Camino and Hiking Events July – August

Dear Friends,

July is a special month for the Camino de Santiago. The Apostle James, the reason for the Camino pilgrimage, is celebrated throughout the world on July 25th, his designated saint’s day. In Santiago de Compostela, Saint James is honored in a spectacular way on July 24th, with fireworks and a multimedia show in the Praza do Obradoiro. Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, our chapter offers unique events to celebrate St. James.  See below for the lineup of Camino-related events and hikes in July.

Lake Merritt Walk in Oakland – Every First Saturday
Saturday, July 6, 10:30 AM

Lake Merritt Walk June 2019

Join our popular and easy walk that takes place on the first Saturday of the month, rain or shine. Meet at the Pergola (aka “The Columns”) on the east side of Oakland’s Lake Merritt at 10:30 AM and start walking by 10:45 AM. It’s a level, 3.3-mile walk around the lake that takes about an hour. Whether you’re a newbie or Camino veteran, everyone is welcome. Bring your questions, answers and pilgrim spirit! But leave the dogs at home (for insurance purposes.) Stay for lunch after the walk at a local restaurant, location TBD. If you’re on the NorCal Facebook group, join event.

Attention members attending this walk: Be the first to check out items from our revamped NorCal Chapter Library! It’s as easy as Uno – Dos – Tres!
1. Request up to 3 items using the new form:
2. Pick up your items at the Lake Merritt walk from a library volunteer and write your name on the item’s pocket card. You may keep them for up to 4 weeks.
3. Return items to a library volunteer at the next Lake Merritt walk or NorCal chapter event (per request form)

Silicon Valley Chapter Meet and Greet
Sunday, July 14, 3 pm
Panera Bread Los Gatos

Come join our friendly neighbors in the sunny South Bay for a Meet and Greet at Panera Bread in Los Gatos. This is a great opportunity to get together to talk Camino. If you are thinking about or planning a Camino, Camino veterans will be there to talk with you about all things Camino-routes, what to pack, etc!

Address: 15200 Los Gatos Blvd. Suite 100 Los Gatos, CA 95032
Click for directions

If you’re a member of their Facebook group, click here to join event.

Using Poles for Hiking & Outdoor Exercise
With Jayah Faye Paley (highly recommended!)

Free Sessions at REI stores: July 17 Berkeley; July  24 Corte Madera

Power & performance with trekking poles! Whether you’re a beginner hiker, a back packer, a cross-training athlete or someone who faces mobility challenges, learn how and why optimal use of poles significantly improves your performance and confidence on the trail. Using poles while hiking or walking engages your whole body and is terrific exercise. Save your knees as well as improve endurance, balance, spine function, agility, core strength and weight management. Optimal use of poles means achieving the many benefits without creating stress or strain in the hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, even the neck. This session will include a discussion of movements and techniques that provide a noticeable difference in your spine function and posture. Jayah Faye Paley, creator of two award-winning DVDs (one for hikers and one for people with mobility challenges) (, will discuss how anatomically-optimal use of poles can expand your horizons and make it easier to enjoy the trails. You spend less time looking at your feet and more time really being in nature.

Wednesday, July 17, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Berkeley REI
Register here

Wednesday, July 24, 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Corte Madera REI
Register here

REI Camino 101: Resources
July 23,  6:30 – 8:30 PM
REI – Sacramento
Click for details

Join the Sacramento Pilgrims the last session of their 3-part Camino 101 Series:  Resources!

REI – Sacramento
1790 Expo Pkwy
Sacramento, CA 95819 United States
+ Google Map

The Sacramento Pilgrims chapter is also having an event on St. James Day:
A Night of Camino 10×10’s
July 25 @ 7:00 pm
 – 9:00 pm
Arden-Dimick Library in Sacramento
891 Watt Ave
Sacramento, CA 95821 United States
+ Google Map

Follow Sacramento Pilgrims Chapter.

Saint James Day Potluck and Presentation with Guest Speaker Alexander John Shaia
Thursday, July 25, 6 – 9:30 pm
Corpus Christi Catholic Church, Piedmont, CA

Corpus Christi Catholic Church

Date / Time: 
Thursday, July 25, 6 – 9:30 PM
Doors open at 5:30 PM (We appreciate volunteers to help with setup or cleanup)
6 – 7:45 PM Potluck Dinner and Shell Ceremony for NorCal Chapter Members
8 – 9 PM – Presentation by Alexander Shaia, book signing to follow

RSVP required by July 24 at:

322 St. James DrLocation:
Corpus Christi Catholic Church, Gibson Center
322 St. James Drive, Piedmont, CA 94611
A free parking lot is located at the Corpus Christi school behind the church at 1 Estates Drive. As always, we encourage carpools, public transportation and Lyft or Uber.

The Gibson Center is downstairs from the west side of the parking lot.

The Gibson Center at Corpus Christi

More details will be emailed to NorCal chapter subscribers.  Sign up for our NorCal Chapter Email list. Email for questions.

Presentation by Dr. Alexander John Shaia:

St James: The Despairing Evangelist Who Becomes An Inspiring Pilgrim
A Story for Today

Have you walked, or ever had the calling to walk the Camino de Santiago in Spain? One of the three major Christian pilgrimages together with Rome and Jerusalem, the Camino follows various ancient paths to the tomb of St James located in the crypt of the Santiago Cathedral.

Join the Northern California chapter of American Pilgrims on the Camino for a special presentation by Alexander John Shaia, internationally sought speaker, author and guide who annually mentors a small band of pilgrims walking the Camino.

Alexander Shaia

Alexander will give an overview of St. James’ life and spirituality as well as speak of pilgrimage as a contemporary rite of passage and an extended practice of mindfulness. Alexander’s most recent book, Returning From Camino, is the first book to address the spiritual and psychological needs of a pilgrim upon returning home.  For more information on Alexander’s life and work, see 

Returning From Camino, by Alexander John Shaia

Available on

Returning From Camino (2019, 2nd Edition) 

Whether you are a pilgrim on the Camino, or elsewhere in the world, this is the first guidebook that physically, mentally and emotionally prepares you to return home.

“I wish this book had existed when I walked my first Camino!”
Lydia B. Smith – Producer/Director of the Documentary:
Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago


Heart and Mind

Available on

Heart and Mind: The-Four Gospel Journey for Radical Transformation

“Dr. Shaia gives us back our central sacred text, the Four Gospels, not as conflicted and faulty historical records, but as a vibrant, luminous path of transformation.”
-Marc Andrus, Episcopal Bishop, Diocese of California

Alexander’s books will be available for purchase (cash or credit card) after the talk.  He will be delighted to sign them.

An Evening of Flamenco
Friday, July 26, 8 – 11 pm
The Sound Room, Oakland

The Sound Room
Flamenco is a form of song, dance, and instrumental (mostly guitar) music. Its roots are in Romany, Andalusian, Arabic, and possibly Spanish Jewish folk song and, according to some scholars, in Byzantine and Indian religious chant. Flamenco developed from the 14th century onward as the Roma became part of the rich cultural mix that characterized Andalusian society at that time.

Flamenco is… – lush, mesmerizing guitar work – melodic, compelling song – exquisite dance
Flamenco is… – an art form
Dancers: Fanny Ara & Mizuho Sato
Percussion: Marlon Aldana
Guitar: David McLean
Vocalist: Superb touring star; a special treat

Advanced Seating at 7P, General admission at 7:30P, Music at 8P. Beverages and small plates available for purchase $20 – $25 Get Tickets

St. James Day Walk
Saturday, July 27, 10 AM
San Francisco, CA

Help us continue celebrating St. James Day (a couple of days after our potluck on the official July 25th feast day) with a walk in San Francisco that begins at the Balboa Park BART station and ends at the St. James Church in the Mission District. This year’s route takes us through the Excelsior District to John McLaren Park where we’ll walk a portion of the “Philosopher’s Way.” After lunch, we’ll continue park-hopping through Bernal Heights and into the Mission with a stop at Balmy Alley to view the murals before arriving at the church for the 4:15 PM vigil mass. You’re welcome to attend the mass or leave at that point. You can also head to El Valenciano Bar & Grill nearby on Valencia St. where we’ll regroup for dinner at 5:30 PM. RSVP required (see below for instructions).
Meet us at 10:00 AM outside the Balboa Park BART station on the Ocean Ave. side for check-in and briefing. There are restrooms in the station before exiting the gates. Total distance is about 8 miles mostly on sidewalks and dirt trails with several hills and an elevation gain of 896 feet. Uphill treks are short, but steep so come prepared with poles. We expect to finish the walk portion by 3:45 PM. Led by chapter members Sue López and Merula Furtado.
RSVP Required: To help us with planning, use our online RSVP page at to respond by Thursday, July 25.
Optional Dinner: This year, we’ll meet for dinner at El Valenciano at 5:30 PM. It’s a larger venue than Esperpento (currently under renovation) and the chef/owner has offered to put together a special Mediterranean/Palestinian prix fixe menu for our group at $25 per person (includes tip and tax). Alcohol is not included in the price, but the place has a full bar.
Getting Back from Church/Restaurant: Use the 24th Street Mission BART station (0.5 mi away).
What to Bring: Water, snacks, a bag lunch and hat/sun protection. Layers as it might be sunny or cold, or both. Walking poles (with rubber tips!) are recommended for the hills. Cash ($25) for dinner if you plan to join.
This event is not co-sponsored by the St. James Church and is open to all. For insurance purposes, we are unable to welcome dogs, except service animals, at our events.

St. James Day Special Offers

Karin Kiser is offering the digital editions of her two Camino books at a discount on July 25 to celebrate St James Day and to get the word out about trash collection efforts. Part of the proceeds goes toward cleaning up the Camino. Your Inner Camino and After the Camino will be available on Amazon for $4.99 on July 25 from 12:00am to 11:00pm PDT via these links:

Your Inner Camino: Your Pocket Guide to Inspiration and Transformation Along the Camino de Santiago

After the Camino: Your Pocket Guide to Integrating the Camino de Santiago into Your Daily Life

Read the interview with Karin Kiser, author and peregrina who has been spotted picking up trash on the  Camino! Karin recently published two mini guidebooks, Your Inner Camino and After the Camino.

     After the Camino

I brought the green booklet on my Camino because I like to have something meaningful to read each day, yet the small size didn’t weigh me down. I’ll read the yellow one soon, because the PCBs (post-Camino Blues) are a thing! The books are available in Spanish too. Order the paperbacks at:
Order the Kindle edition on Amazon.

Northern California Chapter T-Shirts

NorCal T-Shirts in lightweight tri-blend fabric with the shell design on front and “Solvitur Ambulando – It is solved by walking” on the back.

Free Shipping with $35 or more purchase!

The Camino Provides Patches
St. James Special: 7 for $25

The 7/25 patch offer is back! Buy 7 patches for $25 and get free shipping through July 25, 2019. Use this link to purchase.
Free shipping US (Reg $3.85)
Free shipping International (Reg $5.85)

The Camino Provides 2019 Patch

The Camino Provides 2019 Rainbow Patch $4 on Etsy

Choose 2019 or original design (no date).  Use this link to purchase 7 for $25.
You can mix and match! Just write quantity of each design in order note.

Original (no date) and 2019 patches are $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.  Purchases help to defray the costs of hosting and managing this blog so that I can keep sharing the Camino love!

To everyone heading out on a pilgrimage or staying home, Buen Camino!


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 hot spots 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.

Northern California Chapter - American Pilgrims on the CaminoSubscribe to our NorCal Chapter email list.

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


Visit the Northern California Chapter page on the American Pilgrims on the Camino website.


4 thoughts on “Camino and Hiking Events July – August

  1. Pingback: Yoga & Wellness Newsletter July 2019 – Laurie Ferris Yoga & Wellness

  2. Pingback: Yoga & Wellness Newsletter August – Laurie Ferris Yoga & Wellness

  3. Pingback: Yoga & Wellness Newsletter September – Laurie Ferris Yoga & Wellness

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