Camino and Hiking Events in October 2019

Happy Fall! I am excited to share some upcoming Camino events in the Bay Area.

Lake Merritt Walk + Camino Packing Presentation
Saturday, October 5th
Oakland, CA

Lake Merritt Walk
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. Stay for the presentation at the Lakeview Library (details below).

Presentation: Camino 101: Packing
1 – 2 PM

Join the Northern California Chapter for a presentation led by Camino veteran Rob Nickerson at the Lakeview Branch of the Oakland Public Library. We’ll continue our educational series with a presentation on packing that includes a gear panel of experienced pilgrims. Whether you’re a first-timer or seasoned veteran, you’re sure to pick up invaluable info, tips and tricks for your next Camino!

Continue reading

Camino-Inspired Gift Ideas 2018

Greetings! It’s the time of year to share a selection of Camino-inspired gifts for the holidays.  I try to find gifts created within the last year, or that have not been featured on my previous posts.  This is an ode to the Camino creatives tribe, which I mentioned in a previous post. These are pilgrims who have been so inspired by their experience on the Camino that they have turned their creative ideas and hobbies into films, books, artwork, crafts,  jewelry, and more. I always enjoy hearing their stories and sharing their labors of love.  I am super excited because I just received the new patches for 2019, which are pictured at the end of this post.  Browse the gifts for the pilgrims on your list, and perhaps pick something out for yourself! You’ve been a good pilgrim all year, haven’t you? If not, I won’t tell St. Nick, or St. James.  😉

Buen Camino Calendar 2019

A desktop calendar for 2019 with pictures taken on the Camino Francés and quotes for contemplation each month. $12

Buen Camino Calendar

This is a new offering from the lovely couple from Mt. Shasta, California who made the Buen Camino board game. Get 20% off your order from Buen Camino Shop when you spend $15 or more. Code XMAS2018 Discount applied at checkout. This calendar will sell out soon. Continue reading

Camino-Inspired Gift Ideas 2017

It’s the time of year to share an updated list of Camino-inspired gifts for the holidays.  I find it fascinating that some pilgrims have been so inspired by their experience on the Camino that they have turned their creative ideas and hobbies into films, books, artwork, crafts,  jewelry, and more. I see this as a way pilgrims can share their talents in a way others can enjoy, and possibly, also be inspired by the Camino! Below are a few gift ideas for the pilgrims on your list.

Camino-Inspired Gift Ideas

Continue reading

Buen Camino Docu-Show

My friend Cathy Seitchik Diaz alerted me to a new docu-show that aired on Spanish television in July. The ¡Buen Camino! series followed pilgrims from more than 100 countries who were walking, biking, and even horseback riding on the Camino in spring 2017.  Cathy was one of the pilgrims that was interviewed by host Marta Márquez. I remember when Cathy emailed me route reports on the Camino Francés, she mentioned a TV show and that a drone camera was following her overhead.  She said she was a little nervous about being interviewed on camera, but because she is so passionate about the Camino, she was excited to spread the word.

Behind the scenes of Cathy being interviewed by the host, Marta.

Continue reading

Beyond the Way, A Camino Film Series

I have been wanting to share Andrew Suzuki’s excellent film series for a while, but it didn’t seem complete. Now the missing episode, “Some Assembly Required” is free and online!

Continue reading

Camino-Inspired Gift Ideas 2016

Happy Holidays! I love this time of year for so many reasons. Mostly, I love to give gifts! However, it is easy to get caught up in the frenzy of commercialized Christmas. I try to stay away from big stores and shopping malls. It is so overwhelming! I prefer to shop in local neighborhoods or online. Fortunately, there is a great variety of gifts from pilgrims who were so inspired by their experience that they turned their ideas or crafts into creative Camino gifts. Below are a few ideas for gifts for the pilgrims on your list. There is something for everyone!

Continue reading

Film Review: Wayfaring

Wayfaring – A Jaunt Along The Camino de Santiago

Scott Herriott 2014 ‧ Documentary ‧ 1h 19m

Wayfaring This film follows Scott “Squatch” Herriott, an Appalachian and Pacific Crest Trail veteran, on the Camino Francés in the spring of 2013. He interviews pilgrims, albergue owners, hospitaleros (volunteers of the Camino), and a few locals who like to flirt with young peregrinas.

Squatch can be quite hilarious at times, as are some of the subjects he meets along his jaunt. There’s a scene with a couple who met along the Camino, and a very moving story of kindness that gave me goose bumps. It was a nice surprise to see Bay Area pilgrim Nancy Reynolds interviewed at an albergue! She’s well known for her enthusiastic Camino Experience presentations and guiding people across the Pyrenees.

Continue reading

DVD Review: Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago

Whether you are familiar with the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage, or are just starting to hear its calling, this documentary should be at the top of your must-see list. Director Lydia B. Smith walked the 500-mile trail in 2008 and was so moved Camino’s magnetic power that she decided to walk it again, along with her friend Annie O’Neil. This time with an international film crew and a strong hunch that they would meet some interesting subjects along the way. The Camino provided.

Walking the Camino: Six Ways to SantiagoWalking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago follows six pilgrims on their journey from St. Jean Pied de Port to Santiago.  During the first days of filming, the crew fatefully encountered the pilgrims that would become the cast: Sam from Brazil/UK, Wayne from Canada, Misa from Denmark, Tomás from Portugal, Tatiana from France. These pilgrims and Annie from the USA all had different reasons for doing the Camino, and faced different challenges along the way. You get to see their real Camino experiences—from blisters and debilitating injury—to camaraderie and unexpected romance.   There are interviews with priests and hospitaleros who describe what the pilgrimage is about.  By the end of the film,  I really understood the camaraderie of people from all over the world converging on the same path.  The film has stunning cinematography that captures the beauty of nature— from  tiny dew drops on grass—to the majestic mountains of the Pyrenees.

Watch the trailer: Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago

I had the opportunity to see this film and meet featured pilgrim and co-producer Annie O’Neil  when it was screened in Berkeley earlier this year. I recently bought the DVD boxed set, which includes bonus material and two hours of unseen footage.

Walking The Camino Boxed Set

Fans of this film will appreciate the in-depth interviews with the cast. I particularly liked what Sam said about the Camino changing the chemistry of her body. She threw away all her medications, just started walking and all her symptoms went away. The boxed set is available for purchase and makes a beautiful gift for any Caminophile on your list. See more purchase options.

Clearly, I am a fan of this film and recommend it to anyone who is interested in walking the Camino. I am looking forward to Annie O’Neil’s new documentary Phil’s Camino. 

Camino and Hiking Events in November

One of the best ways to prepare for the Camino is to join one of the pilgrim events, hikes or workshops in your community. The Bay Area has a great variety of events this month, including a pilgrim welcome home party,  screenings of Phil’s Camino,  organized hikes and REI events.  So what are you waiting for? Get your Camino on!

Pilgrim Welcome Home Potluck and Party
Saturday, November 7, 10:30 am  to 3:30 pm
Church of the Resurrection
399 Gregory Lane, Pleasant Hill, CA

The NorCal Chapter of American Pilgrims on the Camino invites you to their annual Welcome Home potluck and party for those who have returned from the Camino this calendar year.  There will be a large block of time dedicated to sharing Camino experiences. Those interior head and heart changes – what you learned about yourself and about life.  What would you tell others to prepare them for changes?  Did you have issues communicating yourself to friends or spouses?  Dig deep.  You need this.

El Rastro
El Rastro is a gigantic flea market in Madrid.  We will duplicate it!  Camino El Rastro will be a place to bring all your excess gear, memorabilia, guidebooks and other good junk you thought you wanted but really don’t any more.  Pins, books, extra pole tips, extra ponchos, ugly coffee cups, refrigerator magnets, post cards, you name it. Let’s face it.  Most of us return from a Camino with a desire to get rid of stuff.   This is your chance.  This is a CASH FREE zone.  Bring it and forget it!  See something you want?  Take it.  Should be fun. No fighting!!!

Bring food, stories, and attitude!  Wine is good too.  These have been great events in past years.  RSVP so we can be certain to have a chair for you.

Buen Camino
Lin, Cybele, Rennie
Chapter Coordinators


Phil’s Camino Film Screening
Sunday, November 22, 12:30pm – 2:30pm
The New Parkway Theater, 474 24th St, Oakland, California 94612

Phil's Camino logoJoin Annie O’Neil, co-producer and featured pilgrim in Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago  with her latest film project, Phil’s Camino on the big screen at the New Parkway theater.
This is a free screening, but donations of any size are welcome. Annie will have merchandise available to purchase: Her book, CD and DVDs of Walking the Camino. All proceeds go to Phil’s Camino.  See trailer at: http://philscamino.com/

There will be mixing and mingling before the screening, and a Q&A with Annie after. You will also have the opportunity to provide feedback on this rough cut of the film.  RSVP on the Facebook event.

See screenings at REI San Francisco 11/23 and Saratoga 11/24 below.


Continue reading

Camino and Hiking Events in October

One of the best ways to prepare for the Camino is to join one of the pilgrim related events, hikes or workshops available to the public. This month I offer an exclusive discount to a Life in a Walk documentary screening and a selection of organized walks that you can join.  So, get out there for a hike to enjoy the changing colors of the season, crisp fall weather, and spectacular Bay Area sunsets!

Continue reading