A Pilgrim Love Story

Loni & Kjartan on the Camino

A Pilgrim Love Story

By Loni Bergqvist

I’m from California and walked the Camino Francés in 2013. On my way into Burgos, I met Kjartan from Denmark. We started talking and spent the next day together. We ended up walking to Santiago and he proposed when we arrived. 🙂 We were married six months later, and we now live in Denmark with our daughter and a baby due next month. The Camino continues to provide our little family with surprises, love and happiness.

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Beyond the Way, A Camino Film Series

I have been wanting to share Andrew Suzuki’s excellent film series for a while, but it didn’t seem complete. Now the missing episode, “Some Assembly Required” is free and online!

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Love is in the air

The Camino Provides

Calling all Camino couples! You know who you are. Perhaps you met on the Camino and fell in love. Maybe you were newlyweds who walked the Camino for a honeymoon. Or an established couple who wanted to mix things up and test your relationship. Perhaps you walked alone and came to the conclusion that someone back home is your true love. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, so they say.

I wonder how many marriage proposals happened as a result of the Camino. It seems the Camino works in mysterious ways.  Is it something in the water or the Spanish wine?  I think there’s something in the air.

Love is in the air

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I Feel Love

This is how I feel on most days, but especially today, on Valentine’s Day. I Feel Love is also the title of one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite artists, Donna Summer. When I was a child in the 1970s, my sister and I used to listen to her music frequently. I remember listening to her albums on vinyl while singing along with the lyrics on the liner notes. It would not take me long to use a hair brush as a makeshift microphone and dance around the living room entertaining anyone who was there. Naturally, my brother disappeared, for he was into heavy metal. 😉

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Camino in the Clouds

Have you ever seen those word clouds made up of a variety of words, some small, some large, some even larger? I had a brainstorm one night and thought it would be fun to make a Camino word cloud. I asked a question of the Camigas on Facebook (a group for women to share tips about the Camino). My question was, “What single word describes what the Camino provided for you?” The first eighty responses resulted in the heart-shaped word cloud below, in which larger words are the most used.

the Camino Provides all of these for Women Continue reading

New Route Report: Vía de la Plata

I am happy to announce a new route report written by my friend Brien Crothers, another Northern California native. Brien hit the trail for thirty-three days of walking the Vía de la Plata in Wester…

More:  Vía de la Plata with Camino Sanabrés Variant

Camino and Hiking Events in February 2017

Happy February! It is the month of LOVE, and I certainly felt the love on my birthday yesterday.  An outpouring of love from family, friends, workmates, and Camino connections filled my heart with joy. I will bask in the glow and radiate love all month, starting at Hospitalero training this weekend and by sharing Camino love stories on this blog. 
stickerIf you have a Camino couple or love story to contribute, let me know and I’ll add it to the Camino Love page.  Free Love, Camino Style stickers with each submission!

There are always opportunities to train for or learn about the Camino. Below is the roundup of Camino related and hiking events in the SF Bay Area for the month of February 2017.

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30 Years of Pilgrim Statistics

Every January, the Oficina de Acogida de Peregrinos (Pilgrims’ Welcome Office) in Santiago, Spain and the American Pilgrims on the Camino (APOC) publish the pilgrim statistics for the previous year. Among the various data is a chart showing numbers of pilgrims receiving Compostelas for each year dating back to 1986. When I first started to learn about the Camino, I was intrigued by the dramatic spikes for some years.

2016statsyears

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Intentions for 2017

I might be a little delayed in this post as the talk of new year’s resolutions has mostly faded away by now. I do have a good reason: on January 5, I had a minor surgery which forced me to slow down and heal. All is well, and I have recovered rather quickly. However, I believe that it is never too late to set intentions. Each new year gives us the opportunity to set our intentions and reflect on the previous year. My intentions for 2016 included two of my passions: yoga and the Camino, both of which were transformative in different ways. Last year also threw some challenges and surprises my way: the unexpected illness; a change in travel plans; the presidential election results; a rekindling of my faith; and a renewed connection with a family member. I believe it is good to be flexible and not too attached to a particular goal because something better might come along! You can’t go wrong if you follow your heart and listen to your intuition. At the end of this post, I share a few tools that you might find helpful: a five-minute meditation; an article on setting intentions; a spiritual reading; and an intention template that you can download and customize.

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2016 in review

It’s time to take a look back on the past year of The Camino Provides. We saw this blog transition from “the calling” stage, during my Camino training and planning months January – April. Then “the Compostela” phase when I was on the Camino Portugués in May. Finally,  “the beyond” phase after my return home and posting about my Camino. I am still processing my experience and have a lot more to write about. One thing is for sure, the Camino does provide, in unexpected ways. More on this later. Continue reading