated with other Maltese pilgrims on earlier Caminos raising over € 100,000 to support local charities.

Below is the interview, ‘Ultreya Pellegrini Maltin,’ which translates to ‘Onward Maltese Pilgrims.’ Enjoy!


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