Camino and Hiking Events in November 2019

Hola, peregrinos.  Below is the roundup of Camino events and hikes in the SF Bay Area.

Packing for your pilgrimage walk on the Camino de Santiago
7:00 PM  –  8:30 PM
Berkeley REI

Packing for walking the Camino may seem overwhelming, but in this informative presentation by experienced Camino hikers Laurie Ferris and Susan Alcorn, you can put your concerns to rest. On their own Caminos, both have learned much about what to bring and what not to bring. They’ll discuss backpacks, clothing, shoes, sleeping gear, hiking poles, toiletries, and more. They’ll also talk about how to pack a backpack so that it’s most comfortable. Laurie and Susan are not in total agreement on what items are best to bring–and hope that new hikers will find it reassuring that there is no ONE right way–there are many right ways. They are in agreement about keeping the weight of your pack low and not packing based on fears. Laurie Ferris is co-coordinator of the Northern CA chapter of American Pilgrims and has hiked the Camino Ingles, Portuguese, Primitivo, and Invierno routes. Susan Alcorn, author of two Camino books, has hiked the Frances, Norte, Primitivo, Portuguese and more.

Register for Berkeley event on Nov. 6, 2019

It’s an honor to be co-presenting with Susan Alcorn. She wrote the first book I read about the Camino, Camino Chronicle, and has a great website and monthly newsletter.  A few years ago, Susan wrote a guest post, Love and Life on the Camino, which is featured on my Love, Camino Style page.

Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago Film Screening
Friday, November 8, 6:00 – 9:30 PM

Walking the Camino fundraiser

Watch the compelling film Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago in a private screening at 3rd Street Cinemas. Meet Lydia B. Smith, Director/Producer during Q & A.

Doors open at 6:00 PM
Film begins at 7:00 PM

3rd St. Cinemas
620 Third St. Santa Rosa, California

Here is the ticket/website link:

San Francisco Waterfront Walk
Saturday, November 9, 10 AM – 3:30 PM

SF Waterfront Walk

SF Waterfront Walk

Join us in exploring the San Francisco waterfront – its history and modern developments. Mike Miller, a veteran peregrino and a San Francisco City Guide (, will lead a walking tour of San Francisco’s northern waterfront from the Ferry Building to Levi’s Plaza and along the way talk about the freeway revolt, the establishment and decline of the Port of San Francisco, the Pacific Coast Maritime Strike and San Francisco General Strike of 1934, architectural and financial innovations along the waterfront (did you know that your VISA card has its roots on the San Francisco waterfront?), the life and times of the Barbary Coast – Shanghaied sailors and other nefarious goings-on in San Francisco’s wild west – and much more. Mike and his City Guide colleagues give this tour styled “Making Waves Upon the Waterfront” on a regular, open to the public basis, but we will have a special Northern California Chapter private tour. The distance covered is approximately one mile and flat, but with stops and interpretation, will take a bit over two hours.

We will pause for lunch at the park at Levi’s Plaza (bring a bag lunch) and after lunch, continue on to explore the new Transbay Terminal with its remarkable design and rooftop event space, garden, horticultural exhibits and children’s play space. You might even ride the funicular from the street level plaza to the roof! And then on to the Rincon Annex and its scandalous murals dating from the years following World War II, depicting the history of California, and San Francisco in particular. The artist was openly a Communist and his works at that post office attracted the interest of a young legislator, Richard Nixon, who proposed that they be painted over and thus destroyed. This excursion will add an additional 1.6 miles of gentle walking. Across the street from the Annex is the Rose Mexicali where those having interest can enjoy a post-walk refreshment. The Embarcadero BART/Muni Station is a block away.

GETTING THERE: Meet us at 10:00 AM under the clock tower on the Embarcadero side of the Ferry Building. BART and Muni to the Embarcadero Station. If you are driving, parking facilities are in the general vicinity, but public transportation is recommended. We expect to finish around 3:30 PM.

WHAT TO BRING: Water, snacks, a bag lunch and sun protection. The entire route is exposed. Cash and/or a credit card for parking. Hiking poles welcome, but not needed. Restrooms are available at the Ferry Building, Levi’s Plaza, the Transbay Terminal and Rincon Center.

No RSVP required. All are welcome. Cancelled by rain. For insurance purposes, we are unable to welcome dogs, except service animals, at our events.

Silicon Valley Chapter Event: Unpacking the Camino
Sunday, November 10th, 12 PM
1593 Trevor Dr, San Jose, CA

Boot sculpture on rock

One of the challenges of walking the Camino is the re-entry into our everyday life at the conclusion of our pilgrimage. At “Unpacking the Camino” everyone will have the opportunity to reflect and participate in the discussion with other pilgrims. The event is for everyone, not just those who walked this year, but anyone who walked in the past or hopes to walk in the future.  This is a potluck, so please bring a dish to share. Meet at 12 noon for the potluck, followed by our discussion. Parking is available on the street. We hope to see you there!

Event for American Pilgrims on the Camino – Silicon Valley Chapter
RSVP on the Facebook event
Hosted by Judy Barnes, Silicon Valley Pilgrims Chapter Coordinator

Welcome Home Potluck
Oakland, California
Saturday, November 16, 10:00 AM – 3 PM

St Augustine Catholic Church

St Augustine Catholic Church (our event is in the building on the right)

Help us celebrate our returning pilgrims at our annual Welcome Home Potluck. We’ll be gathering at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Oakland, near the border with Berkeley. This year, our spotlight is on volunteer hospitaleros. We’ll have a group presentation on the how the American Pilgrims training program got started; what it consists of and how assignments are made; and hear personal accounts from veteran hospitaleros – what the work is like, the joys, the challenges. As always, returnees will have an opportunity to share a little about their experience and we’ll take our Camino “Class of” photos. RSVP required (see below).

Doors open at 9:30 AM and we plan to finish up by 3:00 PM. If you can help with setting up, meet us at 9:00 AM. We also need help with cleaning up afterwards. All are welcome.

RSVP: To help us with planning, a response is required. Use our online RSVP page at to respond by Thursday, November 14. Please, responses via the online page only.

Getting There
By Car: Use Google Maps or your favorite map app for directions. St. Augustine is located at 400 Alcatraz Ave. off of College Ave. in Oakland ( The church is on the right side between Dana and Colby Streets when heading west towards the bay and the parking lot entrance is on the left side of the building. Meet us on the bottom floor of the gym/multi-use building across the courtyard on the right side of the church (follow our yellow arrows).

By BART/Bus/Foot: From the Rockridge BART station, take AC Transit bus 51B towards the Berkeley campus and offboard at College/Alcatraz (15 min). Walk west on Alcatraz Ave. to St. Augustine (0.3 mi). To walk from the station, head north along College Ave. towards campus and turn left on Alcatraz Ave. (0.7 mi).

What to Bring
Your favorite dish or drink to share. Extra points for something from the Camino. Wine counts, too! Here’s a request to cover our bases: If your last name begins with A-P, bring a food dish (main, side, salad with serving utensils). If it begins with Q-Z, bring a dessert or beverage (coffee will be provided). We’ll have 3×5 index cards on hand to make a label for your dish.

Be Green! BYOP
We encourage you to bring your own plates, cups and utensils to help us to minimize trash and reduce costs on disposable items. There is a kitchen to wash items after use.

El Gordo
El Gordo (the Grand Prize) is the nickname for the popular Spanish Christmas Lottery. Our version is technically a raffle of Camino-related and inspired items for prizes, but no less fun and exciting. Tickets can be purchased at the sign-in table and during the event for $5 each or $20 for five. There’ll be books, stickers, clothing, maybe a map and more! If you can contribute a new/near new item, let us know in an email to We’ll still have our donativo box available for a cash contribution. Your generosity helps us cover our event expenses (room, supplies) and allows us to devote more of our resources to our goals that include supporting the Camino infrastructure through our grant program.

El Rastro
El Rastro is a gigantic flea market in Madrid. Bring your excess gear, memorabilia, guidebooks and other good “junk” you thought you needed, but don’t anymore. There will be an area to display your items. This will be a “cash-free” zone. Bring it and forget it! See something you want? Take it.

For insurance purposes, we are unable to welcome dogs, except service animals, at our events.


San Francisco to Sausalito Hike
Sunday, December 1st CANCELLED

Regrettably, we have cancelled this event due to the forecast of heavy rain. We hope to reschedule it later in December.
Details will be shared to our NorCal chapter email subscribers and added to this space soon.

Lake Merritt Walk + Optional Camino Presentation
Saturday, December 7th
10:30 AM – 2 PM

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.)  If you’re on the NorCal Facebook group, join event. Stay for the presentation at the Lakeview Library (details below).

Camino Presentation: What I did different on my 2nd Camino
1 – 2 PM

Speaker: Leo Halim
Host: Laurie Ferris, Northern California Chapter Coordinator
Join the Northern California Chapter for a presentation by Camino pilgrim Leo Halim.
Having walked his first Camino in 2017, Leo will share some of the things that he did differently when he went on his second Camino two years later in 2019. Laurie will also share some tips and tricks that she has learned on her four Caminos. Whether you’re a first-timer or seasoned veteran, you’re sure to pick up invaluable info, tips and tricks for your next Camino!

Location: Lakeview Library at Lake Merritt, near the columns where we meet for our monthly walks.
550 El Embarcadero, Oakland, CA 94610
As always, we encourage carpools, public transportation, and Lyft or Uber as parking is limited in the area on Saturdays.

Saturday, December 7,  1 – 2 PM
Doors open at 12:30 PM for socializing and setup
Sorry, no food is allowed in the library.

No RSVP required. If you attend the Lake Merritt walk which usually ends around noon, you will have time to get a quick lunch, enjoy a picnic, move your car, or socialize with other pilgrims before the presentation begins.

Details of these events will be emailed to NorCal Chapter subscribers and shared on our Facebook Group.

Silicon Valley Chapter’s Holiday Social
Sunday, December 8th, 1 PM
2317 Brittan Ave, San Carlos, California

Come join the Silicon Valley to celebrate the holidays! This is a potluck, so please bring a dish to share. Hope to see you all there.
Parking is available on the street.

Event for American Pilgrims on the Camino – Silicon Valley Chapter
RSVP on the Facebook event
Hosted by Judy Barnes, Silicon Valley Pilgrims Chapter Coordinator

That’s a wrap for November. Happy Thanksgiving!


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.

Digame, por favor.

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