Camino and Hiking Events in December 2019

Winter is a time to slow down and enjoy the holidays with family, but it is also a great time to train for the Camino. I have found that the climate in Galicia in springtime is similar to that in Northern California—a wild mix of rain, wind, fog, and sunshineso you can test your own endurance along with your rain gear.  This month, Bay Area pilgrims can join chapter socials, presentations, trekking poles workshop, a winter solstice hike, and a Flamenco show. Enjoy!

Happy Holidays & Buen Camino

Sacramento Social: Stocking Stuffers, Pilgrim Office, and 10×10s, Oh My!
Thursday, December 5th, 7 –  9 PM

Join the Sacramento Chapter at the Arden Dimick Library’s Community Room for a full evening of Camino camaraderie!

Stocking Stuffer ideas for your Favorite Pilgrim (and that might be you!)
Sacramento pilgrim Roxanne Morgan presents some tried and true Camino gifts are likely to please any lucky pilgrim.

Serving at the Pilgrims Office in Santiago
Sacramento Chapter Coordinator Andy Byers will talk about his experience serving in the Pilgrims Office this fall in Santiago de Compostela.

Camino 10×10s
Sacramento pilgrim Raya Hazini will present her unique Camino 10×10 journey. This is a free event and open to all!

Arden Dimick Library – 891 Watt Ave (Watt at Northrop)
Sacramento + Google Map
More details at:

Lake Merritt Walk + 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. Attend the Camino presentation at the Lakeview Library after the walk. 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.

As always, we encourage carpools, public transportation, and Lyft or Uber as parking is limited in the area on Saturdays. The Lake Merritt walk usually ends around noon, so you will have time to get a quick lunch from farmers market, move your car, or socialize with other pilgrims before the presentation begins.

Camino Presentation: What I Did Differently on my 2nd Camino
Saturday, December 7th, 1 – 2 PM

Leo Halim
Guest Speaker: Leo Halim, Concord, CA

Join us after the monthly Lake Merritt walk for a pilgrim talk with 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. From data plans to blister prevention strategy, Leo has some helpful tips to consider.

After his talk, we welcome other pilgrims to share some lessons learned on their 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

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

Leo’s Camino Experience: 
Camino Portugués Coastal from Porto – May 2017 – Group of 5 pilgrims – 12 days
Camino Primitivo from Oviedo – May 2019 – Group of 8 pilgrims – 16 days

Questions? Contact Laurie Ferris, Northern California Chapter Co-Coordinator

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

Join the Silicon Valley to celebrate the holidays! This is a potluck, so please bring a dish to share.  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

Hiking Poles: Skills & Techniques Plus Hike
Saturday, December 14, 9 AM – 3 PM
Tilden Park, Berkeley, California

Pole Walking & Pole Hiking: Learning how to use poles helps walkers & hikers improve endurance, posture, balance, confidence, strength and enhances your enjoyment of the outdoors all year long. All levels focus on learning anatomically-optimal techniques to achieve your desired performance while learning how to avoid joint stress or strain. Carefully select the class that best suits your physical ability and inclination. A variety of top quality poles are provided at all seminars.

Location: Tilden Park: Orchard Picnic Site
Price: $75.00 (Resident) $83.00 (Non-resident)
Details and Registration

This is the new date for this event that was cancelled earlier this month.

San Francisco to Sausalito Hike
San Francisco, California
Sunday, December 15, 10:00 AM

SF to Sausalito Hike

Join us on a hike from San Francisco to Sausalito: Walk along the waterfront through Fisherman’s Wharf, across the Golden Gate Bridge and then into Sausalito. It will be a moderately paced hike, mostly on flat pavement with lots of wonderful view stops. However, be advised that there is a steep uphill segment to the bridge and a steep downhill. We will return to San Francisco on the 5:35 PM ferry (bring a Clipper Card). Because the hike is 12 miles, it is recommended for experienced hikers who have done at least three 8-10 mile hikes recently.

Golden Gate Bridge from Conzelman Road on the Marin side.

Bring: sturdy walking shoes, water and lunch. Meet: under the clock outside the entrance to the San Francisco Ferry Building at 10:00 AM. We leave at 10:15 AM sharp. Early birds (take earlier train) can join us for coffee inside the building at Peet’s. Take: BART and avoid the hassle of driving and parking. Catch the train which leaves from Walnut Creek (or other stations along the line) at 8:54 AM (or 9:14 AM) and arrives at Embarcadero at 9:29 AM (9:49 AM). Walk across the street (Embarcadero) to the Ferry Building. People from Marin can take a Golden Gate bus to downtown SF. Return: to the Ferry Building at 6:05 PM via ferry. Leader: Dick Duker. Level of Difficulty: 3A (10 to less than 15 miles, less than 1,000 ft elevation gain).

Cancelled by rain. We will go in drizzle. If weather is questionable, call Dick’s landline for an update message at (510) 526-5530. If running late on day of hike, notify Dick at (510) 705-2447 and then take a street car along the Embarcadero to catch us at Pier 39 as we walk past.

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

Meet the Solstice Sun Hike
Saturday, December 21st, 8 – 10 AM
Tilden Nature Area, Berkeley

Rise with the sun, on this early morning hike. We meet at the Nature Center and hike to the peak in hopes of greeting the solstice sun. BYOC – Bring your own Coffee!

No registration; Drop-in program only.
For information, click here, or call 510-544-2233
Map: Tilden Nature Area

An Evening of Flamenco

The Sound Room, Oakland

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. Featuring David McLean-guitar, Marlon Aldana-percussion,  two dancers and special guest vocalist.

Advanced Seating at 7P, General admission at 7:30P, Music at 8P. Beverages and food available for purchase.
Tickets $20 – $25
Tried and true! I have been to three Flamenco shows here and enjoyed them all.  They have a good menu, including local beer, wine, and sangria. Ole! This is a small venue and seats will sell out fast. Arrive early for seats closest to the stage and to place your dinner order.


Camino Presentation: Wellness on the Way with Laurie Ferris (that’s me!)
Saturday, January 4th, 2020
1 – 2 PM (after the Lake Merritt Walk)

Our walk usually ends around noon, so you will have time to get a quick lunch, enjoy a picnic, move your car, or socialize with other pilgrims before the presentation begins at 1 PM.

PILGRIM TALK: “Wellness on the Way” with Laurie Ferris
Discover the wellness that is inherent on the Camino. Explore the reasons why it makes us feel so good, and why we keep coming back. We know that being surrounded by kindred spirits and walking in nature have obvious benefits. What about unplugging, forest bathing, mindful walking, or doing something completely out of our comfort zone? In a world of French fries, bocadillos and churros, is it possible to eat healthy on the Camino? From survival and sustenance to inexpensive luxuries and creative play—Laurie hopes to encourage pilgrims to become their own wellness ambassadors along the Way.

“Necessity is the mother of invention.”

After Laurie’s talk, we welcome other pilgrims to share their own wellness tips learned on their 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!

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.

Join the event on our Facebook Group.

The Sacramento Chapter of the American Pilgrims on the Camino has organized a three-part Camino 101 Series at Sacramento REI.

REI Camino 101 Series – First Steps
January 8,  6:30 pm
8:30 pm

Camino 101:  First Steps
So, you have decided to walk the Camino de Santiago? Making the decision to walk the Camino oftentimes brings into focus many practical questions that need answers. Free event at the Sacramento Cal Expo REI, however, you must register to reserve a seat: Register Here

REI Camino 101: Gear & Packing Tips
February 12, 6:30 pm
8:30 pm
Find out more »

REI Camino 101: Resources
March 4, 6:30 pm
8:30 pm
Find out more »

Annual Gathering of Pilgrims
Honoring the Past… Welcoming the Future

Thursday, March 12 – Sunday, March 15, 2020
Zephyr Point Conference Center
Zephyr Cove (Lake Tahoe), NV
See details at

2020 Gathering of Pilgrims Flyer

The Gathering will run from late afternoon Thursday through noon on Sunday. We’re planning many interesting and helpful presentations on different routes, pilgrim first aid, history, a shell ceremony and singing of “Ultreia” for pilgrims walking their first Camino this year, movies and entertainment and of course, our popular silent auction and raffle.

Registration will open in January and details emailed to all members of American Pilgrims on the Camino. Hope to see you there!

Our Northern California Chapter’s Shell Blessing  and Potluck dates will be announced soon and details added to this website.  Stay tuned.

That’s a wrap for December. Happy Holidays, and Buen Camino!


PS: Artists, writers, crafters, and creatives: I plan to publish my annual Camino-Inspired Gifts for the Holidays soon. I’m a little delayed, but there’s still time if you’d like to submit something created in the last year, email me at  Please include a brief blurb, price,  one image, and a link for more details.  If you have no idea what I’m talking about, see last year’s post.

Happy Holidays & 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.

One thought on “Camino and Hiking Events in December 2019

  1. Hi Laurie,

    It was go great meeting you at your welcome home event. Just arrived in Santiago for my 2-week stint at the pilgrim’s office. Exciting!
    Best to you, Karin


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