Camino and Hiking Events in May 2017

Below is the roundup of Camino related events and hikes in the SF Bay Area for the month of May 2017. But first, I would like to highlight a few recent updates on this blog, and announce a new e-book on the Spiritual Variant of the Camino Portugués.

Camino Francés Route Report

Santa Cruz couple Cathy Seitchik Diaz and David Stewart are on the Camino Francés right now.  As the reporter for the Camino Frances this year, she is sharing the stages the Camino Francés, complete with daily distances, photos, observations and useful tips. See Days 1-12 and Days 13-24.  Cathy is, quite possibly, the world’s happiest pilgrim!  You can find other Camino routes linked under the Route Reports drop-down menu, and on the Camino Routes page.

Pondering Portugal?

I have been writing about Porto, a popular Camino Portugués starting point. The series is linked below, and on My Camino Portugués Stages page.

Porto Memories:
Six Bridges Cruise and Porto at Night
The Porto Cathedral
J. K. Rowling Hangouts, Majestic Café and Livrario Lello
São Bento Railway Station
Porto Walking Tour
Stock Exchange Palace and Imperial McDonald’s
Ferreira Port Cellars Tour and Tasting
Coming soon are posts about a coastal stroll and Fatima.  I am clearing the photos off my laptop to make space for my next adventures in France, then walking the Camino Inglés. 🙂 Follow my Facebook page for live updates during my trips.

New Kindle book on the Camino Portugués

Roy Uprichard has a new book on Amazon kindle for just .99 cents.  It’s called: Stone and Water – Walking the Spiritual Variant of the Camino Portuguese. Roy asks that you download, share and consider leaving a review on Amazon, to make it easier for others to find it. The preface is written by Celestino Lores, President of the Friends of the Camino Portugués. Available on

Let the games begin!

Monthly Lake Merritt Walk in Oakland
Saturday, May 6, 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.    Details and RSVP on NorCal Facebook Group.
Heads up, from Guy Joaquin: This weekend, Lake Merritt BART station will be closed. 19th Street/Oakland is the other closest BART station to our meeting point at the Lake Merritt Pergola.

The next Lake Merritt walk will be on Saturday, June 3, 2017. If you are in the Bay Area, join the Peregrinos Northern California Facebook Group to get details on this and other events.

Weekend Camino Retreat

Marin Headlands Retreat
Friday to Sunday, May 19 to 21, 2017

UPDATE: The event is now full, but we are maintaining a waiting list. Contact us at for space availability and more details.

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city to the peace and quiet of the Marin Headlands on this weekend “retreat” at the Marin Headlands Hostel. We’ll tackle hikes with spectacular views, take part in a day of outdoor adventures, and, of course, spend time together swapping Camino stories and lessons.

We’ll hike in from San Francisco, starting at the Ferry Building, and wind our way along the waterfront all the way to Chrissy Field to stop for lunch. Then we’ll cross the Golden Gate Bridge and head west through the headlands along the Coastal Trail to the hostel to begin our 3-day, 2-night stay. The next day, we’ll be led by a naturalist for an outdoor educational program that includes a visit to the Point Bonita Lighthouse and finishes with a guided night hike. On our final day, we’ll hike out through the Gerbode Valley to Marin City and catch a bus back to San Francisco.

* Day 1 (Friday, May 19): San Francisco Ferry Building to Marin Headlands Hostel, 8:00 AM meet up, 13 mi/930 ft
* Day 2 (Saturday, May 20): Marin Headlands hikes w/ professional naturalist (Day Hike: 11 AM departure, 5 mi/200 ft; Night Hike: 7 PM departure, 3 mi/50 ft)
* Day 3 (Sunday, May 21): Marin Headlands Hostel to Marin City, 10:30 AM departure, 6 mi/873 ft and return to San Francisco (Civic Center) by bus around 4:00 PM

COST: There is a total cost of $135 per person for items we have arranged for our stay at the hostel (coed dorm room with bunk beds for two nights and use of hostel facilities); meal Supplies (2 group dinners, “DIY” bag lunches and self-service breakfasts); and outdoor program (2 naturalist-led hikes).

Spanish Language Basics for the Camino

The universal pilgrim greeting (in Spanish) on a sign outside of Santo Domingo on the Camino Francés. Photo courtesy of Guy Joaquin.

Berkeley, California
Sundays, May 28, June 4 & 11, 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM

Leaving soon on your Camino and need to learn some Spanish basics? Or perhaps you already know some Spanish and just need a refresher and some practice? In any case, here is an opportunity to increase your awareness of the Spanish language and to help make your Camino and the transition into Spanish culture a more familiar and comfortable one.

These will not be formal language classes. Rather, they will be meetings in which we will focus on the language challenges that, as pilgrims, you are likely to encounter on the Camino. While we will talk about culture, history, food, wine and many other day-to-day aspects of Spanish life, our ultimate objective will be to increase your language skills. Familiarity with the Spanish spoken in Spain will make the cultural transition easier for you and ultimately pay off with more satisfying human interactions along the Camino. Our meetings will be informal, in a comfortable environment and geared to making the review of Spanish an enjoyable experience. Coffee, tea and cookies will be available to enhance this learning opportunity.

TEACHER: Emilio Escudero will lead the classes. He is fluent in Spanish, has walked the Camino a number of times, knows the culture well and will focus on Castilian Spanish, the Spanish you can expect to hear along the Camino. Emilio is also a chapter steering committee member and on the American Pilgrims Board of Directors.

WHEN: Three consecutive Sunday afternoons (May 28, June 4 & 11) from 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM.

WHERE: Emilio’s home in Berkeley (address will be provided in email that will be sent the week prior to the first meeting).

SPACE: Class size is limited to 12 participants, with priority to those who can make a commitment to attend all 3 meetings.

MEMBERSHIP: As a member benefit, we are first accepting registrations from American Pilgrims members. Please be sure that your membership is current before registering so that you are listed in the member database. To join or renew, go to If space is still available by the week of May 14, we will send out a reminder announcement, and from that time, registration will be open to all.

SIGN UP: Go to our Online Registration Page at

Upcoming POLES Seminars 2017

Limited Participation Classes are kept small so each person can get individualized attention. 

  • Classes can fill, so please sign up early or get onto the wait list.
  • Very low cost class fees help to support local parks/programs.
  • Register by calling the number listed or check calendar for links.

Learn much more about classes, times and sign up info on Calendar at Check website for details, free support group meetings, product info, pole purchase consultation, tutorials & more.

Private Meet-up Groups available for poles class attendees.
Mobility: PoleWalking   Hiking:  AdventureBuddies

  • Mobility classes feature indoor practice and optional lovely pole walks.
  • Hiking class locations scheduled seasonally for optimal trail and weather conditions, views and flowers or shade.

REI Free Clinics in May, June & July.  Hiking with POLES & Fitness for the Trail & for LIFE!

Hiking with POLES: Skills & Techniques BASICS  (for all level hikers)

Half day seminar helps hikers learn poles, trail and body skills. Beginner to experienced hikers will learn techniques without the additional time or challenge of a practice hike. Uphill: Improve power, endurance, spine function.

Downhill: Develop skills for feeling safer and preserving joints – Save your knees!

  • Thurs, May 11 Avenidas Senior Center, Palo Alto Foothills Park 650-289-5400
  • Thurs, June 1        Live Oak Park, Berkeley  510-981-5150   Easy terrain – very light hiking, hybrid class
  • Thurs, June 22 Roberts/Redwood Regional  888-EBParks

 Learn How to Use POLES for Hiking & Outdoor Exercise (Skills Class PLUS Practice Hike)

Learn everything in the Basic Skills & Techniques class PLUS enjoy serenely-beautiful seasonally-appropriate Practice Hike.  Learn individualized strategies for improving your performance on varied uphill and downhill trails. “Test drive” different pole models; learn which fit you best. Hikes 3 to 5 miles.

  • Sun, May 14 Friends of Mt. Tam, Mt. Tam – check calendar
  • Sat, August 19 Pacifica Coastal Training & Hike (often includes whale watching), check calendar

POLES 2 & 3 – Practice Hikes (Basic Skills or Day hiking class prerequisite)

Refine/expand skills, review, practice and learn pole and trail tips to help you more fully enjoy your poles and the outdoors. On practice hikes, we have more time to delve into the nuance of your most excellent form.   “Test Drive” poles.

  • Sat, May 13 Poles 3 + Yoga: Sunol Regional Wilderness, 888-EBParks   bucolic & full of flowers

Learn How to Use POLES for Balance, Mobility and Walking

Easy-to-learn pole techniques and gentle exercises empower people with mobility challenges to maintain walking form, navigate everyday obstacles, reduce risk of falling, restore spine function, improve stamina and strengthen muscles that support weight-bearing joints. Optional lovely practice PoleWalk.  Special balance poles & tips provided.
Date: Wed, June 28 Margaret Todd Senior Center, Novato, 415-899-8290

Save the Date!

Incline Village/Mt. Rose, Nevada at N. Lake Tahoe
Friday, July 21 – Sunday, July 23

An open invitation to pilgrims, both those who have walked the Caminos to Santiago de Compostela and those who are planning to walk. Learn more at:
4th Annual Lake Tahoe Pilgrim Rendezvous.

Please note that this event is not organized, endorsed or sponsored by American Pilgrims on the Camino; it is only being shared with you because we believe it might be of interest to you as a pilgrim.

2017patchIf you are planning to walk a Camino this year, check out the new Camino Provides 2017 patch. The theme this year is LOVE. The rainbow design was inspired by chakras, love, peace, and pride.  Just $4 each at

My mission is to celebrate the Camino de Santiago and the pilgrim’s journey, from the Calling to Compostela and beyond. I do this by sharing informative tips on training, gear, and routes; by promoting Camino related events in the Bay Area; by interviewing pilgrims and sharing inspiring stories; and by curating content relevant to the Camino.  Purchase help to defray the costs of hosting and managing this blog so that I can keep sharing the Camino love!

There are always opportunities to train for or learn about the Camino. If you know of any Camino related events for the SF Bay Area that should be included in the monthly roundup, please use the comment form below, or email me.

For those who live elsewhere, there are Camino hotspots all over the USA and the American Pilgrims on the Camino (APOC) website has a listing of local chapters where you can find Camino events. There are also many active Facebook groups to learn about events in your region. Check your local REI store for workshops and presentations about the Camino. Check for events in your area.

apoclogoVisit the Northern California Chapter page on the APOC website.

Join the Peregrinos Northern California Facebook group (closed group for Northern California residents only)

Buen Camino!

Digame, por favor.

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