Camino Love Story: Michelle & Andreas

Our Camino Love Story

by Michelle & Andreas

Statue of Mother Mary atop the foothills of the Pyrenees, just outside of Orisson

Statue of Mother Mary atop the foothills of the Pyrenees, just outside of Orisson

Most, if not all, of our friends know how our Camino Love Story came about. With that said, we absolutely love retelling it and reliving each and every mesmerizing step along the Way of St. James as it led us to this very beautiful moment of our becoming one on May 12, 2018.

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Camino and Hiking Events in February 2018

There’s a lot going on in February, so let’s get right to it! Below is a roundup of Camino-related events and hikes in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Packing for the Camino

Join the Silicon Valley Chapter of American Pilgrims on the Camino (APOC) for an evening of Camino talk. Camino veterans will discuss their equipment and clothing, including what worked, what didn’t work and why. They will also answer your questions and talk about what to expect when on the Camino.

REI, MOUNTAIN VIEW. 2450 Charleston Road, Mountain View, CA
Thursday
February 1, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Register online or call the store at 650-969-1938.

REI, MARINA. 145 General Stilwell Drive, Marina, CA
TuesdayFebruary 6, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Register online or call the store at 831-883-8048.

REI, SAN CARLOS, 1119 Industrial Road, San Carlos, CA
WednesdayFebruary 7, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Register online or call 650-508-2330.


Lake Merritt Walk + Optional Brunch
Saturday, February 3, 10:30 a.m.

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The Wise Pilgrim Camino Map

I am really excited to share this great new Camino route map, designed by Michael Matynka, founder of the Wise Pilgrim Guides.  The world needed a better Camino map, and this is it!

The map shows nearly fifty routes across Spain and Portugal, and four that enter Spain from France. Each Camino is named and color coded, and includes major cities along the route. Below is a closeup of the map’s detail. Continue reading

Camino Inglés: Arrival in Santiago

Continued from Sigüeiro to Santiago.

When I started my walk from Sigüeiro, it was sunny and warm, but by the time I reached Santiago, the sky was grey and it felt like it would rain at any moment. This was exactly like my arrival in Santiago last year after walking the Camino Portugués. However, I was in a completely different state of mind this time, having learned a great lesson. I had prebooked a room so I wasn’t desperately trying to find a bed for the night. This time around, I didn’t care if it poured; I was going straight to Praza do Obradoiro by the Cathedral.

I headed right for the center of Praza Obradoiro and felt a euphoric sense of joy rush over me. I made it. My second Camino. And I was so high on life! Below is a video of my arrival.

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Camino Inglés: Sigüeiro to Santiago

Continued from Bruma to Sigüeiro.

Santiago or bust! This was the seventh, and final, day of walking the Camino Inglés. And I was just getting warmed up! Until I have enough time off work to walk a longer Camino, these shorter variations satisfy the calling.

First stop, Restaurante Cortés, across the street from Pension Andaina. I sidled up to the bar and ordered a café con leche.  Sometimes you get a sweet treat when you order coffee, but this time it was warm churros and cake!

Generous breakfast tapas on the Camino Ingles

Generous breakfast tapas on the Camino Inglés.

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Camino Inglés: Bruma to Sigüeiro

Continued from Bruma, where two Caminos converge.

What comes up must come down. Sure, it was a longer stage of 16 miles (25 km), but I was in for an easier walk on this day because it was mostly downhill, as the graph below shows.

I was out bright and early (for me at least) because I stayed in a municipal albergue and pilgrims need to be out by 8 a.m. On my way out of town, I was hoping the Casa Graña was open for a café con leche. I had forgotten to get a stamp in my credential the night before. They were totally closed, but I spotted a cute bunny hopping around their patio. Here’s the video of the Bruma Bunny.

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Camino Inglés: Bruma, Where Two Caminos Converge

Continued from Presedo to Bruma.

After the rest break at the AC/DC mural, I had enough energy to forge ahead, and I had a good tune in my head. I was keeping a lookout for the place where the Camino Inglés routes (one starting in A Coruña and one in Ferrol) converge. I thought this fork in the path might be it, but the spray painted arrow on the tree was way too subtle.

Then, I saw the two-sided shell way marker on a farm road. Continue reading

Camino Inglés: Presedo to Bruma

Continued from Betanzos to Presedo.

By splitting the Betanzos-to-Bruma stage (28 km), the walk from Presedo was more manageable at 10 miles (16 km). However, it had the steepest climb yet, with an elevation gain of nearly 2,000 feet.

Leaving Presedo was pleasant. Even though it wasn’t raining, the air was cool and heavy with moisture. Perfect conditions for hiking the Camino.

I saw a fixer-upper, an orange slug, barking dogs, and happy cows, as I trekked southwest toward Hospital de Bruma. I took a few short video clips to capture the beauty and feeling of this stage. Continue reading

Camino Inglés: Betanzos to Presedo

Continued from Exploring Betanzos.

This day’s hike was short but sweet, because I split this most challenging stage by staying in Presedo.  As my tracked hike screenshot shows, it was 8.5 miles (14 km), but it was still  a challenging and hilly hike with a 1565 ft. elevation gain.

Shell marker in Betanzos

It was a Dirty Girl gaiter and skirt day.

The hike out of Betanzos was steep and went from cobblestone to asphalt to gravel, and eventually, dirt paths over rolling hills with farms.

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Camino Inglés: Exploring Betanzos

Continued from Pontedeume to Betanzos

Arriving in Betanzos

Arriving in Betanzos

The entrance into Betanzos, a medieval town, is through the arched stone walls and cobbled streets. When I arrived, I was completely exhausted. Fortunately, the albergue had a friendly hospitalero, an available bunk bed, and because it was a newer municipal albergue, everything, including the bathrooms, was in much better shape.

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