Camino and Hiking Events: February 2020

Hello all.  I’m sending this a few days early as we have our monthly walk on Sat. Feb. 1st. Other highlights this month:  TWO Pilgrim talks at Berkeley libraries (wellness and Kumano Kodo), Camino 101 packing at Sacramento REI, and Basic Spanish for the Camino. Skip to these events.

It’s an exciting time in the Bay Area as many of us will be watching the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl.  We’ll also be celebrating my birthday, which falls on Super Bowl Sunday.  For my birthday wish, I am asking friends and family to support a  fundraiser for the non-profit I work at.  International House at UC Berkeley is home to nearly 600 students from over 75 different countries. Our mission is to promote peace, friendship and cultural understanding through programs, leadership training, and the simple act of living together under one roof.  I have worked at International House for 15 years now and see how gifts to I-House make a big difference in the lives of deserving students.  You can help kick start our annual Big Give fundraiser by making a donation of $10 or more at 

Optional patches: I have a personal goal to exceed what I raised last year, so I’ll give a Camino Provides patch to any pilgrim who donates $20 or more in honor of my birthday for the month of February. Just follow the steps below, email me your donation confirmation, and I’ll send you a patch! Want a few patches? For every increment of $20, I’ll send an additional patch to thank you for your support. Yes, patches can be purchased for $4 each on Etsy, but for my birthday month, I’m offering them to the VIPs who donate via the steps below. So, consider being part of something BIG and helping me raise some money for a great cause!

1. Go to:
2. Enter $ amount, click Continue.
3. Click Browse List. Make sure you click the Programs button!
4. Choose a Program, scroll to > International House
5. Choose a Giving Opportunity, scroll to > The Fund for I-House
6. Follow the prompts
to make your secure gift.
7. If you want a patch, email me your donation confirmation and let me know what style (Original, 2019, or 2020) See patch options.

Donors of $100 or more will be listed in the I-House Times newsletter, but gifts of all sizes are greatly appreciated! This donativo opportunity can help deserving students at UC Berkeley.  More reasons and ways to give are listed at

Thanks for your support!  And now, back to our regular programming. 🙂

Below is the Camino and Hiking events roundup for February.

Lake Merritt Jan 2020

Lake Merritt walk – January 2020

Lake Merritt Walk + Optional Lunch
Saturday, February 1st, 10:30 AM – 12 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.

As always, we encourage carpools, public transportation, and Lyft or Uber as parking is limited in the area on Saturdays.

I will have a few pairs of the yoga pants with zippers, donated by Camino superfan Cathy Seitchik Diaz. These were sold for $69 and are now available for just $20 suggested contribution to support the Northern California Chapter. These are solid black yoga pants with no logo and two side pockets. I’ll be wearing a pair on my next Camino! There are five sizes available: XS, S, M, L, XL. Just let me know if you’d like one on the walk or during lunch.

The walk usually ends around noon and some pilgrims might want to have lunch together at Aisle 5, a brewery, craft beer pub, and eatery located at 3320 Grand Ave. in the historic Grand Lake district in Oakland California.

Pilgrim Talk: Wellness on the Way
Thursday, February 6th, 6 – 7:30 PM
Berkeley Library West Branch

Join the Northern California Chapter at the Berkeley West Branch Library for a pilgrim talk about surviving and thriving on the Camino. 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. 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 will share tips and tricks she has learned on her Caminos.

After the 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 for your next Camino!

RSVP: Space is limited.  Click here to reserve your seat by 5 pm on Wed. Feb. 5th

Berkeley Public Library West Branch
1125 University Ave. (at San Pablo)
Berkeley, CA 94702

Day 1 Camino InviernoSpeaker Bio: 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. 

5:45 PM – Community room doors open (volunteers welcome to help set up chairs)
6:00 PM – Sign-in and socializing
6:10 PM – Presentation begins, Q & A follows
7:30 PM – Out of the community room (library closes at 8 pm)


By BART: The North Berkeley BART station is .7 miles away. From the station, walk down (west on) Delaware, turn left on Curtis, and then right on University.

AC Transit Buses: 51B, 52, 72, 72M, 72R, FS, G, & Z
Driving: For directions, use Google Maps
Carpool: If you want a ride or can give one, post a message to this event listed on our Facebook Group page (Peregrinos – Northern California).

Parking: The West Berkeley branch of the library is on the north side of University about 100 yards east of (above) the intersection with San Pablo. Free and plentiful street parking after 6 PM. Also, there’s a large and free parking lot which can be accessed either on San Pablo Avenue (by Dollar Tree), or on University just below the library.

Yoga Pants:
Laurie will have a limited quantity of EZPee Pants, donated by Cathy Seitchik Diaz. These are valued at $69 and are now available by donativo to support the Northern California Chapter. There are five sizes available: XS, S, M, L, XL. You may reserve a pair by making a note in the comments section of the RSVP form. One per person, while supplies last.

Questions about this event? Contact us at

REI Camino 101: Gear & Packing Tips
Wednesday, February 12, 6:30  – 8:30 PM
Sacramento REI

Join the Sacramento Chapter of the American Pilgrims on the Camino for this informative and interactive presentation to learn about gear choice and packing tips for the Camino de Santiago. Experienced Camino walkers will share their opinions and insight as to what worked, what didn’t, and what they would change for any future Caminos. If you are currently planning your Camino, have already walked, or have always wondered about this walking journey across northern Spain, please join us and find out more.  Questions, comments, and concerns welcome!
Free event at the Sacramento Cal Expo REI, however you must register to reserve a seat:  Register Here

Register for the final session below:
March 4, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
REI Camino 101: Resources

Pilgrim Talk with Roxanne Morgan
Hiking the Kumano Kodo in Japan
Thursday, February 20th
North Berkeley Library

The Kumano Kodo, an UNESCO Heritage route, twinned with the Camino de Santiago, is an other-worldly and spiritual pilgrimage through the Kii peninsula, south of Osaka, Japan. Traversed by monks, emperors, kings and pilgrims, it follows temples and Shrines and offers the most spectacular rural landscapes one can imagine. Roxanne has walked this twice (and the Camino seven times) and will talk about ryokans, onsens and the art of bowing and being a pilgrim. Come find out what you need to do to pick up your staff and earn your Dual Pilgrim Compostela.

Kumano Kodo

Roxanne Kumano Kodo

Speaker Bio: Roxanne Morgan is a professor of World Literature in Sacramento, CA and has walked a pilgrimage every year since 2012 when first introduced to the Camino de Santiago. She has walked the Camino Norte in its entirety, the Primitivo, the Portuguese and many permutations of the Frances both with friends, and on her own. In addition, she has spent two summers working as an hospitalera in albergues, cleaning and cooking for up to 100 peregrinos a night. “I’ve walked with everything on my back; I’ve sent my bags ahead; I’ve camped, slept in albergues, stayed at a Paradores; walked in hundred degree heat and through a typhoon.” She recently started ¡Camina con Amigos! Walk with Friends to help friends bridge the gap between thinking about walking and taking their first step on the Camino de Santiago. Check out

Event Date: Thursday, February 20th, 6 – 7:30 PM


5:45 PM – Community room doors open (volunteers welcome to help set up chairs)
6:00 PM – Sign-in and socializing
6:10 PM – Presentation begins, Q & A follows
7:30 PM – Out of the community room (library closes at 8 pm)

RSVP: Space is limited.  Click here to reserve your seat by 5 pm on Wed. Feb. 19th

Berkeley Public Library North Branch
1170 The Alameda, Berkeley, CA 94707


By BART: The North Berkeley BART station is 1 mile away.
AC Transit7912718, & H
Driving: For directions, use Google Maps
Parking: No parking lot; unmetered street parking is usually available.
Map/Directions: Google Map and directions.

Basic Spanish for the Camino
Berkeley, California
Sunday, February 23, March 1 & 8, 1:30 – 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 a great opportunity to increase your awareness of the Spanish language and to prepare for your Camino and the transition into Spanish culture.
These are not formal language classes. Rather, they will be meetings in which we will focus on the language challenges that, as a pilgrim, 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 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. Some light refreshments will be available to enhance this learning experience.
Class Details
  • 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 a chapter liasion for American Pilgrims on the Camino.
  • When: Three consecutive Sunday afternoons (February 23, March 1 & 8) from 1:30 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 given to those who can commit to attending all 3 meetings.
  • Class Text: The information used during the class (including exercise dialogues, information about eating in Spain, a list of dishes commonly found on Spanish menus and an extensive vocabulary specific to the Camino) will be available to participants in a printed and bound booklet. A $10 contribution is requested to cover the cost of printing.
  • Membership: As a member benefit, we are first accepting registrations from paid American Pilgrims members only. Membership in our Facebook groups and/or being on our chapter email list does not automatically confer membership in American Pilgrims. Please be sure that your membership is current BEFORE registering so that you are listed in the member database. Go to our membership page at to join, renew or check your account status. Please send membership questions to If space is still available by the week of February 9, registration will be open to all.
  • Sign-Up: Go to our online registration page at


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 FlyerThe 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 for pilgrims walking their first Camino this year, movies and entertainment and of course, our popular silent auction and raffle.

I’ll be leading a yoga session on Saturday morning, and giving my Wellness on the Way presentation in the afternoon. Hope to see you there!

Our Northern California Chapter’s Shell Blessing  and Potluck dates will take place on Saturday, March 21. 2020.  Stay tuned for more details.

Here’s the lineup of events that our chapter has planned for the year.

In case you missed it, I added a new story written by Bay Area pilgrim Andy Cohn, Surviving the Camino With Your Spouse.

See the growing list of Camino couples featured on the Love page.

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.


Patch Update:  The 2020 Camino patch is a little different this year, with a black twill background and the date in yellow. The design idea was fan sourced through a poll on my Facebook page! Thanks for everyone who voted in the poll.

And now, there’s free shipping for orders of $35 or more.  Order at

The Camino Provides 2020 Patch

One thought on “Camino and Hiking Events: February 2020

  1. Pingback: Yoga & Wellness Newsletter February – Laurie Ferris Yoga & Wellness

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