Happy New Year! And as we roll into a new decade, I’m hopeful that 2020 will bring more justice, peace, and compassion into this world. In the meantime, it’s Camino training season. Below are a selection of Camino events and hikes in Northern California. But first, a quick reminder to have your 12 lucky grapes ready for midnight so you can celebrate the way some Spaniards do on New Year’s Eve. For each strike of the bell, eating a green grape is said bring good luck every month of the coming year.
The tradition of “la uva de la suerte” dates back to 1909 when the prolific harvest of grapes in the Alicante region of Spain let some vineyard owners widely distribute the fruit to fellow townsmen.
If you prefer to drink your grapes in the form of sparkling wine, try Cava from Spain.
I found this Picasso-esque bottle of Cava at our local grocery store to ring in the new year.
¡Feliz Año Nuevo!
Lake Merritt Walk + Camino Presentation
Saturday, January 4th, 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: Wellness on the Way
Saturday, January 4th, 1 – 2 PM
Guest Speaker: Laurie Ferris, Oakland, CA
Discover the wellness that is inherent on the Camino. Explore the reasons why it makes us pilgrims 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.
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!
Laurie Ferris has walked the Camino Portugués, Inglés, Primitivo, and Invierno. On the Camino, she has led yoga sessions for pilgrims, and has also discovered some interesting ways to enhance wellbeing. As a chapter coordinator in Northern California, Laurie welcomes new pilgrims, organizes events, delivers presentations, and contributes articles for La Concha Newsletter. Laurie is dedicated to keeping the spirit of the Camino alive through her work in the chapter and her blog.
At her communications job at UC Berkeley’s International House, Laurie serves as a wellness ambassador where she teaches yoga to UC Berkeley staff and leads lunchtime hikes around campus. Always an advocate for self care, Laurie is excited to share some Camino tips in this informative and interactive pilgrim talk.
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.
Questions? Contact Laurie Ferris, Northern California Chapter Co-Coordinator
REI Camino 101 Series – First Steps
January 8, 6:30 – 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
The Sacramento Chapter of the American Pilgrims on the Camino has organized a three-part series to help pilgrims prepare for journey. Register for the next two sessions below:
February 12, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
REI Camino 101: Gear & Packing Tips
March 4, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
REI Camino 101: Resources