Sacred Rite of the Camino Welcome Home Event

The Northern California chapter held its annual Welcome Home Celebration and Potluck event on November 11th in Oakland. This year’s presentations included Camino routes “beyond the Francés.” First-time pilgrims and Camino veterans alike were given the opportunity to share highlights at the gathering of nearly eighty pilgrims. It was a fun way to learn about less popular routes—off the beaten path.

We presented in 10×10 format—ten slides in ten minutes. Seven Camino routes were represented: Aragones, Inglés, Le Puy, Norte, Portugués Coastal, Primitivo, and Via de la Plata.  I presented on the Camino Inglés, and I have to admit it was challenging for us to select photos and to speak for only ten minutes. We are all very passionate about our Camino experiences!

Audience watching the 10x10 presentations. Photo by Guy Joaquin.

Audience watching the 10×10 presentations. Photo by Guy Joaquin.

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Camino Inglés: Neda to Pontedeume

Continued from Exploring Neda.

When I saw Nancy eating breakfast at Pensión Maragoto, she was already packed up and ready to head out for the day. I move a little slower in the morning, so I told her I would see her along the way.  The laundry I had washed and hung on the windows was nice and dry, so I packed up and started walking around 9 a.m. I shot a quick video from the room before I headed out.

(See more details of Pensión Maragoto on previous posts.)

The Neda to Pontedeume stage was 18.7 km (11.6 miles) and followed the Ria de Ferrol for the first segment.

It was a peaceful walk along a boardwalk by the Ferrol river.

Boardwalk along the river in Neda

I walked right by a horse and felt like I was back on the Camino Portugués.

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Camino Inglés: Exploring Neda

Continued from Camino Inglés: Ferrol to Neda

Later in the afternoon, I felt like exploring Neda. I walked along the river to cross a small bridge over the Ria Ferrol.

Long afternoon shadow on freshly mowed grass

Long afternoon shadow on freshly mowed grass

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Camino Inglés: Ferrol to Neda

Continued from First Morning of Camino Inglés in Ferrol

“May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face.”

I always loved this Irish blessing. I thought it was a great way for Susan Jagannath to start the chapter for Day One in her guidebook, The Camino Inglés  6 days (or less) to Santiago. I enjoyed reading this guide on my Kindle App before I started my walk each day. I took Susan’s advice to split the first stage and stay in Neda instead of walking all the way to Pontedeume. This allowed me to enjoy a leisurely morning at the Parador, and even shoot this Facebook Live video in the room before I headed out.  Thus, I started my walk out of Ferrol around 11 a.m., which is considered extremely late by Camino standards!

I split the first stage, so my walk was only 15 km (9.5 miles). The distance would have been double, had I walked all the way to Pontedeume.

Below are the photos of my walk leaving Ferrol.

From a distance, I thought there were scuba divers in the calm waters off the beach, but they were fisherman were digging up clams.  Here are a few videos I captured.

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Camino and Hiking Events in November 2017

Below is the roundup of Camino-related events and hikes in the SF Bay Area for the month of November.

I’ll Push You Film Screenings
Thursday, November 2

Tickets are available for the nationwide screening of I’ll Push You, an inspiring film about two best friends on the Camino de Santiago. There will be screenings all around the Bay Area and country, so check with your local Camino group to join pre-film gatherings.   Purchase tickets.
Learn more:

Oakland’s Jack London Square screening, 7:30 p.m.

To watch the film in Oakland at Regal Jack London Stadium 9, purchase movie tickets here.

+ Optional Happy Hour at Plank
Before the screening, a few East Bay pilgrims will meet up at Plank Beer Garden for Happy Hour between 6 and 7 p.m.
Plank doesn’t take reservations, so just find an open table. Bring cash to split checks, or run your own tab. RSVP not required, but if you are on the NorCal Facebook group, check the event to see who’s coming.  Happy Hour specials from 3-7 p.m. $2 Off All Drinks & Appetizers. See Happy Hour Menu.   Also, see Dinner Menu.

All Active, Reserve or Retired Military, Law Enforcement or Fire Fighters receive 10% off! Hooray for Hero discounts!

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First Morning of Camino Inglés in Ferrol

Continued from Ferrol: Parador, Harbor, and Pre-Camino Blessing 

I woke up to the delightful sounds of children in a schoolyard across the street from the Parador. Then, I enjoyed a hearty breakfast in the dining room overlooking the harbor.

The breakfast dining room had great views of the port

The breakfast dining room had great views of the harbor.

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Ferrol: Parador, Harbor, and Pre-Camino Blessing

Continued from A Coruña Mont San Pedro.

I took a bus at 2 p.m. from A Coruña to Ferrol, which cost seven euros and took about thirty-five minutes. It was full of teenagers and business people.  I was the only backpack-toting pilgrim. The bus driver was playing rock music quite loudly, but nobody seemed to mind. I found it amusing that a soundtrack from my youth had such appeal in this region of Spain. Most of the teenagers were wearing earbuds and fiddling with their phones. A few other passengers were dozing off. I gazed out the window and watched the world go by, as Foreigner, AC/DC, and Metallica serenaded us onward and upward. Ultreia would make such a great name for a rock band!

On my walk from the Ferrol bus station to the hotel,  I was thinking about how much I enjoyed A Coruña and wondering whether Ferrol would be as captivating.

Casa do Concello (Town Hall)

Casa do Concello (Town Hall)

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Pilgrim Weaver: Making Honey out of the Pollen of My Camino Experience

Part five of a series, Weaving Words and Photos into the Tapestry of My Life
by Sister Anita Fearday, a.k.a Pilgrim Weaver

Continued from Part Four: Arrival

R.S. Thomas said, “The point of travelling is not to arrive, but to return home laden with pollen you shall work up into honey the mind feeds on.” Now I am working on the honey harvest of my Camino experience. Not a day has gone by since my return that I have not savored a pinch of the pollen. This will be my first attempt at weaving words around the pilgrimage, now that I have had two months to ruminate.

Para leer en español, clic aquí.


The experience was a leap of faith in many ways. I had doubts about my physical stamina; financial viability; ability to be away from my loved ones and to relate to people of different cultures, languages, and backgrounds; and my ability to sleep on bunkbeds in big dormitories for a month. That I was stretched and called out of my comfort zone is to put it mildly, but I am glad I took the leap of faith and had the grace to persevere until the end. This experience has strengthened my faith and trust in a God who takes such tender loving care of me. Continue reading

The Camino Provides Patch for 2018

I’m super excited to announce the new patch for 2018.

The Camino Provides 2018 patch

The patch is similar to the 2017 design with the rainbow-banded Camino shell, but has the red color for 2018. The rainbow shell design was inspired by the concept of chakras, which was an important part of my journey with yoga and healing over the last year.  I am continuing with the chakras theme for 2018 by highlighting the root chakra color at the base of the shell.

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A Coruña Mont San Pedro

Continued from A Coruña Old Town.

After an epic day of walking thirteen miles around A Coruña, exploring its beaches, Tower of Hercules and old town, I slept well, then woke up to sunshine and the sounds of waves and seagulls on the beach, just across the street.

The view from my room

The view from my room

Breakfast at cafe next door

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